Polar Biology

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 396–403

The tide as zeitgeber for Weddell seals

  • H. Bornemann
  • E. Mohr
  • J. Plötz
  • G. Krause
ORIGINAL PAPER

DOI: 10.1007/s003000050320

Cite this article as:
Bornemann, H., Mohr, E., Plötz, J. et al. Polar Biol (1998) 20: 396. doi:10.1007/s003000050320

Abstract

The haul-out and underwater activity patterns of five Weddell seals were investigated in relation to the tide. Electronic recorders measured the seals' dive depth and internal body temperature simultaneously. Diving and temperature data were analysed with the help of time series analyses tools. We identified a half-day (semicircadian) rhythm in underwater activity and body temperature. A close correlation was found between the rhythmicity of the tide and the timing of the seals' underwater activity and oscillations of their body temperature. We propose that the tide is the principal zeitgeber for the Weddell seals' ultradian cycle of behaviour during the austral summer.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Bornemann
    • 1
  • E. Mohr
    • 2
  • J. Plötz
    • 1
  • G. Krause
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Postfach 12 01 61, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany e-mail: hbornemann@awi-bremerhaven.de, Fax: 0471 4831 425DE
  2. 2.Institut für Veterinär-Physiologie, Oertzenweg 19 b, D-14163 Berlin, GermanyDE

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