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On route with harbor seals - How their senses contribute to orientation, navigation and foraging

  • Frederike D. Hanke
  • Guido Dehnhardt
Publishing year: 2018-11-27
Language: English
Pages: 183-195
Publication/Series: Neuroforum
Volume: 24
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: De Gruyter

Abstract english

Seals and sea lions are well-oriented in their habitat, the coastal regions and oceans, and are, moreover, successful hunters. During their movements between haul-out places and foraging grounds as well as during foraging, the sensory systems of seals and sea lions provide useful information, although the animals, and thus their sensory systems, face considerable challenges in their habitat and due to their amphibious lifestyle. In this review, in the first chapter, we compiled and later (chapter 4) discuss the information on the senses of seals and sea lions in general and their specific adaptations to habitat and lifestyle in particular. We hereby focus on the senses of harbor seals. Harbor seals turned into a model organism regarding the sensory systems due to intensive sensory research of the last decades. In the second and third chapter, the sensory basics are put into the context of orientation, navigation, and foraging. This allows formulating new research questions, such as where and how the information from different senses is integrated.


  • Behavioral Sciences Biology
  • audition
  • gustation
  • haptics
  • hydrodynamics
  • olfaction
  • Vision


  • Lund Vision Group
  • ISSN: 0947-0875
Frederike Hanke

Research group

Lund Vision Group



Postdoc host

Almut Kelber