No change in Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche chlororhynchos) egg size over 160 years

Alexander L. Bond, Gregory T.W. McClelland, Richard J. Cuthbert, Trevor Glass, Julian Repetto, Peter G. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Biotic and abiotic conditions in the world’s oceans have changed considerably in the last two centuries as a result of anthropogenic factors, including whaling, sealing, fishing, and climate change. For species that have limited variation in life-history traits, life-history characteristics may impede the ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Albatrosses are one such group, where breeding investment is limited to a single egg every one or two years. At a coarse level, individuals may decide whether to breed or not, or whether to incubate an egg or not, but one of the only finer-scale adjustment in parental investment involves altering egg size, along with parental foraging and chick provisioning. We investigated changes in egg size in Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses (Thalassarche chlororhynchos) breeding at Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean, from 1856 to 2015. We found no change in egg length, or breadth, which may suggest that with regards to this life-history parameter, Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses appear to have been able to buffer the effects of the trophic, climatic and oceanographic changes in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020


  • Albatross
  • egg size
  • life-history
  • maternal investment
  • Tristan da Cunha


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