Cephalopod prey of king pengiuns (Aptenodytes patagonicus) breeding at Volunteer Beach, Falkland Islands, during austral winter 1996

Piatkowski, Uwe, Pütz, Klemens and Heinemann, Heidrun (2001) Cephalopod prey of king pengiuns (Aptenodytes patagonicus) breeding at Volunteer Beach, Falkland Islands, during austral winter 1996 Fisheries Research, 52 . pp. 79-90.

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The beaks of 10 cephalopod species were found in the diet of foraging and moulting king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) from a breeding colony at Volunteer Beach, Falkland Islands during austral winter (September/October 1996). A total of 486 lower cephalopod beaks were collected, identified and measured (LRL: lower rostral length). Six cephalopod families occurred in the penguins’ diet with Onychoteuthidae being the most abundant (256 lower beaks) and represented by Moroteuthis ingens (168; LRL range 2.1–6.8 mm), Moroteuthis knipovitchi (79; LRL range 1.9–5.5 mm), and Kondakovia longimana (9; LRL range 2.1–7.4 mm). Other families were Ommastrephidae (135) with Martialia hyadesi (127; LRL range 2.6–8.7 mm), Illex argentinus (6; LRL range 5.0–6.0 mm), and Ommastrephes bartrami (2; LRL range 7.9–8.8 mm); Loliginidae with Loligo gahi (60; LRL range 0.8–2.1 mm); Gonatidae with Gonatus antarcticus (28; LRL range 1.3–3.3 mm); Neoteuthidae with Alluroteuthis antarcticus (4; LRL range 2.4–3.9 mm), and Histioteuthidae with Histioteuthis eltaninae (3; LRL range 3.3–3.4 mm). Allometric equations were used to relate lower rostral beak length with cephalopod body size and mass. M. ingens was the dominating cephalopod prey in terms of numbers (n=168), whereas M. hyadesi was most important in terms of biomass (64 682 g). The present study provides first information on the cephalopod prey of Falkland Islands king penguins. The data suggest that penguins take squid at coastal islands slope regions as well as in oceanic waters which demonstrates their ability to forage in a wide geographical area and to alternate between specific foraging sites. Possible competition with the commercial squid fishery off the Falkland Islands is discussed.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: King penguin; Cephalopod prey; Squid; Falkland Islands
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0165-7836
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2009 13:14
Last Modified: 24 May 2016 09:36
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/8101

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