Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | May 28, 2010

How to dissect a seal?

In connection with the Arctic Monitoring and Assesment Program (AMAP) I have been taking tissue sampling from ringed seals caught in the Disko Bay area by local hunters and brought to Qeqertarsuaq for flensing.

The sampling begins with measuring the animals standard length (from snout to tail tip in a straight line on the ground) and its zoological length (from snout to tail tip following the curves on its back), the length of its front flippers front and back is also measured. To estimate the general feeding condition of the animal, the circumference behind the flippers and the maximal circumference is measured, together with the animals’ weight and blubber thickness at the chest.

The seal is now dissected. This was mainly done by the hunters them selves, since these have the most experience. A cut is made down the whole seal exposing chest and intestines. Before taking other samples, blood is drawn from the heart and urine from the bladder.


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