Thursday, June 24, 2021

Organ weight and weight relationships in Takahe and Pukeko

TitleOrgan weight and weight relationships in Takahe and Pukeko
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsSuttie, JM, Fennessy, PF
Type of Articlepaper

The internal organs of four adult, one juvenile and one chick Takahe (Porphyrio [Notornis] mantelli hochstetteri) were dissected, weighed and measured to determine the digestive capacity based on anatomical measurement. Organ dimensions were compared with those of the Pukeko (P. porphyrio melanotus). Because the Takahe were 3 - 4 times larger than the Pukeko, organ weights were scaled by the weight of the femur and length measurements by the length of the femur to enable comparison between the species. The Takahe had significantly deeper beaks, shorter intestines and larger recta than the Pukeko. The pyloric caeca were longer but not significantly so. Although ecological comparisons based on gut morphology are fraught with difficulty, a tentative theory that Takahe may be better at digesting fibre than currently thought is presented.

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