Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Death age, seasonality, taphonomy and colonization of seal carcasses from Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula

  • Daniel Nývlt (a1) (a2) (a3), Miriam Nývltová Fišáková (a4), Miloš Barták (a1), Zdeněk Stachoň (a3), Václav Pavel (a5), Bedřich Mlčoch (a6) and Kamil Láska (a3)...
Abstract
Abstract

The origin and nature of seal carcasses scattered around the Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, is examined using robust and novel multidisciplinary analysis. Spatial distribution analysis indicates their predominance at low elevations and on surfaces with negligible slope. The seals died throughout the last century. Dental cement increments indicate that the seals died in late winter, and we interpret this to show an influence of the persistence and break-up of sea ice and the appearance of pools/cracks in the northern Prince Gustav Channel on death. Specifically, after being trapped by a late winter freeze-up the seals search for open water, become disoriented by snow-covered flat valleys and move inland. Carcasses from all age groups of crabeater seal are found on land, but inland movement is less notable for Weddell and leopard seals. Although most carcasses appear to have remained unchanged during the last 10 years due to the cold and dry conditions, a few carcasses that are located in sites of snow accumulation and subsequent melting have undergone enhanced decay. Decaying seal carcasses represent loci of nutrient release in a nutrient deficient environment and are colonized by algae, cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses. This research suggests further useful studies for the future.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Death age, seasonality, taphonomy and colonization of seal carcasses from Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Death age, seasonality, taphonomy and colonization of seal carcasses from Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Death age, seasonality, taphonomy and colonization of seal carcasses from Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
* daniel.nyvlt@seznam.cz
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

P.A. Berkman & S.L Forman . 1996. Pre-bomb radiocarbon and reservoir correction for calcareous marine species in the Southern Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 23, 363366.

S. Björck , S. Olsson , C. Ellis-Evans , H. Håkansson , O. Humlum & J.M deLirio . 1996. Late Holocene palaeoclimatic records from lake sediments on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 121, 195220.

J.L. Carrivick , B.J. Davies , N.F. Glasser , D. Nývlt & M.J Hambrey . 2012. Late Holocene changes in character and behaviour of land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 58, 11761190.

A.J. Cook & D.G Vaughan . 2010. Overview of areal changes of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula over the past 50 years. Cryosphere, 4, 7798.

B.J. Davies , N.F. Glasser , J.L. Carrivick , M.J. Hambrey , J.L. Smellie & D Nývlt . 2013. Landscape evolution and ice-sheet behaviour in a semi-arid polar environment: James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula. In Hambrey, M.J., Barker, P.F., Barrett, P.J., Bowman, V., Davies, B., Smellie, J.L. & Tranter, M., eds. Antarctic palaeoenvironments and earth-surface processes. Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, No. 381, 353395.

Z. Engel , D. Nývlt & K Láska . 2012. Ice thickness, areal and volumetric changes of Davies Dome and Whisky Glacier (James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula) in 1979–2006. Journal of Glaciology, 58, 904914.

J.E. Gordon & D.D Harkness . 1992. Magnitude and geographic variation of the radiocarbon content in Antarctic marine life: implications for reservoir correction in radiocarbon dating. Quaternary Science Reviews, 11, 697708.

K. Kopalová , R. Ochyra , L. Nedbalová & B van de Vijver . 2014. Moss-inhabiting diatoms from two contrasting Maritime Antarctic islands. Plant Ecology and Evolution, 147, 6784.

K. Kopalová , L. Nedbalová , D. Nývlt , J. Elster & B van de Vijver . 2013. Diversity, ecology and biogeography of the freshwater diatom communities from Ulu Peninsula (James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula). Polar Biology, 36, 933948.

K. Láska , M. Barták , J. Hájek , P. Prošek & O Bohuslavová . 2011. Climatic and ecological characteristics of deglaciated area of James Ross Island, Antarctica, with a special respect to vegetation cover. Czech Polar Reports, 1, 4962.

R.M Laws . 1952. A new method of age determination in mammals. Nature, 169, 172.

R.M. Laws & R.J.F Taylor . 1957. A mass dying of crabeater seals, Lobodon carcinophagus (Gray). Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 129, 315324.

R.M. Laws , A. Baird & M.M Bryden . 2002. Age estimation in crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus). Journal of Zoology, 258, 197203.

R.M. Laws , A. Baird & M.M Bryden . 2003. Size and growth of the crabeater seal Lobodon carcinophagus (Mammalia: Carnivora). Journal of Zoology, 259, 103108.

A.E. Nelson , J.L. Smellie , M. Williams & S Moreton . 2008. Age, geographical distribution and taphonomy of an unusual occurrence of mummified crabeater seals on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctic Science, 20, 485493.

D. Nývlt , J. Košler , B. Mlčoch , P. Mixa , L. Lisá , M. Bubík & B.W.H Hendriks . 2011. The Mendel Formation: evidence for Late Miocene climatic cyclicity at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 299, 363384.

M Nývltová Fišáková . 2013. Seasonality of Gravettian sites in the Middle Danube Region and adjoining areas of Central Europe. Quaternary International, 294, 120134.

T.L. Péwé , N.R. Rivard & G.A Llano . 1959. Mummified seal carcasses in the McMurdo Sound region, Antarctica. Science, 130, 716.

D.B. Siniff , I. Stirling , J.L. Bengtson & R.A Reichle . 1979. Social and reproductive behavior of crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) during the austral spring. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 57, 22432255.

Z. Stachoň , J. Russnák , D. Nývlt & F Hrbáček . 2014. Stabilisation of geodetic points in the surroundings of Johann Gregor Mendel Station, James Ross Island, Antarctica. Czech Polar Reports, 4, 8190.

N.P.M. Van Lipzig , J.C. King , T.A. Lachlan-Cope & M.R van den Broeke . 2004. Precipitation, sublimation, and snow drift in the Antarctic Peninsula region from a regional atmospheric model. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 109, 10.1029/2004JD004701.

O. Zvěřina , K. Láska , R. Červenka , J. Kuta , P. Coufalík & J Komárek . 2014. Analysis of mercury and other heavy metals accumulated in lichen Usnea antarctica from James Ross Island, Antarctica. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 186, 90899100.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 44 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 253 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.