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Abstract

The diet of the unsexed breeding Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae Hombron et Jacquinot, 1841) was investigated during three consecutive chick rearing periods, from 1996–97 to 1998–99, on Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands (60°46’S, 44°42’W), Antarctica. This analysis showed that during the whole sampling period, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana, 1852) represented the predominant prey in terms of frequency of occurrence, mass, and number. The hyperiid amphipod Themisto gaudichaudii (Guerin-Méneville, 1825) was present in small amounts. Electrona antarctica (Gunter, 1878), Trematomus newnesi (Boulenger, 1902) and larval stages of Nototheniidae constituted the bulk of the fish portion, particularly during the 1997/98 and 1998/99 breeding periods. This study is the first examination of the Adélie penguin diet at Laurie Island. It is important to recognize, however, the importance of knowing the sex of the penguins being sampled and that prey composition may vary during the breeding season and from one year to the next.
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Abstract

The cephalopod diet of the gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua and the Antarctic fur seal, Arctocephalus gazella was comparatively analyzed at Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands. A total of 125 stomach samples were collected by the water off-loading method from gentoo penguins during the autumns of 1993, 1995 and 1996, and 39 fur seal scats were collected from mid March to April 1988. Cephalopods preyed upon by gentoo penguins were represented by 1974 beaks (1628 lower, 346 upper) which occurred in 50.4% of the samples. Lower beaks identified belonged exclusively to the squid Psychroteuthis glacialis. The mean lower rostral length (LRL) of these beaks was 1.1 mm (range 0.4– 1.8 mm). From the Antarctic fur seal scats 103 beaks (41 lower, 62 upper) were removed from 60.6% of scats which contained prey remains. The cephalopod species identified were Slosarczykovia circumantarctica and P. glacialis which constituted 78.8% and 21.1% in terms of numbers, respectively. The mean lower rostral length for S. circumantarctica was 2.7 mm (range 2.0–3.5 mm), while that of P. glacialis was 1.6 mm (range 1.0–2.5 mm). The foraging behaviour of the two top predators was analyzed and discussed according to the composition and size of their cephalopod prey.
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