10 Frequently Asked Questions About Our Upcoming Antarctic Field Season

1. What are you doing while you are in Antarctica? We are studying the foraging ecology and physiology of one of the Southern Ocean’s top predators—the leopard seal. Leopard seals are known for their sharp teeth, reptilian appearance, and voracious appetite. However, many aspects of their basic biology remain a complete mystery. Our goal is to understand where they go, how deep they dive, what they eat, and how their physiology enables them to live …

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Meet Our Leopard Seals

Our research project would not exist without an incredible group of leopard seals that are sharing an incredible wealth of information about their species with us. And, without further ado, here they are! VIOLET (#128) Violet is the first leopard seal we tagged as part of our research project on the feeding ecology and physiology of leopard seals. She was tagged in January, and the tag (which you can see on her back) transmits data …

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Studying leopard seals in Antarctica

Our research team, with the self-appointed nickname of Seal Team 5, is on our way back from a five week trip to Antarctica where we were studying the feeding ecology and physiology of one of the top predators in the Southern Ocean: the leopard seal. Our team consisted of five researchers from the University of California Santa Cruz, Colorado State University, Baylor University, and the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources program and included experts on …

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Elephant seals versus white sharks at Isla Guadalupe

“Nunca lo habían hecho antes” (translation: it has never been done before)! This became our motto on our recent research trip to Isla Guadalupe, Mexico where we are studying the predator and prey interactions between northern elephant seals and great white sharks. The phrase was inspired by a documentary about the island, and it is really fun to say in a booming and dramatic voice (try it!). Isla Guadalupe, our field site, is a small …

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