Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Behavioral evidence of thermal stress from overheating in UK breeding gray seals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

S D Twiss, N C Wright, N Dunstone, P Redman, S Moss, P P Pomeroy

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the UK exhibit clear preferences for pupping close to pools of water on inland breeding sites. The reasons for this are unclear as seals are thought to derive all their water requirements from the metabolism of fat. Likewise, the prospect of seals overheating during the UK's cool, damp, autumnal breeding seasons, has seemed unlikely, but has not been previously explored. Here, we provide preliminary behavioral evidence of thermal stress in female gray seals breeding on the island of North Rona, Scotland. Video footage provided measures of proximity to, and the proportion of animals bathing in, pools in relation to meteorological data (temperature, mean sea-level pressure, rainfall, wind speed and direction) on four dates spread through a single breeding season. The proportion of females close to pools increased with pressure (warmer, drier conditions) and decreased on wetter days. In addition, analyses of colony-wide patterns of seal dispersion showed that females tended to be closer to pools of water at higher pressures and temperatures and at lower wind-speeds. These results provide the first evidence of thermal stress and behavioral thermoregulation through access to pools of water in a phocid breeding in temperate autumnal conditions.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-468
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Mammal Science
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2002

    Research areas

  • Gray seal, Halichoerus grypus, Behavioral thermoregulation, Breeding habitat, North Rona

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Changes in stable isotope compositions during fasting in phocid seals

    Habran, S., Damseaux, F., Pomeroy, P., Debier, C., Crocker, D., Lepoint, G. & Das, K., 30 Jan 2019, In : Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 33, 2, p. 176-184 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. EIRPHOT : A critical assessment of Wales’ grey seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) photo - identification database .

    Langley, I. J., Rosas Da Costa Oliver, T. V., Stringell, T., Morris, C., Hiby, L. & Pomeroy, P., 21 Jan 2019, Bangor: Natural Resources Wales. 94 p. (evidence report series; no. 280)

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Related by journal

  1. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Gordon Drummond Hastie (Member of editorial board)
    20 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Sophie Caroline Smout (Reviewer)
    1 Dec 201730 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Joanna Louise Kershaw (Member of editorial board)
    17 Jan 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Nora Nell Hanson (Member of editorial board)
    2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. Marine Mammal Science (Journal)

    Sophie Caroline Smout (Reviewer)
    Jul 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based method for assessing the hydrodynamic impact of animal borne data loggers on host marine mammals

    Kyte, A., Pass, C., Pemberton, R., Sharman, M. & McKnight, J. C., Apr 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. 35, 2, p. 364-394

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Accuracy and precision of dolphin group size estimates

    Gerrodette, T., Perryman, W. L. & Oedekoven, C. S., Jan 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. 35, 1, p. 22-39 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Behavioral responses of satellite tracked Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) to mid-frequency active sonar

    Joyce, T. W., Durban, J. W., Claridge, D. E., Dunn, C. A., Hickmott, L. S., Fearnbach, H., Dolan, K. & Moretti, D., 17 Jun 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) reactions to pingers

    Kindt-Larsen, L., Willestofte Berg, C., Northridge, S. P. & Larsen, F., Apr 2019, In : Marine Mammal Science. 35, 2, p. 552-573

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Breathing synchrony in franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei) and Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) in Southern Brazil

    Actis, P. S., Danilewicz, D., Cremer, M. J. & Bortolotto, G. A., Jul 2018, In : Marine Mammal Science. 34, 3, p. 777-789

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 778961