Did You Know ?
male Adelie Penguin weighs about 6 kg when it begins the summer, but just
4.5 kg by the time it fledges its chicks; similarly, a female’s body
weight decreases from about 5 to 4 kg during this time.
2. Adelie Penguins capture about 200 g of food on a foraging trip for themselves. 3. Adelie Penguins bring back as much as 1000 g in their stomachs when feeding an older chick.
4. It takes 23-36 kg of food to raise an Adelie Penguin chick to fledging weight.
5. Adelie Penguins can be gone for 6 days to catch food for their chicks, though normally they are gone no more than 3 days and sometimes just a few hours.
6. The amount of time away and
the amount of food captured varies with colony size and the amount of sea
Weighing animals, to determine things like growth rate, food intake, average weight of adults and chicks, is an important part of understanding a species’ life cycle. But wild animals do not like to be caught and getting them to voluntarily step on a scale when we want them to never seems to work. Scientists must devise ways to gather accurate and timely weight data without harming or disturbing the animals.
easy to catch a penguin once, but not again. Penguins feed at sea, so we
can not observe them feeding nor can we see how much they eat. These special
problems about penguins caused the penguin research team to design an instrument
called a weighbridge.
This sub colony of nesting penguins is encircled by a fence. To travel between the sea and their nest, each bird must cross the weighbridge, which is to the left of the tent. No other opening is available in the fence. In the tent is a computer. It and the weighbridge are powered by a battery, which is charged by the solar panels to the right of the tent.