Notes on winter feeding of crabeater and leopard seals near the Antarctic Peninsula
- 250 Downloads
Stomach contents of crabeater (Lobodon carcinophagus) and leopard (Hydrurga leptonyx) seals collected in the pack ice west of the antarctic Peninsula in August–September 1985 were analyzed. Food remains were found in 7 of 56 crabeater seals and 5 of 29 leopard seals. The primary foods were krill (Euphausia superba) which occurred in all 12 stomachs, and fish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) which occurred in 3. Eleven of the seals with food in their stomachs were collected in the southern portion of Bismark Strait. The incidence of feeding seemed highest in pregnant females. These results, and comparisons with previous collections, suggest that krill were not abundant or widely distributed in the area at the time the seals were collected. The sizes of krill eaten by crabeater and leopard seals were very similar, and were significantly larger than krill found in 2 samples taken by midwater trawls in nearby open water.
KeywordsOpen Water Stomach Content Antarctic Peninsula Pregnant Female Southern Portion
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Croxall JP, Pilcher MN (1984) Characteristics of krill Euphausia superba eaten by Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella at South Georgia. Br Antarct Surv Bull 63:117–125Google Scholar
- King JE (1961) The feeding mechanism and jaws of the crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus). Mammalia 25:462–466Google Scholar
- Kooyman GL (1981) Crabeater seal. In: Ridgway SH, Harrison RJ (eds) Handbook of marine mammals. Academic Press, New York, pp 221–235Google Scholar
- Laws RM (1977) Seals and whales of the southern ocean. Philos Trans R Soc London, Ser B 279:81–96Google Scholar
- Lockyer C (1973) Wet weight, volume and length correlation in the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba. Discovery Rep 36:152–155Google Scholar
- Øritsland T (1977) Food consumption of seals in the Antarctic pack ice. In: Llano GA (ed) Adaptations within Antarctic ecosystems. Proc 3rd Symp Antarct Biol. Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, pp 749–768Google Scholar
- Siniff DB, Bengtson JL (1977) Observations and hypotheses concerning the interactions among crabeater seals, leopard seals, and killer whales. J Mammal 58:414–416Google Scholar
- Siniff DB, Stone S (1985) The role of the leopard seal in the trophodynamics of the Antarctic marine ecosystem. In: Siegfried WR, Condy PR, Laws RM (eds) Antarctic nutrient cycles and food webs. Springer, Berlin, pp 555–560Google Scholar
- Siniff DB, Stirling I, Bengtson JL, Reichle RA (1979) Social and reproductive behavior of crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus) during the austral spring. Can J Zool 57:2243–2255Google Scholar