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Alaska seal pup diet may hold key to decline of population

ach sexual maturation," Polasek said. Human females who consume an extremely low fat diet reach sexual maturity later than those who consume a high fat diet, she noted.

In addition, the researchers are:

  • Examining fecal matter to see how efficiently the animals in the two groups digest their food. Animals on the low fat diet may be processing their food less efficiently and eliminating needed nutrients.
  • Measuring bone growth to see if one group grows more quickly.
  • Monitoring the concentrations of cortisol, in response to a stressor that dilates the pupils and increases heart beat. Animals in the low fat group may take a longer time to recover.
  • Comparing their data with observations and tests on seals in the wild done by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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Source:American Physiological Society


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