Three-dimensional diving behavior of a South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens)

Three-dimensional diving behavior of a South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens)

G. Müller, R.P. Wilson, F. Quintana, and C. Campagna

Three-dimensional diving behavior of a South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens)This is part of Sea Lions of the World
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Description

Even though the use of time-depth-recorders (TDRs) has dramatically increased knowledge about pinniped diving behavior, recent studies have shown the limitations of two-dimensional plots of time and depth in interpretation of animal activity. Recently, new technologies have become available allowing collection of more dive parameters so that dives can be depicted in three dimensions. This study uses information collected by a multiple-channel dead reckoner (tracking recorder) to provide detailed information on movements in space of a male South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) in Patagonia, Argentina. The information was analyzed using an area-interest-index (AII), which reflects the directionality of movement. The AII was calculated for a complete foraging trip where the middle part showed the highest values, indicative of foraging activity. Activity estimations based on three-dimensional dive profiles (four dimensions with speed) showed good agreement with the calculated AII. The use of the AII is thus a promising tool for the determination of activity of marine animals over varying spatial scales.

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