[MARMAM] New publication on ontogeny of at-sea behaviour in grey seal pups

Matthew Carter matthew.carter at plymouth.ac.uk
Tue Nov 14 08:11:12 PST 2017

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our study on the ontogeny of foraging skills in grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pups:

"Intrinsic and extrinsic factors drive ontogeny of early-life at-sea behaviour in a marine top predator"
Carter, MID; Russell, DJF; Embling, CB; Blight, CJ; Thompson, D; Hosegood, PJ; Bennett, KA. Scientific Reports 7:15505.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15859-8

The article is fully open-access and can be downloaded at the following link: http://rdcu.be/ysZd<http://em.rdcu.be/wf/click?upn=KP7O1RED-2BlD0F9LDqGVeSOkY41gQHNiBDjTPPsVTf-2FA-3D_eLFMrKDT8iBxZ-2Fbnk-2BZqvRSkx1P63wdyDAsZQNAhq3AuZvkk94NB4jeQ434SjkYIitfMxGO6IzZQVKQtEr0f23CrwFw0v3yRsflW6wPtwSULa5DqMKa-2FBXb9L0A4G9hnWxfJjoVhqH9-2BQU46GNFTKM9qB9b5KMzonzxNZWHwhhvz6L0ui6GuC-2FPcvHKGo5mxgenN6-2B94HBGkzdIcFckoRVQ8S8XPg17h0aHSJcHTWlPIUu7hM0nnTS24gUc7ez6h285ugqOkLbKSeTChNdy5WQ18Bi7SHq6SUA0OdVp7Ats-3D>

ABSTRACT: Young animals must learn to forage effectively to survive the transition from parental provisioning to independent feeding. Rapid development of successful foraging strategies is particularly important for capital breeders that do not receive parental guidance after weaning. The intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of variation in ontogeny of foraging are poorly understood for many species. Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) are typical capital breeders; pups are abandoned on the natal site after a brief suckling phase, and must develop foraging skills without external input. We collected location and dive data from recently-weaned grey seal pups from two regions of the United Kingdom (the North Sea and the Celtic and Irish Seas) using animal-borne telemetry devices during their first months of independence at sea. Dive duration, depth, bottom time, and benthic diving increased over the first 40 days. The shape and magnitude of changes differed between regions. Females consistently had longer bottom times, and in the Celtic and Irish Seas they used shallower water than males. Regional sex differences suggest that extrinsic factors, such as water depth, contribute to behavioural sexual segregation. We recommend that conservation strategies consider movements of young naïve animals in addition to those of adults to account for developmental behavioural changes.

Follow the project on Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/project/Ontogeny-of-Foraging-in-Grey-Seal-Pups

Matt Carter
PhD Student
Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre
School of Biological and Marine Sciences
Plymouth University

E-mail: matthew.carter at plymouth.ac.uk<mailto:matthew.carter at plymouth.ac.uk>
Twitter: @MattIDCarter<https://twitter.com/MattIDCarter> @MarineVerts<https://twitter.com/MarineVerts>
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Matt_Carter2


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