The gannet diet

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The Australasian gannet forages by plucking fish from the sea, then regurgitates food for its young—and sometimes its meals are interrupted by researchers studying gannet nutrition. A team of Australian and New Zealand scientists took a close look at what the gannets were providing their chicks. They found that the fish and squid they were eating had a lower ratio of healthy fats to protein when the sea was warmer than the 10-year average. In addition, GPS trackers showed the birds worked harder to get enough nutrition, increasing their foraging area by more than 200 square kilometres and their time spent feeding from more than 13 hours in duration to more than 21 hours. Study author Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska says the right proportion of healthy fats to proteins is crucial to gannets for good body function and healthy chicks.

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