Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Discuss natural history subjects not strictly related to birds. Reports of interesting mammal, reptile, and invertebrate sightings are welcome.
Colin Miskelly
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Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Postby Colin Miskelly » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:59 am

Hi all

Report received via DOC (with photos) of a crabeater seal seen yesterday on beach north of Otaki River mouth. This is the ninth known occurrence in New Zealand.

http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2016/03/02/t ... ter-seals/

Cheers
Colin
Last edited by Colin Miskelly on Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Colin Miskelly
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Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Postby Colin Miskelly » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:42 pm

Still present today (Waikawa Beach)
Colin
Last edited by Colin Miskelly on Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Colin Miskelly
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Postby Colin Miskelly » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:30 am

The seal was near death and was euthanised this morning.

Colin
Last edited by Colin Miskelly on Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Olwen
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Re: Crabeater seal, Otaki

Postby Olwen » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:20 pm

Any obvious reason for the death?
Colin Miskelly
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Re: Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Postby Colin Miskelly » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:36 pm

Crabeater seals are specialist krill eaters, which they catch by gulping mouthfuls of water (and krill) and straining it out through their ornate, interlocking teeth. See image in:

http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2015/04/01/a-crabeater-seal-a-long-way-from-home/

Antarctic krill are both more abundant and much larger than those in New Zealand waters. Most crabeater seals that reach our shores are emaciated (as was the Waikawa animal), presumably because they have been unable to find suitable food once out of Antarctic waters.

Cheers
Colin
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:20 am

Those teeth are amazing.
Olwen
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Re: Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Postby Olwen » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:42 pm

Thanks for the answer. so its the abundance rather than the size of the krill that makes the difference. What a pity!
Colin Miskelly
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Crabeater seal, Waikawa

Postby Colin Miskelly » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:59 pm

Hi Olwen

It is size also - the small krill in New Zealand waters (e.g. Nyctiphanes australis) would not be caught by the 'tooth sieve'.

Cheers
Colin

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