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Abstract

Velocities during surface swimming and diving were measured with microprocessor recorders in four otariid species: northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki), Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis), and Hooker's sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri). Mean surface swimming velocities ranged from 0.6 to 1.9 m/s. Transit distances to feeding sites (1.2–90 km) were calculated using these velocities. Dive velocities, recorded every 15 s, ranged from 0.9 to 1.9 m/s. These velocities were consistent with calculated minimal cost of transport velocities in the smaller species. Using time partitioning, the metabolic cost of a northern fur seal foraging trip is estimated on the basis of recorded velocities and their calculated energy costs. This value is within 6% of that previously made with doubly labeled water techniques.

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