Research shows shift in Hawaiian petrel foraging

Scientists studied bone chemistry of Hawaiian petrels, 4,000-year-old sub fossils

Published  11:26 AM HST Jun 13, 2013

Researchers say they've documented changes in the foraging habits of Hawaiian petrels.
A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined the bone chemistry of modern Hawaiian petrels and sub fossils as old as 4,000 years.
The bones indicated older birds ate a diet of relatively large prey high on the food chain. Birds less than a century old ate smaller fish, squid, and other prey lower on the food chain.
American Bird Conservancy Vice President George Wallace said in a statement Wednesday the study highlights the need for more research on what the shift means for the Hawaiian petrel, other seabirds and marine food webs.
The study was conducted by researchers from Michigan State University, the Smithsonian Institution and eight other organizations.

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