Food Intake Patterns in Captive South African Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)


Shearer DS, Valdes EV, Qyarzun SE, Steinsky L, Atkinson JL. 1995. Food intake pattern in captive South American Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus). In Proceedings of the First Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Scarborough, OT.


Food intake data from 1990-94 from eight South African fur seals at the Metro Toronto Zoo were evaluated. From the data collected, fish species, total fish offered and total fish consumed were summarized on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Proximate analysis was performed on samples of each fish species. Gross energy intake (GEI) was determined based on the combined intake of each fish species and its corresponding gross energy (GE). All seals exhibited a similar general pattern of reducing intake during warmer periods and increasing intake during colder periods. Marked feed used in conjunction with fecal collection would provide a more accurate means of estimating energy consumption than GEI. Regular body weight measurements and blubber thickness measurements could be used with estimated energy consumption to determine approximate energy expenditure.

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