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The Comfort Behaviour of Adélie and Other Penguins

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[Comfort movements include the behaviours of shaking, stretching, cleaning, preening, and washing. These were described and analyzed for Adélie Penguins. The function for some movements such as oil-preening was difficult to determine and could only be hypothesized. Cleaning, preening, washing, head-shaking, and sneezing function in the care of body surfaces and are responses to the presence of irritants or foreign material on surfaces. Stretching and other shaking movements may function to help prepare muscles and peripheral circulation for activity. Ruffle-shakes may function to dissipate heat and arrange plumage. Some movements of oil-preening and some areas of the body preened are performed in a predictable sequence ordered according to functional relationships among the different movements. Some movements are normally performed only after certain others have been performed. Bathing in penguins is a socially facillitated behaviour. The pattern of Adélie bathing is determined largely as an anti-predator strategy. Adélie, African, and Humboldt Penguins perform the same repertoire of comfort movements. The one exception is that both spheniscids allopreen but Adélies do not. The motor patterns of all other movements except for two are the same for the three species. The two spheniscids perform the jaw-stretch and the both-wings-stretch differently than does the pygoscelid. The comfort movement repertoires of several other penguin species were compared to these. Their repertoires were all very similar. Head-shaking is performed in Adélies during disturbance as a response to an increase in secretion rate of the salt gland. The increase in salt fluid secretion is probably a result of a change in autonomic activity. Head-shaking and social displays which include a form of head-shaking have been reported for several seabird species during disturbance or social interaction. In Adélie Penguins and albatrosses the increased head-shaking during these circumstances is a response to increased salt gland secretion. It is hypothesized that some of the head-shaking and head-shaking displays of other seabirds are caused in the same way. Head-shakes and other vigorous shakes and stretch movements probably have signal function during social interaction., Comfort movements include the behaviours of shaking, stretching, cleaning, preening, and washing. These were described and analyzed for Adélie Penguins. The function for some movements such as oil-preening was difficult to determine and could only be hypothesized. Cleaning, preening, washing, head-shaking, and sneezing function in the care of body surfaces and are responses to the presence of irritants or foreign material on surfaces. Stretching and other shaking movements may function to help prepare muscles and peripheral circulation for activity. Ruffle-shakes may function to dissipate heat and arrange plumage. Some movements of oil-preening and some areas of the body preened are performed in a predictable sequence ordered according to functional relationships among the different movements. Some movements are normally performed only after certain others have been performed. Bathing in penguins is a socially facillitated behaviour. The pattern of Adélie bathing is determined largely as an anti-predator strategy. Adélie, African, and Humboldt Penguins perform the same repertoire of comfort movements. The one exception is that both spheniscids allopreen but Adélies do not. The motor patterns of all other movements except for two are the same for the three species. The two spheniscids perform the jaw-stretch and the both-wings-stretch differently than does the pygoscelid. The comfort movement repertoires of several other penguin species were compared to these. Their repertoires were all very similar. Head-shaking is performed in Adélies during disturbance as a response to an increase in secretion rate of the salt gland. The increase in salt fluid secretion is probably a result of a change in autonomic activity. Head-shaking and social displays which include a form of head-shaking have been reported for several seabird species during disturbance or social interaction. In Adélie Penguins and albatrosses the increased head-shaking during these circumstances is a response to increased salt gland secretion. It is hypothesized that some of the head-shaking and head-shaking displays of other seabirds are caused in the same way. Head-shakes and other vigorous shakes and stretch movements probably have signal function during social interaction.]

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., USA

10.1163/156853974X00020
/content/journals/10.1163/156853974x00020
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853974x00020
1974-01-01
2016-12-06

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