||On March 24, 1999 Dr.
Brent Stewart of the Hubbs-SeaWorld
Research Institute left from sunny San Diego, Calif. for Marion
Island, off the coast of South Africa. The weather in Marion Island
has been described as "some of the worst in the world."
High winds, rare glimpses of the sun, and below freezing temperatures
during the winter make Marion Island a daunting destination. Why will
Dr. Stewart call Marion Island his home for the next month? To study
southern elephant seals, and to track them by satellite.
||Dr. Stewart and Dr. Marthan Bester, of the
University of Pretoria's Mammal Research Institute, will break new ground with this study
by identifying the migration patterns of adult and juvenile male southern elephant seals.
Elephant seals spend the vast majority of their lives at sea without coming ashore. Some
spend up to 80% of the year in the water. Drs. Stewart and Bester hope to learn where
these awesome southern ocean mammals travel, and perhaps discover how they live along the
way. Their research is being supported by the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, the
University of Pretoria, the South African National Antarctic Program, and the South
African Department of Environment and Tourism.
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