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Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae


Diet and Foraging


The staple of an Adélie’s diet is Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) though they are known to eat some crustaceans and several species fish (Kato et al. 2003; Lynnes et al. 2004; Ribic et al. 2007; Friedlaender et al. 2008).  Adélies are not the only predator to E. superba they share their favorite food with Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) and Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) (Lynnes et al. 2002, Croxall et al. 2004; Friedlaender et al. 2008). They forage for food in the upper water column between 3 and 98 m (Chappell et al. 1993) and they can make short foraging trips that last 15-25 hours or long foraging trips that last 45-65 hours. It is thought that the shorter trips are better for feeding young because they receive food more regularly, but this comes at an expense to the parent because the parent’s body condition will decline. Longer trips however, keep the parents body condition in top shape, but then the chicks are not as well fed (Beaulieu et al. 2009).

Foraging Behavior

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Recommended Citation

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: