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Drift dives by male New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri)


Page, B and McKenzie, J and Hindell, MA and Goldsworthy, SD, Drift dives by male New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri), Canadian Journal of Zoology, 83, (2) pp. 293-300. ISSN 0008-4301 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1139/z05-013


Some phocid seal diving-behaviour studies have identified dives characterised by a period of passive drifting through the water column, rather than active locomotion. During these "drift dives" seals are thought to preferentially direct energy towards processing of food, lactate, or renal metabolites rather than to active propulsion. We describe the first drift dives reported in an otariid, the New Zealand fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri (Lesson, 1828)), studied at Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Not all males in the study undertook drift dives and those that did were significantly heavier than those that did not, suggesting that body size may influence the propensity to drift dive in New Zealand fur seals. Drift dives lasted 6.0 ± 1.78 min and had passive drift segments of 3.5 ± 1.5 min, during which seals showed a negative change in depth (i.e., sinking) of 0.14 ± 0.05 m/s. Drift dives occurred at night and were possibly undertaken to avoid near-surface predators and to process food, lactate, or renal metabolites while resting. © 2005 NRC.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:38902
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2011-09-27

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