Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Grey seals use anthropogenic signals from acoustic tags to locate fish: evidence from a simulated foraging task

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anthropogenic noise can have negative effects on animal behaviour and physiology. However, noise is often introduced systematically and potentially provides information for navigation or prey detection. Here, we show that grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) learn to use sounds from acoustic fish tags as an indicator of food location. In 20 randomized trials each, 10 grey seals individually explored 20 foraging boxes, with one box containing a tagged fish, one containing an untagged fish and all other boxes being empty. The tagged box was found after significantly fewer non-tag box visits across trials, and seals revisited boxes containing the tag more often than any other box. The time and number of boxes needed to find both fish decreased significantly throughout consecutive trials. Two additional controls were conducted to investigate the role of the acoustic signal: (i) tags were placed in one box, with no fish present in any boxes and (ii) additional pieces of fish, inaccessible to the seal, were placed in the previously empty 18 boxes, making possible alternative chemosensory cues less reliable. During these controls, the acoustically tagged box was generally found significantly faster than the control box. Our results show that animals learn to use information provided by anthropogenic signals to enhance foraging success.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number20141595
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume282
Issue number1798
Early online date19 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2015

    Research areas

  • Anthropogenic noise, Acoustic fish tags, Dinner bell effect, Chemosensory cues, Pinnipeds

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. The startle reflex in echolocating odontocetes: basic physiology and practical implications

    Götz, T., Pacini, A. F., Nachtigall, P. & Janik, V. M., 12 Mar 2020, In: Journal of Experimental Biology. 223, 12 p., jeb208470.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Effects of impulsive noise on marine mammals: investigating range-dependent risk

    Hastie, G., Merchant, N., Goetz, T., Russell, D. J. F., Thompson, P. & Janik, V. M., Jul 2019, In: Ecological Applications. 29, 5, 10 p., e01906.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Can fear conditioning repel California sea lions from fishing activities?

    Schakner, Z. A., Götz, T., Janik, V. M. & Blumstein, D. T., Oct 2017, In: Animal Conservation. 20, 5, p. 425-432 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. The startle reflex in acoustic deterrence: an approach with universal applicability?

    Goetz, T. & Janik, V. M., 20 Jun 2016, In: Animal Conservation. 19, p. 225-226

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Aerial photogrammetry and tag-derived tissue density reveal patterns of lipid-store body condition of humpback whales on their feeding grounds

    Aoki, K., Isojunno, S., Bellot, C., Iwata, T., Kershaw, J. L., Akiyama, Y., Martín López, L. M., Ramp, C., Biuw, M., Swift, R. J., Wensveen, P., Pomeroy, P., Narazaki, T., Hall, A. J., Sato, K. & Miller, P., 27 Jan 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1943, 10 p., 20202307.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Deep-diving beaked whales dive together but forage apart

    Alcázar-Treviño, J., Johnson, M., Arranz, P., Warren, V. E., Pérez-González, C. J., Marques, T., Madsen, P. T. & Aguilar de Soto, N., 13 Jan 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1942, 20201905.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. A gene’s-eye view of sexual antagonism

    Hitchcock, T. & Gardner, A., 12 Aug 2020, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 287, 1932, 9 p., 20201633.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Global change in the functional diversity of marine fisheries exploitation over the past 65 years

    Trindade Santos, I., Moyes, F. H. & Magurran, A., 26 Aug 2020, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 287, 1933, 8 p., 20200889.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Numerical ordinality in a wild nectarivore

    Vámos, T. I. F., Tello-Ramos, M. C., Hurly, T. A. & Healy, S. D., 8 Jul 2020, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 287, 1930, 20201269.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)

    2012 → …

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

  3. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Michael Gordon Ritchie (Editor)

    20102011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)

    2009 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Iain McCombe Matthews (Editor)

    2008 → …

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

ID: 119779980

Top