Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Cephalopod diet of the Australian fur seal: Variation due to location, season and sample type

R Gales, D Pemberton, CC Lu and MR Clarke

Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 44(5) 657 - 671
Published: 1993


In Tasmanian waters, Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus preyed on 11 species of cephalopods, predominantly Nototodarus gouldi followed by Sepioteuthis australis and Sepia apama. Cephalopods were more important in the diet of the seals in Bass Strait than in southern Tasmanian waters. The species composition in the diet of the seals in these two areas also differed, with the seals in Bass Strait eating mainly N. gouldi, whereas the seals in southern waters fed on benthic octopods. The seals preyed on mainly adult cephalopods over the continental shelf. The size range and species composition of the diet varied according to the sample types, with faeces containing only small beaks relative to regurgitates and stomachs. Errors associated with sample types and application of regression equations are discussed.

© CSIRO 1993

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