Advertisement

The size of Ross seal Ommatophoca rossii pups

  • Peter D. ShaughnessyEmail author
  • Robert Jones
Short Note
  • 4 Downloads

Abstract

Ross seals Ommatophoca rossii breed in the Antarctic pack ice during November. There have been few studies of Ross seals during their breeding season because access in the pack ice is difficult then. The weight of Ross seal pups near birth has been reported rarely; estimates range from 16.8 to 27 kg. In November 1987, two pups were measured north of the Amery Ice Shelf near 65°S, 75°E, East Antarctica. One was considered to have been newborn because of its fleshy umbilicus, an after-birth on the ice floe and the absence of erupted teeth. It weighed 16.0 kg and had a standard length of 0.93 m. This is only the second report of a newborn Ross seal pup; both weights were between 16 and 17 kg.

Keywords

Ross seal Newborn pup East antarctica Pack ice 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the Director, Australian Antarctic Division for providing logistic support, and expeditioners who assisted in the field, particularly John Libke of CSIRO. This work was carried out under AAS project 69, undertaken under permits of the Commonwealth of Australia Antarctic Seals Conservation Regulations.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

The work was conducted under an animal ethics approval to PDS from the CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems Animal Ethics Committee. It was undertaken in accordance with guidelines for handling animals set out in the ‘Code of practice for the care and use of animals for experimental purposes’ published jointly by the (Australian) National Health and Medical Research Council, CSIRO and the Australian Agricultural Council.

References

  1. Blix AS, Nørdoy ES (2007) Ross seal (Ommatophoca rossii) annual distribution, diving behaviour, breeding and moulting, off Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Polar Biol 30:1449–1458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. King JE (1969) Some aspects of the anatomy of the Ross seal, Ommatophoca rossi (Pinnipedia: Phocidae). Br Ant Surv Sci Rep 63:1–54Google Scholar
  3. Laws RM (1984) Seals. In: Laws RM (ed) Antarctic ecology, vol 2. Academic Press, London, pp 621–715Google Scholar
  4. Laws RM (1993) Identification of species. In: Laws RM (ed) Antarctic seals: research methods and techniques. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Loeb V, Siegel V, Holm-Hansen O, Hewitt R, Fraser W, Trivelpiece W, Trivelpiece S (1997) Effects of sea-ice extent and krill or salp dominance on the Antarctic food web. Nature 387:897–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Øritsland T (1970) Sealing and seal research in the south-west Atlantic pack ice, Sept. - Oct. 1964. In: Holdgate MW (ed) Antarctic ecology, vol 1. Academic Press, London, pp 367–376Google Scholar
  7. Shaughnessy PD, Jones R, Viggers K (2019) On the size of crabeater seal, Lobodon carcinophaga, pups. Mar Mamm Sci.  https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12608 Google Scholar
  8. Southwell C, Kerry K, Ensor P, Woehler EJ, Rogers T (2003) The timing of pupping by pack-ice seals in East Antarctica. Polar Biol 26:648–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Thomas J, DeMaster D, Stone S, Andriashek D (1980) Observations of a newborn Ross seal pup (Ommatophoca rossi) near the Antarctic Peninsula. Can J Zool 58:2156–2158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Tikhomirov EA (1975) Biology of the ice forms of seals in the Pacific section of the Antarctic. Rapp P-v Réun Cons int Explor Mer 169:409–412Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.South Australian MuseumAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Antarctic DivisionKingstonAustralia

Personalised recommendations