Subject: ABSTRACT: Sperm whale feeding success and scale (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Wed, 28 Aug 1996 18:33:23 -0400 (EDT)

J. Michael Williamson
   Wheelock College
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.566.7369


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 17:25:09 +0000
To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
Subject: ABSTRACT: Sperm whale feeding success and scale

Whitehead, H. 1996. Variation in the feeding success of sperm
whales:temporal scale, spatial scale and relationship to migrations. Journal of
Animal Ecology 65: 429-438.

  1.  Variability in a measure of the feeding success of sperm
whales, defecation rate, was calculated over temporal scales ranging from 5h to
4yr, and spatial scales ranging from 100-5,000km.
  2.  Sperm whale feeding success was not obviously linked to any
sub-annual environmental cycles, with the possible exception of time of day.
  3.  Variability in feeding success over temporal scales of 1-64d,
and spatial scales of 100km, was about 60% of the long-term mean, but reached 13
0% of the long-term mean over time intervals of 2-4
yr and distance intervals greater than 500km.
  4.  During periods of days characterized by low feeding success
groups of sperm whales moved greater distances.
  5.  Migration over ranges of about 300-1,000km allows sperm whales
to maintain high biomass and low reproductive rates in an environment which, at
any location, contains long, unpredictable periods
 of food shortage.