Comparative foraging behaviour of sympatric Humboldt and Magellanic Penguins reveals species-specific and sex-specific strategies

Andrea Raya Rey, Klemens Pütz, Alejandro Simeone, Luciano Hiriart-Bertrand, Ronnie Reyes-Arriagada, Victoria Riquelme, Benno Lüthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


How closely related marine organisms mitigate competition for resources while foraging at sea is not well understood, particularly the relative importance of interspecific and intraspecific mitigation strategies. Using location and time-depth data, we investigated species-specific and sex-specific foraging areas and diving behaviour of the closely related Humboldt (Spheniscus humboldti) and Magellanic (S. magellanicus) Penguins breeding in sympatry at Islotes Puñihuil in southern Chile during the chick-rearing period. The average duration of foraging trips was <20h and did not differ significantly between species or between sexes of each species. Magellanic Penguins made significantly deeper and longer dives than Humboldt Penguins. Males of both species made significantly longer dives than females. Total distance travelled per foraging trip was significantly greater for males than for females, and females made more direct trips (less sinuous) than males. Foraging effort was concentrated in waters up to 15km to the west and south-west of the colony. The overlap in density contours was lower between species than between sexes within a species. In general, dive characteristics and foraging areas differed more between Magellanic and Humboldt Penguins than between the sexes of each species. In contrast to the findings of studies of flying seabirds, the foraging behaviour of these penguins differs more between species than between sexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Chile
  • diving
  • segregation
  • spatial ecology
  • Spheniscidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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