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Physiol Biochem Zool. 2000 Jul-Aug;73(4):438-44.

Impact of externally attached loggers on the diving behaviour of the king penguin.

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  • 1Centre d'Ecologie et de Physiologie Energ├ętiques, Strasbourg, 67087, France.


The impact of relatively small externally attached time series recorders on some foraging parameters of seabirds was investigated during the austral summer of 1995 by monitoring the diving behaviour of 10 free-ranging king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) over one foraging trip. Time-depth recorders were implanted in the abdominal cavities of the birds, and half of the animals also had dummy loggers attached on their backs. Although most of the diving behaviour was not significantly affected by the external loggers (P>0.05), the birds with externally attached loggers performed almost twice as many shallow dives, between 0 and 10 m depth, as the birds without external loggers. These shallow dives interrupted more frequently the deep-diving sequences in the case of birds with external loggers (percentage of deep dives followed by deep dives: 46% for birds with implants only vs. 26% for birds with an external attachment). Finally, the distribution pattern of the postdive durations plotted against the hour of the day was more heterogeneous for the birds with an external package. In addition, these penguins had extended surfacing times between two deep dives compared to birds without external attachments (P<0.0001). These results suggest the existence of an extra energy cost induced by externally attached loggers.

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