Navigation Links
Energy requirements make Antarctic fur seal pups vulnerable to climate change
Date:3/21/2012

A new study suggests that climate change could pose a risk for Antarctic fur seals in their first few months of life.

The study, published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, found that changing weather conditions can impact the metabolic rates of fur seal pups. Climate models predict windier and wetter conditions in Antarctica in the coming years, and that could cause young seals to assign more energy to thermoregulation, leaving less available for growth and development.

For their study, a team of scientists led by Dr. Birgitte McDonald (University of University of California, Santa Cruz) gathered data from 48 young seals on Livingston Island, just off the Antarctic Peninsula, to find out how much energy pups get from their mothers and how they use it.

"Energy budgets are important if we are to understand how individuals interact with their environment," McDonald said. "In juvenile animals we need to know how they allocate energy towards growth, energy storage, maintenance including thermoregulation, and development of foraging skills to facilitate a successful transition to independence."

The team measured milk energy intake, field metabolic rate, and growth rate over three developmental periods during in the seals' first four months of life, when they are completely dependent on mother's milk. The research found that in newborn pups, around 60 percent of the milk energy they receive from their mothers goes to growth. But as the pups get older and their mothers begin leaving them behind periodically to go on foraging trips, that percentage begins to fall. By the age of one month, pups only have about 25 percent of their energy available for growth.

As expected, the researchers found that the biggest predictor of a pup's growth rate was the amount of milk they ingested, showing just how important maternal investment is when growing up in such harsh conditions. But other factors were also important in determining a pup's energy throughput, including the pup's size and condition at birth and environmental factors like weather.

"If climate change models are correct and the Antarctic Peninsula gets windier and wetter weather, this may influence how much energy is available for growth," McDonald said. "Changes in prey availability and climate may lead pups to conserve energy by sacrificing the development of foraging skill or to wean at a lower mass or body condition, resulting in negative impacts on the ability to transition successfully to nutritional independence."

McDonald hopes the research will lead to better predictions about how a changing environment may ultimately affect young seals and seal populations.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
401-284-3878
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. NOAA science supports New Yorks offshore energy planning
2. Polycrystalline diamond drill bits open up options for geothermal energy
3. First complete full genetic map of promising energy crop
4. Story tips From the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2012
5. NJIT invites manufacturers to free summit about clean energy
6. New energy storage device based on water
7. Man-made photosynthesis to revolutionize food and energy production
8. US Energy Department grants $1.87 million for plant fuel project
9. Sustainable land use strategies to support bioenergy described in Industrial Biotechnology journal
10. Columbia engineers map energy use in NYC buildings
11. Findings prove Miscanthus x giganteus has great potential as an alternative energy source
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Energy requirements make Antarctic fur seal pups vulnerable to climate change
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... A study has been published ... Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate typical noises in a simulated neonatal ... the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and other bedside devices that would ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... , ... Today CJ BIO announced the first in a series of Food ... phenomenon that is revolutionizing ingredient mixes, nutritional content and flavor profiles across a range ... 13, 2020 at11:00 AM (CDT) during SHIFT20, the virtual edition of the IFT Annual ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 02, 2020 , ... ... publication detailing the use of its revolutionary NEXTGENPCR endpoint thermocycler to test ... 16 minutes. The article, titled "Ultra-fast one-step RT-PCR protocol for the detection ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... 12, 2020 , ... Inc. magazine today revealed that ... compliance consulting has been named on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most ... look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... R3 Stem Cell International is ... $3950. With 50 million stem cells total, patients may choose which extremities they would ... for arthritic joints (BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016). At R3 International, umbilical cord tissue is ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... Editas Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene ... strategic partnership whereby Catalent will provide support for the development, manufacturing, and clinical ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... July 22, 2020 , ... Join experts from Reed Tech ... Regulatory Solutions, in a one hour live webinar on Thursday, August 13, ... China for drugs and medical devices. Specifically, for medical devices, the NMPA has departments ...
Breaking Biology Technology: