Foraging Ecology

Two of a kind

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Science  22 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6357, pp. 1251-1252
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6357.1251-d

Kerguelen shag pairs forage in similar ways.

PHOTO: ELODIE CAMPRASSE

Mated pairs of birds could potentially compete with each other for food. Differences in foraging behavior between males and females tend to develop to avoid such competition. Kerguelen shags form lifelong pairs. Camprasse et al. found that the male and female shags have quite similar foraging behavior, despite their distinct size dimorphism. Using a combination of geodata loggers and isotope data, the authors found that pairs generally foraged in the same places and at the same trophic levels, with only time of day separating them. This concurrence may have arisen because pairs choose mates of similar quality or perhaps pass along information about prime foraging spots during babysitting handovers.

Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 10.3354/meps12259 (2017).

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