Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Foraging ecology of southern elephant seals in relation to the bathymetry and productivity of the Southern Ocean

  • B. J. McConnell (a1), C. Chambers (a1) and M. A. Fedak (a1)
Abstract

Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) are among the most proficient of mammalian divers and are a major component of the Antarctic food web. Yet little is known of their movements or interaction with their oceanic environment. Specially designed satellite-link data loggers allowed us to visualize the 3-D movements of elephant seals as they swam rapidly from South Georgia to distant (up to 2650 km) areas of Antarctic continental shelf. One seal dived continuously to the sea bed in one small area for a month, implying consumption of benthic prey. Dives here were shorter even though average swimming velocity was lower. It is suggested that the physiological requirements of feeding and digestion reduced the aerobic dive limit. Long distance travel to relocatable hydrographic or topographical features, such as shelf breaks, may allow large predators to locate prey more consistently than from mid-ocean searches.

Copyright
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

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed