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dc.contributor.authorBrownlow, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorOnoufriou, Joseph
dc.contributor.authorBishop, Amanda
dc.contributor.authorDavison, Nicholas
dc.contributor.authorThompson, Dave
dc.identifier.citationBrownlow , A , Onoufriou , J , Bishop , A , Davison , N & Thompson , D 2016 , ' Corkscrew seals : grey seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) infanticide and cannibalism may indicate the cause of spiral lacerations in seals ' , PLoS One , vol. 11 , no. 6 , e0156464 , pp. 1-14 .
dc.identifier.otherRIS: urn:654A4916F3F3D96DCEFEC5CD4BFDA94A
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-1546-2876/work/56862210
dc.descriptionThis work was funded by Marine Scotland (, project: MMS001/11) and additionally supported by National Capability funding from the Natural Environment Research Council ( to the Sea Mammal Research Unit (grant no. SMRU1001).en
dc.description.abstractLarge numbers of dead seals with characteristic spiral lesions have been washing ashore around the North Atlantic over the past two decades. Interactions with ship propellers and shark predation have been suggested as the likely causal mechanisms. However, new evidence points towards a more likely candidate: grey seal predation. An adult male grey seal was observed and recorded catching, killing and eating five weaned grey seal pups over a period of one week on the Isle of May, Scotland. A further 9 carcasses found in the same area exhibited similar injuries. Post mortem analysis of lesions indicated the wound characteristics were similar to each other and in 12 of the 14 carcasses analysed, were indistinguishable from carcasses previously attributed to propeller interaction. We therefore propose that most of the seal carcasses displaying spiral lacerations in the UK are caused by grey seal predation. Cases in other locations should be re-evaluated using the scoring system presented here to identify whether grey seal predation is a major cause of mortality in phocid seals.
dc.relation.ispartofPLoS Oneen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleCorkscrew seals : grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) infanticide and cannibalism may indicate the cause of spiral lacerations in sealsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Sea Mammal Research Uniten
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Marine Alliance for Science & Technology Scotlanden
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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