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Diving speed and food-size selection in common guillemots, Uria aalge
Swennen, C.; Duiven, P. (1991). Diving speed and food-size selection in common guillemots, Uria aalge. Neth. J. Sea Res. 27(2): 191-196
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Swennen, C.
  • Duiven, P.

    Results of choice experiments showed that guillemots Uria aalge prefer sprats Sprattus sprattus of a body depth of 16 to 17 mm. This is notably smaller than the maximum size that guillemots are able to swallow (body depth about 44 mm). A small proportion of the selected fish was used for display on the breeding ledge; these were significantly bigger than those preferred for consumption. Mean velocity during horizontal underwater flight was 2.18 m·s-1, with the maximum recorded being 2.57 m·s-1. This is considerably faster than the speed of any prey.

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