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Abstract

A large sample of more than 1500 individuals of scavenging Amphipoda from fur seal carcass was studied. Six species have been identified. The two most abundant species, Abyssorchomene plebs and Waldeckia obesa, are sublittoral, necrophagous amphipods that could attack the carcass when submerged in the sea. After stranding on the beach they became an attractive food source for birds eating not only the seal tissues but also the scavenging amphipods. The species composition of the present sample as well as earlier data on Antarctic tern stomach content and baited traps taken in the same area and at the same time agreed quite well. These observations confirm the expectation that Antarctic tern feeds on necrophagous amphipods picked out from carcasses stranding on the sea shore.
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Abstract

Scavenging fauna was sampled by means of baited traps in three different habitats of Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Arctic). Lysianassoid amphipods, represented by nine species, made up 98.9% of the materials collected between 5 and 30 m. The dominant species were Anonyx sarsi and Onisimus caricus, which constituted 91.6% of collected individuals. The abundance of animals attracted to traps was variable and a gradual decrease in abundance with increasing depth was observed. Spatial segregation of species resulted from a number of factors ranging from depth, hydrological conditions, sedimentation regime and bottom type to food accessibility. Gut contents analysis indicated that in summer Onisimus caricus relied on zooplankton sinking due to the osmotic shock in the glacial bay; Onisimus edwardsi had a diverse diet; and Orchomenella minuta fed mostly on small crustaceans. During laboratory experiments all species were observed feeding on dead or injured zooplankton, while preying on live planktonie organisms was never noted.
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