Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Biol Sci. 2002 Aug 22;269(1501):1687-93.

Sex-specific foraging behaviour in a monomorphic seabird.

Author information

  • 1School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham, South Road, UK.

Abstract

Sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of parents have been observed in a number of sexually sizedimorphic birds, particularly seabirds, and the usual inference has been that these sex-specific differences are mediated primarily by differences in body size. To test this explanation, we compared the foraging behaviour of parents in a monomorphic seabird species, the northern gannet Morus bassanus. Using specially designed instruments and radio telemetry we found that individuals of both sexes were consistent in the directions and durations of their foraging trips. However, there were significant differences in the foraging behaviour of males and females. Female gannets were not only more selective than males in the areas where they foraged, but they also made longer, deeper dives and spent more time on the sea surface than males. As the sexes are morphologically similar in this species, then these differences are unlikely to have been mediated by body size. Our work highlights the need to investigate sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of seabirds and other species more closely, in order to test alternative theories that do not rely on differences in body size.

PMID:
12204129
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1691079
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk