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Squid diet of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in the eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica during late summer
Piatkowski, U.; Pütz, K. (1994). Squid diet of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in the eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica during late summer. Antarctic Science 6(2): 241-247
In: Antarctic Science. Cambridge University Press: Oxford. ISSN 0954-1020, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Diets; Geographical distribution; Prey selection; Summer; Aptenodytes forsteri Gray, 1844 [WoRMS]; Gonatidae Hoyle, 1886 [WoRMS]; Neoteuthidae Naef, 1921 [WoRMS]; Onychoteuthidae Gray, 1847 [WoRMS]; Psychroteuthidae Thiele, 1920 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Piatkowski, U., more
  • Pütz, K.

    The data presented provides new information on the distribution of Antarctic squids and on the summer diet of the emperor penguins. The diet of 58 adult emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) on the fast ice of the Drescher Inlet, Vestkapp Ice Shelf (72~'52'S, 19~'25'W) in the eastern Weddell Sea was investigated. Prey consisted principally of squid, fish, krill, amphipods and isopods. Squids were identified by the lower beaks and allometric equations were used to estimate the squid biomass represented. Beaks occurred in 93% of the stomach samples. Each sample contained a mean of 27 beaks (range 1-206). Ninety-two percent of the squids could be identified by the lower beaks and belonged to four families (Onychoteuthidae, Psychroteuthidae, Neoteuthidae and Gonatidae). The most abundant squid was Psychroteuthis glacialis which occurred in 52 samples with lower rostral lengths (LRL) ranging from 1.4-7.2 mm. Forty-five samples contained Alluroteuthis antarcticus (LRL range 1.8-5.8 mm), 17 Kondakovia longimana (LRL range 4-12.1 mm), and four Gonatus antarcticus (LRL range 4.1-6.1 mm). In terms of biomass K. longimana was the most important species taken by the penguins comprising 50% of total estimated squid wet mass (245358 g) in 1990 and 48% in 1992 (154873 g). However, if only fresh beaks were considered for estimations of squid consumption, i.e. beaks that have been accumulated for not longer than 5-6 days in the stomachs, squid diet was of minor importance. Then total squid wet mass accounted for only 4809 g in 1990 and 5445 g in 1992 which implies that one penguin took c. 30 g squid d-1 with P. glacialis and A. antarcticus being the most important by mass. The prey composition suggest that emperor penguins take squid at the steep slope regions of the eastern Weddell Sea.(DBO)

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