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Role of Mitochondria in Bird Flight:

Researchers have discovered that the blood of birds gets warmer in winter when the temperature around them is colder. The climate for birds should be maintained in a way that it doesn’t affect their body with time and weather because they have to fli ...

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Researchers have discovered that the blood of birds gets warmer in winter when the temperature around them is colder. The climate for birds should be maintained in a way that it doesn’t affect their body with time and weather because they have to flight all the time which requires a lot of strength. If the body won’t respond to nature accurately then there are chances of hazardous problems. This research was done at Lund University situated in Sweden and the study was published in the FASEB journal where it was highly praised due to its observations. The study seemed to reveal all the magical secrets. The secret lies in the energy factories of cells which are known as mitochondria. Talking about mammals they don’t have any mitochondria available in their red blood cells but birds do have these and so researchers from the university tried to study how this process in birds takes place and how it is originated. The scientist from Glasgow also studied this and this means that the blood can be able to function as a central heating system when it is cold outside.

In mitochondria, the function is very much oriented to produce heat instead of more energy. It is believed that a lot of energy and heat is equally required to fly properly and this is a process in which blood becomes a type of radiator that they turn up when it is getting colder with time and it is said by great researchers in evolutionary ecology at Lund University who led the study.

What humans do is they move their body and generate heat out of it and similarly birds also do some movements of their body parts to generate the heat. Until now, the common perception has been that birds keep warm by shivering with their large pectoral muscles and fluffing up their feathers. Less is known about other heat-regulating processes inside birds. To investigate the function of mitochondria, the researchers examined great tits, coal tits, and blue tits on two different occasions: early autumn and late winter. The researchers took blood samples from the birds and isolated the red blood cells. By using a so-called cell respirometer, a highly sensitive instrument that can measure how much oxygen the mitochondria consume, the researchers were able to calculate how much of the oxygen consumption was spent on producing energy and how much was spent on creating heat. 

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