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: Aging white lion euthanized at Ohio zoo

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

A vegetarian carnivorous plant

Dec 19, 2014

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.