Little penguins team up to spot prey: Study

Sydney, Dec 19 (IANS) Little penguins are more likely to work together to hunt schooling prey rather than solitary prey, a new study has found.

Group foraging in cooperative animals provides predators with advantages over prey, but for less cooperative colonial-breeding predators, like the little penguins, the benefits of group foraging are less clear due to the potential for competition between penguins.

“This study showed little penguins gained no benefit in capturing prey when from hunting in groups, suggesting individuals may forage in groups to improve detection of prey or avoid predation but, once they find prey, it is every penguin for themselves,” said Grace Sutton from the Deakin University in Australia.

The scientist used animal-borne cameras on 21 little penguins from two breeding colonies in southeastern Australia to determine the prey types, hunting strategies, and success of little penguins, a small, marine predator that extensively forages with other little penguins.

The researchers found that little penguins had a higher probability of associating with each other when hunting schooling prey than when encountering solitary prey.

Surprisingly, individuals were no more successful at capturing schooling prey than solitary prey.

However, success preying on schooling fish was similar or greater when individual penguins hunted on their own rather than together.

The researchers suggested that individual penguins may trade-off the potential benefits of solitary hunting to increase the probability of detecting prey by associating with other little penguins.

The study was published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here