Hunting Behavior of a Marine Mammal Beneath the Antarctic Fast Ice

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Science  12 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5404, pp. 993-996
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5404.993

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The hunting behavior of a marine mammal was studied beneath the Antarctic fast ice with an animal-borne video system and data recorder. Weddell seals stalked large Antarctic cod and the smaller subice fishPagothenia borchgrevinki, often with the under-ice surface for backlighting, which implies that vision is important for hunting. They approached to within centimeters of cod without startling the fish. Seals flushed P. borchgrevinki by blowing air into subice crevices or pursued them into the platelet ice. These observations highlight the broad range of insights that are possible with simultaneous recordings of video, audio, three-dimensional dive paths, and locomotor effort.

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