Behavioural observations on the scavenging fauna of the Patagonian slope

Collins, Martin A.; Yau, Cynthia; Nolan, Conor P.; Bagley, Phil M.. 1999 Behavioural observations on the scavenging fauna of the Patagonian slope. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 79 (6). 963-970.

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The scavenging fauna of the Patagonian slope (900–1750 m), east of the Falkland Islands was investigated using the Aberdeen University Deep Ocean Submersible (AUDOS), an autonomous baited camera vehicle designed to photograph scavenging fish and invertebrates. The AUDOS was deployed on ten occasions in Falkland waters. Nine experiments were of 10–14 h duration and baited with 800 g of squid and one experiment lasted six days, baited with a 10 kg toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides). Analysis of photographs revealed considerable patchiness in the composition of the scavenging fauna. Hagfish (Myxine cf. fernholmi) dominated three of the shallower experiments including the 6-d experiment, arriving quickly from down-current, holding station at the bait and consuming the soft tissues first, with consumption rates of up to 200 g h−1. In the other experiments, stone crabs (Lithodidae), the blue-hake (Antimora rostrata) and amphipods were the primary consumers, but the rate of bait consumption was lower. Patagonian toothfish (D. eleginoides) were attracted to the bait at each experiment, but did not attempt to consume the bait. The patchiness in the fauna may be a result of depth, substratum and topography, but in general the rapid response of the scavenging fauna indicates that carrion is rapidly dispersed, with little impact on the local sediment community.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Date made live: 31 Jan 2018 15:02 +0 (UTC)

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