Rush and grab strategies in foraging marine endotherms: The case for haste in penguins

Wilson, Rory P., Ropert-Coudert, Yan and Akiko, Kato (2002) Rush and grab strategies in foraging marine endotherms: The case for haste in penguins Animal Behaviour, 63 (1). pp. 85-95. DOI 10.1006/anbe.2001.1883.

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The speed at which air-breathing marine predators that forage by diving should swim is likely to depend on a variety of factors that differ substantially from those relevant in animals for which access to oxygen is unlimited. We used loggers attached to free-living penguins to examine the speed at which three species swam during periods searching for prey and compared this to their speeds during actual prey pursuit. All penguin species appeared to travel at similar speeds around 2 m/s during normal commuting between the surface and feeding depths, which accords closely with minimum costs of transport. However, Adélie penguins, Pygoscelis adeliae, slowed down to feed, Magellanic penguins, Spheniscus magellanicus, speeded up and king penguins, Aptenodytes patagonicus, travelled at a variety of speeds, although mean speed did not change from normal commuting. Since energy expenditure, and therefore oxygen usage, in swimming animals increases with the cube of the speed, we hypothesized that prey escape speed (a function of prey size) and prey density would prove critical in determining optimum pursuit speeds in predators. Simple models of this type help explain why it is that some penguin species apparently benefit by increasing speed to capture prey while others benefit by decreasing speed.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1006/anbe.2001.1883
ISSN: 0003-3472
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 14:22

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