MEPS 249:305-310 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps249305

Penguins predict their performance

Rory P. Wilson*

Institut für Meereskunde, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany

ABSTRACT: New technology has allowed inter-dive oxygen-loading behaviour to be assessed in free-living Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus and shows, via pre-dive hyperventilation and oxygen loading, that birds predict both their upcoming dive performance in terms of duration and depth, and foraging success based on the number of prey they are likely to catch. Thus wild penguins make decisions based on complex environmental parameters and this leads to particularly efficient time use as expected according to optimized foraging.


KEY WORDS: Oxygen loading · Optimal foraging · Predator prey interactions · Magellanic penguin


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