Body size and composition of elephant seals (Mirounga leonine): absolute measurements and estimates from bone dimensions
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 167, Issue 3, pages 265–276, July 1972
How to Cite
Bryden, M. M. (1972), Body size and composition of elephant seals (Mirounga leonine): absolute measurements and estimates from bone dimensions. Journal of Zoology, 167: 265–276. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1972.tb03110.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 9 November 1971
The major body components (bone, muscle, blubber, viscera and connective tissue) of 94 elephant seals were dissected and weighed.
Seals in growth phase 3 (more than ten weeks old) had significantly more muscle and viscera and less blubber than seals in growth phases 1 and 2 (less than ten weeks old) of similar body weight. There were no significant differences in body composition between sexes before sexual maturity, but after sexual maturity was attained males had relatively more muscle, and less bone and viscera, than females.
Prediction equations relating body component weight and body weight were derived by regression analysis. These were very highly significant, and could be used to estimate body composition from body weight.
It was demonstrated that body length could be estimated from linear measurements of some bones, which would enable an estimate of size and composition of seals to be made from bone dimensions.