[MARMAM] New publication: Evidence of seawater drinking in fasting subadult hooded seals (Cystophora cristata)

Fernando Alvira f.alvirairaizoz at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 01:06:07 PST 2019

Dear colleagues,

please find below the abstract and link to our recently published open
access paper on water balance and mariposia in Hooded seals.

*Alvira-Iraizoz F, Nordøy ES (2019) Evidence of seawater drinking in
fasting subadult hooded seals (Cystophora cristata). Journal of Animal
Behaviour and Biometeorology.*

The purpose of this study was to investigate the total water turnover rate
of fasting subadult hooded seals in order to elucidate to what extent these
animals rely in seawater drinking/mariposia at this life stage. Considering
mariposia is important for later accurate estimations of food consumption
using water turnover rate as a proxy. Five subadult hooded seals were kept
fasting for 4 days in a seawater pool. Total body water (39.6 ± 2.5 % of
total body mass) decreased by 3.1 ± 0.4 % of initial body water over the
experimental period. Turnover rates were 16.7 ± 3.9 (influx) and 24.6 ± 4.6
(efflux) ml · dayˉ¹ · kgˉ¹ with a net water loss of 710 ± 51 ml · day-1. It
was estimated that the seals drank approximately 947 ml of seawater per
day, which corresponds to 61 % of total daily water influx. Initial body
water was relatively low as a result of the high body fat (46.9 ± 3.2 % of
initial body mass) shown in the animals. It is concluded that subadult
fasting hooded seals drink significant amounts of seawater during fasting.
Although mariposia stands out as the major source of free water in fasting
hooded seals, the amount of seawater ingested is unlikely to provide a net
gain of free water as it is provided by metabolic water. However, it may
contribute to excrete the excess of urea produced during early phase I of

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.31893/2318-1265jabb.v7n2p52-59

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