Monday, December 6, 2010

Eudyptes chrysolophus

Mystery bird: macaroni penguin, Eudyptes chrysolophus

These stunning mystery birds are krill specialists

Adult macaroni penguin, Eudyptes chrysolophus, photographed at Cooper Bay, South Georgia Island, a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Image: Alek Komarnitsky, 1 February 2009 [velociraptorize].

Macaroni penguins live almost entirely on krill. "Krill" is the common name given to the marine shrimp-like animals in the order Euphausiacea. Also known as euphausiids, these small crustaceans are found in all oceans of the world.

Macaroni penguins do supplement their krill diet with up to five percent squid. They also eat some fish and amphipod crustaceans. Interestingly, some populations of macaroni penguins travel long distances to the Indian ocean to feed there on subantarctic krill and on the crustacean, Parathemisto gauchidaudii.

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