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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Oceanographic and sea ice conditions affect the behaviour of juvenile emperor penguin Aptenodytes forsteri during their first odyssey at-sea. Photo: Vincent Munier

Labrousse S, Orgeret F, Solow AR, Barbraud C, Bost CA, Sallée JB, Weimerskirch H, Jenouvrier S


First odyssey beneath the sea ice of juvenile emperor penguins in East Antarctica

Early life movements at-sea remain unknown for many marine species. However, foraging performance of juveniles at-sea affects their survival with considerable consequences for population dynamics. Labrousse and colleagues examined the first at-sea odyssey of juvenile emperor penguins from Terre Adélie in East Antarctica. They studied how juveniles adapt their diving behavior across seasons within and outside the sea ice and how these behaviors relate to the sea ice habitat and oceanographic properties. After dispersing northward to the colony, juvenile emperor penguins turned back and spent the majority of their trip within the sea ice. The authors also reveal the unique and previously unreported association between juvenile emperor penguin diving behavior and the thermocline where mesopelagic prey are likely to aggregate.


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