Polar Biology

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 833–838 | Cite as

The diet of the Weddell seal Leptonychotes weddellii at Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands

  • R. Casaux
  • A. Carlini
  • A. Corbalán
  • L. Bertolin
  • C. Y. DiPrinzio
Original Paper


The diet of the Weddell seal Leptonychotes weddellii at the South Orkney Islands was investigated by the analysis of 44 and 26 faecal samples collected from the beaches of Laurie Island from May 1999 to January 2000 and from October to December 2001, respectively. The diet was diverse and both pelagic and benthic-demersal organisms were represented in the samples. Fish were the most frequent prey of the samples in both seasons, and fish and krill were the most numerous prey items. Octopods predominated by mass in 1999, whereas krill constituted the bulk of the diet in 2001, a fact that was not observed previously. Among fish, Gobionotothen gibberifrons was largely the species that contributed mostly to the diet, whereas pelagic fish could not be identified in the samples. The results are compared with information from other study areas and discussed in relation to the consumption of krill.


Weddell seal Diet South Orkney Islands Antarctica Krill Fish 



We would like to express our gratitude to the members of the Administración de Parques Nacionales R. Cerdá, M. Gray, A. Sanchez and F. Ferioli for field assistance. We thank the members of Orcadas Station for their logistic support. This is the contribution to the Laboratorio de Investigaciones en Ecología y Sistemática Animal (LIESA) No. 43.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Casaux
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Carlini
    • 1
  • A. Corbalán
    • 1
  • L. Bertolin
    • 2
  • C. Y. DiPrinzio
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto Antártico ArgentinoBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Investigaciones en Ecología y Sistemática Animal (LIESA)Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan BoscoEsquelArgentina

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