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Morphometric variability on a microgeographical scale in two inshore seabirds

Authors

  • C. A. Bost,

    1. Centre d'Etudes Biologiques des Animaux Sauvages, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Villiers en bois, 79360 Beauvoir/Niort, France
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  • P. Jouventin,

    1. Centre d'Etudes Biologiques des Animaux Sauvages, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Villiers en bois, 79360 Beauvoir/Niort, France
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  • N. Pincson du Sel

    1. Centre d'Etudes Biologiques des Animaux Sauvages, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Villiers en bois, 79360 Beauvoir/Niort, France
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Abstract

The range of morphometric variation among two inshore seabirds, the Kerguelen cormorant Phalacrocorax atriceps verrucosus and the gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua was investigated on the Kerguelen and Crozet archipelagos. Four measurements (weight, culmen, flipper and body length for gentoos; weight, culmen, wing and tarsus length for cormorants) were compared in the same seven localities on Kerguelen. In addition, culmen and wing length were compared in four localities on Crozet for gentoo penguins. The two species exhibited similar trends in variation within Kerguelen although the range of variation was greater in cormorants. Compared to the largest cormorants and gentoo of Kerguelen, the smallest stocks were 60 and 36% of the weights, respectively. There is little evidence elsewhere of similar broad morphometric variability in seabirds on a microgeographical scale. The variation observed did not follow a regular cline and appeared to be less related to physical factors (sea temperatures) than to the local biological factors during the breeding season.

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