Andean Goose

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Andean Goose
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Tadorninae
Genus: Chloephaga
Species: C. melanoptera
Binomial name
Chloephaga melanoptera
(Eyton, 1838)

The Andean Goose (Chloephaga melanoptera) is a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae.

It is resident around lakes and marshes in the high Andes, usually well above 3000 m. It is largely terrestrial and avoids swimming except in emergencies.

This heavily built bird has a tiny pink bill and white plumage except for black in the wings and tail. The female is similar to the male, but is smaller.

The Andean Goose is a grazing species, eating grasses. It nests on the ground in a bare scrape near water, laying 6-10 eggs. It is territorial in the breeding season, but otherwise forms small flocks.

Feeding

Physiology and Hemoglobin Adaptation[edit]

Andean Geese (C. melanoptera) have developed a mutation in their hemoglobin that has led to a vast increase in hemoglobin-oxygen affinity. More specifically, Hiebl et al. found that C. melanoptera has developed mutations that lead to five amino-acid substitutions in the alpha-chain and five substitutions in the beta-chain of their hemoglobin.[2] A particular substitution the in C. melanoptera beta-chain has led to the elimination of a Van der Waals interaction between the alpha-chain and the beta-chain.[3] This has destabilized the T-state (the deoxygenated state of hemoglobin), which has led to a higher affinity for being in the R-state (oxygenated state of hemoglobin).[3] Overall, this mutation increases the hemoglobin-oxygen affinity of C. melanoptera.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Chloephaga melanoptera". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Hiebl, I.; G. Braunitzer; D. Schneeganss (December 1987). "The primary structure of the major and minor hemoglobin-components of the Andean goose (Chloephaga melanoptera, Anatidae): the mutation Leu----Ser in position 55 of the beta-chains". Biol Chem Hoppe Sayler 368 (12): 1559–1669. 
  3. ^ a b Storz, Jay; Hideaki Moriyama (June 2008). "Mechanisms of Hemoglobin Adaptation to High Altitude Hypoxia". High Altitude Medicine and Biology 9 (2): 148–157. doi:10.1089/ham.2007.1079. PMC 3140315.