The Seals Who Map the Southern Ocean

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In this set of graphics, we plotted the GPS tracks of elephant seals, including a young male named Rudolf (red) tagged around Antarctica by Mike Fedak and his team from the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Elephant seals can dive as deep as 1,500 metres in search of food. This makes them perfect for collecting temperature data since they get to the cool, deep waters that drive ocean currents. Scientists from eleven countries have joined Fedak’s initiative, and between them, their tags have sent back more than 300,000 measurements of temperature and salinity from the southern hemisphere.

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