Short Note

Polar Biology

, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 571-573

First online:

Who’s the boss? Giant petrel arrival times and interspecific interactions at a seal carcass at sub-Antarctic Marion Island

  • P. J. N. de BruynAffiliated withMammal Research Institute Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria Email author 
  • , J. CooperAffiliated withAvian Demography Unit Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town

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Most northern giant petrels Macronectes halli arrived before southern giant petrels Macronectes giganteus at a seal carcass at sub-Antarctic Marion Island and left earlier. In interspecific interactions, southern giant petrels initiated and dominated encounters. Level of aggression may be related to the degree of satiation. Dominance by southern giant petrels at seal carcasses may help explain why northern giant petrels commence breeding earlier than southern giant petrels in sympatric situations.