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Study: Penguins choose to eat jellyfish despite lack of nutrition


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Penguins regularly feast on jellyfish, a species that had been considered an unlikely choice due to its low nutritional value, Japanese scholars discovered.


Researchers from the National Institute of Polar Research mounted tiny video cameras on the backs of certain kinds of penguins to ascertain what they hunt at sea.


Jellyfish literally have jelly-like bodies, and 95 percent of their body mass is water. As they are almost devoid of nutrients, it had been believed jellyfish would not be part of the diet of any larger marine creature that requires a lot of energy to maintain body temperature.

水母(果凍魚)顧名思義有果凍狀的身體, 95%的身體質量是水。由於幾乎沒有營養成分,水母過去被視為不會是任何需要大量能量以維持體溫的較大型海洋生物的食物。

The team attached small video cameras on the backs of 106 of penguins of four varieties inhabiting seven locations in Antarctica, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand from 2012 to 2016 to learn what they eat.


The result revealed that most of the four species usually feed on small fish, but, on average, 42 percent of the little penguin’s diet is jellyfish. The Adelie and Magellanic penguin varieties, on the other hand, made up 4 to 5 percent of their diets with jellyfish.


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