CRABEATER SEALS LOBODON CARCINOPHAGUS DURING THE BREEDING SEASON: OBSERVATIONS ON FIVE GROUPS NEAR ENDERBY LAND, ANTARCTICA

Authors


Abstract

Observations on five groups of crabeater seals were conducted between 29 October and 17 November 1985 in the Antarctic pack ice near 66°S 50°E, off Enderby Land. The pups studied were born in the last half of October. Two of them increased in weight at a rate of approximately 4.2kg per day. Pups were weaned in the first half of November at 80–110 kg. The lactation period was 2–3 wk and thus is one of the briefest among pinnipeds. Pups decreased in weight after weaning. The only pup visited after it left the natal floe must have been feeding, as it had lost only 2 kg in a 10–day period during which it moved 13 km. Molt of lanugo appeared to be influenced more by a pup's weight than by whether or not it was weaned.

Ancillary