Plötz, J et al. (2001): Dive depth profile and immobilisation data of adult male and female Weddell seals at Drescher Inlet from expedition DRE1998. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.603344, Supplement to:Plötz, Joachim; Bornemann, Horst; Knust, Rainer; Schröder, Alexander; Bester, Marthán N (2001): Foraging behaviour of Weddell seals, and its ecological implications. Polar Biology, 24(12), 901-909, doi:10.1007/s003000100297
Adult male and female Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) were fitted with Time-depth recorders (TDR) at Drescher Inlet (Riiser Larsen Ice Shelf), eastern Weddell Sea coast, in February 1998. Eight of 15 data sets were selected for analyses to investigate the seals' foraging behaviour (doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511465, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511454, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511456, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511457, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511459, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511462, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511466, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511467). These data sets provided simultaneous dive records of eight seals over eight days. The seals primarily foraged within two depth layers, these being from the sea surface to 160 m where temperature and salinity varied considerably, and from 340 to 450 m near the bottom where temperature was lowest and salinity highest, with little variation. While pelagic and benthic diving occurred during daylight, the seals foraged almost exclusively in the upper water column at night. Trawling during daytime confirmed that Pleuragramma antarcticum were by far the most abundant fish both in the pelagial and close to the bottom. Pelagic night-hauls at 110-170 m depth showed highly variable biomass of P. antarcticum with a peak at around midnight. The temporal changes in the local abundance of P. antarcticum, particularly in the pelagial, may explain the trends in the seals' pelagic and benthic foraging activities. This is the first study which describes the jaw movements of a hunting seal which are presumably indicative of feeding events. Trophic links from the Weddell seal to fish, zooplankton and krill, Euphausia superba, are discussed. Another seven data sets did not overlap substantially with the selected time frame (doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511458, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511460, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511464, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511468, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511469, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511453, doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.511463). A total of 25 Weddell seals were immobilised during the study period using a combination of ketamine, xylazine, and diazepam. Seven seals were drugged once, 15 seals two times, and three were drugged three times, coming to a total of 46 immobilisation procedures. Narcoses were terminated with yohimbine (doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.438933).