© 2005 British
Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.
Super size me: an experimental test of the factors affecting
lipid content and the ability of residual body mass to
predict lipid stores in nestling European Starlings
D. R. ARDIA*
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
1. Lipids are a major source of energy storage in vertebrates. A cross-fostering brood
manipulation was conducted to assess the role of rearing environment vs common
origin on lipid stores.
2. Rearing conditions, especially nest temperatures, explained more variation in lipid
levels than did nest of origin. As nest temperatures increased, lipid levels in nestlings
also increased. Larger individuals, reflected in both wet and lean dry mass, tended to
store more lipids.