Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Penguins 'fish with friends'

Penguins make friends with each other and team up when they go on fishing trips, research has revealed.

Little penguins, the smallest penguin species, have been observed crossing the beach in groups of about five to ten as they go on long trips to find food for their chicks.

It is thought this grouping makes them less vulnerable to attacks from predators, but researchers led by Andre Chiaradia of the Philip Island Nature Park in Australia decided to see whether the penguins seek to choose particular fishing partners.

They found that middle-aged animals did tend to team up with the same penguins on different trips. However when fish were less scarce the birds were not so keen to fish with friends, suggesting they wanted to fish alone to avoid sharing food.


No comments: