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Stones have been recorded in the stomachs, regurgitation pellets or faeces of at least six penguin species: Adlie Penguin Pygoscelis
 

Summary: 185
Stones have been recorded in the stomachs, regurgitation pellets or
faeces of at least six penguin species: Adélie Penguin Pygoscelis
adeliae (Cooper 1985, Kent et al. 1998), African Penguin
Spheniscus demersus (stones in one of 247 stomach samples, Rand
1960), Emperor Penguin Aptenodytes forsteri (Splettstoesser &
Todd 1999 and references therein), Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis
papua (Clausen & Pütz 2003), Magellanic Penguin S. magellanicus
(Boswall & MacIver 1975) and Yellow-eyed Penguin Megadyptes
antipodes (Moore & Wakelin 1997). It has been speculated that
ingested stones may provide ballast for deep diving or may act as a
grinding agent for food, and also that stones are accidentally
ingested, either directly or indirectly through the ingestion of prey
with stones in stomachs (Splettstoesser & Todd 1999).
We report on the deliberate swallowing of stones by King
A. patagonicus, Rockhopper Eudyptes chrysocome and Macaroni
E. chrysolophus Penguins at sub-Antarctic Marion Island (46°54'S,
37°45'E). Published reports of the stomach contents of these three
species at this locality do not include references to stones (Adams
& Klages 1987, Brown and Klages 1987, Adams & Klages 1989),

  

Source: Altwegg, Res - Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology