Geographical variation in morphometry of black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses from four sites

Differences in morphometry between five populations of black-browed albatrosses (Diomedea melanophrys) and four populations of grey-headed albatrosses (D. chrysostoma) are examined. Two clear groups of black-browed albatrosses are evident, with birds from the subspecies Diomedea melanophrys impavida showing significant differences in several variables from those from the subspecies Diomedea melanophrys melanophrys. For groups from the latter subspecies, birds from South Georgia had larger measures than those from Kerguelen. A similar pattern to that of Diomedea melanophrys melanophrys was found between the groups of grey-headed albatrosses. Analysis of foraging distances relative to adult body-size index and the duration of chick-rearing periods suggests that differences in chick-provisioning rates between populations of conspecifics could account for at least some of the observed differences in adult morphometry.


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Authors: Waugh, S. M., Prince, P. A., Weimerskirch, H.

1 January, 1999
Polar Biology / 22
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