Southern elephant seals likely detect prey bioluminescence for foraging

Aug 29, 2012

Bioluminescence may play a key role in successful foraging for southern elephant seals, a deep-sea predator, according to research published Aug. 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

The authors of the study, led by Jade Vacquié-Garcia, monitored the diving behaviour of four female southern in the southern Indian Ocean that were also equipped with light detectors.

The researchers found that increased bioluminescence was correlated with higher foraging intensity, suggesting that bioluminescence likely provides seals with valuable indications of prey occurrence.

Explore further: Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

More information: Vacquie´-Garcia J, Royer F, Dragon A-C, Viviant M, Bailleul F, et al. (2012) Foraging in the Darkness of the Southern Ocean: Influence of Bioluminescence on a Deep Diving Predator. PLOS ONE 7(8): e43565. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043565

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ocean warming causes elephant seals to dive deeper

Feb 09, 2012

Global warming is having an effect on the dive behaviour and search for food of southern elephant seals. Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association cooperating ...

Southern Ocean seals dive deep for climate data

Aug 11, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Elephant seals are helping scientists overcome a critical blind-spot in their ability to detect change in Southern Ocean circulation and sea ice production and its influence on global climate.

Elephant seal travels 18,000 miles

Dec 13, 2011

The Wildlife Conservation Society tracked a southern elephant seal for an astonishing 18,000 miles – the equivalent of New York to Sydney and back again.

Recommended for you

Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

8 hours ago

The Natural History Museum of Denmark recently discovered a unique gift from one of the greatest-ever scientists. In 1854, Charles Darwin – father of the theory of evolution – sent a gift to his Danish ...

Top ten reptiles and amphibians benefitting from zoos

10 hours ago

A frog that does not croak, the largest living lizard, and a tortoise that can live up to 100 years are just some of the species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report.

User comments : 0