Portal Home
Record Search Query: [Freetext='DIF/IDN_Node: AMD/NZ']
Determining if lactating Weddell seal mothers are indeed fasting
Entry ID: K071_1996_1997_NZ_2


[ Update this Record ]

Summary
Abstract: Weddell seals are well adapted polar animals. They give birth to pups in the Antarctic summer when they haul out onto the ice. While feeding their pups, they have a massive fasting weight loss (and fat mobilisation) and their suckling pup has a correspondingly massive weight gain and fat deposition. The question of whether the lactating mothers actually do fast was investigated by testing blood samples for the presence of a chemical, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), derived from fish in the diet. During the first season of the study, two seals which had not been diving for many hours were given an oral dose of TMAO and blood samples were collected to monitor the change in TMAO concentrations with time. During the second season five seals were given an infusion of TMAO and blood samples were collected for 3.5 hours to monitor the change in TMAO concentrations with time. Single blood samples were taken from 12 other seals for additional biochemical measurements. Ketone bodies such as ß-hydroxybutyrate (BOB) are unexpectedly low in these animals. In order to see if the seals can utilise ketone bodies as soon as they are formed, thereby maintaining low blood concentrations, 12 seals were given infusions of BOB at 3 dose levels (n=4) and blood sampled for 3.5 hours to determine the disappearance rate for BOB. To provide control values for the TMAO and BOB infusion studies, 5 seals were given an infusion of saline solution and blood sampled for 3.5 hours as well.
Geographic Coverage
 N: -77.6667 S: -77.6667  E: 166.7667  W: 166.7667

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1996-11-18
Stop Date: 1996-12-04

Start Date: 1998-10-30
Stop Date: 1998-12-08


Location Keywords
OCEAN > SOUTHERN OCEAN
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR


Science Keywords
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES >MAMMALS >CARNIVORES >SEALS/SEA LIONS/WALRUSES
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS >SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS >EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA


Keywords
ROSS ISLAND


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Data Center
Antarctica New Zealand, New Zealand Antarctic Institute, New Zealand    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/

Data Center Personnel
Name: SHULAMIT GORDON
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Personnel
GRAHAM BARRELL
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +64 3 325 2811
Fax: +64 3 325 3879
Email: Barrell at lincoln.ac.nz
Contact Address:
Agriculture and Life Science Division
PO BOX 84
Lincoln University
City: Lincoln
Province or State: Canterbury
Postal Code: 7647
Country: New Zealand


SHULAMIT GORDON
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Publications/References
Eisert, R. Oftedal, O.T. Lever, M. Ramdohr, S. Breier, B.H. Barrell, G.K. Detection of food intake in a marine mammal using marine osmolytes and their analogues as dietary biomarkers. Marine ecology progress series 300: 213-228, 2005.

Barrell, G.K. Antarctic seals provide new insights to biological science. in: Poles apart: a study in contrasts. Lewkowicz A.G. (ed) Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. 1999. pp.143-150

Barrell, G.K. Vets explore physiology of lactating Weddell seals. Antarctic 15: 37, 1997.

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2005-09-22
Last DIF Revision Date: 2008-08-01


  Reformat as FGDC document



[ Update this Record ]