Update February 2006

Sula is finding the winter a bit chilly and stays tucked up in the holt until mid morning when the sun gets high enough to warm the ground, leaving Fingal to do the morning rounds and examine the enclosure for any overnight changes.

Despite many a long day of perpetual rain (that we are all fed up with) there have been glorious patches of sparkling freezing days. Frozen, iced over pools means playtime for Sula and Fingal. Their maddest game is when Sula swims under the ice and Fingal stands on top watching for her. When she is close he pounces on her. Both cubs are in great health and are approaching their fifth birthday safe in the knowledge that they are the best-insulated animals on site.
In December, Dominic McCafferty visited us from Glasgow University. He is studying the thermal insulation properties of otter fur. Using a high-tech thermal imaging video camera, he is able to pinpoint heat loss on an animals body. The images were astounding quality and clearly showed that Fingal and Sula lose heat only from their eyes, ears and their arm pits. High-tech thermal image photo of Sula and Fingal - Copyright of Dominic McCafferty
Incidentally he also filmed the seals in the nursery and they too were only to be located by their eyes and interestingly any wound sites were clearly areas of heat loss. We wish him every success in his research.

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