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The salt gland of the incubating Eider duck Somateria mollissima: the effects of natural salt deprivation



Female Eider ducks, living under natural conditions, do not drink salt water during the 26 days for which they incubate their eggs. In the course of incubation the nasal salt glands decrease in size, show a marked reduction in Na+/K+-ATPase activity and in the rate at which they clear a salt load. The time course of these events is similar to that seen in laboratory studies on other species where salt intake is manipulated.

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