Seals use whiskers to find food

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Researchers have found that Elephant seals track down prey in the ocean by using their whiskers.

The new findings were part of a new study on sea mammals.

Seals spend most of their time fishing in deep parts of the ocean, where light can’t get to, and are in complete darkness.

As part of the study, they strapped small video cameras with infrared night-vision on five northern elephant seals in California, USA.

They found that the seals locate their food by moving their whiskers like satellite antennas to sense water movement.

Scientists observed that at the start of each dive, the seals kept their whiskers held back.

But as they entered darker waters deeper than 200 metres, they pushed their whiskers forward to start helping them sense the movement of prey, such as squid and lantern fish.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

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