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Drinking behaviour and water turnover rates of Antarctic fur seal pups: implications for the estimation of milk intake by isotopic dilution

Citation

Lea, MA and Bonadonna, F and Hindell, MA and Guinet, C and Goldsworthy, SD, Drinking behaviour and water turnover rates of Antarctic fur seal pups: implications for the estimation of milk intake by isotopic dilution, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A - Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 132, (2) pp. 321-331. ISSN 1095-6433 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S1095-6433(02)00030-2

Abstract

The estimation of milk consumption in free-ranging seals using tritium dilution techniques makes the key assumption that the animals drink no pre-formed water during the experimental period. However, frequent observations of unweaned Antarctic fur seal pups drinking water at Iles Kerguelen necessitated the testing of this assumption. We estimated water flux rates of 30 pups (10.7±0.3 kg) in four experimental groups by isotopic dilution over 4 days. The groups were: (1) pups held in an open air enclosure without access to water to estimate fasting metabolic water production (MWP); (2) free-ranging pups not administered additional water; (3) pups held in an open air enclosure and given a total of 300 ml of fresh water to verify technique accuracy; and (4) free-ranging pups given 200 ml of fresh water. Pups without access to water exhibited water flux rates (20.5±0.8 ml kg-1d-1), which were significantly lower than those observed for the free-ranging group (33.0±1.7 ml kg-1 d-1). Mean estimated pre-formed water intake for the free-ranging experimental groups was 12.6 ml kg-1 d-1. Thus, MWP, measured as total water intake during fasting, may be significantly over-estimated in free-ranging Antarctic fur seal pups at Iles Kerguelen and at other sites and subsequently milk intake rates may be underestimated. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Wildlife and Habitat Management
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments
Author:Lea, MA (Associate Professor Mary-Anne Lea)
Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:25353
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2002-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-02
Downloads:0

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