We studied leucocyte levels in several Antarctic and non-Antarctic penguins. A total of 107 blood samples of chinstrap Pygoscelis antarctica, gentoo P. papua and Adélie P. adeliae penguins at Isla 25 de Mayo/King George Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica) and Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus at Península Valdés (Chubut, Argentina), were collected and analysed during the 2009–2010 breeding season. We observed that chinstrap and Adélie penguins had lower total leucocyte counts than Magellanic and gentoo penguins. We provide some potential explanations for species differences in leucocyte levels.
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Vol. 61 • No. 1