As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Albatrosses fish for squid using luminous organisms in the sea, revolutionary monitoring device reveals


Tag can detect an array of different actions by animals in minute detail such as a ‘double take’ when a penguin sees a squid or how an unhappy elephant walks

Ian Johnston at the British Science Festival, Swansea 
Thursday 8 September 2016

Scientists attached GPS trackers to a group of 16 albatrosses in the Indian Ocean. They recorded the birds flying at speeds of up to 67mph using a ‘dynamic soaring’ technique, which enables them to fly thousands of miles depending on the wind David Osborn/Alamy
Albatrosses fish for squid by spending hours paddling around in circles to stir up bioluminescent organisms on the surface of the sea, a revolutionary new tag that even can sense animals’ emotions has discovered.

About 100 different species – from penguins to cheetahs to humans – have been tagged with the device, which monitors a number of factors such as speed, orientation, temperature, light and pressure.

It is so sensitive that the inventors describe the information it can produce as a “daily diary” of an animal’s life.

For example, it can detect when a penguin sitting down on its nest gets up, takes a few steps in its trademark waddle, shakes itself, dives into the water, where it swims and even the moment it catches a squid.

This can be used to work out whether a particular penguin population is struggling to find enough food to cover the energy expended when fishing.

The tags, which cost about £400, have also been able to detect a different walking style used by elephants when they are happy or sad. 

It gives such a detailed picture of the way animals behave it could even be used to predict what they are likely to do next.


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