MUTUAL MOTHER-PUP RECOGNITION IN GALÁPAGOS FUR SEALS AND SEA LIONS: CUES USED AND FUNCTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE by FRITZ TRILLMICH1) (Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie, Seewiesen, W.-Germany) (With 10 Figures) (Acc. 8-IV-1981 ) Mothers of colonially breeding seals regularly reunite promptly with their own pups after sometimes long absence at sea. This performance is astonishing as especially older otariid young move over considerable distances within the colony during the absence of their mothers and often gather in pods of about equal age. Individual recognition seems the only plausible hypothesis explaining the necessary discriminatory perfor- mance. Although experimental evidence on individual recognition in seals is almost nonexistant (except in the elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris, PETRINOVICH, 1974), most authors agree that mothers take far the more active part in recognition, and that young pups react in- discriminately to any female approaching with a Pup Attraction Call (PAC) (BARTHOLOMEW, 1959; FOGDEN, 1971; LAWS, 1956; PETERSON & BARTHOLOMEW, 1967 (for pups less than two months of age), PETRINOVICH, 1974; McNAB & CRAWLEY, 1975). Other authors (RAND, 1967; SANDEGREN, 1970; PETERSON & BARTHOLOMEW, 1967 (for pups older than two months)) assume that pups too contribute specifically towards a reunion. The latter appears far more plausible as pups
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1981
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