Shark liver, giant squid, and commercial fish species on seal sea-food-and-eat-it diet

A first of its kind study may make selfie-snapping tourists take a step back from the seemingly indolent New Zealand fur seals 806606-38d64714-f845-11e2-863a-a54f297353fascattered around our craggy coastlines. A study of the DNA in the seals’ faeces is revealing their true identity when they hit the water, from the bottom up – through their diet. Analysis of the samples collected around New Zealand gives a much more accurate picture of what they eat than before. It includes giant squid and sharks. Big sharks. However these Hannibal Lecters of the ocean are nonchalant about taking on the feared predators: they just eat the nutrient rich livers of the sharks and some stomach. Their diet also includes commercial fish species, which make up 10 per cent of the species identified. One of the study’s authors, Lincoln University Associate Professor Adrian Paterson, says up to 46 fish, and 18 squid and octopi, species were taken at any one sample site. Read the rest here 19:32

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