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The Green Life: Grapevine: Elephant Seal Surveyors

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October 15, 2008

Grapevine: Elephant Seal Surveyors


Scientists mapping the ocean around the Antarctic enlisted deep-diving elephant seals last winter to gather data on water pressure, salinity, and temperature. The animals carried glued-on surveying equipment and delivered 30 times more data than had been collected without their help, filling what the researchers called a "blind spot" in sampling coverage. The video above shows how and why a separate group of scientists with the Long Marine Laboratory in Santa Cruz, California tagged elephant seals for the Tagging of Pacific Predators project.

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