Amy Whitehead's Research

the ecological musings of a conservation biologist


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Wildlife Wednesday: Adélie penguins

I know I’ve featured Adélie penguins on Wildlife Wednesday before.  But it’s been a while and I have seen quite a few of them since last time. So over the next few weeks, I’m going to feature a series of Adélie penguin photographs that highlight different aspects of their natural history.  Please forgive me my penguin indulgences!

Adélie penguins at Cape Bird feed mostly on krill and silverfish, diving down to over 100 m to catch their prey. They have backwards pointing “spines” on the roof of their mouths and their tongues to stop the prey items escaping once they have managed to chase them down.


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Antarctica

This is just a super quick post to say bye for now & have a great (antipodean) summer. Yesterday I flew south from New Zealand to Ross Island in Antarctica to begin an eight week fieldtrip to monitor Adelie penguins.  This is the fourth year I’ve been luckly enough to be involved in this research and it’s always a hectic but exciting time of year.

We don’t have internet out at Cape Bird this year (as we shouldn’t at a remote field camp on a remote island at the bottom of the world), which means I can’t keep you posted with what we are up to.  However, it will mean that I have plenty of time to hone my blog posts for when we get back in early February, so expect a flurry of photos and posts then.  In the meantime, you can find out more about the work that we are doing and meet some of the wildlife out at Cape Bird.

Adélie penguin

Adélie penguin

Skua

Skua

Weddell seal

Weddell seal

Crabeater seal

Crabeater seal

Leopard seal

Leopard seal

Orca

Orca

I’ll be back in 2014 – have a fabulous christmas & new year!

Wildlife Wednesday: Adélie Penguin

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In the second installment of Wildlife Wednesday, I think it’s only fair that I feature the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) given that I am currently researching them at Cape Bird on Ross Island in Antarctica (this post is bought to you (hopefully) by the wonders of modern technology and pre-scheduling of blog posts).

Here a parcel (the collective noun for a group of penguins) of Adélies heads down the beach on a mission to somewhere.  You get these really weird parcels that will waddle for kilometres down the beach before setting off to sea, despite the fact that there is a perfectly good launching point (as far as I can tell) right next to their colony.  I don’t really get it – maybe it is a weight loss strategy?!

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