Modeling Absolute and Allometric Growth in Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata undulata) in Captivity
Absolute and allometric growth of Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata undulata) were studied. Using body weight measurements from hatch till 120 days of age, the Gompertz-Laird growth model was used to describe the growth pattern of the Houbara. Whereas the model underpredicted the hatching weight (34 vs 40 g), the predicted asymptotic body weight was in concordance with the data (1193 g). The same growth model was also used to describe the growth pattern of beak and shank length, chest girth and wing span. The beak reached asymptotic length faster than the shank, chest girth and wing span. We used the log transformed relationship of Huxley to determine the allometric relationship of beak length, shank length, chest girth and wing span relative to body weight from hatch to 120 days. The allometric growth analysis indicated that, beak length, shank length, chest girth and wing span all followed a hypometric allometry (b<1) relative to body weight growth. However, the wing span has the highest allometric growth compared to the other measurements indicating the evolutionary importance of developing wings for quick flights from predators.