Kerguelen Petrels

Petrels

Kerguelen Petrel,
Lugensa brevirostrisThe Kerguelen Petrel, Lugensa brevirostris, is a small (36 cm long) slate-grey seabird in the family Procellariidae.

The species has been described as a "taxonomic oddball", being placed for a long time in Pterodroma (the gadfly petrels) before being split out in 1942 into its own genus Lugensa (or Aphrodroma). The genus was not widely accepted until 1985, though subsequent research has supported it. The position within the procellariids is still a matter of debate; when it was split away from the Pterodroma petrels it was suggested that it may be a fulmarine petrel, whereas a 1998 study placed the species close to the shearwaters and the genus Bulweria.

Kerguelen Petrels breed colonially on remote islands; colonies are present on Gough Island in the Atlantic Ocean, and Marion Island, Prince Edward Island, Crozet Islands and Kerguelen Island in the Indian Ocean. The species attends its colonies nocturnally, breeding in burrows in wet soil. The burrows usually face away from the prevailing wind. A single egg is laid per breeding season; the egg is unusually round for the family. The egg is incubated by both parents for 49 days. After hatching the chick fledges after 60 days.


References

  1. Nunn, G and Stanley, S. (1998)" Body Size Effects and Rates of Cytochrome b Evolution in Tube-Nosed Seabirds" Molecular Biology and Evolution 15: 1360-1371

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