Untilrecently, zoologists believed that all species of phocids (true seals), a pin-nipped family, use a different maternal strategy than do otariids (fur seals and sea lions), another pin niped family. Mother otariids use a foraging strategy. They acquire moderate energy stores in the form of blubber before arriving at breeding sites and then fast for 5 to 11 days after birth. Throughout the rest of the lactation (milk production) period, which lasts from 4 months to 3 years depending on the species, mother otariids alternately forage at sea, where they replenish their fat stores ,and nurse their young at breeding sites. Zoologists had assumed that females of all phocids species, by contrast, use a fasting strategy in which mother phocids, having accumulated large energy stores before they arrive at breeding sites, fast throughout the entire lactation period, which lasts from 4 to 50 days depending on the species. However, recent studies on harbor seals, a phocids species, found that lactating females commenced foraging approximately 6 days after giving birth and on average made 7 foraging trips during the remainder of their24-day lactation period.
The maternal strategy evolved by harbor seals may have to do with their small size and the large proportion of their fat stores depleted in lactation. Harbor seal sare small compared with other phocids species such as grey seals, all of which are known to fast for the entire lactation period. Studies show that mother seals of these species use respectively 84 percent, 58 percent, and 33 percent oftheir fat stores during lactation. By comparison, harbor seals use 80 percent of their fat stores in just the first 19 days of lactation, even though they occasionally feed during this period. Since such a large proportion of their fat stores is exhausted despite feeding, mother harbor seals clearly cannot support all of lactation using only energy stored before giving birth. Though smaller than many other phocids, harbor seals are similar in size to most otariids. In addition, there is already some evidence suggesting that the ringed seal, aphocids species that is similar in size to the harbor seal, may also use a maternal foraging strategy.
T-4-24:T-733It can be inferred from the passage that the females of all phocids species differ from the females of all otariid species in that the female phocids
A. have shorter lactation periods
B. consume more food during lactation
C. consume a higher proportion of fat stores
D. forage for food occasionally during their lactation periods
E. deplete a smaller percentage of their fat stores during their lactation periods
T-4-25:T-7-34Theprimary purpose of the passage is to
A. present evidence that several phocids species use the maternal fasting strategy
B. explain why the maternal strategy typically used by phocids is different from the maternal strategy used by otariids
C. argue that zoologists’ current understanding of harbor seals’ maternal strategy is incorrect
D. describe an unexpected behavior observed inharbor seals and propose an explanation that may account for the behavior
E. describe evidence concerning the maternal strategy of the harbor seal and suggest that the harbor seal belongs to the otariid rather than to the phocids family
T-4-26:T-7-35Accordingto the passage, until recently zoologists believed which of the following about all phocids mothers?
A. Their fasting periods after giving birth were typically shorter than those of otariids.
B. Their lactation periods were generally as long as those of comparably sized otariids.
C. They acquired only moderate energy stores in the form of blubber before arriving at breeding sites.
D. They depleted less than a third of their stored body fat during lactation.
E. The replenished their fat stores only after their lactation period ended.
T-4-27-T-7-36The author of the passage mentions ringed seals most probably in order to
A. provide an example of a phocid species that fasts throughout its entire lactation period
B. provide an example of a phocid species whose maternal strategy is typical of phocid species
C. provide an example of a phocid species that may deplete an even higher proportion of its fat stores during lactation than harbor seals do
D. support the assertion that harbor seals are smaller than many other phocids
E. support the assertion that harbor seals’ maternal strategy may be related to their small size
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