Changes in dive profiles as an indicator of feeding success in king and Adélie penguins

C Bost, Y Handrich, Patrick Butler, A Fahlman, Lewis Halsey, Anthony Woakes, Y Ropertcoudert

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81 Citations (Scopus)


Determining when and how deep avian divers feed remains a challenge despite technical advances. Systems that record oesophageal temperature are able to determine rate of prey ingestion with a high level of accuracy but technical problems still remain to be solved. Here we examine the validity of using changes in depth profiles to infer feeding activity in free-ranging penguins, as more accessible proxies of their feeding success. We used oesophageal temperature loggers with fast temperature sensors, deployed in tandem with time-depth recorders, on king and Adelie penguins. In the king penguin, a high correspondence was found between the number of ingestions recorded per dive and the number of wiggles during the bottom and the ascent part of the dives. In the Adelie penguins, which feed on smaller prey, the number of large temperature drops was linearly related to the number of undulations per dive. The analysis of change in depth profiles from high-resolution time-depth recorders can provide key information to enhance the study of feeding rate and foraging success of these predators. Such potential is especially relevant in the context of using Southern marine top predators to study change in availability of marine resources. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalDeep-Sea Research. Part 2: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007


  • foraging
  • penguins
  • bio-logging
  • prey capture
  • diving


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