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A Playful Display Under Antarctic Ice

Caption:

An Antarctic Weddell seal playfully opens its mouth as another seal approaches. A "seal cam" attached to the back of the approaching seal took the photo. "Seal cam" is an on-going NSF-supported research project in which scientists use seals as "eyes" to see what goes on underneath the Antarctic ice. [See related images: Antarctic Toothfish (Pagothenia borchgrevinki), Toothfish Under the Antarctic Ice, Weddell Seal Pup, Weddell Seal Resting on Ice, Weddell Seal Displays Catch, and Weddell Seal Wearing "Seal Cam."]

Important: Use of this image is restricted. Please see “Restrictions” (below) for complete information.

More about this Image
Researchers Lee Fuiman from the University of Texas at Austin, Randall Davis from Texas A&M University, Galveston, and Terrie Williams from the University of California, Santa Cruz equipped 15 Antarctic Weddell seals with video cameras, infrared LEDs, and data recorders. As a result, they've gained new insights into the habits of two very important Southern Ocean fish species—the Antarctic silverfish (Pleurogramma antarcticum) and the Antarctic toothfish (Pagothenia borchgrevinki). The seals—marine predators—serve as guided, high speed, midwater sampling devices for fish that have been especially difficult to study. New information about the behavior and distribution of these species indicates that some existing theories may need to be revised. Although “seal cam” has its limitations, it is a promising technique and could be used to study other pelagic and deepwater fishes and invertebrates that are otherwise impossible to observe in their natural environment.

This work was supported by NSF Office of Polar Programs (OPP) grants OPP 96-14857, OPP 97-08151, and OPP 96-18384, and by the West Coast Office of the National Undersea Research Program, grant UAF 02-0080.

A Playful Display Under Antarctic Ice
(Preview Only)

Credit: Credit Randall Davis, Texas A&M University; images under authorization of Marine Mammal Permit No. 821-1588-01.
Year of Image: 2001

Categories:

POLAR SCIENCE / Antarctic
ANIMALS / BIRDS / REPTILES / FISH

Formats Available:

TIFF Format - 989K - 472 x 715 pixel image - 72DPI

Sorry! This image is not available in a higher resolution format.

Restrictions:

Important: Permission has been granted to use this image for personal and educational purposes only. Any other use of this image is prohibited without the express permission of Dr. Randall Davis, Texas A&M University. Contact Davis via e-mail at davisr@tamug.tamu.edu.

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Last Modified: Mar 29, 2001