Liver and plasma retinol (vitamin A) in wild, and liver retinol in captive penguins (Spheniscidae)

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Abstract

In rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes crestatus), liver concentrations of retinol (vitamin A) were significantly higher in post-moult than in pre-moult birds. In Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magelianicus), plasma concentrations of retinol were significantly higher in post-moult than in pre-moult birds; liver retinol concentrations were also higher, but not significantly so.

The pre- and post-moult Magellanics had higher liver and lower plasma retinol concentrations than the pre- and post-moult rockhoppers.

Captive blackfooted (jackass) (Spheniscus demersus), king (Aptenodytes patagonica) and Humboldt (Spheniscus humboldti) penguins had liver vitamin A stores significantly lower than those of the free-living rockhopper, Magellanic, gentoo (Pygoscelis papua), emperor (Aptenodytes forsteri), chinstraps (Pygoscelis antarctica) and Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae) penguins.

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