Morphological measurements of Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica naumanni) in High-Arctic Greenland

Keywords: Sexual dimorphism, cline, grabae, Bergmann’s Rule, bird size

Abstract

Morphological measurements of 45 adult Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica were collected in High-Arctic Greenland between 2010 and 2016. Measurements support that the population belongs to the F. a. naumanni subspecies and were significantly larger than those from populations found at lower latitudes, including F. a. grabae and F. a. arctica populations. Male puffins from High-Arctic Greenland had greater mass, bill length and tarsus length than females, but no difference was found in wing length. In comparison to other naumanii populations, body size was most similar to puffins in Svalbard. Overall, the measured Atlantic puffins from High-Arctic Greenland had some of the largest and most variable morphological measurements reported for any studied Atlantic puffin population. While morphological measurements and the relative geographic isolation of the puffin population in High-Arctic Greenland support the naumanni subspecies designation, additional research should use genetic methods to determine if this population and other populations in the North Atlantic are isolated. This is the only collection of naumanni morphometric measurements from geographical North America and enhances our collective knowledge of the species.

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Published
2020-12-21
How to Cite
Burnham, K. K., Burnham, J. L., & Johnson, J. A. (2020). Morphological measurements of Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica naumanni) in High-Arctic Greenland. Polar Research, 39. https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v39.5242
Section
Research Articles

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