Letter | Published:

Temporary Poikilothermy in Birds

Nature volume 143, pages 683684 (22 April 1939) | Download Citation



IT appears to be well known to aviculturists and collectors that humming-birds are capable of a physiological state somewhat resembling hibernation in mammals, but of short duration; however, the fact seems not to have been recorded in the scientific literature. We propose to refer to this peculiar condition as ‘torpidity’. The observations here recorded were made partly in the field in Ecuador, partly in the Zoological Society's Gardens at Regent's Park.

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  1. 1.

    , and , J. Physiol., 82, 459 (1934).

  2. 2.

    , Vogelzug, 3, 4 (1932). , Le Gerfaut, 27, 226 (1932).

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  1. Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, N.W.8. March 24.

    • J. S. HUXLEY
    • , C. S. WEBB
    •  & A. T. BEST


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