Skua Tug O War

Can anyone guess what they are using as the "rope"?


  1. cooperative tug of war!! someones intestines? what animal is it.?

  2. Ding ding ding ding...Luke has it!

    It's the pacenta from the seals. The only reason Skuas are able to survive here in the early season, is because of the seal placentas...there is nothing else they can eat (except maybe a dead seal, but there are hardly any of those)

  3. I have studied this over and over. If this is early season, why is the sun so high (judging from shadows)? And, if its afterbirth, why isn't it frozen solid? If it's fresh afterbirth, where is the pup? Do skuas move afterbirth blobs to safer dining areas? I trust the abstract will cover all this.

  4. Pa, are you sure you're not a master scientist and not just a master naturalist? It's good that you question everything I say!

    It is mid-season, but I was merely pointing out the fact that in early season, that is what they survive solely on (it seems), but they eat it throughout the season, regardless of how old it is. This was a warmer day, so it has either thawed or the skuas have been working it since it was left on the ice, not sure which. (Even below freezing, the radiation from the sun can keep the afterbirth from freezing). They typically don't move the afterbirth, except maybe in small chunks that they are able to snatch under the nose of some other skua who has commandeered a placenta.

  5. Good to see the Voes are keeping science alive and well. I was with Glenn thinking it was intestines :)

  6. Debbie, you were with Melinda on the intestines. Any comment from Glenn that's way off base can be attributed to her.


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