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Image of the Day: On the Hunt

The Fiordland penguins of New Zealand travel thousands of kilometers in search of food.

Aug 30, 2018
Sukanya Charuchandra

ABOVE: A Tawaki penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) at sea
THOMAS MATTERN

Fiordland penguins (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus), known as Tawaki, travel between 3,500 and 6,800 km over the course of 69 days in search of a hearty meal after having gone hungry for weeks while nurturing hatchlings. Researchers tagged the birds with satellite transmitters and tracked their movements from their breeding ground on the South Island’s west coast to one of two feeding grounds (one to the south of Tasmania and another just north of the Antarctic), and back. The findings were published August 29 in PLOS ONE.

A Tawaki penguin at Harrison Cove, New Zealand
tHOMAS MATTERN

T. Mattern et al., “Marathon penguins – Reasons and consequences of long-range dispersal in Fiordland penguins / Tawaki during the pre-moult period,” PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0198688, 2018.

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