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Whole-body endothermy in a mesopelagic fish, the opah, Lampris guttatus
Wegner, N.C.; Snodgrass, O.E.; Dewar, H.; Hyde, J.R. (2015). Whole-body endothermy in a mesopelagic fish, the opah, Lampris guttatus. Science (Wash.) 348(6236): 786-789 . hdl.handle.net/10.1126/science.aaa8902
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Wegner, N.C.
  • Snodgrass, O.E.
  • Dewar, H.
  • Hyde, J.R.

Abstract
    Endothermy (the metabolic production and retention of heat to warm body temperature above ambient) enhances physiological function, and whole-body endothermy generally sets mammals and birds apart from other animals. Here, we describe a whole-body form of endothermy in a fish, the opah (Lampris guttatus), that produces heat through the constant “flapping” of wing-like pectoral fins and minimizes heat loss through a series of counter-current heat exchangers within its gills. Unlike other fish, opah distribute warmed blood throughout the body, including to the heart, enhancing physiological performance and buffering internal organ function while foraging in the cold, nutrient-rich waters below the ocean thermocline.

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