[MARMAM] New paper on effect of pregnancy on diving behavior of northern elephant seals

Luis Huckstadt lahuckst at ucsc.edu
Wed Feb 14 09:38:53 PST 2018


My co-authors and I are pleased to announce our recent publication in
Biology Letters:

Huckstadt LA, RR Holser, MS Tift and DP Costa. 2018. The extra burden of
motherhood: reduced dive duration associated with pregnancy status in a
deep-diving mammal, the northern elephant seal. Biology Letters 14:

The cost of pregnancy is hard to study in marine mammals, particularly
in species that undergo pregnancy while diving continuously at sea such as
seals (genus *Mirounga*).We analysed the diving behaviour of confirmed
pregnant and non-pregnant northern elephant seals (*M. angustirostris*, n =
and showed that after an initial continuous increase in dive duration,
dives of
pregnant females become shorter after week 17. The reasons for this
in dive duration remain unknown, but we hypothesize that increased fetal
demand for oxygen could be the cause. Our findings reveal an opportunity
to explore the use of biologging data to investigate pregnancy status of
free-ranging marine mammals and factors that could affect pregnancy success.

The full article is available at

If interested in a PDF copy, please contact me at lahuckst at gmail.com

Luis A. Huckstadt, Ph.D.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California Santa Cruz
Coastal Biology Building, Rm 174
130 McAllister Way
Santa Cruz, CA  95060
Ph: (831) 502-8675
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