Implantation of subcutaneous heart rate data loggers in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina)

  • Laureline L. Chaise
  • William Paterson
  • Timothy G. Laske
  • Susan L. Gallon
  • Dominic J. McCafferty
  • Marc Théry
  • André Ancel
  • Caroline Gilbert
Short Note

Abstract

Unlike most phocid species (Phocidae), Mirounga leonina (southern elephant seals) experience a catastrophic moult where they not only replace their hair but also their epidermis when ashore for approximately 1 month. Few studies have investigated behavioural and physiological adaptations of southern elephant seals during the moult fast, a particularly energetically costly life cycle’s phase. Recording heart rate is a reliable technique for estimating energy expenditure in the field. For the first time, subcutaneous heart rate data loggers were successfully implanted during the moult in two free-ranging southern elephant seals over 3–6 days. No substantial postoperative complications were encountered and consistent heart rate data were obtained. This promising surgical technique opens new opportunities for monitoring heart rate in phocid seals.

Keywords

Marine mammals Pinnipeds Surgery 

Supplementary material

300_2017_2144_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (101 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 100 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laureline L. Chaise
    • 1
  • William Paterson
    • 2
  • Timothy G. Laske
    • 3
  • Susan L. Gallon
    • 4
  • Dominic J. McCafferty
    • 4
  • Marc Théry
    • 1
  • André Ancel
    • 5
  • Caroline Gilbert
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.UMR 7179 CNRS / MNHNBrunoyFrance
  2. 2.Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans InstituteUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.The Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative MedicineUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowScotland, UK
  5. 5.Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IPHC UMR 7178StrasbourgFrance
  6. 6.Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire Paris Est, bât. BCG – éthologieMaisons-AlfortFrance

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