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The bare head of the Northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita) fulfills a thermoregulatory function

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Zoology, March 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)

Mentioned by

45 tweeters
3 Facebook pages


7 Dimensions

Readers on

39 Mendeley
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The bare head of the Northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita) fulfills a thermoregulatory function
Published in
Frontiers in Zoology, March 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12983-017-0201-5
Pubmed ID

Ismael Galván, Daniel Palacios, Juan José Negro


Dark pigments provide animals with several adaptive benefits such as protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation and mechanical abrasion, but may also impose several constraints like a high absorbance of solar radiation. Endotherms, with relatively constant and high body temperatures, may be especially prone to thermoregulatory limitations if dark coloured and inhabiting hot environments. It is therefore expected that adaptations have specifically evolved because of these limitations. Bare, highly vascularised head skin may have evolved in birds with dark plumage from hot geographical regions because of favouring heat dissipation. Using the Northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita) as a model species, we measured the surface temperature (Tsurf) of the head, the bill and the black feathered body of 11 birds along ambient temperatures (Ta) ranging from 21 to 42.5 °C employing thermal imaging. While Tsurf of the bill and the feathered body was only slightly above Ta, head Tsurf was considerably higher, by up to 12 °C. Estimated values of heat loss followed similar variations. We also found that the red colour intensity of the head of ibises increased with head Tsurf, suggesting that birds are capable of controlling blood flow and the thermoregulatory function of the head. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that bare skin has evolved in dark pigmented birds inhabiting hot environments because of their ability to dissipate heat.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 45 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 39 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 39 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 23%
Researcher 6 15%
Student > Master 5 13%
Student > Bachelor 4 10%
Other 1 3%
Other 3 8%
Unknown 11 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 19 49%
Environmental Science 5 13%
Business, Management and Accounting 1 3%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 1 3%
Medicine and Dentistry 1 3%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 12 31%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 24. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 January 2018.
All research outputs
of 22,634,608 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Zoology
of 648 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 279,982 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Zoology
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,634,608 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 648 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 279,982 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them