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New discovery: penguins vocalise under water when they hunt

Source: theconversation.com

Penguins, like all seabirds, are known to be highly vocal on land where they come to breed. They use these vocalisations to help them recognise their mate and kin.

Outside of the breeding season, seabirds spend most of their life at sea and are adapted to the marine environment where they feed. Penguins are very unique among seabirds for their extreme diving abilities. They can perform series of dives to depths of between 20 and 500m (depending on the species) in search of fish, krill, or squid.

Given the penguins’ diving abilities, we wanted to know if they produced sound underwater. To do this, our Marine Apex Predator Research Unit (MAPRU) team at Nelson Mandela University (South Africa) attached small video loggers, with built-in microphones, on the back of three species of penguins: the King penguin, the Gentoo penguin and the Macaroni penguin. MORE

Header image: King Penguins at sea. Credit: John Dickens.

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