Implantation of subcutaneous heart rate data loggers in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina)

Chaise, L. L., Paterson, W., Laske, T. G., Gallon, S. L., McCafferty, D. J. , Théry, M., Ancel, A. and Gilbert, C. (2017) Implantation of subcutaneous heart rate data loggers in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Polar Biology, 40(11), pp. 2307-2312. (doi: 10.1007/s00300-017-2144-x)

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Abstract

Unlike most phocid species (Phocidae), Mirounga leonina (southern elephant seals) experience a catastrophic moult where they not only replace their hair but also their epidermis when ashore for approximately 1 month. Few studies have investigated behavioural and physiological adaptations of southern elephant seals during the moult fast, a particularly energetically costly life cycle’s phase. Recording heart rate is a reliable technique for estimating energy expenditure in the field. For the first time, subcutaneous heart rate data loggers were successfully implanted during the moult in two free-ranging southern elephant seals over 3–6 days. No substantial postoperative complications were encountered and consistent heart rate data were obtained. This promising surgical technique opens new opportunities for monitoring heart rate in phocid seals.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCafferty, Dr Dominic and Gallon, Dr Susan
Authors: Chaise, L. L., Paterson, W., Laske, T. G., Gallon, S. L., McCafferty, D. J., Théry, M., Ancel, A., and Gilbert, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Polar Biology
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0722-4060
ISSN (Online):1432-2056
Published Online:21 June 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany
First Published:First published in Polar Biology 40(11): 2307-2312
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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