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Penguins' Eggs

Nature volume 130, page 361 (03 September 1932) | Download Citation



THE appearance of the eggs of penguins in some of the large London stores, where they were sold as epicurean novelties at ten shillings a dozen, led the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to make inquiries regarding the source and supply (Bird Notes and News, vol. 15, No. 2, p. 39, 1932). The eggs were those of the Cape or black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus), and were obtained in one of the extensive penguin rookeries in the Cape Province of the Union of South Africa. The eggs were collected for sale under Government regulation, and the Trade Commissioner for South Africa informed the Society that during the months of April and May of the present year some 2000 dozen of the eggs were exported to Great Britain. We hope that the Government department which regulates the taking of the eggs will see to it that the strength of the penguin colony is not too seriously reduced, remembering the fate of the gare-fowl when commerce invaded its innumerable hordes; and we trust that the exceptional opportunity will be taken of associating the statistics of eggs taken with the total strength of the colony year by year, for the study of the effect upon the population of the colony as a whole.

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