[MARMAM] New publication: 'Flipper strokes can predict energy expenditure and locomotion costs in free-ranging northern and, Antarctic fur seals'

Tiphaine Jeanniard du Dot dudot at zoology.ubc.ca
Sun Nov 6 20:13:06 PST 2016

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new paper in Scientific 
Reports entitled : 'Flipper strokes can predict energy expenditure and 
locomotion costs in free-ranging northern and Antarctic fur seals'.

Flipper strokes have been proposed as proxies to estimate the energy 
expended by marine vertebrates
while foraging at sea, but this has never been validated on free-ranging 
otariids (fur seals and sea lions).
Our goal was to investigate how well flipper strokes correlate with 
energy expenditure in 33 foraging
northern and Antarctic fur seals equipped with accelerometers, GPS, and 
time-depth recorders. We
concomitantly measured field metabolic rates with the doubly-labelled 
water method and derived
activity-specific energy expenditures using fine-scale time-activity 
budgets for each seal. Flipper strokes
were detected while diving or surface transiting using dynamic 
acceleration. Despite some inter-species
differences in flipper stroke dynamics or frequencies, both species of 
fur seals spent 3.79 ± 0.39 J/kg per
stroke and had a cost of transport of ~1.6–1.9 J/kg/m while diving. 
Also, flipper stroke counts were good
predictors of energy spent while diving (R2 = 0.76) and to a lesser 
extent while transiting (R2 = 0.63).
However, flipper stroke count was a poor predictor overall of total 
energy spent during a full foraging
trip (R2 = 0.50). Amplitude of flipper strokes (i.e., acceleration 
amplitude × number of strokes) predicted
total energy expenditure (R2 = 0.63) better than flipper stroke counts, 
but was not as accurate as other
acceleration-based proxies, i.e. Overall Dynamic Body Acceleration.

This article is available at: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep33912

Best wishes,

Tiphaine Jeanniard du Dot, PhD

Tiphaine Jeanniard-du-Dot, PhD
Marine Mammal Research Unit
2202 Main Mall, AERL bldg
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z4, CANADA
Tel:+1-604-822-9150 / cell:+1-604-724-4230

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