Fat and content: Why plump elephant seals take fewer risks

Washington (AFP) – Fat elephant seals prioritize hiding themselves from predators during their vast, months-long foraging expeditions in the open ocean, while skinny seals need to take more risks until they’re nice and plump, a study showed Wednesday. The paper, published in the journal Science Advances, is the first to continuously measure changes in behavior relative to body fat, proving decades-old ecological theories about how wild animals balance perils against payoffs. First author Roxanne Beltran, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, told AFP she …

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