[MARMAM] New publication; Hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) pups ingest snow and seawater during their post-weaning fast

Erling Sverre Nordøy erling.nordoy at uit.no
Wed Nov 9 05:04:45 PST 2016

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a new publication on marine mammal water balance ‘Hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) pups ingest snow and seawater during their post-weaning fast’ in ‘Journal of Comparative Physiology B’

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the importance of exogenous water intake (snow/seawater) in hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) pups during their post-weaning fast. In this study, five hooded seal pups had ad lib access to snow and seawater for the first 12 and last 21 days of their post-weaning fast, respectively. Total body water and water flux were determined during both exposure periods by use of the tritiated water method. Blood samples were collected to monitor changes in hematocrit, plasma urea and plasma osmolality. Body mass loss was on average 0.36 kg day−1. Average total body water changed from 15.7 to 11.4 L, while total water influx changed from 15 to 18 mL day−1 kg−1 during snow and seawater exposure, respectively. Of this influx an average of 35% can be attributed to metabolic water, while approximately 8% was due to respiratory water influx. Interestingly, 56 and 58% of the total water influx was due to snow and seawater ingestion, respectively, amounting to 8 mL day−1 kg−1 snow (counted as liquid water) and 10 mL day−1 kg−1 seawater. Based on the results of the plasma parameters it is concluded that fasting hooded seal pups maintain water balance and homeostasis when access to snow or seawater is permitted. It is further concluded that snow and seawater intake, in addition to metabolic and respiratory water, is important for maintenance of water balance and excretion of urea during the post-weaning fast of hooded seal pups.

The article is online available as open access at:

Kind regards,

Pauke Schots, MSc

UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Department of Arctic and Marine Biology
Arctic Animal Physiology Research Group
Postbox 6050 Langnes
9037 Tromso, Norway

e-mail: pauke.schots at gmail.com<mailto:pauke.schots at gmail.com>

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