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Sample records for beaked whale mesoplodon

  1. True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Vidal; Silva, Monica; Edler, Roland; Reyes, Cristel; Carrillo, Manuel; Schiavi, Agustina; Morales, Talia; García-Ovide, Belen; Sanchez-Mora, Anna; Garcia-Tavero, Nerea; Steiner, Lisa; Scheer, Michael; Gockel, Roland; Walker, Dylan; Villa, Enrico; Szlama, Petra; Eriksson, Ida K.; Tejedor, Marisa; Perez-Gil, Monica; Quaresma, João; Bachara, Wojtek; Carroll, Emma

    2017-01-01

    The True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus, True 1913) is a poorly known member of the Ziphiidae family. Its distribution in the northern hemisphere is thought to be restricted to the temperate or warm temperate waters of the North Atlantic, while a few stranding records from the southern hemisphere suggest a wider and antitropical distribution, extending to waters from the Atlantic coast of Brazil to South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and the Tasman Sea coast of New Zealand. This paper (i) reports the first molecular confirmation of the occurrence of the True’s beaked whale at the southern limit of its distribution recorded in the northeast Atlantic: the Azores and Canary Islands (macaronesian ecoregion); (ii) describes a new colouration for this species using evidence from a whale with molecular species confirmation; and (iii) contributes to the sparse worldwide database of live sightings, including the first underwater video recording of this species and close images of a calf. Species identification was confirmed in two cases using mitochondrial DNA control region and cytochrome b gene markers: a subadult male True’s beaked whale that stranded in El Hierro, Canary Islands, in November 2012, and a subadult male found floating dead near Faial, the Azores, in July 2004. The whale that stranded in the Canary Islands had a clearly delimited white area on its head, extending posteriorly from the tip of the beak to cover the blowhole dorsally and the gular grooves ventrally. This colouration contrasts with previous descriptions for the species and it may be rare, but it exemplifies the variability of the colouration of True’s beaked whales in the North Atlantic, further confirmed here by live sightings data. The recording of several observations of this species in deep but relatively coastal waters off the Azores and the Canary Islands suggests that these archipelagos may be unique locations to study the behaviour of the enigmatic True’s beaked whale. PMID

  2. True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus in Macaronesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natacha Aguilar de Soto

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus, True 1913 is a poorly known member of the Ziphiidae family. Its distribution in the northern hemisphere is thought to be restricted to the temperate or warm temperate waters of the North Atlantic, while a few stranding records from the southern hemisphere suggest a wider and antitropical distribution, extending to waters from the Atlantic coast of Brazil to South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and the Tasman Sea coast of New Zealand. This paper (i reports the first molecular confirmation of the occurrence of the True’s beaked whale at the southern limit of its distribution recorded in the northeast Atlantic: the Azores and Canary Islands (macaronesian ecoregion; (ii describes a new colouration for this species using evidence from a whale with molecular species confirmation; and (iii contributes to the sparse worldwide database of live sightings, including the first underwater video recording of this species and close images of a calf. Species identification was confirmed in two cases using mitochondrial DNA control region and cytochrome b gene markers: a subadult male True’s beaked whale that stranded in El Hierro, Canary Islands, in November 2012, and a subadult male found floating dead near Faial, the Azores, in July 2004. The whale that stranded in the Canary Islands had a clearly delimited white area on its head, extending posteriorly from the tip of the beak to cover the blowhole dorsally and the gular grooves ventrally. This colouration contrasts with previous descriptions for the species and it may be rare, but it exemplifies the variability of the colouration of True’s beaked whales in the North Atlantic, further confirmed here by live sightings data. The recording of several observations of this species in deep but relatively coastal waters off the Azores and the Canary Islands suggests that these archipelagos may be unique locations to study the behaviour of the enigmatic True

  3. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Predation on Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon spp.) in the Bremer Sub-Basin, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellard, Rebecca; Lightbody, Keith; Fouda, Leila; Blewitt, Michelle; Riggs, David; Erbe, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Observations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) feeding on the remains of beaked whales have been previously documented; however, to date, there has been no published account of killer whales actively preying upon beaked whales. This article describes the first field observations of killer whales interacting with, hunting and preying upon beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.) on four separate occasions during 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Bremer Sub-Basin, off the south coast of Western Australia.

  4. High coverage of the complete mitochondrial genome of the rare Gray's beaked whale (Mesoplodon grayi) using Illumina next generation sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Kirsten F; Patel, Selina; Williams, Liam; Tsai, Peter; Constantine, Rochelle; Baker, C Scott; Millar, Craig D

    2016-01-01

    Using an Illumina platform, we shot-gun sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of Gray's beaked whale (Mesoplodon grayi) to an average coverage of 152X. We performed a de novo assembly using SOAPdenovo2 and determined the total mitogenome length to be 16,347 bp. The nucleotide composition was asymmetric (33.3% A, 24.6% C, 12.6% G, 29.5% T) with an overall GC content of 37.2%. The gene organization was similar to that of other cetaceans with 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs (12S and 16S), 22 predicted tRNAs and 1 control region or D-loop. We found no evidence of heteroplasmy or nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA in this individual. Beaked whales within the genus Mesoplodon are rarely seen at sea and their basic biology is poorly understood. These data will contribute to resolving the phylogeography and population ecology of this speciose group.

  5. A risk function for behavioral disruption of Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris from mid-frequency active sonar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Moretti

    Full Text Available There is increasing concern about the potential effects of noise pollution on marine life in the world's oceans. For marine mammals, anthropogenic sounds may cause behavioral disruption, and this can be quantified using a risk function that relates sound exposure to a measured behavioral response. Beaked whales are a taxon of deep diving whales that may be particularly susceptible to naval sonar as the species has been associated with sonar-related mass stranding events. Here we derive the first empirical risk function for Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris by combining in situ data from passive acoustic monitoring of animal vocalizations and navy sonar operations with precise ship tracks and sound field modeling. The hydrophone array at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, Bahamas, was used to locate vocalizing groups of Blainville's beaked whales and identify sonar transmissions before, during, and after Mid-Frequency Active (MFA sonar operations. Sonar transmission times and source levels were combined with ship tracks using a sound propagation model to estimate the received level (RL at each hydrophone. A generalized additive model was fitted to data to model the presence or absence of the start of foraging dives in 30-minute periods as a function of the corresponding sonar RL at the hydrophone closest to the center of each group. This model was then used to construct a risk function that can be used to estimate the probability of a behavioral change (cessation of foraging the individual members of a Blainville's beaked whale population might experience as a function of sonar RL. The function predicts a 0.5 probability of disturbance at a RL of 150 dBrms re µPa (CI: 144 to 155 This is 15dB lower than the level used historically by the US Navy in their risk assessments but 10 dB higher than the current 140 dB step-function.

  6. Phylogeny of the beaked whale genus Mesoplodon (Ziphiidae: Cetacea) revealed by nuclear introns: implications for the evolution of male tusks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalebout, Merel L; Steel, Debbie; Baker, C Scott

    2008-12-01

    With 14 species currently recognized, the beaked whale genus Mesoplodon (family Ziphiidae) is the most speciose in the order Cetacea. Beaked whales are widely distributed but are rarely seen at sea due to their oceanic distribution, deep-diving capacity, and apparent low abundance. Morphological differentiation among Mesoplodon species is relatively limited, with the exception of tooth form in adult males. Based on scarring patterns, males appear to use their tusk-like teeth as weapons in aggressive encounters with other males. Females are effectively toothless. We used sequences from seven nuclear introns (3348 base pairs) to construct a robust and highly resolved phylogeny, which was then used as a framework to test predictions from four hypotheses seeking to explain patterns of Mesoplodon tusk morphology and/or the processes that have driven the diversification of this genus: (1) linear progression of tusk form; (2) allopatric speciation through isolation in adjacent deep-sea canyons; (3) sympatric speciation through sexual selection on tusks; and (4) selection for species-recognition cues. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian reconstructions confirmed the monophyly of the genus and revealed that what were considered ancestral and derived tusk forms have in fact arisen independently on several occasions, contrary to predictions from the linear-progression hypothesis. Further, none of the three well-supported species clades was confined to a single ocean basin, as might have been expected from the deep-sea canyon-isolation or sexual-selection hypotheses, and some species with similar tusks have overlapping distributions, contrary to predictions from the species-recognition hypothesis. However, the divergent tusk forms and sympatric distributions of three of the four sister-species pairs identified suggest that sexual selection on male tusks has likely played an important role in this unique radiation, although other forces are clearly also involved. To our knowledge

  7. Audiogram of a Stranded Blainville’s Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon Densirostris) Measured using Auditory Evoked Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-18

    University of Hawaii , Hilo , 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo , Hi, 8 96720, USA 9 10 KEYWORDS 11 Blainville’s beaked whale, hearing, marine mammals, acoustics...was 103 transported to the Hawaii Cetacean Rehabilitation Center in Hilo , Hawaii (HCRF). Hearing measurements 104 were collected for frequencies...given mineral and 114 electrolyte injections and transported via a Coast Guard flight to the University of Hawaii Hilo Cetacean 115 Rehabilitation

  8. Microplastic and macroplastic ingestion by a deep diving, oceanic cetacean: The True's beaked whale Mesoplodon mirus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lusher, Amy L.; Hernandez-Milian, Gema; O'Brien, Joanne; Berrow, Simon; O'Connor, Ian; Officer, Rick

    2015-01-01

    When mammals strand, they present a unique opportunity to obtain insights into their ecology. In May 2013, three True's beaked whales (two adult females and a female calf) stranded on the north and west coasts of Ireland and the contents of their stomachs and intestines were analysed for anthropogenic debris. A method for identifying microplastics ingested by larger marine organisms was developed. Microplastics were identified throughout the digestive tract of the single whale that was examined for the presence of microplastics. The two adult females had macroplastic items in their stomachs. Food remains recovered from the adult whales consisted of mesopelagic fish (Benthosema glaciale, Nansenia spp., Chauliodius sloani) and cephalopods, although trophic transfer has been discussed, it was not possible to ascertain whether prey were the source of microplastics. This is the first study to directly identify microplastics <5 mm in a cetacean species. - Highlights: • True's beaked whales stranded in Ireland were examined for anthropogenic debris. • One adult female had microplastics throughout her digestive tract. • Both adult females ingested macroplastic items. • Dietary analysis suggests the whales fed on mesopelagic fish. - Dietary study finds microplastic and macroplastic ingestion by rare, oceanic, predatory cetaceans stranded in Ireland

  9. Pathological findings and probable causes of the death of Stejneger's beaked whales (Mesoplodon stejnegeri) stranded in Japan from 1999 and 2011.

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    Tajima, Yuko; Maeda, Kaori; Yamada, Tadasu K

    2015-01-01

    One hundred and twenty stranding events of Stejneger's beaked whales were reported in Japan between 1999 and 2011. The purpose of this study is to introduce pathological data and to discuss probable causes of death for 44 Stejneger's beaked whales among them. The significant pathological findings were the pulmonary edema, parasitic granulomatous nephritis, emaciation, amyloidosis, suppurative bronchopneumonia and so on. The probable causes of death were categorized as noninfectious in 43 of the cases, which included drowning, starvation and secondary amyloidosis. One individual was diagnosed with septicemia, which was the only example of an infectious disease. Because we could not always perform advanced analyses, such as microbiology tests, biotoxin examinations or contaminant analyses, the finality of our findings may be impaired. However, the present study has broad implications on the causes of death of Stejneger's beaked whales of the seas around Japan, which are valuable for the future studies and for the detection of emerging diseases.

  10. Could beaked whales get the bends? Effect of diving behaviour and physiology on modelled gas exchange for three species: Ziphius cavirostris, Mesoplodon densirostris and Hyperoodon ampullatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooker, Sascha K; Baird, Robin W; Fahlman, Andreas

    2009-07-31

    A mathematical model, based on current knowledge of gas exchange and physiology of marine mammals, was used to predict blood and tissue tension N2 (P(N2)) using field data from three beaked whale species: northern bottlenose whales, Cuvier's beaked whales, and Blainville's beaked whales. The objective was to determine if physiology (body mass, diving lung volume, dive response) or dive behaviour (dive depth and duration, changes in ascent rate, diel behaviour) would lead to differences in P(N2) levels and thereby decompression sickness (DCS) risk between species. Diving lung volume and extent of the dive response had a large effect on end-dive P(N2). The dive profile had a larger influence on end-dive P(N2) than body mass differences between species. Despite diel changes in dive behaviour, P(N2) levels showed no consistent trend. Model output suggested that all three species live with tissue P(N2) levels that would cause a significant proportion of DCS cases in terrestrial mammals. Cuvier's beaked whale diving behaviour appears to put them at higher risk than the other species, which may explain their prevalence in strandings after the use of mid-frequency sonar.

  11. Pathological findings and probable causes of the death of Stejneger’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon stejnegeri) stranded in Japan from 1999 and 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    TAJIMA, Yuko; MAEDA, Kaori; YAMADA, Tadasu K.

    2014-01-01

    One hundred and twenty stranding events of Stejneger’s beaked whales were reported in Japan between 1999 and 2011. The purpose of this study is to introduce pathological data and to discuss probable causes of death for 44 Stejneger’s beaked whales among them. The significant pathological findings were the pulmonary edema, parasitic granulomatous nephritis, emaciation, amyloidosis, suppurative bronchopneumonia and so on. The probable causes of death were categorized as noninfectious in 43 of the cases, which included drowning, starvation and secondary amyloidosis. One individual was diagnosed with septicemia, which was the only example of an infectious disease. Because we could not always perform advanced analyses, such as microbiology tests, biotoxin examinations or contaminant analyses, the finality of our findings may be impaired. However, the present study has broad implications on the causes of death of Stejneger’s beaked whales of the seas around Japan, which are valuable for the future studies and for the detection of emerging diseases. PMID:25328004

  12. Passive acoustic monitoring of beaked whale densities in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, John A; Baumann-Pickering, Simone; Frasier, Kaitlin E; Trickey, Jennifer S; Merkens, Karlina P; Wiggins, Sean M; McDonald, Mark A; Garrison, Lance P; Harris, Danielle; Marques, Tiago A; Thomas, Len

    2015-11-12

    Beaked whales are deep diving elusive animals, difficult to census with conventional visual surveys. Methods are presented for the density estimation of beaked whales, using passive acoustic monitoring data collected at sites in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) from the period during and following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010-2013). Beaked whale species detected include: Gervais' (Mesoplodon europaeus), Cuvier's (Ziphius cavirostris), Blainville's (Mesoplodon densirostris) and an unknown species of Mesoplodon sp. (designated as Beaked Whale Gulf - BWG). For Gervais' and Cuvier's beaked whales, we estimated weekly animal density using two methods, one based on the number of echolocation clicks, and another based on the detection of animal groups during 5 min time-bins. Density estimates derived from these two methods were in good general agreement. At two sites in the western GOM, Gervais' beaked whales were present throughout the monitoring period, but Cuvier's beaked whales were present only seasonally, with periods of low density during the summer and higher density in the winter. At an eastern GOM site, both Gervais' and Cuvier's beaked whales had a high density throughout the monitoring period.

  13. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ward, Jessica A; Mitchell, Glenn H; Farak, Amy M; Keane, Ellen P

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize known beaked whale habitat and create a predictive beaked whale habitat model of the Gulf of Mexico and east coast of the United States using available...

  14. Passive acoustic monitoring using a towed hydrophone array results in identification of a previously unknown beaked whale habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yack, Tina M; Barlow, Jay; Calambokidis, John; Southall, Brandon; Coates, Shannon

    2013-09-01

    Beaked whales are diverse and species rich taxa. They spend the vast majority of their time submerged, regularly diving to depths of hundreds to thousands of meters, typically occur in small groups, and behave inconspicuously at the surface. These factors make them extremely difficult to detect using standard visual survey methods. However, recent advancements in acoustic detection capabilities have made passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) a viable alternative. Beaked whales can be discriminated from other odontocetes by the unique characteristics of their echolocation clicks. In 2009 and 2010, PAM methods using towed hydrophone arrays were tested. These methods proved highly effective for real-time detection of beaked whales in the Southern California Bight (SCB) and were subsequently implemented in 2011 to successfully detect and track beaked whales during the ongoing Southern California Behavioral Response Study. The three year field effort has resulted in (1) the successful classification and tracking of Cuvier's (Ziphius cavirostris), Baird's (Berardius bairdii), and unidentified Mesoplodon beaked whale species and (2) the identification of areas of previously unknown beaked whale habitat use. Identification of habitat use areas will contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between beaked whale distribution, occurrence, and preferred habitat characteristics on a relatively small spatial scale. These findings will also provide information that can be used to promote more effective management and conservation of beaked whales in the SCB, a heavily used Naval operation and training region.

  15. Diel Variation in Beaked Whale Diving Behavior

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Baird, Robin; Webster, Daniel L; Schorr, Gregory S; McSweeney, Daniel J

    2008-01-01

    ...) occurred at similar rates during the day and night for Blainville's beaked whales (daymean=0.38 h-1; nightmean=0.46 h-1), and there were no significant diel differences in depths, durations, ascent or descent rates for deep dives...

  16. Following a Foraging Fish-Finder: Diel Habitat Use of Blainville's Beaked Whales Revealed by Echolocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Patricia; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T.; Brito, Alberto; Bordes, Fernando; Johnson, Mark P.

    2011-01-01

    Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9) hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL) or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974) of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h) between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean. PMID:22163295

  17. Following a foraging fish-finder: diel habitat use of Blainville's beaked whales revealed by echolocation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Arranz

    Full Text Available Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9 hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974 of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean.

  18. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zimmer, W.M.X.; Harwood, J.; Tyack, P.L.

    2008-01-01

    Beaked whales can remain submerged for an hour or more and are difficult to sight when they come to the surface to breathe. Passive acoustic detection (PAD) not only complements traditional visual-based methods for detecting these species but also can be more effective because beaked whales produce...... clicks regularly to echolocate on prey during deep foraging dives. The effectiveness of PAD for beaked whales depends not only on the acoustic behavior and output of the animals but also on environmental conditions and the quality of the passive sonar implemented. A primary constraint on the range...... at which beaked whale clicks can be detected involves their high frequencies, which attenuate rapidly, resulting in limited ranges of detection, especially in adverse environmental conditions. Given current knowledge of source parameters and in good conditions, for example, with a wind speed of 2  m...

  19. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Foote, Kenneth G; Feijoo, Gonzalo R; Rye, Kent; Reidenberg, Joy; Hastings, Mardi

    2007-01-01

    The top-level goal of this project is to build an interactive online modeling and visualization system, called the Virtual Beaked Whale, to enable users to predict mid-frequency sonar-induced acoustic...

  20. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-30

    et al. 2006), in the Bahamas and Madeira in 2000 (NOAA 2001, Cox et al. 2006), and in the Canary Islands in 2002 (Proceed. ECS 2004). Cuvier’s beaked...acoustic testing strand whales?" Nature 392. 29 (1998). L. Freitas, "The stranding of three Cuvier’s beaked whales Ziphius caviostris in Madeira ... Madeira , 1999-2002," Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Technical Report. WHOI-2005- 09, 38 pp. (2005). Available online at http://www.whoi.edu

  1. Description of a new fossil beaked whale from the Late Miocene Gram Fm. in Denmark, and aspects of beaked whale evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramassamy, Benjamin Fernand Guy

    Modern beaked whales (Ziphiidae) are among the least known groups of mammals. This family of toothed whales forage at great depths on cephalopods, their favored prey. The origin and timing of their specialisation to deep diving is almost unknown. The discovery of a new fossil beaked whale from...... Denmark may unveil the origin of deep diving in the family. This project had two mains objectives. First, describing a new fossil specimen from the Miocene of Denmark. Second, investigating deep diving abilities in extinct beaked whales. The fossil specimen represent a new genus and species of Ziphiidae...

  2. Population Parameters of Blainvilles and Cuviers Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    cetacean populations. Long-term monitoring of beaked whale populations in El Hierro , a nearly pristine habitat far from areas of sonar testing or...marine industry, enables valuable studies of demographic trends and life history dictated mainly by natural parameters. El Hierro is in process of...functioning (expected in 2018-2019), it is essential to continue monitoring the populations in El Hierro to obtain an uninterrupted long-term dataset of

  3. Understanding the Foraging Ecology of Beaked and Short-Finned Pilot Whales in Hawaiian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Understanding the Foraging Ecology of Beaked and Short...SEP 2014 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Understanding the Foraging Ecology of Beaked and Short...and Hildebrand, J. (2008). “Temporal pattern in the acoustic signals of beaked whales at Cross Seamount .” Biol. Lett. 4, 208-211. Lammers, M.O

  4. Modeling of Habitat and Foraging Behavior of Beaked Whales in the Southern California Bight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    a species label. Data from acoustic line-transect surveys (2008-2011) carried out by NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (Jay Barlow ) in...published, refereed] Baumann-Pickering S, Yack TM, Barlow J, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA (2013) Baird’s beaked whale echolocation signals. J Acoust Soc Am 133...4321-4331 [published, refereed] Yack TM, Barlow J, Calambokidis J, Southall B, and Coates S (2013) Identification of previously unknown beaked

  5. Conduct Research on the Foraging Ecology of Beaked Whales in Hawaiian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Conduct Research on the Foraging Ecology of Beaked...number. 1. REPORT DATE 2012 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Conduct Research on the Foraging Ecology of...R., Wiggins, S., and Hildebrand, J. (2008). “Temporal pattern in the acoustic signals of beaked whales at Cross Seamount .” Biol. Lett. 4, 208-211

  6. Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-23

    sex and reproductive status (i.e. other physiologic influences) when interpreting levels of GCs as indicators of stress responses. 2.2 2.2 0 Adult... Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas" Please find attached final reports for the above referenced ONR award for the period ending...Assessing Stress Responses in Beaked and Sperm Whales in the Bahamas Rosalind M. Rolland D.V.M., Kathleen E. Hunt Ph.D., Elizabeth A. Burgess M.Sc. Ph.D

  7. New beaked whales from the late Miocene of Peru and evidence for convergent evolution in stem and crown Ziphiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Bianucci

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Ziphiidae (beaked whales represent a large group of open-ocean odontocetes (toothed cetaceans, whose elusive and deep diving behavior prevents direct observation in their natural habitat. Despite their generally large body size, broad geographical distribution, and high species number, ziphiids thus remain poorly known. Furthermore, the evolutionary processes that have led to their extreme adaptations and impressive extant diversity are still poorly understood. Here we report new fossil beaked whales from the late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (southern Peru. The best preserved remains here described are referred to two new genera and species, the Messinian Chavinziphius maxillocristatus and the Tortonian Chimuziphius coloradensis, based on skull remains from two marine vertebrate-rich localities: Cerro Los Quesos and Cerro Colorado, respectively. C. maxillocristatus is medium sized retains a complete set of functional lower teeth, and bears robust rostral maxillary crests similar to those of the extant Berardius. By contrast, C. coloradensis is small and characterized by large triangular nasals and moderately thickened premaxillae that dorsally close the mesorostral groove. Both species confirm the high past diversity of Ziphiidae, the richest cetacean family in terms of the number of genera and species. Our new phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses depart markedly from earlier studies in dividing beaked whales into two major clades: the Messapicetus clade, which, along with other stem ziphiids, once dominated the southeastern Pacific and North Atlantic; and crown Ziphiidae, the majority of which are found in deep-water regions of the Southern Ocean, with possible subsequent dispersal both globally (Mesoplodon and Ziphius and to the cooler waters of the northern oceans (Berardius and Hyperoodon. Despite this relatively clear separation, both lineages seem to follow similar evolutionary trends, including (1 a progressive reduction of

  8. Population Parameters of Blainville’s and Cuvier’s Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    waters, they are usually difficult to study. El Hierro (Canary Islands) holds resident populations of Blainville’s and Cuvier’s beaked whales in...surveys off El Hierro , according to plan. Four of these cruises took place since the last report in September 2013, summing 38 days of fieldwork performed...marks as to be individually recognizable. 3 Publication of results of the ONR funded cetacean research in El Hierro in 2014 Peer reviewed

  9. Near-Real-Time Acoustic Monitoring of Beaked Whales and Other Cetaceans Using a Seaglider™

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinck, Holger; Mellinger, David K.; Klinck, Karolin; Bogue, Neil M.; Luby, James C.; Jump, William A.; Shilling, Geoffrey B.; Litchendorf, Trina; Wood, Angela S.; Schorr, Gregory S.; Baird, Robin W.

    2012-01-01

    In most areas, estimating the presence and distribution of cryptic marine mammal species, such as beaked whales, is extremely difficult using traditional observational techniques such as ship-based visual line transect surveys. Because acoustic methods permit detection of animals underwater, at night, and in poor weather conditions, passive acoustic observation has been used increasingly often over the last decade to study marine mammal distribution, abundance, and movements, as well as for mitigation of potentially harmful anthropogenic effects. However, there is demand for new, cost-effective tools that allow scientists to monitor areas of interest autonomously with high temporal and spatial resolution in near-real time. Here we describe an autonomous underwater vehicle – a glider – equipped with an acoustic sensor and onboard data processing capabilities to passively scan an area for marine mammals in near-real time. The glider was tested extensively off the west coast of the Island of Hawai'i, USA. The instrument covered approximately 390 km during three weeks at sea and collected a total of 194 h of acoustic data. Detections of beaked whales were successfully reported to shore in near-real time. Manual analysis of the recorded data revealed a high number of vocalizations of delphinids and sperm whales. Furthermore, the glider collected vocalizations of unknown origin very similar to those made by known species of beaked whales. The instrument developed here can be used to cost-effectively screen areas of interest for marine mammals for several months at a time. The near-real-time detection and reporting capabilities of the glider can help to protect marine mammals during potentially harmful anthropogenic activities such as seismic exploration for sub-sea fossil fuels or naval sonar exercises. Furthermore, the glider is capable of under-ice operation, allowing investigation of otherwise inaccessible polar environments that are critical habitats for many

  10. Near-real-time acoustic monitoring of beaked whales and other cetaceans using a Seaglider™.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holger Klinck

    Full Text Available In most areas, estimating the presence and distribution of cryptic marine mammal species, such as beaked whales, is extremely difficult using traditional observational techniques such as ship-based visual line transect surveys. Because acoustic methods permit detection of animals underwater, at night, and in poor weather conditions, passive acoustic observation has been used increasingly often over the last decade to study marine mammal distribution, abundance, and movements, as well as for mitigation of potentially harmful anthropogenic effects. However, there is demand for new, cost-effective tools that allow scientists to monitor areas of interest autonomously with high temporal and spatial resolution in near-real time. Here we describe an autonomous underwater vehicle--a glider--equipped with an acoustic sensor and onboard data processing capabilities to passively scan an area for marine mammals in near-real time. The glider was tested extensively off the west coast of the Island of Hawai'i, USA. The instrument covered approximately 390 km during three weeks at sea and collected a total of 194 h of acoustic data. Detections of beaked whales were successfully reported to shore in near-real time. Manual analysis of the recorded data revealed a high number of vocalizations of delphinids and sperm whales. Furthermore, the glider collected vocalizations of unknown origin very similar to those made by known species of beaked whales. The instrument developed here can be used to cost-effectively screen areas of interest for marine mammals for several months at a time. The near-real-time detection and reporting capabilities of the glider can help to protect marine mammals during potentially harmful anthropogenic activities such as seismic exploration for sub-sea fossil fuels or naval sonar exercises. Furthermore, the glider is capable of under-ice operation, allowing investigation of otherwise inaccessible polar environments that are critical

  11. A Population Consequence of Acoustic Disturbance Model for Cuviers beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    two sources. The energetics model that will underpin both PCoD models for Md and Zc has also been published (New et al 2013). The full PCoD model...to Zc on SCORE. We will also be able to use the simplified PCoD model for beaked whales currently being developed under the ONR-funded project...34Using an interim PCoD protocol to assess the effects of disturbance associated with US Navy exercises on marine mammal populations”. This project will

  12. The Diet Composition of Beaked Whales and Melon-Headed Whales from the North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    description and comparison of diet composition as well as provide insight into the foraging behavior and ecology of these whales in the North...activities. Assessing diet for many species of cetaceans is difficult, given that most foraging occurs far below the surface and that stomach...furthering our understanding of the foraging behavior of this species. Such an examination of food habits from Hawaiian melon-headed whales would be

  13. Photogrammetry with an Unmanned Aerial System to Assess Body Condition and Growth of Blainville’s Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Body Condition and Growth of Blainville’s Beaked Whales Diane Claridge & Charlotte Dunn Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation P.O. Box...second intervals to maximize the chance of obtaining “ flat ” images for unbiased photogrammetry measurements. Multiple batteries for the hexacopter...Commanders Course using satellite telemetry This project is a collaborative project between the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation , NOAA

  14. The Relationship Among Oceanography, Prey Fields, and Beaked Whale Foraging Habitat in the Tongue of the Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-01

    the use of large ships to study their behavior and distribution [3]. Testament to the difficulty in studying them, ecological studies have been able... ecology has made assessing the potential risk from anthropogenic activity much more difficult. Recent research using short-duration tags around...28,29,30]. A multi-directional bottom-mounted hydrophone was deployed at Cross seamount southwest of the Kona coast and found a high number of beaked whale

  15. Description of the skeleton of the fossil beaked whale Messapicetus gregarius: searching potential proxies for deep-diving abilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Ramassamy

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Ziphiidae (beaked whales are a successful family of medium- to large-sized toothed whales. Their extant members perform regular deep dives beyond the photic zone to forage for cephalopods and fish. Conversely, extinct long-snouted stem ziphiids are interpreted as epipelagic predators. However, some aspects of this hypothesis remain unclear due to the lack of clear morphological proxies for recognizing regular deep divers. We compared the forelimb, neck, and pterygoid sinus system of the fossil ziphiid Messapicetus gregarius with those of other odontocetes to evaluate the potential of these body regions as proxies to assess deep-diving specialization. The reconstructed musculature of the neck and forelimb of M. gregarius was also compared with that of other odontocetes. We also quantified variation in the proportions of the forelimb and the hamular fossa of the pterygoid sinus (HF using 16 linear measurements. The degree of association between diving behaviour in extant odontocetes and these measurements was evaluated with and without phylogenetic correction. Reconstruction of the neck musculature suggests that M. gregarius possessed a neck more flexible than most extant ziphiids due to the lower degree of fusion of the cervical vertebrae and the large insertions for the M. longus colli and Mm. intertransversarii ventrales cervicis. While neck rigidity might be related to deep diving, differences in neck flexibility among extant ziphiids indicate a more complex functional interpretation. The relationship between forelimb morphology and diving behaviour was not significant, both with and without phylogenetic correction, suggesting that it cannot be used to assess deep-diving abilities with the parameters considered here. Measurements of the HF revealed successful to evaluate deep-diving abilities in odontocetes, with an enlargement of this structure in deep divers. Considering other evidence that suggests an epipelagic behaviour, we propose

  16. Trackline and Point Detection Probabilities for Acoustic Surveys of Cuvier’s and Blainville’s Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    of sperm whales. Although the methods developed in those papers demonstrate feasibility, they are not applicable to a)Author to whom correspondence...information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and...location clicks (Marques et al., 2009) instead of detecting individual animals or groups of animals; these cue- counting methods will not be specifically

  17. Behavioral Responses of Nave Cuvier’s Beaked Whales in the Ligurian Sea to Playback of Anthropogenic and Natural Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    University of St Andrews St Andrews , Fife, KY16 8LB, UK phone: (+44) 01334 462630 fax: (+44) 01334 463443 email: plt@st-andrews.ac.uk...exercises and where the whales seldom hear sonar. APPROACH The University of St Andrews was the prime grantee for this project. The PI, Peter Tyack...was ultimately responsible for the project. Leigh Hickmott, also supported through the University of St Andrews , acted as the cruise science lead

  18. 77 FR 19645 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16111

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-02

    ... robustus), sperm (Physeter macrocephalus), and beaked (Mesoplodon spp.) whales. An additional 15 cetacean... distribution, and to track tagged animals. Ground surveys would consist of population counts and scat...

  19. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    injection into the pulmonary arteries and veins. A single 60mL syringe of blue acrylic was injected into the pulmonary vein, followed by...simultaneous injections of blue and red acrylic into the pulmonary veins and arteries, respectively. Following a curing time of 3 hours, the lung was placed...into an aqueous solution of 15% potassium hydroxide (KOH) to begin the corrosion process. Approximately 3 weeks later, the vascular casts were

  20. Arteriovenous Patterns in Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    morbillivirus infections are the lungs and central nervous system . Pulmonary sequelae observed in specimens commonly involved severe pulmonary...extramandibular fat body (EMFB), intramandibular fat body (IMFB) and pterygoid venous lake. 2) To describe the vascular morphology of the pulmonary system ...vascular structures of interest (e.g. pterygoid venous lake and intramandibular fat body). The final products were to be published in a peer-reviewed

  1. Food and feeding of sperm whales physeter macrocephalus off the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The stomach contents of 1 268 sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus processed at the Donkergat whaling station, South Africa, were examined during the 1962 and 1963 whaling seasons. Results were compared with. Clarkefs analysis of cephalopod beaks collected in 1963 (Clarke 1980). There was no significant ...

  2. Cephalopods represented by beaks in the stomach of a sperm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    More than 3 000 cephalopod beaks taken from the stomach of a sperm whale stranded at Paekakariki, North Island, New Zealand, were identified to species and measured; estimates were made of the masses and standard lengths of the cephalopods represented. In all, 24 species of cephalopod in 13 families were ...

  3. Beaked Whale Strandings and Naval Exercises

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    varamiento de cetá- ceos–Viceconsejería de Medio Ambiente . Gran Canaria: Government of the Canary Islands. Retrieved 30 November 2009 from www.gobcan.es...Department of the Navy (U.S. DoN). (2002a). Marine resources assessment for the Gulf of Mexico operating area. Prepared by Geo-Marine, Inc., Plano, TX...and Heritageb 1 June 1986 Zc, Me 5 Spain (Canary Islands) 4 Vonk & Martín Martel, 1988d 2 July 1986 Bb 7 Mexico 4 Aurioles-Gamboa, 1992d 29-31 Aug 1986

  4. Cetaceans stranded in the Netherlands from 1998 to 2007

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Camphuysen, C.J.; Smeenk, C.; Addink, M.; Grouw, van H.; Jansen, O.E.

    2008-01-01

    Between 1998 and 2007, 2063 cetaceans were found stranded in the Netherlands, representing at least 14 species. Two species, humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), are additions to the Dutch list. Apart from the first humpback whales,

  5. Bilateral Directional Asymmetry of the Appendicular Skeleton of the White-Beaked Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galatius, Anders

    2006-01-01

    Bilateral directional asymmetry of the lengths and diameters of the scapula, humerus, radius, and ulna were analyzed on a sample of 38 white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) from Danish waters. The levels of asymmetry were consistent between the sexes and between physically mature...... of lateralized use of the flippers in the white-beaked dolphin and possibly other delphinid and cetacean species. Although some evidence exists for flipper preference in the baleen humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) and turning preferences in other species, this needs to be confirmed through further...

  6. Book review: Unveiling the Whale: Discourses on Whales and Whaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Schelhas

    2012-01-01

    Whaling represents one of the most internationally controversial and highly polarized environmental issues of recent times. Arne Kalland, in Unveiling the Whale: Discourses on Whales and Whaling, examines the whaling issue from the perspective of a pro-whaling country with an emphasis on analysis of discourse in international arenas, primarily the International Whaling...

  7. Stranding of two sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the "North Sea trap" at Henne Strand, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mette Sif; Alstrup, Aage K. O.; Hansen, Jørgen H.

    2016-01-01

    In February 2014 two male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded at Henne Strand, Denmark. One whale (MCE 1644) was found dead, while the other (MCE 1645) was still alive, but drowned during the high tide. To increase our knowledge of sperm whales, conduct forage investigations, post......-mortem and diagnostic examinations were carried out. The decay of the carcasses progressed quickly. The whales had large (MCE 1644) or moderate (MCE 1645) numbers of squid beaks (Gonatus fabricii) in the stomachventricles, but no evidence of recentfresh feeding. Both whales had acute dermatitis probably due to trauma...... severe localized or systemic infections. The finding of large volumes of bloody pleural fluid with large quantities of C. septicum suggests that MCE 1644 died of infection. However, reservations must be taken due to the pronounced decay of the carcass. Sperm whales have strong social bonds where...

  8. Smaller beaks for colder winters: Thermoregulation drives beak size evolution in Australasian songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Nicholas R; Harmáčková, Lenka; Economo, Evan P; Remeš, Vladimír

    2017-08-01

    Birds' beaks play a key role in foraging, and most research on their size and shape has focused on this function. Recent findings suggest that beaks may also be important for thermoregulation, and this may drive morphological evolution as predicted by Allen's rule. However, the role of thermoregulation in the evolution of beak size across species remains largely unexplored. In particular, it remains unclear whether the need for retaining heat in the winter or dissipating heat in the summer plays the greater role in selection for beak size. Comparative studies are needed to evaluate the relative importance of these functions in beak size evolution. We addressed this question in a clade of birds exhibiting wide variation in their climatic niche: the Australasian honeyeaters and allies (Meliphagoidea). Across 158 species, we compared species' climatic conditions extracted from their ranges to beak size measurements in a combined spatial-phylogenetic framework. We found that winter minimum temperature was positively correlated with beak size, while summer maximum temperature was not. This suggests that while diet and foraging behavior may drive evolutionary changes in beak shape, changes in beak size can also be explained by the beak's role in thermoregulation, and winter heat retention in particular. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. Is dolphin morbillivirus virulent for white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Elk, C E; van de Bildt, M W G; Jauniaux, T; Hiemstra, S; van Run, P R W A; Foster, G; Meerbeek, J; Osterhaus, A D M E; Kuiken, T

    2014-11-01

    The virulence of morbilliviruses for toothed whales (odontocetes) appears to differ according to host species. In 4 species of odontocetes, morbilliviruses are highly virulent, causing large-scale epizootics with high mortality. In 8 other species of odontocetes, including white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), morbilliviruses have been found as an incidental infection. In these species, the virulence of morbilliviruses is not clear. Therefore, the admission of 2 white-beaked dolphins with morbillivirus infection into a rehabilitation center provided a unique opportunity to investigate the virulence of morbillivirus in this species. By phylogenetic analysis, the morbilliviruses in both animals were identified as a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) most closely related to that detected in a white-beaked dolphin in Germany in 2007. Both animals were examined clinically and pathologically. Case No. 1 had a chronic neural DMV infection, characterized by polioencephalitis in the cerebrum and morbillivirus antigen expression limited to neurons and glial cells. Surprisingly, no nervous signs were observed in this animal during the 6 months before death. Case No. 2 had a subacute systemic DMV infection, characterized by interstitial pneumonia, leucopenia, lymphoid depletion, and DMV antigen expression in mononuclear cells and syncytia in the lung and in mononuclear cells in multiple lymphoid organs. Cause of death was not attributed to DMV infection in either animal. DMV was not detected in 2 contemporaneously stranded white-beaked dolphins. Stranding rate did not increase in the region. These results suggest that DMV is not highly virulent for white-beaked dolphins. © The Author(s) 2013.

  10. Whale Heart

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2017-01-01

    Student bachelor film. Synopsis:Silas lives in an isolated whaling town, toiling for months in the harsh and bloody trade on which he and his community depend. However, in order to be capable of killing the creatures whose bone and blubber pay his wage, he has developed an ungodly method for extr...

  11. An investigation of the roles of geomagnetic and acoustic cues in whale navigation and orientation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Ann Nichole

    Many species of whales migrate annually between high-latitude feeding grounds and low-latitude breeding grounds. Yet, very little is known about how these animals navigate during these migrations. This thesis takes a first look at the roles of geomagnetic and acoustic cues in humpback whale navigation and orientation, in addition to documenting some effects of human-produced sound on beaked whales. The tracks of satellite-tagged humpback whales migrating from Hawaii to Alaska were found to have systematic deviations from the most direct route to their destination. For each whale, a migration track was modeled using only geomagnetic inclination and intensity as navigation cues. The directions in which the observed and modeled tracks deviated from the direct route were compared and found to match for 7 out of 9 tracks, which suggests that migrating humpback whales may use geomagnetic cues for navigation. Additionally, in all cases the observed tracks followed a more direct route to the destination than the modeled tracks, indicating that the whales are likely using additional navigational cues to improve their routes. There is a significant amount of sound available in the ocean to aid in navigation and orientation of a migrating whale. This research investigates the possibility that humpback whales migrating near-shore listen to sounds of snapping shrimp to detect the presence of obstacles, such as rocky islands. A visual tracking study was used, together with hydrophone recordings near a rocky island, to determine whether the whales initiated an avoidance reaction at distances that varied with the acoustic detection range of the island. No avoidance reaction was found. Propagation modeling of the snapping shrimp sounds suggested that the detection range of the island was beyond the visual limit of the survey, indicating that snapping shrimp sounds may be suited as a long-range indicator of a rocky island. Lastly, this thesis identifies a prolonged avoidance

  12. Beaked Whales and Pilot Whales in the Alboran Sea SW Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    provided by Fundación Biodiversidad from Spain. The detection functions created for each species include also all data collected under the Alnitak...context of this project, coordinated by Fundación Biodiversidad and with the partnership of the Environment Ministry General secretariat for the Sea (SGM...para la aplicación de la Estrategia Marina Europea) This project was funded by Fundación Biodiversidad in Spain, focusing on the creation of a

  13. Structure and mechanical behavior of bird beaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Yasuaki

    The structure and mechanical behavior of Toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) and Wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) beaks were examined. The structure of Toco toucan and Wreathed hornbill beak was found to be a sandwich composite with an exterior of keratin and a fibrous bony network of closed cells made of trabeculae. A distinctive feature of the hornbill beak is its casque formed from cornified keratin layers. The casque is believed to have an acoustic function due to the complex internal structure. The toucan and hornbill beaks have a hollow region that extends from proximal to mid-section. The rhamphotheca is comprised of super-posed polygonal scales (45 mum diameter and 1 mum thickness) fixed by some organic adhesive. The branched intermediate filaments embedded in keratin matrix were discovered by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The diameter of intermediate laments was ~10 nm. The orientation of intermediate filaments was examined with TEM tomography and the branched filaments were homogeneously distributed. The closed-cell foam is comprised of the fibrous structure of bony struts with an edge connectivity of three or four and the cells are sealed off by the thin membranes. The volumetric structure of bird beak foam was reproduced by computed tomography for finite element modeling.

  14. Whale Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    R:BASE for DOS, a computer program developed under NASA contract, has been adapted by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and the College of the Atlantic to provide and advanced computerized photo matching technique for identification of humpback whales. The program compares photos with stored digitized descriptions, enabling researchers to track and determine distribution and migration patterns. R:BASE is a spinoff of RIM (Relational Information Manager), which was used to store data for analyzing heat shielding tiles on the Space Shuttle Orbiter. It is now the world's second largest selling line of microcomputer database management software.

  15. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Kauai Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate Project and Its Associated Marine Mammal Research Program: Vol 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-05-01

    possibly subadults, were traveling in pairs, and almost half of the recorded sounds were stereotyped doublets, unlike the sounds recorded by Cummings and...purpose and unique stereotyped click sequence "codas" have been recorded from individual whales over periods lasting several hours (Watldns and Schevill...Beaked whales of the genus Mesoplodon. pp 349-430. In: S.H. Ridgway and R. Harrison (eds.), Handbook of marine mammals, Vol. 4. Academic Press Ltd. Meller

  16. Brucella ceti Infection in a Common Minke Whale ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) with Associated Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davison, Nicholas J; Perrett, Lorraine L; Dawson, Claire; Dagleish, Mark P; Haskins, Gary; Muchowski, Jakub; Whatmore, Adrian M

    2017-07-01

    There are three major lineages of marine mammal strains of Brucella spp.: Brucella ceti ST23, found predominantly in porpoises; B. ceti ST26, in pelagic delphinids and ziphiids; and Brucella pinnipedialis ST24/25, predominantly in seals. The isolation of Brucella spp. in mysticetes has been described only in common minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) in Norway and Scotland. We report a third case of Brucella infection and isolation in a minke whale associated with a large abscess. In contrast to the two previous reports that involved isolates of B. pinnipedialis ST24 or the porpoise-associated B. ceti complex ST23, this case was associated with the dolphin-associated B. ceti ST26. Thus, minke whales can be infected naturally with members of all the distinct major lineages of Brucella associated with marine mammals. This report is unique in that the B. ceti ST26 did not originate from a pelagic delphinid or a beaked whale.

  17. Toucan and hornbill beaks: a comparative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Yasuaki; Bodde, Sara G; Meyers, Marc A

    2010-02-01

    The structure and mechanical behavior of Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) and Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) beaks were compared. The beak of both species is a sandwich-structured composite, having an exterior, or rhamphotheca, consisting of multiple layers of keratin scales and a core composed of a fibrous network of bony closed-cell foam. The rhamphotheca is an arrangement of approximately 50microm diameter, overlapping, keratin tiles. The hornbill rhamphotheca exhibits a surface morphology on the ridged casque that is distinguishable from that observed on the bill proper. Intermediate filaments in the keratin matrix were observed by transmission electron microscopy. The Young's modulus measurements of toucan rhamphotheca indicate isotropy in longitudinal and transverse directions, whereas those of hornbill rhamphotheca may suggest anisotropy. The compressive response of beak foam is governed by brittle crushing behavior. The crushing strength of hornbill foam is six times higher than that of toucan foam. Micro- and nanoindentation hardness values were measured for rhamphotheca and foam trabeculae of toucan and hornbill specimens. The sandwich design of beaks was analyzed using the Karam-Gibson and Dawson-Gibson models. The presence of a cellular core increases the bending resistance (Brazier moment) by a factor of 3-6 while decreasing the compressive strength by only 50%.

  18. Whale Teaching Unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peninsula Humane Society, San Mateo, CA.

    Materials in this teaching unit are designed to foster an interest in whale preservation among intermediate grade and junior high school students. Several readings provide background information on various types of whales and the economic value of whales. Student activities include a true and false game, a crossword, and a mobile. A resource list…

  19. Estimating the impact of whaling on global whale watching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H-I. Kuo (Hsiao-I); C-C. Chen (Chi-Chung); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAfter the commercial whaling moratorium was enacted in 1986, whale watching became one of the fastest growing tourism industries worldwide. As whaling was regarded as an activity incompatible with whale watching, the possible resumption of commercial whaling caused an urgent need to

  20. Welfare Consequences of Omitting Beak Trimming in Barn Layers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riber, Anja Brinch; Hinrichsen, Lena Karina

    2017-01-01

    Beak trimming is used worldwide as a method of reducing the damage to feathers and skin caused by injurious pecking in laying hens. However, beak trimming also causes some welfare issues as trimming the beak results in pain and sensory loss. Due to this dilemma, there is an ongoing discussion...... in several European countries about whether to ban beak trimming. In this study, we investigated the welfare consequences of keeping layers with intact beaks and examined for links between injurious pecking damage and keel bone damage on an individual level. A study was conducted on 10 commercial farms...... housing laying hens in the barn system. Each farm participated with a flock of beak-trimmed hens (T) and a flock of non-trimmed (NT) hens that were visited around 32 and 62 weeks of age. During visits, the condition of plumage, skin, feet, and keel bone of 100 hens was assessed. Mortality was recorded...

  1. Is Beak Morphology in Darwin's Finches Tuned to Loading Demands?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joris Soons

    Full Text Available One of nature's premier illustrations of adaptive evolution concerns the tight correspondence in birds between beak morphology and feeding behavior. In seed-crushing birds, beaks have been suggested to evolve at least in part to avoid fracture. Yet, we know little about mechanical relationships between beak shape, stress dissipation, and fracture avoidance. This study tests these relationships for Darwin's finches, a clade of birds renowned for their diversity in beak form and function. We obtained anatomical data from micro-CT scans and dissections, which in turn informed the construction of finite element models of the bony beak and rhamphotheca. Our models offer two new insights. First, engineering safety factors are found to range between 1 and 2.5 under natural loading conditions, with the lowest safety factors being observed in species with the highest bite forces. Second, size-scaled finite element (FE models reveal a correspondence between inferred beak loading profiles and observed feeding strategies (e.g. edge-crushing versus tip-biting, with safety factors decreasing for base-crushers biting at the beak tip. Additionally, we identify significant correlations between safety factors, keratin thickness at bite locations, and beak aspect ratio (depth versus length. These lines of evidence together suggest that beak shape indeed evolves to resist feeding forces.

  2. The chitinous mandibles or beaks of cephalopods are characterized ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    V. HERNÁNDEZ-GARCÍA*, U. PIATKOWSKI† and M. R. CLARKE‡. Beaks of 133 specimens of Todarodes sagittatus caught in the central East Atlantic were studied. Relationships between several measurements of the upper and lower beaks and dorsal mantle length (DML) and total mass were calculated. The darkening ...

  3. War of the Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2011-01-01

    This article examines some of the difficulties of universalistic science in situations of deep conflict over global nature, using empirical material pertaining to ongoing controversies in the context of Japanese whaling practices. Within global-scale whaling assemblages since the 1970s, science has...... become a ‘‘post-sovereign’’ authority, unable to impose any stable definition of nature on all actors. Instead, across spaces of deep antagonistic differences, anti- and pro-whalers now ontologically enact a multiplicity of mutually irreconcilable versions of whales. Empirically, the article attempts...... to map out a ‘‘cosmogram’’ of Japanese pro-whaling enactments of abundant and ‘‘killable’’ whales. Following the political ecology of Bruno Latour, the global-scale situation is conceptualized as one of cosmopolitics, the politics of forging a common world across divergences in nature-cultures....

  4. The International Whaling Commission – Beyond Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew John Wright

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Since its establishment in 1946 as the international body intended to manage whaling, the International Whaling Commission (IWC has expanded its areas of interest to ensure the wider conservation of whales. Several key conservation topics have been taken forward under its auspices including climate change, chemical and noise pollution, marine debris and whale watching. Work on each of these topics at the IWC has grown substantially since the 1990s and remains ongoing. Important developments were the establishment of the Standing Working Group on Environmental Concerns in 1996 and the IWC’s Conservation Committee in 2003. Trying to address this diverse set of issues is obviously a challenge but will be necessary if the long term conservation of cetaceans is to be achieved. Through research, workshops, resolutions and collaboration with other organisations, the IWC has advanced both the understanding of the various issues and the means to manage them with increasing effectiveness. The IWC is likely to remain on the forefront of continuing efforts to address these, and other, conservation concerns and ensure the continued viability of cetacean populations around the globe.

  5. Talons and beaks are viable but underutilized samples for detecting ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Talons and beaks are viable but underutilized samples for detecting organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide poisoning in raptors. Ngaio Richards, Irene Zorrilla, Joseph Lalah, Peter Otieno, Isabel Fernandez, Monica Calvino, Joaquin Garcia ...

  6. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  7. Beak deformities in Northwestern Crows: Evidence of a multispecies epizootic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hemert, Caroline; Handel, Colleen M.

    2010-01-01

    Beak abnormalities are rare among adult birds and, typically, are not widespread in a given population, within a region, or across multiple species. A high concentration of beak deformities was recently documented in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and other resident avian species in Alaska. We describe a parallel condition in Northwestern Crows (Corvus caurinus) that signals the emergence of a multispecies epizootic. On the basis of 186 Northwestern Crows captured at six sites in Alaska during 2007 and 2008, we estimated the prevalence of beak deformities in adults to be 16.9 ± 5.3%, the highest rate of gross deformities ever recorded in a wild bird population. Prevalence varied among sites and was as high as 36% on the Kenai Peninsula, which suggests possible epizootic clusters. We also documented beak abnormalities in an additional 148 Northwestern Crows in south-central and southeastern Alaska and in 64 crows near Vancouver, British Columbia, and Puget Sound, Washington, a region where both Northwestern Crows and American Crows (C. brachyrhynchos) occur. The increase in frequency and distribution of crows observed with abnormal beaks throughout the Pacific Northwest since the late 1990s indicates a geographic expansion of this problem. Affected crows exhibited elongated and often crossed beaks that were morphologically similar to deformities documented in Black-capped Chickadees and other species in Alaska over approximately the same period. Additional research is needed to determine the etiology and potential adverse effects on bird populations affected by this disorder.

  8. Report on 14 Large Whales That Died due to Ship Strikes off the Coast of Sri Lanka, 2010–2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranil P. Nanayakkara

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The greatest threat to cetaceans in Sri Lankan waters was considered to be the direct take of small- and medium-sized cetaceans using harpoons and/or as bycatch until recently. However, ship strikes have probably been occurring for years but have not been recognized for what they were. For the current study, only animals with visible and prominent injuries related to collisions were evaluated. Data gathered between 2010 and 2014 included the species, morphometry, location, and date; tissue samples were collected for genetic analysis. When possible, a complete necropsy was conducted; otherwise, partial necropsies were conducted. The study confirmed 14 reports of ship strikes between whales and vessels out of all the strandings reported from 2010 to 2014. Most strikes (n=09, 64% involved blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus, although three other species were also documented, one Cuvier’s beaked whale, two great sperm whales, and one Bryde’s whale, as well as one unidentified baleen whale. Collision hotspots such as the southern waters of Sri Lanka are areas that warrant special attention in the form of vessel routing measures or speed limits, research on cetacean ecology, distribution, daily and seasonal movements, public service announcements, increased law enforcement presence, and other measures.

  9. The Gray whale: Eschrichtius robustus

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jones, Mary Lou; Leatherwood, Stephen; Swartz, Steven L

    1984-01-01

    .... Section II documents historical aspects of gray whale exploitation and the economic importance of these whales to humans, beginning with aboriginal societies in Asia and North America, and leading...

  10. Acoustic Ecology of Minke Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Costa, Daniel

    1998-01-01

    Calls of minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, off the coast of NE Australia in July of 1997 were recorded utilizing a newly described population, where minke whales maintain long contacts with vessels...

  11. Ultraviolet reflecting photonic microstructures in the King Penguin beak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresp, Birgitta; Jouventin, Pierre; Langley, Keith

    2005-09-22

    King and emperor penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus and Aptenodytes forsteri) are the only species of marine birds so far known to reflect ultraviolet (UV) light from their beaks. Unlike humans, most birds perceive UV light and several species communicate using the near UV spectrum. Indeed, UV reflectance in addition to the colour of songbird feathers has been recognized as an important signal when choosing a mate. The king penguin is endowed with several highly coloured ornaments, notably its beak horn and breast and auricular plumage, but only its beak reflects UV, a property considered to influence its sexual attraction. Because no avian UV-reflecting pigments have yet been identified, the origin of such reflections is probably structural. In an attempt to identify the structures that give rise to UV reflectance, we combined reflectance spectrophotometry and morphological analysis by both light and electron microscopy, after experimental removal of surface layers of the beak horn. Here, we characterize for the first time a multilayer reflector photonic microstructure that produces the UV reflections in the king penguin beak.

  12. Worldwide Population Structure in Cuvier’s Beaked Whales: Identification of Units for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-09-01

    Kitchener, Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK; V. Martin, Sociedad para el Estudio de los Cetaceos en el Archipelago Canario (SECAC), Lanzarote, Canary...some delays in setting up the UNSW School of BEES Ancient DNA Laboratory (part of the Molecular Ecology and Evolution Facility; MEEF). These...Flores, University of Valparaiso, Chile; C. Olavarria, Fundación Centro de Estudios del Cuaternario Fuego-Patagonia y Antártica (INACH), Chile; J. L

  13. Comparing the Foraging Efficiency of Beaked Whales On and Off Naval Ranges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    United Kingdom phone: +44 (0) 1334 462630 email: plt@st-andrews.ac.uk Award Number: N000141512553 https://risweb.st-andrews.ac.uk/portal/en...gathering and analyzing data on foraging performance and efficiency this project will provide detailed energetics data for modeling approaches...study will, for the first time, provide a means to examine variation in foraging efficiency and energetic costs resulting from sonar disturbance. The

  14. Whale-Watching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lande, Rivian

    1973-01-01

    Describes a program initiated by the Cabrillo Beach Museum (San Pedro, California) and the American Cetacean Society to take students of the fourth grade through high school on half-day cruises to observe gray whales. College students assist in the program with related field projects and presentations in the schools. (JR)

  15. The significance of beaking sign on cystography in stress urinary incontinence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jee Won; Kim, Jeong Kon; Lee, Seung Soo; Kahng, Yu Ri; Choo, Myung Soo; Cho, Kyoung Sik [College of Medicine, Ulsan Univ, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2001-10-01

    To evaluate the clinical and urodynamic significance of the beaking sign at cystography in patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). We retrospectively reviewed the cystograms of 253 patients with SUI, defining the beaking sign as the triangular contrast collection below the bladder base in the resting state without overt leakage. Various clinical parameters including patients age, symptom duration, parity, the one-hour pad test, and urodynamic study data including Valsalva leak point pressure (VLPP) and maximal urethral closing pressure (MUCP) were compared between the beaking-positive and the beaking-negative group. The distribution of Blaivas type in SUI between these two groups was also analysed. The beaking sign was observed in 153 patients (60%). Those who were older and showed greater parity more often belonged to the beaking-positive group than the beaking-negative (p<0.005). Both VLPP and MUCP were significantly lower in the beaking-positive group than in beaking-negative group (p=0.03; p=0.01, respectively). Type-0 or -I SUI was more common in the beaking-negative group, while the frequency of other types was similar between the two groups. The beaking sign has clinical and urodynamic significance, reflecting functional deficiencies of the intrinsic sphincter, and may possibly be regarded as an additional parameter in the planning of treatment.

  16. Rafinesque's Sicilian whale, Balena gastrytis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, Neal; Mead, James G.

    2017-01-01

    In 1815, the naturalist Constantine S. Rafinesque described a new species of cetacean, Balena gastrytis, from Sicily, based on a whale that stranded on Carini beach near Palermo. In comparing the characteristics of his new whale with known species, Rafinesque also took the opportunity to name a new genus, Cetoptera, to replace Balaenoptera Lacépède, 1804. Unfortunately, few of Rafinesque's contemporaries saw his article, which appeared in Il Portafoglio, a local journal that he published and distributed. The journal remains rare, and awareness of the whale remains minimal, despite its relevance to cetacean taxonomy and understanding of whale diversity and distribution in the Mediterranean. We describe the circumstances of the stranding of the Sicilian whale and provide Rafinesque's original description of the whale, as well as an evaluation of its reported characteristics and its current identity.

  17. Limb, tooth, beak: Three modes of development and evolutionary ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

    Mar 15, 2014 ... vortices displayed by liquid water when it is agitated, or the ripples in windswept .... grey seal Halichoerus grypus (bottom). The examples in C, left, are ..... day 8 and 9, the beak was less protruding in VPA-treated than control ...

  18. Whales from space: counting southern right whales by satellite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fretwell, Peter T; Staniland, Iain J; Forcada, Jaume

    2014-01-01

    We describe a method of identifying and counting whales using very high resolution satellite imagery through the example of southern right whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Península Valdés in Argentina. Southern right whales have been extensively hunted over the last 300 years and although numbers have recovered from near extinction in the early 20(th) century, current populations are fragmented and are estimated at only a small fraction of pre-hunting total. Recent extreme right whale calf mortality events at Península Valdés, which constitutes the largest single population, have raised fresh concern for the future of the species. The WorldView2 satellite has a maximum 50 cm resolution and a water penetrating coastal band in the far-blue part of the spectrum that allows it to see deeper into the water column. Using an image covering 113 km², we identified 55 probable whales and 23 other features that are possibly whales, with a further 13 objects that are only detected by the coastal band. Comparison of a number of classification techniques, to automatically detect whale-like objects, showed that a simple thresholding technique of the panchromatic and coastal band delivered the best results. This is the first successful study using satellite imagery to count whales; a pragmatic, transferable method using this rapidly advancing technology that has major implications for future surveys of cetacean populations.

  19. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-10

    ... 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by a calf. NOAA regulations (at 50 CFR... which are summarized here: Only licensed whaling captains or crew under the control of those captains... crew, supplies, and equipment to engage in an efficient operation. Crew may not receive money for...

  20. 76 FR 16388 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-23

    ... well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by... captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the provisions... aboriginal hunters must have adequate crew, supplies, and equipment. They may not receive money for...

  1. 78 FR 13028 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-26

    ... The IWC regulations, as well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or... whaling captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. Captains and crew must... operation. Crew may not receive money for participating in the hunt. No person may sell or offer for sale...

  2. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-05

    ... well as the NOAA regulation at 50 CFR 230.4(c), forbid the taking of calves or any whale accompanied by... captains or crew under the control of those captains may engage in whaling. They must follow the provisions... aboriginal hunters must have adequate crew, supplies, and equipment. They may not receive money for...

  3. How man-made interference might cause gas bubble emboli in deep diving whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eFahlman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent cetacean mass strandings in close temporal and spatial association with sonar activity has raised the concern that anthropogenic sound may harm breath-hold diving marine mammals. Necropsy results of the stranded whales have shown evidence of bubbles in the tissues, similar to those in human divers suffering from decompression sickness (DCS. It has been proposed that changes in behavior or physiological responses during diving could increase tissue and blood N2 levels, thereby increasing DCS risk. Dive data recorded from sperm, killer, long-finned pilot, Blainville’s beaked and Cuvier’s beaked whales before and during exposure to low- (1-2 kHz and mid- (2-7 kHz frequency active sonar were used to estimate the changes in blood and tissue N2 tension (PN2. Our objectives were to determine if differences in 1 dive behavior or 2 physiological responses to sonar are plausible risk factors for bubble formation. The theoretical estimates indicate that all species may experience high N2 levels. However, unexpectedly, deep diving generally result in higher end-dive PN2 as compared with shallow diving. In this focused review we focus on three possible explanations: 1 We revisit an old hypothesis that CO2, because of its much higher diffusivity, form bubble precursors that continue to grow in N2 supersaturated tissues. Such a mechanism would be less dependent on the alveolar collapse depth but affected by elevated levels of CO2 following a burst of activity during sonar exposure. 2 During deep dives, a greater duration of time might be spent at depths where gas exchange continues as compared with shallow dives. The resulting elevated levels of N2 in deep diving whales might also make them more susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. 3 Extended duration of dives even at depths beyond where the alveoli collapse could result in slow continuous accumulation of N2 in the adipose tissues that eventually becomes a liability.

  4. A whale of an opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laidre, Kristin L.; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Logsdon, Miles L.

    2010-01-01

    Sixty hours of direct measurements of fluorescence were collected from six bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) instrumented with fluorometers in Greenland in April 2005 and 2006. The data were used to (1) characterize the three-dimensional spatial pattern of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) in the water...... column, (2) to examine the relationships between whale foraging areas and productive zones, and (3) to examine the correlation between whale-derived in situ values of Chl-a and those from concurrent satellite images using the NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) EOS-AQUA satellite...... (MOD21, SeaWifs analogue OC3M and SST MOD37). Bowhead whales traversed 1600 km2, providing information on diving, Chl-a structure and temperature profiles to depths below 200 m. Feeding dives frequently passed through surface waters (>50 m) and targeted depths close to the bottom, and whales did...

  5. Regulation of Heat Exchange across the Hornbill Beak: Functional Similarities with Toucans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Ven, T M F N; Martin, R O; Vink, T J F; McKechnie, A E; Cunningham, S J

    2016-01-01

    Beaks are increasingly recognised as important contributors to avian thermoregulation. Several studies supporting Allen's rule demonstrate how beak size is under strong selection related to latitude and/or air temperature (Ta). Moreover, active regulation of heat transfer from the beak has recently been demonstrated in a toucan (Ramphastos toco, Ramphastidae), with the large beak acting as an important contributor to heat dissipation. We hypothesised that hornbills (Bucerotidae) likewise use their large beaks for non-evaporative heat dissipation, and used thermal imaging to quantify heat exchange over a range of air temperatures in eighteen desert-living Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills (Tockus leucomelas). We found that hornbills dissipate heat via the beak at air temperatures between 30.7°C and 41.4°C. The difference between beak surface and environmental temperatures abruptly increased when air temperature was within ~10°C below body temperature, indicating active regulation of heat loss. Maximum observed heat loss via the beak was 19.9% of total non-evaporative heat loss across the body surface. Heat loss per unit surface area via the beak more than doubled at Ta > 30.7°C compared to Ta hornbills, and thus had a larger potential for heat loss at lower air temperatures. Respiratory cooling (panting) thresholds were also lower in toucans compared to hornbills. Both beak vasodilation and panting threshold temperatures are potentially explained by differences in acclimation to environmental conditions and in the efficiency of evaporative cooling under differing environmental conditions. We speculate that non-evaporative heat dissipation may be a particularly important mechanism for animals inhabiting humid regions, such as toucans, and less critical for animals residing in more arid conditions, such as Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills. Alternatively, differences in beak morphology and hardness enforced by different diets may affect the capacity of birds to use

  6. Elastic instability model of rapid beak closure in hummingbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M L; Yanega, G M; Ruina, A

    2011-08-07

    The hummingbird beak, specialized for feeding on floral nectars, is also uniquely adapted to eating flying insects. During insect capture the beak often appears to close at a rate that cannot be explained by direct muscular action alone. Here we show that the lower jaw of hummingbirds has a shape and compliance that allows for a controlled elastic snap. Furthermore, hummingbirds have the musculature needed to independently bend and twist the sides of the lower jaw. According to both our simple physical model and our elastic instability calculation, the jaw can be smoothly opened and then snapped closed through an appropriate sequence of bending and twisting actions by the muscles of the lower jaw. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Structure and mechanical behavior of a toucan beak

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seki, Yasuaki; Schneider, Matthew S.; Meyers, Marc A.

    2005-01-01

    The toucan beak, which comprises one third of the length of the bird and yet only about 1/20th of its mass, has outstanding stiffness. The structure of a Toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) beak was found to be a sandwich composite with an exterior of keratin and a fibrous network of closed cells made of calcium-rich proteins. The keratin layer is comprised of superposed hexagonal scales (50 μm diameter and 1 μm thickness) glued together. Its tensile strength is about 50 MPa and Young's modulus is 1.4 GPa. Micro and nanoindentation hardness measurements corroborate these values. The keratin shell exhibits a strain-rate sensitivity with a transition from slippage of the scales due to release of the organic glue, at a low strain rate (5 x 10 -5 /s) to fracture of the scales at a higher strain rate (1.5 x 10 -3 /s). The closed-cell foam is comprised of fibers having a Young's modulus twice as high as the keratin shells due to their higher calcium content. The compressive response of the foam was modeled by the Gibson-Ashby constitutive equations for open and closed-cell foam. There is a synergistic effect between foam and shell evidenced by experiments and analysis establishing the separate responses of shell, foam, and foam + shell. The stability analysis developed by Karam and Gibson, assuming an idealized circular cross section, was applied to the beak. It shows that the foam stabilizes the deformation of the beak by providing an elastic foundation which increases its Brazier and buckling load under flexure loading

  8. From whales to tritium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonnemains, J.

    2007-01-01

    Only 150 years of human actions and innovations separate whale-oil lamps from atomic fission and fusion. During this period, the human quest for lighting, heating and transportation has drained the stock of fuels, ranging from peat and wood to coal and petroleum. The energy necessary for protecting us from the cold and heat, for transportation, lighting and other comforts is a persistent problem. Since the start of the industrial era and the consumer age, the solutions adopted have jeopardized the oceans, atmosphere and earth. (author)

  9. Killer Whale Genetic Data - Southern resident killer whale pedigree analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In this project, we are using genetic variation to infer mating patterns in the southern killer whale community. In Canada, this population was listed as threatened...

  10. Sperm whale clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møhl, Bertel; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T.

    2000-01-01

    . A sound generator weighing upward of 10 tons and with a cross-section of 1 m is expected to generate high-intensity, directional sounds. This prediction from the Norris and Harvey theory is not supported by published data for sperm whale clicks ~source levels of 180 dB re 1 mPa and little, if any......In sperm whales ~Physeter catodon L. 1758! the nose is vastly hypertrophied, accounting for about one-third of the length or weight of an adult male. Norris and Harvey @in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 ~1972!, pp. 397–417# ascribed a sound-generating function to this organ complex......, directionality!. Either the theory is not borne out or the data is not representative for the capabilities of the sound-generating mechanism. To increase the amount of relevant data, a five-hydrophone array, suspended from three platforms separated by 1 km and linked by radio, was deployed at the slope...

  11. Japanese Small Type Coastal Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Fisher

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW as well as the 30th anniversary of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC moratorium on commercial whaling. It also marks three decades of effort by Japan to overturn this ban. Its strategy to circumvent the moratorium by issuing permits to kill protected whales for scientific research is famous—even the subject of a 2014 lawsuit at the International Court of Justice. Less well known is Japan’s strategy to overturn the ban by persuading the Commission to authorise a category of commercial whaling known as Small Type Coastal Whaling (STCW that is conducted on minke and other small whales in Japanese waters but has never been regulated, or even formally recognised, by the IWC. For three decades Japan has sought STCW catch limits for four communities which it claims are still suffering distress as a result of the moratorium. While the Commission has rejected each proposal, mainly citing concerns that the commercial nature and purpose of STCW violates the moratorium, Japan has persisted, exhibiting great flexibility in its approach. Its tactics changed significantly in 2014; it no longer denied (or defended the commerciality of the hunt, but argued that it is irrelevant since it sought only a small exemption to the moratorium which would remain intact for all other populations. This is a perspective on Japan’s evolving STCW strategy and the risk that lifting, or modifying, the moratorium would pose to the conservation of whales.

  12. Are white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris food specialst? Their diet in the southern North Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, O.E.; Leopold, M.F.; Meesters, H.W.G.; Smeenk, C.

    2010-01-01

    The white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris is the most numerous cetacean after the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in the North Sea, including Dutch coastal waters. In this study, the diet of 45 white-beaked dolphins stranded on the Dutch coast between 1968 and 2005 was determined by

  13. Regulation of Heat Exchange across the Hornbill Beak: Functional Similarities with Toucans?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T M F N van de Ven

    Full Text Available Beaks are increasingly recognised as important contributors to avian thermoregulation. Several studies supporting Allen's rule demonstrate how beak size is under strong selection related to latitude and/or air temperature (Ta. Moreover, active regulation of heat transfer from the beak has recently been demonstrated in a toucan (Ramphastos toco, Ramphastidae, with the large beak acting as an important contributor to heat dissipation. We hypothesised that hornbills (Bucerotidae likewise use their large beaks for non-evaporative heat dissipation, and used thermal imaging to quantify heat exchange over a range of air temperatures in eighteen desert-living Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills (Tockus leucomelas. We found that hornbills dissipate heat via the beak at air temperatures between 30.7°C and 41.4°C. The difference between beak surface and environmental temperatures abruptly increased when air temperature was within ~10°C below body temperature, indicating active regulation of heat loss. Maximum observed heat loss via the beak was 19.9% of total non-evaporative heat loss across the body surface. Heat loss per unit surface area via the beak more than doubled at Ta > 30.7°C compared to Ta < 30.7°C and at its peak dissipated 25.1 W m-2. Maximum heat flux rate across the beak of toucans under comparable convective conditions was calculated to be as high as 61.4 W m-2. The threshold air temperature at which toucans vasodilated their beak was lower than that of the hornbills, and thus had a larger potential for heat loss at lower air temperatures. Respiratory cooling (panting thresholds were also lower in toucans compared to hornbills. Both beak vasodilation and panting threshold temperatures are potentially explained by differences in acclimation to environmental conditions and in the efficiency of evaporative cooling under differing environmental conditions. We speculate that non-evaporative heat dissipation may be a particularly important

  14. Changes in dive behavior during naval sonar exposure in killer whales, long-finned pilot whales, and sperm whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Fahlman, A.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic underwater sound in the environment might potentially affect the behavior of marine mammals enough to have an impact on their reproduction and survival. Diving behavior of four killer whales (Orcinus orca), seven long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and four sperm whales

  15. Severity of Expert-Identified Behavioural Responses of Humpback Whale, Minke Whale, and Northern Bottlenose Whale to Naval Sonar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Cure, C.; Isojunno, S.; Wensveen, P.J.; Lam, F.P.A.; Visser, F.; Kleivane, L.; Tyack, P.L.; Harris, C.M.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2015-01-01

    Controlled exposure experiments using 1 to2 kHz sonar signals were conducted with 11 humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and one northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) during three field trials from 2011 to 2013. Ship approaches without

  16. Spatial and seasonal distribution of American whaling and whales in the age of sail.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    Full Text Available American whalemen sailed out of ports on the east coast of the United States and in California from the 18(th to early 20(th centuries, searching for whales throughout the world's oceans. From an initial focus on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus and right whales (Eubalaena spp., the array of targeted whales expanded to include bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus. Extensive records of American whaling in the form of daily entries in whaling voyage logbooks contain a great deal of information about where and when the whalemen found whales. We plotted daily locations where the several species of whales were observed, both those caught and those sighted but not caught, on world maps to illustrate the spatial and temporal distribution of both American whaling activity and the whales. The patterns shown on the maps provide the basis for various inferences concerning the historical distribution of the target whales prior to and during this episode of global whaling.

  17. Spatial and seasonal distribution of American whaling and whales in the age of sail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tim D; Reeves, Randall R; Josephson, Elizabeth A; Lund, Judith N

    2012-01-01

    American whalemen sailed out of ports on the east coast of the United States and in California from the 18(th) to early 20(th) centuries, searching for whales throughout the world's oceans. From an initial focus on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and right whales (Eubalaena spp.), the array of targeted whales expanded to include bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Extensive records of American whaling in the form of daily entries in whaling voyage logbooks contain a great deal of information about where and when the whalemen found whales. We plotted daily locations where the several species of whales were observed, both those caught and those sighted but not caught, on world maps to illustrate the spatial and temporal distribution of both American whaling activity and the whales. The patterns shown on the maps provide the basis for various inferences concerning the historical distribution of the target whales prior to and during this episode of global whaling.

  18. Marine mammals of Easter Island (Rapa Nui and Salas y Gómez Island (Motu Motiro Hiva, Chile: a review and new records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Chilean oceanic islands Easter Island (Rapa Nui and Salas y Gómez Island (Motu Motiro Hiva have received little attention with regards to basic marine mammal investigations. Here we review and update available information on the status of marine mammals in this area from different sources, including published accounts, local interviews and two recent expeditions. We also provide detailed accounts for each confirmed family or species, including historical data from published archaeological studies and whalers' logbooks from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Results indicate that a total of five marine mammal families (Balaenopteridae, Physeteridae, Ziphiidae, Delphinidae and Phocidae have been confirmed within the study area, representing two mammalian orders (Cetartiodactyla and Carnivora. Within these, twelve species are known to occur: blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus, unidentified minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis or B. acutorostrata, humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus, Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris, Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris, false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens, unidentified pilot whale (Globicephala sp., bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, common dolphin (Delphinus sp., southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina and leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx. We discuss the implications of some of most noteworthy records and make a plea for further studies to improve our knowledge of these top predators in one of the most isolated places in the world.

  19. Keiko, Killer Whale. [Lesson Plan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Discovery Communications, Inc., Bethesda, MD.

    This lesson plan presents activities designed to help students understand that Keiko, the killer whale, lived for a long time in an aquarium and had to be taught to live independently; and that computer users can get updates on how Keiko is doing. The main activity of the lesson involves middle school students working in small groups to produce a…

  20. Alaskan birds at risk: Widespread beak deformities in resident species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hemert, Caroline R.

    2007-01-01

    The team creeps silently across a well-tended lawn, eyes drawn to a small wooden box perched several meters up a lone birch tree. The first biologist is armed with a broom in one hand and a bug net in the other. Her partner wields a lunchbox-sized plastic case and a tree-climbing ladder that looks like an oversized radio antenna. A neighbor peers out her window from across the street to watch the unusual spectacle.A small black-and-white bird zips toward the box’s tiny, round opening and both women raise binoculars to their eyes in synchrony. A specific combination of metal and colored plastic bands on the bird’s legs identify this Black-capped Chickadee, which was banded two years earlier as a nestling. “It’s the female,” Colleen Handel whispers, and Lisa Pajot nods as they duck behind the cover of a large spruce tree. The bird - named “Red-white-red”, in reference to her color bands - appeared healthy in the nest as well as the following winter, when she was caught in a mist net set up nearby. The next summer, however, “Red-white-red” appeared at a residential nest box with a severely deformed beak. The overgrowth worsened, and, now, the upper mandible curves down and back toward her breast, while the lower extends up, crossing the upper at a nearly 90-degree angle. The effect is sobering. Even from a distance, this teacup-sized bird carries a conspicuous appendage that more closely resembles a pair of mangled scissors than any recognizable seed-cracking beak.

  1. Epizootic of beak deformities among wild birds in Alaska: An emerging disease in North America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handel, Colleen M.; Pajot, Lisa; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Terenzi, John; Talbot, Sandra L.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Trust, Kimberly A.

    2010-01-01

    The sudden appearance of a large cluster of animals with gross abnormalities may signal a significant change in an ecosystem. We describe an unusual concentration of beak deformities that appear to have arisen rapidly within Alaska and now extend southward along the Pacific Coast. In Alaska we have documented 2,160 Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and 435 individuals of 29 other species of birds, primarily during the past decade, with grossly overgrown and often crossed beaks. The annual prevalence of beak abnormalities among adult Black-capped Chickadees in south-central Alaska varied from 3.6% to 9.7% and averaged 6.5 ± 0.5% between 1999 and 2008. Only 0.05 ± 0.05% of nestlings and 0.3 ± 0.2% of juveniles abnormal beaks, which suggests that this is either a latent developmental or an acquired condition. We documented 80 cases in which a Black-capped Chickadee captured with an apparently normal beak was subsequently recaptured with a beak abnormality and 8 cases in which a beak deformity was no longer detectable upon recapture. Necropsy and histopathology of a sample of affected individuals provided no conclusive evidence of the etiology of this condition. Deformities appear to affect primarily the keratin layer of the beak and may result from abnormally rapid growth of the rhamphotheca. Some affected birds also exhibited lesions in other keratinized tissues of the skin, legs, feet, claws, and feathers, which may represent a systemic disorder or secondary conditions. Additional studies are currently underway to determine diagnostic signs and the underlying cause of this avian keratin disorder.

  2. 50 CFR 216.241 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... pair of any of the following marine mammals of concern: beaked whale of any species, dwarf or pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whales, pilot whales, right whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, blue...

  3. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-01-01

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus, a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo. PMID:28973883

  4. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-10-10

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus , a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo .

  5. Quantitative Analysis of Geometric Structures and Experimental Evaluation of Rooster Beak

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinping Li

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative analysis of rooster beak maxillary bone is highly significant to reveal the mechanism of the easy discretization and low damage in kernel dispersal. A 3D scanner is used to collect point-cloud data of rooster beak as well as extract maxillary bone horizontal and longitudinal feature curves into Matlab for curve fitting and curvature analysis. Results show that curvature values of crosscutting curves increase from side to center. These values sharply increase when curves move from side close to the center. Curvature values of the longitudinal cutting feature curves of the rooster beak maxillary bone are evidently less than those of the crosscutting curves. Geometry characteristics of rooster beak facilitate the dispersal of corn ear. High-speed photography showed that, the beak can efficiently destroy the arrangement law between kernels, and the corn ear is dispersed. The discrete roller is based on the model of the rooster beak. The experiment of discrete roller showed that the discrete and damage rates of the dent corn are 77.34% and 0.19%, respectively. The discrete and damage rates of the flint corn are 31.19% and 0.29%, respectively, under discrete roller speed of 250 rev·min-1 and moisture content of corn ear of 14.5%.

  6. The effects of ion implantation on the beaks of orthodontic pliers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mizrahi, E.; Cleaton-Jones, P.E.; Luyckz, S.; Fatti, L.P. (University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa))

    1991-06-01

    The surface of stainless steel may be hardened by bombarding the material with a stream of nitrogen ions generated by a nuclear accelerator. In the present study this technique was used to determine the hardening effect of ion implantation on the beaks of stainless steel orthodontic pliers. Ten orthodontic pliers (Dentarum 003 094) were divided into two equal groups, designated control and experimental. The beaks of the experimental pliers were subjected to ion implantation, after which the tips of the beaks of all the pliers were stressed in an apparatus attached to an Instron testing machine. A cyclical load of 500 N was applied to the handles of the pliers, while a 0.9 mm (0.036 inch) round, stainless steel wire was held between the tips of the beaks. The effect of the stress was assessed by measurement with a traveling microscope of the gap produced between the tips of the beaks. Measurements were taken before loading and after 20, 40, 60, and 80 cycles. Statistical analysis of variance and the two-sample t tests indicated that there was a significant increase in the size of the gap as the pliers were stressed from 0 to 80 cycles (p less than 0.001). Furthermore, the mean gap was significantly greater in the control group than in the experimental group (p less than 0.001). This study suggests that ion implantation increases the hardness of the tips of the beaks of orthodontic pliers.

  7. The effects of ion implantation on the beaks of orthodontic pliers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mizrahi, E.; Cleaton-Jones, P.E.; Luyckz, S.; Fatti, L.P.

    1991-01-01

    The surface of stainless steel may be hardened by bombarding the material with a stream of nitrogen ions generated by a nuclear accelerator. In the present study this technique was used to determine the hardening effect of ion implantation on the beaks of stainless steel orthodontic pliers. Ten orthodontic pliers (Dentarum 003 094) were divided into two equal groups, designated control and experimental. The beaks of the experimental pliers were subjected to ion implantation, after which the tips of the beaks of all the pliers were stressed in an apparatus attached to an Instron testing machine. A cyclical load of 500 N was applied to the handles of the pliers, while a 0.9 mm (0.036 inch) round, stainless steel wire was held between the tips of the beaks. The effect of the stress was assessed by measurement with a traveling microscope of the gap produced between the tips of the beaks. Measurements were taken before loading and after 20, 40, 60, and 80 cycles. Statistical analysis of variance and the two-sample t tests indicated that there was a significant increase in the size of the gap as the pliers were stressed from 0 to 80 cycles (p less than 0.001). Furthermore, the mean gap was significantly greater in the control group than in the experimental group (p less than 0.001). This study suggests that ion implantation increases the hardness of the tips of the beaks of orthodontic pliers

  8. Tread-water feeding of Bryde's whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Takashi; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Thongsukdee, Surasak; Cherdsukjai, Phaothep; Adulyanukosol, Kanjana; Sato, Katsufumi

    2017-11-06

    Many previous studies have shown that rorqual whales (Balaenopteridae), including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), fin whale (B. physalus), sei whale (B. borealis), Bryde's whale (B. edeni), minke whale (B. acutorostrata), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), employ a strategy called lunge feeding to capture a large amount of krill and/or fish for nourishment [1]. Lunge feeding entails a high energetic cost due to the drag created by an open mouth at high speeds [1,2]. In the upper Gulf of Thailand, Bryde's whales, which feed on small fish species [3], predominantly anchovies, demonstrated a range of feeding behaviors such as oblique, vertical, and lateral lunging. Moreover, they displayed a novel head-lifting feeding behavior characterized by holding the vertical posture for several seconds with an open mouth at the water surface. This study describes the head-lifting feeding by Bryde's whales, which is distinct from the typical lunge feeding of rorqual whales. Whales showing this behavior were observed on 58 occasions, involving 31 whales and including eight adult-calf pairs. Whales caught their prey using a series of coordinated movements: (i) lifting the head above the water with a closed mouth, (ii) opening the mouth until the lower jaw contacted the sea surface, which created a current of water flowing into the mouth, (iii) holding their position for several seconds, (iv) waiting for the prey to enter the mouth, and (v) closing the mouth and engulfing the prey underwater (Figure 1A-F, Movie S1 in Supplemental Information published with this article online). When a whale kept its upper jaw above the sea surface, many anchovies in the targeted shoal appeared to lose orientation and flowed passively into the mouth of the whale by the current created by the lower mandible breaking the surface of the water. We measured the duration of feeding events when the whales had a wide-open mouth mostly above the sea surface. The mean and maximum feeding

  9. Beaked Whales and Pilot Whales in the Alboran Sea (SW Mediterranean): Research Towards Improved Science-Based Mitigation Strategies for Risks from Man-Made Sound

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-30

    2 Biodiversidad from Spain. The detection functions created for each species include also all Alnitak data. RESULTS Ship-based surveys in 2010...the context of this project, coordinated by Fundación Biodiversidad and with the partnership of the Environment Ministry General secretariat for the...práctico para la aplicación de la Estrategia Marina Europea). This project has been funded by Fundación Biodiversidad in Spain, focusing on the

  10. Assessing Beaked Whale Reproduction and Stress Response Relative to Sonar Activity at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    especially pregnant females) this threshold is set somewhat arbitrary but judged and informed by the authors’ experience with over 2000 processed...Kellar N, Catelani K, Robbins M, Trego M, Allen C, Danil K, Chivers S (2015) Blubber cortisol: A potential tool for assessing stress response in free...6(3): e17009 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017009. PUBLICATIONS Kellar N, Catelani K, Robbins M, Trego M, Allen C, Danil K, Chivers S (2015

  11. Gouge marks on deep-sea mud volcanoes in the eastern Mediterranean: Caused by Cuvier’s beaked whales?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woodside, J.M.; David, L; Frantzis, A.; Hooker, S.K.

    2006-01-01

    Enigmatic seafloor gouge marks at depths of 1700-2100 m have been observed from submersible during geological survey work studying mud volcanoes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The marks consist of a central groove (about 10 cm deep and 1-2 m long), superimposed on a broader bowl-shaped depression

  12. Night-life of Bryde's whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Izadi, Sahar; Johnson, Mark; Aguilar de Soto, Natacha

    2018-01-01

    logging tags on resident Bryde'swhales in a busy gulf to study their daily activity patterns. We found that, while whales were active during daytime making energetic lunges to capture tonnes of plankton, they dedicated much of the night to rest. This suggests that whales may rely on vision to find prey...

  13. Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, song during the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Colombia Foundation to educate the communities of the Gulf of. Tribugá about the ... humpback whales (Winn and Winn 1978). Humpback whale song. ARTICLE .... mental (e.g., wind, waves) or anthropogenic (e.g., water craft) fea- tures, as well ..... rine Sanctuary, Division of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Na-.

  14. Sex determination of baleen whale artefacts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinding, Mikkel Holger Strander; Tervo, Outi M.; Grønnow, Bjarne

    2016-01-01

    to 4500 years old bowhead whale samples, and for comparison on dilution series from modern bowhead whales of known sex. DNA sequencing of PCR products obtained from the ancient material confirmed a higher proportion of successful PCR amplifications of the X homologue over the Y homologue. This potentially...

  15. Whale Watching in the Gulf of Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carkin, Clayton A.

    1985-01-01

    Describes a variety of teaching strategies to prepare a class for a whale watching field trip. Guidelines for recording a sighting, pictures and statistics for commonly and/or occasionally seen whales, and hints for avoiding sea sickness are included. (DH)

  16. Advanced Whale Detection Methods to Improve Whale-Ship Collision Avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGillivary, P. A.; Tougher, B.

    2010-12-01

    Collisions between whales and ships are now estimated to account for fully a third of all whale deaths worldwide. Such collisions can incur costly ship repairs, and may damage or disable ship steering requiring costly response efforts from state and federal agencies. While collisions with rare whale species are problematic in further reducing their low population numbers, collisions with some of the more abundant whale species are also becoming more common as their populations increase. The problem is compounded as ship traffic likewise continues to grow, thus posing a growing risk to both whales and ships. Federal agencies are considering policies to alter shipping lanes to minimize whale-ship collisions off California and elsewhere. Similar efforts have already been undertaken for the Boston Harbor ship approach, where a bend in the shipping lane was introduced to reduce ship traffic through a favorite area of the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The Boston shipping approach lane was also flanked with a system of moorings with whale detection hydrophones which broadcast the presence of calling whales in or near the ship channel to approaching ships in real time. When so notified, ships can post lookouts to avoid whale collisions, and reduce speed to reduce the likelihood of whale death, which is highly speed dependent. To reduce the likelihood and seriousness of whale-ship collisions off California and Alaska in particular, there is a need to better know areas of particularly high use by whales, and consider implementation of reduced ship speeds in these areas. There is also an ongoing discussion of altering shipping lanes in the Santa Barbara Channel to avoid habitual Blue whales aggregation areas in particular. However, unlike the case for Boston Harbor, notification of ships that whales are nearby to reduce or avoid collisions is complicated because many California and Alaska whale species do not call regularly, and would thus be undetected by

  17. Discovery of riblets in a bird beak (Rynchops) for low fluid drag.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Samuel; Bhushan, Bharat

    2016-08-06

    Riblet structures found on fast-swimming shark scales, such as those found on a mako shark, have been shown to reduce fluid drag. In previous experimental and modelling studies, riblets have been shown to provide drag reduction by lifting vortices formed in turbulent flow, decreasing overall shear stresses. Skimmer birds (Rynchops) are the only birds to catch fish in flight by flying just above the water surface with a submerged beak to fish for food. Because they need to quickly catch prey, reducing drag on their beak is advantageous. For the first time, riblet structures found on the beak of the skimmer bird have been studied experimentally and computationally for low fluid drag properties. In this study, skimmer replicas were studied for drag reduction through pressure drop in closed-channel, turbulent water flow. Pressure drop measurements are compared for black and yellow skimmer beaks in two configurations, and mako shark skin. In addition, two configurations of skimmer beak were modelled to compare drag properties and vortex structures. Results are discussed, and a conceptual model is presented to explain a possible drag reduction mechanism in skimmers.This article is part of the themed issue 'Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. Comparison of echolocation clicks from geographically sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eskesen, Ida; Wahlberg, Magnus; Simon, Malene

    2010-01-01

    The source characteristics of biosonar signals from sympatric killer whales and long-finned pilot whales in a Norwegian fjord were compared. A total of 137 pilot whale and more than 2000 killer whale echolocation clicks were recorded using a linear four-hydrophone array. Of these, 20 pilot whale...... clicks and 28 killer whale clicks were categorized as being recorded on-axis. The clicks of pilot whales had a mean apparent source level of 196 dB re 1 lPa pp and those of killer whales 203 dB re 1 lPa pp. The duration of pilot whale clicks was significantly shorter (23 ls, S.E.¼1.3) and the centroid...... frequency significantly higher (55 kHz, S.E.¼2.1) than killer whale clicks (duration: 41 ls, S.E.¼2.6; centroid frequency: 32 kHz, S.E.¼1.5). The rate of increase in the accumulated energy as a function of time also differed between clicks from the two species. The differences in duration, frequency...

  19. Detection and Classification of Whale Acoustic Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xian, Yin

    This dissertation focuses on two vital challenges in relation to whale acoustic signals: detection and classification. In detection, we evaluated the influence of the uncertain ocean environment on the spectrogram-based detector, and derived the likelihood ratio of the proposed Short Time Fourier Transform detector. Experimental results showed that the proposed detector outperforms detectors based on the spectrogram. The proposed detector is more sensitive to environmental changes because it includes phase information. In classification, our focus is on finding a robust and sparse representation of whale vocalizations. Because whale vocalizations can be modeled as polynomial phase signals, we can represent the whale calls by their polynomial phase coefficients. In this dissertation, we used the Weyl transform to capture chirp rate information, and used a two dimensional feature set to represent whale vocalizations globally. Experimental results showed that our Weyl feature set outperforms chirplet coefficients and MFCC (Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients) when applied to our collected data. Since whale vocalizations can be represented by polynomial phase coefficients, it is plausible that the signals lie on a manifold parameterized by these coefficients. We also studied the intrinsic structure of high dimensional whale data by exploiting its geometry. Experimental results showed that nonlinear mappings such as Laplacian Eigenmap and ISOMAP outperform linear mappings such as PCA and MDS, suggesting that the whale acoustic data is nonlinear. We also explored deep learning algorithms on whale acoustic data. We built each layer as convolutions with either a PCA filter bank (PCANet) or a DCT filter bank (DCTNet). With the DCT filter bank, each layer has different a time-frequency scale representation, and from this, one can extract different physical information. Experimental results showed that our PCANet and DCTNet achieve high classification rate on the whale

  20. Fishing for food : feeding ecology of harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena and white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris in Dutch waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, O.E.

    2013-01-01

    Harbour porpoises and white-beaked dolphins are the most common small cetaceans in the North Sea and Dutch coastal waters. The distribution and relative abundance of harbour porpoises and white-beaked dolphins from the Dutch coastal waters has changed significantly over the past decades. This

  1. Distribution and relative abundance of large whales in a former whaling ground off eastern South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Ship-based sighting surveys for cetaceans were conducted in the former whaling ground off the northeastern coast of Brazil. The cruises took place in winter and spring of 1998-2001 with the objectives of investigating current distribution and abundance of cetaceans, particularly large whale species taken during whaling. In 1998 the survey were conducted between the parallels 5°30'W and 9°S and the 200 m isobath and the meridian 033°W. A total of about 3,100 nm were surveyed between 1998 and 2001 Surveys were conducted using line transect methods from about 5-10°S, and from the coast to 33°W. A total of 151 sightings (203 individuals of large whales were recorded on effort. The Antarctic minke whale - Balaenoptera bonaerensis (Burmeister, 1867 was the most frequently sighted species (97 groups/132 individuals; Sighting Rate [SR] = 0.031 groups/nm, being recorded only in offshore waters. Density gradually increased from August to October. Minke whales were distributed throughout the area, both to the north and the south of former whaling ground. Sighting data indicate this is the most abundant species, particularly in the area beyond the continental shelf break. Breeding behavior was observed for Antarctic minke whales, but few groups containing calves were recorded (4.3% of the groups sighted on effort. Three other large whale species were recorded in low numbers: the Bryde's whale - Balaenoptera edeni (Anderson, 1879¹; the sei whale, B. borealis (Lesson, 1828, and the sperm, Physeter macrocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758. Sei, Bryde and sperm whales were regularly caught during whaling operations, but are rare in the area, suggesting they were depleted by whaling and have yet to recover to their pre-explotation abundance. In contrast, minke whales are abundant in this area, suggesting that either they were not substantially depleted, or that they have recovered rapidly. Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758, and fin whale, B. physalus

  2. Whale, Whale, Everywhere: Increasing Abundance of Western South Atlantic Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Their Wintering Grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolotto, Guilherme A; Danilewicz, Daniel; Andriolo, Artur; Secchi, Eduardo R; Zerbini, Alexandre N

    2016-01-01

    The western South Atlantic (WSA) humpback whale population inhabits the coast of Brazil during the breeding and calving season in winter and spring. This population was depleted to near extinction by whaling in the mid-twentieth century. Despite recent signs of recovery, increasing coastal and offshore development pose potential threats to these animals. Therefore, continuous monitoring is needed to assess population status and support conservation strategies. The aim of this work was to present ship-based line-transect estimates of abundance for humpback whales in their WSA breeding ground and to investigate potential changes in population size. Two cruises surveyed the coast of Brazil during August-September in 2008 and 2012. The area surveyed in 2008 corresponded to the currently recognized population breeding area; effort in 2012 was limited due to unfavorable weather conditions. WSA humpback whale population size in 2008 was estimated at 16,410 (CV = 0.228, 95% CI = 10,563-25,495) animals. In order to compare abundance between 2008 and 2012, estimates for the area between Salvador and Cabo Frio, which were consistently covered in the two years, were computed at 15,332 (CV = 0.243, 95% CI = 9,595-24,500) and 19,429 (CV = 0.101, 95% CI = 15,958-23,654) whales, respectively. The difference in the two estimates represents an increase of 26.7% in whale numbers in a 4-year period. The estimated abundance for 2008 is considered the most robust for the WSA humpback whale population because the ship survey conducted in that year minimized bias from various sources. Results presented here indicate that in 2008, the WSA humpback whale population was at least around 60% of its estimated pre-modern whaling abundance and that it may recover to its pre-exploitation size sooner than previously estimated.

  3. Whales, science, and scientific whaling in the International Court of Justice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangel, Marc

    2016-12-20

    I provide a brief review of the origins of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and the failure to successfully regulate whaling that led to the commercial moratorium in 1986. I then describe the Japanese Whale Research Programs Under Special Permit in the Antarctica (JARPA I, JARPA II) and the origins of the case Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening) in the International Court of Justice. I explain that the International Court of Justice chose to conduct an objective review of JARPA II, the standard that it used for the review, and the pathway that it took to adjudicate the case without providing a definition of science to be used in international law. I conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of the Judgment for the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, and the International Whaling Commission in particular, for other international treaties, and for the interaction of science and law more generally.

  4. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2014-09-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions are sensitive to the influence of ontogeny on morphology. Here, we use foetal/neonatal specimens of known species of living baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti) to show how juvenile morphology of extant species affects phylogenetic placement of the species. In one clade (sei whale, Balaenopteridae), the juvenile is distant from the usual phylogenetic position of adults, but in the other clade (pygmy right whale, Cetotheriidae), the juvenile is close to the adult. Different heterochronic processes at work in the studied species have different influences on juvenile morphology and on phylogenetic placement. This study helps to understand the relationship between evolutionary processes and phylogenetic patterns in baleen whale evolution and, more in general, between phylogeny and ontogeny; likewise, this study provides a proxy how to interpret the phylogeny when fossils that are immature individuals are included. Juvenile individuals in the peramorphic acceleration clades would produce misleading phylogenies, whereas juvenile individuals in the paedomorphic neoteny clades should still provide reliable phylogenetic signals.

  5. Having a Whale of a Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Feu, Chris

    2009-01-01

    A classroom practical exercise exploring the reliability of a basic capture-mark-recapture method of population estimation is described using great whale conservation as a starting point. Various teaching resources are made available.

  6. Right Whale Sightings Advisory System (RWSAS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Right Whale Sighting Advisory System (RWSAS) is a NOAA Fisheries program which was designed to reduce collisions between ships and the critically endangered...

  7. Beak measurements of octopus ( Octopus variabilis) in Jiaozhou Bay and their use in size and biomass estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Ying; Ren, Yiping; Meng, Wenrong; Li, Long; Mao, Xia; Han, Dongyan; Ma, Qiuyun

    2013-09-01

    Cephalopods play key roles in global marine ecosystems as both predators and preys. Regressive estimation of original size and weight of cephalopod from beak measurements is a powerful tool of interrogating the feeding ecology of predators at higher trophic levels. In this study, regressive relationships among beak measurements and body length and weight were determined for an octopus species ( Octopus variabilis), an important endemic cephalopod species in the northwest Pacific Ocean. A total of 193 individuals (63 males and 130 females) were collected at a monthly interval from Jiaozhou Bay, China. Regressive relationships among 6 beak measurements (upper hood length, UHL; upper crest length, UCL; lower hood length, LHL; lower crest length, LCL; and upper and lower beak weights) and mantle length (ML), total length (TL) and body weight (W) were determined. Results showed that the relationships between beak size and TL and beak size and ML were linearly regressive, while those between beak size and W fitted a power function model. LHL and UCL were the most useful measurements for estimating the size and biomass of O. variabilis. The relationships among beak measurements and body length (either ML or TL) were not significantly different between two sexes; while those among several beak measurements (UHL, LHL and LBW) and body weight (W) were sexually different. Since male individuals of this species have a slightly greater body weight distribution than female individuals, the body weight was not an appropriate measurement for estimating size and biomass, especially when the sex of individuals in the stomachs of predators was unknown. These relationships provided essential information for future use in size and biomass estimation of O. variabilis, as well as the estimation of predator/prey size ratios in the diet of top predators.

  8. The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, Jen A; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Cobb, Samuel N; Rayfield, Emily J

    2016-05-10

    Bird beaks are textbook examples of ecological adaptation to diet, but their shapes are also controlled by genetic and developmental histories. To test the effects of these factors on the avian craniofacial skeleton, we conducted morphometric analyses on raptors, a polyphyletic group at the base of the landbird radiation. Despite common perception, we find that the beak is not an independently targeted module for selection. Instead, the beak and skull are highly integrated structures strongly regulated by size, with axes of shape change linked to the actions of recently identified regulatory genes. Together, size and integration account for almost 80% of the shape variation seen between different species to the exclusion of morphological dietary adaptation. Instead, birds of prey use size as a mechanism to modify their feeding ecology. The extent to which shape variation is confined to a few major axes may provide an advantage in that it facilitates rapid morphological evolution via changes in body size, but may also make raptors especially vulnerable when selection pressures act against these axes. The phylogenetic position of raptors suggests that this constraint is prevalent in all landbirds and that breaking the developmental correspondence between beak and braincase may be the key novelty in classic passerine adaptive radiations.

  9. Transfer of 60Co from midwater squid to sperm whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umezu, Takeshi; Minamisako, Yoko; Ebihara, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hiroshi.

    1984-01-01

    Sperm whales are notable squid-eaters. They feed mainly on medium to large-sized cephalopods at midwater levels and defecate near the surface. This suggests the existence of an upward transport of 60 Co by sperm whales from the mesopelagic zone (150-1,200m). To elucidate this squid-whale route for this artificial radionuclide, 60 Co content was determined in squid and in predator whales captured by commercial whaling. In the Cephalopoda livers 60 Co levels of 30-500 mBq kg -1 wet were found and in the viscera of Odontoceti (toothed whales) 15-40 mBq kg -1 wet. About 0.3% of 60 Co ingested was estimated to be retained in a 23-year-old male sperm whale. In the livers of Bryde's whales, 60 Co levels of 40-80 mBq kg -1 wet were detected, but not in euphausiids and sardines, their possible prey. The level of Co in sperm whales was nearly the same as in Bryde's whales. Specific radioactivity 60 Co/ 59 Co in mBq μg -1 was several times higher in sperm whale (1.1-1.6) than in cephalopods (0.19-0.77). Eating prey with a high content of 60 Co in the 1960's may have contributed to the present body burden in sperm whales with a long-life span. However, the origin of 60 Co in Bryde's whales is unknown. (author)

  10. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana L Melcón

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to stop calling at any time of day, showing no diel pattern in their sensitivity to sonar. Conversely, the likelihood of whales emitting calls increased when ship sounds were nearby. Whales did not show a differential response to ship noise as a function of the time of the day either. These results demonstrate that anthropogenic noise, even at frequencies well above the blue whales' sound production range, has a strong probability of eliciting changes in vocal behavior. The long-term implications of disruption in call production to blue whale foraging and other behaviors are currently not well understood.

  11. Are Antarctic minke whales unusually abundant because of 20th century whaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruegg, Kristen C; Anderson, Eric C; Scott Baker, C; Vant, Murdoch; Jackson, Jennifer A; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2010-01-01

    Severe declines in megafauna worldwide illuminate the role of top predators in ecosystem structure. In the Antarctic, the Krill Surplus Hypothesis posits that the killing of more than 2 million large whales led to competitive release for smaller krill-eating species like the Antarctic minke whale. If true, the current size of the Antarctic minke whale population may be unusually high as an indirect result of whaling. Here, we estimate the long-term population size of the Antarctic minke whale prior to whaling by sequencing 11 nuclear genetic markers from 52 modern samples purchased in Japanese meat markets. We use coalescent simulations to explore the potential influence of population substructure and find that even though our samples are drawn from a limited geographic area, our estimate reflects ocean-wide genetic diversity. Using Bayesian estimates of the mutation rate and coalescent-based analyses of genetic diversity across loci, we calculate the long-term population size of the Antarctic minke whale to be 670,000 individuals (95% confidence interval: 374,000-1,150,000). Our estimate of long-term abundance is similar to, or greater than, contemporary abundance estimates, suggesting that managing Antarctic ecosystems under the assumption that Antarctic minke whales are unusually abundant is not warranted.

  12. Wandering whales? : Relationships between baleen whales and the sea ice environment in the Southern Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekmans, Bas

    2017-01-01

    Each austral summer large baleen whales migrate into the Southern Ocean to feed on krill. The melting of sea ice leads to algal blooms which allow rapid growth and development of krill. In order to predict how baleen whales will respond to long-term changes in the physical environment, we need to

  13. AWARE Sonar and Sperm Whale Tagging (DE9906, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AWARE sonar and sperm whale tagging cruise primarily focuses on whales in the continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  14. Large Whale Biology Survey (DE9908, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The large whale biology survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  15. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0107, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  16. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0306, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  17. Gulf of Mexico sperm whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on sperm whales occupying the north central Gulf of Mexico have been collected during vessel surveys. Photographs of sperm whales are taken...

  18. AWARE Sonar and Sperm Whale Tagging (DE0007, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AWARE sonar and sperm whale tagging cruise primarily focuses on whales in the continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  19. Northern Right Whale and Cetacean Survey (DE0108, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  20. A Whale of a Panorama

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for A Whale of a Panorama (QTVR) More than 1.5 years into their exploration of Mars, both of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers continue to send a cornucopia of images to Earth. The results are so spectacular that Deputy Project Manager John Callas recently described them as 'an embarrassment of riches.' Spirit produced this image mosaic, nicknamed the 'Whale Panorama,' two-thirds of the way to the summit of 'Husband Hill,' where the rover investigated martian rocks. On the right side of the panorama is a tilted layer of rocks dubbed 'Larry's Outcrop,' one of several tilted outcrops that scientists examined in April, 2005. They used spatial information to create geologic maps showing the compass orientation and degree of tilting of rock formations in the vicinity. Such information is key to geologic fieldwork because it helps establish if rock layers have been warped since they formed. In this case, scientists have also been studying the mineral and chemical differences, which show that some rocks have been more highly altered than others. In the foreground, in the middle of the image mosaic, Spirit is shown with the scientific instruments at the end of its robotic arm positioned on a rock target known as 'Ahab.' The rover was busy collecting elemental chemistry and mineralogy data on the rock at the same time that it was taking 50 individual snapshots with its five panoramic camera filters to create this stunning view of the martian scenery. The twin tracks of the rover's all-terrain wheels are clearly visible on the left. This mosaic of images spans about 220 degrees from left to right and is an approximate true-color rendering of the Mars terrain acquired through the panoramic camera's 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters. Spirit collected these images from its 497th martian day, or sol, through its 500th sol (May 27 through May 30, 2005).

  1. Southern right whales Eubalaena australis visit the coasts of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Counts and photographs of right whales Eubalaena australis taken on aerial surveys of the southern coast of. South Africa between ... of 0.08–2.89 km.h-1. Theodolite tracking of undisturbed groups of right whales from Cape Columbine produced ...... right whales on the coast of Argentina (Outer Coast) between 1971 and ...

  2. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The Prince of Whales Resource Advisory... Ranger District, 504 9th Street, Craig Alaska. Send written comments to Prince of Whales Resource...

  3. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Whale water restrictions. 13... Vessel Operating Restrictions § 13.1174 Whale water restrictions. (a) May 15 through September 30, the following waters are designated as whale waters. (1) Waters north of a line drawn from Point Carolus to...

  4. Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus off Angola: recent sightings ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Further survey work is required to better clarify the status of blue whales in Angolan waters, particularly with regard to population structure and potential calving grounds. Keywords: Antarctic blue whale, calving, catch data, pygmy blue whale, South-East Atlantic, stomach contents. African Journal of Marine Science 2014, ...

  5. Two intense decades of 19th century whaling precipitated rapid decline of right whales around New Zealand and East Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

    Full Text Available Right whales (Eubalaena spp. were the focus of worldwide whaling activities from the 16th to the 20th century. During the first part of the 19th century, the southern right whale (E. australis was heavily exploited on whaling grounds around New Zealand (NZ and east Australia (EA. Here we build upon previous estimates of the total catch of NZ and EA right whales by improving and combining estimates from four different fisheries. Two fisheries have previously been considered: shore-based whaling in bays and ship-based whaling offshore. These were both improved by comparison with primary sources and the American offshore whaling catch record was improved by using a sample of logbooks to produce a more accurate catch record in terms of location and species composition. Two fisheries had not been previously integrated into the NZ and EA catch series: ship-based whaling in bays and whaling in the 20th century. To investigate the previously unaddressed problem of offshore whalers operating in bays, we identified a subset of vessels likely to be operating in bays and read available extant logbooks. This allowed us to estimate the total likely catch from bay-whaling by offshore whalers from the number of vessels seasons and whales killed per season: it ranged from 2,989 to 4,652 whales. The revised total estimate of 53,000 to 58,000 southern right whales killed is a considerable increase on the previous estimate of 26,000, partly because it applies fishery-specific estimates of struck and loss rates. Over 80% of kills were taken between 1830 and 1849, indicating a brief and intensive fishery that resulted in the commercial extinction of southern right whales in NZ and EA in just two decades. This conforms to the global trend of increasingly intense and destructive southern right whale fisheries over time.

  6. Short beak and dwarfism syndrome (SBDS) of mule duck is caused by a distinct lineage of Goose parvovirus

    OpenAIRE

    Palya , Vilmos; Zolnai , Anna; Benyeda , Zsofia; Kovács , Edit; Kardi , Veronika; Mató , Tamás

    2009-01-01

    Abstract From early `70s till now numerous cases of ?short beak and dwarfism syndrome? have been reported in mule ducks from France. The animals showed strong growth retardation with smaller beak and tarsus. The syndrome was suggested to be caused by goose parvovirus on the basis of serological investigation, but the causative agent has not been isolated and the disease has not been reproduced by experimental infection so far. The aim of the present study was to characterize the vi...

  7. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) behavioral audiograms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K; St Leger, Judy; Acton, Doug; Stewart, John; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James J; Jenkins, Keith

    2017-04-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are one of the most cosmopolitan marine mammal species with potential widespread exposure to anthropogenic noise impacts. Previous audiometric data on this species were from two adult females [Szymanski, Bain, Kiehl, Pennington, Wong, and Henry (1999). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1322-1326] and one sub-adult male [Hall and Johnson (1972). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 51, 515-517] with apparent high-frequency hearing loss. All three killer whales had best sensitivity between 15 and 20 kHz, with thresholds lower than any odontocete tested to date, suggesting this species might be particularly sensitive to acoustic disturbance. The current study reports the behavioral audiograms of eight killer whales at two different facilities. Hearing sensitivity was measured from 100 Hz to 160 kHz in killer whales ranging in age from 12 to 52 year. Previously measured low thresholds at 20 kHz were not replicated in any individual. Hearing in the killer whales was generally similar to other delphinids, with lowest threshold (49 dB re 1 μPa) at approximately 34 kHz, good hearing (i.e., within 20 dB of best sensitivity) from 5 to 81 kHz, and low- and high-frequency hearing cutoffs (>100 dB re μPa) of 600 Hz and 114 kHz, respectively.

  8. Analysis of beak morphometry of the horned octopus Eledone cirrhosa (Cephalopoda: Octopoda in the Thracian Sea (NE Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. LEFKADITOU

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Cephalopod beaks are chitinous structures situated in the buccal mass lying at the base of their arms. Because they are among the few hard structures of cephalopods with high resistance to erosion during digestive process in predator stomachs, the study of the beak morphometry is of major importance for the species taxonomy, as well as, for the size estimation of the cephalopods consumed. In this study new information is provided on the dimensions and pigmentation process of the upper and lower beak of the horned octopus Eledone cirrhosa derived from 67 female and 47 male specimens caught by trawl in the Thracian Sea (NE Mediterranean. The growth of both beaks was allometric in relation to the mantle length and body weight. According to the results of covariance analysis, no difference was found in growth pattern of beaks between sexes. Four degrees of pigmentation were identified in both upper and lower beaks, the darkening process starting in females at a smaller size.

  9. Encountering whales: How encounter rates became the basis for managing whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Declining rates of encountering whales, including both sighting and catching, were noted by whalers throughout the 19th century, and these declines became the first indication that whaling was adversely affecting whale abundance. The interpretation of declines in both sighting and catch rates proved to be a difficult scientific task. Satisfactory quantitative methods of interpreting changes in whale encounter rates were not developed until the second half of the 20th century. Rates of encountering whales played a key role in the International Whaling Commission (IWC Scientific Committee from its beginning in the early 1950s, as well as in the US in implementing its Marine Mammal Protection Act beginning in the early 1970s. The development of methods of collecting and interpreting sighting and catch data was intimately interwoven with the development of themanagement of whaling and cetacean by-catches in fisheries throughout the world, but especially within the context of the Scientific Committees of the IWC and the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO. Although overfishing of whales was initially identified through the use of sighting rate data, catch rate data provided the IWC’s Committee its first firm footing for management advice. However, it was sighting rate data that ultimately became the basis for the scientific advice on whaling and for management advice in other settings. This led to the development of large scale cetacean sighting programmes, such as the IWC’s International Decade of Cetacean Researchsurveys in Antarctic aboard Japanese ships, the North Atlantic Sighting Surveys (NASS aboard Norwegian, Icelandic, Spanish, Greenlandic and Faroese vessels and aircraft (coordinated by NAMMCO through its Scientific Committee from 1995, and surveys under the US’s Marine Mammal Protection Act and the European Union’s Small Cetacean Abundance in the North Sea (SCANS programme. Fishery independent cetacean sighting surveys

  10. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    and review for the topics addressed in the subsequent chapters, with discussions of these chapters where appropriate. In this thesis, I have undertaken a series of acoustic studies on two species of toothed whales, the bottlenose dolphin and the short-finned pilot whale. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.......) is one of the best known toothed whales due to studies in captivity over the last 50 years. In contrast, the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a larger, deep-diving toothed whale that has been studied rather little, in part because their deep-diving ecology regularly takes them out...... their vocal behaviour and sound production to their different ecological niches and habitats. Toothed whales find and capture prey using a sophisticated biosonar system. Little is known about how toothed whales use their biosonar during a complex three-dimensional task of locating and capturing prey...

  11. Fine structural dependence of ultraviolet reflections in the King Penguin beak horn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresp, Birgitta; Langley, Keith

    2006-03-01

    The visual perception of many birds extends into the near-ultraviolet (UV) spectrum and ultraviolet is used by some to communicate. The beak horn of the King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) intensely reflects in the ultraviolet and this appears to be implicated in partner choice. In a preliminary study, we recently demonstrated that this ultraviolet reflectance has a structural basis, resulting from crystal-like photonic structures, capable of reflecting in the near-UV. The present study attempted to define the origin of the photonic elements that produce the UV reflectance and to better understand how the UV signal is optimized by their fine structure. Using light and electron microscopic analysis combined with new spectrophotometric data, we describe here in detail the fine structure of the entire King Penguin beak horn in addition to that of its photonic crystals. The data obtained reveal a one-dimensional structural periodicity within this tissue and demonstrate a direct relationship between its fine structure and its function. In addition, they suggest how the photonic structures are produced and how they are stabilized. The measured lattice dimensions of the photonic crystals, together with morphological data on its composition, permit predictions of the wavelength of reflected light. These correlate well with experimentally observed values. The way the UV signal is optimized by the fine structure of the beak tissue is discussed with regard to its putative biological role.

  12. White-beaked dolphins trapped in the ice and eaten by polar bears

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Aars

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus depend on sea ice, where they hunt ice-associated seals. However, they are opportunistic predators and scavengers with a long list of known prey species. Here we report from a small fjord in Svalbard, Norwegian High Arctic, a sighting of an adult male polar bear preying on two white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris on 23 April 2014. This is the first record of this species as polar bear prey. White-beaked dolphins are frequent visitors to Svalbard waters in summer, but have not previously been reported this far north in early spring. We suggest they were trapped in the ice after strong northerly winds the days before, and possibly killed when forced to surface for air at a small opening in the ice. The bear had consumed most parts of one dolphin. When observed he was in the process of covering the mostly intact second dolphin with snow. Such caching behaviour is generally considered untypical of polar bears. During the following ice-free summer and autumn, at least seven different white-beaked dolphin carcasses were observed in or near the same area. We suggest, based on the area and the degree to which these dolphins had decayed, that they were likely from the same pod and also suffered death due to entrapment in the ice in April. At least six different polar bears were seen scavenging on the carcasses.

  13. Edentulism, beaks, and biomechanical innovations in the evolution of theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Witmer, Lawrence M; Altangerel, Perle; Rayfield, Emily J

    2013-12-17

    Maniraptoriformes, the speciose group of derived theropod dinosaurs that ultimately gave rise to modern birds, display a diverse and remarkable suite of skeletal adaptations. Apart from the evolution of flight, a large-scale change in dietary behavior appears to have been one of the main triggers for specializations in the bauplan of these derived theropods. Among the different skeletal specializations, partial or even complete edentulism and the development of keratinous beaks form a recurring and persistent trend in from the evolution of derived nonavian dinosaurs. Therizinosauria is an enigmatic maniraptoriform clade, whose members display these and other osteological characters thought to be correlated with the shift from carnivory to herbivory. This makes therizinosaurians prime candidates to assess the functional significance of these morphological characters. Based on a highly detailed biomechanical model of Erlikosaurus andrewsi, a therizinosaurid from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia, different morphological configurations incorporating soft-tissue structures, such as a keratinous rhamphotheca, are evaluated for their biomechanical performance. Our results indicate that the development of beaks and the presence of a keratinous rhamphotheca would have helped to dissipate stress and strain, making the rostral part of the skull less susceptible to bending and displacement, and this benefit may extend to other vertebrate clades that possess rhamphothecae. Keratinous beaks, paralleled by edentulism, thus represent an evolutionary innovation developed early in derived theropods to enhance cranial stability, distinct to postulated mass-saving benefits associated with the origin of flight.

  14. Killer whale prey - Determining prey selection by southern resident killer whales (SRKW)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Prey selectivity by southern resident killer whales is being determined by analyses of fish scales and tissue from predation events and feces. Information on killer...

  15. Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, song during the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Madagascar Conservation & Development ... Song is made up of single units combined together into phrases, which are repeated to make up themes. A song ... to educate the communities of the Gulf of Tribugá about the importance of conservation, and to advocate for stricter guidelines for safe whale-watching practices.

  16. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benders, F.P.A.; Beerens, S.P.; Verboom, W.C.

    2004-01-01

    World-wide a concern exists about the influence of man-made noise on marine life, and particularly of high power sonar. Most concern lies with marine mammals that use acoustics for hunting, communication and/or navigation. This concern is fed by recent strandings of whales that could be related to

  17. SAKAMATA : A tool to avoid whale strandings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benders, F.P.A.; Beerens, S.P.; Verboom, W.C.

    2002-01-01

    World-wide a concern exists about the influence of man-made noise on marine life, and particularly of high power sonar. Most concern lies with marine mammals that use acoustics for hunting, communication and/or navigation. This concern is fed by recent strandings of whales that could be related to

  18. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

    We present a multiweek laboratory exercise that exposes students to the fundamental techniques of bacterial expression and protein purification through the preparation of sperm whale myoglobin. Myoglobin, a robust oxygen-binding protein, contains a single heme that gives the protein a reddish color, making it an ideal subject for the teaching…

  19. Whales of New England. Secondary Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    New England Aquarium, Boston, MA.

    Instructional materials and suggestions for conducting a whale watching field trip are contained in this curriculum packet for secondary science teachers. It is one unit in a series of curricular programs developed by the New England Aquarium Education Department. Activities and information are organized into three sections: (1) pre-trip…

  20. Whale Preservation. Grades Five to Nine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racicot, Darlene

    Dedicated to the conservation and preservation of whales, dolphins, and porpoises through public education, this instructional unit for grades 5-9 provides current (1993) facts, lesson plans, activities, and conservation and preservation techniques. Interdisciplinary activities involve students in debates, critical thinking, research, and…

  1. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatesy, John; Geisler, Jonathan H; Chang, Joseph; Buell, Carl; Berta, Annalisa; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S; McGowen, Michael R

    2013-02-01

    The emergence of Cetacea in the Paleogene represents one of the most profound macroevolutionary transitions within Mammalia. The move from a terrestrial habitat to a committed aquatic lifestyle engendered wholesale changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The results of this remarkable transformation are extant whales that include the largest, biggest brained, fastest swimming, loudest, deepest diving mammals, some of which can detect prey with a sophisticated echolocation system (Odontoceti - toothed whales), and others that batch feed using racks of baleen (Mysticeti - baleen whales). A broad-scale reconstruction of the evolutionary remodeling that culminated in extant cetaceans has not yet been based on integration of genomic and paleontological information. Here, we first place Cetacea relative to extant mammalian diversity, and assess the distribution of support among molecular datasets for relationships within Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates, including Cetacea). We then merge trees derived from three large concatenations of molecular and fossil data to yield a composite hypothesis that encompasses many critical events in the evolutionary history of Cetacea. By combining diverse evidence, we infer a phylogenetic blueprint that outlines the stepwise evolutionary development of modern whales. This hypothesis represents a starting point for more detailed, comprehensive phylogenetic reconstructions in the future, and also highlights the synergistic interaction between modern (genomic) and traditional (morphological+paleontological) approaches that ultimately must be exploited to provide a rich understanding of evolutionary history across the entire tree of Life. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. An integrated approach to historical population assessment of the great whales: case of the New Zealand southern right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jennifer A; Carroll, Emma L; Smith, Tim D; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Patenaude, Nathalie J; Baker, C Scott

    2016-03-01

    Accurate estimation of historical abundance provides an essential baseline for judging the recovery of the great whales. This is particularly challenging for whales hunted prior to twentieth century modern whaling, as population-level catch records are often incomplete. Assessments of whale recovery using pre-modern exploitation indices are therefore rare, despite the intensive, global nature of nineteenth century whaling. Right whales (Eubalaena spp.) were particularly exploited: slow swimmers with strong fidelity to sheltered calving bays, the species made predictable and easy targets. Here, we present the first integrated population-level assessment of the whaling impact and pre-exploitation abundance of a right whale, the New Zealand southern right whale (E. australis). In this assessment, we use a Bayesian population dynamics model integrating multiple data sources: nineteenth century catches, genetic constraints on bottleneck size and individual sightings histories informing abundance and trend. Different catch allocation scenarios are explored to account for uncertainty in the population's offshore distribution. From a pre-exploitation abundance of 28 800-47 100 whales, nineteenth century hunting reduced the population to approximately 30-40 mature females between 1914 and 1926. Today, it stands at less than 12% of pre-exploitation abundance. Despite the challenges of reconstructing historical catches and population boundaries, conservation efforts of historically exploited species benefit from targets for ecological restoration.

  3. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

    ... and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine... Recovery Plan (Plan) for the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica). ADDRESSES: Electronic copies...

  4. Snavelbehandeling in de kalkoenhouderij : alternatieven via fokkerij en bedrijfsmanagemrnt = Beak trimming in turkey production : alternatives by means of breeding and farm management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldkamp, T.

    2010-01-01

    A literature review on effects of breeding and management on injurious pecking behaviour and cannibalism has been conducted. The combination of factors to avoid injurious behaviour is not clear and thus no good alternative to beak trimming of the upper beak in day-old turkey poults is available. If

  5. Bowhead whale songs sung by females in Disko Bay, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi; Christoffersen, Mads; FØrasier, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    , and more rarely mate attraction. In the North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, a closely related species to the bowhead whale, the female produces simple calls during sexual interactions that attract other males to mating groups. We suggest that our results may indicate that the elaborate songs...... of female bowhead whales may function for mate attraction and represent a novel example of partial courtship role reversal in mammals....

  6. Decoupling Tooth Loss from the Evolution of Baleen in Whales

    OpenAIRE

    Peredo, Carlos Mauricio; Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Boersma, Alexandra T.

    2017-01-01

    Baleen whales, or mysticetes, include the largest vertebrates to have ever evolved. Their gigantism, evolutionary success, and ecological diversity have been linked to filter feeding. Mysticetes filter feed using elaborate keratinous baleen plates, which grow from the palate and allow them to strain large quantities of prey out of the water. While the earliest mysticetes retained the adult, mineralized teeth present in ancestral whales, all species of living baleen whales lack teeth and inste...

  7. Satellite Tracking of Humpback Whales in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, R.; Teilmann, J.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.-P.

    In June 2000, 6 humpback whales (Megaptere novaeangliae) were tagged with satellite transmitters off West Greenland. Contact remained for up to 42 days. The tagging revealed that within the month of June, humpback whales off West Greenland moved between Fiskenæs Banke, Fyllas Banke, Tovqussaq Banke......, Sukkertop Banke and Lille Hellefiske Banke. The whales showed a preference for the continental slopes with depths less than 200 m, however, few dives were recorded down to 500 m. The whales had a preference for dives lasting 7-8 min. (15%) and no dives lasted longer than 15 min....

  8. Tracing the spatio-temporal dynamics of endangered fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) within baleen whale (Mysticeti) lineages: a mitogenomic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jihyun; Nam, Bo-Hye; Yoon, Joon; Kim, Eun Bae; Park, Jung Youn; Kim, Heebal; Yoon, Sook Hee

    2017-12-01

    To explore the spatio-temporal dynamics of endangered fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) within the baleen whale (Mysticeti) lineages, we analyzed 148 published mitochondrial genome sequences of baleen whales. We used a Bayesian coalescent approach as well as Bayesian inferences and maximum likelihood methods. The results showed that the fin whales had a single maternal origin, and that there is a significant correlation between geographic location and evolution of global fin whales. The most recent common female ancestor of this species lived approximately 9.88 million years ago (Mya). Here, North Pacific fin whales first appeared about 7.48 Mya, followed by a subsequent divergence in Southern Hemisphere approximately 6.63 Mya and North Atlantic about 4.42 Mya. Relatively recently, approximately 1.76 and 1.42 Mya, there were two additional occurrences of North Pacific populations; one originated from the Southern Hemisphere and the other from an uncertain location. The evolutionary rate of this species was 1.002 × 10 -3 substitutions/site/My. Our Bayesian skyline plot illustrates that the fin whale population has the rapid expansion event since ~ 2.5 Mya, during the Quaternary glaciation stage. Additionally, this study indicates that the fin whale has a sister group relationship with humpback whale (Meganoptera novaeangliae) within the baleen whale lineages. Of the 16 genomic regions, NADH5 showed the most powerful signal for baleen whale phylogenetics. Interestingly, fin whales have 16 species-specific amino acid residues in eight mitochondrial genes: NADH2, COX2, COX3, ATPase6, ATPase8, NADH4, NADH5, and Cytb.

  9. A high prevalence of beak and feather disease virus in non-psittacine Australian birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amery-Gale, Jemima; Marenda, Marc S; Owens, Jane; Eden, Paul A; Browning, Glenn F; Devlin, Joanne M

    2017-07-01

    Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) is a circovirus and the cause of psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD). This disease is characterized by feather and beak deformities and is a recognized threat to endangered Psittaciformes (parrots and cockatoos). The role that non-psittacine birds may play as reservoirs of infection is unclear. This study aimed to begin addressing this gap in our knowledge of PBFD. Liver samples were collected from birds presented to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Zoos Victoria's Healesville Sanctuary for veterinary care between December 2014 and December 2015, and tested for BFDV DNA using polymerase chain reaction coupled with sequencing and phylogenetic analyses.Results/Key findings. Overall BFDV was detected in 38.1 % of 210 birds. BFDV was detected at high prevalence (56.2 %) in psittacine birds, in the majority of cases without any observed clinical signs of PBFD. We also found that BFDV was more common in non-psittacine species than previously recognized, with BFDV detected at 20.0 % prevalence in the non-psittacine birds tested, including species with no clear ecological association with psittacines, and without showing any detectable clinical signs of BFDV infection. Further research to determine the infectivity and transmissibility of BFDV in non-psittacine species is indicated. Until such work is undertaken the findings from this study suggest that every bird should be considered a potential carrier of BFDV, regardless of species and clinical presentation. Veterinary clinics and wildlife rehabilitation facilities caring for birds that are susceptible to PBFD should reconsider biosecurity protocols aimed at controlling BFDV.

  10. Micromagnetic insight into a magnetoreceptor in birds: existence of magnetic field amplifiers in the beak

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter

    2009-01-01

    The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... of the ophthalmic nerves in the skin of the upper beak of homing pigeons and were shown to fulfill the special prerequisites of a biological receptor. Here we study the proposed receptor theoretically and formulate the criteria for which it becomes operational and can be used for registering the weak magnetic...... fields as, e.g., the geomagnetic field, by a bird....

  11. Morphological beak differences of loliginid squid, Uroteuthis chinensis and Uroteuthis edulis, in the northern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Yue; Liu, Bilin; Chen, Xinjun; Staples, Kevin

    2018-03-01

    The mitre squid ( Uroteuthis chinensis) and the swordtip squid ( U. edulis) are Indo-Pacific cephalopod species that are abundant in the western Pacific Ocean. They are currently exploited in the East and South China Seas and make up a significant portion of the Chinese neritic squid catch. Beaks, the feeding organs of squid, are important for individual size and biomass estimation because of their high resistance to degradation in predator stomachs and consistent dimensions. In this study, 104 U. chinensis and 143 U. edulis individuals were sampled from northern South China Sea with mantle length from 70 to 260 mm and 96 to 284 mm, respectively. The results indicated that morphological beak values were greater for U. edulis, compared to U. chinensis, for upper hood length (UHL), upper crest length (UCL), upper lateral wall length (ULWL), lower crest length (LCL), and lower lateral wall length (LLWL). According to principal component analysis, UHL/ML, UCL/ML, ULWL/ML, LCL/ML, LLWL/ML and LWL/ML could represent the characteristics of beaks for U. chinensis, while UHL/ML, UCL/ML, ULWL/ML, LHL/ML, LCL/ML and LLWL/ML could represent it for U. edulis. According to Akaike's information criterion (AIC) values, a power function was the most suitable model for U. chinensis, while a linear function was the most suitable model for U. edulis. The beak variable-mantle length ratio (beak variable/mantle length) declined with the increasing of mantle length and declined sharply at the early stage of growth in both beaks and species. The ratio changed quickly after achieving the mantle length of 140 mm for U. chinensis, while the ratio changed quickly after 170 mm for U. edulis. Beaks in both species experienced sharper changes through maturity stage I to II than other maturity stages. This study gives us basic beak morphology information for U. chinensis and U. edulis in the East and South China Seas. Geometric morphological methods combined with dietary analysis should be used

  12. Type 1a endoleak following Zone 1 and Zone 2 thoracic endovascular aortic repair: effect of bird-beak configuration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudo, Tomoaki; Kuratani, Toru; Shimamura, Kazuo; Sakamoto, Tomohiko; Kin, Keiwa; Masada, Kenta; Shijo, Takayuki; Torikai, Kei; Maeda, Koichi; Sawa, Yoshiki

    2017-10-01

    Type 1a endoleak is one of the most severe complications after thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), because it carries the risk of aortic rupture. The association between bird-beak configuration and Type 1a endoleak remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to analyse the predictors of Type 1a endoleak following Zone 1 and Zone 2 TEVAR, with a particular focus on the effect of bird-beak configuration. From April 2008 to July 2015, 105 patients (mean age 68.6 years) who underwent Zone 1 and 2 landing TEVAR were enrolled, with a mean follow-up period of 4.3 years. The patients were categorized into 2 groups, according to the presence (Group B, n = 32) or the absence (Group N, n = 73) of bird-beak configuration on the first postoperative multidetector computed tomography. The Kaplan-Meier event-free rate curve showed that Type 1a endoleak and bird-beak progression occurred less frequently in Group N than in Group B. Five-year freedom from Type 1a endoleak rates were 79.7% and 100% for Groups B and N, respectively (P = 0.007). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that dissecting aortic aneurysm (odds ratio 3.72, 95% confidence interval 1.30-11.0; P = 0.014) and shorter radius of inner curvature (odds ratio 1.09, 95% confidence interval 0.85-0.99; P = 0.025) were significant risk factors for bird-beak configuration. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression showed that Z-type stent graft (hazard ratio 2.69, 95% confidence interval 1.11-6.51; P = 0.030) was a significant risk factor for bird-beak progression. Appropriate stent grafts need to be chosen carefully to prevent Type 1a endoleak and bird-beak configuration after landing Zone 1 and 2 TEVAR. Patients with bird-beak configuration on early postoperative multidetector computed tomography require closer follow-up to screen for Type 1a endoleak. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio

  13. Humans, Fish, and Whales: How Right Whales Modify Calling Behavior in Response to Shifting Background Noise Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Susan E; Groch, Karina; Flores, Paulo; Sousa-Lima, Renata; Urazghildiiev, Ildar R

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of behavioral plasticity in the variation of sound production of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in response to changes in the ambient background noise conditions. Data were collected from southern right whales in Brazilian waters in October and November 2011. The goal of this study was to quantify differences in right whale vocalizations recorded in low background noise as a control, fish chorus noise, and vessel noise. Variation in call parameters were detected among the three background noise conditions and have implications for future studies of noise effects on whale sound production.

  14. Pre-whaling genetic diversity and population ecology in eastern Pacific gray whales: insights from ancient DNA and stable isotopes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Elizabeth Alter

    Full Text Available Commercial whaling decimated many whale populations, including the eastern Pacific gray whale, but little is known about how population dynamics or ecology differed prior to these removals. Of particular interest is the possibility of a large population decline prior to whaling, as such a decline could explain the ~5-fold difference between genetic estimates of prior abundance and estimates based on historical records. We analyzed genetic (mitochondrial control region and isotopic information from modern and prehistoric gray whales using serial coalescent simulations and Bayesian skyline analyses to test for a pre-whaling decline and to examine prehistoric genetic diversity, population dynamics and ecology. Simulations demonstrate that significant genetic differences observed between ancient and modern samples could be caused by a large, recent population bottleneck, roughly concurrent with commercial whaling. Stable isotopes show minimal differences between modern and ancient gray whale foraging ecology. Using rejection-based Approximate Bayesian Computation, we estimate the size of the population bottleneck at its minimum abundance and the pre-bottleneck abundance. Our results agree with previous genetic studies suggesting the historical size of the eastern gray whale population was roughly three to five times its current size.

  15. 'Blue Whale Challenge': A Game or Crime?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhra, Richa; Baryah, Neha; Krishan, Kewal; Kanchan, Tanuj

    2017-11-11

    A bewildering range of games are emerging every other day with newer elements of fun and entertainment to woo youngsters. Games are meant to reduce stress and enhance the cognitive development of children as well as adults. Teenagers are always curious to indulge in newer games; and e-gaming is one such platform providing an easy access and quicker means of entertainment. The particular game challenge which has taken the world by storm is the dangerous "Blue Whale Challenge" often involving vulnerable teenagers. The Blue Whale Challenge is neither an application nor internet based game but the users get a link through social media chat groups to enter this "deadly" challenge game. This probably is the only game where the participant has to end his/her life to complete the game. The innocent teenagers are being targeted based on their depressed psychology and are coercively isolated from their social milieux on the pretext of keeping the challenges confidential. To add to the woes, no option is offered to quit the challenge even if the contender is unable to complete the challenge. Blue Whale Challenge in its sheer form could be seen as an illegal, unethical and inhumane endeavor in our present society. The present communication discusses the severe effects of the game on teenagers, the ethical concerns involved and the preventive measures necessary to curb it.

  16. Biosonar, diving and movements of two tagged white-beaked dolphin in Icelandic waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Teilmann, Jonas

    2013-01-01

    For the first time bio-logging tags were attached to free-ranging white-beaked dolphins, Lagenorhynchus albirostris. A satellite tag was attached to one animal while an acoustic A-tag, a time-depth recorder and a VHF transmitter complex was attached to a second dolphin with a suction cup....... The satellite tag transmitted for 201 days, during which time the dolphin stayed in the coastal waters of western Iceland. The acoustic tag complex was on the second animal for 13 hours and 40 minutes and provided the first insight in echolocation behaviour of a free-ranging white-beaked dolphin. The tag...... registered 162 dives. The dolphin dove to a maximum depth of 45 m, which is about the depth of the bay in which the dolphin was swimming. Two basic types of dives were identified; U-shaped and V-shaped dives. The dolphin used more time in U-shaped dives, more clicks and sonar signals with shorter click...

  17. Epidemiological Importance of Yeasts Isolated from the Beak and Cloaca of Healthy Charadriiformes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dynowska Maria

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents mycological studies conducted jointly with ornithologists on the epidemiology of mycoses and the taxonomic diversity and prevalence of fungi that colonise the selected onthocenoses in healthy, wild migratory birds. Aquatic ecosystem populations of healthy birds include a percentage of carriers of potential zoo- and anthropopathogens, and this study's purpose was to determine the percentage. The studies were performed on swabs sampled in vivo (during spring and autumn migrations from the beak and cloaca of nine species of Charadriiformes in two age categories. Macro- and microcultures of fungi were prepared according to the standards for diagnostic mycological laboratories. From the 450 birds examined, fungi were isolated from 130 (26.5% individuals. The sampling yielded 272 yeast isolates: 170 (62.5% from the beak and 102 (37.5% from the cloaca. The isolates represented 23 species, among which C. albicans, C. neoformans, and R. rubra were predominant. In both onthocenoses in young and adult birds, more fungi were recorded in autumn than in spring. As many as 15 species are included in the biosafety level classification, of which seven are categorised as category 2 and one as category 3.

  18. Behavioral responses by Icelandic White-Beaked Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) to playback sounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Atem, Ana; Miller, Lee A.

    2016-01-01

    AbstractThe aim of this study was to investigate how wild white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)respond to the playback of novel, anthropogenic sounds. We used amplitude-modulated tones and synthetic pulse-bursts. (Some authors in the literature use the term “burst pulse” meaning a bu...... a response and a change in the natural behavior of a marine mammal—in this case, wild white-beaked dolphins........ The estimated received levels for tonal signals were from 110 to 160 dB and for pulse-bursts were 153 to 166 dB re 1 μPa (peak-to-peak). Playback of a file with no signal served as a no sound control in all experiments. The animals responded to all acoustic signals with nine different behavioral responses: (1......) circling the array, (2) turning around and approaching the camera, (3)underwater tail slapping, (4)emitting bubbles, (5)turning their belly towards the set-up, (6) emitting pulse-bursts towards the loudspeaker, (7) an increase in swim speed, (8) a change in swim direction, and (9) jumping. A total of 157...

  19. Review of psittacine beak and feather disease and its effect on Australian endangered species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raidal, S R; Sarker, S; Peters, A

    2015-12-01

    Since it was first described in the early 1980s, psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) has become recognised as the dominant viral pathogen of psittacine birds in Australia. Our aim was to evaluate and review the effect of PBFD and its position as a key threatening process to Australian psittacine bird species. We review the origin/evolutionary pathways and potential threat of PBFD to endangered psittacine bird populations and captive-breeding flocks. The most recent beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) phylogenetic analyses indicate that all endangered Australian psittacine bird species are susceptible to, and equally likely to be infected by, BFDV genotypes from a range of host psittacine species. Management of the disease in captive-breeding programs has relied on testing and culling, which has proven costly. The risk of PBFD should be considered very carefully by management teams contemplating the establishment of captive-breeding flocks for endangered species. Alternative disease prevention tools, including vaccination, which are increasingly being used in wildlife health, should be considered more seriously for managing and preventing PBFD in captive flocks of critically endangered species. © 2015 Australian Veterinary Association.

  20. Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) at Marion Island, Southern Ocean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) were studied using data obtained on an opportunistic basis between 1973 and 1996 at Marion Island (46°54'S, 37°45'E) in the Southern Indian Ocean. A clear seasonal pattern of occurrence with the main peak between October and December was evident. Most killer whales were observed ...

  1. Cephalopods in the diet of sperm whales caught commercially off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A collection from stomach contents of 30 sperm whales Physeter catodon comprised a total of 46 cephalopods belonging to six families. Nine species were identified, including Ommastrephes bartramii, which is recorded for the first time in the diet of sperm whales caught off South Africa, and Todarodes filippovae, which has ...

  2. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Besseling, E.; Foekema, E.M.; Franeker, van J.A.; Leopold, M.F.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.; Kuehn, S.; Mielke, L.; Heberle-Bors, E.; Ijzer, J.; Kamminga, P.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in

  3. Evolutionary of history of North Pacific Humpback Whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verkuil, Yvonne; Bérubé, Martine; Urban-R, Jorge; Darling, J; Mattila, David; Yamaguchi, M; Pastene, Luis A.; Palsboll, Per

    North Pacific Humpback Whales breed on winter grounds at Hawaii, Mexico and Okinawa, and summer on feeding grounds in northern Temperate and sub-Arctic waters. Re-sighting records of photographically identified individual humpback whales suggest that breeding grounds are not isolated. Later genetic

  4. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coosaw River (Whale Branch). 117.927 Section 117.927 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY... (Whale Branch). The draw of the Seaboard System Railroad bridge, mile 5.3 at Seabrook, and the draw of...

  5. CHARACTERIZATION OF WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE SPRING FEEDING HABITAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Great South Channel region of the southwestern Gulf of Maine, between George's Bank and Cape Cod, is the primary spring feeding ground for the western North Atlantic population of the I northern right whale, E. glacialis .Since this whale is so endangered, it is critical to i...

  6. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E., Besseling,; E.M., Foekema,; J.A. van, Franeker; Leopold, Mardik F; Kuhn, S.; Bravo Rebolledo, E.L.; Hese, E.; Mielke, L.; IJzer, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304839663; Kamminga, P.; Koelmans, A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in

  7. Biopsying southern right whales : Their reactions and effects on reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Best, PB; Reeb, D; Rew, MB; Palsboll, PJ; Schaeff, C; Brandao, A

    Collecting skin biopsies from large whales for genetic analysis is often subject to national permit, and in the case of cow-calf pairs, it may be prohibited. We present results of 906 biopsy attempts on southern fight whales (Eubalaena australis) in South African waters between 1995 and 1997,

  8. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-30

    DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland...SUBTITLE Climate Change And Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades In Greenland 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S

  9. Field Research Studying Whales in an Undergraduate Animal Behavior Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLaren, R. David; Schulte, Dianna; Kennedy, Jen

    2012-01-01

    This work describes a new field research laboratory in an undergraduate animal behavior course involving the study of whale behavior, ecology and conservation in partnership with a non-profit research organization--the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation (BOS). The project involves two weeks of training and five weekend trips on whale watch…

  10. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castro, C.; Acevedo, J.; Aguayo-Lobo, A.; Allen, J.; Capella, J.; Rosa, Dalla L.; Flores-González, L.; Kaufman, G.; Forestell, P.; Scheidat, M.; Secchi, E.R.; Stevick, P.; Santos, M.C.O.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on the long-term re-sight histories of fifteen photo-identified humpback whales encountered to date transiting Ecuadorian waters. It also provides information about connections to feeding area destinations. Whale EC1261 has been resighted over a 26 year span and provides insight

  11. Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus scavenge offal from minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata whaling operations in Svalbard (Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa-Marie Leclerc

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata tissue (mainly blubber was found in the gastrointestinal tracks of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus collected in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. In order to determine whether the sharks were actively hunting the whales, finding naturally dead whales or consuming offal from whaling, we checked the genetic identity of the whale tissue found in the sharks against the DNA register for minke whales taken in Norwegian whaling operations. All of the minke whale samples from the sharks that had DNA of sufficient quality to perform individual identifications were traceable to the whaling DNA register. During whaling operations, the blubber is stripped from the carcass and thrown overboard. The blubber strips float on the surface and are available for surface-feeding predators. This study revealed that Greenland sharks are scavenging this material; additionally, it demonstrates the capacity of this ‘benthic-feeding’ shark to utilize the whole water column for foraging.

  12. POPs in free-ranging pilot whales, sperm whales and fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea: Influence of biological and ecological factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinzone, Marianna [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Budzinski, Hélène [ISM/LPTC, Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Chemistry, University of Bordeaux I, 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Bordeaux (France); CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence (France); Tasciotti, Aurélie; Ody, Denis [WWF-France, 6 Rue des Fabres, 13001 Marseille France (France); Lepoint, Gilles; Schnitzler, Joseph [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Scholl, George [CART, Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry LSM, University of Liege, B6C, Allée du 6 Août, 4000, Liege (Belgium); Thomé, Jean-Pierre [CART, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology LEAE, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août 11, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Tapie, Nathalie [ISM/LPTC, Laboratory of Physical and Chemical Chemistry, University of Bordeaux I, 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Bordeaux (France); CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence (France); Eppe, Gauthier [CART, Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry LSM, University of Liege, B6C, Allée du 6 Août, 4000, Liege (Belgium); Das, Krishna, E-mail: krishna.das@ulg.ac.be [Laboratory of Oceanology, MARE Centre, B6c, University of Liege, B6c, Allée du 6 Août, 4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2015-10-15

    The pilot whale Globicephala melas, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are large cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea. These species are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats such as exposure to high levels of contaminants. Therefore, selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (29 PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analysed in blubber biopsies of 49 long-finned pilot whales, 61 sperm whales and 70 fin whales sampled in the North Western Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) from 2006 to 2013. Contamination profile and species feeding ecology were then combined through the use of stable isotopes. δ{sup 13}C, δ{sup 15}N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC–MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ{sup 15}N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ{sup 13}C of the two odontocetes was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰ for sperm whales and −17.8±0.3‰ for pilot whales; whilst fin whales were more depleted (−18.7±0.4‰). This indicates a partial overlap in toothed-whales feeding habitats, while confirms the differences in feeding behaviour of the mysticete. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38,666±25,731 ng g{sup −1} lw and 22,849±15,566 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412 ng g{sup −1} lw and 347±173 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46,081±37,506 ng g{sup −1} lw and 37,647±38,518 ng g{sup −1} lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180 ng g{sup −1} lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208 ng g{sup −1} lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549 ng g{sup −1} lw). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that are more

  13. POPs in free-ranging pilot whales, sperm whales and fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea: Influence of biological and ecological factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinzone, Marianna; Budzinski, Hélène; Tasciotti, Aurélie; Ody, Denis; Lepoint, Gilles; Schnitzler, Joseph; Scholl, George; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Tapie, Nathalie; Eppe, Gauthier; Das, Krishna

    2015-01-01

    The pilot whale Globicephala melas, the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, and the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus are large cetaceans permanently inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea. These species are subjected to numerous anthropogenic threats such as exposure to high levels of contaminants. Therefore, selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (29 PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analysed in blubber biopsies of 49 long-finned pilot whales, 61 sperm whales and 70 fin whales sampled in the North Western Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) from 2006 to 2013. Contamination profile and species feeding ecology were then combined through the use of stable isotopes. δ 13 C, δ 15 N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC–MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ 15 N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ 13 C of the two odontocetes was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰ for sperm whales and −17.8±0.3‰ for pilot whales; whilst fin whales were more depleted (−18.7±0.4‰). This indicates a partial overlap in toothed-whales feeding habitats, while confirms the differences in feeding behaviour of the mysticete. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38,666±25,731 ng g −1 lw and 22,849±15,566 ng g −1 lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412 ng g −1 lw and 347±173 ng g −1 lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46,081±37,506 ng g −1 lw and 37,647±38,518 ng g −1 lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180 ng g −1 lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208 ng g −1 lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549 ng g −1 lw). Each species was characterized by large inter-individual variations that are more related to sex than trophic level, with males presenting higher

  14. Baleen whales and their prey in a coastal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatt, John F.; Methven, David A.; Burger, Alan E.; McLagan, Ruth L.; Mercer, Vicki; Creelman, Elizabeth

    1989-01-01

    Patterns of abundance of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) whales are described in relation to the abundance of their primary prey, capelin (Mallotus villosus), during 1982–1985 at Witless Bay, Newfoundland. The abundance ratio of the three whale species was 10:1:3.5, respectively. Abundance of all whale species was strongly correlated with abundance of capelin through each season and between years. Capelin abundance accounted for 63% of the variation in whale numbers in 1983 and 1984, while environmental parameters (e.g., water temperatures) accounted for little variance. The amount of capelin consumed by whales was small (< 2%) compared with the amount available. All three species overlapped temporally at Witless Bay, but spatial overlap was reduced as fins occurred primarily offshore, minkes primarily inshore, and humpbacks in bay habitats of intermediate depth.

  15. An Economical Custom-Built Drone for Assessing Whale Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Pirotta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs have huge potential to improve the safety and efficiency of sample collection from wild animals under logistically challenging circumstances. Here we present a method for surveying population health that uses UAVs to sample respiratory vapor, ‘whale blow,' exhaled by free-swimming humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, and coupled this with amplification and sequencing of respiratory tract microbiota. We developed a low-cost multirotor UAV incorporating a sterile petri dish with a remotely operated ‘blow' to sample whale blow with minimal disturbance to the whales. This design addressed several sampling challenges: accessibility; safety; cost, and critically, minimized the collection of atmospheric and seawater microbiota and other potential sources of sample contamination. We collected 59 samples of blow from northward migrating humpback whales off Sydney, Australia and used high throughput sequencing of bacterial ribosomal gene markers to identify putative respiratory tract microbiota. Model-based comparisons with seawater and drone-captured air demonstrated that our system minimized external sources of contamination and successfully captured sufficient material to identify whale blow-specific microbial taxa. Whale-specific taxa included species and genera previously associated with the respiratory tracts or oral cavities of mammals (e.g., Pseudomonas, Clostridia, Cardiobacterium, as well as species previously isolated from dolphin or killer whale blowholes (Corynebacteria, others. Many examples of exogenous marine species were identified, including Tenacibaculum and Psychrobacter spp. that have been associated with the skin microbiota of marine mammals and fish and may include pathogens. This information provides a baseline of respiratory tract microbiota profiles of contemporary whale health. Customized UAVs are a promising new tool for marine megafauna research and may have broad application in

  16. Stable isotopes, beaks and predators: a new tool to study the trophic ecology of cephalopods, including giant and colossal squids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherel, Yves; Hobson, Keith A

    2005-08-07

    Cephalopods play a key role in the marine environment but knowledge of their feeding habits is limited by lack of data. Here, we have developed a new tool to investigate their feeding ecology by combining the use of their predators as biological samplers together with measurements of the stable isotopic signature of their beaks. Cephalopod beaks are chitinous hard structures that resist digestion and the stable isotope ratios of carbon (delta13C) and nitrogen (delta15N) are indicators of the foraging areas and trophic levels of consumers, respectively. First, a comparison of delta13C and delta15N values of different tissues from the same individuals showed that beaks were slightly enriched in 13C but highly impoverished in 15N compared with lipid-free muscle tissues. Second, beaks from the same species showed a progressive increase in their delta15N values with increasing size, which is in agreement with a dietary shift from lower to higher trophic levels during cephalopod growth. In the same way, there was an increase in the delta15N signature of various parts of the same lower beaks in the order rostrum, lateral walls and wings, which reflects the progressive growth and chitinization of the beaks in parallel with dietary changes. Third, we investigated the trophic structure of a cephalopod community for the first time. Values of delta15N indicate that cephalopods living in slope waters of the subantarctic Kerguelen Islands (n=18 species) encompass almost three distinct trophic levels, with a continuum of two levels between crustacean- and fish-eaters and a distinct higher trophic level occupied by the colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. delta13C values demonstrated that cephalopods grow in three different marine ecosystems, with 16 species living and developing in Kerguelen waters and two species migrating from either Antarctica (Slosarczykovia circumantarctica) or the subtropics (the giant squid Architeuthis dux). The stable isotopic signature of beaks

  17. Arctic whaling : proceedings of the International Symposium Arctic Whaling February 1983

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacob, H.K. s'; Snoeijing, K

    1984-01-01

    Contents: D.M. Hopkins and Louie Marincovich Jr. Whale Biogeography and the history of the Arctic Basin P.M. Kellt, J.H.W. Karas and L.D. Williams Arctic Climate: Past, Present and Future Torgny E. Vinje On the present state and the future fate of the Arctic sea ice cover P.J.H. van Bree On the

  18. On the growth of the baleen plate of the Fin Whale and the Blue Whale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utrecht, van W.L.

    1965-01-01

    1. In Whales variations in the thickness of the baleen plates are supposed to give an insight into certain cyclical processes in the life of the animal. To a certain extent, by means of these variations, it is possible to reach conclusions about the age of the animal and/or about its recent period

  19. Propulsion of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus): why the fin whale is a fast swimmer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, N; Lien, J

    1989-07-22

    Measurements of an immature fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), which died as a result of entrapment in fishing gear near Frenchmans Cove, Newfoundland (47 degrees 9' N, 55 degrees 25' W), were made to obtain estimates of volume and surface area of the animal. Detailed measurements of the flukes, both planform and sections, were also obtained. A strip theory was developed to calculate the hydrodynamic performance of the whale's flukes as an oscillating propeller. This method is based on linear, two-dimensional, small-amplitude, unsteady hydrofoil theory with correction factors used to account for the effects of finite span and finite amplitude motion. These correction factors were developed from theoretical results of large-amplitude heaving motion and unsteady lifting-surface theory. A model that makes an estimate of the effects of viscous flow on propeller performance was superimposed on the potential-flow results. This model estimates the drag of the hydrofoil sections by assuming that the drag is similar to that of a hydrofoil section in steady flow. The performance characteristics of the flukes of the fin whale were estimated by using this method. The effects of the different correction factors, and of the frictional drag of the fluke sections, are emphasized. Frictional effects in particular were found to reduce the hydrodynamic efficiency of the flukes significantly. The results are discussed and compared with the known characteristics of fin-whale swimming.

  20. A NEW RECORD OF MESSAPICETUS FROM THE PIETRA LECCESE (LATE MIOCENE, SOUTHERN ITALY: ANTITROPICAL DISTRIBUTION IN A FOSSIL BEAKED WHALE (CETACEA, ZIPHIIDAE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GIOVANNI BIANUCCI

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A new partial fossil skeleton of Messapicetus longirostris (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Ziphiidae collected in Cisterna quarry (Lecce from Tortonian (upper Miocene sediments of the "Pietra leccese" is described. It comprises the fragmentary skull (including most of the rostrum, parts of the mandibles, five teeth, the fragmentary right scapula, and one vertebral centrum. This new record, here referred to a juvenile individual, expands our knowledge about the skeletal anatomy of M. longirostris; this species was until now only known by the holotype, an almost complete skull from the same Cisterna quarry. Moreover, the new specimen confirms the distinction between M. longirostris and M. gregarius (late Miocene, Pisco Formation, Peru based on several osteological characters (e.g., the presence of a distinct maxillary tubercle and prominential notch in the latter species. New dating of layers in Cerro Colorado, the type locality of M. gregarius, suggests that M. longirostris and M. gregarius were contemporaneous sister-species with an antitropical distribution (a biogeographical pattern currently shown by two extant ziphiid genera. Unlike extant ziphiids, feeding predominantly on squid and benthopelagic fish in deep waters, the stem ziphiid M. gregarius was recently proposed to have been a raptorial piscivore who may have fed mainly on schools of epipelagic fish. Similarities at the level of the morphology and proportions of the oral apparatus suggest that the two species of Messapicetus may have occupied roughly identical ecological and trophic niches, a hypothesis supported by the characterization of the Pietra leccese environment as neritic.

  1. Taxonomy Icon Data: sperm whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/Cetacea Physeter_macrocephal...us_L.png Physeter_macrocephalus_NL.png Physeter_macrocephalus_S.png Physeter_macrocephal...us_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=L http://bioscience...dbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc....jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NS ...

  2. Helminths parasites of whales in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís C. Muniz-Pereira

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Three species of whale Balaenoptera borealis Lesson, 1828, B. physalus (Linnaeus, 1758 and Physeter catodon Linnaeus, 1758 captured in the Brazilian coast were necropsied for helminths. Balaenoptera borealis and B. physalus were infected by Crassicauda crassicauda (Nematoda, Tetrameridae and Ogmogaster antarcticus (Digenea: Notocotylidae, which are referred for the first time in Brazil. Balaenoptera borealis was also infected by Lecithodesmus goliath (Digenea, Campulidae and Bolbosoma turbinella (Acanthocephala, Polymorphidae. Physeter catodon was infected by Anisakis physeteris (Nematoda, Anisakidae, which is a new record to this host in Brazilian waters.

  3. Positive selection on the killer whale mitogenome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Morin, Phillip A.; Durban, John W.

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondria produce up to 95 per cent of the eukaryotic cell's energy. The coding genes of the mitochondrial DNA may therefore evolve under selection owing to metabolic requirements. The killer whale, Orcinus orca, is polymorphic, has a global distribution and occupies a range of ecological niches....... It is therefore a suitable organism for testing this hypothesis. We compared a global dataset of the complete mitochondrial genomes of 139 individuals for amino acid changes that were associated with radical physico-chemical property changes and were influenced by positive selection. Two such selected non...

  4. Summary of Reported Whale-Vessel Collisions in Alaskan Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet L. Neilson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize 108 reported whale-vessel collisions in Alaska from 1978–2011, of which 25 are known to have resulted in the whale's death. We found 89 definite and 19 possible/probable strikes based on standard criteria we created for this study. Most strikes involved humpback whales (86% with six other species documented. Small vessel strikes were most common (<15 m, 60%, but medium (15–79 m, 27% and large (≥80 m, 13% vessels also struck whales. Among the 25 mortalities, vessel length was known in seven cases (190–294 m and vessel speed was known in three cases (12–19 kn. In 36 cases, human injury or property damage resulted from the collision, and at least 15 people were thrown into the water. In 15 cases humpback whales struck anchored or drifting vessels, suggesting the whales did not detect the vessels. Documenting collisions in Alaska will remain challenging due to remoteness and resource limitations. For a better understanding of the factors contributing to lethal collisions, we recommend (1 systematic documentation of collisions, including vessel size and speed; (2 greater efforts to necropsy stranded whales; (3 using experienced teams focused on determining cause of death; (4 using standard criteria for validating collision reports, such as those presented in this paper.

  5. Correction: Two intense decades of 19th century whaling precipitated rapid decline of right whales around New Zealand and east Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

    Full Text Available Right whales (Eubalaena spp. were the focus of worldwide whaling activities from the 16th to the 20th century. During the first part of the 19th century, the southern right whale (E. australis was heavily exploited on whaling grounds around New Zealand (NZ and east Australia (EA. Here we build upon previous estimates of the total catch of NZ and EA right whales by improving and combining estimates from four different fisheries. Two fisheries have previously been considered: shore-based whaling in bays and ship-based whaling offshore. These were both improved by comparison with primary sources and the American offshore whaling catch record was improved by using a sample of logbooks to produce a more accurate catch record in terms of location and species composition. Two fisheries had not been previously integrated into the NZ and EA catch series: ship-based whaling in bays and whaling in the 20th century. To investigate the previously unaddressed problem of offshore whalers operating in bays, we identified a subset of vessels likely to be operating in bays and read available extant logbooks. This allowed us to estimate the total likely catch from bay-whaling by offshore whalers from the number of vessels seasons and whales killed per season: it ranged from 2,989 to 4,652 whales. The revised total estimate of 53,000 to 58,000 southern right whales killed is a considerable increase on the previous estimate of 26,000, partly because it applies fishery-specific estimates of struck and loss rates. Over 80% of kills were taken between 1830 and 1849, indicating a brief and intensive fishery that resulted in the commercial extinction of southern right whales in NZ and EA in just two decades. This conforms to the global trend of increasingly intense and destructive southern right whale fisheries over time.

  6. Distribution and abundance of West Greenland humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae )

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Finn; Hammond, P.S.

    2004-01-01

    Photo-identification surveys of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae were conducted at West Greenland during 1988-93, the last 2 years of which were part of the internationally coordinated humpback whale research programme YoNAH, with the primary aim of estimating abundance for the West Greenland...... effort. A total of 670 groups of humpback whales was encountered leading to the identification of 348 individual animals. Three areas of concentration were identified: an area off Nuuk; an area at c. 63degrees30'N; and an area off Frederikshab. Sequential Petersen capture-recapture estimates of abundance...

  7. Whales and dolphins (Mammalia, Cetacea) of the Cape Verde Islands, with special reference to the Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hazevoet, Cornelis J.; Wenzel, Frederick W.

    2000-01-01

    Observations of whales and dolphins in the Cape Verde Islands obtained in 1995 and 1996 are reported and data on the occurrence of 14 taxa are given, including four not previously reported from the region, viz. Bryde’s Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Killer Whale Orcinus orca, Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno

  8. Humpback whale song: A new review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankel, Adam S.

    2003-04-01

    The humpback whale song has been described and investigated since the early 1970s. Much has been learned about the humpback whale social structure, but the understanding of the song and its function remains elusive. The hierarchical nature of the song structure was described early on: Songs can be sung for a long period, apparently by males, and primarily during the mating season. However, singers also become physically competitive, suggesting alternative mating strategies. There are a number of unique structural features of song. Its structure evolves over time and combination. The nature of song evolution strongly implies cultural transmission. Song structure appears to be shared within an entire population, even though there appears to be little interchange of individuals between sub populations. Despite over thirty years of inquiry there are still numerous unanswered questions: Why is the song structure so complex? Is song a sexual advertisement, an acoustic space mediation mechanism, or both? How do females choose mates, or do they? What drives song evolution, and why is there so much variation in the rate of change? Are there nonreproductive functions of song? What prompts a male to begin or end singing? Our current understanding and the outstanding questions yet to be answered will be reviewed.

  9. AMAPPS-Cetacean and Turtle Abundance Summer Survey (HB1303, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AMAPPS survey will primarily focus on beaked whale species, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better understanding of beaked whale habitat use and site...

  10. AMAPPS-Cetacean and Turtle Abundance Summer Survey (HB1103, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AMAPPS survey will primarily focus on beaked whale species, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better understanding of beaked whale habitat use and site...

  11. AMAPPS-Cetacean and Turtle Abundance Spring Survey (GU1402, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AMAPPS survey primarily focuses on beaked whale species, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better understanding of beaked whale habitat use and site...

  12. AMAPPS-Cetacean and Turtle Abundance Summer Survey (HB1403, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AMAPPS survey will primarily focus on beaked whale species, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better understanding of beaked whale habitat use and site...

  13. AMAPPS-Cetacean and Turtle Abundance Summer Survey (HB1503, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AMAPPS survey primarily focuses on beaked whale species, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better understanding of beaked whale habitat use and site...

  14. AMAPPS-Cetacean and Turtle Abundance Survey (HB0903, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AMAPPS survey will primarily focus on beaked whale species, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better understanding of beaked whale habitat use and site...

  15. AMAPPS-Cetacean Abundance Summer Survey (HB1603, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AMAPPS survey primarily focuses on beaked whale species, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better understanding of beaked whale habitat use and site...

  16. Necropsy report of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) stranded in Denmark in 2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrup, Aage K. O.; Hedayat, Abdi; Jensen, Trine Hammer

    2013-01-01

    There is little detailed information on stranded fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the scientific literature (Notarbartolo di Sciara et al., 2003). In Denmark, at least eight fin whales stranded between the years 1603 and 1958 (Kinze, 1995). On 16 June 2010, a live subadult or adult male fin...... whale stranded in the Bay of Vejle (55º 69' N, 9º 58' E), Denmark. Despite several attempts, it was not possible to rescue the fin whale, which was only partially exposed by the water. The fin whale succumbed after 5 d stranded in shallow water. The dead fin whale was transported to a nearby pier...

  17. Estimates of cetacean abundance in European Atlantic waters in summer

    OpenAIRE

    Hammond, P.S. (Phil) et al. (incl. Santos, M.B. (Maria Begoña)

    2017-01-01

    This report summarises design-based estimates of abundance for those cetacean species for which sufficient data were obtained during SCANS-III: harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, white-sided dolphin, common dolphin, striped dolphin, pilot whale, all beaked whale species combined, sperm whale, minke whale and fin whale.

  18. AFSC/REFM: Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The purpose of this project was to collect data to understand the publics preferences for protecting the Cook Inlet beluga whale (CIBW), a distinct population...

  19. Numbers of Calling Whales in the North Pacific

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Watkins, William

    2001-01-01

    Since November 1995, the U.S. Navy's Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) and other hydrophone arrays were used to regularly sample the occurrence of whale sounds in four regions bordering the continental margins across the North Pacific...

  20. Gulf of Mexico killer whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on killer whales occupying the northern Gulf of Mexico have been collected in association with large vessel surveys since 1991. Photographs...

  1. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Pomilla

    Full Text Available A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  2. The world's most isolated and distinct whale population? Humpback whales of the Arabian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomilla, Cristina; Amaral, Ana R; Collins, Tim; Minton, Gianna; Findlay, Ken; Leslie, Matthew S; Ponnampalam, Louisa; Baldwin, Robert; Rosenbaum, Howard

    2014-01-01

    A clear understanding of population structure is essential for assessing conservation status and implementing management strategies. A small, non-migratory population of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea is classified as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an assessment constrained by a lack of data, including limited understanding of its relationship to other populations. We analysed 11 microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from 67 Arabian Sea humpback whale tissue samples and compared them to equivalent datasets from the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific. Results show that the Arabian Sea population is highly distinct; estimates of gene flow and divergence times suggest a Southern Indian Ocean origin but indicate that it has been isolated for approximately 70,000 years, remarkable for a species that is typically highly migratory. Genetic diversity values are significantly lower than those obtained for Southern Hemisphere populations and signatures of ancient and recent genetic bottlenecks were identified. Our findings suggest this is the world's most isolated humpback whale population, which, when combined with low population abundance estimates and anthropogenic threats, raises concern for its survival. We recommend an amendment of the status of the population to "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List.

  3. Building a Virtual Model of a Baleen Whale: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    large animals . The large body size of mysticete whales precludes any meaningful bioacoustic work in captivity. Consequently, our assessment is...that the most effective way to study the vibroacoustic physiology of these animals is to construct a model of mysticete anatomy that can be used to...a postmortem gray whale specimen for this project, as originally planned. Alternatively, we acquired an entire carcass of a freshly postmortem

  4. Multiple origins of gigantism in stem baleen whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Kohno, Naoki

    2016-12-01

    Living baleen whales (Mysticeti) include the world's largest animals to have ever lived—blue whales ( Balaenoptera musculus) can reach more than 30 m. However, the gigantism in baleen whales remains little explored. Here, we compiled all published stem mysticetes from the Eocene and Oligocene and then mapped the estimated body size onto different phylogenies that suggest distinct evolutionary histories of baleen whales. By assembling all known stem baleen whales, we present three novel findings in early mysticete evolution. Results show that, regardless of different phylogenetic scenarios, large body size (more than 5-m long) evolved multiple times independently in their early evolutionary history. For example, the earliest known aetiocetid ( Fucaia buelli, 33-31 Ma) was small in size, about 2 m, and a later aetiocetid ( Morawanocetus-like animal, 26-23 Ma) can reach 8-m long—almost four times the size of Fucaia buelli—suggesting an independent gigantism in the aetiocetid lineage. In addition, our reconstruction of ancestral state demonstrates that the baleen whales originated from small body size (less than 5 m) rather than large body size as previously acknowledged. Moreover, reconstructing the evolution of body size in stem baleen whales suggests that the initial pulse of mysticete gigantism started at least back to the Paleogene and in turn should help to understand the origin, pattern, and process of the extreme gigantism in the crown baleen whales. This study illustrates that Cope's rule is insufficient to explain the evolution of body size in a group that comprises the largest animals in the history of life, although currently the lack of exact ancestor-descendant relationships remains to fully reveal the evolutionary history of body size.

  5. The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    New, Leslie; Hall, Ailsa J.; Harcourt, Robert; Kaufman, Greg; Parsons, E.C.M.; Pearson, Heidi C.; Cosentino, A. Mel; Schick, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    In recent years there has been significant interest in modelling cumulative effects and the population consequences of individual changes in cetacean behaviour and physiology due to disturbance. One potential source of disturbance that has garnered particular interest is whale-watching. Though perceived as ‘green’ or eco-friendly tourism, there is evidence that whale-watching can result in statistically significant and biologically meaningful changes in cetacean behaviour, raising the question whether whale-watching is in fact a long term sustainable activity. However, an assessment of the impacts of whale-watching on cetaceans requires an understanding of the potential behavioural and physiological effects, data to effectively address the question and suitable modelling techniques. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the viability of long-term whale-watching, as well as logistical limitations and potential opportunities. We conclude that an integrated, coordinated approach will be needed to further understanding of the possible effects of whale-watching on cetaceans.

  6. Transient killer whale range - Satellite tagging of West Coast transient killer whales to determine range and movement patterns

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Transient killers whales inhabit the West Coast of the United States. Their range and movement patterns are difficult to ascertain, but are vital to understanding...

  7. Abundance and Distribution of Sperm Whales in the Canary Islands: Can Sperm Whales in the Archipelago Sustain the Current Level of Ship-Strike Mortalities?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Fais

    Full Text Available Sperm whales are present in the Canary Islands year-round, suggesting that the archipelago is an important area for this species in the North Atlantic. However, the area experiences one of the highest reported rates of sperm whale ship-strike in the world. Here we investigate if the number of sperm whales found in the archipelago can sustain the current rate of ship-strike mortality. The results of this study may also have implications for offshore areas where concentrations of sperm whales may coincide with high densities of ship traffic, but where ship-strikes may be undocumented. The absolute abundance of sperm whales in an area of 52933 km2, covering the territorial waters of the Canary Islands, was estimated from 2668 km of acoustic line-transect survey using Distance sampling analysis. Data on sperm whale diving and acoustic behaviour, obtained from bio-logging, were used to calculate g(0 = 0.92, this is less than one because of occasional extended periods when whales do not echolocate. This resulted in an absolute abundance estimate of 224 sperm whales (95% log-normal CI 120-418 within the survey area. The recruitment capability of this number of whales, some 2.5 whales per year, is likely to be exceeded by the current ship-strike mortality rate. Furthermore, we found areas of higher whale density within the archipelago, many coincident with those previously described, suggesting that these are important habitats for females and immature animals inhabiting the archipelago. Some of these areas are crossed by active shipping lanes increasing the risk of ship-strikes. Given the philopatry in female sperm whales, replacement of impacted whales might be limited. Therefore, the application of mitigation measures to reduce the ship-strike mortality rate seems essential for the conservation of sperm whales in the Canary Islands.

  8. Abundance and Distribution of Sperm Whales in the Canary Islands: Can Sperm Whales in the Archipelago Sustain the Current Level of Ship-Strike Mortalities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fais, Andrea; Lewis, Tim P; Zitterbart, Daniel P; Álvarez, Omar; Tejedor, Ana; Aguilar Soto, Natacha

    2016-01-01

    Sperm whales are present in the Canary Islands year-round, suggesting that the archipelago is an important area for this species in the North Atlantic. However, the area experiences one of the highest reported rates of sperm whale ship-strike in the world. Here we investigate if the number of sperm whales found in the archipelago can sustain the current rate of ship-strike mortality. The results of this study may also have implications for offshore areas where concentrations of sperm whales may coincide with high densities of ship traffic, but where ship-strikes may be undocumented. The absolute abundance of sperm whales in an area of 52933 km2, covering the territorial waters of the Canary Islands, was estimated from 2668 km of acoustic line-transect survey using Distance sampling analysis. Data on sperm whale diving and acoustic behaviour, obtained from bio-logging, were used to calculate g(0) = 0.92, this is less than one because of occasional extended periods when whales do not echolocate. This resulted in an absolute abundance estimate of 224 sperm whales (95% log-normal CI 120-418) within the survey area. The recruitment capability of this number of whales, some 2.5 whales per year, is likely to be exceeded by the current ship-strike mortality rate. Furthermore, we found areas of higher whale density within the archipelago, many coincident with those previously described, suggesting that these are important habitats for females and immature animals inhabiting the archipelago. Some of these areas are crossed by active shipping lanes increasing the risk of ship-strikes. Given the philopatry in female sperm whales, replacement of impacted whales might be limited. Therefore, the application of mitigation measures to reduce the ship-strike mortality rate seems essential for the conservation of sperm whales in the Canary Islands.

  9. Abundance and Distribution of Sperm Whales in the Canary Islands: Can Sperm Whales in the Archipelago Sustain the Current Level of Ship-Strike Mortalities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fais, Andrea; Lewis, Tim P.; Zitterbart, Daniel P.; Álvarez, Omar; Tejedor, Ana; Aguilar Soto, Natacha

    2016-01-01

    Sperm whales are present in the Canary Islands year-round, suggesting that the archipelago is an important area for this species in the North Atlantic. However, the area experiences one of the highest reported rates of sperm whale ship-strike in the world. Here we investigate if the number of sperm whales found in the archipelago can sustain the current rate of ship-strike mortality. The results of this study may also have implications for offshore areas where concentrations of sperm whales may coincide with high densities of ship traffic, but where ship-strikes may be undocumented. The absolute abundance of sperm whales in an area of 52933 km2, covering the territorial waters of the Canary Islands, was estimated from 2668 km of acoustic line-transect survey using Distance sampling analysis. Data on sperm whale diving and acoustic behaviour, obtained from bio-logging, were used to calculate g(0) = 0.92, this is less than one because of occasional extended periods when whales do not echolocate. This resulted in an absolute abundance estimate of 224 sperm whales (95% log-normal CI 120–418) within the survey area. The recruitment capability of this number of whales, some 2.5 whales per year, is likely to be exceeded by the current ship-strike mortality rate. Furthermore, we found areas of higher whale density within the archipelago, many coincident with those previously described, suggesting that these are important habitats for females and immature animals inhabiting the archipelago. Some of these areas are crossed by active shipping lanes increasing the risk of ship-strikes. Given the philopatry in female sperm whales, replacement of impacted whales might be limited. Therefore, the application of mitigation measures to reduce the ship-strike mortality rate seems essential for the conservation of sperm whales in the Canary Islands. PMID:26999791

  10. Are baleen whales exposed to the threat of microplastics? A case study of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Panti, Cristina; Guerranti, Cristiana; Coppola, Daniele; Giannetti, Matteo; Marsili, Letizia; Minutoli, Roberta

    2012-11-01

    Baleen whales are potentially exposed to micro-litter ingestion as a result of their filter-feeding activity. However, the impacts of microplastics on baleen whales are largely unknown. In this case study of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), we explore the toxicological effects of microplastics on mysticetes. The study included the following three steps: (1) the collection/count of microplastics in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea), (2) the detection of phthalates in surface neustonic/planktonic samples, and (3) the detection of phthalates in stranded fin whales. A total of 56% of the surface neustonic/planktonic samples contained microplastic particles. The highest abundance of microplastics (9.63 items/m(3)) was found in the Portofino MPA (Ligurian Sea). High concentrations of phthalates (DEHP and MEHP) were detected in the neustonic/planktonic samples. The concentrations of MEHP found in the blubber of stranded fin whales suggested that phthalates could serve as a tracer of the intake of microplastics. The results of this study represent the first warning of this emerging threat to baleen whales. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: implications for anti-predator strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curé, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick J O

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could mediate predator-prey interactions. We explored the anti-predator behaviour of five typically-solitary male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Norwegian Sea by playing sounds of mammal-feeding killer whales and monitoring behavioural responses using multi-sensor tags. Our results suggest that, rather than taking advantage of their large aerobic capacities to dive away from the perceived predator, sperm whales responded to killer whale playbacks by interrupting their foraging or resting dives and returning to the surface, changing their vocal production, and initiating a surprising degree of social behaviour in these mostly solitary animals. Thus, the interception of predator vocalizations by male sperm whales disrupted functional behaviours and mediated previously unrecognized anti-predator responses.

  12. Right Whale and Cetacean Abundance Spring Survey (AL0404, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  13. Acoustic Monitoring of a Previously Unstudied Whale Shark Aggregation in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

    in the area and to inform local management. Continued study will add to the collective knowledge on Red Sea whale sharks, including the population dynamics within the region and how they interact with the global whale shark community.

  14. SRKW seasonal occurence - Patterns of seasonal occurrence of Southern Resident Killer Whales

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Patterns of seasonal occurrence of Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) throughout their range. Southern Resident Killer Whales are listed as a Distinct Population...

  15. Site fidelity of female minke whales in the Gulf of. St Lawrence, Canada

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moreira Lopes, Xenia; Bérubé, Martine; Berrow, Simon D.; Larsen, Finn; Haug, Tore; Hoekendijk, Jeroen; Hoelzel, A. Rus; Kot, Brian; Øien, Nils; Oosting, Tom; Pampoulie, Christophe; Ramp, Christian; Robbins, Jooke; Ryan, Conor; Sears, Richard; Simon, Malene; Skaug, H. J.; Verkuil, Yvonne; Vikingsson, G.A.; Witting, Lars; van der Zee, Jurjan; Palsboll, Per

    2017-01-01

    The minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is a globally-distributed species whose population ecology is poorly understood. Most knowledge about minke whale populations, including gender differences, originates from historical data collected during commercial harvests. Here we present results from

  16. The Possibility of Passive Whale Tracking With the Use of An Hyperspectral Sensor

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Barnes, Christina

    1999-01-01

    ...) Sensor to detect and recognize whales. This paper gives a detailed discussion of the sensor, describes the spectral image processing used to detect and enhance the whale images, provides sample imagery products, and finally discusses...

  17. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Right Whale Photo-ID Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The eastern population of the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) is the most endangered stock of whales in the world, with recent abundance estimates...

  18. 75 FR 970 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-07

    ... the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric... Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (council): Native Hawaiians, Fishing, Education...

  19. Migrations of California gray whales tracked by oxygen-18 variations in their epizoic barnacles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Killingley, J.S.

    1980-01-01

    Barnacles attached to the California gray whale have oxygen isotope compositions that serve as a record of changing ocean temperatures as the whale migrates between arctic and subtropical waters. The isotopic values for the barnacles can be used to track whale migrations and to reconstruct the recent movements of beached whales. The method may be useful for tracing the movements of other animals, living or fossil, and for reconstructing the voyages of ancient ships

  20. Development and Validation of a Technique for Detection of Stress and Pregnancy in Large Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    humpback whales, blue whales, and possibly insular false killer whales). 2 2) The second objective is to complete the biological validation using...identification using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Briefly, pooled blubber extract from animals of known gender will be serially diluted 1...progesterone in captive female false killer whales, pseudorca crassidens. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 115:323-332. Atkinson, S., Crocker, D., Houser, D

  1. Rod monochromacy and the coevolution of cetacean retinal opsins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Meredith

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Cetaceans have a long history of commitment to a fully aquatic lifestyle that extends back to the Eocene. Extant species have evolved a spectacular array of adaptations in conjunction with their deployment into a diverse array of aquatic habitats. Sensory systems are among those that have experienced radical transformations in the evolutionary history of this clade. In the case of vision, previous studies have demonstrated important changes in the genes encoding rod opsin (RH1, short-wavelength sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1, and long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LWS in selected cetaceans, but have not examined the full complement of opsin genes across the complete range of cetacean families. Here, we report protein-coding sequences for RH1 and both color opsin genes (SWS1, LWS from representatives of all extant cetacean families. We examine competing hypotheses pertaining to the timing of blue shifts in RH1 relative to SWS1 inactivation in the early history of Cetacea, and we test the hypothesis that some cetaceans are rod monochomats. Molecular evolutionary analyses contradict the "coastal" hypothesis, wherein SWS1 was pseudogenized in the common ancestor of Cetacea, and instead suggest that RH1 was blue-shifted in the common ancestor of Cetacea before SWS1 was independently knocked out in baleen whales (Mysticeti and in toothed whales (Odontoceti. Further, molecular evidence implies that LWS was inactivated convergently on at least five occasions in Cetacea: (1 Balaenidae (bowhead and right whales, (2 Balaenopteroidea (rorquals plus gray whale, (3 Mesoplodon bidens (Sowerby's beaked whale, (4 Physeter macrocephalus (giant sperm whale, and (5 Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale. All of these cetaceans are known to dive to depths of at least 100 m where the underwater light field is dim and dominated by blue light. The knockout of both SWS1 and LWS in multiple cetacean lineages renders these taxa rod monochromats, a condition previously unknown among

  2. Application of a novel method for age estimation of a baleen whale and a porpoise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Nynne H.; Garde, Eva; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter

    2013-01-01

    Eyeballs from 121 fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and 83 harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were used for age estimation using the aspartic acid racemization (AAR) technique. The racemization rate (kAsp) for fin whales was established from 15 fetuses (age 0) and 15 adult whales where age...

  3. 50 CFR 226.215 - Critical habitat for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica). 226.215 Section 226.215 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.215 Critical habitat for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica). (a) Primary Constituent Elements. The primary constituent elements of the North Pacific right whale...

  4. Whale Multi-Disciplinary Studies: A Marine Education Infusion Unit. Northern New England Marine Education Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maine Univ., Orono. Coll. of Education.

    This multidisciplinary unit deals with whales, whaling lore and history, and the interaction of the whale with the complex marine ecosystem. It seeks to teach adaptation of marine organisms. It portrays the concept that man is part of the marine ecosystem and man's activities can deplete and degrade marine ecosystems, endangering the survival of…

  5. 50 CFR 229.32 - Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Atlantic large whale take reduction plan... Regulations § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations. (a)(1) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to implement the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan to reduce incidental...

  6. 76 FR 43985 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service... review of the draft Recovery Plan (Plan) for the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis). NMFS is soliciting... recovery plans for each listed species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery. The sei whale has...

  7. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

    ... Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... beluga whales found in the Cook Inlet of Alaska is one of five distinct population segments in United... beluga whale, such as population increases, are primarily the result of the non- consumptive value people...

  8. 50 CFR 226.206 - Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... killer whale (Orcinus orca). 226.206 Section 226.206 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES... CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.206 Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca). Critical habitat is designated for the Southern Resident killer whale as described in this section. The textual...

  9. 75 FR 68756 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

    ... North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service... petition to designate the Eastern North Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a... Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following address: http://www.nmfs...

  10. Thermal Imaging and Biometrical Thermography of Humpback Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis W. Horton

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Determining species' distributions through time and space remains a primary challenge in cetacean science and conservation. For example, many whales migrate thousands of kilometers every year between remote seasonal habitats along migratory corridors that cross major shipping lanes and intensively harvested fisheries, creating a dynamic spatial and temporal context that conservation decisions must take into account. Technological advances enabling automated whale detection have the potential to dramatically improve our knowledge of when and where whales are located, presenting opportunities to help minimize adverse human-whale interactions. Using thermographic data we show that near-horizontal (i.e., high zenith angle infrared images of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae blows, dorsal fins, flukes and rostrums record similar magnitude brightness temperature anomalies relative to the adjacent ocean surface. Our results demonstrate that these anomalies are similar in both low latitude and high latitude environments despite a ~16°C difference in ocean surface temperature between study areas. We show that these similarities occur in both environments due to emissivity effects associated with oblique target imaging, rather than differences in cetacean thermoregulation. The consistent and reproducible brightness temperature anomalies we report provide important quantitative constraints that will help facilitate the development of transient temperature anomaly detection algorithms in diverse marine environments. Thermographic videography coupled with laser range finding further enables calculation of whale blow velocity, demonstrating that biometrical measurements are possible for near-horizontal datasets that otherwise suffer from emissivity effects. The thermographic research we present creates a platform for the delivery of three important contributions to cetacean conservation: (1 non-invasive species-level identifications based on whale blow

  11. Molecular detection and characterization of beak and feather disease virus in psittacine birds in Tehran, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haddadmarandi, M R; Madani, S A; Nili, H; Ghorbani, A

    2018-01-01

    Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), a member of genus circovirus, is a small, non-enveloped, single stranded DNA virus. Although BFDVs are among the most well studied circoviruses, there is little to no information about BFDVs in Iran. The aim of the present study was to detect and identify BFDV molecules from the birds referred to the avian clinic of The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tehran University, Iran. A total of 55 DNA samples were extracted from birds from nine different species of the order psittaciformes. A robust conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to detect the rep gene of the virus. Ten out of 55 samples, from four different species, were tested positive for BFDVs in PCR ( Melopsittacus undulates (4), Psittacula Krameri (3), Psittacus erithacus (2), Platycercus eximius (1)). Molecular identification of the detected BFDVs was performed based on their rep gene sequences. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Iranian BFDVs from this study were clustered into four genetically distinct clades belonging to different genetic subtypes of BFDVs (L1, N1, T1, and I4). Although the relation between the samples and their related subtypes in the tree are discussed, further studies are needed to elucidate the host specificity and incidence of the BFDVs from different genetic subtypes.

  12. Ultrastructural analysis of a putative magnetoreceptor in the beak of homing pigeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleissner, Gerta; Holtkamp-Rötzler, Elke; Hanzlik, Marianne; Winklhofer, Michael; Fleissner, Günther; Petersen, Nikolai; Wiltschko, Wolfgang

    2003-04-14

    With the use of different light and electron microscopic methods, we investigated the subcellular organization of afferent trigeminal terminals in the upper beak of the homing pigeon, Columba livia, which are about 5 microm in diameter and contain superparamagnetic magnetite (SPM) crystals. The SPM nanocrystals are assembled in clusters (diameter, approximately 1-2 microm). About 10 to 15 of these clusters occur inside one nerve terminal, arranged along the cell membrane. Each SPM cluster is embedded in a solid fibrous cup, open towards the cell surface, to which the cluster adheres by delicate fiber strands. In addition to the SPM clusters, a second inorganic iron compound has been identified: noncrystalline platelets of iron phosphate (about 500 nm wide and long and maximally 100 nm thick) that occur along a fibrous core of the terminal. The anatomic features suggested that these nerve endings could detect small intensity changes of the geomagnetic field. Such stimuli can induce deformations of the SPM clusters, which could be transduced into primary receptor potentials by mechanosensitive membrane receptor channels. The subepidermal fat cells surrounding the nerve endings prevent the inside from external mechanical stimuli. These structural findings corresponded to conclusions inferred from rock magnetic measurements, theoretical calculations, model experiments, and behavioral data, which also matched previous electrophysiologic recordings from migratory birds. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. Precerebellar and vestibular nuclei of the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwell, K W S; Paxinos, G; Watson, C R R

    2007-09-01

    The monotremes are a unique group of living mammals, which diverged from the line leading to placental mammals at least 125 million years ago. We have examined the organization of pontine, inferior olivary, lateral reticular and vestibular nuclei in the brainstem of the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) to determine if the cyto- and chemoarchitecture of these nuclei are similar to that in placental mammals and marsupials. We have used Nissl staining in conjunction with enzyme-histochemistry for acetylcholinesterase, cytochrome oxidase and NADPH diaphorase as well as immunohistochemistry for non-phosphorylated neurofilament protein (SMI-32 antibody) and calcium binding proteins (parvalbumin, calbindin, calretinin). Homologies could be established between the arch shaped inferior olivary complex of the echidna and the principal, dorsal and medial accessory subdivisions of the therian inferior olivary complex. The pontine nuclei of the echidna included basilar and reticulotegmental components with similar cyto- and chemarchitectural features to therians and there were magnocellular and subtrigeminal components of the lateral reticular nucleus, also as seen in therians. Subdivisions and chemoarchitecture of the vestibular complex of the echidna were both similar to that region in rodents. In all three precerebellar nuclear groups studied and in the vestibular nucleus organization, the cyto- and chemoarchitecture of the echidna was very similar to that seen in therian mammals and no "primitive" or "reptilian" features were evident.

  14. Cyto- and chemoarchitecture of the dorsal thalamus of the monotreme Tachyglossus aculeatus, the short beaked echidna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwell, Ken W S; Paxinos, George

    2005-12-01

    We have examined the cyto- and chemoarchitecture of the dorsal thalamus of the short beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), using Nissl and myelin staining, immunoreactivity for parvalbumin, calbindin, calretinin and non-phosphorylated neurofilament protein (SMI-32 antibody), and histochemistry for acetylcholinesterase and NADPH diaphorase. Immunohistochemical methods revealed many nuclear boundaries, which were difficult to discern with Nissl staining. Parvalbumin immunoreactive somata were concentrated in the ventral posterior, reticular, posterior, lateral and medial geniculate nuclei, while parvalbumin immunoreactivity of the neuropil was present throughout all but the midline nuclei. Large numbers of calbindin immunoreactive somata were also found within the midline thalamic nuclei, and thalamic sensory relay nuclei. Immunoreactivity for calretinin was found in many small somata within the lateral geniculate "a" nucleus, with other labelled somata found in the lateral geniculate "b" nucleus, ventral posterior medial and ventral posterior lateral nuclei. Immunoreactivity with the SMI-32 antibody was largely confined to somata and neuropil within the thalamocortical relay nuclei (ventral posterior medial and lateral nuclei, lateral and medial geniculate nuclei and the posterior thalamic nucleus). In broad terms there were many similarities between the thalamus of this monotreme and that of eutheria (e.g. disposition of somatosensory thalamus, complementarity of parvalbumin and calbindin immunoreactive structures), but there were some unique features of the thalamus of the echidna. These include the relatively small size of the thalamic reticular nucleus and the preponderance of calbindin immunoreactive neurons over parvalbumin immunoreactive neurons in the ventral posterior nucleus.

  15. Digestibility of a new diet for captive short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stannard, Hayley J; Bekkers, Jamie M; Old, Julie M; McAllan, Bronwyn M; Shaw, Michelle E

    2017-01-01

    Short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) are myrmecophages, or ant and termite insectivore specialists, and replicating their exact diet in captivity is problematic. Diets for captive animals often incorporate raw meat, eggs and cat food mixed together with water, and vitamin and mineral supplements. These diets have promoted a number of health problems in captive echidnas, such as gastritis, cystitis, gut impaction, obesity, and diarrhea. A manufactured diet was designed and three echidnas from two zoos were transitioned onto this diet to assess the acceptability and digestibility of this diet for echidnas. The new "test" diet was readily accepted by the echidnas with a 1 week transition period. Daily digestible energy intake was 280 kJ kg -0.75 d -1 , similar to another myrmecophagous species. Digestibility values were above 74% for all macronutrients. It was determined that this diet was an acceptable replacement for the previous diets and it was decided that the remaining echidnas at both institutions would be transitioned to the new diet. The diet will also be used for wild echidnas being rehabilitated in the zoo hospitals prior to release and commercially available within Australia. Further data are being collected to assess the use of this diet for seasonal weight management, transitioning hand-reared puggles and effects on gastrointestinal tract health. Zoo Biol. 36:56-61, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. A right whale pootree: classification trees of faecal hormones identify reproductive states in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corkeron, Peter; Rolland, Rosalind M; Hunt, Kathleen E; Kraus, Scott D

    2017-01-01

    Immunoassay of hormone metabolites extracted from faecal samples of free-ranging large whales can provide biologically relevant information on reproductive state and stress responses. North Atlantic right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis Müller 1776) are an ideal model for testing the conservation value of faecal metabolites. Almost all North Atlantic right whales are individually identified, most of the population is sighted each year, and systematic survey effort extends back to 1986. North Atlantic right whales number trees as an alternative method of analysing multiple-hormone data sets, building on univariate models that have previously been used to describe hormone profiles of individual North Atlantic right whales of known reproductive state. Our tree correctly classified the age class, sex and reproductive state of 83% of 112 faecal samples from known individual whales. Pregnant females, lactating females and both mature and immature males were classified reliably using our model. Non-reproductive [i.e. 'resting' (not pregnant and not lactating) and immature] females proved the most unreliable to distinguish. There were three individual males that, given their age, would traditionally be considered immature but that our tree classed as mature males, possibly calling for a re-evaluation of their reproductive status. Our analysis reiterates the importance of considering the reproductive state of whales when assessing the relationship between cortisol concentrations and stress. Overall, these results confirm findings from previous univariate statistical analyses, but with a more robust multivariate approach that may prove useful for the multiple-analyte data sets that are increasingly used by conservation physiologists.

  17. WHALE, a management tool for Tier-2 LCG sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barone, L. M.; Organtini, G.; Talamo, I. G.

    2012-12-01

    The LCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) is a grid-based hierarchical computing distributed facility, composed of more than 140 computing centers, organized in 4 tiers, by size and offer of services. Every site, although indipendent for many technical choices, has to provide services with a well-defined set of interfaces. For this reason, different LCG sites need frequently to manage very similar situations, like jobs behaviour on the batch system, dataset transfers between sites, operating system and experiment software installation and configuration, monitoring of services. In this context we created WHALE (WHALE Handles Administration in an LCG Environment), a software actually used at the T2_IT_Rome site, an LCG Tier-2 for the CMS experiment. WHALE is a generic, site independent tool written in Python: it allows administrator to interact in a uniform and coherent way with several subsystems using a high level syntax which hides specific commands. The architecture of WHALE is based on the plugin concept and on the possibility of connecting the output of a plugin to the input of the next one, in a pipe-like system, giving the administrator the possibility of making complex functions by combining the simpler ones. The core of WHALE just handles the plugin orchestrations, while even the basic functions (eg. the WHALE activity logging) are performed by plugins, giving the capability to tune and possibly modify every component of the system. WHALE already provides many plugins useful for a LCG site and some more for a Tier-2 of the CMS experiment, especially in the field of job management, dataset transfer and analysis of performance results and availability tests (eg. Nagios tests, SAM tests). Thanks to its architecture and the provided plugins WHALE makes easy to perform tasks that, even if logically simple, are technically complex or tedious, like eg. closing all the worker nodes with a job-failure rate greater than a given threshold. Finally, thanks to the

  18. WHALE, a management tool for Tier-2 LCG sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barone, L M; Organtini, G; Talamo, I G

    2012-01-01

    The LCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) is a grid-based hierarchical computing distributed facility, composed of more than 140 computing centers, organized in 4 tiers, by size and offer of services. Every site, although indipendent for many technical choices, has to provide services with a well-defined set of interfaces. For this reason, different LCG sites need frequently to manage very similar situations, like jobs behaviour on the batch system, dataset transfers between sites, operating system and experiment software installation and configuration, monitoring of services. In this context we created WHALE (WHALE Handles Administration in an LCG Environment), a software actually used at the T2 I T R ome site, an LCG Tier-2 for the CMS experiment. WHALE is a generic, site independent tool written in Python: it allows administrator to interact in a uniform and coherent way with several subsystems using a high level syntax which hides specific commands. The architecture of WHALE is based on the plugin concept and on the possibility of connecting the output of a plugin to the input of the next one, in a pipe-like system, giving the administrator the possibility of making complex functions by combining the simpler ones. The core of WHALE just handles the plugin orchestrations, while even the basic functions (eg. the WHALE activity logging) are performed by plugins, giving the capability to tune and possibly modify every component of the system. WHALE already provides many plugins useful for a LCG site and some more for a Tier-2 of the CMS experiment, especially in the field of job management, dataset transfer and analysis of performance results and availability tests (eg. Nagios tests, SAM tests). Thanks to its architecture and the provided plugins WHALE makes easy to perform tasks that, even if logically simple, are technically complex or tedious, like eg. closing all the worker nodes with a job-failure rate greater than a given threshold. Finally, thanks to the

  19. The impact of whaling on the ocean carbon cycle: why bigger was better.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Pershing

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Humans have reduced the abundance of many large marine vertebrates, including whales, large fish, and sharks, to only a small percentage of their pre-exploitation levels. Industrial fishing and whaling also tended to preferentially harvest the largest species and largest individuals within a population. We consider the consequences of removing these animals on the ocean's ability to store carbon. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Because body size is critical to our arguments, our analysis focuses on populations of baleen whales. Using reconstructions of pre-whaling and modern abundances, we consider the impact of whaling on the amount of carbon stored in living whales and on the amount of carbon exported to the deep sea by sinking whale carcasses. Populations of large baleen whales now store 9.1×10(6 tons less carbon than before whaling. Some of the lost storage has been offset by increases in smaller competitors; however, due to the relative metabolic efficiency of larger organisms, a shift toward smaller animals could decrease the total community biomass by 30% or more. Because of their large size and few predators, whales and other large marine vertebrates can efficiently export carbon from the surface waters to the deep sea. We estimate that rebuilding whale populations would remove 1.6×10(5 tons of carbon each year through sinking whale carcasses. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Even though fish and whales are only a small portion of the ocean's overall biomass, fishing and whaling have altered the ocean's ability to store and sequester carbon. Although these changes are small relative to the total ocean carbon sink, rebuilding populations of fish and whales would be comparable to other carbon management schemes, including ocean iron fertilization.

  20. Acoustic backscatter at a Red Sea whale shark aggregation site

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya; Kaartvedt, Stein; Rø stad, Anders; Berumen, Michael L.; Cochran, Jesse E.M.; Jones, Burton

    2018-01-01

    An aggregation of sexually immature whale sharks occurs at a coastal submerged reef near the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast each spring. We tested the hypothesis that these megaplanktivores become attracted to a prey biomass peak coinciding with their aggregation. Acoustic backscatter of the water column at 120 kHz and 333 kHz –a proxy for potential prey biomass –was continuously measured spanning the period prior to, during, and subsequent to the seasonal whale shark aggregations. No peak in acoustic backscatter was observed at the time of the aggregation. However, we observed a decrease in acoustic backscatter in the last days of deployment, which coincided the trailing end of whale shark season. Organisms forming the main scattering layer performed inverse diel vertical migration, with backscatter peaking at mid-depths during the day and in the deeper half of the water column at night. Target strength analyses suggested the backscatter was likely composed of fish larvae. Subsurface foraging behavior of the whale sharks within this aggregation has not been described, yet this study does not support the hypothesis that seasonal peaks in local whale shark abundance correspond to similar peaks in prey availability.

  1. Acoustic backscatter at a Red Sea whale shark aggregation site

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya

    2018-03-28

    An aggregation of sexually immature whale sharks occurs at a coastal submerged reef near the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast each spring. We tested the hypothesis that these megaplanktivores become attracted to a prey biomass peak coinciding with their aggregation. Acoustic backscatter of the water column at 120 kHz and 333 kHz –a proxy for potential prey biomass –was continuously measured spanning the period prior to, during, and subsequent to the seasonal whale shark aggregations. No peak in acoustic backscatter was observed at the time of the aggregation. However, we observed a decrease in acoustic backscatter in the last days of deployment, which coincided the trailing end of whale shark season. Organisms forming the main scattering layer performed inverse diel vertical migration, with backscatter peaking at mid-depths during the day and in the deeper half of the water column at night. Target strength analyses suggested the backscatter was likely composed of fish larvae. Subsurface foraging behavior of the whale sharks within this aggregation has not been described, yet this study does not support the hypothesis that seasonal peaks in local whale shark abundance correspond to similar peaks in prey availability.

  2. Chromium Is Elevated in Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Skin Tissue and Is Genotoxic to Fin Whale Skin Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Catherine F.; Wise, Sandra S.; Thompson, W. Douglas; Perkins, Christopher; Wise, John Pierce

    2015-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is present in the marine environment and is a known carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. Cr(VI) is the form of chromium that is well absorbed through the cell membrane. It is also the most prevalent form in seawater. We measured the total Cr levels in skin biopsies obtained from healthy free-ranging fin whales from the Gulf of Maine and found elevated levels relative to marine mammals in other parts of the world. The levels in fin whale biopsies ranged from 1.71 ug/g to 19.6 ug/g with an average level of 10.07 ug/g. We also measured the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Cr(VI) in fin whale skin cells. We found that particulate and soluble Cr(VI) are both cytotoxic and genotoxic to fin whale skin cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The concentration range used in our cell culture studies used environmentally relevant concentrations based on the biopsy measurements. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for whales in the Gulf of Maine. PMID:25805270

  3. Testing the feasibility of a hypothetical whaling-conservation permit market in Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Biao; Abbott, Joshua K; Fenichel, Eli P; Muneepeerakul, Rachata; Perrings, Charles; Gerber, Leah R

    2017-08-01

    A cap-and-trade system for managing whale harvests represents a potentially useful approach to resolve the current gridlock in international whale management. The establishment of whale permit markets, open to both whalers and conservationists, could reveal the strength of conservation demand, about which little is known. This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to predict the outcome of a hypothetical whale permit market. We developed a bioeconomic model to evaluate the influence of economic uncertainty about demand for whale conservation or harvest. We used simulations over a wide range of parameterizations of whaling and conservation demands to examine the potential ecological consequences of the establishment of a whale permit market in Norwegian waters under bounded (but substantial) economic uncertainty. Uncertainty variables were slope of whaling and conservation demand, participation level of conservationists and their willingness to pay for whale conservation, and functional forms of demand, including linear, quadratic, and log-linear forms. A whale-conservation market had the potential to yield a wide range of conservation and harvest outcomes, the most likely outcomes were those in which conservationists bought all whale permits. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besseling, E; Foekema, E M; Van Franeker, J A; Leopold, M F; Kühn, S; Bravo Rebolledo, E L; Heße, E; Mielke, L; IJzer, J; Kamminga, P; Koelmans, A A

    2015-06-15

    Marine filter feeders are exposed to microplastic because of their selection of small particles as food source. Baleen whales feed by filtering small particles from large water volumes. Macroplastic was found in baleen whales before. This study is the first to show the presence of microplastic in intestines of a baleen whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Contents of its gastrointestinal tract were sieved, dissolved in 10% potassium hydroxide and washed. From the remaining dried material, potential synthetic polymer particles were selected based on density and appearance, and analysed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Several polymer types (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon) were found, in varying particle shapes: sheets, fragments and threads with a size of 1mm to 17cm. This diversity in polymer types and particle shapes, can be interpreted as a representation of the varying characteristics of marine plastic and the unselective way of ingestion by M. novaeangliae. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Collisions between Whales and Fast Ferries around Korean Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Jun Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Although there is heavy maritime traffic around Korean waters, collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters are nearly unknown. A ship strike that was associated with a minke whale occurred near the southeastern part of Tsushima Island along the sailing route of the fast ferry between Korea and Japan on December 16, 2004. It was associated with a fast ferry that runs at a speed of approximately 46.1 kn (83 km/h between Korea and Japan. This individual was certainly seriously injured or killed by this ship strike because large amounts of skin of this individual were attached to the surface of the fast ferry, and also large amounts of blood of this individual spread out in that area. However, fortunately, serious damage did not occur to the mariners and passengers of the ferry, although many passengers were knocked down to the floor of the fast ferry when the fast ferry collided with the minke whale. In addition, a total of 4 records of possible collisions between whales and fast ferries have occurred on the fast ferry route between Korea and Japan between 2004 and 2007. This study is the first formal report on collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters. Although the effect of ship strikes on the survival of cetaceans distributed around Korean waters is not very high at present compared with that of other threats, such as entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes can pose a significant potential threat to endangered cetaceans such as western gray whales. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare prevention measures for ship strikes for the conservation of cetaceans around Korean waters in the future.

  6. Occurrence of vertebral osteophytosis in a museum sample of white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) from Danish waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galatius, Anders; Sonne, Christian; Kinze, Carl Christian

    2009-01-01

    The occurrence of pathologic new bone formation in the vertebral column was studied in 46 skeletons of the white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) stranded in Denmark between 1903 and 2002 and held in the collections of the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. New bone formation...... number of affected vertebrae and more severe cases. Lesions were predominantly detected in the lumbar and cranial caudal vertebra. Data on blubber thickness were available for part of the sample; one of the most heavily afflicted specimens had the thickest recorded blubber, indicating that secondary bone...

  7. Software for real-time localization of baleen whale calls using directional sonobuoys: A case study on Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian S; Calderan, Susannah; Gillespie, Douglas; Weatherup, Graham; Leaper, Russell; Collins, Kym; Double, Michael C

    2016-03-01

    Directional frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) sonobuoys can allow real-time acoustic localization of baleen whales for underwater tracking and remote sensing, but limited availability of hardware and software has prevented wider usage. These software limitations were addressed by developing a module in the open-source software PAMGuard. A case study is presented demonstrating that this software provides greater efficiency and accessibility than previous methods for detecting, localizing, and tracking Antarctic blue whales in real time. Additionally, this software can easily be extended to track other low and mid frequency sounds including those from other cetaceans, pinnipeds, icebergs, shipping, and seismic airguns.

  8. Comparative Chromosome Map and Heterochromatin Features of the Gray Whale Karyotype (Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Proskuryakova, Anastasia A; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Lemskaya, Natalia A; Perelman, Polina L; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2016-01-01

    Cetacean karyotypes possess exceptionally stable diploid numbers and highly conserved chromosomes. To date, only toothed whales (Odontoceti) have been analyzed by comparative chromosome painting. Here, we studied the karyotype of a representative of baleen whales, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus, Mysticeti), by Zoo-FISH with dromedary camel and human chromosome-specific probes. We confirmed a high degree of karyotype conservation and found an identical order of syntenic segments in both branches of cetaceans. Yet, whale chromosomes harbor variable heterochromatic regions constituting up to a third of the genome due to the presence of several types of repeats. To investigate the cause of this variability, several classes of repeated DNA sequences were mapped onto chromosomes of whale species from both Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We uncovered extensive intrapopulation variability in the size of heterochromatic blocks present in homologous chromosomes among 3 individuals of the gray whale by 2-step differential chromosome staining. We show that some of the heteromorphisms observed in the gray whale karyotype are due to distinct amplification of a complex of common cetacean repeat and heavy satellite repeat on homologous autosomes. Furthermore, we demonstrate localization of the telomeric repeat in the heterochromatin of both gray and pilot whale (Globicephala melas, Odontoceti). Heterochromatic blocks in the pilot whale represent a composite of telomeric and common repeats, while heavy satellite repeat is lacking in the toothed whale consistent with previous studies. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Functional properties of myoglobins from five whale species with different diving capacities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbo, Signe; Fago, Angela

    2012-10-01

    Whales show an exceptionally wide range of diving capabilities and many express high amounts of the O(2) carrier protein myoglobin (Mb) in their muscle tissues, which increases their aerobic diving capacity. Although previous studies have mainly focused on the muscle Mb concentration and O(2) carrying capacity as markers of diving behavior in whales, it still remains unexplored whether whale Mbs differ in their O(2) affinities and nitrite reductase and peroxidase enzymatic activities, all functions that could contribute to differences in diving capacities. In this study, we have measured the functional properties of purified Mbs from five toothed whales and two baleen whales and have examined their correlation with average dive duration. Results showed that some variation in functional properties exists among whale Mbs, with toothed whale Mbs having higher O(2) affinities and nitrite reductase activities (similar to those of horse Mb) compared with baleen whale Mbs. However, these differences did not correlate with average dive duration. Instead, a significant correlation was found between whale Mb concentration and average duration and depth of dives, and between O(2) affinity and nitrite reductase activity when including horse Mb. Despite the fact that the functional properties showed little species-specific differences in vitro, they may still contribute to enhancing diving capacity as a result of the increased muscle Mb concentration found in extreme divers. In conclusion, Mb concentration rather than specific functional reactivities may support whale diving performance.

  10. Seasonal and geographic variation of southern blue whale subspecies in the Indian Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flore Samaran

    Full Text Available Understanding the seasonal movements and distribution patterns of migratory species over ocean basin scales is vital for appropriate conservation and management measures. However, assessing populations over remote regions is challenging, particularly if they are rare. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus spp are an endangered species found in the Southern and Indian Oceans. Here two recognized subspecies of blue whales and, based on passive acoustic monitoring, four "acoustic populations" occur. Three of these are pygmy blue whale (B.m. brevicauda populations while the fourth is the Antarctic blue whale (B.m. intermedia. Past whaling catches have dramatically reduced their numbers but recent acoustic recordings show that these oceans are still important habitat for blue whales. Presently little is known about the seasonal movements and degree of overlap of these four populations, particularly in the central Indian Ocean. We examined the geographic and seasonal occurrence of different blue whale acoustic populations using one year of passive acoustic recording from three sites located at different latitudes in the Indian Ocean. The vocalizations of the different blue whale subspecies and acoustic populations were recorded seasonally in different regions. For some call types and locations, there was spatial and temporal overlap, particularly between Antarctic and different pygmy blue whale acoustic populations. Except on the southernmost hydrophone, all three pygmy blue whale acoustic populations were found at different sites or during different seasons, which further suggests that these populations are generally geographically distinct. This unusual blue whale diversity in sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical waters indicates the importance of the area for blue whales in these former whaling grounds.

  11. Fin whales and microplastics: The Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Coppola, Daniele; Guerranti, Cristiana; Caliani, Ilaria; Minutoli, Roberta; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Rubegni, Fabrizio; Panigada, Simone; Bérubé, Martine; Urbán Ramírez, Jorge; Panti, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    The impact that microplastics have on baleen whales is a question that remains largely unexplored. This study examined the interaction between free-ranging fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and microplastics by comparing populations living in two semi-enclosed basins, the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California, Mexico). The results indicate that a considerable abundance of microplastics and plastic additives exists in the neustonic samples from Pelagos Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea, and that pelagic areas containing high densities of microplastics overlap with whale feeding grounds, suggesting that whales are exposed to microplastics during foraging; this was confirmed by the observation of a temporal increase in toxicological stress in whales. Given the abundance of microplastics in the Mediterranean environment, along with the high concentrations of Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals, plastic additives and biomarker responses detected in the biopsies of Mediterranean whales as compared to those in whales inhabiting the Sea of Cortez, we believe that exposure to microplastics because of direct ingestion and consumption of contaminated prey poses a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea. - Highlights: • Microplastics and phthalates were higher in the Mediterranean Sea than in the Sea of Cortez. • The overlap between the whale feeding areas and high microplastic density shows the risk of interaction. • Data suggest an increasing risk of chemical transfer from microplastic to whales during the foraging. • Mediterranean whales are exposed to higher ecotoxicological threat of than Sea of Cortez whales. - This study identified temporal and regional ecotoxicological variations in free-ranging fin whales inhabiting two seas different characterized by different microplastic abundance.

  12. Methylmercury exposure and adverse cardiovascular effects in Faroese whaling men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, Anna L; Weihe, Pal; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Methylmercury (MeHg), a worldwide contaminant found in fish and seafood, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. OBJECTIVE: We examined 42 Faroese whaling men (30-70 years of age) to assess possible adverse effects within a wide range of MeHg exposures from...

  13. Quota disputes and subsistence whaling in Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tejsner, Pelle

    2014-01-01

    In Qeqertarsuaq (Disco Island), northwest Greenland, local disputes about the allocation of annual whaling quotas for beluga and narwhals feature as a source of conflict between state-imposed categories of occupational and non-occupational hunters. The national authorities’ co-management regime...

  14. Like most other rorquals in the southern hemisphere, sei whales ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-04-21

    Apr 21, 2010 ... tering ground, i.e. Brazil (Horwood 1987). Despite ..... Figure 1. It seems to agree with that described in. 1919, in that very few whales were taken within 40 miles of the ...... a considerable degree of segregation (here called.

  15. Comparison of St. Lawrence blue whale vocalizations with field observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchok, Catherine; Bradley, David; Gabrielson, Thomas; Sears, Richard

    2003-04-01

    During four field seasons from 1998-2001, vocalizations were recorded in the presence of St. Lawrence blue whales using a single omni-directional hydrophone. Both long duration infrasonic calls (~18 Hz, 5-20 s) as well as short duration higher frequency calls (85-25 Hz, ~2 s) were detected and compared with field observations. Two trends were noted. First, the long infrasonic call series were concentrated primarily in the deep (300 m) channel. These call series appear to compare well with blue whale vocalizations recorded by others in the deep open ocean. Second, the shorter audible calls were more evenly distributed over bathymetry and seem to be a form of short distance communication with at least one case occurring during an agonistic interaction. A comparison of these calls with biological parameters such as density of whales in the area, percentages of paired versus single whales, and numbers of males versus females will also be discussed. [Project supported by ARL/PSU, NSF, and the American Museum of Natural History.

  16. Functional convergence in bat and toothed whale biosonars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, P T; Surlykke, A

    2013-01-01

    Echolocating bats and toothed whales hunt and navigate by emission of sound pulses and analysis of returning echoes to form a self-generated auditory scene. Here, we demonstrate a striking functional convergence in the way these two groups of mammals independently evolved the capability to sense ...

  17. Toxaphene in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from the North Atlantic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gouteux, B. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada); Muir, D.C.G. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada)], E-mail: Derek.Muir@ec.gc.ca; Backus, S. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada); Born, E.W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark); Dietz, R. [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Haug, T. [Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 6404, N-9294 Tromso (Norway); Metcalfe, T.; Metcalfe, C. [Worsfold Water Quality Centre, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8 (Canada); Oien, N. [Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, N-5817 Bergen (Norway)

    2008-05-15

    Toxaphene contamination of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from North Atlantic waters was examined for the first time. Total toxaphene and {sigma}CHB (sum of 11 chlorobornanes) concentrations in blubber samples ranged from 170 {+-} 110 and 41 {+-} 39 ng/g lipid weight (l.w.) for female minke whales from southeastern Greenland to 5800 {+-} 4100 and 1100 {+-} 780 ng/g l.w. for males from the North Sea, respectively. Very large variations in toxaphene concentrations among sampling areas were observed suggesting a spatial segregation of minke whales. However, much of the apparent geographical discrimination was explained by the seasonal fluctuation of animal fat mass. Patterns of CHBs in males revealed that recalcitrant CHBs were in higher proportions in animals from the more easterly areas than in animals from the more westerly areas. This trend may be influenced by the predominance of the US, over the European, input of toxaphene to North Atlantic waters. - High levels of toxaphene were found in different sub-populations of minke whales from North Atlantic waters.

  18. Ancient whales did not filter feed with their teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, David P; Marx, Felix G; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2017-08-01

    The origin of baleen whales (Mysticeti), the largest animals on Earth, is closely tied to their signature filter-feeding strategy. Unlike their modern relatives, archaic whales possessed a well-developed, heterodont adult dentition. How these teeth were used, and what role their function and subsequent loss played in the emergence of filter feeding, is an enduring mystery. In particular, it has been suggested that elaborate tooth crowns may have enabled stem mysticetes to filter with their postcanine teeth in a manner analogous to living crabeater and leopard seals, thereby facilitating the transition to baleen-assisted filtering. Here we show that the teeth of archaic mysticetes are as sharp as those of terrestrial carnivorans, raptorial pinnipeds and archaeocetes, and thus were capable of capturing and processing prey. By contrast, the postcanine teeth of leopard and crabeater seals are markedly blunter, and clearly unsuited to raptorial feeding. Our results suggest that mysticetes never passed through a tooth-based filtration phase, and that the use of teeth and baleen in early whales was not functionally connected. Continued selection for tooth sharpness in archaic mysticetes is best explained by a feeding strategy that included both biting and suction, similar to that of most living pinnipeds and, probably, early toothed whales (Odontoceti). © 2017 The Authors.

  19. Toxaphene in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from the North Atlantic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gouteux, B.; Muir, D.C.G.; Backus, S.; Born, E.W.; Dietz, R.; Haug, T.; Metcalfe, T.; Metcalfe, C.; Oien, N.

    2008-01-01

    Toxaphene contamination of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) from North Atlantic waters was examined for the first time. Total toxaphene and ΣCHB (sum of 11 chlorobornanes) concentrations in blubber samples ranged from 170 ± 110 and 41 ± 39 ng/g lipid weight (l.w.) for female minke whales from southeastern Greenland to 5800 ± 4100 and 1100 ± 780 ng/g l.w. for males from the North Sea, respectively. Very large variations in toxaphene concentrations among sampling areas were observed suggesting a spatial segregation of minke whales. However, much of the apparent geographical discrimination was explained by the seasonal fluctuation of animal fat mass. Patterns of CHBs in males revealed that recalcitrant CHBs were in higher proportions in animals from the more easterly areas than in animals from the more westerly areas. This trend may be influenced by the predominance of the US, over the European, input of toxaphene to North Atlantic waters. - High levels of toxaphene were found in different sub-populations of minke whales from North Atlantic waters

  20. The diet of sperm whales caught commercially off Durban was ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Cephalopod Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution. Payne, A. I. L., Lipinski, M. R., Clarke, M. R. and M. A. C. Roeleveld (Eds). S. Afr. J. mar. Sci. 20: 41–45. 1998. 41. CEPHALOPODS IN THE DIET OF SPERM WHALES CAUGHT. COMMERCIALLY OFF DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA. M. R. CLARKE* and M. A. C. ROELEVELD†.

  1. Trends and interventions in large whale entanglement along the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Generalised linear models with a Poisson or quasi-Poisson distribution were used to describe the relationship between the number of incidents and time. Taking into account the combined length of shark-net installations per year as an offset variable, entanglement of humpback whales in shark nets increased at 15.1% per ...

  2. Iceland and European Union accession - the whaling issue

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Peter G.G.

    2011-01-01

    This article seeks to assess one of the important questions regarding Iceland’s potential accession to the EU, namely, whether Iceland could legitimately continue its whaling operations under current EU environmental law if it becomes a member of the regional economic integration organization

  3. Deep Mapping of Teuthivorous Whales and Their Prey Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    components of this effort including Chad Waluk, David O’Gorman, Ian Robbins, John Calambokidas, Ari Friedlander, Peter Tyack, Patricia Arranz, and David...acoustic testing strand whales? Nature 392:29 Jochens AD, Biggs DC, Benoit-Bird KJ, Engelhaupt D, Gordon J, Hu C, Jaquet N, Johnson MP, Leben RR, Mate BR

  4. Structural determination of importin alpha in complex with beak and feather disease virus capsid nuclear localization signal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patterson, Edward I.; Dombrovski, Andrew K.; Swarbrick, Crystall M.D.; Raidal, Shane R.; Forwood, Jade K.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •Circovirus capsid proteins contain large nuclear localization signals (NLS). •A method of nuclear import has not been elucidated. •Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) capsid NLS was crystallized with importin α. •The structure showed BFDV NLS binding to the major site of importin α. •Result shows implications for mechanism of nuclear transport for all circoviruses. -- Abstract: Circoviruses represent a rapidly increasing genus of viruses that infect a variety of vertebrates. Replication requires shuttling viral molecules into the host cell nucleus, a process facilitated by capsid-associated protein (Cap). Whilst a nuclear localization signal (NLS) has been shown to mediate nuclear translocation, the mode of nuclear transport remains to be elucidated. To better understand this process, beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) Cap NLS was crystallized with nuclear import receptor importin-α (Impα). Diffraction yielded structural data to 2.9 Å resolution, and the binding site on both Impα and BFDV Cap NLS were well resolved. The binding mechanism for the major site is likely conserved across circoviruses as supported by the similarity of NLSs in circovirus Caps. This finding illuminates a crucial step for infection of host cells by this viral family, and provides a platform for rational drug design against the binding interface

  5. Comparison of the structures of three circoviruses: chicken anemia virus, porcine circovirus type 2, and beak and feather disease virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, R A; Berriman, J A; Curran, W L; Allan, G M; Todd, D

    2003-12-01

    Circoviruses are small, nonenveloped icosahedral animal viruses characterized by circular single-stranded DNA genomes. Their genomes are the smallest possessed by animal viruses. Infections with circoviruses, which can lead to economically important diseases, frequently result in virus-induced damage to lymphoid tissue and immunosuppression. Within the family Circoviridae, different genera are distinguished by differences in genomic organization. Thus, Chicken anemia virus is in the genus Gyrovirus, while porcine circoviruses and Beak and feather disease virus belong to the genus CIRCOVIRUS: Little is known about the structures of circoviruses. Accordingly, we investigated the structures of these three viruses with a view to determining whether they are related. Three-dimensional maps computed from electron micrographs showed that all three viruses have a T=1 organization with capsids formed from 60 subunits. Porcine circovirus type 2 and beak and feather disease virus show similar capsid structures with flat pentameric morphological units, whereas chicken anemia virus has stikingly different protruding pentagonal trumpet-shaped units. It thus appears that the structures of viruses in the same genus are related but that those of viruses in different genera are unrelated.

  6. Avian magnetoreception: elaborate iron mineral containing dendrites in the upper beak seem to be a common feature of birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Falkenberg

    Full Text Available The magnetic field sensors enabling birds to extract orientational information from the Earth's magnetic field have remained enigmatic. Our previously published results from homing pigeons have made us suggest that the iron containing sensory dendrites in the inner dermal lining of the upper beak are a candidate structure for such an avian magnetometer system. Here we show that similar structures occur in two species of migratory birds (garden warbler, Sylvia borin and European robin, Erithacus rubecula and a non-migratory bird, the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus. In all these bird species, histological data have revealed dendrites of similar shape and size, all containing iron minerals within distinct subcellular compartments of nervous terminals of the median branch of the Nervus ophthalmicus. We also used microscopic X-ray absorption spectroscopy analyses to identify the involved iron minerals to be almost completely Fe III-oxides. Magnetite (Fe II/III may also occur in these structures, but not as a major Fe constituent. Our data suggest that this complex dendritic system in the beak is a common feature of birds, and that it may form an essential sensory basis for the evolution of at least certain types of magnetic field guided behavior.

  7. Avian magnetoreception: elaborate iron mineral containing dendrites in the upper beak seem to be a common feature of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkenberg, Gerald; Fleissner, Gerta; Schuchardt, Kirsten; Kuehbacher, Markus; Thalau, Peter; Mouritsen, Henrik; Heyers, Dominik; Wellenreuther, Gerd; Fleissner, Guenther

    2010-02-16

    The magnetic field sensors enabling birds to extract orientational information from the Earth's magnetic field have remained enigmatic. Our previously published results from homing pigeons have made us suggest that the iron containing sensory dendrites in the inner dermal lining of the upper beak are a candidate structure for such an avian magnetometer system. Here we show that similar structures occur in two species of migratory birds (garden warbler, Sylvia borin and European robin, Erithacus rubecula) and a non-migratory bird, the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus). In all these bird species, histological data have revealed dendrites of similar shape and size, all containing iron minerals within distinct subcellular compartments of nervous terminals of the median branch of the Nervus ophthalmicus. We also used microscopic X-ray absorption spectroscopy analyses to identify the involved iron minerals to be almost completely Fe III-oxides. Magnetite (Fe II/III) may also occur in these structures, but not as a major Fe constituent. Our data suggest that this complex dendritic system in the beak is a common feature of birds, and that it may form an essential sensory basis for the evolution of at least certain types of magnetic field guided behavior.

  8. Genomic and pathogenic analysis of a Muscovy duck parvovirus strain causing short beak and dwarfism syndrome without tongue protrusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Qiuling; Huang, Yu; Wan, Chunhe; Fu, Guanghua; Qi, Baomin; Cheng, Longfei; Shi, Shaohua; Chen, Hongmei; Liu, Rongchang; Chen, Zhenhai

    2017-12-01

    In 2008, clinical cases of short beak and dwarfism syndrome (SBDS) caused by Muscovy duck parvovirus (MDPV) infection were found in mule duck and Taiwan white duck farms in Fujian, China. A MDPV LH strain causing duck SBDS without tongue protrusion was isolated in this study. Phylogenetic analysis show that the MDPV LH strain was clustered together with other MDPV strains, but divergent from GPV isolates. Two major fragment deletions were found in the inverted terminal repeats (ITR) of MDPV LH similar to the ones in the ITR of MDPV GX5, YY and SAAS-SHNH strains. To investigate the pathogenicity of the MDPV LH strain, virus infection of young mule ducks was performed. The infected ducks showed SBDS symptoms including retard growth and shorten beaks without tongue protrusion. Atrophy of thymus, spleen and bursa of Fabricius was identified in the infected ducks. The results show that MDPV LH strain is moderately pathogenic to mule duck, leading to occurrence of SBDS. As far as we know, it is the first study showing that SBDS without tongue protrusion, and atrophy of thymus, spleen and bursa of Fabricius possibly associated with immunosuppression were found in the MDPV-infected ducks. The established duck-MDPV-SBDS system will help us to further work on the virus pathogenesis and develop efficacious vaccine against MDPV infection. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Stable isotope and trace element status of subsistence-hunted bowhead and beluga whales in Alaska and gray whales in Chukotka

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dehn, Larissa-A. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States)]. E-mail: ftld@uaf.edu; Follmann, Erich H. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Rosa, Cheryl [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Duffy, Lawrence K. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Thomas, Dana L. [Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6660 (United States); Bratton, Gerald R. [Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); Taylor, Robert J. [Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); O' Hara, Todd M. [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000 (United States); Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, Barrow, AK 99725 (United States)

    2006-03-15

    Tissues of bowhead, beluga, and gray whales were analyzed for Ag, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, THg and MeHg (belugas only). {delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C in muscle were used to estimate trophic position and feeding habitat, respectively. Trace element concentrations in tissues were significantly different among whale species. Hepatic Ag was higher in belugas than bowheads and gray whales. Gray whales had lower Cd concentrations in liver and kidney than bowhead and belugas and a sigmoid correlation of Cd with length was noted for all whales. Renal and hepatic Se and THg were higher in belugas than in baleen whales. The hepatic molar ratio of Se:THg exceeded 1:1 in all species and was negatively correlated to body length. Hepatic and renal Zn in subsistence-harvested gray whales was lower than concentrations for stranded whales. Se:THg molar ratios and tissue concentrations of Zn may show promise as potential indicators of immune status and animal health.

  10. Stable isotope and trace element status of subsistence-hunted bowhead and beluga whales in Alaska and gray whales in Chukotka

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehn, Larissa-A.; Follmann, Erich H.; Rosa, Cheryl; Duffy, Lawrence K.; Thomas, Dana L.; Bratton, Gerald R.; Taylor, Robert J.; O'Hara, Todd M.

    2006-01-01

    Tissues of bowhead, beluga, and gray whales were analyzed for Ag, Cd, Cu, Se, Zn, THg and MeHg (belugas only). δ 15 N and δ 13 C in muscle were used to estimate trophic position and feeding habitat, respectively. Trace element concentrations in tissues were significantly different among whale species. Hepatic Ag was higher in belugas than bowheads and gray whales. Gray whales had lower Cd concentrations in liver and kidney than bowhead and belugas and a sigmoid correlation of Cd with length was noted for all whales. Renal and hepatic Se and THg were higher in belugas than in baleen whales. The hepatic molar ratio of Se:THg exceeded 1:1 in all species and was negatively correlated to body length. Hepatic and renal Zn in subsistence-harvested gray whales was lower than concentrations for stranded whales. Se:THg molar ratios and tissue concentrations of Zn may show promise as potential indicators of immune status and animal health

  11. Laser photogrammetry improves size and demographic estimates for whale sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Anthony J.; Prebble, Clare E.M.; Marshall, Andrea D.; Bennett, Michael B.; Weeks, Scarla J.; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P.; Pierce, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    Whale sharks Rhincodon typus are globally threatened, but a lack of biological and demographic information hampers an accurate assessment of their vulnerability to further decline or capacity to recover. We used laser photogrammetry at two aggregation sites to obtain more accurate size estimates of free-swimming whale sharks compared to visual estimates, allowing improved estimates of biological parameters. Individual whale sharks ranged from 432–917 cm total length (TL) (mean ± SD = 673 ± 118.8 cm, N = 122) in southern Mozambique and from 420–990 cm TL (mean ± SD = 641 ± 133 cm, N = 46) in Tanzania. By combining measurements of stranded individuals with photogrammetry measurements of free-swimming sharks, we calculated length at 50% maturity for males in Mozambique at 916 cm TL. Repeat measurements of individual whale sharks measured over periods from 347–1,068 days yielded implausible growth rates, suggesting that the growth increment over this period was not large enough to be detected using laser photogrammetry, and that the method is best applied to estimating growth rates over longer (decadal) time periods. The sex ratio of both populations was biased towards males (74% in Mozambique, 89% in Tanzania), the majority of which were immature (98% in Mozambique, 94% in Tanzania). The population structure for these two aggregations was similar to most other documented whale shark aggregations around the world. Information on small (sharks, mature individuals, and females in this region is lacking, but necessary to inform conservation initiatives for this globally threatened species. PMID:25870776

  12. A molecular mechanism for the origin of a key evolutionary innovation, the bird beak and palate, revealed by an integrative approach to major transitions in vertebrate history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Morris, Zachary S; Sefton, Elizabeth M; Tok, Atalay; Tokita, Masayoshi; Namkoong, Bumjin; Camacho, Jasmin; Burnham, David A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2015-07-01

    The avian beak is a key evolutionary innovation whose flexibility has permitted birds to diversify into a range of disparate ecological niches. We approached the problem of the mechanism behind this innovation using an approach bridging paleontology, comparative anatomy, and experimental developmental biology. First, we used fossil and extant data to show the beak is distinctive in consisting of fused premaxillae that are geometrically distinct from those of ancestral archosaurs. To elucidate underlying developmental mechanisms, we examined candidate gene expression domains in the embryonic face: the earlier frontonasal ectodermal zone (FEZ) and the later midfacial WNT-responsive region, in birds and several reptiles. This permitted the identification of an autapomorphic median gene expression region in Aves. To test the mechanism, we used inhibitors of both pathways to replicate in chicken the ancestral amniote expression. Altering the FEZ altered later WNT responsiveness to the ancestral pattern. Skeletal phenotypes from both types of experiments had premaxillae that clustered geometrically with ancestral fossil forms instead of beaked birds. The palatal region was also altered to a more ancestral phenotype. This is consistent with the fossil record and with the tight functional association of avian premaxillae and palate in forming a kinetic beak. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: Implications for anti-predator strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Curé, C.; Antunes, R.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could

  14. The auditory anatomy of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata): a potential fatty sound reception pathway in a baleen whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Maya; Ketten, Darlene R; Arruda, Julie; Cramer, Scott; Moore, Kathleen

    2012-06-01

    Cetaceans possess highly derived auditory systems adapted for underwater hearing. Odontoceti (toothed whales) are thought to receive sound through specialized fat bodies that contact the tympanoperiotic complex, the bones housing the middle and inner ears. However, sound reception pathways remain unknown in Mysticeti (baleen whales), which have very different cranial anatomies compared to odontocetes. Here, we report a potential fatty sound reception pathway in the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a mysticete of the balaenopterid family. The cephalic anatomy of seven minke whales was investigated using computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, verified through dissections. Findings include a large, well-formed fat body lateral, dorsal, and posterior to the mandibular ramus and lateral to the tympanoperiotic complex. This fat body inserts into the tympanoperiotic complex at the lateral aperture between the tympanic and periotic bones and is in contact with the ossicles. There is also a second, smaller body of fat found within the tympanic bone, which contacts the ossicles as well. This is the first analysis of these fatty tissues' association with the auditory structures in a mysticete, providing anatomical evidence that fatty sound reception pathways may not be a unique feature of odontocete cetaceans. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Getting to know you: Identification of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata and melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra under challenging conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Siciliano

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra and Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata are very poorly known species and are often confused with each other. We examined in detail Figure 3 in MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 who reported that two melon-headed whales were taken in a surface driftnet about 90 nm off Santos, Brazil. We concluded they were in fact pygmy killer whales and explain our reasoning. To aid in future identifications, we illustrate and describe some of the main differences between these two species of small cetaceans. The incident reported by MARIGO and GIFFONI (2010 might represent the 'tip of the iceberg' regarding the incidental catches of cetaceans by pelagic drift nets off Brazil. Offshore driftnetting operating along the south-southeastern coast of Brazil may threaten pygmy killer whales.

  16. Modelling the effects of environmental conditions on the acoustic occurrence and behaviour of Antarctic blue whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fannie W Shabangu

    Full Text Available Harvested to perilously low numbers by commercial whaling during the past century, the large scale response of Antarctic blue whales Balaenoptera musculus intermedia to environmental variability is poorly understood. This study uses acoustic data collected from 586 sonobuoys deployed in the austral summers of 1997 through 2009, south of 38°S, coupled with visual observations of blue whales during the IWC SOWER line-transect surveys. The characteristic Z-call and D-call of Antarctic blue whales were detected using an automated detection template and visual verification method. Using a random forest model, we showed the environmental preferences pattern, spatial occurrence and acoustic behaviour of Antarctic blue whales. Distance to the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (SBACC, latitude and distance from the nearest Antarctic shores were the main geographic predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Satellite-derived sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and productivity (chlorophyll-a were the most important environmental predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Call rates of D-calls were strongly predicted by the location of the SBACC, latitude and visually detected number of whales in an area while call rates of Z-call were predicted by the SBACC, latitude and longitude. Satellite-derived sea surface height, wind stress, wind direction, water depth, sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll-a and wind speed were important environmental predictors of blue whale call rates in the Southern Ocean. Blue whale call occurrence and call rates varied significantly in response to inter-annual and long term variability of those environmental predictors. Our results identify the response of Antarctic blue whales to inter-annual variability in environmental conditions and highlighted potential suitable habitats for this population. Such emerging knowledge about the acoustic behaviour, environmental and habitat preferences of

  17. Stable isotopes provide insight into population structure and segregation in eastern North Atlantic sperm whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly......, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted....

  18. Wintering habitat model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

    The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS) are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales) were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment.

  19. Modelling the effects of environmental conditions on the acoustic occurrence and behaviour of Antarctic blue whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabangu, Fannie W; Yemane, Dawit; Stafford, Kathleen M; Ensor, Paul; Findlay, Ken P

    2017-01-01

    Harvested to perilously low numbers by commercial whaling during the past century, the large scale response of Antarctic blue whales Balaenoptera musculus intermedia to environmental variability is poorly understood. This study uses acoustic data collected from 586 sonobuoys deployed in the austral summers of 1997 through 2009, south of 38°S, coupled with visual observations of blue whales during the IWC SOWER line-transect surveys. The characteristic Z-call and D-call of Antarctic blue whales were detected using an automated detection template and visual verification method. Using a random forest model, we showed the environmental preferences pattern, spatial occurrence and acoustic behaviour of Antarctic blue whales. Distance to the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (SBACC), latitude and distance from the nearest Antarctic shores were the main geographic predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Satellite-derived sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and productivity (chlorophyll-a) were the most important environmental predictors of blue whale call occurrence. Call rates of D-calls were strongly predicted by the location of the SBACC, latitude and visually detected number of whales in an area while call rates of Z-call were predicted by the SBACC, latitude and longitude. Satellite-derived sea surface height, wind stress, wind direction, water depth, sea surface temperatures, chlorophyll-a and wind speed were important environmental predictors of blue whale call rates in the Southern Ocean. Blue whale call occurrence and call rates varied significantly in response to inter-annual and long term variability of those environmental predictors. Our results identify the response of Antarctic blue whales to inter-annual variability in environmental conditions and highlighted potential suitable habitats for this population. Such emerging knowledge about the acoustic behaviour, environmental and habitat preferences of Antarctic blue whales is

  20. Toothed whales in the northwestern Mediterranean: Insight into their feeding ecology using chemical tracers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Praca, Emilie; Laran, Sophie; Lepoint, Gilles; Thome, Jean-Pierre; Quetglas, Antoni; Belcari, Paola; Sartor, Paolo; Dhermain, Frank; Ody, Denis; Tapie, Nathalie

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: →δ 15 N highlights significant different trophic levels. → Similar δ 13 C indicate a habitat superposition or corroborate seasonal migrations. → Congener 180 and tDDT/tPCB show wider migrations for sperm whales. - Abstract: Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales rarely strand in the northwestern Mediterranean. Thus, their feeding ecology, through the analysis of stomach contents, is poorly known. The aim of this study was to gain further insight into the segregation/superposition of the diet and habitat of Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales using chemical tracers, namely, stable isotopes (δ 13 C, δ 15 N) and organochlorines. Significantly different δ 15 N values were obtained in Risso's dolphins (11.7 ± 0.7 per mille ), sperm whales (10.8 ± 0.3 per mille ) and pilot whales (9.8 ± 0.3 per mille ), revealing different trophic levels. These differences are presumably due to various proportions of Histioteuthidae cephalopods in each toothed whale's diet. Similar δ 13 C contents between species indicated long-term habitat superposition or corroborated important seasonal migrations. Lower congener 180 concentrations (8.20 vs. 21.73 μg.g -1 lw) and higher tDDT/tPCB ratios (0.93 vs. 0.42) were observed in sperm whales compared with Risso's dolphins and may indicate wider migrations for the former. Therefore, competition between these species seems to depend on different trophic levels and migration patterns.

  1. The safety of bycatch: South Korean responses to the moratorium on commercial whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Tatar

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available When the global moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented in 1986, Korea prohibited whaling; however, there was no effort to build the capacity of social institutions to guide local residents to cooperate with the policy. Utilizing a social ecology approach, this research examines the practice of eating whale meat in Ulsan, South Korea, to illustrate the importance of culture for attaining the social acceptance of wildlife conservation policy. The cultural models which influence the consumption of whale meat are here classified as representing four distinct responses to the moratorium: opposition, resistance, evasion and support. The two most important changes are the public utilization of whale meat as a symbol of an endangered culture, and the reliance on meat procured legally from accidental entanglements of whales in fishing nets (cetacean bycatch. These cultural changes have a social function, which is to impart legitimacy and acceptance to the continued consumption of whale meat, from illegal as well as legal sources. Given the cultural acceptance of whale meat, I argue that it will not be possible to eradicate the illegal market through enforcement alone. Instead, the solution is to persuade local consumers of whale meat to cooperate with the moratorium.

  2. Recording and quantification of ultrasonic echolocation clicks from free-ranging toothed whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2007-01-01

    Toothed whales produce short, ultrasonic clicks of high directionality and source level to probe their environment acoustically. This process, termed echolocation, is to a large part governed by the properties of the emitted clicks. Therefore derivation of click source parameters from free......-ranging animals is of increasing importance to understand both how toothed whales use echolocation in the wild and how they may be monitored acoustically. This paper addresses how source parameters can be derived from free-ranging toothed whales in the wild using calibrated multi-hydrophone arrays and digital...... of discrete versions of toothed whale clicks that are meaningful in a biosonar context....

  3. Minimally destructive DNA extraction from archaeological artefacts made from whale baleen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinding, Mikkel Holger Strander; Gilbert, Tom; Grønnow, Bjarne

    2012-01-01

    Here we demonstrate the successful extraction and amplification of target species DNA from artefacts made of whale baleen collected from excavations of past palaeo-Eskimo and Inuit cultures in Greenland. DNA was successfully extracted and amplified from a single baleen bristle of 1.5 cm length...... genetic studies. We conclude that genetic investigation of historical baleen collections can contribute to our knowledge of the prehistoric population genetics of baleen whales, for example by quantifying the impact of modern whaling on the genetic diversity of bowhead whales....

  4. Testing the effectiveness of an acoustic deterrent for gray whales along the Oregon coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lagerquist, Barbara [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Winsor, Martha [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute; Mate, Bruce [Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute

    2012-12-31

    This study was conducted to determine whether a low-powered sound source could be effective at deterring gray whales from areas that may prove harmful to them. With increased interest in the development of marine renewal energy along the Oregon coast the concern that such development may pose a collision or entanglement risk for gray whales. A successful acoustic deterrent could act as a mitigation tool to prevent harm to whales from such risks. In this study, an acoustic device was moored on the seafloor in the pathway of migrating gray whales off Yaquina Head on the central Oregon coast. Shore-based observers tracked whales with a theodolite (surveyor’s tool) to accurately locate whales as they passed the headland. Individual locations of different whales/whale groups as well as tracklines of the same whale/whale groups were obtained and compared between times with the acoustic device was transmitting and when it was off. Observations were conducted on 51 d between January 1 and April 15, 2012. A total of 143 individual whale locations were collected for a total of 243 whales, as well as 57 tracklines for a total of 142 whales. Inclement weather and equipment problems resulted in very small sample sizes, especially during experimental periods, when the device was transmitting. Because of this, the results of this study were inconclusive. We feel that another season of field testing is warranted to successfully test the effectiveness of the deterrent, but recommend increasing the zone of influence to 3 km to ensure the collection of adequate sample sizes. Steps have been taken to acquire the necessary federal research permit modification to authorize the increased zone of influence and to modify the acoustic device for the increased power. With these changes we are confident we will be able to determine whether the deterrent is effective at deflecting gray whales. A successful deterrent device may serve as a valuable mitigation tool to protect gray whales, and

  5. SRKW acoustic response - Investigating noise effects on the acoustic signals and behavior of Southern Resident killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In this study, vocal compensation is being investigated in Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) calls to determine the degree to which whales can adjust to...

  6. Using pollen analysis to detect microscopical traces of the original contents of an Etruscan beaked flagon from Ostrov u Stříbra (okr. Tachov/CZ) near Pilsen

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozáková, Radka; Trefný, M.; Postránecká, K.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 46, č. 1 (2016), s. 75-87 ISSN 0342-734X Institutional support: RVO:67985912 Keywords : beaked flagon * pollen analysis * Hallstatt period * honey Subject RIV: AC - Archeology, Anthropology, Ethnology

  7. Sperm whales reduce foraging effort during exposure to 1-2 kHz sonar and killer whale sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isojunno, Saana; Cure, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter Helgevold; Lam, Frans-Peter Alexander; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Wensveen, Paul Jacobus; Miller, Patrick James O'Malley

    2016-01-01

    The time and energetic costs of behavioral responses to incidental and experimental sonar exposures, as well as control stimuli, were quantified using hidden state analysis of time series of acoustic and movement data recorded by tags (DTAG) attached to 12 sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) using suction cups. Behavioral state transition modeling showed that tagged whales switched to a non-foraging, non-resting state during both experimental transmissions of low-frequency active sonar from an approaching vessel (LFAS; 1-2 kHz, source level 214 dB re 1 µPa m, four tag records) and playbacks of potential predator (killer whale, Orcinus orca) sounds broadcast at naturally occurring sound levels as a positive control from a drifting boat (five tag records). Time spent in foraging states and the probability of prey capture attempts were reduced during these two types of exposures with little change in overall locomotion activity, suggesting an effect on energy intake with no immediate compensation. Whales switched to the active non-foraging state over received sound pressure levels of 131-165 dB re 1 µPa during LFAS exposure. In contrast, no changes in foraging behavior were detected in response to experimental negative controls (no-sonar ship approach or noise control playback) or to experimental medium-frequency active sonar exposures (MFAS; 6-7 kHz, source level 199 re 1 µPa m, received sound pressure level [SPL] = 73-158 dB re 1 µPa). Similarly, there was no reduction in foraging effort for three whales exposed to incidental, unidentified 4.7-5.1 kHz sonar signals received at lower levels (SPL = 89-133 dB re 1 µPa). These results demonstrate that similar to predation risk, exposure to sonar can affect functional behaviors, and indicate that increased perception of risk with higher source level or lower frequency may modulate how sperm whales respond to anthropogenic sound.

  8. A genomewide catalogue of single nucleotide polymorphisms in white-beaked and Atlantic white-sided dolphins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández, R.; Schubert, M.; Vargas-Velázquez, A. M.

    2015-01-01

    The field of population genetics is rapidly moving into population genomics as the quantity of data generated by high-throughput sequencing platforms increases. In this study, we used restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq) to recover genomewide genotypes from 70 white-beaked (Lagenor......The field of population genetics is rapidly moving into population genomics as the quantity of data generated by high-throughput sequencing platforms increases. In this study, we used restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq) to recover genomewide genotypes from 70 white...... of genetic clusters among our sample set, we obtained an estimate of two to four clusters, corresponding to both species and possibly, two further clusters within each species. A higher diversity and lower population structuring was encountered in white-sided dolphins from the north-east Atlantic, in line...

  9. Duck "beak atrophy and dwarfism syndrome" disease complex: Interplay of novel goose parvovirus-related virus and duck circovirus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P; Li, J; Zhang, R; Chen, J; Wang, W; Lan, J; Xie, Z; Jiang, S

    2018-04-01

    As a newly emerged infectious disease, duck "beak atrophy and dwarfism syndrome (BADS)" disease has caused huge economic losses to waterfowl industry in China since 2015. Novel goose parvovirus-related virus (NGPV) is believed the main pathogen of BADS disease; however, BADS is rarely reproduced by infecting ducks with NGPV alone. As avian circovirus infection causes clinical symptoms similar to BADS, duck circovirus (DuCV) is suspected the minor pathogen of BADS disease. In this study, an investigation was carried out to determine the coinfection of NGPV and DuCV in duck embryos and in ducks with BADS disease. According to our study, the coinfection of emerging NGPV and DuCV was prevalent in East China (Shandong, Jiangsu and Anhui province) and could be vertical transmitted, indicating their cooperative roles in duck BADS disease. © 2018 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  10. Archaeocete-like jaws in a baleen whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.

    2012-01-01

    The titanic baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) have a bizarre skull morphology, including an elastic mandibular symphysis, which permits dynamic oral cavity expansion during bulk feeding. How this key innovation evolved from the sutured symphysis of archaeocetes has remained unclear. Now, mandibles of the Oligocene toothed mysticete Janjucetus hunderi show that basal mysticetes had an archaeocete-like sutured symphysis. This archaic morphology was paired with a wide rostrum typical of later-diverging baleen whales. This demonstrates that increased oral capacity via rostral widening preceded the evolution of mandibular innovations for filter feeding. Thus, the initial evolution of the mysticetes' unique cranial form and huge mouths was perhaps not linked to filtering plankton, but to enhancing suction feeding on individual prey. PMID:21849306

  11. Conservation markets for wildlife management with case studies from whaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Leah R; Costello, Christopher; Gaines, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    Although market-based incentives have helped resolve many environmental challenges, conservation markets still play a relatively minor role in wildlife management. Establishing property rights for environmental goods and allowing trade between resource extractors and resource conservationists may offer a path forward in conserving charismatic species like whales, wolves, turtles, and sharks. In this paper, we provide a conceptual model for implementing a conservation market for wildlife and evaluate how such a market could be applied to three case studies for whales (minke [Balaenoptera acutorostrata], bowhead [Balaena mysticetus], and gray [Eschrictius robustus]). We show that, if designed and operated properly, such a market could ensure persistence of imperiled populations, while simultaneously improving the welfare of resource harvesters.

  12. Sensory Hairs in the Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus (Cetacea, Mammalia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Summer E; Crish, Samuel D; George, John C; Stimmelmayr, Raphaella; Thewissen, J G M

    2015-07-01

    We studied the histology and morphometrics of the hairs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). These whales are hairless except for two patches of more than 300 hairs on the rostral tip of the lower lip and chin, the rostral tip of the upper lip, and a bilateral row of approximately ten hairs caudal to the blowhole. Histological data indicate that hairs in all three of these areas are vibrissae: they show an outermost connective tissue capsule, a circumferential blood sinus system surrounding the hair shaft, and dense innervation to the follicle. Morphometric data were collected on hair diameters, epidermal recess diameters, hair follicle length, and external hair lengths. The main difference between the hairs in the different regions is that blowhole hairs have larger diameters than the hairs in the chin and rostrum regions. We speculate that the hair shaft thickness patterns in bowheads reflect functional specializations. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Properties and architecture of the sperm whale skull amphitheatre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Parvez; Amini, Shahrouz; Tadayon, Maryam; Miserez, Ali; Chinsamy, Anusuya

    2016-02-01

    The sperm whale skull amphitheatre cradles an enormous two-tonne spermaceti organ. The amphitheatre separates this organ from the cranium and the cervical vertebrae that lie in close proximity to the base of the skull. Here, we elucidate that this skull amphitheatre is an elastic, flexible, triple-layered structure with mechanical properties that are conjointly guided by bone histology and the characteristics of pore space. We contend that the amphitheatre will flex elastically to equilibrate forces transmitted via the spermaceti organ that arise through diving. We find that collisions from sperm whale aggression do not cause the amphitheatre to bend, but rather localise stress to the base of the amphitheatre on its anterior face. We consider, therefore, that the uniquely thin and extended construction of the amphitheatre, has relevance as an energy absorptive structure in diving. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. The Genome of the Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J. M. Jones

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The beluga whale is a cetacean that inhabits arctic and subarctic regions, and is the only living member of the genus Delphinapterus. The genome of the beluga whale was determined using DNA sequencing approaches that employed both microfluidic partitioning library and non-partitioned library construction. The former allowed for the construction of a highly contiguous assembly with a scaffold N50 length of over 19 Mbp and total reconstruction of 2.32 Gbp. To aid our understanding of the functional elements, transcriptome data was also derived from brain, duodenum, heart, lung, spleen, and liver tissue. Assembled sequence and all of the underlying sequence data are available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI under the Bioproject accession number PRJNA360851A.

  15. Short beak and dwarfism syndrome of mule duck is caused by a distinct lineage of goose parvovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palya, Vilmos; Zolnai, Anna; Benyeda, Zsófia; Kovács, Edit; Kardi, Veronika; Mató, Tamás

    2009-04-01

    From the early 1970s to the present, numerous cases of short beak and dwarfism syndrome (SBDS) have been reported in mule ducks from France. The animals showed strong growth retardation with smaller beak and tarsus. It was suggested that the syndrome was caused by goose parvovirus on the basis of serological investigation, but the causative agent has not been isolated and the disease has not so far been reproduced by experimental infection. The aim of the present study was to characterize the virus strains isolated from field cases of SBDS, and to reproduce the disease experimentally. Phylogenetic analysis proved that the parvovirus isolates obtained from SBDS of mule duck belonged to a distinct lineage of goose parvovirus-related group of waterfowl parvoviruses. The authors carried out experimental infections of 1-day-old, 2-week-old and 3-week-old mule ducks by the oral route with three different parvovirus strains: strain D17/99 of goose parvovirus from Derzsy's disease, strain FM of Muscovy duck parvovirus from the parvovirus disease of Muscovy ducks, and strain D176/02 isolated from SBDS of mule duck. The symptoms of SBDS of the mule duck could only be reproduced with the mule duck isolate (strain D176/02) following 1-day-old inoculation. Infection with a genetically different strain of goose parvovirus isolated from classical Derzsy's disease (D17/99) or with the Muscovy duck parvovirus strain (FM) did not cause any clinical symptoms or pathological lesions in mule ducks.

  16. A novel concept of Fe-mineral-based magnetoreception: histological and physicochemical data from the upper beak of homing pigeons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleissner, Gerta; Stahl, Branko; Thalau, Peter; Falkenberg, Gerald; Fleissner, Günther

    2007-08-01

    Animals make use of the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation and regulation of vegetative functions; however, the anatomical and physiological basis for the magnetic sense has not been elucidated yet. Our recent results from histology and X-ray analyses support the hypothesis that delicate iron-containing structures in the skin of the upper beak of homing pigeons might serve as a biological magnetometer. Histology has revealed various iron sites within dendrites of the trigeminal nerve, their arrangement along strands of axons, the existence of three dendritic fields in each side of the beak with specific 3D-orientations, and the bilateral symmetry of the whole system. Element mapping by micro-synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis has shown the distribution of iron and its quantities. Micro-synchrotron X-ray absorption near-edge-structure spectroscopy has allowed us to unambiguously identify maghemite as the predominating iron mineral (90 vs 10% magnetite). In this paper, we show that iron-based magnetoreception needs the presence of both of these iron minerals, their specific dimensions, shapes, and arrangements in three different subcellular compartments. We suggest that an inherent magnetic enhancement process via an iron-crusted vesicle and the attached chains of iron platelets might be sufficient to account for the sensitivity and specificity required by such a magnetoreceptor. The appropriate alignment between the Earth’s magnetic field and the maghemite bands would induce a multiple attraction of the magnetite bullets perpendicular to the membrane, thus, triggering strain-sensitive membrane channels and a primary receptor potential. Due to its 3D architecture and physicochemical nature, the dendritic system should be able to separately sense the three vector components of the Earth’s local field, simultaneously—allowing birds to detect their geographic position by the magnetic vector, i.e., amplitude and direction of the local magnetic field

  17. Omura's whales (Balaenoptera omurai) off northwest Madagascar: ecology, behaviour and conservation needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Andrianantenaina, Boris; Lindsay, Alec; Rekdahl, Melinda; Andrianarivelo, Norbert; Rasoloarijao, Tahina

    2015-10-01

    The Omura's whale (Balaenoptera omurai) was described as a new species in 2003 and then soon after as an ancient lineage basal to a Bryde's/sei whale clade. Currently known only from whaling and stranding specimens primarily from the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, there exist no confirmed field observations or ecological/behavioural data. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first genetically confirmed documentation of living Omura's whales including descriptions of basic ecology and behaviour from northwestern Madagascar. Species identification was confirmed through molecular phylogenetic analyses of biopsies collected from 18 adult animals. All individuals shared a single haplotype in a 402 bp sequence of mtDNA control region, suggesting low diversity and a potentially small population. Sightings of 44 groups indicated preference for shallow-water shelf habitat with sea surface temperature between 27.4°C and 30.2°C. Frequent observations were made of lunge feeding, possibly on zooplankton. Observations of four mothers with young calves, and recordings of a song-like vocalization probably indicate reproductive behaviour. Social organization consisted of loose aggregations of predominantly unassociated single individuals spatially and temporally clustered. Photographic recapture of a female re-sighted the following year with a young calf suggests site fidelity or a resident population. Our results demonstrate that the species is a tropical whale without segregation of feeding and breeding habitat, and is probably non-migratory; our data extend the range of this poorly studied whale into the western Indian Ocean. Exclusive range restriction to tropical waters is rare among baleen whale species, except for the various forms of Bryde's whales and Omura's whales. Thus, the discovery of a tractable population of Omura's whales in the tropics presents an opportunity for understanding the ecological factors driving potential convergence of life

  18. Ocean Connections with the Historic Whaling Ship Charles W. Morgan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, M. M.

    2016-02-01

    This scientific outreach project involved the Charles W. Morgan, Mystic Seaport's historic whaling ship. We educated K-2 students, trained undergraduate and graduate students, and informed the general public about oceanographic data collection, pathways from coastal to ocean waters, and connections in marine ecosystems. I was aboard the Charles W. Morgan for the Provincetown to Stellwagen Bank leg of the historic 38th voyage in summer 2014. While at sea, our voyager team released several GPS-tracked surface drifters to reveal important flow pathways and how the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is connected to other ocean areas. These drifters were built by graduate and undergraduate students and the drifter artwork was designed by elementary school students. Surface currents dispersed the drifters and carried them much farther offshore than the Charles W. Morgan itself. Many drifters reached Georges Bank, another important biologically productive area. The Charles W. Morgan encountered whales for the first time in decades. Some of the food-chain connections that may explain the abundance of whales at Stellwagen bank that summer are described. This outreach project has been presented in lectures to high school teachers and the general public and also featured in an online interview, a television news story, and a newspaper article. K-2 students at an elementary school math and science day first painted drifters in advance of the voyage, viewed real-time updates in the months following drifter release, and engaged in activities illustrating ocean connectivity and marine habitats at the end of the following academic year. We aimed to convey how sensitive whales are to human activities (on land and water) and to changes in the marine environment. Successes and lessons learned will be discussed. ED003: Creative Ways to Connect Ocean Sciences to the Public

  19. Building a Virtual Model of a Baleen Whale: Phase 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    skiff. This allows us to tow the whale tail-first without hydrodynamic “porpoising” or spinning, etc., and, very importantly, without involving...peduncle. This part of the process helps to preclude any unmanageable hydrodynamic effects from allowing the pectoral fins to trail freely in the...and shear stresses, dissipated energy and heating effects, excessive strains or displacements due to resonance, potential to induce cavitation , and

  20. 75 FR 1582 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

    ... Cook Inlet Beluga Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and... designate critical habitat for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, under the... the Cook Inlet beluga whale can be found on our Web site at: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ FOR FURTHER...

  1. 77 FR 16538 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-21

    ... and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale and the North Pacific Right Whale AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric...: NMFS announces a 5-year review of North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and North Pacific...

  2. 75 FR 70903 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period on Marine Mammal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-19

    ... North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period on Marine Mammal Protection Act... whales (Eschrichtius robustus) as a depleted stock under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and... report for Eastern North Pacific gray whales is available on the Internet at the following address: http...

  3. Dividing up the pie: Whales, fish, and humans as competitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzicka, James J.; Steele, John H.; Ballerini, Tosca; Gaichas, Sarah K.; Ainley, David G.

    2013-09-01

    Similarly structured food web models of four coastal ecosystems (Northern California Current, Central Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank, southwestern Antarctic Peninsula) were used to investigate competition among whales, fishes, pinnipeds, and humans. Two analysis strategies simulated the effects of historic baleen and odontocete whale abundances across all trophic levels: food web structure scenarios and time-dynamic scenarios. Direct competition between whales and commercial fisheries is small at current whale abundances; whales and fisheries each take similar proportions of annual pelagic fish production (4-7%). Scenarios show that as whale populations grow, indirect competition between whales and fish for zooplankton would more likely impact fishery production than would direct competition for fish between whales and commercial fisheries. Increased baleen whale abundance would have greater and broader indirect effects on upper trophic levels and fisheries than a similar increase in odontocete abundance. Time-dynamic scenarios, which allow for the evolution of compensatory mechanisms, showed more modest impacts than structural scenarios, which show the immediate impacts of altered energy pathways. Structural scenarios show that in terms of energy availability, there is potential for large increases in whale abundance without major changes to existing food web structures and without substantial reduction of fishery production. For each ecosystem, a five-fold increase in baleen whale abundance could be supported with minor disruptions to existing energy flow pathways. However, such an increase would remain below historical population levels for many cetaceans. A larger expansion (20X) could be accommodated only with large reductions in energy flow to competitor groups. The scope for odontocete expansion varies between ecosystems but may be more restricted than the scope for baleen expansion because they feed at higher, less productive trophic levels. Egestion

  4. Morphology of the eyeball from the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Fernanda M; Silva, Fernanda M O; Trompieri-Silveira, Ana Carolina; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Miglino, Maria Angélica; Guimarães, Juliana P

    2014-05-01

    Aquatic mammals underwent morphological and physiological adaptations due to the transition from terrestrial to aquatic environment. One of the morphological changes regards their vision since cetaceans' eyes are able to withstand mechanical, chemical, osmotic, and optical water conditions. Due to insufficient information about these animals, especially regarding their sense organs, this study aimed to describe the morphology of the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) eyeball. Three newborn females, stranded dead on the coast of Sergipe and Bahia, Brazil, were used. Samples were fixed in a 10% formalin solution, dissected, photographed, collected, and evaluated through light and electron microscopy techniques. The Humpback whale sclera was thick and had an irregular surface with mechanoreceptors in its lamina propria. Lens was dense, transparent, and ellipsoidal, consisting of three layers, and the vascularized choroid contains melanocytes, mechanoreceptors, and a fibrous tapetum lucidum. The Humpback whale eyeball is similar to other cetaceans and suggests an adaptation to diving and migration, contributing to the perception of differences in temperature, pressure, and lighting. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. WhalePower tubercle blade power performance test report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-07-15

    Toronto-based WhalePower Corporation has developed turbine blades that are modeled after humpback whale flippers. The blades, which incorporate tubercles along the leading edge of the blade, have been fitted to a Wenvor 25 kW turbine installed in North Cape, Prince Edward Island at a test site for the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan). A test was conducted to characterize the power performance of the prototype wind turbine. This report described the wind turbine configuration with particular reference to turbine information, power rating, blade information, tower information, control systems and grid connections. The test site was also described along with test equipment and measurement procedures. Information regarding power output as a function of wind speed was included along with power curves, power coefficient and annual energy production. The results for the power curve and annual energy production contain a level of uncertainty. While measurements for this test were collected and analyzed in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for performance measurements of electricity producing wind turbines (IEC 61400-12-1), the comparative performance data between the prototype WhalePower wind turbine blade and the Wenvor standard blade was not gathered to IEC data standards. Deviations from IEC-61400-12-1 procedures were listed. 6 tabs., 16 figs., 3 appendices.

  6. Distance estimation experiment for aerial minke whale surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Witting

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A comparative study between aerial cue–counting and digital photography surveys for minke whales conducted in Faxaflói Bay in September 2003 is used to check the perpendicular distances estimated by the cue-counting observers. The study involved 2 aircraft with the photo plane at 1,700 feet flying above the cue–counting plane at 750 feet. The observer–based distance estimates were calculated from head angles estimated by angle-boards and declination angles estimated by declinometers. These distances were checked against image–based estimates of the perpendicular distance to the same whale. The 2 independent distance estimates were obtained for 21 sightings of minke whale, and there was a good agreement between the 2 types of estimates. The relative absolute deviations between the 2 estimates were on average 23% (se: 6%, with the errors in the observer–based distance estimates resembling that of a log-normal distribution. The linear regression of the observer–based estimates (obs on the image–based estimates (img was Obs=1.1Img (R2=0.85 with an intercept fixed at zero. There was no evidence of a distance estimation bias that could generate a positive bias in the absolute abundance estimated by cue–counting.

  7. Acoustic, genetic and observational evidence indicate the presence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from both hemispheres in Cape Verdean waters during their respective breeding seasons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ryan, Conor; Berrow, Simon D.; Romagosa, Miriam; Boisseau, Oliver; Lopes-Suarez, Pedro; Jann, Beatrice; Wenzel, F.; Bérubé, Martine; Palsboll, Per

    2018-01-01

    A small population of humpback whales breeds around the Cape Verde Islands off West Africa. These whales exhibit a boreal seasonality, albeit two months later than that in the West Indies. Based on aseasonal observations of humpback whales and calves, Hazevoet et al. (2011) postulated that whales

  8. Low diversity in the mitogenome of sperm whales revealed by next-generation sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alana Alexander; Debbie Steel; Beth Slikas; Kendra Hoekzema; Colm Carraher; Matthew Parks; Richard Cronn; C. Scott Baker

    2012-01-01

    Large population sizes and global distributions generally associate with high mitochondrial DNA control region (CR) diversity. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is an exception, showing low CR diversity relative to other cetaceans; however, diversity levels throughout the remainder of the sperm whale mitogenome are unknown. We sequenced 20...

  9. Fin whales and microplastics: The Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Coppola, Daniele; Guerranti, Cristiana; Caliani, Ilaria; Minutoli, Roberta; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Rubegni, Fabrizio; Panigada, Simone; Bérubé, Martine; Urbán Ramírez, Jorge; Panti, Cristina

    2016-02-01

    The impact that microplastics have on baleen whales is a question that remains largely unexplored. This study examined the interaction between free-ranging fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and microplastics by comparing populations living in two semi-enclosed basins, the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California, Mexico). The results indicate that a considerable abundance of microplastics and plastic additives exists in the neustonic samples from Pelagos Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea, and that pelagic areas containing high densities of microplastics overlap with whale feeding grounds, suggesting that whales are exposed to microplastics during foraging; this was confirmed by the observation of a temporal increase in toxicological stress in whales. Given the abundance of microplastics in the Mediterranean environment, along with the high concentrations of Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals, plastic additives and biomarker responses detected in the biopsies of Mediterranean whales as compared to those in whales inhabiting the Sea of Cortez, we believe that exposure to microplastics because of direct ingestion and consumption of contaminated prey poses a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 77 FR 71259 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-29

    ... (i.e., straighten with less force) than the Japanese-style tuna hooks used by a portion of the... the affected false killer whale stocks, describe the final FKWTRP management measures, summarize the... Report (SAR), there are five Pacific Islands Region management stocks of false killer whales: (1) The...

  11. Disturbance-specific social responses in long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, F.; Curé, C.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.P.A.; Tyack, P.L.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2016-01-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance: Tagging effort and naval sonar exposure. The acoustic scene and diving behaviour of

  12. The Cape Verde Islands are home to a small and genetically distinct humpback whale breeding population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bérubé, Martine; Ryan, Conor; Berrow, Simon D.; Suarez, Pedro Lopez; Monteiro, Vanda; Wenzel, Frederick; Robbins, Jooke; Mattila, David; Vikingsson, G.A.; Øien, Nils; Palsboll, Per

    2013-01-01

    The Cape Verde Islands appear to be winter breeding ground of the smallest humpback whale population yet known. However, it is unclear whether the humpback whales at the Cape Verde Islands interbreed with those in the West Indies. Here we present the results of the genetic analysis of 50 humpback

  13. The biogeochemical role of baleen whales and krill in Southern Ocean nutrient cycling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavenia Ratnarajah

    Full Text Available The availability of micronutrients is a key factor that affects primary productivity in High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC regions of the Southern Ocean. Nutrient supply is governed by a range of physical, chemical and biological processes, and there are significant feedbacks within the ecosystem. It has been suggested that baleen whales form a crucial part of biogeochemical cycling processes through the consumption of nutrient-rich krill and subsequent defecation, but data on their contribution are scarce. We analysed the concentration of iron, cadmium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, phosphorus and carbon in baleen whale faeces and muscle, and krill tissue using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metal concentrations in krill tissue were between 20 thousand and 4.8 million times higher than typical Southern Ocean HNLC seawater concentrations, while whale faecal matter was between 276 thousand and 10 million times higher. These findings suggest that krill act as a mechanism for concentrating and retaining elements in the surface layer, which are subsequently released back into the ocean, once eaten by whales, through defecation. Trace metal to carbon ratios were also higher in whale faeces compared to whale muscle indicating that whales are concentrating carbon and actively defecating trace elements. Consequently, recovery of the great whales may facilitate the recycling of nutrients via defecation, which may affect productivity in HNLC areas.

  14. Migratory preferences of humpback whales between feeding and breeding grounds in the eastern South Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acevedo, Jorge; Aguayo-lobo, Anelio; Allen, Judith; Botero-acosta, Natalia; Capella, Juan; Castro, Cristina; Rosa, Luciano Dalla; Denkinger, Judith; Félix, Fernando; Flórez-gonzález, Lilian; Garita, Frank; Guzmán, Héctor M.; Haase, Ben; Kaufman, Gregory; Llano, Martha; Olavarría, Carlos; Pacheco, Aldo S.; Plana, Jordi; Rasmussen, Kristin; Scheidat, Meike; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Silva, Sebastian; Stevick, Peter T.

    2017-01-01

    Latitudinal preferences within the breeding range have been suggested for Breeding Stock G humpback whales that summer in different feeding areas of the eastern South Pacific. To address this hypothesis, humpback whales photo-identified from the Antarctic Peninsula and the Fueguian Archipelago

  15. De novo assembling and primary analysis of genome and transcriptome of gray whale Eschrichtius robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskalev, Alexey А; Kudryavtseva, Anna V; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Serdyukova, Natalya A; Krutovsky, Konstantin V; Sharov, Vadim V; Kulakovskiy, Ivan V; Lando, Andrey S; Kasianov, Artem S; Kuzmin, Dmitry A; Putintseva, Yuliya A; Feranchuk, Sergey I; Shaposhnikov, Mikhail V; Fraifeld, Vadim E; Toren, Dmitri; Snezhkina, Anastasia V; Sitnik, Vasily V

    2017-12-28

    Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus (E. robustus), is a single member of the family Eschrichtiidae, which is considered to be the most primitive in the class Cetacea. Gray whale is often described as a "living fossil". It is adapted to extreme marine conditions and has a high life expectancy (77 years). The assembly of a gray whale genome and transcriptome will allow to carry out further studies of whale evolution, longevity, and resistance to extreme environment. In this work, we report the first de novo assembly and primary analysis of the E. robustus genome and transcriptome based on kidney and liver samples. The presented draft genome assembly is complete by 55% in terms of a total genome length, but only by 24% in terms of the BUSCO complete gene groups, although 10,895 genes were identified. Transcriptome annotation and comparison with other whale species revealed robust expression of DNA repair and hypoxia-response genes, which is expected for whales. This preliminary study of the gray whale genome and transcriptome provides new data to better understand the whale evolution and the mechanisms of their adaptation to the hypoxic conditions.

  16. Gray whale distribution relative to benthic invertebrate biomass and abundance: Northeastern Chukchi Sea 2009-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brower, Amelia A.; Ferguson, Megan C.; Schonberg, Susan V.; Jewett, Stephen C.; Clarke, Janet T.

    2017-10-01

    The shallow continental shelf waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas are the northernmost foraging grounds of North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Benthic amphipods are considered the primary prey of gray whales in these waters, although no comprehensive quantitative analysis has been performed to support this assumption. Gray whale relative abundance, distribution, and behavior in the northeastern Chukchi Sea (69°-72°N, 155-169°W) were documented during aerial surveys in June-October 2009-2012. Concurrently, vessel-based benthic infaunal sampling was conducted in the area in July-August 2009-10, September 2011, and August 2012. Gray whales were seen in the study area each month that surveys were conducted, with the majority of whales feeding. Statistical analyses confirm that the highest densities of feeding gray whales were associated with high benthic amphipod abundance, primarily within 70 km of shore from Point Barrow to Icy Cape, in water whales were not seen in 40-km×40-km cells containing benthic sampling stations with 85 m-2 or fewer amphipods. Continuing broad-scale aerial surveys in the Chukchi Sea and prey sampling near feeding gray whales will be an important means to monitor and document ongoing and predicted ecosystem changes.

  17. Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzariol, Sandro; Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Povinelli, Michele; Terracciano, Giuliana; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Pintore, Antonio; Denurra, Daniele; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    During 2011-2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006-2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales.

  18. Prey and seasonal abundance of killer whales at sub-Antarctic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The diet of killer whales Orcinus orca was investigated from 48 predation events observed during sightings at sub-Antarctic Marion Island between 2006 and 2009. From these events, there were 10 cases where prey could be identified. Killer whales fed on fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis, elephant seals Mirounga leonina ...

  19. Observations on the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debrot, A.O.; Leon, R.; Esteban, N.; Meesters, H.W.G.

    2013-01-01

    Records of whale sharks in the Caribbean are relatively sparse. Here we document 24 records of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus Smith 1882) for the Dutch Caribbean, four for the windward islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, and twenty for the southern Caribbean leeward islands of Aruba,

  20. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Panagiotopoulou

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L. sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the “spermaceti organ” and “junk,” that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the

  1. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, Olga; Spyridis, Panagiotis; Mehari Abraha, Hyab; Carrier, David R; Pataky, Todd C

    2016-01-01

    Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L.) sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the "spermaceti organ" and "junk," that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the spermaceti organ would

  2. Behaviour of Southern sea lions in presence of killer whales during fishing operations in Central Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Hückstädt

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The killer whale is an opportunistic top-predator of ecosystems worldwide and its diet varies locally and seasonally, which is reflected in diverse feeding behaviours associated with its prey. We report the occurrence of killer whales presumably predating on southern sea lions associated with the jack mackerel fishing fleet in central Chile. The presence of killer whales was recorded during 4 fishing sets. All sightings consisted of 3-5 individual pods of females and calves. The number of sea lions was not significantly affected by the presence of killer whales, but their behaviour was, by reducing the number of behavioural displays, as they stopped feeding and resting activities and stayed close to the hull of the vessel after net retrieval ended. We propose that killer whales could be using the fishery as an indirect source of prey to benefit from the aggregation of sea lions around the vessel, far away from land.

  3. Calling under pressure: Short-finned pilot whales make social calls during deep foraging dives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand; Marrero Perez, Jacobo; Johnson, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Toothed whales rely on sound to echolocate prey and communicate with conspecifics, but little is known about how extreme pressure affects pneumatic sound production in deep-diving species with a limited air supply. The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a highly social species...... among the deep-diving toothed whales, in which individuals socialize at the surface but leave their social group in pursuit of prey at depths of up to 1000 m. To investigate if these animals communicate acoustically at depth and test whether hydrostatic pressure affects communication signals, acoustic...... DTAGs logging sound, depth and orientation were attached to 12 pilot whales. Tagged whales produced tonal calls during deep foraging dives at depths of up to 800 m. Mean call output and duration decreased with depth despite the increased distance to conspecifics at the surface. This shows...

  4. Development of the nervus terminalis in mammals including toothed whales and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oelschläger, H A; Buhl, E H; Dann, J F

    1987-01-01

    The early ontogenesis and topography of the mammalian terminalis system was investigated in 43 microslide series of toothed whale and human embryos and fetuses. In early embryonal stages the development of the nasal pit, the olfacto-terminalis placode, and the olfactory bulb anlage is rather similar in toothed whales and humans. However, toothed whales do not show any trace of the vomeronasalis complex. In early fetal stages the olfactory bulb anlage in toothed whales is reduced and leaves the isolated future terminalis ganglion (ganglia) which contains the greatest number of cells within Mammalia. The ganglion is connected with the nasal mucosa via peripheral fiber bundles and with the telencephalon via central terminalis rootlets. The functional implications of the terminalis system in mammals and its evolution in toothed whales are discussed. Obviously, the autonomic component has been enlarged in the course of perfect adaptation to an aquatic environment.

  5. Acoustic Monitoring of a Previously Unstudied Whale Shark Aggregation in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

    The whale shark (Rhincodon, typus), is a large, pelagic, filter feeder for which the available information is limited. The Red Sea populations in particular are practically unstudied. An aggregation site was recently discovered off the western coast of Saudi Arabia. We report the use of passive acoustic monitoring to assess the spatial and temporal behavior patterns of whale sharks in this new site. The aggregation occurs in the spring and peaks in April/ May. Whale sharks showed a preference for a single near shore reef and even a specific area within it. There is no evidence of sexual segregation as the genders were present in roughly equal proportion and used the same habitat at similar times. This information can be used to guide future studies in the area and to inform local management. Continued study will add to the collective knowledge on Red Sea whale sharks, including the population dynamics within the region and how they interact with the global whale shark community.

  6. Research note: the performance of spring- and summer-reared broilers as affected by precision beak trimming at seven days of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christmas, R B

    1993-12-01

    In each of two duplicate trials approximately 2,500 day-old Peterson x Arbor Acres straight-run broiler chicks were equally divided between two treatments of three pens each. Treatment 1 was maintained as controls (C), and Treatment 2 birds were precision beak-trimmed (PBT) at 7 days of age. Feed and water were supplied for ad libitum consumption to both groups. Trials 1 and 2 were initiated in March and June, respectively. Performance of spring-reared broilers were comparable regardless of beak trimming procedure, except that PBT broilers experienced slightly higher mortality after PBT. Final body weights of the summer-reared broilers were 15% lower than those reared in the spring. Additionally, PBT resulted in significantly reduced final body weights and feed intake. There were no significant differences in mortality or feed conversion due to PBT.

  7. Looking for North Atlantic Baleen Whales: When are they coming to the Azores?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura González

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The archipelago of the Azores is like an oasis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by deep waters, those islands are a “must stop” place for every traveler, including, of course, cetaceans. Around the archipelago more than 24 different species of whales and dolphins can be seen. Some of them are resident such as the common dolphin or the emblematic sperm whale. But others are seasonal or sporadic, such as the spotted dolphin or the big baleen whales. The aim of this study is to assess the temporal distribution of the baleen whales sighted off Azores. We analyzed data gathered off the south coast of São Miguel (Azores from 2006 to 2013 from whale watching vessels. The whale watching company is located in Ponta Delgada and it works all throughout the year, always when the weather, the sea state and the number of tourists allow doing it. In Azores, whale watching companies use to locate cetaceans from land, with specialized lookouts spotting the animals from strategic points on the shore (as whalers did. These lookouts use powerful binoculars to locate the animals, and then give instructions to the boats to get to them. Once there, the boat registers date, hour, sea state, visibility, position (GPS, species, number of individuals, number of adults, juveniles and calves, behavior, association with other species and if there are other boats in the area. Photos are taken whenever it is possible and they are analyzed when the quality is good enough to distinguish natural marks and shapes. Most of the photos used in this study were taken in the last 5 years. Photo-Id catalogues were created for blue whales, fin whales and humpback whales. Data collected are more complete and frequent since 2009. In this case we have analyzed a total of 7691 sightings, belonging to 20 different species of cetaceans, 14 Odontoceti and 6 Mysticeti. In the latter group we recorded 491 sightings. The three most sighted Mysticeti species were the three great

  8. The first historic record of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) from the Low Countries (Southern Bight of the North Sea)

    OpenAIRE

    Haelters, J.; Kerckhof, F.; Camphuysen, K.C.J.

    2010-01-01

    In 1751 the corpse of a large whale was found floating at sea near Blankenberge (currently Belgium). The case was illustrated at the time by a water-colour of the whale and of an associated barnacle. In earlier publications, this whale has been regarded as a northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). However, morphological characteristics depicted in the original water-colour, published here for the first time, and in a copy of the original, point towards a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeang...

  9. Effects of Beak Trimming, Stocking Density and Sex on Carcass Yield, Carcass Components, Plasma Glucose and Triglyceride Levels in Large White Turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiraz, Selahattin

    2015-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the effects of beak trimming, stocking density (D) and sex (S) on live weight (LW), carcass yield and its component, and plasma glucose (PG) and triglyceride levels in Large White turkeys. To accomplish this aims, totally 288 d old large white turkey chicks (144 in each sex) were used. Beaks of 77 male and female poults were trimmed when 8 d old with an electrical beak trimmer. The birds were fed by commercial turkey rasion. Experiment was designed as 2 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with 3 replications in each group. Beak trimming and stocking density did not affect live weight, carcass composition and its components. The higher LW and carcass weight observed in trimmed groups. As expected, male birds are heavier than female, and carcass percentage (CP) would be adverse. However, in this study, CP of male was higher in trimmed, in 0.25 m2/bird. (D) × sex (S) interaction had an effect on both CP and thigh weights (pcarcass and its some components were higher in male. S × D interaction had an effect on plasma glucose level (p<0.05). Triglyceride level was affected (p<0.05) by sex. Significant relationships were found between percentage of thighs (r=0.447, p<0.01) and percentage of breast (r=0.400, p<0.01). According to this study, it can be said that trimming is useful with density of 0.25 m2/bird in turkey fattening. PMID:26877630

  10. How to Make a Bird Skull: Major Transitions in the Evolution of the Avian Cranium, Paedomorphosis, and the Beak as a Surrogate Hand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Hanson, Michael; Fabbri, Matteo; Pritchard, Adam; Bever, Gabe S; Hoffman, Eva

    2016-09-01

    The avian skull is distinctive in its construction and in its function. Much of bird anatomical variety is expressed in the beak; but the beak itself, largely formed of the premaxillary bone, is set upon a shortened face and a bulbous, enlarged braincase. Here, we use original anatomical observations and reconstructions to describe the overall form of the avian skull in a larger context and to provide a general account of the evolutionary transformation from the early dinosaur skull-the skull of an archosaurian macropredator-to that of modern birds. Facial shortening, the enlargement of the braincase around an enlarged brain (with consequential reduction of circumorbital elements and the adductor chamber), and general thinning and looser articulation of bones are trends. Many of these owe to juvenilization or paedomorphosis, something that is abundantly evident from comparison of a juvenile early theropod (Coelophysis) to early avialans like Archaeopteryx Near the avian crown, the premaxilla becomes dramatically enlarged and integrated into the characteristic mobile kinetic system of birds. We posit that this addition of a large element onto the skull may be biomechanically feasible only because of the paedomorphic shortening of the face; and kinesis of the beak only because of the paedomorphic thinning of the bones and loosening of articulations, as played out in reverse during the maturation of Coelophysis Finally, the beak itself becomes elaborated as the hands are integrated into the wing. There are structural, kinematic, and neurological similarities between avian pecking and primate grasping. The ability to precision-select high-quality food against a complex but depauperate background may have permitted crown birds to survive the end-Cretaceous cataclysm by feeding on insects, seeds, and other detritus after the collapse of higher trophic levels in the food web. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative

  11. Identifying the "demon whale-biter": Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Peter B; Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

    The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis), fin (B. physalus), inshore and offshore Bryde's (B. brydeii sp) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March and October 1963. We then analyse the intensity and trends in its predation on large whales. Despite the scarcity of local records, we conclude that a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp is the most likely candidate. We make inferences about the trends in (1) total counts of unhealed bitemarks, and (2) the proportion of unhealed bitemarks that were recent. We use day of the year; reproductive class, social grouping or sex; depth interval and body length as candidate covariates. The models with highest support for total counts of unhealed bitemarks involve the day of the year in all species. Depth was an important predictor in all species except offshore Bryde's whales. Models for the proportion of recent bites were only informative for sei and fin whales. We conclude that temporal scarring patterns support what is currently hypothesized about the distribution and movements of these whale species, given that Isistius does not occur in the Antarctic and has an oceanic habitat. The incidence of fresh bites confirms the presence of Isistius in the region. The lower numbers of unhealed bites on medium-sized sperm whales suggests that this group spends more time outside the area in which bites are incurred, providing a clue to one of the biggest gaps in our understanding of the movements of mature and maturing sperm males.

  12. Identifying the “demon whale-biter”: Patterns of scarring on large whales attributed to a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

    The presence of crater-like wounds on cetaceans and other large marine vertebrates and invertebrates has been attributed to various organisms. We review the evidence for the identity of the biting agent responsible for crater wounds on large whales, using data collected from sei (Balaenoptera borealis), fin (B. physalus), inshore and offshore Bryde’s (B. brydeii sp) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) examined at the Donkergat whaling station, Saldanha Bay, South Africa between March and October 1963. We then analyse the intensity and trends in its predation on large whales. Despite the scarcity of local records, we conclude that a cookie-cutter shark Isistius sp is the most likely candidate. We make inferences about the trends in (1) total counts of unhealed bitemarks, and (2) the proportion of unhealed bitemarks that were recent. We use day of the year; reproductive class, social grouping or sex; depth interval and body length as candidate covariates. The models with highest support for total counts of unhealed bitemarks involve the day of the year in all species. Depth was an important predictor in all species except offshore Bryde’s whales. Models for the proportion of recent bites were only informative for sei and fin whales. We conclude that temporal scarring patterns support what is currently hypothesized about the distribution and movements of these whale species, given that Isistius does not occur in the Antarctic and has an oceanic habitat. The incidence of fresh bites confirms the presence of Isistius in the region. The lower numbers of unhealed bites on medium-sized sperm whales suggests that this group spends more time outside the area in which bites are incurred, providing a clue to one of the biggest gaps in our understanding of the movements of mature and maturing sperm males. PMID:27055057

  13. Spatial distribution of common Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) as an indication of a biological hotspot in the East Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dasom; An, Yong Rock; Park, Kyum Joon; Kim, Hyun Woo; Lee, Dabin; Joo, Hui Tae; Oh, Young Geun; Kim, Su Min; Kang, Chang Keun; Lee, Sang Heon

    2017-09-01

    The minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is the most common baleen whale among several marine mammal species observed in Korea. Since a high concentrated condition of prey to whales can be obtained by physical structures, the foraging whale distribution can be an indicator of biological hotspot. Our main objective is verifying the coastal upwelling-southwestern East Sea as a productive biological hotspot based on the geographical distribution of minke whales. Among the cetacean research surveys of the National Institute of Fisheries Science since 1999, 9 years data for the minke whales available in the East Sea were used for this study. The regional primary productivity derived from Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was used for a proxy of biological productivity. Minke whales observed during the sighting surveys were mostly concentrated in May and found mostly (approximately 70%) in the southwestern coastal areas (whales was found in recent years, which indicate that the major habitats of mink whales have been shifted into the north of the common coastal upwelling regions. This is consistent with the recently reported unprecedented coastal upwelling in the mid-eastern coast of Korea. Based on high phytoplankton productivity and high distribution of minke whales, the southwestern coastal regions can be considered as one of biological hotspots in the East Sea. These regions are important for ecosystem dynamics and the population biology of top marine predators, especially migratory whales and needed to be carefully managed from a resource management perspective.

  14. Endangered Right Whales Enhance Primary Productivity in the Bay of Fundy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Roman

    Full Text Available Marine mammals have recently been documented as important facilitators of rapid and efficient nutrient recycling in coastal and offshore waters. Whales enhance phytoplankton nutrition by releasing fecal plumes near the surface after feeding and by migrating from highly productive, high-latitude feeding areas to low-latitude nutrient-poor calving areas. In this study, we measured NH4+ and PO43- release rates from the feces of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis, a highly endangered baleen whale. Samples for this species were primarily collected by locating aggregations of whales in surface-active groups (SAGs, which typically consist of a central female surrounded by males competing for sexual activity. When freshly collected feces were incubated in seawater, high initial rates of N release were generally observed, which decreased to near zero within 24 hours of sampling, a pattern that is consistent with the active role of gut microflora on fecal particles. We estimate that at least 10% of particulate N in whale feces becomes available as NH4+ within 24 hours of defecation. Phosphorous was also abundant in fecal samples: initial release rates of PO43- were higher than for NH4+, yielding low N/P nutrient ratios over the course of our experiments. The rate of PO43- release was thus more than sufficient to preclude the possibility that nitrogenous nutrients supplied by whales would lead to phytoplankton production limited by P availability. Phytoplankton growth experiments indicated that NH4+ released from whale feces enhance productivity, as would be expected, with no evidence that fecal metabolites suppress growth. Although North Atlantic right whales are currently rare (approximately 450 individuals, they once numbered about 14,000 and likely played a substantial role in recycling nutrients in areas where they gathered to feed and mate. Even though the NH4+ released from fresh whale fecal material is a small fraction of total whale

  15. Spatial pattern analysis of cruise ship-humpback whale interactions in and near Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Karin; Gende, Scott M; Logsdon, Miles G; Klinger, Terrie

    2012-01-01

    Understanding interactions between large ships and large whales is important to estimate risks posed to whales by ships. The coastal waters of Alaska are a summer feeding area for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) as well as a prominent destination for large cruise ships. Lethal collisions between cruise ships and humpback whales have occurred throughout Alaska, including in Glacier Bay National Park (GBNP). Although the National Park Service (NPS) establishes quotas and operating requirements for cruise ships within GBNP in part to minimize ship-whale collisions, no study has quantified ship-whale interactions in the park or in state waters where ship traffic is unregulated. In 2008 and 2009, an observer was placed on ships during 49 different cruises that included entry into GBNP to record distance and bearing of whales that surfaced within 1 km of the ship's bow. A relative coordinate system was developed in ArcGIS to model the frequency of whale surface events using kernel density. A total of 514 whale surface events were recorded. Although ship-whale interactions were common within GBNP, whales frequently surfaced in front of the bow in waters immediately adjacent to the park (west Icy Strait) where cruise ship traffic is not regulated by the NPS. When ships transited at speeds >13 knots, whales frequently surfaced closer to the ship's midline and ship's bow in contrast to speeds slower than 13 knots. Our findings confirm that ship speed is an effective mitigation measure for protecting whales and should be applied to other areas where ship-whale interactions are common.

  16. Reproductive Conflict and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croft, Darren P; Johnstone, Rufus A; Ellis, Samuel; Nattrass, Stuart; Franks, Daniel W; Brent, Lauren J N; Mazzi, Sonia; Balcomb, Kenneth C; Ford, John K B; Cant, Michael A

    2017-01-23

    Why females of some species cease ovulation prior to the end of their natural lifespan is a long-standing evolutionary puzzle [1-4]. The fitness benefits of post-reproductive helping could in principle select for menopause [1, 2, 5], but the magnitude of these benefits appears insufficient to explain the timing of menopause [6-8]. Recent theory suggests that the cost of inter-generational reproductive conflict between younger and older females of the same social unit is a critical missing term in classical inclusive fitness calculations (the "reproductive conflict hypothesis" [6, 9]). Using a unique long-term dataset on wild resident killer whales, where females can live decades after their final parturition, we provide the first test of this hypothesis in a non-human animal. First, we confirm previous theoretical predictions that local relatedness increases with female age up to the end of reproduction. Second, we construct a new evolutionary model and show that given these kinship dynamics, selection will favor younger females that invest more in competition, and thus have greater reproductive success, than older females (their mothers) when breeding at the same time. Third, we test this prediction using 43 years of individual-based demographic data in resident killer whales and show that when mothers and daughters co-breed, the mortality hazard of calves from older-generation females is 1.7 times that of calves from younger-generation females. Intergenerational conflict combined with the known benefits conveyed to kin by post-reproductive females can explain why killer whales have evolved the longest post-reproductive lifespan of all non-human animals. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Structure and Dynamics of Humpback Whales Competitive Groups in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Félix

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the social structure and behavior of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae competitive groups off Ecuador between July and August 2010. During this time we followed 185 whales in 22 competitive groups for 41.45 hr. The average group size was 8.4 animals (SD = 2.85. The average sighting time was 113.05 min/group (SD = 47.1. We used photographs of dorsal fins and video to record interactions and estimate an association index (AI between each pair of whales within the groups. Sightings were divided into periods, which were defined by changes in group membership. On average, group composition changed every 30.2 min, which confirms that the structure of competitive groups is highly dynamic. Interactions between escorts characterized by low level of aggression. At least 60% of escorts joined or left together the group in small subunits between two and five animals, suggesting some type of cooperative association. Although singletons, as well as pairs or trios were able to join competitive groups at any moment, escorts that joined together were able to stay longer with the group and displace dominant escorts. Genetic analysis showed that in three occasions more than one female was present within a competitive group, suggesting either males are herding females or large competitive groups are formed by subunits. Males and females performed similar surface displays. We propose that competition and cooperation are interrelated in humpback whales’ competitive groups and that male cooperation would be an adaptive strategy either to displace dominant escorts or to fend off challengers.

  18. As main meal for sperm whales: plastics debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Stephanis, Renaud; Giménez, Joan; Carpinelli, Eva; Gutierrez-Exposito, Carlos; Cañadas, Ana

    2013-04-15

    Marine debris has been found in marine animals since the early 20th century, but little is known about the impacts of the ingestion of debris in large marine mammals. In this study we describe a case of mortality of a sperm whale related to the ingestion of large amounts of marine debris in the Mediterranean Sea (4th published case worldwide to our knowledge), and discuss it within the context of the spatial distribution of the species and the presence of anthropogenic activities in the area that could be the source of the plastic debris found inside the sperm whale. The spatial distribution modelled for the species in the region shows that these animals can be seen in two distinct areas: near the waters of Almería, Granada and Murcia and in waters near the Strait of Gibraltar. The results shows how these animals feed in waters near an area completely flooded by the greenhouse industry, making them vulnerable to its waste products if adequate treatment of this industry's debris is not in place. Most types of these plastic materials have been found in the individual examined and cause of death was presumed to be gastric rupture following impaction with debris, which added to a previous problem of starvation. The problem of plastics arising from greenhouse agriculture should have a relevant section in the conservation plans and should be a recommendation from ACCOBAMS due to these plastics' and sperm whales' high mobility in the Mediterranean Sea. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. From whales to tritium; Du cachalot au tritium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonnemains, J. [Robin des Bois, Association de Protection de l' Homme et de l' Environnement, 75 - Paris (France)

    2007-02-15

    Only 150 years of human actions and innovations separate whale-oil lamps from atomic fission and fusion. During this period, the human quest for lighting, heating and transportation has drained the stock of fuels, ranging from peat and wood to coal and petroleum. The energy necessary for protecting us from the cold and heat, for transportation, lighting and other comforts is a persistent problem. Since the start of the industrial era and the consumer age, the solutions adopted have jeopardized the oceans, atmosphere and earth. (author)

  20. Mercury speciation and selenium in toothed-whale muscles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi, E-mail: sakamoto@nimd.go.jp [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Itai, Takaaki [Ehime University, Bunkyo 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8755 (Japan); Yasutake, Akira [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Iwasaki, Toshihide [Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, 25-259 Shimomekurakubo, Aomori 031-0841 (Japan); Yasunaga, Genta; Fujise, Yoshihiro [Institute of Cetacean Research, 4-5 Toyomi, Tokyo 104-0055 (Japan); Nakamura, Masaaki [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan); Murata, Katsuyuki [Akita University School of Medicine, Hondo 1-1-1, Akita 010-8543 (Japan); Man Chan, Hing [University of Ottawa, Marie-Curie, Ottawa, ON, Canada KIN 6N5 (Canada); Domingo, José L. [School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat “Rovira i Virgili”, Reus (Spain); Marumoto, Masumi [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Hama 4058-18, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan)

    2015-11-15

    Mercury accumulates at high levels in marine mammal tissues. However, its speciation is poorly understood. The main goal of this investigation was to establish the relationships among mercury species and selenium (Se) concentrations in toothed-whale muscles at different mercury levels. The concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), inorganic mercury (I-Hg) and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whale species: bottlenose dolphins (n=31), Risso's dolphins (n=30), striped dolphins (n=29), and short-finned pilot whales (n=30). In each species, the MeHg concentration increased with increasing T-Hg concentration, tending to reach a plateau. In contrast, the proportion of MeHg in T-Hg decreased from 90–100% to 20–40%. The levels of T-Hg and Se showed strong positive correlations. Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with the increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1 in all species. These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg immediately formed Se/I-Hg equimolar complex of mercury selenide (HgSe) in their muscles. In addition, an X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (XAFS) of a bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that the dominant chemical form of the Se/I-Hg equimolar complex was HgSe. HgSe was mainly localized in cells near the endomysium using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg finally deposits within muscle cells of bottlenose dolphin as an inert HgSe. - Highlights: • T-Hg, MeHg, I-Hg and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whales. • MeHg increased with increasing T-Hg and tended to reach a plateau in all species. • Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1. • XAFS of bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that HgSe was dominant chemical form. • EPMA of bottlenose dolphin muscle showed that HgSe deposited in muscle cells.

  1. Mercury speciation and selenium in toothed-whale muscles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Itai, Takaaki; Yasutake, Akira; Iwasaki, Toshihide; Yasunaga, Genta; Fujise, Yoshihiro; Nakamura, Masaaki; Murata, Katsuyuki; Man Chan, Hing; Domingo, José L.; Marumoto, Masumi

    2015-01-01

    Mercury accumulates at high levels in marine mammal tissues. However, its speciation is poorly understood. The main goal of this investigation was to establish the relationships among mercury species and selenium (Se) concentrations in toothed-whale muscles at different mercury levels. The concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), inorganic mercury (I-Hg) and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whale species: bottlenose dolphins (n=31), Risso's dolphins (n=30), striped dolphins (n=29), and short-finned pilot whales (n=30). In each species, the MeHg concentration increased with increasing T-Hg concentration, tending to reach a plateau. In contrast, the proportion of MeHg in T-Hg decreased from 90–100% to 20–40%. The levels of T-Hg and Se showed strong positive correlations. Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with the increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1 in all species. These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg immediately formed Se/I-Hg equimolar complex of mercury selenide (HgSe) in their muscles. In addition, an X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (XAFS) of a bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that the dominant chemical form of the Se/I-Hg equimolar complex was HgSe. HgSe was mainly localized in cells near the endomysium using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). These results suggested that the demethylated MeHg finally deposits within muscle cells of bottlenose dolphin as an inert HgSe. - Highlights: • T-Hg, MeHg, I-Hg and Se were determined in the muscles of four toothed-whales. • MeHg increased with increasing T-Hg and tended to reach a plateau in all species. • Se/I-Hg molar ratios rapidly decreased with increase of I-Hg and reached almost 1. • XAFS of bottlenose dolphin muscle confirmed that HgSe was dominant chemical form. • EPMA of bottlenose dolphin muscle showed that HgSe deposited in muscle cells.

  2. Taxonomy Icon Data: North Pacific right whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available North Pacific right whale Eubalaena japonica Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eu...theria/Cetacea Eubalaena_japonica_L.png Eubalaena_japonica_NL.png Eubalaena_japonica_S.png Eubalaena_japonic...a_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/tax...onomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_ic...on/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Eubalaena+japonica&t=NS ...

  3. Click rates and silences of sperm whales at Kaikoura, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Lesley A.; Dawson, Stephen M.; Jaquet, Nathalie

    2005-07-01

    Analysis of the usual click rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) at Kaikoura, New Zealand, confirms the potential for assessing abundance via ``click counting.'' Usual click rates over three dive cycles each of three photographically identified whales showed that 5 min averages of usual click rate did not differ significantly within dives, among dives of the same whale or among whales. Over the nine dives (n=13 728 clicks) mean usual click rate was 1.272 clicks s-1 (95% CI=0.151). On average, individual sperm whales at Kaikoura spent 60% of their time usual clicking in winter and in summer. There was no evidence that whale identity or stage of the dive recorded affects significantly the percentage of time spent usual clicking. Differences in vocal behavior among sperm whale populations worldwide indicate that estimates of abundance that are based on click rates need to based on data from the population of interest, rather than from another population or some global average.

  4. Killer whale (Orcinus orca photo-identification in the eastern Canadian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent G. Young

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We identified individual killer whales (Orcinus orca using recent (2004–09 photographs to obtain a minimum count of whales that use eastern Canadian Arctic waters. Fifty-three individuals were identified from nine different sightings; 11 individuals from western Hudson Bay sightings and 42 from the areas around northern and eastern Baffin Island. One whale was re-sighted: an adult female or large juvenile photographed 17 days and 375 km apart at Churchill, Manitoba, and off-shore of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, in August 2007. With only one individual re-sighted, the number of individuals that use this area is likely much larger. No re-sightings occurred between Arctic killer whales and individuals photographed off the coast of Newfoundland. Our results represent the minimum number of killer whales sighted in eastern Canadian Arctic waters and provide the foundation for further killer whale research. Little is known about Arctic killer whales and, as a top predator, it is unclear what effect they have on Arctic marine ecosystems.

  5. The transcriptome of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus reveals adaptations of the longest-lived mammal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seim, Inge; Ma, Siming; Zhou, Xuming; Gerashchenko, Maxim V.; Lee, Sang-Goo; Suydam, Robert; George, John C.; Bickham, John W.; Gladyshev, Vadim N.

    2014-01-01

    Mammals vary dramatically in lifespan, by at least two-orders of magnitude, but the molecular basis for this difference remains largely unknown. The bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus is the longest-lived mammal known, with an estimated maximal lifespan in excess of two hundred years. It is also one of the two largest animals and the most cold-adapted baleen whale species. Here, we report the first genome-wide gene expression analyses of the bowhead whale, based on the de novo assembly of its transcriptome. Bowhead whale or cetacean-specific changes in gene expression were identified in the liver, kidney and heart, and complemented with analyses of positively selected genes. Changes associated with altered insulin signaling and other gene expression patterns could help explain the remarkable longevity of bowhead whales as well as their adaptation to a lipid-rich diet. The data also reveal parallels in candidate longevity adaptations of the bowhead whale, naked mole rat and Brandt's bat. The bowhead whale transcriptome is a valuable resource for the study of this remarkable animal, including the evolution of longevity and its important correlates such as resistance to cancer and other diseases. PMID:25411232

  6. Lifetime Stable isotopes profiles in whale earplug: assessment of foraging and migrations in the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansouri, F.; Crain, D.; Winfield, Z.; Trumble, S.; Usenko, S.

    2017-12-01

    Whale earplugs, historically used for aging, were used to reconstruct lifetime stable isotope profiles for carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) for individual whales by delaminating lamina within the earplug. These stable isotope profile, which provide Continuous lifetime records of feeding, foraging ecology, and migration, were determined for 20 individuals from 4 baleen species including fin, minke, humpback, and blue whales spanning more than a century (1869 - 2014) using stable isotope analysis. Approximately 1 mg tissue from each lamina (n=1200) was analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope using continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (CF-IRMS). This research using whale earplugs have combined age estimates with stable isotope measurements to reconstruct lifetime foraging profiles with a 6-month resolution, providing an unprecedented opportunity to assess periods and trends in dietary fluctuations as well as migration between different foraging area which have distinct isotope values. Trends with these profiles suggest long-term changing in migration, while annual variability highlights seasonal fasting and feeding. Isotopic ratios were also used to identify subpopulations of Atlantic fin whales, which enabled us to assign unidentified humpback and minke whales to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. This historical archive of data provides us an unprecedented tool to assess long term marine ecosystem and subsequently marine organism transition to alternate foraging area and shed light on the whale's population status in the Northern hemisphere.

  7. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Williams

    Full Text Available Ecosystem-based management (EBM of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of

  8. The influence of ecology on sociality in the killer whale (Orcinus orca)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Suzanne; Kuningas, Sanna; Esteban, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    a population under different ecological conditions can identify the relative influence of ecological selection on group formation. Here, we compare the size and persistence of social groups within a community of Atlantic killer whales, comparing between data collected from an area around Scotland where......-eating ecotype than the more phylogenetically distant Pacific mammal-eating ecotype. Our study suggests that sociality in killer whales is to some extent plastic and can be adapted to the local ecological conditions. Key words: ecology, killer whale, orca, orcinus, sociality....

  9. Ancestor–descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor–descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR—the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea–Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. PMID:25589485

  10. Directionality of sperm whale sonar clicks and its relation to piston radiation theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beedholm, K.; Møhl, Bertel

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the applicability to sperm whales of the theory of sound radiating from a piston. The theory is applied to a physical model and to a series of sperm whale clicks. Results show that wave forms of off-axis signals can be reproduced by convolving an on-axis signal...... with the spatial impulse response of a piston. The angle of a recorded click can be estimated as the angle producing the spatial impulse response that gives the best match with the observation when convolved with the on-axis wave form. It is concluded that piston theory applies to sperm whale sonar click emission....

  11. Effects of fishing rope strength on the severity of large whale entanglements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowlton, Amy R; Robbins, Jooke; Landry, Scott; McKenna, Henry A; Kraus, Scott D; Werner, Timothy B

    2016-04-01

    Entanglement in fixed fishing gear affects whales worldwide. In the United States, deaths of North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have exceeded management limits for decades. We examined live and dead whales entangled in fishing gear along the U.S. East Coast and the Canadian Maritimes from 1994 to 2010. We recorded whale species, age, and injury severity and determined rope polymer type, breaking strength, and diameter of the fishing gear. For the 132 retrieved ropes from 70 cases, tested breaking strength range was 0.80-39.63 kN (kiloNewtons) and the mean was 11.64 kN (SD 8.29), which is 26% lower than strength at manufacture (range 2.89-53.38 kN, mean = 15.70 kN [9.89]). Median rope diameter was 9.5 mm. Right and humpback whales were found in ropes with significantly stronger breaking strengths at time of manufacture than minke whales (Balaenoptera acuturostrata) (19.30, 17.13, and 10.47 mean kN, respectively). Adult right whales were found in stronger ropes (mean 34.09 kN) than juvenile right whales (mean 15.33 kN) and than all humpback whale age classes (mean 17.37 kN). For right whales, severity of injuries increased since the mid 1980s, possibly due to changes in rope manufacturing in the mid 1990s that resulted in production of stronger ropes at the same diameter. Our results suggest that broad adoption of ropes with breaking strengths of ≤ 7.56 kN (≤ 1700 lbsf) could reduce the number of life-threatening entanglements for large whales by at least 72%, and yet could provide sufficient strength to withstand the routine forces involved in many fishing operations. A reduction of this magnitude would achieve nearly all the mitigation legally required for U.S. stocks of North Atlantic right and humpback whales. Ropes with reduced breaking strength should be developed and tested to determine the feasibility of their use in a variety of fisheries. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley

  12. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, Ken P; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Kirkman, Stephen P; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S; Kotze, Pieter G H; McCue, Steven A; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding events

  13. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken P Findlay

    Full Text Available Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens, hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii, mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015 identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude

  14. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): A last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petruny, Loren M.; Wright, Andrew J.; Smith, Courtney E.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Placement of shipping routes and offshore wind farms are mutually exclusive. • Shipping likely has greater impacts on right whales than operating wind farms. • Siting by Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) would consider impacts of both on whales. • Placing wind farms in right whale migration corridors would exclude shipping. • Effective MSP would benefit right whales, wind energy development and ship safety. - Abstract: The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities

  15. Crowdsourcing modern and historical data identifies sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus habitat offshore of south-western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Michael Johnson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and use of pelagic habitat by sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus is poorly understood in the south-eastern Indian Ocean off Western Australia. However, a variety of data are available via online portals where records of historical expeditions, commercial whaling operations, and modern scientific research voyages can now be accessed. Crowdsourcing these online data allows collation of presence-only information of animals and provides a valuable tool to help augment areas of low research effort. Four data sources were examined, the primary one being the Voyage of the Odyssey expedition, a five-year global study of sperm whales and ocean pollution. From December 2001-May 2002, acoustic surveys were conducted along 5,200 nautical miles of transects off Western Australia including the Perth Canyon and historical whaling grounds off Albany; 60 tissue biopsy samples were also collected. To augment areas not surveyed by the RV Odyssey, historical Yankee whaling data (1712-1920, commercial whaling data (1904-1999, and citizen science reports of sperm whale sightings (1990-2003 were used. Using Maxent, a species distribution modeling tool, we found that the submarine canyons off Albany and Perth provide important habitat for sperm whales. Current technology, along with current understanding of sperm whale bioacoustics and habitat preferences, provides strong motivation for undertaking long-term passive acoustic studies that can monitor the sperm whale population within Australia’s EEZ waters (Perth and Albany canyons as a way of informing future marine management and policy decisions.

  16. Sound attenuation in the ear of domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) as a result of beak opening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claes, Raf; Dirckx, Joris J. J.

    2017-01-01

    Because the quadrate and the eardrum are connected, the hypothesis was tested that birds attenuate the transmission of sound through their ears by opening the bill, which potentially serves as an additional protective mechanism for self-generated vocalizations. In domestic chickens, it was examined if a difference exists between hens and roosters, given the difference in vocalization capacity between the sexes. To test the hypothesis, vibrations of the columellar footplate were measured ex vivo with laser Doppler vibrometry (LDV) for closed and maximally opened beak conditions, with sounds introduced at the ear canal. The average attenuation was 3.5 dB in roosters and only 0.5 dB in hens. To demonstrate the importance of a putative protective mechanism, audio recordings were performed of a crowing rooster. Sound pressures levels of 133.5 dB were recorded near the ears. The frequency content of the vocalizations was in accordance with the range of highest hearing sensitivity in chickens. The results indicate a small but significant difference in sound attenuation between hens and roosters. However, the amount of attenuation as measured in the experiments on both hens and roosters is small and will provide little effective protection in addition to other mechanisms such as stapedius muscle activity. PMID:29291112

  17. Topography and chemoarchitecture of the striatum and pallidum in a monotreme, the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwell, K W S

    2008-09-01

    The topography and chemoarchitecture of the striatum and pallidum in a monotreme, the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) have been studied using Nissl staining in conjunction with myelin staining, enzyme reactivity to acetylcholinesterase and NADPH diaphorase, and immunoreactivity to parvalbumin, calbindin, calretinin, tyrosine hydroxylase, neuropeptide Y, and neurofilament protein (SMI-32 antibody). All those components of the striatum and pallidum found in eutherian mammals could also be identified in the echidna's brain, with broad chemoarchitectural similarities to those regions in eutherian brains also apparent. There was a clear chemoarchitectural gradient visible with parvalbumin immunoreactivity of neurons and fibers, suggesting a subdivision of the echidna caudatoputamen into weakly reactive rostrodorsomedial and strongly reactive caudoventrolateral components. This may, in turn, relate to subdivision into associative versus sensorimotor CPu and reflect homology to the caudate and putamen of primates. Moreover, the chemoarchitecture of the echidna striatum suggested the presence of striosome-matrix architecture. The morphology of identified neuronal groups (i.e., parvalbumin, calbindin, and neuropeptide Y immunoreactive) in the echidna striatum and pallidum showed many similarities to those seen in eutherians, although the pattern of distribution of calbindin immunoreactive neurons was more uniform in the caudatoputamen of the echidna than in therians. These observations indicate that the same broad features of striatal and pallidal organization apply across all mammals and suggest that these common features may have arisen before the divergence of the monotreme and therian lineages.

  18. Seasonal presence and potential influence of humpback whales on wintering Pacific herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straley, Janice M.; Moran, John R.; Boswell, Kevin M.; Vollenweider, Johanna J.; Heintz, Ron A.; Quinn, Terrance J., II; Witteveen, Briana H.; Rice, Stanley D.

    2018-01-01

    This study addressed the lack of recovery of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in relation to humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) predation. As humpback whales rebound from commercial whaling, their ability to influence their prey through top-down forcing increases. We compared the potential influence of foraging humpback whales on three herring populations in the coastal Gulf of Alaska: Prince William Sound, Lynn Canal, and Sitka Sound (133-147°W; 57-61°N) from 2007 to 2009. Information on whale distribution, abundance, diet and the availability of herring as potential prey were used to correlate populations of overwintering herring and humpback whales. In Prince William Sound, the presence of whales coincided with the peak of herring abundance, allowing whales to maximize the consumption of overwintering herring prior to their southern migration. In Lynn Canal and Sitka Sound peak attendance of whales occurred earlier, in the fall, before the herring had completely moved into the areas, hence, there was less opportunity for predation to influence herring populations. North Pacific humpback whales in the Gulf of Alaska may be experiencing nutritional stress from reaching or exceeding carrying capacity, or oceanic conditions may have changed sufficiently to alter the prey base. Intraspecific competition for food may make it harder for humpback whales to meet their annual energetic needs. To meet their energetic demands whales may need to lengthen their time feeding in the northern latitudes or by skipping the annual migration altogether. If humpback whales extended their time feeding in Alaskan waters during the winter months, the result would likely be an increase in herring predation.

  19. A hydrodynamically active flipper-stroke in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segre, Paolo S; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Findlay, Ken P; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2017-07-10

    A central paradigm of aquatic locomotion is that cetaceans use fluke strokes to power their swimming while relying on lift and torque generated by the flippers to perform maneuvers such as rolls, pitch changes and turns [1]. Compared to other cetaceans, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have disproportionately large flippers with added structural features to aid in hydrodynamic performance [2,3]. Humpbacks use acrobatic lunging maneuvers to attack dense aggregations of krill or small fish, and their large flippers are thought to increase their maneuverability and thus their ability to capture prey. Immediately before opening their mouths, humpbacks will often rapidly move their flippers, and it has been hypothesized that this movement is used to corral prey [4,5] or to generate an upward pitching moment to counteract the torque caused by rapid water engulfment [6]. Here, we demonstrate an additional function for the rapid flipper movement during lunge feeding: the flippers are flapped using a complex, hydrodynamically active stroke to generate lift and increase propulsive thrust. We estimate that humpback flipper-strokes are capable of producing large forward oriented forces, which may be used to enhance lunge feeding performance. This behavior is the first observation of a lift-generating flipper-stroke for propulsion cetaceans and provides an additional function for the uniquely shaped humpback whale flipper. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The Great Whale review and the federal government's disappearing act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fenge, T.

    1991-01-01

    After considerable political and legal pressure, the Canadian and Quebec governments, plus the electric utility Hydro-Quebec, agreed to a global review and environmental assessment of the Great Whale hydroelectric project in northern Quebec. The assessment is being handled by five committees, each covering distinct areas of geography and responsibility. The initial task of the review committees was to determine the scope of the assessment, and 23 days of public hearings were held in northern and southern Quebec and on the Belcher Islands. The federal government's absence from the scoping hearings was a curious development, since federal agencies normally participate actively in such hearings. A federal guidelines order upheld recently by the Canadian Supreme Court requires federal participation in environmental assessment processes. The Great Whale project affects areas of federal jurisdiction as well as areas outside Quebec, and federal expertise in such matters as the marine environment is crucial in airing environmental issues related to the project. Interviews with federal officials on the reasons for federal absence are summarized. It is concluded that the federal agencies did not really regard scoping hearings as part of the public review, and that this review does not start until hearings begin on the environmental impact statement

  1. Hydrodynamics of a Digitized Adult Humpback Whale Flipper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassmann, Wesley N.; McDonald, Samuel J.; Thomson, Scott L.; Fish, Frank E.

    2013-11-01

    During feeding, humpback whales turn with a turn radius of up to 1 /6th of their length towards schools of fish enclosed by bubble nets. This high maneuverability requirement is facilitated by high aspect ratio flippers with leading edge tubercles that delay stall. Previous experimental and computational studies have used idealized models, such as airfoils with scalloped leading edges, to explore the influence of leading edge tubercles on boundary layer separation, vortex generation, and airfoil lift and drag characteristics. Owing to the substantial size of the flipper, no studies have been performed on a digitized adult humpback flipper with real geometry. In this study the hydrodynamics of a realistic humpback flipper model were explored. The model was developed by digitizing a sequence of 18 images circumscribing the suspended flipper of a beached humpback whale. A physical prototype was constructed based on the resulting 3D model, along with a complementary model with the tubercles removed. Experimentally-obtained measurements of lift and drag were used to study the influence of the tubercles. In the presentation, digitization and flow measurement methods are described, and the flow data and results are presented and discussed.

  2. Vocalization Source Level Distributions and Pulse Compression Gains of Diverse Baleen Whale Species in the Gulf of Maine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delin Wang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The vocalization source level distributions and pulse compression gains are estimated for four distinct baleen whale species in the Gulf of Maine: fin, sei, minke and an unidentified baleen whale species. The vocalizations were received on a large-aperture densely-sampled coherent hydrophone array system useful for monitoring marine mammals over instantaneous wide areas via the passive ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing technique. For each baleen whale species, between 125 and over 1400 measured vocalizations with significantly high Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR > 10 dB after coherent beamforming and localized with high accuracies (<10% localization errors over ranges spanning roughly 1 km–30 km are included in the analysis. The whale vocalization received pressure levels are corrected for broadband transmission losses modeled using a calibrated parabolic equation-based acoustic propagation model for a random range-dependent ocean waveguide. The whale vocalization source level distributions are characterized by the following means and standard deviations, in units of dB re 1 μ Pa at 1 m: 181.9 ± 5.2 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 173.5 ± 3.2 for sei whale downsweep chirps, 177.7 ± 5.4 for minke whale pulse trains and 169.6 ± 3.5 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls. The broadband vocalization equivalent pulse-compression gains are found to be 2.5 ± 1.1 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 24 ± 10 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 69 ± 23 for sei whale downsweep chirps. These pulse compression gains are found to be roughly proportional to the inter-pulse intervals of the vocalizations, which are 11 ± 5 s for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 29 ± 18 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 52 ± 33 for sei whale downsweep chirps. The source level distributions and pulse compression gains are essential for determining signal-to-noise ratios and hence detection regions for baleen whale

  3. On the olfactory anatomy in an archaic whale (Protocetidae, Cetacea) and the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Balaenopteridae, Cetacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, Stephen J; Geisler, Jonathan; Fitzgerald, Erich M G

    2013-02-01

    The structure of the olfactory apparatus is not well known in both archaic and extant whales; the result of poor preservation in most fossils and locational isolation deep within the skulls in both fossil and Recent taxa. Several specimens now shed additional light on the subject. A partial skull of an archaic cetacean is reported from the Pamunkey River, Virginia, USA. The specimen probably derives from the upper middle Eocene (Piney Point Formation) and is tentatively assigned to the Protocetidae. Uncrushed cranial cavities associated with the olfactory apparatus were devoid of sediment. CT scans clearly reveal the dorsal nasal meatus, ethmoturbinates within the olfactory recess, the cribriform plate, the area occupied by the olfactory bulbs, and the olfactory nerve tract. Several sectioned skulls of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were also examined, and olfactory structures are remarkably similar to those observed in the fossil skull from the Pamunkey River. One important difference between the two is that the fossil specimen has an elongate olfactory nerve tract. The more forward position of the external nares in extant balaenopterids when compared with those of extant odontocetes is interpreted to be the result of the need to retain a functional olfactory apparatus and the forward position of the supraoccipital/cranial vertex. An increase in the distance between the occipital condyles and the vertex in balaenopterids enhances the mechanical advantage of the epaxial musculature that inserts on the occiput, a specialization that likely stabilizes the head of these enormous mammals during lunge feeding. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. AFSC/NMML: North Pacific Right Whale Vessel Surveys in the Southeastern Bering Sea, 2007 - 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The North Pacific right whale (NPRW) was heavily hunted between the 17th and the 20th centuries. Protection was supposedly afforded by international treaties in the...

  5. 75 FR 57441 - Availability of Seats for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-21

    ... National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council: Commercial Shipping, Whale Watching, Ocean Recreation, Business/Commerce, Citizen-at-Large, Conservation, Tourism, Lana`i Island Representative, and Moloka`i Island...

  6. Discovery of a blue whale feeding and nursing ground in southern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hucke-Gaete, Rodrigo; Osman, Layla P; Moreno, Carlos A; Findlay, Ken P; Ljungblad, Don K

    2004-05-07

    After the extensive exploitation that reduced the Southern Hemisphere blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) populations to less than 3% of its original numbers, studies on its recovery have been compounded by the inaccessibility of most populations and the extensive migrations between low and high latitudes, thus ensuring that knowledge about blue whale ecology and status remains limited. We report the recent discovery of, arguably, the most important blue whale feeding and nursing ground known to date in the Southern Hemisphere, which is located near the fjords off southern Chile. Through aerial and marine surveys (n = 7) 47 groups, comprising 153 blue whales including at least 11 mother-calf pairs, were sighted during the austral summer and early autumn of 2003. The implications of this discovery on the biological understanding and conservation of this endangered species are discussed.

  7. SWFSC/MMTD: Collaborative Large Whale Survey (CLaWS) 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Collaborative Large Whale Survey is a joint field effort by Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) and Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC). The 4-month...

  8. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.; Collins, Neal; Hancock, James; Rees, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize

  9. Body size shifts and early warning signals precede the historic collapse of whale stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Christopher F; Blanchard, Julia L; Nash, Kirsty L; Hindell, Mark A; Ozgul, Arpat

    2017-06-22

    Predicting population declines is a key challenge in the face of global environmental change. Abundance-based early warning signals have been shown to precede population collapses; however, such signals are sensitive to the low reliability of abundance estimates. Here, using historical data on whales harvested during the 20th century, we demonstrate that early warning signals can be present not only in the abundance data, but also in the more reliable body size data of wild populations. We show that during the period of commercial whaling, the mean body size of caught whales declined dramatically (by up to 4 m over a 70-year period), leading to early warning signals being detectable up to 40 years before the global collapse of whale stocks. Combining abundance and body size data can reduce the length of the time series required to predict collapse, and decrease the chances of false positive early warning signals.

  10. Fossil traces of the bone-eating worm Osedax in early Oligocene whale bones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Steffen; Goedert, James L; Kahl, Wolf-Achim; Rouse, Greg W

    2010-05-11

    Osedax is a recently discovered group of siboglinid annelids that consume bones on the seafloor and whose evolutionary origins have been linked with Cretaceous marine reptiles or to the post-Cretaceous rise of whales. Here we present whale bones from early Oligocene bathyal sediments exposed in Washington State, which show traces similar to those made by Osedax today. The geologic age of these trace fossils ( approximately 30 million years) coincides with the first major radiation of whales, consistent with the hypothesis of an evolutionary link between Osedax and its main food source, although older fossils should certainly be studied. Osedax has been destroying bones for most of the evolutionary history of whales and the possible significance of this "Osedax effect" in relation to the quality and quantity of their fossils is only now recognized.

  11. On the communicative significance of whistles in wild killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Frank; Franck, Dierk; Ford, John

    2002-08-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) use pulsed calls and whistles in underwater communication. Unlike pulsed calls, whistles have received little study and thus their function is poorly known. In this study, whistle activities of groups of individually known killer whales were compared quantitatively across behavioural categories. Acoustic recordings and simultaneous behavioural observations were made of northern resident killer whales off Vancouver Island in 1996 and 1997. Whistles were produced at greater rates than discrete calls during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. They were the predominant sound-type recorded during socializing. The number of whistles per animal per minute was significantly higher during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. Evidently, whistles play an important role in the close-range acoustic communication in northern resident killer whales.

  12. 78 FR 42653 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-16

    ... defines a strategic stock of marine mammals as a stock: (1) For which the level of direct human-caused... Whales, Eubalaena australis. Behaviour 88(1/2):42-60. BILLING CODE 3510-22-P [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED...

  13. Movement patterns of juvenile whale sharks tagged at an aggregation site in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.; Braun, Camrin D.; Cochran, Jesse; Skomal, Gregory B.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts aimed at the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, remain limited by a lack of basic information on most aspects of its ecology, including global population structure, population sizes and movement patterns. Here we report

  14. Acoustic Ecology and Remote Acoustic Monitoring of a Minke Whale Population

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gedamke, Jason

    2000-01-01

    Sound is the most effective means of communication in the ocean. A uniquely inquisitive minke whale population on the northern Great Barrier Reef presents an unprecedented research opportunity to study minke acoustics...

  15. An Assessment of Gray Whale Movements in Acoustically Changing Nearshore Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mate, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    This grant helped fluid six field seasons over four years. The initial objective was to investigate the movements of gray whales in environments with varying levels of development and acoustic stimuli...

  16. Analysis of Sperm Whale Acoustic Signals in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thode, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    The objectives of the program was to develop and demonstrate an automated procedure for passively tracking sperm whales in three-dimensions, using natural vocalizations recorded on two towed arrays...

  17. The Effects of Ambient Noise Field on the Behavior of Baleen Whales - Pilot Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stokes, M

    2003-01-01

    .... The work was a Pilot Study for a Main Study in 2003 and 2004 concerning the setting to work of a system for passive acoustic and visual tracking of whales, as well as collecting acoustic and remotely...

  18. PCB contamination and effects on benthic invertebrate communities at the Irving Whale salvage site

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ernst, W

    2000-01-01

    In June of 1998 and 1999, two and three years after the raising of the Irving Whale, sediment sampling was conducted at the site where the barge was recovered to determine the extent and distribution...

  19. AFSC/NMML: Beluga whale Counts from Aerial Surveys in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1993-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratory conducted aerial surveys to monitor the abundance and distribution of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska. This database...

  20. Demographics and feeding ecology of whale sharks at Mafia Island, Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.; Cochran, Jesse; Rohner, Chris; Igulu, Mathias M; Rubens, Jason; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    . The size range and gender distribution of whale sharks at Mafia Island is similar to other coastal aggregations in the Indian Ocean, but the relatively high site fidelity and residency time stands in contrast.

  1. AFSC/NMML: Bowhead whale aerial surveys and photography near Barrow, Alaska, from 1979-1992

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Bowhead whales were documented during their spring migration most years from 1979 to 1992 by biologists from NMML. This documentation consisted of flying aerial...

  2. PCB contamination and effects on benthic invertebrate communities at the Irving Whale salvage site

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ernst, W

    2000-01-01

    ... patterns of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination. In addition, snow crab tissue sampling, toxicity testing of sediments as well as analysis of the integrity of benthic biological communities was conducted around the Irving Whale footprint...

  3. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program Humpback Whale Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1980, the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has been collecting photos of humpback whales (Megaptera...

  4. AFSC/NMML: Bowhead Whale Aerial Abundance Survey off Barrow, Alaska, Spring 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial photographic surveys for bowhead whales were conducted near Point Barrow, Alaska, from 19 April to 6 June in 2011. Approximately 4,594 photographs containing...

  5. Monitoring and Mitigation Alternatives for Protection of North Atlantic Right Whales during Offshore Wind Farm Installation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlson, Thomas J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Halvorsen, Michele B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Matzner, Shari [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Copping, Andrea E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Stavole, Jessica [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2012-09-01

    Progress report on defining and determining monitoring and mitigation measures for protecting North Atlantic Right Whales from the effects of pile driving and other activities associated with installation of offshore wind farms.

  6. Steroid hormones and persistent organic pollutants in plasma from North-eastern Atlantic pilot whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoydal, Katrin S; Styrishave, Bjarne; Ciesielski, Tomasz M

    2017-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are known to have endocrine disruptive effects, interfering with endogenous steroid hormones. The present study examined nine steroid hormones and their relationships with the concentrations of selected POPs in pilot whales (Globicephala melas) from the Faroe...

  7. A large-aperture low-cost hydrophone array for tracking whales from small boats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, B; Dawson, S

    2009-11-01

    A passive sonar array designed for tracking diving sperm whales in three dimensions from a single small vessel is presented, and the advantages and limitations of operating this array from a 6 m boat are described. The system consists of four free floating buoys, each with a hydrophone, built-in recorder, and global positioning system receiver (GPS), and one vertical stereo hydrophone array deployed from the boat. Array recordings are post-processed onshore to obtain diving profiles of vocalizing sperm whales. Recordings are synchronized using a GPS timing pulse recorded onto each track. Sensitivity analysis based on hyperbolic localization methods is used to obtain probability distributions for the whale's three-dimensional location for vocalizations received by at least four hydrophones. These localizations are compared to those obtained via isodiachronic sequential bound estimation. Results from deployment of the system around a sperm whale in the Kaikoura Canyon in New Zealand are shown.

  8. AFSC/NMML: Beluga whale aerial survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1993-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has conducted aerial counts of Cook Inlet beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from 1993 to 2014 (excluding 2013)....

  9. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): a last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruny, Loren M; Wright, Andrew J; Smith, Courtney E

    2014-08-15

    The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Whole-genome sequencing of the blue whale and other rorquals finds signatures for introgressive gene flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árnason, Úlfur; Kumar, Vikas

    2018-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolution of baleen whales (Mysticeti) has been problematic because morphological and genetic analyses have produced different scenarios. This might be caused by genomic admixture that may have taken place among some rorquals. We present the genomes of six whales, including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), to reconstruct a species tree of baleen whales and to identify phylogenetic conflicts. Evolutionary multilocus analyses of 34,192 genome fragments reveal a fast radiation of rorquals at 10.5 to 7.5 million years ago coinciding with oceanic circulation shifts. The evolutionarily enigmatic gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is placed among rorquals, and the blue whale genome shows a high degree of heterozygosity. The nearly equal frequency of conflicting gene trees suggests that speciation of rorqual evolution occurred under gene flow, which is best depicted by evolutionary networks. Especially in marine environments, sympatric speciation might be common; our results raise questions about how genetic divergence can be established. PMID:29632892

  11. Detection and Classification of Baleen Whale Foraging Calls Combining Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    for a call is also a time- consuming task. None of these chores bothers the analyst when applying the selection algorithm. With help from the...1365- 2907.2007.00106.x. Castellote, M., C. W. Clark, and M. O. Lammers, 2012: Acoustic and behavioural changes by fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus...separation of blue whale call types on a southern California feeding ground. Animal Behaviour , 74, 881–894, doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.01.022. Rocha, R

  12. Inter-Annual Variability in Blue Whale Distribution off Southern Sri Lanka between 2011 and 2012

    OpenAIRE

    Vos, Asha de; Pattiaratchi, Charitha; Harcourt, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) movements are often driven by the availability of their prey in space and time. While globally blue whale populations undertake long-range migrations between feeding and breeding grounds, those in the northern Indian Ocean remain in low latitude waters throughout the year with the implication that the productivity of these waters is sufficient to support their energy needs. A part of this population remains around Sri Lanka where they are usually recorded cl...

  13. The Population Consequences of Disturbance Model Application to North Atlantic Right Whales (Eubalaena glacialis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    physiology, and the revised approach is called PCOD (Population Consequences Of Disturbance). In North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis...acoustic disturbance and prey variability into the PCOD model. OBJECTIVES The objectives for this study are to: 1) develop a Hierarchical...the model to assessing the effects of acoustics on the population. We have refined and applied the PCOD model developed for right whales (Schick et

  14. DNA evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by Greenlandic Paleo-Inuit 4,000 years ago

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seersholm, Frederik Valeur; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Søe, Martin Jensen

    2016-01-01

    -described midden deposits. Our results confirm that the species found in the fossil record, like harp seal and ringed seal, were a vital part of Inuit subsistence, but also add a new dimension with evidence that caribou, walrus and whale species played a more prominent role for the survival of Paleo-Inuit cultures...... than previously reported. Most notably, we report evidence of bowhead whale exploitation by the Saqqaq culture 4,000 years ago....

  15. A spatially explicit estimate of the prewhaling abundance of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Pennino, M Grazia; Smith, Tim D; Reeves, Randall R; Meynard, Christine N; Kaplan, David M; Rodrigues, Ana S L

    2016-08-01

    The North Atlantic right whale (NARW) (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the world's most threatened whales. It came close to extinction after nearly a millennium of exploitation and currently persists as a population of only approximately 500 individuals. Setting appropriate conservation targets for this species requires an understanding of its historical population size, as a baseline for measuring levels of depletion and progress toward recovery. This is made difficult by the scarcity of records over this species' long whaling history. We sought to estimate the preexploitation population size of the North Atlantic right whale and understand how this species was distributed across its range. We used a spatially explicit data set on historical catches of North Pacific right whales (NPRWs) (Eubalaena japonica) to model the relationship between right whale relative density and the environment during the summer feeding season. Assuming the 2 right whale species select similar environments, we projected this model to the North Atlantic to predict how the relative abundance of NARWs varied across their range. We calibrated these relative abundances with estimates of the NPRW total prewhaling population size to obtain high and low estimates for the overall NARW population size prior to exploitation. The model predicted 9,075-21,328 right whales in the North Atlantic. The current NARW population is thus <6% of the historical North Atlantic carrying capacity and has enormous potential for recovery. According to the model, in June-September NARWs concentrated in 2 main feeding areas: east of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and in the Norwegian Sea. These 2 areas may become important in the future as feeding grounds and may already be used more regularly by this endangered species than is thought. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Multispecies functional response of the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata based on small-scale foraging studies

    OpenAIRE

    Smout, Sophie; Lindstrøm, Ulf

    2007-01-01

    Atlantic minke whales are important predators in the Barents Sea ecosystem; capelin Mallotus villosus, krill Thysanoessa sp. and Meganyctephanes norvegica and herring Clupea harengus are their major prey. Their consumption of commercial species may present an economic problem for the local fishery. In order to estimate this consumption and understand the potential consequences for prey dynamics, it is essential to determine the multispecies functional response of the whales. The parameterisat...

  17. A bizarre new toothed mysticete (Cetacea) from Australia and the early evolution of baleen whales

    OpenAIRE

    Fitzgerald, Erich M.G

    2006-01-01

    Extant baleen whales (Cetacea, Mysticeti) are all large filter-feeding marine mammals that lack teeth as adults, instead possessing baleen, and feed on small marine animals in bulk. The early evolution of these superlative mammals, and their unique feeding method, has hitherto remained enigmatic. Here, I report a new toothed mysticete from the Late Oligocene of Australia that is more archaic than any previously described. Unlike all other mysticetes, this new whale was small, had enormous eye...

  18. Recreational valuation of whale watching safaris, a case study from the Andøy region

    OpenAIRE

    Robertsen, Liv Tone Olsen

    2014-01-01

    Due to increased activity level along the Norwegian coast and ocean, there is an increasing need of estimating the non-market values from potentially affected marine ecosystem services. One activity that might be impacted from marine activities and regulations is whale watching. The demand of whale watching has increased rapidly the past decades, and generates remarkable economic and recreational benefits to the society. The recreational benefits are not directly obtained through the market p...

  19. Observation of a Whale Shark Rhincodon typus (Orectolobiformes: Rhincodontidae in the offshore waters of Rushikulya, Orissa, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. John

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available A Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus was sighted on the water surface, three km offshore and 12 km north of Rushikulya river mouth on 22 February 2009. The length of the whale shark indicates that it is likely to be a juvenile. Some physico-chemical parameters along with previous sighting records of the Whale Shark from this region as well as from other coastal states of the country are also mentioned.

  20. Regional variation in the intensity of humpback whale predation on Pacific herring in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, J. R.; Heintz, R. A.; Straley, J. M.; Vollenweider, J. J.

    2018-01-01

    We modeled the biomass of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) consumed by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to determine if whales are preventing the recovery of some herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska. We estimated consumption, by whales, of two depressed (Lynn Canal, Prince William Sound) and one robust (Sitka Sound) herring populations during fall/winter of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Consumption estimates relied on observations of whale abundance, prey selection, and herring energy content along with published data on whale size and metabolic rate. Herring biomass removed by whales was compared with independent estimates of herring abundance to assess the impact of predation on each population. Whales removed a greater proportion of the total biomass of herring available in Lynn Canal and Prince William Sound than in Sitka Sound. Biomass removals were greatest in Prince William Sound where we observed the largest number of whales foraging on herring. The biomass of herring consumed in Prince William Sound approximated the biomass lost to natural mortality over winter as projected by age-structured stock assessments. Though whales also focused their foraging on herring during the fall in Lynn Canal, whales were less abundant resulting in lower estimated consumption rates. Whales were more abundant in Sitka Sound than in Lynn Canal but foraged predominately on euphausiids. Herring abundance was greater in Sitka Sound, further reducing the overall impact on the herring population. These data indicate that the focused predation in Prince William Sound can exert top-down controlling pressure, but whale populations are not a ubiquitous constraint on forage fish productivity in the Gulf of Alaska at this time.

  1. Long-range movement of humpback whales and their overlap with anthropogenic activity in the South Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Howard C; Maxwell, Sara M; Kershaw, Francine; Mate, Bruce

    2014-04-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are managed by the International Whaling Commission as 7 primary populations that breed in the tropics and migrate to 6 feeding areas around the Antarctic. There is little information on individual movements within breeding areas or migratory connections to feeding grounds. We sought to better understand humpback whale habitat use and movements at breeding areas off West Africa, and during the annual migration to Antarctic feeding areas. We also assessed potential overlap between whale habitat and anthropogenic activities. We used Argos satellite-monitored radio tags to collect data on 13 animals off Gabon, a primary humpback whale breeding area. We quantified habitat use for 3 cohorts of whales and used a state-space model to determine transitions in the movement behavior of individuals. We developed a spatial metric of overlap between whale habitat and models of cumulative human activities, including oil platforms, toxicants, and shipping. We detected strong heterogeneity in movement behavior over time that is consistent with previous genetic evidence of multiple populations in the region. Breeding areas for humpback whales in the eastern Atlantic were extensive and extended north of Gabon late in the breeding season. We also observed, for the first time, direct migration between West Africa and sub-Antarctic feeding areas. Potential overlap of whale habitat with human activities was the highest in exclusive economic zones close to shore, particularly in areas used by both individual whales and the hydrocarbon industry. Whales potentially overlapped with different activities during each stage of their migration, which makes it difficult to implement mitigation measures over their entire range. Our results and existing population-level data may inform delimitation of populations and actions to mitigate potential threats to whales as part of local, regional, and international management of highly migratory marine species.

  2. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.; Armstrong, A. J.; Pierce, S. J.; Prebble, C. E. M.; Cagua, E. F.; Cochran, J. E. M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Richardson, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  3. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status is still presently uncertain. The analysis of two years of continuous acoustic data provided by the ANTARES neutrino telescope revealed the year-round presence of sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea, probably associated with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems. PMID:28401960

  4. Calling under pressure: short-finned pilot whales make social calls during deep foraging dives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Frants H; Perez, Jacobo Marrero; Johnson, Mark; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T

    2011-10-22

    Toothed whales rely on sound to echolocate prey and communicate with conspecifics, but little is known about how extreme pressure affects pneumatic sound production in deep-diving species with a limited air supply. The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a highly social species among the deep-diving toothed whales, in which individuals socialize at the surface but leave their social group in pursuit of prey at depths of up to 1000 m. To investigate if these animals communicate acoustically at depth and test whether hydrostatic pressure affects communication signals, acoustic DTAGs logging sound, depth and orientation were attached to 12 pilot whales. Tagged whales produced tonal calls during deep foraging dives at depths of up to 800 m. Mean call output and duration decreased with depth despite the increased distance to conspecifics at the surface. This shows that the energy content of calls is lower at depths where lungs are collapsed and where the air volume available for sound generation is limited by ambient pressure. Frequency content was unaffected, providing a possible cue for group or species identification of diving whales. Social calls may be important to maintain social ties for foraging animals, but may be impacted adversely by vessel noise.

  5. Organization and distribution of glomeruli in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takushi Kishida

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Although modern baleen whales (Mysticeti retain a functional olfactory system that includes olfactory bulbs, cranial nerve I and olfactory receptor genes, their olfactory capabilities have been reduced to a great degree. This reduction likely occurred as a selective response to their fully aquatic lifestyle. The glomeruli that occur in the olfactory bulb can be divided into two non-overlapping domains, a dorsal domain and a ventral domain. Recent molecular studies revealed that all modern whales have lost olfactory receptor genes and marker genes that are specific to the dorsal domain. Here we show that olfactory bulbs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus lack glomeruli on the dorsal side, consistent with the molecular data. In addition, we estimate that there are more than 4,000 glomeruli elsewhere in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb, which is surprising given that bowhead whales possess only 80 intact olfactory receptor genes. Olfactory sensory neurons that express the same olfactory receptors in rodents generally project to two specific glomeruli in an olfactory bulb, implying an approximate 1:2 ratio of the number of olfactory receptors to the number of glomeruli. Here we show that this ratio does not apply to bowhead whales, reiterating the conceptual limits of using rodents as model organisms for understanding the initial coding of odor information among mammals.

  6. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; de Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-04-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status is still presently uncertain. The analysis of two years of continuous acoustic data provided by the ANTARES neutrino telescope revealed the year-round presence of sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea, probably associated with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems.

  7. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Beaufort Sea, Fall 1989. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Treacy, S.D.

    1990-11-01

    The OCSLA Amendments of 1978 (43 U.S.C. 1802) established a policy for the management of oil and natural gas in the OCS and for protection of the marine and coastal environments. The amended OCSLA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct studies in areas or regions of sales to ascertain the environmental impacts on the marine and coastal environments of the outer Continental Shelf and the coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas development (43 U.S.C. 1346). The report describes field activities and data analyses for aerial surveys of bowhead whales conducted between 1 September 1989 and 20 October 1989 in the Beaufort Sea, primarily between 140 W. and 154 W. longitudes south of 72 N. latitude. Ice cover during September and October 1989 was exceptionally light. A total of 215 bowhead whales, 104 belukha whales, 9 bearded seals, 84 ringed seals, and 32 unidentified pinnipeds were observed in 1989 during 98.70 hours of survey effort that included 38.10 hours on randomized transects. The last sighting of a bowhead whale made during the survey occurred in open water on 19 October 1989. No whales were sighted during a subsequent flight on 20 October 1989. Estimated median and mean water depths were shallower than for previous surveys (1982-1989). This is consistent with a trend for whales to be located in shallower water during years of generally light ice cover

  8. Dietary recommendations regarding pilot whale meat and blubber in the Faroe Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pál Weihe

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available For centuries the pilot whale has been an important part Faroese life – both in regard to food and culture. However, studies dating back to 1977 have shown an increase in contamination of the meat, blubber, liver and kidneys of pilot whales. Several birth cohorts have been established in the Faroes in order to discover the health effects related to mercury and organchlorine exposure. In short the results have so far shown that: mercury from pilot whale meat adversely affects the foetal development of the nervous system; the mercury effect is still detectable during adolescence; the mercury from the maternal diet affects the blood pressure of the children; the contaminants of the blubber adversely affect the immune system so that the children react more poorly to immunizations; contaminants in pilot whales appear to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in those who often eat pilot whale; the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis of the carotid arteries is increased in adults who have an increased exposure to mercury; septuagenarians with type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glycaemia tended to have higher PCB concentrations and higher past intake of traditional foods, especially during childhood and adolescence. Also impaired insulin secretion appears to constitute an important part of the type 2 diabetes pathogenesis associated with exposure to persistent lipophilic food contaminants. From the latest research results, the authors consider that the conclusion from a human health perspective must be to recommend that pilot whale is no longer used for human consumption.

  9. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.

    2015-03-17

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  10. Gonadal Morphology, Histology, and Endocrinological Characteristics of Immature Female Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozu, Ryo; Murakumo, Kiyomi; Matsumoto, Rui; Nakamura, Masaru; Ueda, Keiichi; Sato, Keiichi

    2015-10-01

    Captive breeding of whale sharks is one of the great challenges for aquariums. However, there is limited information available related to reproductive physiology due to the difficulty of sampling and long-term observation. In the present report, we provide information on the reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, which were incidentally captured as bycatch in a set-net off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Total lengths of three captured female whale sharks were 403, 665, and 761 cm, respectively, at the time of their death. Collected paired ovaries differed in size between right and left. However, it seems not to determine which side of ovary becomes developed. Histological observations revealed that oocytes surrounded by follicle cell layers localized in the developed ovary, and most developed oocytes exhibited yolk vesicle stage. Additionally, in the largest specimen, there were low levels of three steroid hormones (Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, and Estradiol-17ß) that did not show seasonal variation. The present results indicate that even the whale shark over 7 m in TL are still histologically and endocrinologically immature. We expect that the present data will provide fundamental information related to reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, and will contribute to protection activities and increased success in captive breeding of whale sharks.

  11. Longitudinal evaluation of leukocyte transcripts in killer whales (Orcinus Orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitt, Tatjana; Bowen, Lizabeth; Lee, Chia-Shan; Blanchard, Myra; McBain, James; Dold, Christopher; Stott, Jeffrey L.

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of illness and/or presence of environmental and/or social stressors in free-ranging and domestic cetaceans is a priority for marine mammal health care professionals. Incorporation of leukocyte gene transcript analysis into the diagnostic tool kit has the potential to augment classical diagnostics based upon ease of sample storage and shipment, inducible nature and well-defined roles of transcription and associated downstream actions. Development of biomarkers that could serve to identify “insults” and potentially differentiate disease etiology would be of great diagnostic value. To this end, a modest number of peripheral blood leukocyte gene transcripts were selected for application to a domestic killer whale population with a focus on broad representation of inducible immunologically relevant genes. Normalized leukocyte transcript values, longitudinally acquired from 232 blood samples derived from 26 clinically healthy whales, were not visibly influenced temporally nor by sex or the specific Park in which they resided. Stability in leukocyte transcript number during periods of health enhances their potential use in diagnostics through identification of outliers. Transcript levels of two cytokine genes, IL-4 and IL-17, were highly variable within the group as compared to the other transcripts. IL-4 transcripts were typically absent. Analysis of transcript levels on the other genes of interest, on an individual animal basis, identified more outliers than were visible when analyzed in the context of the entire population. The majority of outliers (9 samples) were low, though elevated transcripts were identified for IL-17 from 2 animals and one each for Cox-2 and IL-10. The low number of outliers was not unexpected as sample selection was intentionally directed towards animals that were clinically healthy at the time of collection. Outliers may reflect animals experiencing subclinical disease that is transient and self-limiting. The

  12. Bones as biofuel: a review of whale bone composition with implications for deep-sea biology and palaeoanthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Nicholas D; Little, Crispin T S; Glover, Adrian G

    2011-01-07

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These 'biofuel' stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites.

  13. iDNA at Sea: Recovery of Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus Mitochondrial DNA Sequences from the Whale Shark Copepod (Pandarus rhincodonicus Confirms Global Population Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Meekan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The whale shark (Rhincodon typus is an iconic and endangered species with a broad distribution spanning warm-temperate and tropical oceans. Effective conservation management of the species requires an understanding of the degree of genetic connectivity among populations, which is hampered by the need for sampling that involves invasive techniques. Here, the feasibility of minimally-invasive sampling was explored by isolating and sequencing whale shark DNA from a commensal or possibly parasitic copepod, Pandarus rhincodonicus that occurs on the skin of the host. We successfully recovered mitochondrial control region DNA sequences (~1,000 bp of the host via DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction from whole copepod specimens. DNA sequences obtained from multiple copepods collected from the same shark exhibited 100% sequence similarity, suggesting a persistent association of copepods with individual hosts. Newly-generated mitochondrial haplotypes of whale shark hosts derived from the copepods were included in an analysis of the genetic structure of the global population of whale sharks (644 sequences; 136 haplotypes. Our results supported those of previous studies and suggested limited genetic structuring across most of the species range, but the presence of a genetically unique and potentially isolated population in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, we recovered the mitogenome and nuclear ribosomal genes of a whale shark using a shotgun sequencing approach on copepod tissue. The recovered mitogenome is the third mitogenome reported for the species and the first from the Mozambique population. Our invertebrate DNA (iDNA approach could be used to better understand the population structure of whale sharks, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean, and also for genetic analyses of other elasmobranchs parasitized by pandarid copepods.

  14. Identification of Goose-Origin Parvovirus as a Cause of Newly Emerging Beak Atrophy and Dwarfism Syndrome in Ducklings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Kexiang; Ma, Xiuli; Sheng, Zizhang; Qi, Lihong; Liu, Cunxia; Wang, Dan; Huang, Bing; Li, Feng; Song, Minxun

    2016-08-01

    A recent epizootic outbreak, in China, of duck beak atrophy and dwarfism syndrome (BADS) was investigated using electron microscopic, genetic, and virological studies, which identified a parvovirus with a greater similarity to goose parvovirus (GPV) (97% protein homology) than to Muscovy duck parvovirus (MDPV) (90% protein homology). The new virus, provisionally designated GPV-QH15, was found to be antigenically more closely related to GPV than to MDPV in a virus neutralization assay. These findings were further supported by phylogenetic analysis showing that GPV-QH15 evolved from goose lineage parvoviruses, rather than from Muscovy duck- or other duck species-related parvoviruses. In all, two genetic lineages (GPV I and GPV II) were identified from the GPV samples analyzed, and GPV-QH15 was found to be closely clustered with two known goose-origin parvoviruses (GPVa2006 and GPV1995), together forming a distinctive GPV IIa sublineage. Finally, structural modeling revealed that GPV-QH15 and the closely related viruses GPVa2006 and GPV1995 possessed identical clusters of receptor-interacting amino acid residues in the VP2 protein, a major determinant of viral receptor binding and host specificity. Significantly, these three viruses differed from MDPVs and other GPVs at these positions. Taken together, these results suggest that GPV-QH15 represents a new variant of goose-origin parvovirus that currently circulates in ducklings and causes BADS, a syndrome reported previously in Europe. This new finding highlights the need for future surveillance of GPV-QH15 in poultry in order to gain a better understanding of both the evolution and the biology of this emerging parvovirus. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  15. The use of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schuhmacher, Thomas X.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Scientific analysis were undertaken within a research project concerning ivory objects from the Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age of the Iberian Peninsula. In several of the analyses of objects from Portuguese Estremadura, especially V-perforated buttons, we could detect for the first time the presence of sperm whale ivory. This highlights the advantage and necessity of scientific analysis of ivory. It also clearly demonstrates that not all ivory used was ivory from African or Asian elephants, but we also did find ivory from the extinct Elephas antiquus, the hippopotamus and in this case sperm-whale. Thus, already in the Chalcolithic the raw material provenience was highly diverse, which in the absence of scientific analysis might lead to an erroneous interpretation of prehistoric exchange networks. Different methods, including optical microscopy, measurement of hardness and specific gravity, Micro-Raman Spectroscopy, elemental analysis and Isotopic Ratio Mass Spectrometry have been applied. In this paper we present these methods and the results, and we discuss about the implications of these results for the reconstruction of prehistoric economy and life in this region. Finally, taking into account the natural conditions as well as prehistoric and historic data of whale hunting and scavenging of beached animals, we conclude that the most plausible explanation for the presence of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal is the use of the teeth obtained from stranded animals. This interpretation is possible because of the human populations using this ivory are those living close to the sea and exploiting – among others– marine resources.En el marco de un proyecto de investigación sobre objetos de marfil del Calcolítico al Bronce Antiguo en la Península Ibérica efectuamos análisis científicos. En varios de los objetos de la Estremadura portuguesa, en especial en los botones con perforación en V, detectamos por primera vez la presencia

  16. Gigantism Precedes Filter Feeding in Baleen Whale Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fordyce, R Ewan; Marx, Felix G

    2018-05-21

    Baleen whales (Mysticeti) are the largest animals on Earth, thanks to their ability to filter huge volumes of small prey from seawater. Mysticetes appeared during the Late Eocene, but evidence of their early evolution remains both sparse and controversial [1, 2], with several models competing to explain the origin of baleen-based bulk feeding [3-6]. Here, we describe a virtually complete skull of Llanocetus denticrenatus, the second-oldest (ca. 34 Ma) mysticete known. The new material represents the same individual as the type and only specimen, a fragmentary mandible. Phylogenetic analysis groups Llanocetus with the oldest mysticete, Mystacodon selenensis [2], into the basal family Llanocetidae. Llanocetus is gigantic (body length ∼8 m) compared to other early mysticetes [7-9]. The broad rostrum has sharp, widely spaced teeth with marked dental abrasion and attrition, suggesting biting and occlusal shearing. As in extant mysticetes, the palate bears many sulci, commonly interpreted as osteological correlates of baleen [3]. Unexpectedly, these sulci converge on the upper alveoli, suggesting a peri-dental blood supply to well-developed gums, rather than to inter-alveolar racks of baleen. We interpret Llanocetus as a raptorial or suction feeder, revealing that whales evolved gigantism well before the emergence of filter feeding. Rather than driving the origin of mysticetes, baleen and filtering most likely only arose after an initial phase of suction-assisted raptorial feeding [2, 4, 5]. This scenario differs strikingly from that proposed for odontocetes, whose defining adaptation-echolocation-was present even in their earliest representatives [10]. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Killer whale depredation and associated costs to Alaskan sablefish, Pacific halibut and Greenland turbot longliners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan J Peterson

    Full Text Available Killer whale (Orcinus orca depredation (whales stealing or damaging fish caught on fishing gear adversely impacts demersal longline fisheries for sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria, Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis and Greenland turbot (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Western Gulf of Alaska. These interactions increase direct costs and opportunity costs associated with catching fish and reduce the profitability of longline fishing in western Alaska. This study synthesizes National Marine Fisheries Service observer data, National Marine Fisheries Service sablefish longline survey and fishermen-collected depredation data to: 1 estimate the frequency of killer whale depredation on longline fisheries in Alaska; 2 estimate depredation-related catch per unit effort reductions; and 3 assess direct costs and opportunity costs incurred by longliners in western Alaska as a result of killer whale interactions. The percentage of commercial fishery sets affected by killer whales was highest in the Bering Sea fisheries for: sablefish (21.4%, Greenland turbot (9.9%, and Pacific halibut (6.9%. Average catch per unit effort reductions on depredated sets ranged from 35.1-69.3% for the observed longline fleet in all three management areas from 1998-2012 (p<0.001. To compensate for depredation, fishermen set additional gear to catch the same amount of fish, and this increased fuel costs by an additional 82% per depredated set (average $433 additional fuel per depredated set. In a separate analysis with six longline vessels in 2011 and 2012, killer whale depredation avoidance measures resulted in an average additional cost of $494 per depredated vessel-day for fuel and crew food. Opportunity costs of time lost by fishermen averaged $522 per additional vessel-day on the grounds. This assessment of killer whale depredation costs represents the most extensive economic evaluation of this issue in Alaska to date and will help

  18. Annual Acoustic Presence of Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Offshore Eastern Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciacca, Virginia; Caruso, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Chierici, Francesco; De Domenico, Emilio; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Simeone, Francesco; Viola, Salvatore; Riccobene, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of surveys have definitively confirmed the seasonal presence of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in highly productive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, very little is yet known about the routes that the species seasonally follows within the Mediterranean basin and, particularly, in the Ionian area. The present study assesses for the first time fin whale acoustic presence offshore Eastern Sicily (Ionian Sea), throughout the processing of about 10 months of continuous acoustic monitoring. The recording of fin whale vocalizations was made possible by the cabled deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory, “NEMO-SN1”, deployed 25 km off the Catania harbor at a depth of about 2,100 meters. NEMO-SN1 is an operational node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) Research Infrastructure. The observatory was equipped with a low-frequency hydrophone (bandwidth: 0.05 Hz–1 kHz, sampling rate: 2 kHz) which continuously acquired data from July 2012 to May 2013. About 7,200 hours of acoustic data were analyzed by means of spectrogram display. Calls with the typical structure and patterns associated to the Mediterranean fin whale population were identified and monitored in the area for the first time. Furthermore, a background noise analysis within the fin whale communication frequency band (17.9–22.5 Hz) was conducted to investigate possible detection-masking effects. The study confirms the hypothesis that fin whales are present in the Ionian Sea throughout all seasons, with peaks in call detection rate during spring and summer months. The analysis also demonstrates that calls were more frequently detected in low background noise conditions. Further analysis will be performed to understand whether observed levels of noise limit the acoustic detection of the fin whales vocalizations, or whether the animals vocalize less in the presence of high background noise. PMID:26581104

  19. Underwater Ambient Noise in a Baleen Whale Migratory Habitat Off the Azores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Romagosa

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of underwater noise is of particular interest given the increase in noise-generating human activities and the potential negative effects on marine mammals which depend on sound for many vital processes. The Azores archipelago is an important migratory and feeding habitat for blue (Balaenoptera musculus, fin (Balaenoptera physalus and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis en route to summering grounds in northern Atlantic waters. High levels of low frequency noise in this area could displace whales or interfere with foraging behavior, impacting energy intake during a critical stage of their annual cycle. In this study, bottom-mounted Ecological Acoustic Recorders were deployed at three Azorean seamounts (Condor, Açores, and Gigante to measure temporal variations in background noise levels and ship noise in the 18–1,000 Hz frequency band, used by baleen whales to emit and receive sounds. Monthly average noise levels ranged from 90.3 dB re 1 μPa (Açores seamount to 103.1 dB re 1 μPa (Condor seamount and local ship noise was present up to 13% of the recording time in Condor. At this location, average contribution of local boat noise to background noise levels is almost 10 dB higher than wind contribution, which might temporally affect detection ranges for baleen whale calls and difficult communication at long ranges. Given the low time percentatge with noise levels above 120 dB re 1 μPa found here (3.3% at Condor, we woud expect limited behavioral responses to ships from baleen whales. Sound pressure levels measured in the Azores are lower than those reported for the Mediterranean basin and the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the currently unknown effects of baleen whale vocalization masking and the increasing presence of boats at the monitored sites underline the need for continuous monitoring to understand any long-term impacts on whales.

  20. Modulational instability, beak-shaped rogue waves, multi-dark-dark solitons and dynamics in pair-transition-coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guoqiang; Yan, Zhenya; Wen, Xiao-Yong

    2017-07-01

    The integrable coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations with four-wave mixing are investigated. We first explore the conditions for modulational instability of continuous waves of this system. Secondly, based on the generalized N -fold Darboux transformation (DT), beak-shaped higher-order rogue waves (RWs) and beak-shaped higher-order rogue wave pairs are derived for the coupled model with attractive interaction in terms of simple determinants. Moreover, we derive the simple multi-dark-dark and kink-shaped multi-dark-dark solitons for the coupled model with repulsive interaction through the generalizing DT. We explore their dynamics and classifications by different kinds of spatial-temporal distribution structures including triangular, pentagonal, 'claw-like' and heptagonal patterns. Finally, we perform the numerical simulations to predict that some dark solitons and RWs are stable enough to develop within a short time. The results would enrich our understanding on nonlinear excitations in many coupled nonlinear wave systems with transition coupling effects.

  1. Parasites as Biological Tags for Stock Discrimination of Beaked Redfish (Sebastes mentella: Parasite Infra-Communities vs. Limited Resolution of Cytochrome Markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina Klapper

    Full Text Available The use of parasites as biological tags for discrimination of fish stocks has become a commonly used approach in fisheries management. Metazoan parasite community analysis and anisakid nematode population genetics based on a mitochondrial cytochrome marker were applied in order to assess the usefulness of the two parasitological methods for stock discrimination of beaked redfish Sebastes mentella of three fishing grounds in the North East Atlantic. Multivariate, model-based approaches demonstrated that the metazoan parasite fauna of beaked redfish from East Greenland differed from Tampen, northern North Sea, and Bear Island, Barents Sea. A joint model (latent variable model was used to estimate the effects of covariates on parasite species and identified four parasite species as main source of differences among fishing grounds; namely Chondracanthus nodosus, Anisakis simplex s.s., Hysterothylacium aduncum, and Bothriocephalus scorpii. Due to its high abundance and differences between fishing grounds, Anisakis simplex s.s. was considered as a major biological tag for host stock differentiation. Whilst the sole examination of Anisakis simplex s.s. on a population genetic level is only of limited use, anisakid nematodes (in particular, A. simplex s.s. can serve as biological tags on a parasite community level. This study confirmed the use of multivariate analyses as a tool to evaluate parasite infra-communities and to identify parasite species that might serve as biological tags. The present study suggests that S. mentella in the northern North Sea and Barents Sea is not sub-structured.

  2. Organohalogen contaminants and metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and cerebellum gray matter in short-beaked common dolphins and Atlantic white-sided dolphins from the western North Atlantic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montie, Eric W.; Reddy, Christopher M.; Gebbink, Wouter A.; Touhey, Katie E.; Hahn, Mark E.; Letcher, Robert J.

    2009-01-01

    Concentrations of several congeners and classes of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and/or their metabolites, namely organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hydroxylated-PCBs (OH-PCBs), methylsulfonyl-PCBs (MeSO 2 -PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants, and OH-PBDEs, were measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of short-beaked common dolphins (n = 2), Atlantic white-sided dolphins (n = 8), and gray seal (n = 1) from the western North Atlantic. In three Atlantic white-sided dolphins, cerebellum gray matter (GM) was also analyzed. The levels of OCs, PCBs, MeSO 2 -PCBs, PBDEs, and OH-PBDEs in cerebellum GM were higher than the concentrations in CSF. 4-OH-2,3,3',4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (4-OH-CB107) was the only detectable OH-PCB congener present in CSF. The sum (Σ) OH-PCBs/Σ PCB concentration ratio in CSF was approximately two to three orders of magnitude greater than the ratio in cerebellum GM for dolphins. - Organohalogens and/or metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and cerebellum gray matter in short-beaked common dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins, and gray seal.

  3. Datasets of Odontocete Sounds Annotated for Developing Automatic Detection Methods

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mellinger, David K

    2007-01-01

    .... However, baleen whales are only a small fraction of marine mammals, whereas the greatest public concern and possible impact to Navy operations now centers on odontocetes, particularly beaked whales...

  4. 75 FR 39916 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Notice of Intent to Prepare a Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ... Fisheries Service (NMFS) is announcing its intent to prepare a recovery plan for the Sei Whale (Balaenoptera... the fax comments as ``Sei Whale Recovery Plan Information'' 3. Mail: National Marine Fisheries Service... under the ESA. The recovery planning process is guided by the statutory language of Section 4(f) of the...

  5. Monitoring and impact mitigation during a 4D seismic survey near a population of gray whales off Sakhalin Island, Russia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bröker, Koen Cornelis Arthur; Gailey, Glenn; Muir, Judy; Racca, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    A 4D seismic survey was conducted in 2010 near the feeding grounds of gray whales off Sakhalin Island, Russia. To minimize disruptions to the whales’ feeding activity and enhance understanding of the potential impacts of seismic surveys on gray whales Eschrichtius robustus, an extensive monitoring

  6. Genetic identification of a small and highly isolated population of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berube, M; Urban, J; Dizon, AE; Brownell, RL; Palsboll, PJ

    2002-01-01

    For many years, researchers have speculated that fin whales are year-round residents in the Sea of Cortez (= Gulf of California). Previous work by Berube and co-workers has shown that the degree of genetic diversity among fin whales in the Sea of Cortez at nuclear and mitochondrial loci is highly

  7. Generalised additive models to investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) spatial density in austral summer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekmans, B.W.P.M.; Forcada, J.; Murphy, E.J.; Baar, H.J.W.; Bathmann, U.V.; Fleming, A.H.

    2010-01-01

    There is a need to characterise the physical environment associated with Antarctic minke whale density in order to understand long-term changes in minke whale distribution and density in open waters of the Southern Ocean during austral summer months. To investigate environmental drivers of Antarctic

  8. Eye, nose, hair, and throat: external anatomy of the head of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta, Annalisa; Ekdale, Eric G; Zellmer, Nicholas T; Deméré, Thomas A; Kienle, Sarah S; Smallcomb, Meghan

    2015-04-01

    Information is scarce on gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) anatomy and that of mysticetes in general. Dissection of the head of a neonatal gray whale revealed novel anatomical details of the eye, blowhole, incisive papilla with associated nasopalatine ducts, sensory hairs, and throat grooves. Compared to a similar sized right whale calf, the gray whale eyeball is nearly twice as long. The nasal cartilages of the gray whale, located between the blowholes, differ from the bowhead in having accessory cartilages. A small, fleshy incisive papilla bordered by two blind nasopalatine pits near the palate's rostral tip, previously undescribed in gray whales, may be associated with the vomeronasal organ, although histological evidence is needed for definitive identification. Less well known among mysticetes are the numerous elongated, stiff sensory hairs (vibrissae) observed on the gray whale rostrum from the ventral tip to the blowhole and on the mandible. These hairs are concentrated on the chin, and those on the lower jaw are arranged in a V-shaped pattern. We confirm the presence of two primary, anteriorly converging throat grooves, confined to the throat region similar to those of ziphiid and physeteroid odontocetes. A third, shorter groove occurs lateral to the left primary groove. The throat grooves in the gray whale have been implicated in gular expansion during suction feeding. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. The relationship between the acoustic behaviour and surface activity of killer whales (Orcinus orca) that feed on herring (Clupea harengus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, M.; McGregor, P.K.; Ugarte, F.

    2007-01-01

    We describe the acoustic behaviour of piscivorous killer whales in Norwegian and Icelandic waters. Whales were assigned to one of three activities (feeding, travelling or other), and sound recordings were made in their proximity with a single hydrophone and a digital audiotape (DAT) recorder. A q...

  10. Extensive Core Microbiome in Drone-Captured Whale Blow Supports a Framework for Health Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Miller, Carolyn A; Moore, Michael J; Durban, John W; Fearnbach, Holly; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G

    2017-01-01

    The pulmonary system is a common site for bacterial infections in cetaceans, but very little is known about their respiratory microbiome. We used a small, unmanned hexacopter to collect exhaled breath condensate (blow) from two geographically distinct populations of apparently healthy humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ), sampled in the Massachusetts coastal waters off Cape Cod ( n = 17) and coastal waters around Vancouver Island ( n = 9). Bacterial and archaeal small-subunit rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced from blow samples, including many of sparse volume, as well as seawater and other controls, to characterize the associated microbial community. The blow microbiomes were distinct from the seawater microbiomes and included 25 phylogenetically diverse bacteria common to all sampled whales. This core assemblage comprised on average 36% of the microbiome, making it one of the more consistent animal microbiomes studied to date. The closest phylogenetic relatives of 20 of these core microbes were previously detected in marine mammals, suggesting that this core microbiome assemblage is specialized for marine mammals and may indicate a healthy, noninfected pulmonary system. Pathogen screening was conducted on the microbiomes at the genus level, which showed that all blow and few seawater microbiomes contained relatives of bacterial pathogens; no known cetacean respiratory pathogens were detected in the blow. Overall, the discovery of a shared large core microbiome in humpback whales is an important advancement for health and disease monitoring of this species and of other large whales. IMPORTANCE The conservation and management of large whales rely in part upon health monitoring of individuals and populations, and methods generally necessitate invasive sampling. Here, we used a small, unmanned hexacopter drone to noninvasively fly above humpback whales from two populations, capture their exhaled breath (blow), and examine the associated microbiome. In the

  11. Winter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey

    KAUST Repository

    Heide-Jørgensen, Mads

    2013-10-23

    Background Little is known about bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) foraging behavior and what concentrations of prey are required to balance the energetic trade-offs of feeding. We used satellite telemetry, archival depth recorders, and water column echo sounding data to study bowhead whale diving behavior relative to prey depth and concentration in Disko Bay, West Greenland. Results Between March and May 2008 to 2011, nine bowhead whales were tagged in Disko Bay, West Greenland with instruments that collected data on location and diving over a period of 1 to 33 days. The frequency of U-dives (presumed to be foraging dives) was low during winter months but more than doubled in spring concurrent with a decrease in diving depth. The mean speed of the horizontal bottom phase of the U-dives was 0.9 ms-1 and on average, whales spent 37% of their time at the bottom phase of the dive. In March, bowhead whales presumably fed on copepods (Calanus spp.) close to the seabed (between 100 and 400 m). In April and May, after the copepods ascended to shallower depths, bowhead whales also dove to shallower depths (approximately 30 m) more often. However, echo sounding surveys in the vicinity of feeding whales in early May indicated that patches of copepods could still be found close to the seabed. Conclusions There was a marked change in diving behavior from winter through spring and this was likely in response to the changes in sea ice conditions, primary production and potential copepod abundance in the upper part of the water column. Depth and duration of dives changed significantly during this period; however, other dive parameters (for example the proportion of time spent feeding on the bottom of U-dives) remained fairly constant indicating a constant feeding effort. Bowhead whales target copepods at or close to the seabed in winter months in Disko Bay and continue feeding on copepods when they migrate to the surface. However, bowhead whales leave West Greenland before peak

  12. Synchronous seasonal change in fin whale song in the North Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M Oleson

    Full Text Available Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus song consists of down-swept pulses arranged into stereotypic sequences that can be characterized according to the interval between successive pulses. As in blue (B. musculus and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, these song sequences may be geographically distinct and may correlate with population boundaries in some regions. We measured inter-pulse intervals of fin whale songs within year-round acoustic datasets collected between 2000 and 2006 in three regions of the eastern North Pacific: Southern California, the Bering Sea, and Hawaii. A distinctive song type that was recorded in all three regions is characterized by singlet and doublet inter-pulse intervals that increase seasonally, then annually reset to the same shorter intervals at the beginning of each season. This song type was recorded in the Bering Sea and off Southern California from September through May and off Hawaii from December through April, with the song interval generally synchronized across all monitoring locations. The broad geographic and seasonal occurrence of this particular fin whale song type may represent a single population broadly distributed throughout the eastern Pacific with no clear seasonal migratory pattern. Previous studies attempting to infer population structure of fin whales in the North Pacific using synchronous individual song samples have been unsuccessful, likely because they did not account for the seasonal lengthening in song intervals observed here.

  13. An unprecedented aggregation of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael de la Parra Venegas

    Full Text Available Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed "the Afuera" that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km(2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts.

  14. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.

    2014-08-12

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize conservation or implement effective management plans. We used empirical recreational data and generalized mixed statistical models to conduct the first economic valuation (with direct spend as the primary proxy) of whale shark tourism in Maldives. We estimated that direct expenditures for whale shark focused tourism in the South Ari Marine Protected Area for 2012 and 2013 accounted for US$7.6 and $9.4 million respectively. These expenditures are based on an estimate of 72,000-78,000 tourists who are involved in whale shark excursions annually. That substantial amount of income to resort owners and operators, and tourism businesses in a relatively small area highlights the need to implement regulations and management that safeguard the sustainability of the industry through ensuring guest satisfaction and whale shark conservation. © 2014 Cagua et al.

  15. An Unprecedented Aggregation of Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus, in Mexican Coastal Waters of the Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Parra Venegas, Rafael; Hueter, Robert; González Cano, Jaime; Tyminski, John; Gregorio Remolina, José; Maslanka, Mike; Ormos, Andrea; Weigt, Lee; Carlson, Bruce; Dove, Alistair

    2011-01-01

    Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are often perceived as solitary behemoths that live and feed in the open ocean. To the contrary, evidence is accumulating that they are gregarious and form seasonal aggregations in some coastal waters. One such aggregation occurs annually north of Cabo Catoche, off Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Here we report a second, much denser aggregation of whale sharks (dubbed “the Afuera”) that occurs east of the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. The 2009 Afuera event comprised the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever reported, with up to 420 whale sharks observed in a single aerial survey, all gathered in an elliptical patch of ocean approximately 18 km2. Plankton studies indicated that the sharks were feeding on dense homogenous patches of fish eggs, which DNA barcoding analysis identified as belonging to little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. This contrasts with the annual Cabo Catoche aggregation nearby, where prey consists mostly of copepods and sergestid shrimp. Increased sightings at the Afuera coincide with decreased sightings at Cabo Catoche, and both groups have the same sex ratio, implying that the same animals are likely involved in both aggregations; tagging data support this idea. With two whale shark aggregation areas, high coastal productivity and a previously-unknown scombrid spawning ground, the northeastern Yucatán marine region is a critical habitat that deserves more concerted conservation efforts. PMID:21559508

  16. Behaviour and kinematics of continuous ram filtration in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, Malene Juul; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2009-01-01

    Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high, or they......Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high......, or they must swim at slow speeds while filtering to reduce drag and oxygen consumption. Using digital tags with three-axis accelerometers, we studied bowhead whales feeding off West Greenland and present here, to our knowledge, the first detailed data on the kinematics and swimming behaviour of a balaenid...... whale filter feeding at depth. Bowhead whales employ a continuous fluking gait throughout the bottom phase of foraging dives, moving at very slow speeds (less than 1 m s-1), allowing them to filter feed continuously at depth. Despite the slow speeds, the large mouth aperture provides a water filtration...

  17. Heavy metals in tissues of stranded short-finned pilot whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoneburner, D.L.

    1978-01-01

    Selected tissues from four short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Cumberland Island National Seashore were analyzed for total cadmium, mercury and selenium by neutron activation. Cadmium reached a maximum mean wet weight concentration of 31.4 ppm in the kidney tissues. Maximum mean wet weight concentrations of mercury, 230.9 ppm, and selenium, 44.2 ppm, were found in the liver tissues. The lowest concentration of each metal was found in the blubber. Postmortem examination showed that the whales had no food in their stomachs. The whales must have been utilizing metabolic reserves, contaminated with residual concentrations of heavy metals, prior to beaching. This utilization of reserves probably resulted in the high concentrations of cadmium, mercury and selenium found in the liver and kidney tissues. Since the heavy metal concentrations were three to four times greater in the stranded whales, as compared to apparently healthy whales of the same species, it is suggested that heavy metal toxicosis may have been a factor contributing to this particular stranding. (Auth.)

  18. Tongue and hyoid musculature and functional morphology of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtius robustus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienle, Sarah S; Ekdale, Eric G; Reidenberg, Joy S; Deméré, Tom A

    2015-04-01

    Little is known about the anatomy and musculature of the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), especially related to the anatomy of the tongue and hyoid region. The recovery of an extremely fresh head of a neonatal female gray whale provided an opportunity to conduct the first in-depth investigation of the musculoskeletal features of the tongue and hyoid apparatus. Unlike other mysticetes, the gray whale tongue is strong, muscular, and freely mobile inside the buccal cavity. In particular, the genioglossus and hyoglossus muscles are extremely large and robust making up the majority of the body of the tongue. In addition, the genioglossus had a unique position and fiber orientation in the tongue compared to other mammals. The structure of the hyoid apparatus differs between E. robustus and other mysticete species, although there are similarities among individual elements. We provide the first documentation of fungiform papillae that may be associated with taste buds in Mysticeti. The highly mobile, robust tongue and the presence of well-defined tongue and hyoid musculature are in keeping with observations of gray whale feeding that suggest this group of whales utilize oral suction to draw benthic prey into the buccal cavity. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Disturbance-specific social responses in long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Fleur; Curé, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter H.; Lam, Frans-Peter A.; Tyack, Peter L.; Miller, Patrick J. O.

    2016-06-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance: tagging effort and naval sonar exposure. The acoustic scene and diving behaviour of tagged individuals were recorded along with the social behaviour of their groups. All three disturbance types resulted in larger group sizes, increasing social cohesion during disturbance. However, the nature and magnitude of other responses differed between disturbance types. Tagging effort resulted in a clear increase in synchrony and a tendency to reduce surface logging and to become silent (21% of cases), whereas pilot whales increased surface resting during sonar exposure. Killer whale sounds elicited increased calling rates and the aggregation of multiple groups, which approached the sound source together. This behaviour appears to represent a mobbing response, a likely adaptive social defence against predators or competitors. All observed response-tactics would reduce risk of loss of group coordination, suggesting that, in social pilot whales, this could drive behavioural responses to disturbance. However, the behavioural means used to achieve social coordination depends upon other considerations, which are disturbance-specific.

  20. A MIDDLE MIOCENE BALEEN WHALE FROM BELE VODE IN BELGRADE, SERBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAVEL GOL’DIN

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There was a fauna of baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti in the Central Paratethys, a Miocene water body which covered the area of present-day Central Europe. Most of the fossil baleen whales from the Central Paratethys have been found in strata assigned to the regional Badenian age and comprise endemic forms, known only from this region. Here a new description is provided for a fragmentary skeleton of a whale found in Belgrade, Serbia, and its age context and biological aspects are discussed. This specimen, consisting of a fragmentary horizontal ramus of the mandible and eight caudal vertebrae, is tentatively identified as ?Parietobalaena sp., a globally known Miocene taxon, with related forms having been recorded earlier from the Eastern Paratethys. An early Sarmatian age (i.e., about 12.7-12.4 Ma is proposed for the specimen. Based on epiphyseal fusion of caudal vertebrae, the specimen’s age is identified as a subadult, with a body length of around 2.5 m and an estimated adult body length around 3-3.5 m, which is extremely small for baleen whales. This find represents one of the latest records of baleen whales in the Central Paratethys and one of the latest published records of Parietobalaena-like taxa in the world.

  1. Shallow food for deep divers: Dynamic foraging behavior of male sperm whales in a high latitude habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teloni, Valeria; Johnson, M.P.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2008-01-01

    Groups of female and immature sperm whales live at low latitudes and show a stereotypical diving and foraging behavior with dives lasting about 45 min to depths of between 400 and 1200 m. In comparison, physically mature male sperm whales migrate to high latitudes where little is known about...... their foraging behavior and ecology. Here we use acoustic recording tags to study the diving and acoustic behavior of male sperm whales foraging off northern Norway. Sixty-five hours of tag data provide detailed information about the movements and sound repertoire of four male sperm whales performing 83 dives...... epipelagic prey, is consistent with the hypothesis that male sperm whales may migrate to high latitudes to access a productive, multi-layered foraging habitat....

  2. Prey items and predation behavior of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Nunavut, Canada based on Inuit hunter interviews

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are the most widely distributed cetacean, occurring in all oceans worldwide, and within ocean regions different ecotypes are defined based on prey preferences. Prey items are largely unknown in the eastern Canadian Arctic and therefore we conducted a survey of Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to provide information on the feeding ecology of killer whales. We compiled Inuit observations on killer whales and their prey items via 105 semi-directed interviews conducted in 11 eastern Nunavut communities (Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk regions) from 2007-2010. Results Results detail local knowledge of killer whale prey items, hunting behaviour, prey responses, distribution of predation events, and prey capture techniques. Inuit TEK and published literature agree that killer whales at times eat only certain parts of prey, particularly of large whales, that attacks on large whales entail relatively small groups of killer whales, and that they hunt cooperatively. Inuit observations suggest that there is little prey specialization beyond marine mammals and there are no definitive observations of fish in the diet. Inuit hunters and elders also documented the use of sea ice and shallow water as prey refugia. Conclusions By combining TEK and scientific approaches we provide a more holistic view of killer whale predation in the eastern Canadian Arctic relevant to management and policy. Continuing the long-term relationship between scientists and hunters will provide for successful knowledge integration and has resulted in considerable improvement in understanding of killer whale ecology relevant to management of prey species. Combining scientists and Inuit knowledge will assist in northerners adapting to the restructuring of the Arctic marine ecosystem associated with warming and loss of sea ice. PMID:22520955

  3. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios and mercury concentration in the scalp hair of residents from Taiji, a whaling town

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Hayasaka, Moriaki; Hisamichi, Yohsuke; Kimura, Osamu; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► We analyzed δ 13 C, δ 15 N and Hg in hair from Japanese whale meat-eaters and non-eaters. ► The δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in whale meat-eaters were higher than those in non-eaters. ► The Hg concentration in whale meat-eaters was higher than that in non-eaters. ► A positive correlation was seen between δ 15 N and Hg in whale meat-eaters. ► Consumption of whale meat may increase δ 15 N, δ 13 C and Hg in the scalp hair. -- Abstract: We analyzed stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ 13 C) and nitrogen (δ 15 N) as well as mercury (Hg) concentration in the scalp hair of Japanese who consumed whale meat and those who did not, and investigated the relationships among the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values and Hg concentration. The average δ 15 N and δ 13 C values of whale meat-eaters (10.11‰ and −18.5‰) were significantly higher than those of non-eaters (9.28‰ and −18.9‰), respectively. The average Hg concentration of whale meat-eaters (20.6 μg/g) was significantly higher than that of non-eaters (2.20 μg/g). Significant positive correlations were found between the δ 13 C and δ 15 N values and between the δ 15 N value and Hg concentration in the hair of whale meat-eaters, while the correlation between the δ 15 N value and Hg concentration was not statistically significant in the non-eaters. The consumption of whale meat may increase Hg concentration as well as δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in scalp hair

  4. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus Behavior and Group Dynamics as Observed from an Aircraft off Southern California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Lomac-MacNair

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Group behavior and interactions of endangered blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus have not been systematically studied. Such behavioral data are often overlooked when assessing anthropogenic effects. Yet behavioral data are necessary to compare “normal” behaviors with behavior affected by anthropogenic factors of concern relative to effective management and recovery of blue whales. For a baseline study, we hypothesized that the response variables sighting rate, group size, calf presence and group cohesion (i.e., spacing between individuals within a group differed according to the spatio-temporal explanatory variables behavioral state, time of day, season, water depth and distance from shore. To address our hypotheses, we flew systematic line transect surveys in southern California and collected focal group data. Two sets of data were separately analyzed using different sampling approaches: (1 point sample data associated with the first sighting of a blue whale(s, and (2 extended all-occurrence focal group behavioral sampling data (i.e., focal follows collected on a subsample of all sightings while the aircraft circled at a radial distance of approximately 0.5-1 km and an altitude of 1,500 m for extended periods of 5 – 60 minutes. Chi-square contingency table and G² analyses were used to assess statistical relationships between response and explanatory variables. We conducted 18 one-week-long aerial surveys spanning October 2008 through May 2013 (at least once during every month except December, totaling 87,555 km of observation effort. Seventy blue whale sightings (117 individuals were seen, ranging in size from 1 – 6 whales, and focal follow was performed on over half (55% of these sightings. Results supported our hypotheses that blue whale group characteristics were related to behavioral state and spatio-temporal variables. Sighting rates were significantly highest during summer followed by spring, fall, and winter. Group type differed

  5. Complete mitochondrial genome phylogeographic analysis of killer whales (Orcinus orca) indicates multiple species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morin, Phillip A; Archer, Frederick I.; Foote, Andrew David

    2010-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) currently comprise a single, cosmopolitan species with a diverse diet. However, studies over the last 30 yr have revealed populations of sympatric "ecotypes" with discrete prey preferences, morphology, and behaviors. Although these ecotypes avoid social interactions...... and are not known to interbreed, genetic studies to date have found extremely low levels of diversity in the mitochondrial control region, and few clear phylogeographic patterns worldwide. This low level of diversity is likely due to low mitochondrial mutation rates that are common to cetaceans. Using killer whales...... as a case study, we have developed a method to readily sequence, assemble, and analyze complete mitochondrial genomes from large numbers of samples to more accurately assess phylogeography and estimate divergence times. This represents an important tool for wildlife management, not only for killer whales...

  6. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morten Tange Olsen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, ranging from 0 to 26 years of age. The results suggested a significant correlation between telomere length and age in humpback whales. However, telomere length was highly variable among individuals of similar age, suggesting that telomere length measured by quantitative PCR is an imprecise determinant of age in humpback whales. The observed variation in individual telomere length was found to be a function of both experimental and biological variability, with the latter perhaps reflecting patterns of inheritance, resource allocation trade-offs, and stochasticity of the marine environment.

  7. Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fais, Andrea; Johnson, M.; Wilson, Maria

    2016-01-01

    The sperm whale carries a hypertrophied nose that generates powerful clicks for long-range echolocation. However, it remains a conundrum how this bizarrely shaped apex predator catches its prey. Several hypotheses have been advanced to propose both active and passive means to acquire prey......, including acoustic debilitation of prey with very powerful clicks. Here we test these hypotheses by using sound and movement recording tags in a fine-scale study of buzz sequences to relate the acoustic behaviour of sperm whales with changes in acceleration in their head region during prey capture attempts....... We show that in the terminal buzz phase, sperm whales reduce inter-click intervals and estimated source levels by 1-2 orders of magnitude. As a result, received levels at the prey are more than an order of magnitude below levels required for debilitation, precluding acoustic stunning to facilitate...

  8. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teuten, Emma L.; Reddy, Christopher M.

    2007-01-01

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s

  9. Ancestor-descendant relationships in evolution: origin of the extant pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    Ancestor-descendant relationships (ADRs), involving descent with modification, are the fundamental concept in evolution, but are usually difficult to recognize. We examined the cladistic relationship between the only reported fossil pygmy right whale, †Miocaperea pulchra, and its sole living relative, the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata, the latter represented by both adult and juvenile specimens. †Miocaperea is phylogenetically bracketed between juvenile and adult Caperea marginata in morphologically based analyses, thus suggesting a possible ADR-the first so far identified within baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti). The †Miocaperea-Caperea lineage may show long-term morphological stasis and, in turn, punctuated equilibrium. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. X-ray and neutron tomography on the bony inner ear of baleen whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arlt, Tobias; Wieder, Frank; Hampe, Oliver; Manke, Ingo; Ritsche, Indira; Fahlke, Julia M.

    2018-01-01

    During their evolution whales and dolphins developed a highly specialized hearing organ for orientation in their deep sea territory covering a broad acoustic spectrum. The internal anatomy of the periotic bone, especially the morphology of the cochlea, has a significant influence on the hearing capability of mammals. The bony and fossilized cochleae of several fossil representatives of extinct baleen whales (e.g., Cetotheriidae) and modern rorquals (Balaenopteridae) and right whales, as well as cochleae of an archaeocete and some land mammals are investigated by X-ray and neutron tomography in order to record morphological changes that may be responsible for the development of low frequency hearing. Differences in the cochlear morphology have been determined by means of morphometric parameters, such as the number of turns, the length of the cochlea, and the curvature of the cochlear canal. In particular, X-ray tomography enables a high resolution display of the bony inner ear.

  11. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teuten, Emma L. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: emma.teuten@plymouth.ac.uk; Reddy, Christopher M. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: creddy@whoi.edu

    2007-02-15

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s.

  12. FPGA Implementation of Blue Whale Calls Classifier Using High-Level Programming Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Bahoura

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a hardware-based architecture for automatic blue whale calls classification based on short-time Fourier transform and multilayer perceptron neural network. The proposed architecture is implemented on field programmable gate array (FPGA using Xilinx System Generator (XSG and the Nexys-4 Artix-7 FPGA board. This high-level programming tool allows us to design, simulate and execute the compiled design in Matlab/Simulink environment quickly and easily. Intermediate signals obtained at various steps of the proposed system are presented for typical blue whale calls. Classification performances based on the fixed-point XSG/FPGA implementation are compared to those obtained by the floating-point Matlab simulation, using a representative database of the blue whale calls.

  13. Actor-networking ceta-sociality, or, what is sociological about contemporary whales?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2007-01-01

    theory (ANT) allows for the inclusion of non-human ‘actants' (like whales) into the fabric of sociality. In the ontology of ANT, sociality emerges as semiotic-material configurations of humans, animals and technologies. Starting from a critical review of the work by Adrian Franklin on growing......In contemporary urban Euro-American societies, whales have become hugely popular and iconic creatures, arousing controversies more intense than most other instances of animal politics. How to account sociologically, however, for the dramatic social transformation of whales, from natural resource...... to near-sacrosanct agent, is far from self-evident. This article advocates a change of theoretical perspective, inspired by the work of actor-network theorists Bruno Latour and Michel Callon. Rather than focussing solely on the ‘humanity' of human-animal relations, as does most of sociology, actor-network...

  14. The Painful Side of Trap and Fixed Net Fisheries: Chronic Entanglement of Large Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Moore

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Concern over the well-being of marine mammals at sea has focused on intentional harvests, both in terms of individual welfare and population sustainability. Unintentional mortalities from fishing gear entanglement are primarily seen as a risk to population viability. Additionally, larger whales breaking free of, and subsequently carrying, fixed trap and net gear are subject to a very slow demise, averaging 6 months in the case of the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis. Chronic cases can involve impaired foraging, increased drag, infection, hemorrhage, and severe tissue damage. The individual suffering of these cases appears to be extreme. Thus management measures should go beyond legally mandated conservation measures to include avoidance of such scenarios. Seafood consumers could succeed, where laws have failed, to demand fishing practices that do not kill whales in this manner. The effective absence of such demands would seem to reflect the cryptic nature of these cases to most consumers.

  15. Morphology of beak and tongue of partrigde Rhynchotus rufescens Morfologia do bico e da língua de perdizes Rhynchotus rufescens

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    Juliana Regina Rossi

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Twenty adult partridges Rhynchotus rufescens were used to study the morphology of the beak and the tongue. Lengths of the beak and of the tongue were evaluated, and histologic sections of the tongue were stained routinely with hematoxylin-eosin (HE, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS and Masson’s trichrome stain, later analyzed and described. The beak of the partridge of both sexes are curved, flat, hard and with a sharp extremity, with mean length of 4.90cm for the females and 4,80 for the males. The tongue is characterized by a triangular format with mean length of 1cm for both sexes, and its extremity is presented as a sharp format. Organization of the tongue tissue presents a stratified squamous epithelium with filiform papillae in all surface, mucous glands with ducts that project to the epithelium surface and a hyaline cartilage in the whole length of the tongue, which lays on the skeletal musculature that is guided in several directions.Vinte perdizes Rhynchotus rufescens foram utilizadas para estudar a morfologia do bico e da língua. Os comprimentos do bico e da língua foram avaliados, e secções histológicas foram coradas com Hematoxilina-Eosina (HE, ácido periódico de Schiff (PAS e tricromo de Masson, posteriormente analisadas e descritas. O bico da perdiz em ambos os sexos são curvos, duros e com uma extremidade pontiaguda tendo em média de 4,90cm de comprimento para as fêmeas e 4,80 para os machos. A língua é caracterizada por um formato triangular e possui em média 1cm de comprimento para ambos os sexos, sendo sua extremidade pontiaguda. A organização histológica da língua apresenta epitélio estratificado queratinizado com papilas filiformes em toda a superfície, glândulas mucosas com ductos que se projetam na superfície epitelial e cartilagem hialina em todo o comprimento, localizada sobre a musculatura esquelética, a qual é orientada em várias direções.

  16. Mathematics of pulsed vocalizations with application to killer whale biphonation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Judith C

    2008-05-01

    Formulas for the spectra of pulsed vocalizations for both the continuous and discrete cases are rigorously derived from basic formulas for Fourier analysis, a topic discussed qualitatively in Watkins' classic paper on "the harmonic interval" ["The harmonic interval: Fact or artifact in spectral analysis of pulse trains," in Marine Bioacoustics 2, edited by W. N. Tavogla (Pergamon, New York, 1967), pp. 15-43]. These formulas are summarized in a table for easy reference, along with most of the corresponding graphs. The case of a "pulse tone" is shown to involve multiplication of two temporal wave forms, corresponding to convolution in the frequency domain. This operation is discussed in detail and shown to be equivalent to a simpler approach using a trigonometric formula giving sum and difference frequencies. The presence of a dc component in the temporal wave form, which implies physically that there is a net positive pressure at the source, is discussed, and examples of the corresponding spectra are calculated and shown graphically. These have application to biphonation (two source signals) observed for some killer whale calls and implications for a source mechanism. A MATLAB program for synthesis of a similar signal is discussed and made available online.

  17. Acoustic telemetry reveals cryptic residency of whale sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagua, E Fernando; Cochran, Jesse E M; Rohner, Christoph A; Prebble, Clare E M; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H; Pierce, Simon J; Berumen, Michael L

    2015-04-01

    Although whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) have been documented to move thousands of kilometres, they are most frequently observed at a few predictable seasonal aggregation sites. The absence of sharks at the surface during visual surveys has led to the assumption that sharks disperse to places unknown during the long 'off-seasons' at most of these locations. Here we compare 2 years of R. typus visual sighting records from Mafia Island in Tanzania to concurrent acoustic telemetry of tagged individuals. Sightings revealed a clear seasonal pattern with a peak between October and February and no sharks observed at other times. By contrast, acoustic telemetry demonstrated year-round residency of R. typus. The sharks use a different habitat in the off-season, swimming deeper and further away from shore, presumably in response to prey distributions. This behavioural change reduces the sharks' visibility, giving the false impression that they have left the area. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, year-round residency of unprovisioned, individual R. typus at an aggregation site, and highlight the importance of using multiple techniques to study the movement ecology of marine megafauna. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  18. Estimates of Abundance and Trend of Chilean Blue Whales off Isla de Chiloé, Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Galletti Vernazzani

    Full Text Available Since 1970, blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus have been seen feeding in the waters off southern Chile during the summer and autumn (December to May. Investigation of the genetic, acoustic and morphological characteristics of these blue whales shows that they are a distinct but unnamed subspecies, called the Chilean blue whales. Photo-identification surveys have been conducted in the waters off northwestern Isla Grande de Chiloé, southern Chile from 2004-2012 and Isla Chañaral, central Chile in 2012. Over this time, 1,070 blue whales were encountered yielding, after photo-quality control, 318 and 267 unique photographs of the left and right side of the flank respectively. Using mark-recapture analysis of left and right side photographs collected from Isla Grande de Chiloé (2004-2012, open population models estimate that ~570-760 whales are feeding seasonally in this region. POPAN superpopulation abundance estimates for the same feeding ground in 2012 are 762 (95% confidence intervals, CI = 638-933 and 570 (95% CI 475-705 for left and right side datasets respectively, very similar to results from closed population models. Estimates of trend revealed strong variation in abundance, peaking in 2009 and [suggesting] fluctuating use in the survey area over time, likely related to the density of their prey. High inter-annual return rates suggest a degree of site-fidelity of individuals to Isla Grande de Chiloé and that the number of whales using this feeding ground is relatively small.

  19. Estimating historical eastern North Pacific blue whale catches using spatial calling patterns.

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    Cole C Monnahan

    Full Text Available Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus were exploited extensively around the world and remain endangered. In the North Pacific their population structure is unclear and current status unknown, with the exception of a well-studied eastern North Pacific (ENP population. Despite existing abundance estimates for the ENP population, it is difficult to estimate pre-exploitation abundance levels and gauge their recovery because historical catches of the ENP population are difficult to separate from catches of other populations in the North Pacific. We collated previously unreported Soviet catches and combined these with known catches to form the most current estimates of North Pacific blue whale catches. We split these conflated catches using recorded acoustic calls from throughout the North Pacific, the knowledge that the ENP population produces a different call than blue whales in the western North Pacific (WNP. The catches were split by estimating spatiotemporal occurrence of blue whales with generalized additive models fitted to acoustic call patterns, which predict the probability a catch belonged to the ENP population based on the proportion of calls of each population recorded by latitude, longitude, and month. When applied to the conflated historical catches, which totaled 9,773, we estimate that ENP blue whale catches totaled 3,411 (95% range 2,593 to 4,114 from 1905-1971, and amounted to 35% (95% range 27% to 42% of all catches in the North Pacific. Thus most catches in the North Pacific were for WNP blue whales, totaling 6,362 (95% range 5,659 to 7,180. The uncertainty in the acoustic data influence the results substantially more than uncertainty in catch locations and dates, but the results are fairly insensitive to the ecological assumptions made in the analysis. The results of this study provide information for future studies investigating the recovery of these populations and the impact of continuing and future sources of anthropogenic

  20. Big and slow: phylogenetic estimates of molecular evolution in baleen whales (suborder mysticeti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, J A; Baker, C S; Vant, M; Steel, D J; Medrano-González, L; Palumbi, S R

    2009-11-01

    Baleen whales are the largest animals that have ever lived. To develop an improved estimation of substitution rate for nuclear and mitochondrial DNA for this taxon, we implemented a relaxed-clock phylogenetic approach using three fossil calibration dates: the divergence between odontocetes and mysticetes approximately 34 million years ago (Ma), between the balaenids and balaenopterids approximately 28 Ma, and the time to most recent common ancestor within the Balaenopteridae approximately 12 Ma. We examined seven mitochondrial genomes, a large number of mitochondrial control region sequences (219 haplotypes for 465 bp) and nine nuclear introns representing five species of whales, within which multiple species-specific alleles were sequenced to account for within-species diversity (1-15 for each locus). The total data set represents >1.65 Mbp of mitogenome and nuclear genomic sequence. The estimated substitution rate for the humpback whale control region (3.9%/million years, My) was higher than previous estimates for baleen whales but slow relative to other mammal species with similar generation times (e.g., human-chimp mean rate > 20%/My). The mitogenomic third codon position rate was also slow relative to other mammals (mean estimate 1%/My compared with a mammalian average of 9.8%/My for the cytochrome b gene). The mean nuclear genomic substitution rate (0.05%/My) was substantially slower than average synonymous estimates for other mammals (0.21-0.37%/My across a range of studies). The nuclear and mitogenome rate estimates for baleen whales were thus roughly consistent with an 8- to 10-fold slowing due to a combination of large body size and long generation times. Surprisingly, despite the large data set of nuclear intron sequences, there was only weak and conflicting support for alternate hypotheses about the phylogeny of balaenopterid whales, suggesting that interspecies introgressions or a rapid radiation has obscured species relationships in the nuclear genome.

  1. Size and trends of the bowhead whale, beluga and narwhal stocks wintering off West Greenland

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    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available To assess the size and trends of the abundance of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus, the beluga, or white whale (Delphinapterus leucas, and the narwhal (Monodon monoceros visual aerial surveys were conducted in West Greenland in March 1998 and 1999. An estimated 49 bowhead whales (95% CI: 13 to 188 were present at the surface in 1998. Data from land-based observations enabled correction for bowhead whales that were not available at the surface to be seen during the survey. By applying a rounded average of 80% (SE=3 for submergence an estimate of 246 bowhead whales (95% CI: 62 to 978 in 1998 was obtained. The 76 and 47 sightings of beluga pods in 1998 and 1999, respectively, had distributions similar to those of previous surveys with the highest concentration at the northern edge of the northern part of Store Hellefiskebanke. No belugas were seen in the southernmost area between Maniitsoq and Paamiut. The index estimate of the abundance of belugas comparable with previous surveys was 929 (95% CI: 563 to 1,533 in 1998 and 735 (95% CI: 436 to 1,239 in 1999. When analysing the sightings as a line-transect survey and correcting for whales that were either submerged or at the surface but missed by the observers an estimated 7,941 (95% CI: 3,650 to 17,278 belugas wintered in West Greenland in 1998-1999. The uncorrected estimate of narwhal abundance was 524 (95% CI: 214 to 1,284 and correcting for the same biases as for the belugas gives a total abundance of 2,861 (95% CI: 954 to 8,578 narwhals in 1998-1999.

  2. Adrenal responses of large whales: Integrating fecal aldosterone as a complementary biomarker to glucocorticoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Elizabeth A; Hunt, Kathleen E; Kraus, Scott D; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2017-10-01

    Until now, physiological stress assessment of large whales has predominantly focused on adrenal glucocorticoid (GC) measures. Elevated GC concentrations in feces (fGC) are known to reflect stressful disturbances, such as fishing gear entanglement and human-generated underwater noise, in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). However, there can be considerable variation in GC production as a function of sex and life history stage, which may confound the interpretation of fGC levels. Additionally, GC antibodies used in immunoassays can cross-react with other fecal metabolites (i.e., non-target steroids), potentially influencing fGC data. Here, aldosterone concentrations (fALD; aldosterone and related metabolites) were measured in fecal samples from right whales (total n=315 samples), including samples from identified individuals of known life history (n=82 individual whales), to evaluate its utility as a complementary biomarker to fGC for identifying adrenal activation. Concentrations of fALD were positively correlated with fGCs in right whales (r=0.59, Pwhales, fALD concentrations showed similar patterns to those reported for fGC, with higher levels in pregnant females (35.9±7.6ng/g) followed by reproductively mature males (9.5±0.9ng/g) (Pwhales. The addition of fALD measurement as a biomarker of adrenal activation may help distinguish between intrinsic and external causes of stress hormone elevations in large whales, as well as other free-living wildlife species, providing a more comprehensive approach for associating adrenal activation with specific natural and anthropogenic stressors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Structure and Steroidogenesis of the Placenta in the Antarctic Minke Whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    SASAKI, Motoki; AMANO, Yoko; HAYAKAWA, Daisuke; TSUBOTA, Toshio; ISHIKAWA, Hajime; MOGOE, Toshihiro; OHSUMI, Seiji; TETSUKA, Masafumi; MIYAMOTO, Akio; FUKUI, Yutaka; BUDIPITOJO, Teguh; KITAMURA, Nobuo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract There are few reports describing the structure and function of the whale placenta with the advance of pregnancy. In this study, therefore, the placenta and nonpregnant uterus of the Antarctic minke whale were observed morphologically and immunohistochemically. Placentas and nonpregnant uteri were collected from the 15th, 16th and 18th Japanese Whale Research Programme with Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA) and 1st JARPA II organized by the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, Japan. In the macro- and microscopic observations, the placenta of the Antarctic minke whale was a diffuse and epitheliochorial placenta. The chorion was interdigitated to the endometrium by primary, secondary and tertiary villi, which contained no specialized trophoblast cells such as binucleate cells, and the interdigitation became complicated with the progress of gestation. Furthermore, fetal and maternal blood vessels indented deeply into the trophoblast cells and endometrial epithelium respectively with fetal growth. The minke whale placenta showed a fold-like shape as opposed to a finger-like shape. In both nonpregnant and pregnant uteri, many uterine glands were distributed. The uterine glands in the superficial layer of the pregnant endometrium had a wide lumen and large epithelial cells as compared with those in the deep layer. On the other hand, in the nonpregnant endometrium, the uterine glands had a narrower lumen and smaller epithelial cells than in the pregnant endometrium. In immunohistochemical detection, immunoreactivity for P450scc was detected in most trophoblast cells, but not in nonpregnant uteri, suggesting that trophoblast epithelial cells synthesized and secreted the sex steroid hormones and/or their precursors to maintain the pregnancy in the Antarctic minke whale. PMID:23269486

  4. Fin whale sound reception mechanisms: skull vibration enables low-frequency hearing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted W Cranford

    Full Text Available Hearing mechanisms in baleen whales (Mysticeti are essentially unknown but their vocalization frequencies overlap with anthropogenic sound sources. Synthetic audiograms were generated for a fin whale by applying finite element modeling tools to X-ray computed tomography (CT scans. We CT scanned the head of a small fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus in a scanner designed for solid-fuel rocket motors. Our computer (finite element modeling toolkit allowed us to visualize what occurs when sounds interact with the anatomic geometry of the whale's head. Simulations reveal two mechanisms that excite both bony ear complexes, (1 the skull-vibration enabled bone conduction mechanism and (2 a pressure mechanism transmitted through soft tissues. Bone conduction is the predominant mechanism. The mass density of the bony ear complexes and their firmly embedded attachments to the skull are universal across the Mysticeti, suggesting that sound reception mechanisms are similar in all baleen whales. Interactions between incident sound waves and the skull cause deformations that induce motion in each bony ear complex, resulting in best hearing sensitivity for low-frequency sounds. This predominant low-frequency sensitivity has significant implications for assessing mysticete exposure levels to anthropogenic sounds. The din of man-made ocean noise has increased steadily over the past half century. Our results provide valuable data for U.S. regulatory agencies and concerned large-scale industrial users of the ocean environment. This study transforms our understanding of baleen whale hearing and provides a means to predict auditory sensitivity across a broad spectrum of sound frequencies.

  5. Entanglement is a costly life-history stage in large whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoop, Julie; Corkeron, Peter; Moore, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Individuals store energy to balance deficits in natural cycles; however, unnatural events can also lead to unbalanced energy budgets. Entanglement in fishing gear is one example of an unnatural but relatively common circumstance that imposes energetic demands of a similar order of magnitude and duration of life-history events such as migration and pregnancy in large whales. We present two complementary bioenergetic approaches to estimate the energy associated with entanglement in North Atlantic right whales, and compare these estimates to the natural energetic life history of individual whales. Differences in measured blubber thicknesses and estimated blubber volumes between normal and entangled, emaciated whales indicate between 7.4 × 10 10  J and 1.2 × 10 11  J of energy are consumed during the course to death of a lethal entanglement. Increased thrust power requirements to overcome drag forces suggest that when entangled, whales require 3.95 × 10 9 to 4.08 × 10 10  J more energy to swim. Individuals who died from their entanglements performed significantly more work (energy expenditure × time) than those that survived; entanglement duration is therefore critical in determining whales' survival. Significant sublethal energetic impacts also occur, especially in reproductive females. Drag from fishing gear contributes up to 8% of the 4-year female reproductive energy budget, delaying time of energetic equilibrium (to restore energy lost by a particular entanglement) for reproduction by months to years. In certain populations, chronic entanglement in fishing gear can be viewed as a costly unnatural life-history stage, rather than a rare or short-term incident.

  6. How large is the world's largest fish? Measuring whale sharks Rhincodon typus with laser photogrammetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, C A; Richardson, A J; Marshall, A D; Weeks, S J; Pierce, S J

    2011-01-01

    Laser photogrammetry was found to be a promising new cost-effective technique for measuring free-swimming whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Photogrammetric measurements were more precise than visual size estimates by experienced researchers, with results from the two methods differing by 9· 8 ± 1· 1% (mean ±s.e.). A new metric of total length and the length between the fifth gill and first dorsal fin (r² = 0· 93) is proposed to facilitate easy, accurate length measurements of whale sharks in the field. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  7. Maternal body size and condition determine calf growth rates in southern right whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Fredrik; Vivier, Fabien; Charlton, Claire

    2018-01-01

    The cost of reproduction is a key parameter determining a species' life history strategy. Despite exhibiting some of the fastest offspring growth rates among mammals, the cost of reproduction in baleen whales is largely unknown since standard field metabolic techniques cannot be applied. We...... quantified the cost of reproduction for southern right whales Eubalaena australis over a 3 mo breeding season. We did this by determining the relationship between calf growth rate and maternal rate of loss in energy reserves, using repeated measurements of body volume obtained from unmanned aerial vehicle...... period, and highlights the importance of sufficient maternal energy reserves for reproduction in this capital breeding species....

  8. Characteristics of fin whale vocalizations recorded on instruments in the northeast Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weirathmueller, Maria Michelle Josephine

    This thesis focuses on fin whale vocalizations recorded on ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, using data collected between 2003 and 2013. OBSs are a valuable, and largely untapped resource for the passive acoustic monitoring of large baleen whales. This dissertation is divided into three parts, each of which uses the recordings of fin whale vocalizations to better understand their calling behaviors and distributions. The first study describes the development of a technique to extract source levels of fin whale vocalizations from OBS recordings. Source levels were estimated using data collected on a network of eight OBSs in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The acoustic pressure levels measured at the instruments were adjusted for the propagation path between the calling whales and the instruments using the call location and estimating losses along the acoustic travel path. A total of 1241 calls were used to estimate an average source level of 189 +/-5.8 dB re 1uPa 1m. This variability is largely attributed to uncertainties in the horizontal and vertical position of the fin whale at the time of each call, and the effect of these uncertainties on subsequent calculations. The second study describes a semi-automated method for obtaining horizontal ranges to vocalizing fin whales using the timing and relative amplitude of multipath arrivals. A matched filter is used to detect fin whale calls and pick the relative times and amplitudes of multipath arrivals. Ray-based propagation models are used to predict multipath times and amplitudes as function of range. Because the direct and first multiple arrivals are not always observed, three hypotheses for the paths of the observed arrivals are considered; the solution is the hypothesis and range that optimizes the fit to the data. Ray-theoretical amplitudes are not accurate and solutions are improved by determining amplitudes from the observations using a bootstrap method. Data from ocean bottom

  9. Underwater behavior of sperm whales off Kaikoura, New Zealand, as revealed by a three-dimensional hydrophone array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian; Dawson, Stephen; Vennell, Ross

    2013-10-01

    Observations are presented of the vocal behavior and three dimensional (3D) underwater movements of sperm whales measured with a passive acoustic array off the coast of Kaikoura, New Zealand. Visual observations and vocal behaviors of whales were used to divide dive tracks into different phases, and depths and movements of whales are reported for each of these phases. Diving depths and movement information from 75 3D tracks of whales in Kaikoura are compared to one and two dimensional tracks of whales studied in other oceans. While diving, whales in Kaikoura had a mean swimming speed of 1.57 m/s, and, on average, dived to a depth of 427 m (SD = 117 m), spending most of their time at depths between 300 and 600 m. Creak vocalizations, assumed to be the prey capture phase of echolocation, occurred throughout the water column from sea surface to sea floor, but most occurred at depths of 400-550 m. Three dimensional measurement of tracking revealed several different "foraging" strategies, including active chasing of prey, lining up slow-moving or unsuspecting prey, and foraging on demersal or benthic prey. These movements provide the first 3D descriptions underwater behavior of whales at Kaikoura.

  10. Effects of oceanographic factors on spatial distribution of Whale Shark in Cendrawasih Bay National Park, West Papua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranintyari, Maulida; Sunarto; Syamsuddin, Mega L.; Astuty, Sri

    2018-05-01

    Whale sharks are a leading species in Cendrawasih Bay due to its benign nature and its regular appearance. Recently, whale sharks are vulnerable to scarcity and even extinction. One of the efforts to maintain the existence of the whale shark population is by knowing its spatial distribution. This study aims to analyze how the oceanographic factors affect the spatial distribution of whale sharks in Cendrawasih Bay National Park. The method used in this research is descriptive with the quantitative approach using the Generalized Additive Model (GAM) analysis. The data consisted of the whale shark monitoring data in TNTC taken by WWF-Indonesia, and image data of sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a concentration of Aqua-MODIS, and also sea surface current from Aviso. Analyses were conducted for the period of January 2012 until March 2015. The GAM result indicated that sea surface current was better than the other environment (SST and chlorophyll-a concentration) as an oceanographic predictor of whale shark appearance. High probabilities of the whale shark’s to appear on the surface were observed in sea surface current velocities between 0.30-0.60 m/s, for SST ranged from 30.50-31.80 °C, and for chlorophyll-a concentration ranged from 0.20-0.40 mg/m3.

  11. Environmental DNA (eDNA From the Wake of the Whales: Droplet Digital PCR for Detection and Species Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Scott Baker

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Genetic sampling for identification of species, subspecies or stock of whales, dolphins and porpoises at sea remains challenging. Most samples have been collected with some form of a biopsy dart requiring a close approach of a vessel while the individual is at the surface. Here we have adopted droplet digital (ddPCR technology for detection and species identification of cetaceans using environmental (eDNA collected from seawater. We conducted a series of eDNA sampling experiments during 25 encounters with killer whales, Orcinus orca, in Puget Sound (the Salish Sea. The regular habits of killer whales in these inshore waters allowed us to locate pods and collect seawater, at an initial distance of 200 m and at 15-min intervals, for up to 2 h after the passage of the whales. To optimize detection, we designed a set of oligonucleotide primers and probes to target short fragments of the mitochondrial (mtDNA control region, with a focus on identification of known killer whale ecotypes. We confirmed the potential to detect eDNA in the wake of the whales for up to 2 h, despite movement of the water mass by several kilometers due to tidal currents. Re-amplification and sequencing of the eDNA barcode confirmed that the ddPCR detection included the “southern resident community” of killer whales, consistent with the calls from hydrophone recordings and visual observations.

  12. Multi-Year Impacts of Ecotourism on Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) Visitation at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanzogni, R L; Meekan, M G; Meeuwig, J J

    2015-01-01

    In-water viewing of sharks by tourists has become a popular and lucrative industry. There is some concern that interactions with tourists with ecotourism operations might harm sharks through disruption of behaviours. Here, we analysed five years of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounter data by an ecotourism industry at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to assess the impact of ecotourism interactions on shark visitation, within the context of the biological and physical oceanography of the region. Our data base consisted of 2823 encounter records for 951 individual whale sharks collected by ecotourism operators between 2007 and 2011. We found that total encounters per whale shark and encounters per boat trip increased through time. On average, whale sharks re-encountered in subsequent years were encountered earlier, stayed longer and tended to be encountered more often within a season than sharks that were only encountered in a single year. Sequential comparisons between years did not show any patterns consistent with disturbance and the rate of departure of whale sharks from the aggregation was negatively correlated to the number of operator trips. Overall, our analysis of this multi-year data base found no evidence that interactions with tourists affected the likelihood of whale shark re-encounters and that instead, physical and biological environmental factors had a far greater influence on whale shark visitation rates. Our approach provides a template for assessing the effects of ecotourism interactions and environmental factors on the visitation patterns of marine megafauna over multiple years.

  13. Migratory movements of pygmy blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda between Australia and Indonesia as revealed by satellite telemetry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C Double

    Full Text Available In Australian waters during the austral summer, pygmy blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda occur predictably in two distinct feeding areas off western and southern Australia. As with other blue whale subspecies, outside the austral summer their distribution and movements are poorly understood. In order to describe the migratory movements of these whales, we present the satellite telemetry derived movements of eleven individuals tagged off western Australia over two years. Whales were tracked from between 8 and 308 days covering an average distance of 3,009±892 km (mean ± se; range: 832 km-14,101 km at a rate of 21.94±0.74 km per day (0.09 km-455.80 km/day. Whales were tagged during March and April and ultimately migrated northwards post tag deployment with the exception of a single animal which remained in the vicinity of the Perth Canyon/Naturaliste Plateau for its eight day tracking period. The tagged whales travelled relatively near to the Australian coastline (100.0±1.7 km until reaching a prominent peninsula in the north-west of the state of Western Australia (North West Cape after which they travelled offshore (238.0±13.9 km. Whales reached the northern terminus of their migration and potential breeding grounds in Indonesian waters by June. One satellite tag relayed intermittent information to describe aspects of the southern migration from Indonesia with the animal departing around September to arrive in the subtropical frontal zone, south of western Australia in December. Throughout their migratory range, these whales are exposed to impacts associated with industry, fishing and vessel traffic. These movements therefore provide a valuable tool to industry when assessing potential interactions with pygmy blue whales and should be considered by conservation managers and regulators when mitigating impacts of development. This is particularly relevant for this species as it continues to recover from past exploitation.

  14. Linking Deep-Waer Prey Fields with Odontocete Population Structure and Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    potentially mitigate beaked whale responses to disturbance, providing direct input data to PCOD models for beaked whales • Leverage previous...principles of cetacean foraging ecology and responses to disturbance • Identify key prey metrics for future analyses and incorporation into PCOD

  15. Assessment of current dietary intake of organochlorine contaminants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in killer whales (Orcinus orca) through direct determination in a group of whales in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formigaro, Costanza; Henríquez-Hernandez, Luis A; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Garcia-Hartmann, Manuel; Camacho, María; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2014-02-15

    We determined the levels of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 19 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the plasma of captive adult killer whales and in their food. The goal of this research was the assessment of the dietary exposure of killer whales to these pollutants to gain insight on what is the actual magnitude of the exposure in this species, which is considered among the most contaminated in the planet. Plasma median ∑OCP and ∑PCB contents were 3150.3 and 7985.9 ng g(-1)l.w., respectively. A total of 78.9% of the PCBs were marker-PCBs, and 21.1% were dioxin-like PCBs (6688.7 pg g(-1)l.w. dioxin toxic equivalents). This is the first report of the blood levels of PAHs in killer whales, and their median value was 1023.1 ng g(-1)l.w. In parallel, we also determined the levels of these contaminants in the fish species that are used to feed these animals to estimate the orcas' average daily dietary intake of pollutants. All the contaminants in the fish were detected in the plasma of the killer whales, and proportionality between the intake and the blood levels was observed in all the animals. The calculated intake was extremely high for certain contaminants, which is a concern, giving a glimpse of what possibly occurs in the wild, where exposure to these contaminants can be even higher. Therefore, although many of these chemicals have been banned for decades, even today, the levels of these chemicals could reach very toxic concentrations in the tissues of these endangered animals because of their diet. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Two hegemonies – two technological regimes : American and Norwegian whaling in the 19th and 20th Century

    OpenAIRE

    Basberg, Bjørn L.

    2006-01-01

    The 19th century whaling industry was dominated by the United States while the 20th century industry had its origins in Norway and was dominated for years by that nation. The focus of the paper, is to explore the relationship between the two so-called hegemonic whaling nations. Specifically, we are looking for encounters between the two industries that in one way or another may explain why the Norwegians did not enter into traditional pelagic whaling in the mid 19th century, an...

  17. Visual laterality of calf-mother interactions in wild whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Karenina

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Behavioral laterality is known for a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Laterality in social interactions has been described for a wide range of species including humans. Although evidence and theoretical predictions indicate that in social species the degree of population level laterality is greater than in solitary ones, the origin of these unilateral biases is not fully understood. It is especially poorly studied in the wild animals. Little is known about the role, which laterality in social interactions plays in natural populations. A number of brain characteristics make cetaceans most suitable for investigation of lateralization in social contacts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Observations were made on wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas in the greatest breeding aggregation in the White Sea. Here we show that young calves (in 29 individually identified and in over a hundred of individually not recognized mother-calf pairs swim and rest significantly longer on a mother's right side. Further observations along with the data from other cetaceans indicate that found laterality is a result of the calves' preference to observe their mothers with the left eye, i.e., to analyze the information on a socially significant object in the right brain hemisphere. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Data from our and previous work on cetacean laterality suggest that basic brain lateralizations are expressed in the same way in cetaceans and other vertebrates. While the information on social partners and novel objects is analyzed in the right brain hemisphere, the control of feeding behavior is performed by the left brain hemisphere. Continuous unilateral visual contacts of calves to mothers with the left eye may influence social development of the young by activation of the contralateral (right brain hemisphere, indicating a possible mechanism on how behavioral lateralization may influence species life and welfare. This hypothesis is

  18. The whale barnacle Cryptolepas rhachianecti (Cirripedia: Coronulidae), a phoront of the grey whale Eschrichtius robustus (Cetacea: Eschrichtiidae), from a sandy beach in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosselaers, Mark; Collareta, Alberto

    2016-08-22

    An isolated compartment of a whale barnacle is herein described from Recent beach deposits in Zoutelande (Walcheren, The Netherlands). This specimen is identified as belonging to the extant coronulid species Cryptolepas rhachianecti, currently known as an epizoic symbiont of the grey whale Eschrichtius robustus. This find represents the first occurrence of C. rhachianecti outside the North Pacific, and the first one as a (sub)fossil. In view of the fact that E. robustus, which is currently confined to the North Pacific, is known as a subfossil from the northeastern Atlantic between late Late Pleistocene (c. 45,000 years ago) and historical (c. 1700 AD) times, we propose a similar (late Quaternary) age for the isolated compartment. The find indicates that the extinct late Quaternary northeastern Atlantic population of E. robustus was infected by Cryptolepas rhachianecti. Our find is, therefore, compatible with the hypothesis of an ancient grey whale migration route running between the subtropical/temperate waters of the northeast Atlantic (or Mediterranean Basin), and the cold waters of the Baltic Sea (or southern Arctic Ocean), through the southern North Sea. Finally, we discuss the systematic placement of the fossil barnacle species Cryptolepas murata and propose the possibility of its removal from the genus Cryptolepas pending further investigations.

  19. Climate impacts on transocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alter, S Elizabeth; Meyer, Matthias; Post, Klaas; Czechowski, Paul; Gravlund, Peter; Gaines, Cork; Rosenbaum, Howard C; Kaschner, Kristin; Turvey, Samuel T; van der Plicht, Johannes; Shapiro, Beth; Hofreiter, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Arctic animals face dramatic habitat alteration due to ongoing climate change. Understanding how such species have responded to past glacial cycles can help us forecast their response to today's changing climate. Gray whales are among those marine species likely to be strongly affected by Arctic

  20. Blue whale sightings in Antarctica west of the Greenwich meridian, Januart 2015

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geelhoed, S.C.V.; Feij, B.; Franeker, van J.A.; Herr, H.; Janinhoff, N.; McKay, S.J.; Muller, S.; Thomisch, K.; Verdaat, J.P.; Viquerat, S.

    2015-01-01

    During the RV Polarstern PS 89 (ANT-XXX/2) expedition from Cape Town to Atka Bay and back, 20 sightings of 26 individual blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) were recorded in Antarctic waters west of the Greenwich Meridian between 16-20 January 2015. These observations suggest a more westerly