Volume 45, No. 1
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Key words: sub-Antarctic, color phase dimorphism, population genetics, allele frequencies
Females of the order Procellariiformes most often produce single-egg clutches. At Macquarie Island (54°S, 159°E) in 1959 during a field study of Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus, four or five nests (0.14-0.18% of all nests) contained two eggs or two chicks (Warham 1962). This species occurs in two plumage forms, a dark phase and a white phase. Inheritance of these forms is controlled by a single autosomal gene with two alleles, with white phase dominant to dark phase. At Macquarie Island in 1959, one nest contained two white- phase chicks brooded by a white-phase adult, which Warham (1962) believed resulted from a two-egg clutch rather than from polygyny. Analyses using probabilities based on the inheritance pattern of plumage phases in Southern Giant Petrels and the frequency of white-phase birds at Macquarie Island in 1959 indicate that it was almost seven times more likely that the two white-phase chicks in the nest brooded by a white-phase adult resulted from a clutch of two eggs rather than from polygyny.
BOURNE, W.R.P. & WARHAM, J. 1966. Geographical variation in the giant petrels of the genus Macronectes. Ardea 54: 45-67.
HOWARD, P.F. 1956. Banding of giant petrels at Heard Island and Macquarie Island – II. Emu 56: 401-404.
FISHER, J. 1952. The Fulmar. London, UK: Collins.
LI, C.C. 1955. Population Genetics. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
PATTERSON, D.L., WOEHLER, E.J., CROXALL, J.P., ET AL. 2008. Breeding distribution and population status of the Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli and Southern Giant Petrel M. giganteus. Marine Ornithology 36: 115-124.
PRÉVOST, J. 1953. Note sur l'écologie des pétrels de Terre Adélie. Alauda 21: 205-222.
SHAUGHNESSY, P.D. 1970. The genetics of plumage phase dimorphism of the southern giant petrel Macronectes giganteus. Heredity 25: 501-506.
SHAUGHNESSY, P.D. 1971. Frequency of the white phase of the southern giant petrel, Macronectes giganteus (Gmelin). Australian Journal of Zoology 19: 77-83.
TICKELL, W.L.N. 1970. Biennial breeding in albatrosses. In: HOLDGATE, M.W. (Ed.) Antarctic Ecology. London, UK: Academic Press. pp. 551-557.
TICKELL, W.L.N. & PINDER, R. 1966. Two-egg clutches in albatrosses. Ibis 108: 126-129.
WARHAM, J. 1962. The biology of the giant petrel Macronectes giganteus. Auk 79: 139-160.