Advertisement

Migration of Marine Mammals

  • Ian L. Boyd
Conference paper

Abstract

Marine mammals utilize marine resources throughout the world’s oceans, but the location of food is often spatially and temporally separated from environments that are required for reproduction. There is an increasing understanding of migratory behaviour because of the use of new techniques to track marine mammals. Many of the mysticete cetaceans exploit seasonally rich food supplies in the polar summer but migrate to sub-tropical waters during winter when mating and birth take place. In some cases, these migrations follow predictable routes but those cetacean species with the largest body size are, in general, those that migrate over the longest distances. The greatest understanding of migratory patterns comes from pinnipeds that are restricted to giving birth on land or ice. Again, body size appears to have co-evolved with migration behaviour. Those animals that have the largest body size also have the largest absolute energy requirements. Consequently, large marine mammals must forage in regions of relatively abundant prey in order to be able to feed profitably. Owing to differences in the allometric scaling of metabolic rate and energy stores with body mass, large body size confers greater fasting capabilities. This means that large marine mammals can migrate further in search of richer food patches. The range of body size amongst the pinnipeds and cetaceans may have evolved as a result of selection to exploit the high degree of heterogeneity of food supply in the oceans and to allow animals to exploit food remote from where they are constrained to reproduce.

Keywords

Marine Mammal Large Body Size Killer Whale Ringed Seal Harbour Seal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bartholomew GA (1970) A model for the evolution of pinniped polygyny. Evolution 24: 546–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boness DJ, Bowen WD (1996) The evolution of maternal care in pinnipeds. BioScience 46: 645–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boness DJ, Bowen WD, Oftedal OT (1994) Evidence of a maternal foraging cycle resembling that of otariid seals in a small phocid, the harbour seal. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 34: 95–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bowen WD, Boness DJ, Oftedal OT (1987) Mass transfer from mother to pup and subsequent mass loss by the weaned pup in the hooded seal, Cystophora cristata. Can J Zool 65: 1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyd IL (1998) Time and energy constraints in pinniped lactation. Am Nat 152: 717–728PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boyd IL (2002) Energetics: consequences for fitness. In: Hoelzel R (ed) Marine mammal biology: an evolutionary approach. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 247–277Google Scholar
  7. Clapham PJ, Mattila DK (1990) Humpback whale songs as indicators of migration routes. Mar Mamm Sci 6: 155–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clapham PJ, Barff LS, Carlson CA et al (1993) Seasonal occurrence and annual return of humpback whales, Magaptera novaengliae, in the southern Gulf of Maine. Can J Zool 71: 440–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clark CW (1995) Application of US Navy underwater hydrophone arrays for scientific research on whales. Rep Int Whaling Comm 45: 210–212Google Scholar
  10. Corkeron PJ, Connor RC (1999) Why do baleen whales migrate? Mar Mamm Sci 15: 1228 1245Google Scholar
  11. Kasamatsu F, Nishiwaki S, Sakuramoto K (1995) Breeding areas and southbound migrations of southern mink whales Balaenoptera acutorostrata. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 119: 110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McConnell BJ, Chambers C, Nicholas KS, Fedak MA (1992) Satellite tracking of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). J Zool Lond 226: 271–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Martin AR, Smith TG, Cox OP (1993) Studying the behaviour and movement of high Arctic belugas with satellite telemetry. Symp Zool Soc Lond 66: 195–210Google Scholar
  14. Mate BR, Nieukirk SL, Kraus SD (1997) Satellite-monitored movements of the northern right whales. J Wildl Manage 61: 1393–1405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mori Y, Boyd IL (2004) The behavioural basis for non-linear functional responses: the case of the Antarctic fur seal. EcologyGoogle Scholar
  16. Smith TD, Allen J, Clapham PJ et al (1999) Ocean-basin-wide mark-recapture study of the North Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Mar Mam Sc 15: 1–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Steele JH (1985) A comparison of terrestrial and marine ecological systems. Nature 313: 355–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Stevick PT, McConnell BJ, Hammond PS (2002) Patterns of movement. In: Hoelzel R (ed) Marine mammal biology: an evolutionary approach. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 185–216Google Scholar
  19. Stewart BS, DeLong RL (1995) Double migrations of northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris. J Mammal 76: 196–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Swartz SL (1986) Gray whale migratory, social and breeding behaviour. Rep lilt Whaling Comm, Spec Issue 8: 207–229Google Scholar
  21. Trillmich F, Ono KA (1991) Pinnipeds and El Nino: responses to environmental stress. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian L. Boyd
    • 1
  1. 1.Sea Mammal Research UnitGatty Marine Laboratory, University of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

Personalised recommendations