Advertisement

Polar Biology

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 467–472 | Cite as

On some aspects of the biology of the Ross seal Ommatophoca rossii from King Haakon VII Sea, Antarctica

  • J. D. Skinner
  • N. T. W. Klages
Original Paper

Abstract

A total of 40 (29 female and 11 male) Ross seals were sampled in January over three years. Seals were weighed, measured and age determined by counting dentine lines in teeth. Stomach contents were identified against reference material and species of helminths were determined using standard techniques. Asymptotes in body mass and length are reached at some nine years of age. Age class varied from 2–20 years. Antarctic silverfish Pleurogrammma antarcticum was the only fish species identified. Psychroteuthis glacialis dominated the squid component. Fish was dominant in three samples, squid was the exclusive component in two samples and a minor component in another two. Glandicephalus antarcticus, Diphyllobothrium wilsoni and Contracaecum spp were the dominant helminths present. The high proportion of empty or nearly empty stomachs conforms with the knowledge that this species moults and consequently fasts in January.

Keywords

Fish Species Reference Material Standard Technique Minor Component Stomach Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Condy PR (1976) Results of the third seal survey in the King Haakon VII Sea, Antarctica. S Afr J Antarct Res 6:2–8Google Scholar
  2. Condy PR (1977) Results of the fourth seal survey in the King Haakon VII Sea, Antarctica. S Afr J Antarct Res 7:10–13Google Scholar
  3. Doidge DW, Croxall JP (1985) Diet and energy budget of the Antarctic fur seal, Arctocephalus gazella, at South Georgia. In: Siegfried WR, Condy PR, Laws RM (eds) Antarctic nutrient cycles and food webs. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 543–550Google Scholar
  4. Erikson AW, Hanson MB (1990) Continental estimates and population trends in Antarctic ice seals. In: Kerry KR, Hempel G (eds) Antarctic ecosystems. Ecological change and conservation. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 253–264Google Scholar
  5. Gon O, Heemstra PC (eds) (1990) Fishes of the Southern Ocean. JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, pp 462Google Scholar
  6. Hall-Martin AJ (1974) Observations on population density and species composition of seals in the King Haakon VII sea, Antarctica. S Afr J Antarct Res 4:34–39Google Scholar
  7. Hofman R, Erickson A, Siniff D (1973) The Ross seal (Ommatophoca rossii). In: Seals. IUCN Publ New Series, Supp Paper No 39. IUCN, Merges, pp 129–139Google Scholar
  8. Hubold G, Ekau W (1987) Midwater fish fauna of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Proc V Congr Europ Ichthyol Stockholm 1985:391–396Google Scholar
  9. King JE (1964) Seals of the World. British Museum (Natural History), LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. King JE (1969) Some aspects of the anatomy of the Ross seal Ommatophoca rossii (Pinnipedia:Phocidae). British Antarctic Survey Scientific Reports No. 63. London, pp 54Google Scholar
  11. Klages NTW (1989) Food and feeding ecology of emperor penguins in the eastern Weddell Sea. Polar Biol 9:385–390Google Scholar
  12. Klages NTW, Cockcroft VG (1990) Feeding behaviour of a captive crabeater seal. Polar Biol 10:403–404Google Scholar
  13. Laws RM (1984) Seals. In Laws RM (ed) Antarctic Ecology. Academic Press, London, pp 621–715Google Scholar
  14. McCann TS (1993) Age determination. Ch. II In: Laws RM (ed) Antarctic Seals. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  15. McClurg TP (1984) Trace metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons in Ross seals from Antarctica. Marine Pollution Bull 15(10):384–389Google Scholar
  16. Miller DGM, Hampton I (1989) Biology and ecology of the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana): a review. BIOMASS Sci Ser 9:1–166Google Scholar
  17. Oritsland T (1970) Sealing and seal research in the south-west Atlantic pack ice, September–October 1964. In: Holdgate M (ed) Antarctic Ecology Vol. 1, Academic Press, London, pp 367–376Google Scholar
  18. Oritsland T (1977) Food consumption of seals in the Antarctic pack ice. In Llano GA (ed) Adaptations within Antarctic ecosystems. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas, pp 749–768Google Scholar
  19. Pitcher KW (1980) Food of harbor seals Phoca vitulina richardsi in the Gulf of Alaska. Fish Bull 78:544–549Google Scholar
  20. Plötz J, Ekau W, Reijnders PJH (1991) Diet of Weddell seals Leptonychotes weddelli at Vestkapp, eastern Weddell Sea (Antarctica), in relation to local food supply. Mar Mamm Sci 7:136–144Google Scholar
  21. Ray GC (1981) Ross seal Ommatophoca rossii Gray, 1844 In: Ridgeway SH, Harrison RJ (eds) Handbook of Marine Mammals, Vol 2 Seals. Academic Press, London, pp 237–260Google Scholar
  22. Reeves RR, Stewart BS, Leatherwood S (1992) The Sierra Club handbook of seals and sirenians. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, pp 359Google Scholar
  23. Rodhouse PG (1988) Distribution of the neoteuthid squid Alluroteuthis antarcticus Odhner in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Malacologia 29:267–274Google Scholar
  24. Rodhouse PG (1990) Cephalopod fauna of the Scotia Sea at South Georgia: potential for commercial exploitation and possible consequences. In: Kerry KR, Hempel G (eds) Antarctic ecosystems. Ecological change and conservation. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York pp 289–298Google Scholar
  25. Rodhouse PG, Prince PA, Clarke MR, Murray AWA (1990) Cephalopod prey of the grey-headed albatross Diomedea chrysostoma. Mar Biol 104:353–362Google Scholar
  26. Selzer LA, Early G, Fiorelli PM, Payne PM, Prescott R (1986) Stranded animals as indicators of prey utilization by harbor seals, Phoca vitulina concolor, in southern New England. Fish Bull 84:214–220Google Scholar
  27. Skinner JD, Westlin-van Aarde LM (1989) Aspects of reproduction in female Ross seals (Ommatophoca rossii). J Repr Fert 87:67–72Google Scholar
  28. Solyanik GA (1965) Some information on Antarctic seals. Sov Antarctic Exped Inform Bull 5:179–182Google Scholar
  29. Williams R, McEldowney A (1990) A guide to the fish otoliths from waters off the Australian Antarctic Territory, Heard and Macquarie Islands. ANARE Res Notes 75:1–173Google Scholar
  30. Wilson VJ (1975) A second survey of seals in the King Haakon VII Sea, Antarctica. S Afr J Antarct Res 5:31–36Google Scholar
  31. Wilton DW, Pierie JHH, Brown RNR (1908) Zoological log. Rep Sci Results Scot Natl Antarct Exped 4 (Zool), part 1:1–105Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Skinner
    • 1
  • N. T. W. Klages
    • 2
  1. 1.Mammal Research InstituteUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Port Elizabeth MuseumHumewoodSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations