Milk consumption, body composition and pre-weaning growth rates of Australian fur seal

Arnould, John and Hindell, Mark A. 2002, Milk consumption, body composition and pre-weaning growth rates of Australian fur seal, Journal of zoology : proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, vol. 256, no. 3, pp. 351-359.


Title Milk consumption, body composition and pre-weaning growth rates of Australian fur seal
Formatted title Milk consumption, body composition and pre-weaning growth
rates of Australian fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus)
pups
Author(s) Arnould, John
Hindell, Mark A.
Journal name Journal of zoology : proceedings of the Zoological Society of London
Volume number 256
Issue number 3
Start page 351
End page 359
Publisher Society at Oxford University Press
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2002
ISSN 0952-8369
1469-7998
Keyword(s) Australian fur seal
Arctocephalus
pinniped
lactation
Summary Pre-weaning growth rates, body composition, milk consumption and mass gain efficiency were measured in Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus pups born in two consecutive breeding periods. Australian fur seals have the highest birth mass of any fur seal species (male 8.3 kg; female 7.2 kg). While their absolute pre-weaning growth rate (male 62 g·day−1; female 53 g·day−1) is similar to that of other temperate latitude fur seals, they have the longest birth-mass doubling time of any otariid species (134–136 days). Daily milk consumption increased from 400 g·day−1 (5 MJ·day−1) after birth to 675 g·day−1 (13.7 MJ·day−1) at age 210 day. However, mean mass-specific milk consumption (41 g·kg−1) is substantially lower than in other otariid species (58–70 g·kg−1) and, combined with a low mass gain efficiency (0.12 g·g−1), contributes to the low mass-specific growth rates observed. There were no significant differences in either absolute or mass-specific milk consumption between the sexes. Significant differences, however, were found between the sexes in the body composition of pups with females generally having larger body lipid stores than males for any given mass. Peak milk yield by Australian fur seal females is estimated at 0.60 MJkg−0.75, substantially less than in Antarctic fur seals. The low level of maternal energy transfer in Australian fur seals may reflect the relatively low marine productivity of their foraging areas.
Language eng
Field of Research 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, The Zoological Society of London
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30015947

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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