Krill-feeding behaviour of gentoo penguins as shown by animal-borne camera loggers
Animal-borne camera loggers were used to examine the patterns of prey encounter and feeding behaviour of gentoo penguins at King George Island, Antarctica. The still images from the camera loggers showed that the penguins encountered the swarms of krill for 25.5% (range: 8–38%) of their dives (>5 m) on average, during their foraging trips (mean duration of 5.4 h, n = 7 trips). They encountered krill swarms during the dives to 10–70 m depth, in pelagic as well as benthic habitats. In the benthic habitat, the penguins swam just above the sea floor and headed downward over a krill swarm, probably using the sea floor to assist them to feed on mobile swarms. The shallow coastal waters would be the important foraging habitat of gentoo penguins breeding in King George Island.
KeywordsAntarctica Benthic diving Diving behaviour Foraging strategy Pygoscelis papua Seabirds
We would like to thank all the members of the King Sejong Station, Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), for logistic support in the field, and Dr. Paul Ponganis, Dr. Shinichi Watanabe, and two anonymous referees for useful comments on the manuscript. This work was conducted as a part of an international joint research project, under the auspices of Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition and Korea Antarctic Research Program. This study was partially supported by the research grant PM06010 from Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (for logistics), and by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) research grant (20310016).
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