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Evidence for fatal collisions and kleptoparasitism while plunge-diving in Gannets
Machovsky Capuska, G.E., Dwyer, S.L., Alley, M.R., Stockin, K.A. & Raubenheimer, D. (2011) Ibis 153(3):631635
Plunge-diving is a highly successful strategy for dealing with the challenges confronting birds feeding on pelagic prey. We tested for evidence of fatal injuries due to collision between conspecifics in plunge-diving Australasian Gannets Morus serrator and Cape Gannets Morus capensis, respectively, by performing post-mortem examinations of carcasses recovered from New Zealand waters and analysing video footage of Cape Gannet foraging events from South Africa. We found evidence of accidental collisions between Gannets and also observed a case of attempted kleptoparasitism, in which a diving Cape Gannet targeted a previously captured fish in the beak of a conspecific.

Keywords: accidental collisions; Australasian Gannet; Cape Gannet; injuries; kleptoparasitism; plunge-diving


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