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The effects of oil contamination and cleaning on sea otters (Enhydra lutris); II. Metabolism, thermoregulation, and behavior

Journal Article:

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop a method to clean and rehabilitate sea otters that might become contaminated during an oil spill and to determine which physiological and behavioral factors were important in restoring the insulation provided by the fur. Tests were conducted on 12 sea otters; measurements of average metabolic rate, core body temperature, behavior, and squalene concentration on the fur were made before oiling 1-3 days after 20% of the body surface area was covered with fresh crude oil, and after cleaning. Under base-line conditions in water at 13{degrees}C, average metabolic rate was 8.0 W/kg, core body temperature was 38.9{degrees}C, and whole body thermal conductance was 10.7 W/(m2/{degrees}C). The squalene concentration on the fur averaged 3.7 mg/g fur. Oiling increased thermal conductance 1.8 times. To compensate for the loss of insulation and maintain a normal core body temperature (39{degrees}C), the otters increased average metabolic rate (1.9 times) through voluntary activity and shivering; the time spent grooming and swimming increased 1.7 times. Using detergent, the oiled fur could be cleaned during 40 min. of washing and rinsing. Grooming activity by the otters was essential for restoring the water-repellent quality of the fur. Core body temperature, average metabolic  More>>
Authors:
Davis, R W; Williams, T M; Thomas, J A; DasSelein, R A; Cornell, L H [1] 
  1. Hubbs marine Research Center, San Diego, CA (USA)
Publication Date:
Dec 01, 1988
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
CANM-90-004885; EDB-90-058887
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Canadian Journal of Zoology; (Canada); Journal Volume: 66:12
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; OIL SPILLS; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; OTTERS; CLEANING; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; METABOLISM; THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY; THERMOREGULATION; ANIMALS; CONTROL; MAMMALS; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; TEMPERATURE CONTROL; THERMODYNAMIC PROPERTIES; VERTEBRATES; 020900* - Petroleum- Environmental Aspects; 540320 - Environment, Aquatic- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (1990-)
OSTI ID:
7203813
Country of Origin:
Canada
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: ISSN 0008-4301; CODEN: CJZOA
Submitting Site:
CANM
Size:
Pages: 2782-2790
Announcement Date:

Journal Article:

Citation Formats

Davis, R W, Williams, T M, Thomas, J A, DasSelein, R A, and Cornell, L H. The effects of oil contamination and cleaning on sea otters (Enhydra lutris); II. Metabolism, thermoregulation, and behavior. Canada: N. p., 1988. Web.
Davis, R W, Williams, T M, Thomas, J A, DasSelein, R A, & Cornell, L H. The effects of oil contamination and cleaning on sea otters (Enhydra lutris); II. Metabolism, thermoregulation, and behavior. Canada.
Davis, R W, Williams, T M, Thomas, J A, DasSelein, R A, and Cornell, L H. 1988. "The effects of oil contamination and cleaning on sea otters (Enhydra lutris); II. Metabolism, thermoregulation, and behavior." Canada.
@misc{etde_7203813,
title = {The effects of oil contamination and cleaning on sea otters (Enhydra lutris); II. Metabolism, thermoregulation, and behavior}
author = {Davis, R W, Williams, T M, Thomas, J A, DasSelein, R A, and Cornell, L H}
abstractNote = {The purpose of this study was to develop a method to clean and rehabilitate sea otters that might become contaminated during an oil spill and to determine which physiological and behavioral factors were important in restoring the insulation provided by the fur. Tests were conducted on 12 sea otters; measurements of average metabolic rate, core body temperature, behavior, and squalene concentration on the fur were made before oiling 1-3 days after 20% of the body surface area was covered with fresh crude oil, and after cleaning. Under base-line conditions in water at 13{degrees}C, average metabolic rate was 8.0 W/kg, core body temperature was 38.9{degrees}C, and whole body thermal conductance was 10.7 W/(m2/{degrees}C). The squalene concentration on the fur averaged 3.7 mg/g fur. Oiling increased thermal conductance 1.8 times. To compensate for the loss of insulation and maintain a normal core body temperature (39{degrees}C), the otters increased average metabolic rate (1.9 times) through voluntary activity and shivering; the time spent grooming and swimming increased 1.7 times. Using detergent, the oiled fur could be cleaned during 40 min. of washing and rinsing. Grooming activity by the otters was essential for restoring the water-repellent quality of the fur. Core body temperature, average metabolic rate, and thermal conductance returned to base-line levels 3-6 days after cleaning. Squalene was removed by cleaning and did not return to normal levels in the oiled area after 7 days. Veterinary care was important to keep the otters healthy. At least 1-2 weeks should be allowed for otters to restore the insulation of their fur and for recovery from the stress of oiling and cleaning. 29 ref., 5 figs., 6 tabs.}
journal = {Canadian Journal of Zoology; (Canada)}
volume = {66:12}
journal type = {AC}
place = {Canada}
year = {1988}
month = {Dec}
}