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Sun, Feb

DNA Tests on Albatross Poo Reveal Secret Diet of Top Predator

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A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world’s most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator’s diet.

A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world’s most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator’s diet.

DNA analysis of 1460 scats from breeding sites around the Southern Ocean has shown that the diet of black-browed albatrosses contains a much higher proportion of jellyfish than previously thought.

The finding, in a study led by IMAS researcher Julie McInnes and published in the journal Molecular Ecology, is important because top predators such as the albatross are used as indicators of the health of the broader marine ecosystem.

Ms McInnes said jellyfish have traditionally been regarded as an unlikely food source due to their poor nutritional value, although sightings of albatross eating jellyfish are occasionally made.

Read more at University of Tasmania - Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Image: This is a black browed albatross nesting with chick. (Credit: Julie McInnes)