Notes on winter feeding of crabeater and leopard seals near the Antarctic Peninsula
- Cite this article as:
- Lowry, L.F., Testa, J.W. & Calvert, W. Polar Biol (1988) 8: 475. doi:10.1007/BF00264724
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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.