Cephalopods eaten by wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulansL.) breeding at six circumpolar localities

References  Citations Metrics  Reprints & Permissions  PDF Abstract The beaks of 9,994 cephalopods of 61 species, obtained mainly from chick regurgitations of wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans L.) at Gough, Auckland, Antipodes, Prince Edward and Macquarie Islands and South Georgia, were used to specify and calculate the biomass of cephalopods consumed. Histioteuthidae were most important by numbers and biomass at Gough Island (in warmest seas), but Onycboteuthidae increasingly superseded them southwards; Kondakovia longimana formed 59 to 75% of biomass eaten at the three localities nearest the Antarctic Polar Front. Other important families were Octopoteuthidae, Cranchiidae, Architeuthidae (juveniles) and Ommastrephidae (South Georgia only). Most frequently eaten were Histioteuthis atlantica 13.7%, Galiteuthis glacialis 12.4%, H. eltaninae 12.0% and Kondakovia longimana 11.6%. Wandering albatrosses rearing chicks can forage at least to 3,000 km in a single foray, and may exploit an important food source about 1200 km from the nest (as in the probable commensalism of South Georgian birds with the Falkland Islands fishery). They feed, sometimes opportunistically, on cephalopods active or moribund at the surface, or discarded or lost by trawlers, cetaceans or seals. Vertically migrating cephalopods, especially bioluminescent species, are disproportionately frequent in their non-commensal diet, suggesting that they often feed at night.


Publication status:
Authors: Imber, M.J.

1 January, 1992
Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand / 22
Link to published article: