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Sample records for bottlenose dolphins tursiops

  1. Lobomycosis in Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdett, Leslie G.; McLellan, William; Schwacke, Lori; Rowles, Teri; Terio, Karen A.; Schultz, Stacy; Pabst, Ann

    2009-01-01

    Lacazia loboi, a cutaneous fungus, is found in humans and dolphins from transitional tropical (Florida) and tropical (South America) regions. We report 2 cases of lobomycosis in stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and 1 case of lobomycosis-like disease in 1 free-swimming, pelagic, offshore bottlenose dolphin from North Carolina, where no cases have previously been observed. PMID:19331739

  2. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) faecal microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soverini, Matteo; Quercia, Sara; Biancani, Barbara; Furlati, Stefano; Turroni, Silvia; Biagi, Elena; Consolandi, Clarissa; Peano, Clelia; Severgnini, Marco; Rampelli, Simone; Brigidi, Patrizia; Candela, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Cetaceans have evolved from herbivorous terrestrial artiodactyls closely related to ruminants and hippopotamuses. Delphinidae, a family included in this order, represent an extreme and successful re-adaptation of mammalian physiology to the marine habitat and piscivorous diet. The anatomical aspects of Delphinidae success are well understood, whereas some physiological aspects of their environmental fitness are less defined, such as the gut microbiota composition and its adaptation to their dietary niche. Here, we explored the faecal microbiota structure of nine adult bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and one breast-fed calf living in a controlled environment. According to our findings, dolphins possess a unique microbiota profile within the Mammalia class, highly resembling that of carnivorous marine fishes. The breast-fed calf showed a distinctive compositional structure of the gut microbial ecosystem, which partially overlaps with the mother's milk microbiota. Taken together, our data indicate that in dolphins the adaptation to the marine niche and piscivorous diet involved the convergence of their gut microbiota structure with that of marine fishes, overcoming the gut microbiota phylogenetic inertia previously described in terrestrial mammalians. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Records of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops spp., in New Caledonian waters

    OpenAIRE

    Borsa, Philippe; Andréfouët, Serge; Juncker, Matthieu

    2012-01-01

    International audience; Observations of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops spp. were made opportunistically between 1993 and 2009 in New Caledonian waters (eastern Coral Sea, southwestern Pacific). Two morphotypes, defined from pigmentation patterns, were observed: morphotype-B individuals possessed a distinctive, extensive pale-grey blaze that indents the darker-grey dorsal cape towards the basis of the dorsal fin while morphotype-A individuals lacked it. Morphotype-A bottlenose dolphins occurred...

  4. Iron Indices in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzaro, Lisa M; Johnson, Shawn P; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Greg; Carlin, Kevin P; Jensen, Eric D; Smith, Cynthia R; Andrews, Gordon A; Chavey, Patricia S; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins can have iron overload (that is, hemochromatosis), and managed populations of dolphins may be more susceptible to this disease than are wild dolphins. Serum iron, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation, and ferritin were measured in 181 samples from 141 dolphins in 2 managed collections and 2 free-ranging populations. Although no iron indices increased with age among free-ranging dolphins, ferritin increased with age in managed collections. Dolphins from managed collections had higher iron, ferritin, and transferrin saturation values than did free-ranging dolphins. Dolphins with high serum iron (exceeding 300 μg/dL) were more likely to have elevated ferritin but not ceruloplasmin or haptoglobin, demonstrating that high serum levels of iron are due to a true increase in total body iron. A time-series study of 4 dolphins with hemochromatosis that were treated with phlebotomy demonstrated significant decreases in serum ferritin, iron, and TIBC between pre- and posttreatment samples; transferrin saturation initially fell but returned to prephlebotomy levels by 6 mo after treatment. Compared with those in managed collections, wild dolphins were 15 times more likely to have low serum iron (100 μg/dL or less), and this measure was associated with lower haptoglobin. In conclusion, bottlenose dolphins in managed collections are more likely to have greater iron stores than are free-ranging dolphins. Determining why this situation occurs among some dolphin populations and not others may improve the treatment of hemochromatosis in dolphins and provide clues to causes of nonhereditary hemochromatosis in humans. PMID:23561885

  5. Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus group dynamics, site fidelity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus is one of the most frequently sighted cetacean species in the Madeira Archipelago (North-East Atlantic); however, little is known about its population ecology in these waters. Photo-identification undertaken during systematic, non-systematic and opportunistic surveys conducted ...

  6. The uncertain response in the bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J D; Schull, J; Strote, J; McGee, K; Egnor, R; Erb, L

    1995-12-01

    Humans respond adaptively to uncertainty by escaping or seeking additional information. To foster a comparative study of uncertainty processes, we asked whether humans and a bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) would use similarly a psychophysical uncertain response. Human observers and the dolphin were given 2 primary discrimination responses and a way to escape chosen trials into easier ones. Humans escaped sparingly from the most difficult trials near threshold that left them demonstrably uncertain of the stimulus. The dolphin performed nearly identically. The behavior of both species is considered from the perspectives of signal detection theory and optimality theory, and its appropriate interpretation is discussed. Human and dolphin uncertain responses seem to be interesting cognitive analogs and may depend on cognitive or controlled decisional mechanisms. The capacity to monitor ongoing cognition, and use uncertainty appropriately, would be a valuable adaptation for animal minds. This recommends uncertainty processes as an important but neglected area for future comparative research.

  7. MYCOBACTERIUM ABSCESSUS PNEUMONIA IN AN ATLANTIC BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Leigh Ann; Stamper, M. Andrew; Whitaker, Brent R.; Hadfield, Catherine A.; Simons, Brian; Mankowski, Joseph L.

    2013-01-01

    Mycobacterium abscessus pneumonia was diagnosed antemortem in a 23-yr-old male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Clinical signs included lethargy, hyporexia, coughing, and bloody respiratory discharge. Diagnostic findings included neutrophilic leukocytosis, anemia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and repeated forceful exhaled breath (sputum) cytology, with acute inflammatory cells and acid-fast positive beaded rods. The bacteria were initially identified free in the sputum sample and subsequently were seen within neutrophils. A culture was positive for a rapidly growing, white, colony-forming organism confirmed as M. abscessus by polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Clinical signs initially resolved with multidrug therapy. Concurrent Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection complicated clinical management and contributed to terminal decline. The dolphin was euthanized 5 mo after initial diagnosis. Necropsy results demonstrated acid-fast positive bacteria in lung tissue and supported the diagnosis of M. abscessus pneumonia. Acid-fast stains and mycobacteria cultures should be considered when evaluating ill dolphins. PMID:23272373

  8. Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus at São Tomé Island (São ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Although the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus is one of the most common cetacean species around São Tomé Island, Gulf of Guinea, little research has focused on this species in this region. This study investigated the population of bottlenose dolphins around São Tomé Island by estimating the minimum population ...

  9. Epidermal growth in the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hicks, B.D.; St. Aubin, D.J.; Geraci, J.R.; Brown, W.R.

    1985-07-01

    Epidermal growth in two mature female bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, was investigated by following the movement of a cohort of tritiated thymidine-labeled epidermal cells for 59 days. The majority of the cells migrated in a cluster which was estimated to reach the skin surface in 73 days. The authors calculate that the outermost cell layer is sloughed 12 times per day. Turnover time and sloughing rate are estimated to be 1.7 times longer and 8.5 times faster than the respective values for epidermal cell kinetics in humans. This apparent inconsistency of slow transit time and rapid sloughing rate is reconciled by the convoluted structure of the stratum germinativum in the dolphin which results in a ratio of germinatival to superficial cells of 876:1. The stratum germinativum of dolphin epidermis appears to lack morphologically distinct, spatially segregated subpopulations of anchoring and stem cells. Dolphin epidermis has a large capacity for cell population, relatively long turnover time, and rapid sloughing rate. The adaptive advantages of these characteristics are discussed.

  10. Conceptive Estrus Behavior in Three Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holley Muraco

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus are a highly promiscuous species that routinely engage in socio-sexual interactions, yet relatively little has been reported about actual estrus behavior. For this study of three female dolphins located at two aquarium facilities, 20 reproductive behaviors were investigated during three conceptive estrous cycles with known endocrinology. Reproductive behaviors increased with estradiol levels and peak occurrences of behaviors were observed during the luteinizing hormone (LH surge. Two novel behaviors were observed: (1 genital tracking, an investigatory-type behavior, and (2 immobility, a novel form of standing heat estrus. These behaviors appeared to communicate reproductive readiness and increased copulation success. A total of 314 occurrences of estrus behavior were recorded in 10 hours of footage from the three focal females, and copulation spanned from day -9 to day 0 in one dominant female. Sexual interactions during estrus included female-to-female, immature male-to-female, mature male-to-immature male and masturbation with toys. During estrus, focal females received more behavioral attention than they initiated, and passive and active dorsal fin mounting between females was the most frequent behavior. These dolphins showed behavioral patterns similar to those reported in estrus cows where genitals are nuzzled, females mount and are mounted by other females, and standing heat intensity increases as LH levels rise.

  11. Spontaneous prosocial choice by captive bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakahara, Fumio; Komaba, Masayuki; Sato, Ryoichi; Ikeda, Hisako; Komaba, Kumiko; Kawakubo, Akihiro

    2017-02-01

    Dolphins exhibit prosocial behavior across several different contexts. However, only a few experimental studies have investigated the psychological mechanisms underlying this behavior. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying prosociality in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). In the experiments, water shower devices, developed as environmental enrichment items, were used. Two paradigms were used to measure prosociality. The first was the prosocial choice task, involving the subject typically being offered one choice between two options. The first option provided a reward (take a shower) to both the subject and partner (prosocial choice). The second option provided a reward only to the subject (selfish choice). The second paradigm was the giving assistance task, involving the subject being provided a choice between providing instrumental help to the partner (prosocial choice) or doing nothing. It was observed that the subjects chose the prosocial choices in both paradigms. In these experiments, prosocial choices were spontaneously taken without requests from the partners. These results indicated that the dolphins show preference for other-regarding behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) habitat preference in a heterogeneous, urban, coastal environment

    OpenAIRE

    Cribb, Nardi; Miller, Cara; Seuront, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Background Limited information is available regarding the habitat preference of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in South Australian estuarine environments. The need to overcome this paucity of information is crucial for management and conservation initiatives. This preliminary study investigates the space-time patterns of habitat preference by the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin in the Port Adelaide River-Barker Inlet estuary, a South Australian, urbanised, coastal envi...

  13. Object manipulation and play behavior in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) under human care

    OpenAIRE

    Delfour, Fabienne

    2017-01-01

    Cetaceans are well-known to display various play activities: numerous scientific papers have documented this phenomenon in wild populations and for delphinids under human care. The present study describes analyses of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) interactions with man-made objects introduced to their habitat as part of an environmental enrichment program. At Parc Asterix Delphinarium (France), 9 bottlenose dolphins were presented with 21 different objects. During 17 hours and using ...

  14. Stomach content analysis of one bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, Montague 1821) from the Adriatic Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Mioković, Danijela; Kovačić, Darko; Pribanić, Sandra

    1999-01-01

    This paper presents data on the prey of one bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Adriatic Sea and a comparison with other findings about the feeding of this species in the Mediterranean. The stomach contents of this bottlenose dolphin caught in a fishing net in the area near the town of Šibenik in December 1995 were examined. In the prey we identified 3 species of fish (conger eel, Conger conger; hake, Merluccius merluccius and pandora, Pagellus erythrinus) and one cephalopod specie...

  15. Interactions between bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and fishing activites in the northern adriatic sea

    OpenAIRE

    Kotnjek, Polona

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between cetaceans (Cetacea) and fisheries are a widespread occurrence in the Mediterranean Sea and worldwide, effects of which range from positive to negative for one or both sides involved. We studied interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and different types of trawlers in the Gulf of Trieste and adjacent waters, as part of a long-term study on bottlenose dolphin ecology and conservation. We carried out visual boat- and land-based surveys between 2...

  16. Shark predation on Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins Tursiops ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The incidence of shark induced scars on Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins caught in gill nets off Natal, on the south-east coast of southern Africa, was monitored between January 1983 and June 1987. The occurrence of dolphin remains in sharks caught in these nets between January 1980 and December 1985 was also ...

  17. Source parameters of echolocation clicks from wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus and Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlberg, Magnus; Jensen, Frants H; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Beedholm, Kristian; Bejder, Lars; Oliveira, Cláudia; Rasmussen, Marianne; Simon, Malene; Villadsgaard, Anne; Madsen, Peter T

    2011-10-01

    The Indian Ocean and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus and Tursiops truncatus) are among the best studied echolocating toothed whales. However, almost all echolocation studies on bottlenose dolphins have been made with captive animals, and the echolocation signals of free-ranging animals have not been quantified. Here, biosonar source parameters from wild T. aduncus and T. truncatus were measured with linear three- and four-hydrophone arrays in four geographic locations. The two species had similar source parameters, with source levels of 177-228 dB re 1 μPa peak to peak, click durations of 8-72 μs, centroid frequencies of 33-109 kHz and rms bandwidths between 23 and 54 kHz. T. aduncus clicks had a higher frequency emphasis than T. truncatus. The transmission directionality index was up to 3 dB higher for T. aduncus (29 dB) as compared to T. truncatus (26 dB). The high directionality of T. aduncus does not appear to be only a physical consequence of a higher frequency emphasis in clicks, but may also be caused by differences in the internal properties of the sound production system. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America

  18. Directionality of Sexual Activities During Mixed-Species Encounters between Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    OpenAIRE

    Denise L. Herzing; Elliser, Cindy R.

    2013-01-01

    In the Bahamas, interspecific groups of Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, and bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, have been observed underwater since 1985 on Little Bahama Bank. Mixed-species groups engage in associative behaviors and aggression on a regular basis. Because of their complex cognitive behaviors and large brain encephalization, dolphins are likely capable of complex social interactions, even between species.Between 1993-2003, 177 Mixed-Species Encounters (MSE) ...

  19. Feeding and growth in a captive-born bottlenose dolphin Tursiops ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1991-06-12

    Jun 12, 1991 ... The feeding and growth of a captive-born bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus calf were studied for 30 months post partum. Changes in the behaviours associated with suckling were monitored and suggested that the mammary glands need tactile stimulation before the calf can feed. The calf exhibited no ...

  20. New polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellites improve scoring accuracy in the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nater, Alexander; Kopps, Anna M.; Kruetzen, Michael

    We isolated and characterized 19 novel tetranucleotide microsatellite markers in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in order to improve genotyping accuracy in applications like large-scale population-wide paternity and relatedness assessments. One hundred T. aduncus from Shark

  1. Feeding and growth in a captive-born bottlenose dolphin Tursiops ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The feeding and growth of a captive-born bottlenose dolphin Tursiops trunatus calf were studied for 30 months post partum. Changes in the behaviours associated with suckling were monitored and suggested that the mammary glands need tactile stimulation before the calf can feed. The calf exhibited no teat preference ...

  2. Intestinal helminth fauna of bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus and common dolphin Delphinus delphis from the western Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiñones, Ruth; Giovannini, Anna; Raga, J Antonio; Fernández, Mercedes

    2013-06-01

    We report on the intestinal helminth fauna of 15 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus and 6 short-beaked common dolphins Delphinus delphis from the western Mediterranean. Eight helminth species were found in bottlenose dolphin, i.e., the digeneans Synthesium tursionis, Brachycladium atlanticum, and Pholeter gastrophilus, the nematode Anisakis sp., and the cestodes Tetrabothrius forsteri, Diphyllobothrium sp., Strobilocephalus triangularis, and tetraphyllidean plerocercoids. Brachycladium atlanticum, S. triangularis , and tetraphyllidean plerocercoids are new host records. No T. forsteri had previously been reported in Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins. Three species of helminths were recorded in the common dolphin, i.e., the digenean Synthesium delamurei (which was a new host record), and the cestodes T. forsteri and tetraphyllidean plerocercoids. The intestinal helminth communities of bottlenose and common dolphins are depauperate, similar to that of other cetacean species, but those from bottlenose dolphins harbored a higher number of helminth species. This study supports the notion that oceanic cetaceans, such as common dolphins, have a comparatively poorer helminth fauna than that of neritic species, such as bottlenose dolphins, because the likelihood of parasite recruitment is decreased.

  3. Evaluation of live fish as an echolocation enrichment for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    OpenAIRE

    Karczmarz, Veronika

    2016-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) kept in zoos and dolphinarias rarely get an outlet for their echolocation abilities as their pool environment is often quite barren. Not much research has been carried out on enrichments promoting echolocation for dolphins in human care. In the present study a setup with live fish was compared to a setup with air-filled floats (providing strong sonar targets, similar to the swim bladders of large fish) and a control setup. A PCL (porpoise click logger)...

  4. Genetic isolation of a now extinct population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    OpenAIRE

    Nichols, Courtney; Herman, Jerry; Gaggiotti, Oscar E.; Dobney, Keith M.; Parsons, Kim; Hoelzel, A. Rus

    2007-01-01

    A number of dolphin species, though highly mobile, show genetic structure among parapatric and sometimes sympatric populations. However, little is known about the temporal patterns of population structure for these species. Here, we apply Bayesian inference and data from ancient DNA to assess the structure and dynamics of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations in the coastal waters of the UK. We show that regional population structure in UK waters is consistent with earlier studi...

  5. Effects of Ocean Recreational Users on Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Santa Monica Bay, California

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Amber D. Fandel; Maddalena Bearzi; Taylor C. Cook

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have been observed in proximity to swimmers, kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders and surfers along near-shore corridors in the Santa Monica Bay, California...

  6. Biosonar adjustments to target range of echolocating bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in the wild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand; Bejder, Lars; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2009-01-01

    intervals, and source levels of wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) by recording regular (non-buzz) echolocation clicks with a linear hydrophone array. Dolphins clicked faster with decreasing distance to the array, reflecting a decreasing delay between the outgoing echolocation click and the returning...... longer than a few body lengths of the dolphin. Source level estimates drop with reducing range between the echolocating dolphins and the target as a function of 17 log(R). This may indicate either (1) an active form of time-varying gain in the biosonar independent of click intervals or (2) a bias...

  7. The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a Model to Understand Variation in Stress and Reproductive Hormones Measures in Relation to Sampling Matrix, Demographics, and Environmental Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ) as a Model to...2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE The Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ) as a Model to Understand Variation in Stress and Reproductive Hormones...Schwacke LH, Smith CR, Townsend FI, Wells RS, Hart LB, et al. (2014) Health of Common Bottlenose Dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) in Barataria Bay

  8. The Gulf of Ambracia's Common Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus: A Highly Dense and yet Threatened Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalvo, J; Lauriano, G; Hammond, P S; Viaud-Martinez, K A; Fossi, M C; Natoli, A; Marsili, L

    The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is the only cetacean present in the semiclosed waters of the Gulf of Ambracia, Western Greece. This increasingly degraded coastal ecosystem hosts one of the highest observed densities in the Mediterranean Sea for this species. Photo-identification data and tissue samples collected through skin-swabbing and remote biopsy sampling techniques during boat-based surveys conducted between 2006 and 2015 in the Gulf, were used to examine bottlenose dolphin abundance, population trends, site fidelity, genetic differentiation and toxicological status. Bottlenose dolphins showed high levels of year-round site fidelity throughout the 10-year study period. Dolphin population estimates mostly fell between 130 and 170 with CVs averaging about 10%; a trend in population size over the 10 years was a decline of 1.6% per year (but this was not significant). Genetic differentiation between the bottlenose dolphins of the Gulf and their conspecifics from neighbouring populations was detected, and low genetic diversity was found among individuals sampled. In addition, pesticides where identified as factors posing a real toxicological problem for local bottlenose dolphins. Therefore, in the Gulf of Ambracia, high dolphin density does not seem to be indicative of favourable conservation status or pristine habitat. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  9. Modified Endoscopic Removal of Foreign Objects from the Forestomach of a Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Yeon Eo, Yong-Gu Yeo and Oh-Deog Kwon*

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We report on the removal of foreign objects from the forestomach of a 200 kg adult male common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus in the Seoul zoo using a modified stainless steel hook and flexible wire snare attached to a gastrointestinal fiberoptic endoscope. The foreign bodies included a 10 × 3.5 cm plastic tube, 4 × 2.0 cm stainless steel pipe, brush, and concrete debris. Our technique using a stainless steel wire hook and snare attached to a gastroscope can be used to remove foreign objects from the forestomach of common bottlenose dolphins.

  10. Whistle Matching in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janik, Vincent M.

    2000-08-01

    Dolphin communication is suspected to be complex, on the basis of their call repertoires, cognitive abilities, and ability to modify signals through vocal learning. Because of the difficulties involved in observing and recording individual cetaceans, very little is known about how they use their calls. This report shows that wild, unrestrained bottlenose dolphins use their learned whistles in matching interactions, in which an individual responds to a whistle of a conspecific by emitting the same whistle type. Vocal matching occurred over distances of up to 580 meters and is indicative of animals addressing each other individually.

  11. Pathogen surveillance in wild bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaing, Crystal; Thissen, James B; Gardner, Shea; McLoughlin, Kevin; Slezak, Tom; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A

    2015-10-16

    The number and prevalence of diseases is rapidly increasing in the marine ecosystem. Although there is an increase in the number of marine diseases observed world-wide, current understanding of the pathogens associated with marine mammals is limited. An important need exists to develop and apply platforms for rapid detection and characterization of pathogenic agents to assess, prevent and respond to disease outbreaks. In this study, a broad-spectrum molecular detection technology capable of detecting all sequenced microbial organisms, the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array, was used to assess the microbial agents that could be associated with wild Atlantic dolphins. Blowhole, gastric, and fecal samples from 8 bottlenose dolphins were collected in Charleston, SC, as part of the dolphin assessment effort. The array detected various microbial agents from the dolphin samples. Clostridium perfringens was most prevalent in the samples surveyed using the microarray. This pathogen was also detected using microbiological culture techniques. Additionally, Campylobacter sp., Staphylococcus sp., Erwinia amylovora, Helicobacter pylori, and Frankia sp. were also detected in more than one dolphin using the microarray, but not in culture. This study provides the first survey of pathogens associated with 3 tissue types in dolphins using a broad-spectrum microbial detection microarray and expands insight on the microbial community profile in dolphins.

  12. The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a Model to Understand Variation in Stress and Reproductive Hormone Measures in Relation to Sampling Matrix, Demographics, and Environmental Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. FINAL REPORT The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus...indicators and methods to quantify chronic stress in bottlenose dolphins . Much research had focused on the stimuli which induce stress in marine mammals, as...mammals was essential for understanding risks and long- term consequences for populations. OBJECTIVES Using the bottlenose dolphin as a model

  13. A common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prey handling technique for marine catfish (Ariidae) in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Ronje, Errol I.; Barry, Kevin P.; Sinclair, Carrie; Grace, Mark A.; Barros, N?lio; Allen, Jason; Balmer, Brian; Panike, Anna; Toms, Christina; Keith D. Mullin; Wells, Randall S.

    2017-01-01

    Few accounts describe predator-prey interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Montagu 1821) and marine catfish (Ariopsis felis Linnaeus 1766, Bagre marinus Mitchill 1815). Over the course of 50,167 sightings of bottlenose dolphin groups in Mississippi Sound and along the Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico, severed catfish heads were found floating and exhibiting movements at the surface in close proximity to 13 dolphin groups that demonstrated feeding behavior. Thes...

  14. Lacaziosis-like disease among bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus photographed in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bessesen, Brooke L; Oviedo, Lenin; Burdett Hart, Leslie; Herra-Miranda, David; Pacheco-Polanco, Juan Diego; Baker, Lesli; Saborío-Rodriguez, Guido; Bermúdez-Villapol, Luis; Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Alejandro

    2014-01-16

    Lacaziosis (also known as lobomycosis) is a chronic dermal disease caused by the fungal agent Lacazia loboi, which affects both humans and dolphins. Photographic data have been used to identify lacaziosis-like disease (LLD) among dolphins in the waters of North and South America, and here we report LLD in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus off the coast of Costa Rica, the first reporting in Central American waters. During the periods of 1991 to 1992 and 2010 to 2011, 3 research teams conducted separate dolphin surveys in the Pacific tropical fiord Golfo Dulce, and each documented skin lesions in the resident population of bottlenose dolphins. Photo-ID records were used to identify LLD-affected bottlenose dolphins and to assess their lesions. Findings showed between 13.2 and 16.1% of the identified dolphins exhibited lesions grossly resembling lacaziosis. By combining efforts and cross-referencing photographic data, the teams explored the presence of LLD in Golfo Dulce over a time gap of approximately 20 yr. Our findings expand the geographical range of the disease and offer insight into its longevity within a given population of dolphins.

  15. In vitro PFOS exposure on immune endpoints in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Jena R; Peden-Adams, Margie M; White, Natasha D; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A

    2014-06-01

    Previous studies in our lab have shown that perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) modulates immune function in mice and correlates with many immune parameters in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). In this study, bottlenose dolphin peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) and adult female B6C3F1 mouse splenocytes were exposed to environmentally relevant PFOS concentrations (0-5 µg ml(-1)) in vitro; and natural killer (NK) cell activity and lymphocyte proliferation (T and B cell) were assessed using the parallelogram approach for risk assessment. The objectives were: to corroborate results from the correlative studies in bottlenose dolphins with in vitro PFOS exposures; to evaluate the sensitivity of the mouse model as compared with bottlenose dolphins; and to assess risk using the parallelogram approach. In mouse cells, NK cell activity was decreased at in vitro doses of 0.01, 0.5, 0.1, 0.5 and 1 µg PFOS ml(-1) and increased at 5 µg ml(-1). Additionally, B cell proliferation was not altered, but T cell proliferation was decreased at all in vitro PFOS exposures. In dolphin cells, NK cell activity and T cell proliferation were not altered by in vitro PFOS exposure, but B cell proliferation exhibited a positive association in relation to PFOS dose. Overall, the data indicates that: the in vitro exposures of bottlenose dolphin PBLs exhibited results similar to reported correlative fields studies; that mice were generally more sensitive (for these selected endpoints) than were dolphins; and that the parallelogram approach could be used two-thirds of the time to predict the effects in bottlenose dolphins. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Drivers of population structure of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Genov, Tilen; Holcer, Draško; Fortuna, Caterina Maria; Gaspari, Stefania; Scheinin, A. P.; Natali, Chiara; Frantzis, Alexandros; Chelazzi, Guido; Moura, André E.

    2015-01-01

    The drivers of population differentiation in oceanic high dispersal organisms, have been crucial for research in evolutionary biology. Adaptation to different environments is commonly invoked as a driver of differentiation in the oceans, in alternative to geographic isolation. In this study, we investigate the population structure and phylogeography of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mediterranean Sea, using microsatellite loci and the entire mtDNA control region. By furthe...

  17. Sex, Age, and Individual Differences in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Response to Environmental Enrichment

    OpenAIRE

    Holli C. Eskelinen; Kelley A. Winship; Jill L. Borger-Turner

    2015-01-01

    Application of environmental enrichment, as a means to successfully decrease undesired behaviors (e.g., stereotypic) and improve animal welfare, has been documented in a variety of zoological species. However, a dearth of empirical evidence exists concerning age, sex, and individual differences in response to various types of enrichment tools and activities in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This study involved a comparative assessment of enrichment participation of three r...

  18. Spontaneous Ejaculation in a Wild Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)

    OpenAIRE

    Tadamichi Morisaka; Mai Sakai; Kazunobu Kogi; Akane Nakasuji; Kasumi Sakakibara; Yuria Kasanuki; Motoi Yoshioka

    2013-01-01

    Spontaneous ejaculation, which is defined as the release of seminal fluids without apparent sexual stimulation, has been documented in boreoeutherian mammals. Here we report spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), and present a video of this rare behavior. This is the first report of spontaneous ejaculation by an aquatic mammal, and the first video of this behavior in animals to be published in a scientific journal.

  19. Spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadamichi Morisaka

    Full Text Available Spontaneous ejaculation, which is defined as the release of seminal fluids without apparent sexual stimulation, has been documented in boreoeutherian mammals. Here we report spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus, and present a video of this rare behavior. This is the first report of spontaneous ejaculation by an aquatic mammal, and the first video of this behavior in animals to be published in a scientific journal.

  20. Evolution and the pathology of deep diving in the Bottlenosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) (Notes on Cetacea, Delphinoidea V)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Purves, P.E.; Bree, van P.J.H.

    1972-01-01

    Cadenat (1959) and Rancurel (1964) produced strong indirect evidence that off the west coast of Africa, the Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, is in the habit of diving very deeply, possibly down to 600 m. Examination of the skulls of fully adult specimens of Tursiops taken off Dakar and St.

  1. The Development of Social Play in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus

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    Angela D. Mackey

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available For the young of many species, social play is an important aspect of development. Previous research has shown that bottlenose dolphin calves engage in social play early in life. Despite these observations, little is known about the development of social play in this species. The present study examined the social play behavior of three aquarium-housed bottlenose dolphin calves during their first year of life. We were particularly interested in the partner with whom each calf played as well as the initiator of social play bouts. Each calf was observed from birth until the end of its first year and all bouts of social and solitary play were recorded during observation sessions. While the calves engaged in both social and solitary play throughout their first year, play became increasingly social as they aged. The calves also became more likely to initiate social play interactions with increasing age. A calf’s first social play partner was typically its mother, but other calves quickly replaced the mother as the most common play partner. When it came to play partner preferences, we found that calves of similar age were preferred as play partners, but age similarity became less characteristic of play partners as the calves grew older. These findings likely reflect changes in the developmental competence of each of the calves individually, and support the notion that calves use social play to challenge themselves.

  2. Vitamin blood concentration and vitamin supplementation in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in European facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimmel, Angela Emilia Ricarda; Baumgartner, Katrin; Liesegang, Annette

    2016-09-05

    As fish eaters bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in human care need to receive daily vitamin supplementation, because whole thawed fish lacks certain vitamins. However, the exact concentration of supplementation has not been established and is a matter of discussion. To ensure adequate vitamin supplementation in pets, vitamin blood concentrations are measured. This is not a common practice in dolphins. The objective of the present study was to collect information about vitamin supplementation in bottlenose dolphins and on vitamin blood concentrations of healthy animals in European facilities. In addition, these results were compared with blood levels of wild animals. Conclusions on how to provide bottlenose dolphins in human care with an effective vitamin supplementation will then be drawn. Initially, fish-handling techniques and vitamin supplementation were evaluated by questionnaire, which was sent to 25 European facilities that house bottlenose dolphins. Secondly, blood samples from 57 dolphins living in 10 facilities were taken and sent by mail to a reference laboratory. They were analysed for retinol, thiamine pyrophosphate, cobalamin, calcidiol and tocopherol. The blood concentrations were then correlated with vitamin supplementation, fish handling techniques and pre-existing blood concentrations of free-ranging dolphins. Finally, the data was subjected to a standard analysis of variance techniques (ANOVA) and a linear model analysis. Fish was mainly thawed in a refrigerator. Further, the 95 % confidence interval for retinol blood concentrations was 0.048 to 0.059 mg/l and for tocopherol 17.95 to 20.76 mg/l. These concentrations were 27 and 53 %, respectively, higher than those found in free-ranging animals. In contrast, calcidiol concentrations (143.9-174.7 ng/ml) of the dolphins in human care were lower than in blood found for free-ranging animals. Regarding thiamine pyrophosphate and cobalamin, concentrations ranged between 0.42 and 0.55

  3. The claustrum of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Montagu 1821

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    Bruno eCozzi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The mammalian claustrum is involved in processing sensory information from the environment. The claustrum is reciprocally connected to the visual cortex and these projections, at least in carnivores, display a clear retinotopic distribution. The visual cortex of dolphins occupies a position strikingly different from that of land mammals. Whether the reshaping of the functional areas of the cortex of cetaceans involves also modifications of the claustral projections remains hitherto unanswered.The present topographic and immunohistochemical study is based on the brains of 8 bottlenose dolphins and a wide array of antisera against: calcium-binding proteins (CBPs parvalbumin (PV, calretinin (CR, and calbindin (CB; somatostatin (SOM; neuropeptide Y (NPY; and the potential claustral marker Gng2.Our observations confirmed the general topography of the mammalian claustrum also in the bottlenose dolphin, although a the reduction of the piriform lobe modifies the ventral relationships of the claustrum with the cortex, and b the rotation of the telencephalon along the transverse axis, accompanied by the reduction of the antero-posterior length of the brain, apparently moves the claustrum more rostrally. We observed a strong presence of CR-immunoreactive (-ir neurons and fibers, a diffuse but weak expression of CB-ir elements and virtually no PV immunostaining. This latter finding agrees with studies that report that PV-ir elements are rare in the visual cortex of the same species. NPY- and somatostatin-containing neurons were evident, while the potential claustral markers Gng2 was not identified in the sections, but no explanation for its absence is currently available.Although no data are available on the projections to and from the claustrum in cetaceans, our results suggest that its neurochemical organization is compatible with the presence of noteworthy cortical inputs and outputs and a persistent role in the general processing of the relative

  4. Hemochromatosis and fatty liver disease: building evidence for insulin resistance in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Benham, Celeste; Carlin, Kevin; DeRienzo, Damian; St Leger, Judy

    2012-09-01

    Hemochromatosis in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) is associated with high postprandial plasma insulin levels, suggestive of insulin resistance. In humans, insulin resistance is associated with liver pathologies, including excessive iron deposition and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Dolphin liver tissues, in addition to excessive iron storage, were evaluated for other pathologies supportive of underlying insulin resistance. Archived liver tissues collected postmortem during 1985-2010 from 18 dolphins (median age 27.9 yr, range 0.7-51.4) that were part of the Navy Marine Mammal Program's managed collection were assessed for the presence and severity of hemosiderin deposition, fatty liver disease, and hepatitis. Demographics, clinical pathology values, and percentage weight loss were compared among dolphins with and without these changes. Twelve (66.7%) dolphins had mild to moderate hemosiderin deposition, 7 (38.9%) had mild to severe fatty liver disease, and 11 (61.1%) had mild to moderate hepatitis. Of the 12 dolphins with hemosiderosis, deposition occurred in the Kupffer cells among 11 (91.7%). Dolphins with fatty liver disease were more likely to have higher postprandial serum hyperglycemia (>140 mg/dl), leukocytosis (>11,000 cells/microl), and hyperglobulinemia (>3.5 g/dl). Unlike in many nonhuman terrestrial animals, fatty liver disease was not associated with rapid weight loss or hypoglycemia. Interestingly, there were no significant associations among dolphins with hemosiderosis, fatty liver disease, and hepatitis. This study supports that both hemochromatosis and fatty liver disease were present in the dolphin study population, and histopathology and clinical pathology among these animals suggest a nonhereditary, metabolic etiology. Bottlenose dolphin, fatty liver disease, hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis, hepatic lipidosis, hepatitis, Tursiops truncatus.

  5. Concurrent exposure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus to multiple algal toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Twiner

    Full Text Available Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA, the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA. Over a ten-year study period (2000-2009 we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118 and 53% positive for DA (n = 83 with several individuals (14% testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001 and eosinophil (p<0.001 counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health.

  6. Concurrent Exposure of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to Multiple Algal Toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twiner, Michael J.; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K.; Wells, Randall S.

    2011-01-01

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000–2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (p<0.001) counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health. PMID:21423740

  7. Postmortem evidence of interactions of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with other dolphin species in south-west England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, J; Davison, N; Deaville, R; Monies, R; Loveridge, J; Tregenza, N; Jepson, P D

    2009-10-10

    Reports of violent interactions between bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the coastal waters of the UK are well documented. Examination of stranded cetaceans by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network and the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme has indicated that seven animals, of four other species, found stranded in south-west England, had pathology consistent with bottlenose dolphin interaction, including two juvenile and two adult common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), one juvenile pilot whale (Globicephala melas), one juvenile Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) and one adult striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba). Although recorded traumatic lesions were often not as severe as those found in harbour porpoises, it is probable that the interactions did contribute to stranding and/or death in all four of the juvenile animals examined. Furthermore, analysis of photographs taken before establishment of the Marine Strandings Network revealed rake (teeth) marks consistent with bottlenose dolphin interaction on one stranded common dolphin in 1992. A number of causes have been suggested for these interactions in harbour porpoises stranded in the UK and it is possible that any combination of these factors may also be implicated in the cases described in this report.

  8. Clinicoimmunopathologic findings in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossart, Gregory D; Romano, Tracy A; Peden-Adams, Margie M; Schaefer, Adam; McCulloch, Stephen; Goldstein, Juli D; Rice, Charles D; Fair, Patricia A; Cray, Carolyn; Reif, John S

    2014-02-04

    Sera from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and coastal waters of Charleston (CHS), South Carolina, USA, were tested for antibodies to Chlamydiaceae as part of a multidisciplinary study of individual and population health. A suite of clinicoimmunopathologic variables was evaluated in Chlamydiaceae-seropositive dolphins (n = 43) and seronegative healthy dolphins (n = 83). Fibrinogen, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and absolute numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes, and basophils were significantly higher, and serum bicarbonate, total alpha globulin, and alpha-2 globulin were significantly lower in dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae titers compared with seronegative healthy dolphins. Several differences in markers of innate and adaptive immunity were also found. Concanavalin A-induced T lymphocyte proliferation, lipopolysaccharide-induced B lymphocyte proliferation, and granulocytic phagocytosis were significantly lower, and absolute numbers of mature CD 21 B lymphocytes, natural killer cell activity and lysozyme concentration were significantly higher in dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers compared to seronegative healthy dolphins. Additionally, dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers had significant increases in ELISA antibody titers to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. These data suggest that Chlamydiaceae infection may produce subclinical clinicoimmunopathologic perturbations that impact health. Any potential subclinical health impacts are important for the IRL and CHS dolphin populations, as past studies have indicated that both dolphin populations are affected by other complex infectious and neoplastic diseases, often associated with immunologic perturbations and anthropogenic contaminants.

  9. Comparison of nephrolithiasis prevalence in two bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Rowe Smith

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In humans, ammonium urate nephrolithiasis is rare in the Western hemisphere and more common in Japan and developing countries. Among a variety of risk factors, insulin resistance has been associated with urate nephrolithiasis in people. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus are susceptible to ammonium urate nephrolithiasis, and it is believed that some populations are more likely to develop nephrolithiasis compared to others. In an effort to better understand population-based risk factors for ammonium urate nephrolithiasis in dolphins and their comparative value to humans, sonographic evaluation was performed on dolphins from a managed collection in San Diego Bay, California (n=40 and dolphins from a free-ranging, nearshore population in Sarasota Bay, Florida (n=39 to look for evidence of nephrolithiasis. While 14 (35% of San Diego Bay dolphins evaluated for the study had sonographic evidence of nephrolithiasis, none of the Sarasota Bay dolphins had evidence of disease. Presence or absence of stones was confirmed by computed tomography in a subset of the San Diego collection (n=10; 4 dolphins with stones, 6 without stones. Age was identified as a risk factor, as dolphins with stones in the San Diego collection were significantly older than dolphins without stones (25.4 vs. 19.1 yrs, respectively; p=0.04. Additionally, San Diego dolphins included in the study were significantly older than Sarasota Bay dolphins (21.3 vs. 13.8 yrs, respectively; p=0.008. In addition to the previously reported risk factors of hypocitraturia and hyperinsulinemia in bottlenose dolphins, other potential factors include geographic location, managed versus free-ranging status, prey species, and feeding schedules.

  10. Comparison of Nephrolithiasis Prevalence in Two Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cynthia R; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Wells, Randall S; Johnson, Shawn P; Maffeo, Natalie; Balmer, Brian C; Jensen, Eric D; Townsend, Forrest I; Sakhaee, Khashayar

    2013-01-01

    In humans, ammonium urate (AU) nephrolithiasis is rare in the Western hemisphere and more common in Japan and developing countries. Among a variety of risk factors, insulin resistance has been associated with urate nephrolithiasis in people. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are susceptible to AU nephrolithiasis, and it is believed that some populations are more likely to develop nephrolithiasis compared to others. In an effort to better understand population-based risk factors for AU nephrolithiasis in dolphins and their comparative value to humans, sonographic evaluation was performed on dolphins from a managed collection in San Diego Bay, CA (n = 40) and dolphins from a free-ranging, nearshore population in Sarasota Bay, FL (n = 39) to look for evidence of nephrolithiasis. While 14 (35%) of San Diego Bay dolphins evaluated for the study had sonographic evidence of nephrolithiasis, none of the Sarasota Bay dolphins had evidence of disease. Presence or absence of stones was confirmed by computed tomography in a subset of the San Diego collection (n = 10; four dolphins with stones, six without stones). Age was identified as a risk factor, as dolphins with stones in the San Diego collection were significantly older than dolphins without stones (25.4 vs. 19.1 years, respectively; P = 0.04). Additionally, San Diego dolphins included in the study were significantly older than Sarasota Bay dolphins (21.3 vs. 13.8 years, respectively; P = 0.008). In addition to the previously reported risk factors of hypocitraturia and hyperinsulinemia in bottlenose dolphins, other potential factors include geographic location, managed vs. free-ranging status, prey species, and feeding schedules.

  11. Genetic isolation between coastal and fishery-impacted, offshore bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Simon J; Bryant, Kate A; Kraus, Robert H S; Loneragan, Neil R; Kopps, Anna M; Brown, Alexander M; Gerber, Livia; Krützen, Michael

    2016-06-01

    The identification of species and population boundaries is important in both evolutionary and conservation biology. In recent years, new population genetic and computational methods for estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses in a quantitative manner have emerged. Using a Bayesian framework and a quantitative model-testing approach, we evaluated the species status and genetic connectedness of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) populations off remote northwestern Australia, with a focus on pelagic 'offshore' dolphins subject to incidental capture in a trawl fishery. We analysed 71 dolphin samples from three sites beyond the 50 m depth contour (the inshore boundary of the fishery) and up to 170 km offshore, including incidentally caught and free-ranging individuals associating with trawl vessels, and 273 dolphins sampled at 12 coastal sites inshore of the 50 m depth contour and within 10 km of the coast. Results from 19 nuclear microsatellite markers showed significant population structure between dolphins from within the fishery and coastal sites, but also among dolphins from coastal sites, identifying three coastal populations. Moreover, we found no current or historic gene flow into the offshore population in the region of the fishery, indicating a complete lack of recruitment from coastal sites. Mitochondrial DNA corroborated our findings of genetic isolation between dolphins from the offshore population and coastal sites. Most offshore individuals formed a monophyletic clade with common bottlenose dolphins (T. truncatus), while all 273 individuals sampled coastally formed a well-supported clade of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (T. aduncus). By including a quantitative modelling approach, our study explicitly took evolutionary processes into account for informing the conservation and management of protected species. As such, it may serve as a template for other, similarly inaccessible study populations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Concurrent exposure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to multiple algal toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twiner, Michael J; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S

    2011-03-10

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000-2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (pdolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health.

  13. The ecological conditions that favor tool use and innovation in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric M Patterson

    Full Text Available Dolphins are well known for their exquisite echolocation abilities, which enable them to detect and discriminate prey species and even locate buried prey. While these skills are widely used during foraging, some dolphins use tools to locate and extract prey. In the only known case of tool use in free-ranging cetaceans, a subset of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp. in Shark Bay, Western Australia habitually employs marine basket sponge tools to locate and ferret prey from the seafloor. While it is clear that sponges protect dolphins' rostra while searching for prey, it is still not known why dolphins probe the substrate at all instead of merely echolocating for buried prey as documented at other sites. By 'sponge foraging' ourselves, we show that these dolphins target prey that both lack swimbladders and burrow in a rubble-littered substrate. Delphinid echolocation and vision are critical for hunting but less effective on such prey. Consequently, if dolphins are to access this burrowing, swimbladderless prey, they must probe the seafloor and in turn benefit from using protective sponges. We suggest that these tools have allowed sponge foraging dolphins to exploit an empty niche inaccessible to their non-tool-using counterparts. Our study identifies the underlying ecological basis of dolphin tool use and strengthens our understanding of the conditions that favor tool use and innovation in the wild.

  14. Identification of Lactobacillus strains with probiotic features from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, MA; Bik, EM; Carlin, KP; Venn-Watson, SK; Jensen, ED; Jones, SE; Gaston, EP; Relman, DA; Versalovic, J

    2013-01-01

    Aims In order to develop complementary health management strategies for marine mammals, we used culture-based and culture-independent approaches to identify gastrointestinal lactobacilli of the common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. Methods and Results We screened 307 bacterial isolates from oral and rectal swabs, milk and gastric fluid, collected from 38 dolphins in the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, for potentially beneficial features. We focused our search on lactobacilli and evaluated their ability to modulate TNF secretion by host cells and inhibit growth of pathogens. We recovered Lactobacillus salivarius strains which secreted factors that stimulated TNF production by human monocytoid cells. These Lact. salivarius isolates inhibited growth of selected marine mammal and human bacterial pathogens. In addition, we identified a novel Lactobacillus species by culture and direct sequencing with 96·3% 16S rDNA sequence similarity to Lactobacillus ceti. Conclusions Dolphin-derived Lact. salivarius isolates possess features making them candidate probiotics for clinical studies in marine mammals. Significance and Impact of the Study This is the first study to isolate lactobacilli from dolphins, including a novel Lactobacillus species and a new strain of Lact. salivarius, with potential for veterinary probiotic applications. The isolation and identification of novel Lactobacillus spp. and other indigenous microbes from bottlenose dolphins will enable the study of the biology of symbiotic members of the dolphin microbiota and facilitate the understanding of the microbiomes of these unique animals. PMID:23855505

  15. Preliminary investigation of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for hfe gene-related hemochromatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Brianne E; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Archer, Linda L; Nollens, Hendrik H; Wellehan, James F X

    2014-10-01

    Hemochromatosis (iron storage disease) has been reported in diverse mammals including bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The primary cause of excessive iron storage in humans is hereditary hemochromatosis. Most human hereditary hemochromatosis cases (up to 90%) are caused by a point mutation in the hfe gene, resulting in a C282Y substitution leading to iron accumulation. To evaluate the possibility of a hereditary hemochromatosis-like genetic predisposition in dolphins, we sequenced the bottlenose dolphin hfe gene, using reverse transcriptase-PCR and hfe primers designed from the dolphin genome, from liver of affected and healthy control dolphins. Sample size included two case animals and five control animals. Although isotype diversity was evident, no coding differences were identified in the hfe gene between any of the animals examined. Because our sample size was small, we cannot exclude the possibility that hemochromatosis in dolphins is due to a coding mutation in the hfe gene. Other potential causes of hemochromatosis, including mutations in different genes, diet, primary liver disease, and insulin resistance, should be evaluated.

  16. Serologic response in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus infected with Brucella sp. using a dolphin-specific indirect ELISA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meegan, Jenny; Dunn, J Lawrence; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Smith, Cynthia R; Sidor, Inga; Jensen, Eric D; Van Bonn, William G; Pugh, Roberta; Ficht, Thomas; Adams, L Garry; Nielsen, Klaus; Romano, Tracy A

    2012-12-03

    Marine-origin Brucella infections and serologic evidence of exposure have been documented in multiple cetacean species. A dolphin-specific indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to screen bottlenose dolphin sera for anti-Brucella antibodies. A total of 131 serum samples collected over a 2 to 18 yr period from 6 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus with confirmed Brucella infections were analyzed for the presence and magnitude of antibody titers against marine-origin Brucella to compare individual antibody responses to various disease manifestations. Additionally, an epidemiologic serologic survey of a managed population of 64 bottlenose dolphins was performed to evaluate for the presence of antibodies and to determine whether there were any clinical pathology predictors for exposure or infection. The serologic results revealed that the dolphins with Brucella-associated abortions were seronegative for 7 to 18 yr until after the abortion and maintained positive titers for several years, with 2 of 3 animals returning to seronegative status. In contrast, the dolphins with Brucella-associated pulmonary or bone lesions maintained persistent positive titers for 2 to 18 yr. The population serosurvey revealed no significant differences in antibody levels among males and females, and dolphins between the ages of 17 and 25 yr were 6.8 times more likely to be Brucella antibody positive compared to those that were younger or older. Seropositive dolphins did not have significant inflammation compared to seronegative dolphins but were more likely to have higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. Among 16 dolphins that tested seropositive, 13 (81.3%) had previously been seropositive for at least 3 to 5 yr.

  17. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) habitat preference in a heterogeneous, urban, coastal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Limited information is available regarding the habitat preference of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in South Australian estuarine environments. The need to overcome this paucity of information is crucial for management and conservation initiatives. This preliminary study investigates the space-time patterns of habitat preference by the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin in the Port Adelaide River-Barker Inlet estuary, a South Australian, urbanised, coastal environment. More specifically, the study aim was to identify a potential preference between bare sand substrate and seagrass beds, the two habitat types present in this environment, through the resighting frequency of recognisable individual dolphins. Results Photo-identification surveys covering the 118 km2 sanctuary area were conducted over 2 survey periods May to August 2006 and from March 2009 to February 2010. Sighting frequency of recognisable individual Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins established a significant preference for the bare sand habitat. More specifically, 72 and 18% of the individuals sighted at least on two occasions were observed in the bare sand and seagrass habitats respectively. This trend was consistently observed at both seasonal and annual scales, suggesting a consistency in the distinct use of these two habitats. Conclusions It is anticipated that these results will benefit the further development of management and conservation strategies. PMID:23369354

  18. Morphology of the lymph nodes in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Adriatic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vukovic, Snjezana; Lucić, H; Gomercić, H; Duras Gomercić, Martina; Gomercić, T; Skrtić, Darinka; Curković, Snjezana

    2005-01-01

    Morphology of the lymph nodes was examined in six bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and three striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Adriatic Sea. All animals had been found dead in nature. One group of the nodes was taken from the tracheal branching area and was marked as bifurcational lymph node, and the other group was taken from the mesenteric root and was marked as mesenteric lymph node. Microscopic analysis showed that the lymph nodes in both dolphin species were surrounded by a connective tissue capsule comprising smooth muscle cells. The parenchyma of the mesenteric and bifurcational lymph nodes in bottlenose dolphin was divided into the peripherally situated cortex with the lymphatic nodules and diffuse lymphatic tissue, and the centrally situated medulla structured of the medullary cords separated by the medullary sinuses. These lymph nodes structurally correspond to the lymph nodes in the majority of terrestrial mammals. The mesenteric lymph node of striped dolphin also had a peripherally situated cortex and a centrally positioned medulla as the majority of terrestrial mammals. In the bifurcational lymph nodes of striped dolphin, there was a central dense lymphatic tissue with the lymphatic nodules and a peripheral less dense lymphatic tissue structured of the cell cords and sinuses. The bifurcational lymph node in striped dolphin resembled porcine lymph nodes and belonged to the inverse lymph nodes.

  19. Bubble ring play of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): implications for cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCowan, B; Marino, L; Vance, E; Walke, L; Reiss, D

    2000-03-01

    Research on the cognitive capacities of dolphins and other cetaceans (whales and porpoises) has importance for the study of comparative cognition, particularly with other large-brained social mammals, such as primates. One of the areas in which cetaceans can be compared with primates is that of object manipulation and physical causality, for which there is an abundant body of literature in primates. The authors supplemented qualitative observations with statistical methods to examine playful bouts of underwater bubble ring production and manipulation in 4 juvenile male captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The results are consistent with the hypothesis that dolphins monitor the quality of their bubble rings and anticipate their actions during bubble ring play.

  20. ESTABLISHING MARGINAL LYMPH NODE ULTRASONOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS IN HEALTHY BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS ( TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martony, Molly E; Ivančić, Marina; Gomez, Forrest M; Meegan, Jennifer M; Nollens, Hendrik H; Schmitt, Todd L; Erlacher-Reid, Claire D; Carlin, Kevin P; Smith, Cynthia R

    2017-12-01

    Pulmonary disease has been well documented in wild and managed dolphin populations. The marginal lymph nodes of the dolphin thorax provide lymphatic drainage to the lungs and can indicate pulmonary disease. This study standardized a technique for rapid, efficient, and thorough ultrasonographic evaluation of the marginal lymph nodes in bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus). Thoracic ultrasonography was performed on 29 clinically healthy adult bottlenose dolphins. Reference intervals for lymph node dimensions and ultrasonographic characteristics of marginal lymph nodes were determined from four transducer orientations: longitudinal, transverse, oblique, and an orientation optimized to the ultrasonographer's eye. The relationship between lymph node dimensions and dolphin age, sex, length, weight, origin, and management setting (pool versus ocean enclosure) were also evaluated. The mean marginal lymph nodes measured 5.26 cm in length (SD = 1.10 cm, minimum = 3.04 cm, maximum = 7.61 cm, reference interval [10th to 90th percentiles per node dimension] 3.78-6.55 cm) and 3.72 cm in depth (SD = 0.59 cm, minimum = 2.64, maximum = 5.38 cm, reference interval 2.98-4.50 cm). Sex, dolphin length, weight, and management setting had no effect on lymph node dimensions. Dolphins >30 yr of age had longer node lengths than dolphins 5-10 yr old. Node dimensions did differ between dolphins from various origins. Most commonly, the lymph node was found to be hyperechoic relative to surrounding soft tissues (98%) and to have irregular caudal borders (84%), ill-defined deep borders (83%), flat superficial border (67%), triangular or rounded triangle shape (59%), irregular cranial border (55%), and moderate heterogeneity (34%). The data reported in this study serve as a baseline reference that may contribute to earlier detection of pleural and pulmonary disease of managed and wild cetacean populations.

  1. Fatal Asphyxiation in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolen, Megan; St Leger, Judy; Durden, Wendy Noke; Mazza, Teresa; Nilson, Erika

    2013-01-01

    Multiple single case reports of asphyxiation in dolphins caused by fish lodged in the esophagus exist. However, the significance of this cause of mortality in a single population has not been documented. We performed a retrospective evaluation of pathology records from stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon to evaluate the impact of this cause of death on this population. From 1997 to 2011, asphyxiation due to choking was identified as the cause of death in 14 of 350 cases (4%). Sampling of an unrelated but adjacent population over this same period yielded 186 necropsy cases of bottlenose dolphins with no cases of asphyxiation. Asphyxiated animals presented with a fish lodged in the cranial esophagus associated with a dislocated and obstructed or compressed larynx. There was no clear sex predilection. Affected animals included 12 adults and two juveniles. The fish species involved included sheepshead, black chin tilapia and striped mojarra. In five cases, recreational fishing gear was also present. Cetacean choking is related to selection of prey fish species with strong dorsal spines and may be secondarily associated with fish attached to fishing gear. Prey abundance and dolphin behavior may influence these selections. Environmental alterations leading to changes in prey availability or increased interactions with fishing gear may change the significance of fatal choking in dolphin populations.

  2. Spatial and social sexual segregation patterns in indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Ann Fury

    Full Text Available Sexual segregation seems to be common in bottlenose dolphins, whereby males and females live in different pods that mix mainly for mating. Male dolphins often use aggressive behaviour to mate with females, while females with calves may have different activity and dietary requirements to males and different susceptibility to predation. We investigated the degree of spatial and social sexual segregation in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus in a subtropical estuary in Australia. Based on surveys completed over three years, dolphin groups were mostly mixed-sex or female. Mixed-sex groups were found in larger groups in mostly deeper water, whereas, female groups were foraging across all water depths in smaller groups. Aggressive coercive behaviour by males towards females was high, occurring mainly in deeper water, at higher tides, and outside the breeding season. Habitat use by female dolphin groups suggests that shallow tributaries may provide a sanctuary from aggressive males, access to suitable prey items and density for mothers and their calves, or a combination of these factors.

  3. Fatal Asphyxiation in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from the Indian River Lagoon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Stolen

    Full Text Available Multiple single case reports of asphyxiation in dolphins caused by fish lodged in the esophagus exist. However, the significance of this cause of mortality in a single population has not been documented. We performed a retrospective evaluation of pathology records from stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from the Indian River Lagoon to evaluate the impact of this cause of death on this population. From 1997 to 2011, asphyxiation due to choking was identified as the cause of death in 14 of 350 cases (4%. Sampling of an unrelated but adjacent population over this same period yielded 186 necropsy cases of bottlenose dolphins with no cases of asphyxiation. Asphyxiated animals presented with a fish lodged in the cranial esophagus associated with a dislocated and obstructed or compressed larynx. There was no clear sex predilection. Affected animals included 12 adults and two juveniles. The fish species involved included sheepshead, black chin tilapia and striped mojarra. In five cases, recreational fishing gear was also present. Cetacean choking is related to selection of prey fish species with strong dorsal spines and may be secondarily associated with fish attached to fishing gear. Prey abundance and dolphin behavior may influence these selections. Environmental alterations leading to changes in prey availability or increased interactions with fishing gear may change the significance of fatal choking in dolphin populations.

  4. Spatial and Social Sexual Segregation Patterns in Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fury, Christine Ann; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E.; Harrison, Peter L.

    2013-01-01

    Sexual segregation seems to be common in bottlenose dolphins, whereby males and females live in different pods that mix mainly for mating. Male dolphins often use aggressive behaviour to mate with females, while females with calves may have different activity and dietary requirements to males and different susceptibility to predation. We investigated the degree of spatial and social sexual segregation in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in a subtropical estuary in Australia. Based on surveys completed over three years, dolphin groups were mostly mixed-sex or female. Mixed-sex groups were found in larger groups in mostly deeper water, whereas, female groups were foraging across all water depths in smaller groups. Aggressive coercive behaviour by males towards females was high, occurring mainly in deeper water, at higher tides, and outside the breeding season. Habitat use by female dolphin groups suggests that shallow tributaries may provide a sanctuary from aggressive males, access to suitable prey items and density for mothers and their calves, or a combination of these factors. PMID:23326370

  5. Vocalizations associated with pectoral fin contact in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans-Wilent, J; Dudzinski, K M

    2013-11-01

    Pectoral fin contact in bottlenose dolphins represents one form of tactile communication. Acoustic communication associated with pectoral fin contact is an additional level of communication that may change or enhance the tactile message between two individuals. In this study, we examine vocalization types associated with pectoral fin contact in a group of captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). From 2006 to 2009, vocalizations potentially associated with 748 pectoral fin contacts were examined: whistles, click trains and overlap of whistles and click trains were documented when associated with fin contact. Dolphins were also documented not vocalizing when exchanging pectoral fin contacts. Call type associated with pectoral fin contact was compared for the proportion of the type of pectoral fin contact, vocalizer sex, initiator and receiver roles, and gender pair. Overall, vocalizations differed significantly by vocalizer role as rubber or rubbee, initiator, and sex. Receivers and rubbees clicked and used overlap vocalizations more frequently, and males produced overlap vocalizations more frequently. These results suggest that whistles may be used to initiate pectoral fin contact or show preference for a particular partner, while click trains may be used to show disinterest in pectoral fin contact or to signal the end of a contact. Examining vocalizations produced in conjunction with tactile contact is a relatively new approach in the study of individual dolphin behavior and may be useful for understanding dolphin social alliances and social preferences for various individuals within a population. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The Gross Morphology and Histochemistry of Respiratory Muscles in Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotten, Pamela B.; Piscitelli, Marina A.; McLellan, William A.; Rommel, Sentiel A.; Dearolf, Jennifer L.; Pabst, D. Ann

    2011-01-01

    Most mammals possess stamina because their locomotor and respiratory (i.e., ventilatory) systems are mechanically coupled. These systems are decoupled, however, in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as they swim on a breath-hold. Locomotion and ventilation are coupled only during their brief surfacing event, when they respire explosively (up to 90% of total lung volume in approximately 0.3s) (Ridgway et al., 1969). The predominantly slow-twitch fiber profile of their diaphragm (Dearolf, 2003) suggests that this muscle does not likely power their rapid ventilatory event. Based upon Bramble's (1989) biomechanical model of locomotor-respiratory coupling in galloping mammals, it was hypothesized that locomotor muscles function to power ventilation in bottlenose dolphins. It was further hypothesized that these muscles would be composed predominantly of fast-twitch fibers to facilitate the bottlenose dolphin's rapid ventilation. The gross morphology of cranio-cervical (scalenus, sternocephalicus, sternohyoid), thoracic (intercostals, transverse thoracis), and lumbo-pelvic (hypaxialis, rectus abdominis, abdominal obliques) muscles (n=7) and the fiber-type profiles (n=6) of selected muscles (scalenus, sternocephalicus, sternohyoid, rectus abdominis) of bottlenose dolphins were investigated. Physical manipulations of excised thoracic units were carried out to investigate potential actions of these muscles. Results suggest that the cranio-cervical muscles act to draw the sternum and associated ribs cranio-dorsally, which flares the ribs laterally, and increases the thoracic cavity volume required for inspiration. The lumbo-pelvic muscles act to draw the sternum and caudal ribs caudally, which decreases the volumes of the thoracic and abdominal cavities required for expiration. All muscles investigated were composed predominantly of fast-twitch fibers (range 61-88% by area) and appear histochemically poised for rapid contraction. These combined results suggest that

  7. The social structure of Golfo Dulce bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the influence of behavioural state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Kelsey; Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Alejandro

    2016-08-01

    Ecological factors such as habitat and food availability affect the social structure of bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops spp.). Here, we describe the social structure of bottlenose dolphins ( T. truncatus ) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, a semi-enclosed, fjord-like tropical embayment resembling a pelagic system. We also examine behaviour-linked social strategies by comparing social structure relative to behavioural state: feeding versus non-feeding. We analysed 333 sightings over 210 days from boat-based surveys. Despite the uniqueness of the area, the 47 analysed adults had a social structure similar to other populations: a well-differentiated fission-fusion society with sex-specific patterns of associations and aggression. These results indicate that differences in social structure relative to other populations were a matter of degree. Association strength of dyads was highly correlated across behavioural states, indicating constraints on social fluidity. Males displayed a marked difference in lagged association rate and females displayed a small difference in association homogeneity between states. We suggest this difference in population-wide social connections between behavioural states, particularly for males, was due to mating strategies, a pressure which is strongest during non-feeding behaviour and relaxed during feeding. This finding highlights the importance of considering behavioural state when examining individual bonds and the behavioural plasticity for which the bottlenose dolphin is well known.

  8. Sex, Age, and Individual Differences in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in Response to Environmental Enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holli C. Eskelinen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Application of environmental enrichment, as a means to successfully decrease undesired behaviors (e.g., stereotypic and improve animal welfare, has been documented in a variety of zoological species. However, a dearth of empirical evidence exists concerning age, sex, and individual differences in response to various types of enrichment tools and activities in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. This study involved a comparative assessment of enrichment participation of three resident, bottlenose dolphin populations, over the course of 17 months, with respect to sex and age class (calf, sub-adult, adult. Enrichment sessions were randomly assigned, conducted, and categorically assessed based on participation during seven, broad based enrichment classes (Object, Ingestible, Human, or a combination of the three. Overall, the proportion of participation in enrichment sessions was high (≥ 0.74, with individual differences in participation noted among the three populations. Sessions involving Humans and/or Ingestible items resulted in a significantly higher mean proportion of participation. Sub-adult and adult males were significantly more likely to participate in enrichment sessions, as well as engage in Human Interaction/Object sessions. Calves participated significantly more than adults or sub-adults across all enrichment classes with no noted differences between males and females. These data can serve as a tool to better understand the intricacies of bottlenose dolphin responses to enrichment in an effort to develop strategic enrichment plans with the goal of improving animal well-being and welfare.

  9. The social structure of Golfo Dulce bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the influence of behavioural state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Alejandro

    2016-01-01

    Ecological factors such as habitat and food availability affect the social structure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.). Here, we describe the social structure of bottlenose dolphins (T. truncatus) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, a semi-enclosed, fjord-like tropical embayment resembling a pelagic system. We also examine behaviour-linked social strategies by comparing social structure relative to behavioural state: feeding versus non-feeding. We analysed 333 sightings over 210 days from boat-based surveys. Despite the uniqueness of the area, the 47 analysed adults had a social structure similar to other populations: a well-differentiated fission–fusion society with sex-specific patterns of associations and aggression. These results indicate that differences in social structure relative to other populations were a matter of degree. Association strength of dyads was highly correlated across behavioural states, indicating constraints on social fluidity. Males displayed a marked difference in lagged association rate and females displayed a small difference in association homogeneity between states. We suggest this difference in population-wide social connections between behavioural states, particularly for males, was due to mating strategies, a pressure which is strongest during non-feeding behaviour and relaxed during feeding. This finding highlights the importance of considering behavioural state when examining individual bonds and the behavioural plasticity for which the bottlenose dolphin is well known. PMID:27853584

  10. Social Differentiation in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that Engage in Human-Related Foraging Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Carolyn J; Perrtree, Robin M; Cox, Tara M

    2017-01-01

    Both natural and human-related foraging strategies by the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) have resulted in social segregation in several areas of the world. Bottlenose dolphins near Savannah, Georgia beg at an unprecedented rate and also forage behind commercial shrimp trawlers, providing an opportunity to study the social ramifications of two human-related foraging behaviors within the same group of animals. Dolphins were photo-identified via surveys conducted throughout estuarine waterways around Savannah in the summers of 2009-2011. Mean half-weight indices (HWI) were calculated for each foraging class, and community division by modularity was used to cluster animals based on association indices. Pairs of trawler dolphins had a higher mean HWI (0.20 ± 0.07) than pairs of non-trawler dolphins (0.04 ± 0.02) or mixed pairs (0.02 ± 0.02). In contrast, pairs of beggars, non-beggars, and mixed pairs all had similar means, with HWI between 0.05-0.07. Community division by modularity produced a useful division (0.307) with 6 clusters. Clusters were predominately divided according to trawler status; however, beggars and non-beggars were mixed throughout clusters. Both the mean HWI and social clusters revealed that the social structure of common bottlenose dolphins near Savannah, Georgia was differentiated based on trawler status but not beg status. This finding may indicate that foraging in association with trawlers is a socially learned behavior, while the mechanisms for the propagation of begging are less clear. This study highlights the importance of taking into account the social parameters of a foraging behavior, such as how group size or competition for resources may affect how the behavior spreads. The positive or negative ramifications of homophily may influence whether the behaviors are exhibited by individuals within the same social clusters and should be considered in future studies examining social relationships and foraging behaviors.

  11. Social Differentiation in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that Engage in Human-Related Foraging Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Both natural and human-related foraging strategies by the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) have resulted in social segregation in several areas of the world. Bottlenose dolphins near Savannah, Georgia beg at an unprecedented rate and also forage behind commercial shrimp trawlers, providing an opportunity to study the social ramifications of two human-related foraging behaviors within the same group of animals. Dolphins were photo-identified via surveys conducted throughout estuarine waterways around Savannah in the summers of 2009–2011. Mean half-weight indices (HWI) were calculated for each foraging class, and community division by modularity was used to cluster animals based on association indices. Pairs of trawler dolphins had a higher mean HWI (0.20 ± 0.07) than pairs of non-trawler dolphins (0.04 ± 0.02) or mixed pairs (0.02 ± 0.02). In contrast, pairs of beggars, non-beggars, and mixed pairs all had similar means, with HWI between 0.05–0.07. Community division by modularity produced a useful division (0.307) with 6 clusters. Clusters were predominately divided according to trawler status; however, beggars and non-beggars were mixed throughout clusters. Both the mean HWI and social clusters revealed that the social structure of common bottlenose dolphins near Savannah, Georgia was differentiated based on trawler status but not beg status. This finding may indicate that foraging in association with trawlers is a socially learned behavior, while the mechanisms for the propagation of begging are less clear. This study highlights the importance of taking into account the social parameters of a foraging behavior, such as how group size or competition for resources may affect how the behavior spreads. The positive or negative ramifications of homophily may influence whether the behaviors are exhibited by individuals within the same social clusters and should be considered in future studies examining social relationships and foraging behaviors

  12. Captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) spontaneously using water flow to manipulate objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Chisato; Furuta, Keisuke; Taki, Michihiro; Morisaka, Tadamichi

    2014-01-01

    Several terrestrial animals and delphinids manipulate objects in a tactile manner, using parts of their bodies, such as their mouths or hands. In this paper, we report that bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) manipulate objects not by direct bodily contact, but by spontaneous water flow. Three of four dolphins at Suma Aqualife Park performed object manipulation with food. The typical sequence of object manipulation consisted of a three step procedure. First, the dolphins released the object from the sides of their mouths while assuming a head-down posture near the floor. They then manipulated the object around their mouths and caught it. Finally, they ceased to engage in their head-down posture and started to swim. When the dolphins moved the object, they used the water current in the pool or moved their head. These results showed that dolphins manipulate objects using movements that do not directly involve contact between a body part and the object. In the event the dolphins dropped the object on the floor, they lifted it by making water flow in one of three methods: opening and closing their mouths repeatedly, moving their heads lengthwise, or making circular head motions. This result suggests that bottlenose dolphins spontaneously change their environment to manipulate objects. The reason why aquatic animals like dolphins do object manipulation by changing their environment but terrestrial animals do not may be that the viscosity of the aquatic environment is much higher than it is in terrestrial environments. This is the first report thus far of any non-human mammal engaging in object manipulation using several methods to change their environment.

  13. Captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus spontaneously using water flow to manipulate objects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chisato Yamamoto

    Full Text Available Several terrestrial animals and delphinids manipulate objects in a tactile manner, using parts of their bodies, such as their mouths or hands. In this paper, we report that bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus manipulate objects not by direct bodily contact, but by spontaneous water flow. Three of four dolphins at Suma Aqualife Park performed object manipulation with food. The typical sequence of object manipulation consisted of a three step procedure. First, the dolphins released the object from the sides of their mouths while assuming a head-down posture near the floor. They then manipulated the object around their mouths and caught it. Finally, they ceased to engage in their head-down posture and started to swim. When the dolphins moved the object, they used the water current in the pool or moved their head. These results showed that dolphins manipulate objects using movements that do not directly involve contact between a body part and the object. In the event the dolphins dropped the object on the floor, they lifted it by making water flow in one of three methods: opening and closing their mouths repeatedly, moving their heads lengthwise, or making circular head motions. This result suggests that bottlenose dolphins spontaneously change their environment to manipulate objects. The reason why aquatic animals like dolphins do object manipulation by changing their environment but terrestrial animals do not may be that the viscosity of the aquatic environment is much higher than it is in terrestrial environments. This is the first report thus far of any non-human mammal engaging in object manipulation using several methods to change their environment.

  14. Fatal Sarcocystis canis-like hepatitis in an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in Hong Kong

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unlike most species in the genus Sarcocystis, Sarcocystis canis has a broad intermediate host range. Its life cycle is incompletely known and most reports are from the USA. Here we report fatal hepatitis in a 4 year old male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) from Hong Kong associate...

  15. Proliferative dermatitis associated with a novel alphaherpesvirus in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manire, Charles A; Smolarek, Kara A; Romero, Carlos H; Kinsel, Michael J; Clauss, Tonya M; Byrd, Lynne

    2006-06-01

    Herpesviruses and herpes-like viruses have been reported in only a small number of species of cetaceans, and, to date, clinical manifestations have been either as a life-threatening, disseminated infection or as a non-life-threatening dermatitis. A stranded juvenile Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, was admitted to the Dolphin and Whale Hospital for rehabilitation. On initial physical examination, the rostral skin had multifocal regions of hyperplasia, and the skin of the dorsum contained a large number of small papules. Histologically, epithelial hyperplasia was evident, and clusters of epithelial cells contained 5-15-microm intranuclear inclusion bodies. Transmission electron microscopic investigation revealed numerous 170-190-nm enveloped virions in both the intracellular spaces and the cytoplasm of epithelial cells, with numerous nucleocapsids noted in epithelial cell nuclei. Consensus primer polymerase chain reaction identified the presence of a novel herpesvirus associated with the lesions. Phylogenetic analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences of the herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene fragment showed it to align with alphaherpesvirus sequences from humans and domestic animals. Although clearly distinct, it was most closely related to two previously described alphaherpesviruses of dolphins. This case represents the first documentation of herpesvirus dermatitis in the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.

  16. Fatal bacterial septicemia in a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus caused by Streptococcus iniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhiqi; Yue, Ruichao; Sun, Yanming; Liu, Chunfa; Khan, Sher Hayat; Li, Chaosi; Zhao, Ying; Zhou, Xiangmei; Yang, Lifeng; Zhao, Deming

    2017-01-24

    A captive 8 yr old male bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus succumbed to septicemia with multisystemic inflammation including suppurative enteritis, encephalitis, and pneumonia with chronic pancreatitis. A pure culture of beta-hemolytic, catalase- and oxidase-negative, Gram-positive cocci was isolated from the hilar lymph nodes and pancreas. The isolate was identified by 16S rDNA sequencing as Streptococcus iniae. Histological examination of the digestive system revealed a mixed infection of both bacteria and fungus. Recognized as a pathogen in fish, dolphins, and humans, this is the first report of S. iniae in a dolphin in mainland China. As the number of managed animals in oceanariums is increasing, so is the frequency of contact with fish used as food for marine mammals and humans, highlighting the importance of education and appropriate personal protective protocols to minimize the risk of transmission. An understanding of marine mammal infectious disease organisms is essential to ensuring the health of marine mammals and humans coming into contact with such animals and their food. This study illustrates a systematic clinical, microbiological, and pathological investigation into a septicemic bottlenose dolphin infected with S. iniae. Our findings provide useful information for those involved in the diagnosis and control of infectious diseases in marine mammals and offer insight into an important zoonotic pathogen.

  17. Occurrence of triclosan in plasma of wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and in their environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fair, Patricia A., E-mail: pat.fair@noaa.go [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Services, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412-9110 (United States); Lee, H.-B. [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON L7R 4A6 (Canada); Adams, Jeff [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Services, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412-9110 (United States); Darling, Colin; Pacepavicius, Grazina; Alaee, Mehran [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON L7R 4A6 (Canada); Bossart, Gregory D. [Center for Coastal Research, Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, 5600 U.S. 1 North, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946 (United States); Henry, Natasha [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Services, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412-9110 (United States); Muir, Derek [Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON L7R 4A6 (Canada)

    2009-08-15

    The presence of triclosan, a widely-used antibacterial chemical, is currently unknown in higher trophic-level species such as marine mammals. Blood plasma collected from wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Charleston, SC (CHS) (n = 13) and Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) (n = 13) in 2005 was analyzed for triclosan. Plasma concentrations in CHS dolphins ranged from 0.12 to 0.27 ng/g wet weight (mean 0.18 ng/g), with 31% of the sampled individuals having detectable triclosan. The mean IRL dolphin plasma concentrations were 0.072 ng/g wet weight (range 0.025-0.11 ng/g); 23% of the samples having detectable triclosan. In the CHS area, triclosan effluent values from two WWTP were both 190 ng/L and primary influents were 2800 ng/L and 3400 ng/L. Triclosan values in CHS estuarine surface water samples averaged 7.5 ng/L (n = 18) ranging from 4.9 to 14 ng/L. This is the first study to report bioaccumulation of anthropogenic triclosan in a marine mammal highlighting the need for further monitoring and assessment. - Triclosan in bottlenose dolphin plasma and their environment.

  18. Assessing the effectiveness of environmental enrichment in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabienne, Delfour; Helen, Beyer

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment is often used to improve well-being and reduce stereotyped behaviors in animals under human care. However, the use of objects to enrich animal environments should not be considered to be effective until its success has been scientifically demonstrated. This study was conducted at Asterix Park in France in April 2009. The study investigated the use of 21 familiar objects with a group of six bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphin trainers introduced four different objects into the dolphin pool every day on a rotating basis. Using a focal-object sampling method, we collected and analyzed data from twenty-one 15 min sessions. The results revealed a positive correlation between interest behaviors and interactive behaviors. Some dolphins had "favorite toys". However, only 50% of objects elicited manipulative behaviors. These findings demonstrate that dolphins do not treat all objects provided to them as "toys". Behavioral changes in the animals subsequent to the introduction of objects do not necessarily indicate an enrichment effect of the objects; rather, the motivation for the dolphins' behaviors toward the objects must be investigated. The animals' behavior must be considered in light of the social context and of the animals' individual behavioral profiles. The relevance of a constructivist approach to evaluating the effectiveness of enrichment programs is discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Blood-Based Indicators of Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Smith, Cynthia Rowe; Stevenson, Sacha; Parry, Celeste; Daniels, Risa; Jensen, Eric; Cendejas, Veronica; Balmer, Brian; Janech, Michael; Neely, Benjamin A; Wells, Randall

    2013-01-01

    Similar to people with metabolic syndrome, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can have a sustained postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidemia, and fatty liver disease. A panel of potential postprandial blood-based indicators of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome were compared among 34 managed collection dolphins in San Diego Bay, CA, USA (Group A) and 16 wild, free-ranging dolphins in Sarasota Bay, FL, USA (Group B). Compared to Group B, Group A had higher insulin (2.1 ± 2.5 and 13 ± 13 μIU/ml), glucose (87 ± 19 and 108 ± 12 mg/dl), and triglycerides (75 ± 28 and 128 ± 45 mg/dl) as well as higher cholesterol (total, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol), iron, transferrin saturation, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alanine transaminase, and uric acid. Group A had higher percent unmodified adiponectin. While Group A dolphins were older, the same blood-based differences remained when controlling for age. There were no differences in body mass index (BMI) between the groups, and comparisons between Group B and Group A dolphins have consistently demonstrated lower stress hormones levels in Group A. Group A dolphins with high insulin (greater than 14 μIU/ml) had higher glucose, iron, GGT, and BMI compared to Group A dolphins with lower insulin. These findings support that some dolphin groups may be more susceptible to insulin resistance compared to others, and primary risk factors are not likely age, BMI, or stress. Lower high-molecular weight adiponectin has been identified as an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes in humans and may be a target for preventing insulin resistance in dolphins. Future investigations with these two dolphin populations, including dietary and feeding differences, may provide valuable insight for preventing and treating insulin resistance in humans.

  20. Blood-based indicators of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eVenn-Watson

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Similar to people with metabolic syndrome, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus can have a sustained postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidemia, and fatty liver disease. A panel of potential postprandial blood-based indicators of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome were compared among 34 managed collection dolphins in San Diego Bay, California (Group A and 16 wild, free-ranging dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida (Group B. Compared to Group B, Group A had higher insulin (2.1 ± 2.5 and 13 ± 13 µIU/ml, glucose (87 ± 19 and 108 ± 12 mg/dl and triglycerides (75 ± 28 and 128 ± 45 mg/dl as well as higher cholesterol (total, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol, iron, transferrin saturation, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT, alanine transaminase, and uric acid. Group A had higher percent unmodified adiponectin. While Group A dolphins were older, the same blood-based differences remained when controlling for age. There were no differences in body mass index (BMI between the groups, and comparisons between Group B and Group A dolphins have consistently demonstrated lower stress hormones levels in Group A. Group A dolphins with high insulin (greater than 14 µIU/ml had higher glucose, iron, GGT, and BMI compared to Group A dolphins with lower insulin. These findings support that some dolphin groups may be more susceptible to insulin resistance compared to others, and primary risk factors are not likely age, BMI, or stress. Lower high-molecular weight adiponectin has been identified as an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes in humans and may be a target for preventing insulin resistance in dolphins. Future investigations with these two dolphin populations, including dietary and feeding differences, may provide valuable insight for preventing and treating insulin resistance in humans.

  1. Blood-Based Indicators of Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Smith, Cynthia Rowe; Stevenson, Sacha; Parry, Celeste; Daniels, Risa; Jensen, Eric; Cendejas, Veronica; Balmer, Brian; Janech, Michael; Neely, Benjamin A.; Wells, Randall

    2013-01-01

    Similar to people with metabolic syndrome, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can have a sustained postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidemia, and fatty liver disease. A panel of potential postprandial blood-based indicators of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome were compared among 34 managed collection dolphins in San Diego Bay, CA, USA (Group A) and 16 wild, free-ranging dolphins in Sarasota Bay, FL, USA (Group B). Compared to Group B, Group A had higher insulin (2.1 ± 2.5 and 13 ± 13 μIU/ml), glucose (87 ± 19 and 108 ± 12 mg/dl), and triglycerides (75 ± 28 and 128 ± 45 mg/dl) as well as higher cholesterol (total, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol), iron, transferrin saturation, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alanine transaminase, and uric acid. Group A had higher percent unmodified adiponectin. While Group A dolphins were older, the same blood-based differences remained when controlling for age. There were no differences in body mass index (BMI) between the groups, and comparisons between Group B and Group A dolphins have consistently demonstrated lower stress hormones levels in Group A. Group A dolphins with high insulin (greater than 14 μIU/ml) had higher glucose, iron, GGT, and BMI compared to Group A dolphins with lower insulin. These findings support that some dolphin groups may be more susceptible to insulin resistance compared to others, and primary risk factors are not likely age, BMI, or stress. Lower high-molecular weight adiponectin has been identified as an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes in humans and may be a target for preventing insulin resistance in dolphins. Future investigations with these two dolphin populations, including dietary and feeding differences, may provide valuable insight for preventing and treating insulin resistance in humans. PMID:24130551

  2. Spatial distribution of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inferred from stable isotopes and priority organic pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, Rachel Marie, E-mail: ryounge@ocean.fsu.edu [Department of EOAS-Oceanography, Florida State University, 117 North Woodward Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida, 32306 (United States); Kucklick, John R. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29412 (United States); Balmer, Brian C.; Wells, Randall S. [Chicago Zoological Society c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway Sarasota, FL, 34236 (United States); Chanton, Jeffrey P. [Department of EOAS-Oceanography, Florida State University, 117 North Woodward Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida, 32306 (United States); Nowacek, Douglas P. [Nicholas School of the Environment and Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University - Marine Laboratory, 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd., Beaufort, NC 28516 (United States)

    2012-05-15

    Differences in priority organic pollutants (POPs), analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and stable isotope ratios ({delta}{sup 13}C, {delta}{sup 34}S, and {delta}{sup 15}N; analyzed by isotope ratio-mass spectrometry), divide 77 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Florida Gulf Coast into three distinct groups. POP levels reflect human population and historical contamination along the coast. In the least disturbed site, concentrations of {Sigma}POP in male dolphins were 18,000 ng g{sup -1} {+-} 6000 (95% confidence interval here and throughout); in the intermediate bay, males had {Sigma}POP concentrations of 19,000 ng g{sup -1} {+-} 10,000. St Andrews Bay was home to dolphins with the highest {Sigma}POP concentrations: 44,000 ng g{sup -1} {+-} 10,300. {delta}{sup 34}S and {delta}{sup 15}N, differed significantly between St. George Sound dolphins and those frequenting each of the other two bays, but not between St. Andrews and St. Joseph Bays. {Sigma}POP concentrations were statistically higher in dolphins frequenting St. Andrews Bay, but were not significantly different between dolphins occupying St. Joseph Bay and St. George Sound. Thus, using either POP or isotope values alone, we would only be able to identify two dolphin groups, but when POP and isotope data are viewed cumulatively, the results clearly define three distinct communities occupying this region. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We compare isotopes and POP levels in dolphins occupying three embayments. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer POP levels varied significantly among two embayments separated by < 50 km. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Differentiation correlated with historical contamination from a SuperFund site. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cumulatively, isotopes and POP levels indicate 3 distinct dolphin communities. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer This data provides the first assessment of dolphin POP contamination in the region.

  3. Hypocitraturia in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Assessing a Potential Risk Factor for Urate Nephrolithiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Townsend, Forrest I; Daniels, Risa L; Sweeney, Jay C; McBain, Jim W; Klatsky, Leigh J; Hicks, Christie L; Staggs, Lydia A; Rowles, Teri K; Schwacke, Lori H; Wells, Randall S; Smith, Cynthia R

    2010-01-01

    Numerous cases of urate nephrolithiasis in managed collections of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have been reported, but nephrolithiasis is believed to be uncommon in wild dolphins. Risk factors for urate nephrolithiasis in humans include low urinary pH and hypocitraturia. Urine samples from 94 dolphins were collected during April 2006 through June 2009 from 4 wild populations (n = 62) and 4 managed collections (n = 32). In addition, urine uric acid and pH were tested in a subset of these animals. Our null hypothesis was that wild and managed collection dolphins would have no significant differences in urinary creatinine, citrate, and uric acid concentrations and pH. Among urine samples from all 94 dolphins, the urinary levels (mean ± SEM) for creatinine, citrate, uric acid, and pH were 139 ± 7.6 mg/dL, 100 ± 20 mg citrate/g creatinine, 305 ± 32 mg uric acid/g creatinine, and 6.2 ± 0.05, respectively. Of the 4 urinary variables, only citrate concentration varied significantly between the 2 primary study groups; compared with wild dolphins, managed collection dolphins were more likely to have undetectable levels of citrate in the urine (21.0% and 81.3%, respectively). Mean urinary citrate concentrations for managed collection and wild dolphin populations were 2 and 150 mg citrate/g creatinine, respectively. We conclude that some managed collections of dolphins, like humans, may be predisposed to urate nephrolithiasis due to the presence of hypocitraturia. Subsequent investigations can include associations between metabolic syndrome, hypocitraturia, and urate nephrolithiasis in humans and dolphins; and the impact of varying levels of seawater ingestion on citrate excretion. PMID:20412691

  4. Environmental changes and anthropogenic factors modulate social play in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serres, Agathe; Delfour, Fabienne

    2017-03-01

    Social play varies among species and individuals and changes in frequency and duration during ontogeny. This type of play is modulated by environmental changes (e.g., resource availability). In captivity, cetaceans and their environment are managed by humans, and training sessions and/or public presentations punctuate the day as well as other frequent or occasional events. There is a lack of research on the effects of environmental events that occur in captivity and might affect dolphins' behavior. We studied the context in which nine bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) played socially and the events that could potentially impact this social interaction. The dolphins' social play behavior was significantly more frequent and lasted longer in the morning than in the afternoon and was present before and after interactions with their trainers with a non-significant tendency to be more frequent before and after a training session than a public presentation. In an experimental paradigm using familiar environmental enrichment, our results demonstrated that environmental enrichment tended to increase social play duration whereas temporary noisy construction work around the pool and display of agonistic behaviors by members of the group significantly decreased it. These results contribute to better understand the social play distribution in captive bottlenose dolphins and the impact of different events within their daily lives. Since play decreases or disappears when animals are facing unfavorable conditions, the evaluation of social play may relate to the animals' current well-being. We suggest that social play has potential to become an indicator of bottlenose dolphins' current welfare state. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Electrocardiograms of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) out of water: habituated collection versus wild postcapture animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Craig A; Jensen, Eric D; Townsend, Forrest I; Hansen, Larry J; Schwacke, Lori H; Rowles, Teresa K

    2013-12-01

    Electrocardiography (ECG) was performed on captured free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) during a health assessment exercise and compared with that of a Navy collection of dolphins habituated to handling out of water in order to assess possible cardiovascular impacts of capture and handling. Six-lead recordings (I, II, III, aVr, aVl, and aVf) in the frontal plane and direct thorax leads were collected from both groups, with a modified base-apex lead additionally employed with the Navy collection dolphins. Measured and calculated parameters included amplitudes of P, R, S, and T waves and total QRS complex; T:S and T:QRS ratios; heart rate; durations of P wave; QRS complex, PR, QT, and RR intervals; maximum minus minimum RR interval; ST segment elevation-depression; and mean electrical axis (MEA). Physiologically minor but statistically significant differences were detected in S wave amplitude, PR interval, QRS duration, and MEA. The PR interval, QRS duration, and S wave amplitude were slightly greater and the MEA oriented slightly rightward in wild postcapture dolphins compared to Navy collection dolphins. There were no differences in heart rate or maximum minus minimum RR interval, which serves as a proxy for the expected sinus arrhythmia of dolphins. The base-apex lead resulted in greater QRS amplitude than lead II, as expected for the category B ventricular activation of dolphins. The left-side direct thorax lead was more consistent than that of the right side. Clinically, ECG was a useful adjunct to auscultation and thoracic palpation for monitoring heart rate and rhythm and generated a record for archiving. Safe capture and handling protocols in place, under which dolphins are immediately returned to the water at progressive signs of distress, may make cardiovascular decompensation less likely to be detected by ECG. It appears that the dolphin cardiovascular system compensates suitably well to capture, as measured by ECG under the conditions of

  6. Mucocutaneous lesions in free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the southeastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossart, Gregory D; Schaefer, Adam M; McCulloch, Stephen; Goldstein, Juli; Fair, Patricia A; Reif, John S

    2015-08-20

    Mucocutaneous lesions were biopsied from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and estuarine waters of Charleston (CHS), South Carolina, USA, between 2003 and 2013. A total of 78 incisional biopsies from 58 dolphins (n=43 IRL, n=15 CHS) were examined. Thirteen dolphins had 2 lesions biopsied at the same examination, and 6 dolphins were re-examined and re-biopsied at time intervals varying from 1 to 8 yr. Biopsy sites included the skin (n=47), tongue (n=2), and genital mucosa (n=29). Pathologic diagnoses were: orogenital sessile papilloma (39.7%), cutaneous lobomycosis (16.7%), tattoo skin disease (TSD; 15.4%), nonspecific chronic to chronic-active dermatitis (15.4%), and epidermal hyperplasia (12.8%). Pathologic diagnoses from dolphins with 2 lesions were predominately orogenital sessile papillomas (n=9) with nonspecific chronic to chronic-active dermatitis (n=4), TSD (n=3), lobomycosis (n=1), and epidermal hyperplasia (n=1). Persistent pathologic diagnoses from the same dolphins re-examined and re-biopsied at different times included genital sessile papillomas (n=3), lobomycosis (n=2), and nonspecific dermatitis (n=2). This is the first study documenting the various types, combined prevalence, and progression of mucocutaneous lesions in dolphins from the southeastern USA. The data support other published findings describing the health patterns in dolphins from these geographic regions. Potential health impacts related to the observed suite of lesions are important for the IRL and CHS dolphin populations, since previous studies have indicated that both populations are affected by complex infectious diseases often associated with immunologic disturbances and anthropogenic contaminants.

  7. Identification of Lactobacillus strains with probiotic features from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, M A; Bik, E M; Carlin, K P; Venn-Watson, S K; Jensen, E D; Jones, S E; Gaston, E P; Relman, D A; Versalovic, J

    2013-10-01

    In order to develop complementary health management strategies for marine mammals, we used culture-based and culture-independent approaches to identify gastrointestinal lactobacilli of the common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. We screened 307 bacterial isolates from oral and rectal swabs, milk and gastric fluid, collected from 38 dolphins in the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, for potentially beneficial features. We focused our search on lactobacilli and evaluated their ability to modulate TNF secretion by host cells and inhibit growth of pathogens. We recovered Lactobacillus salivarius strains which secreted factors that stimulated TNF production by human monocytoid cells. These Lact. salivarius isolates inhibited growth of selected marine mammal and human bacterial pathogens. In addition, we identified a novel Lactobacillus species by culture and direct sequencing with 96·3% 16S rDNA sequence similarity to Lactobacillus ceti. Dolphin-derived Lact. salivarius isolates possess features making them candidate probiotics for clinical studies in marine mammals. This is the first study to isolate lactobacilli from dolphins, including a novel Lactobacillus species and a new strain of Lact. salivarius, with potential for veterinary probiotic applications. The isolation and identification of novel Lactobacillus spp. and other indigenous microbes from bottlenose dolphins will enable the study of the biology of symbiotic members of the dolphin microbiota and facilitate the understanding of the microbiomes of these unique animals. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for Applied Microbiology.

  8. Genetic diversity of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.) populations in the western North Pacific and the conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ing; Nishida, Shin; Yang, Wei-Cheng; Isobe, Tomohiko; Tajima, Yuko; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary processes that shape patterns of diversity in highly mobile marine species are poorly understood, but important towards transferable inference on their effective conservation. In this study, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) are studied to address this broader question. They exhibit remarkable geographical variation for morphology, life history, and genetic diversity, and this high level of variation has made the taxonomy of the genus controversial. A significant population structure has been reported for the most widely distributed species, the common bottlenose dolphin (T. truncatus), in almost all ocean basins, though no data have been available for the western North Pacific Ocean (WNP). The genetic diversity of bottlenose dolphins in the WNP was investigated based on 20 microsatellite and one mitochondrial DNA markers for samples collected from Taiwanese, Japanese, and Philippine waters (9°-39°N, 120°-140°E) during 1986-2012. The results indicated that there are at least four genetically differentiated populations of common bottlenose dolphins in the western and central North Pacific Ocean. The pattern of differentiation appears to correspond to habitat types, resembling results seen in other populations of the same species. Our analyses also showed that there was no evident gene flow between the two "sister species", the common bottlenose dolphins, and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (T. aduncus) occurring sympatrically in our study region.

  9. Survey of antibiotic-resistant bacteria isolated from bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the southeastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Jill R; Townsend, Forrest I; Lane, Suzanne M; Dyar, Elizabeth; Hohn, Aleta A; Rowles, Teri K; Staggs, Lydia A; Wells, Randall S; Balmer, Brian C; Schwacke, Lori H

    2014-02-19

    Contamination of coastal waters can carry pathogens and contaminants that cause diseases in humans and wildlife, and these pathogens can be transported by water to areas where they are not indigenous. Marine mammals may be indicators of potential health effects from such pathogens and toxins. Here we isolated bacterial species of relevance to humans from wild bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus and assayed isolated bacteria for antibiotic resistance. Samples were collected during capture-release dolphin health assessments at multiple coastal and estuarine sites along the US mid-Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. These samples were transported on ice and evaluated using commercial systems and aerobic culture techniques routinely employed in clinical laboratories. The most common bacteria identified were species belonging to the genus Vibrio, although Escherichia coli, Shewanella putrefaciens, and Pseudomonas fluorescens/putida were also common. Some of the bacterial species identified have been associated with human illness, including a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) identified in 1 sample. Widespread antibiotic resistance was observed among all sites, although the percentage of resistant isolates varied across sites and across time. These data provide a baseline for future comparisons of the bacteria that colonize bottlenose dolphins in the southeastern USA.

  10. Evidence of Brucella strain ST27 in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cvetnić, Željko; Duvnjak, Sanja; Đuras, Martina; Gomerčić, Tomislav; Reil, Irena; Zdelar-Tuk, Maja; Špičić, Silvio

    2016-11-30

    Marine mammal brucellosis has been known for more than 20 years, but recent work suggests it is more widespread than originally thought. Brucella (B.) pinnipedialis has been isolated from pinnipeds, while B. ceti strains have been associated with cetaceans. Here we report a Brucella strain isolated from multiple lymph nodes of one bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) during routine examination of dolphin carcasses found in the Croatian part of the northern Adriatic Sea during the summer of 2015. Classical bacteriological biotyping, PCR-based techniques (single, multiplex, PCR-RFLP) and 16S rRNA DNA sequencing were used to identify Brucella spp. Multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis of 16 loci and multilocus sequence typing of 9 loci were used for genotyping and species determination. The combination of bacteriological, molecular and genotyping techniques identified our strain as ST27, previously identified as a human pathogen. This report provides, to our knowledge, the first evidence of ST27 in the Adriatic Sea in particular and in European waters in general. The zoonotic nature of the strain and its presence in the Adriatic, which is inhabited by bottlenose dolphins, suggest that the strain may pose a significant threat to human health. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Two Cases of Lacaziosis in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiichi Ueda

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Lacaziosis, formerly called lobomycosis, caused by Lacazia loboi, is a zoonotic mycosis found in humans and dolphins and is endemic in the countries on the Atlantic Ocean. Although the Japanese coast is not considered an endemic area, photographic records of lacaziosis-like skin lesions were found in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus that were migrating in the Goto Islands (Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. We diagnosed 2 cases of lacaziosis in bottlenose dolphins captured simultaneously at the same coast within Japanese territory on the basis of clinical characteristics, cytology, histopathology, immunological tests, and detection of partial sequences of a 43 kDa glycoprotein coding gene (gp43 with a nested-PCR system. The granulomatous skin lesions from the present cases were similar to those found in animals from endemic areas, containing multiple budding and chains of round yeast cells and positive in the immune-staining with anti-Paracoccidioides brasiliensis serum which is a fungal species related to L. loboi; however, the gp43 gene sequences derived from the present cases showed 94.1% homology to P. brasiliensis and 84.1% to L. loboi. We confirmed that the causative agent at the present cases was different genotype of L. loboi from Amazon area.

  12. Exposure to novel parainfluenza virus and clinical relevance in 2 bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Rivera, Rebecca; Smith, Cynthia R; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Caseltine, Shannon; St Leger, Judy; Yochem, Pam; Wells, Randall S; Nollens, Hendrik

    2008-03-01

    Parainfluenza virus (PIV) is a leading cause of respiratory infections in humans. A novel virus closely related to human and bovine parainfluenza viruses types 3 (HPIV-3 and BPIV-3), named Tursiops truncatus parainfluenza virus type 1 (TtPIV-1), was isolated from a dolphin with respiratory disease. We developed a dolphin-specific ELISA to measure acute- and convalescent-phase PIV antibodies in dolphins during 1999-2006 with hemograms similar to that of the positive control. PIV seroconversion occurred concurrently with an abnormal hemogram in 22 animals, of which 7 (31.8%) had respiratory signs. Seroprevalence surveys were conducted on 114 healthy bottlenose dolphins in Florida and California. When the most conservative interpretation of positive was used, 11.4% of healthy dolphins were antibody positive, 29.8% were negative, and 58.8% were inconclusive. PIV appears to be a common marine mammal virus that may be of human health interest because of the similarity of TtPIV-1 to BPIV-3 and HPIV-3.

  13. Identification and Characteristics of Signature Whistles in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elwen, Simon Harvey; Nastasi, Aurora

    2014-01-01

    A signature whistle type is a learned, individually distinctive whistle type in a dolphin's acoustic repertoire that broadcasts the identity of the whistle owner. The acquisition and use of signature whistles indicates complex cognitive functioning that requires wider investigation in wild dolphin populations. Here we identify signature whistle types from a population of approximately 100 wild common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting Walvis Bay, and describe signature whistle occurrence, acoustic parameters and temporal production. A catalogue of 43 repeatedly emitted whistle types (REWTs) was generated by analysing 79 hrs of acoustic recordings. From this, 28 signature whistle types were identified using a method based on the temporal patterns in whistle sequences. A visual classification task conducted by 5 naïve judges showed high levels of agreement in classification of whistles (Fleiss-Kappa statistic, κ = 0.848, Z = 55.3, Pbottlenose dolphin. Although signature whistle types have potential use as a marker for studying individual habitat use, we only identified approximately 28% of those from the Walvis Bay population, despite considerable recording effort. We found that signature whistle type diversity was higher in larger dolphin groups and groups with calves present. This is the first study describing signature whistles in a wild free-ranging T. truncatus population inhabiting African waters and it provides a baseline on which more in depth behavioural studies can be based. PMID:25203814

  14. Exposure to Novel Parainfluenza Virus and Clinical Relevance in 2 Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, Rebecca; Smith, Cynthia R.; Saliki, Jeremiah T.; Caseltine, Shannon; St. Leger, Judy; Yochem, Pam; Wells, Randall S.; Nollens, Hendrik

    2008-01-01

    Parainfluenza virus (PIV) is a leading cause of respiratory infections in humans. A novel virus closely related to human and bovine parainfluenza viruses types 3 (HPIV-3 and BPIV-3), named Tursiops truncatus parainfluenza virus type 1 (TtPIV-1), was isolated from a dolphin with respiratory disease. We developed a dolphin-specific ELISA to measure acute- and convalescent-phase PIV antibodies in dolphins during 1999–2006 with hemograms similar to that of the positive control. PIV seroconversion occurred concurrently with an abnormal hemogram in 22 animals, of which 7 (31.8%) had respiratory signs. Seroprevalence surveys were conducted on 114 healthy bottlenose dolphins in Florida and California. When the most conservative interpretation of positive was used, 11.4% of healthy dolphins were antibody positive, 29.8% were negative, and 58.8% were inconclusive. PIV appears to be a common marine mammal virus that may be of human health interest because of the similarity of TtPIV-1 to BPIV-3 and HPIV-3. PMID:18325253

  15. Hepatitis E virus in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montalvo Villalba, María Caridad; Cruz Martínez, Danilo; Ahmad, Imran; Rodriguez Lay, Licel A; Bello Corredor, Marite; Guevara March, Celia; Martínez, Liena Sánchez; Martínez-Campo, Laima Sánchez; Jameel, Shahid

    2017-02-08

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infects several animal species that act as zoonotic reservoirs for viral transmission. Solid and liquid residues from infected animals could lead to HEV contamination of food and surface waters. Evidence of human HEV infection through ingestion of seafood (shellfish, mussels) has been reported. Dolphins generally feed on fish and squid but are able to adapt to an environment and consume whatever prey is available. Clinical signs of infected dolphins include lethargy, inappetence, behavioral aberrations and increased serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT). The dolphins examined in this study were maintained at the National Aquarium, Havana, Cuba. A total of 31 dolphins were evaluated for HEV markers. Sera were collected and screened for total immunoglobin (Ig) anti-HEV. Sera and liver homogenate were tested for HEV RNA by nested RT-PCR using primers targeting the open reading frame 1. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using partial nucleotide sequences at the amplified RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene. Total anti-HEV Ig was detected in 32.2% (10 of 31), and 16.1% (5 of 31) of these dolphins were positive by both serology and HEV RNA testing. Nucleotide sequence analyses revealed that HEV strains identified in dolphins were genotype 3. This virus may represent an environmental contamination of food or wastewater as a source of HEV exposure and infection. Our findings provide evidence that HEV is associated with liver disorders in cetaceans and that it is advisable to screen for exposure of this virus in captive dolphins, particularly animals with elevated serum ALT or compromised liver function test results of undetermined cause.

  16. Seasonal variation and tidal influences on estuarine use by bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fury, Christine A.; Harrison, Peter L.

    2011-07-01

    In order to show that dolphins use estuary habitats differently depending on the season and tidal state, possibly in response to prey distribution, temperature, risk of stranding and accessibility, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus) were observed year-round during a 3-year study in the Clarence River estuary (CR) and Richmond River estuary (RR) in northern New South Wales, Australia. Peak dolphin sightings occurred during the spring season and one or 2 h prior to high tide. The spatial distribution of the dolphins in each estuary was analysed using the distance in kilometres that the dolphins travelled upstream with seasons and tidal phase as determinants. A General Linear Model showed that in the CR the dolphin spatial distribution in the estuary was not determined by season ( F = 0.434, df = 3, P = 0.729) but was by tidal phase ( F = 9.943, df = 3, P dolphin use of the estuary was not determined by either season ( F = 1.647, df = 3, P = 0.194) or tidal phase ( F = 0.302, df = 3, P = 0.824). In the CR, the spatial distribution of the dolphins was largest on high and flood tides. This pattern of spatial distribution may occur because the CR is a relatively shallow estuary and this increased spatial distribution may reflect a lower stranding risk and an increase in accessibility of shallow areas during periods of higher tide. These areas could also provide access to their preferred prey items of sea mullet ( Mugil cephalus) and sand whiting ( Sillago ciliata).

  17. Adrenal Hormones in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus: Influential Factors and Reference Intervals.

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    Leslie B Hart

    Full Text Available Inshore common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus are exposed to a broad spectrum of natural and anthropogenic stressors. In response to these stressors, the mammalian adrenal gland releases hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone to maintain physiological and biochemical homeostasis. Consequently, adrenal gland dysfunction results in disruption of hormone secretion and an inappropriate stress response. Our objective herein was to develop diagnostic reference intervals (RIs for adrenal hormones commonly associated with the stress response (i.e., cortisol, aldosterone that account for the influence of intrinsic (e.g., age, sex and extrinsic (e.g., time factors. Ultimately, these reference intervals will be used to gauge an individual's response to chase-capture stress and could indicate adrenal abnormalities. Linear mixed models (LMMs were used to evaluate demographic and sampling factors contributing to differences in serum cortisol and aldosterone concentrations among bottlenose dolphins sampled in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA (2000-2012. Serum cortisol concentrations were significantly associated with elapsed time from initial stimulation to sample collection (p<0.05, and RIs were constructed using nonparametric methods based on elapsed sampling time for dolphins sampled in less than 30 minutes following net deployment (95% RI: 0.91-4.21 µg/dL and following biological sampling aboard a research vessel (95% RI: 2.32-6.68 µg/dL. To examine the applicability of the pre-sampling cortisol RI across multiple estuarine stocks, data from three additional southeast U.S. sites were compared, revealing that all of the dolphins sampled from the other sites (N = 34 had cortisol concentrations within the 95th percentile RI. Significant associations between serum concentrations of aldosterone and variables reported in previous studies (i.e., age, elapsed sampling time were not observed in the current project (p<0.05. Also, approximately 16% of

  18. Adrenal Hormones in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Influential Factors and Reference Intervals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Leslie B; Wells, Randall S; Kellar, Nick; Balmer, Brian C; Hohn, Aleta A; Lamb, Stephen V; Rowles, Teri; Zolman, Eric S; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-01-01

    Inshore common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are exposed to a broad spectrum of natural and anthropogenic stressors. In response to these stressors, the mammalian adrenal gland releases hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone to maintain physiological and biochemical homeostasis. Consequently, adrenal gland dysfunction results in disruption of hormone secretion and an inappropriate stress response. Our objective herein was to develop diagnostic reference intervals (RIs) for adrenal hormones commonly associated with the stress response (i.e., cortisol, aldosterone) that account for the influence of intrinsic (e.g., age, sex) and extrinsic (e.g., time) factors. Ultimately, these reference intervals will be used to gauge an individual's response to chase-capture stress and could indicate adrenal abnormalities. Linear mixed models (LMMs) were used to evaluate demographic and sampling factors contributing to differences in serum cortisol and aldosterone concentrations among bottlenose dolphins sampled in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA (2000-2012). Serum cortisol concentrations were significantly associated with elapsed time from initial stimulation to sample collection (p<0.05), and RIs were constructed using nonparametric methods based on elapsed sampling time for dolphins sampled in less than 30 minutes following net deployment (95% RI: 0.91-4.21 µg/dL) and following biological sampling aboard a research vessel (95% RI: 2.32-6.68 µg/dL). To examine the applicability of the pre-sampling cortisol RI across multiple estuarine stocks, data from three additional southeast U.S. sites were compared, revealing that all of the dolphins sampled from the other sites (N = 34) had cortisol concentrations within the 95th percentile RI. Significant associations between serum concentrations of aldosterone and variables reported in previous studies (i.e., age, elapsed sampling time) were not observed in the current project (p<0.05). Also, approximately 16% of Sarasota Bay

  19. Species status and population structure of the newly described Tursiops australis (the Burrunan dolphin)and Tursiops truncatus (the common bottlenose dolphin)in southern Australian waters, assessed using genetic markers and morphology.

    OpenAIRE

    Charlton, Kate

    2017-01-01

    Taxonomic relationships and affinities within the cetacean genus Tursiops have been plagued with controversy, with historically upwards of 20 species being described and later all synonymised with the common bottlenose dolphin T. truncatus. Numerous studies have demonstrated that Tursiops is polyphyletic. Tursiops truncatus is morphologically and genetically diverse and exhibits distinct 'ecotypes' with coastal/inshore popUlations often distinct from offshore populations. Recently, a 'worldwi...

  20. Identification and characteristics of signature whistles in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from Namibia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Joy Kriesell

    Full Text Available A signature whistle type is a learned, individually distinctive whistle type in a dolphin's acoustic repertoire that broadcasts the identity of the whistle owner. The acquisition and use of signature whistles indicates complex cognitive functioning that requires wider investigation in wild dolphin populations. Here we identify signature whistle types from a population of approximately 100 wild common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus inhabiting Walvis Bay, and describe signature whistle occurrence, acoustic parameters and temporal production. A catalogue of 43 repeatedly emitted whistle types (REWTs was generated by analysing 79 hrs of acoustic recordings. From this, 28 signature whistle types were identified using a method based on the temporal patterns in whistle sequences. A visual classification task conducted by 5 naïve judges showed high levels of agreement in classification of whistles (Fleiss-Kappa statistic, κ = 0.848, Z = 55.3, P<0.001 and supported our categorisation. Signature whistle structure remained stable over time and location, with most types (82% recorded in 2 or more years, and 4 identified at Walvis Bay and a second field site approximately 450 km away. Whistle acoustic parameters were consistent with those of signature whistles documented in Sarasota Bay (Florida, USA. We provide evidence of possible two-voice signature whistle production by a common bottlenose dolphin. Although signature whistle types have potential use as a marker for studying individual habitat use, we only identified approximately 28% of those from the Walvis Bay population, despite considerable recording effort. We found that signature whistle type diversity was higher in larger dolphin groups and groups with calves present. This is the first study describing signature whistles in a wild free-ranging T. truncatus population inhabiting African waters and it provides a baseline on which more in depth behavioural studies can be based.

  1. Genomewide investigation of adaptation to harmful algal blooms in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammen, Kristina M; Schultz, Thomas F; Rosel, Patricia E; Wells, Randall S; Read, Andrew J

    2015-09-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), which can be lethal in marine species and cause illness in humans, are increasing worldwide. In the Gulf of Mexico, HABs of Karenia brevis produce neurotoxic brevetoxins that cause large-scale marine mortality events. The long history of such blooms, combined with the potentially severe effects of exposure, may have produced a strong selective pressure for evolved resistance. Advances in next-generation sequencing, in particular genotyping-by-sequencing, greatly enable the genomic study of such adaptation in natural populations. We used restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing to investigate brevetoxicosis resistance in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). To improve our understanding of the epidemiology and aetiology of brevetoxicosis and the potential for evolved resistance in an upper trophic level predator, we sequenced pools of genomic DNA from dolphins sampled from both coastal and estuarine populations in Florida and during multiple HAB-associated mortality events. We sequenced 129 594 RAD loci and analysed 7431 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The allele frequencies of many of these polymorphic loci differed significantly between live and dead dolphins. Some loci associated with survival showed patterns suggesting a common genetic-based mechanism of resistance to brevetoxins in bottlenose dolphins along the Gulf coast of Florida, but others suggested regionally specific mechanisms of resistance or reflected differences among HABs. We identified candidate genes that may be the evolutionary target for brevetoxin resistance by searching the dolphin genome for genes adjacent to survival-associated SNPs. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Lacaziosis and lacaziosis-like prevalence among wild, common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the west coast of Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdett Hart, Leslie; Rotstein, Dave S; Wells, Randall S; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Schwacke, Lori H

    2011-05-24

    Lacaziosis (lobomycosis; Lacazia loboi) is a fungal skin disease that naturally occurs only in humans and dolphins. The first reported case of lacaziosis in a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus occurred in 1970 in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA, and subsequent photo-ID monitoring of the Sarasota Bay dolphin population has revealed persistence of the disease. The objectives of this study were to estimate lacaziosis prevalence (P) in 2 bottlenose dolphin populations on the west coast of Florida (Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor) and compare disease occurrence to other published estimates of lacaziosis in dolphin populations across the globe. Historic photographic records of dolphins captured and released for health assessment purposes (Sarasota Bay) and photo-ID studies (Charlotte Harbor) were screened for evidence of lesions consistent with lacaziosis. Health assessment data revealed a prevalence of lacaziosis in the Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphin population between 2 and 3%, and analyses of photo-ID data provided a lacaziosis-like prevalence estimate of 2% for Charlotte Harbor dolphins. With the exception of lacaziosis prevalence estimates for dolphins inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (P = 0.068; P = 0.12), no statistically significant differences were seen among Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor, and other published estimates. Although lacaziosis is a rare disease among these dolphin populations, studies that assess disease burden among different populations can assist with the surveillance of this zoonotic pathogen.

  3. Nocturnal Vocal Activity in Captive Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus: Could Dolphins have Presleep Choruses?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothee Kremers

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Nocturnal vocal activity in dolphins is often thought to be associated with feeding activity. However, when no food resources are available dolphins spend their time for the most part resting/sleeping. While unihemispherically sleeping, dolphins mostly swim slowly and synchronously in close proximity with one or more other individuals. Although vocal activity is lower during resting/sleeping, dolphins are not entirely silent the entire night. However, nothing is known about the temporal patterning of vocal activity at night and its potential relation with activity in dolphins. Here we recorded the vocal activity of a group of five captive bottlenose dolphins at night while having no feeding opportunity, examined whether there was any temporal pattern and/or a relation with breathing activity, used here as an index of overall activity. The temporal pattern revealed two peaks of intense whistle activity (8 p.m. and midnight, which were followed by a strong decrease of whistle rate and a slight decrease of respiration rate. We suggest that the high vocal activity at the peak periods might indicate socializing periods and that dolphins, like many other species, show periods of increased social and vocal interactions (chorusing? before starting to rest/sleep, maybe to ensure the synchrony of slow swimming observed in this species. These findings contribute to a better understanding of nocturnal vocal activity in cetaceans and suggest new lines of research on vocal/social activity of dolphins in relation to presleep and resting behavior.

  4. Mutations and polymorphism in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) albumin gene: First identification of mutations responsible for inherited bisalbuminemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gili, Claudia; Bonsembiante, Federico; Beffagna, Giorgia; Mazzariol, Sandro; Gelain, Maria Elena

    2017-10-01

    Hereditary bisalbuminemia is an asymptomatic and heterozygous condition in a range of species characterized by the presence of two serum albumin fractions with different electrophoretic mobility resulting in a bicuspid pattern on serum electrophoresis. Bisalbuminemia has been diagnosed by electrophoresis in two bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) families, but causative mutations and the inheritance pattern have not been identified. The aims of this work are: to investigate polymorphisms of the bottlenose dolphin albumin gene and to identify mutations causative of bisalbuminemia; to identify the inheritance pattern in two bottlenose dolphin families. Coding regions of the albumin gene were screened for mutations in 15 bottlenose dolphins kept under human care from two distinct families. Eighteen albumin mutations (three synonymous and 15 non-synonymous) were identified. Two non-synonymous variations co-segregated with bisalbuminemic phenotype: p.Phe146Leu in exon 4 and p.Tyr163His in exon 5. The amino acid change in exon 5 was associated with the secondary and/or tertiary structure variation of the protein and has been reported as causative of bisalbuminemia in humans. Pedigree analysis of the dolphin families showed an autosomal codominant inheritance pattern. In this work, the mutations potentially responsible for bisalbuminemia were identified and confirmed the autosomal codominant trait in bottlenose dolphins. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Training Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for Artificial Insemination

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-07-01

    performed on dolphins, we developed a new process. The training steps consisted of correct body position, penis erection , and semen collection. It took...the proper body orientation was under stimulus control, the next phase began. The initiation of penis erection was difficult to convey to the animal...Once the exposure of the penis tip was consistent, we reinforced 2 this behavior after every other response. Partial erections were reinforced

  6. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus do also cast neutrophil extracellular traps against the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum

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    R. Villagra-Blanco

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs are web-like structures composed of nuclear DNA decorated with histones and cytoplasmic peptides which antiparasitic properties have not previously been investigated in cetaceans. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN were isolated from healthy bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, and stimulated with Neospora caninum tachyzoites and the NETs-agonist zymosan. In vitro interactions of PMN with the tachyzoites resulted in rapid extrusion of NETs. For the demonstration and quantification of cetacean NETs, extracellular DNA was stained by using either Sytox Orange® or Pico Green®. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM and fluorescence analyses demonstrated PMN-derived release of NETs upon exposure to tachyzoites of N. caninum. Co-localization studies of N. caninum induced cetacean NETs proved the presence of DNA adorned with histones (H1, H2A/H2B, H3, H4, neutrophil elastase (NE, myeloperoxidase (MPO and pentraxin (PTX confirming the molecular properties of mammalian NETosis. Dolphin-derived N. caninum-NETosis were efficiently suppressed by DNase I and diphenyleneiodonium (DPI treatments. Our results indicate that cetacean-derived NETs represent an ancient, conserved and relevant defense effector mechanism of the host innate immune system against N. caninum and probably other related neozoan parasites circulating in the marine environment. Keywords: Tursiops truncatus, cetaceans, Neutrophil extracellular traps, Innate immunity, Neospora caninum.

  7. Characterization of a parainfluenza virus isolated from a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nollens, Hendrik H; Wellehan, James F X; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Caseltine, Shannon L; Jensen, Eric D; Van Bonn, William; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2008-04-30

    A novel member of the parainfluenza virus family was identified in a bottlenose dolphin with respiratory disease. The case animal was a 19-year old male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) that presented with signs of respiratory illness, including raspy, foul-odored breaths and cream-colored exudate from the blowhole. Focally extensive pyogranulomatous bronchointerstitial pneumonia with moderate numbers of intralesional yeast organisms was identified on histopathological examination. Other significant microscopic findings included multifocal erosive and ulcerative tracheitis and laryngitis consisting of active laryngeal lymphatic tissue and dilated glands with eosinophilic fluid. The cause of death was attributed to respiratory disease of unknown etiology. In addition to the postmortem isolation of Candida glabrata and mixed bacteria from lung tissue, a virus was isolated from two antemortem affected lung aspirates collected over a 2-month period and two postmortem samples (mediastinal lymph node and left lung tissue homogenate). The morphology of the virions on negative staining and transmission electron microscopy was consistent with that of paramyxoviruses. Two genomic fragments, comprising 532 and 419 nucleotides from the open reading frames that code for the viral polymerase and fusion protein, respectively, were amplified by polymerase chain reaction using degenerate primers. Phylogenetic analyses of the two viral RNA segments showed that the isolate comprised a novel virus strain, tentatively named T. truncatus parainfluenza virus type 1 (TtPIV-1). The virus is monophyletic with, but genetically distinct from, the various bovine parainfluenza virus type 3 strains.

  8. Phenotypic variation in dorsal fin morphology of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morteo, Eduardo; Rocha-Olivares, Axayácatl; Morteo, Rodrigo; Weller, David W

    2017-01-01

    Geographic variation in external morphology is thought to reflect an interplay between genotype and the environment. Morphological variation has been well-described for a number of cetacean species, including the bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ). In this study we analyzed dorsal fin morphometric variation in coastal bottlenose dolphins to search for geographic patterns at different spatial scales. A total of 533 dorsal fin images from 19 available photo-identification catalogs across the three Mexican oceanic regions (Pacific Ocean n  = 6, Gulf of California n  = 6 and, Gulf of Mexico n  = 7) were used in the analysis. Eleven fin shape measurements were analyzed to evaluate fin polymorphism through multivariate tests. Principal Component Analysis on log-transformed standardized ratios explained 94% of the variance. Canonical Discriminant Function Analysis on factor scores showed separation among most study areas ( p  < 0.05) with exception of the Gulf of Mexico where a strong morphometric cline was found. Possible explanations for the observed differences are related to environmental, biological and evolutionary processes. Shape distinction between dorsal fins from the Pacific and those from the Gulf of California were consistent with previously reported differences in skull morphometrics and genetics. Although the functional advantages of dorsal fin shape remains to be assessed, it is not unlikely that over a wide range of environments, fin shape may represent a trade-off among thermoregulatory capacity, hydrodynamic performance and the swimming/hunting behavior of the species.

  9. Phenotypic variation in dorsal fin morphology of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus off Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Morteo

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Geographic variation in external morphology is thought to reflect an interplay between genotype and the environment. Morphological variation has been well-described for a number of cetacean species, including the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus. In this study we analyzed dorsal fin morphometric variation in coastal bottlenose dolphins to search for geographic patterns at different spatial scales. A total of 533 dorsal fin images from 19 available photo-identification catalogs across the three Mexican oceanic regions (Pacific Ocean n = 6, Gulf of California n = 6 and, Gulf of Mexico n = 7 were used in the analysis. Eleven fin shape measurements were analyzed to evaluate fin polymorphism through multivariate tests. Principal Component Analysis on log-transformed standardized ratios explained 94% of the variance. Canonical Discriminant Function Analysis on factor scores showed separation among most study areas (p < 0.05 with exception of the Gulf of Mexico where a strong morphometric cline was found. Possible explanations for the observed differences are related to environmental, biological and evolutionary processes. Shape distinction between dorsal fins from the Pacific and those from the Gulf of California were consistent with previously reported differences in skull morphometrics and genetics. Although the functional advantages of dorsal fin shape remains to be assessed, it is not unlikely that over a wide range of environments, fin shape may represent a trade-off among thermoregulatory capacity, hydrodynamic performance and the swimming/hunting behavior of the species.

  10. Organohalogen compounds in blubber of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) from Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mwevura, Haji, E-mail: mwevura@yahoo.co [Department of Chemistry, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, United Republic of); Amir, Omar A., E-mail: omar.amir@zoologi.su.s [Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, P O Box 668, Zanzibar (Tanzania, United Republic of); Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Kishimba, Michael, E-mail: kishimba@chem.udsm.ac.t [Department of Chemistry, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania, United Republic of); Berggren, Per, E-mail: per.berggren@zoologi.su.s [Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU (United Kingdom); Kylin, Henrik, E-mail: henrik.kylin@vatten.slu.s [Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P O Box 7050, SE-750 07 Uppsala (Sweden); Norwegian Institute of Air Research, Polar Environmental Centre, NO-9296 Tromso (Norway)

    2010-06-15

    Blubber samples of Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner (Stenella longirostris) dolphins from Zanzibar, East Africa, were analyzed for a wide range of organohalogen compounds. Methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-BDEs), presumably biogenic, were found at higher concentrations than anthropogenic organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Only traces of industrial pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, were detected. The OCP levels found off Zanzibar were lower than those reported from other regions while MeO-BDE levels were higher. The relative composition of the OCPs indicated recent use of lindane (gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane) and aged residues of DDT and technical HCH. Placental transfer was estimated to 2.5% and 0.5% of the total burden of OCPs and MeO-BDEs, respectively. Overall transfer from mother to calf in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins was estimated to 72% and 85% for the OCPs and MeO-BDEs burdens, respectively. Health effects of MeO-BDEs are not known, but structural similarities with well-known environmental toxins are cause for concern. - Biogenic brominated organic compounds were found at higher concentrations than anthropogenic organochlorine pesticides in dolphins off Zanzibar.

  11. Comparative Analysis of Three Brevetoxin-Associated Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Mortality Events in the Florida Panhandle Region (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twiner, Michael J.; Flewelling, Leanne J.; Fire, Spencer E.; Bowen-Stevens, Sabrina R.; Gaydos, Joseph K.; Johnson, Christine K.; Landsberg, Jan H.; Leighfield, Tod A.; Mase-Guthrie, Blair; Schwacke, Lori; Van Dolah, Frances M.; Wang, Zhihong; Rowles, Teresa K.

    2012-01-01

    In the Florida Panhandle region, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have been highly susceptible to large-scale unusual mortality events (UMEs) that may have been the result of exposure to blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis and its neurotoxin, brevetoxin (PbTx). Between 1999 and 2006, three bottlenose dolphin UMEs occurred in the Florida Panhandle region. The primary objective of this study was to determine if these mortality events were due to brevetoxicosis. Analysis of over 850 samples from 105 bottlenose dolphins and associated prey items were analyzed for algal toxins and have provided details on tissue distribution, pathways of trophic transfer, and spatial-temporal trends for each mortality event. In 1999/2000, 152 dolphins died following extensive K. brevis blooms and brevetoxin was detected in 52% of animals tested at concentrations up to 500 ng/g. In 2004, 105 bottlenose dolphins died in the absence of an identifiable K. brevis bloom; however, 100% of the tested animals were positive for brevetoxin at concentrations up to 29,126 ng/mL. Dolphin stomach contents frequently consisted of brevetoxin-contaminated menhaden. In addition, another potentially toxigenic algal species, Pseudo-nitzschia, was present and low levels of the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) were detected in nearly all tested animals (89%). In 2005/2006, 90 bottlenose dolphins died that were initially coincident with high densities of K. brevis. Most (93%) of the tested animals were positive for brevetoxin at concentrations up to 2,724 ng/mL. No DA was detected in these animals despite the presence of an intense DA-producing Pseudo-nitzschia bloom. In contrast to the absence or very low levels of brevetoxins measured in live dolphins, and those stranding in the absence of a K. brevis bloom, these data, taken together with the absence of any other obvious pathology, provide strong evidence that brevetoxin was the causative agent involved in these bottlenose dolphin mortality

  12. Comparative analysis of three brevetoxin-associated bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus mortality events in the Florida Panhandle region (USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Twiner

    Full Text Available In the Florida Panhandle region, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus have been highly susceptible to large-scale unusual mortality events (UMEs that may have been the result of exposure to blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis and its neurotoxin, brevetoxin (PbTx. Between 1999 and 2006, three bottlenose dolphin UMEs occurred in the Florida Panhandle region. The primary objective of this study was to determine if these mortality events were due to brevetoxicosis. Analysis of over 850 samples from 105 bottlenose dolphins and associated prey items were analyzed for algal toxins and have provided details on tissue distribution, pathways of trophic transfer, and spatial-temporal trends for each mortality event. In 1999/2000, 152 dolphins died following extensive K. brevis blooms and brevetoxin was detected in 52% of animals tested at concentrations up to 500 ng/g. In 2004, 105 bottlenose dolphins died in the absence of an identifiable K. brevis bloom; however, 100% of the tested animals were positive for brevetoxin at concentrations up to 29,126 ng/mL. Dolphin stomach contents frequently consisted of brevetoxin-contaminated menhaden. In addition, another potentially toxigenic algal species, Pseudo-nitzschia, was present and low levels of the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA were detected in nearly all tested animals (89%. In 2005/2006, 90 bottlenose dolphins died that were initially coincident with high densities of K. brevis. Most (93% of the tested animals were positive for brevetoxin at concentrations up to 2,724 ng/mL. No DA was detected in these animals despite the presence of an intense DA-producing Pseudo-nitzschia bloom. In contrast to the absence or very low levels of brevetoxins measured in live dolphins, and those stranding in the absence of a K. brevis bloom, these data, taken together with the absence of any other obvious pathology, provide strong evidence that brevetoxin was the causative agent involved in these bottlenose dolphin

  13. Comparative analysis of three brevetoxin-associated bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) mortality events in the Florida Panhandle region (USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twiner, Michael J; Flewelling, Leanne J; Fire, Spencer E; Bowen-Stevens, Sabrina R; Gaydos, Joseph K; Johnson, Christine K; Landsberg, Jan H; Leighfield, Tod A; Mase-Guthrie, Blair; Schwacke, Lori; Van Dolah, Frances M; Wang, Zhihong; Rowles, Teresa K

    2012-01-01

    In the Florida Panhandle region, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have been highly susceptible to large-scale unusual mortality events (UMEs) that may have been the result of exposure to blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis and its neurotoxin, brevetoxin (PbTx). Between 1999 and 2006, three bottlenose dolphin UMEs occurred in the Florida Panhandle region. The primary objective of this study was to determine if these mortality events were due to brevetoxicosis. Analysis of over 850 samples from 105 bottlenose dolphins and associated prey items were analyzed for algal toxins and have provided details on tissue distribution, pathways of trophic transfer, and spatial-temporal trends for each mortality event. In 1999/2000, 152 dolphins died following extensive K. brevis blooms and brevetoxin was detected in 52% of animals tested at concentrations up to 500 ng/g. In 2004, 105 bottlenose dolphins died in the absence of an identifiable K. brevis bloom; however, 100% of the tested animals were positive for brevetoxin at concentrations up to 29,126 ng/mL. Dolphin stomach contents frequently consisted of brevetoxin-contaminated menhaden. In addition, another potentially toxigenic algal species, Pseudo-nitzschia, was present and low levels of the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) were detected in nearly all tested animals (89%). In 2005/2006, 90 bottlenose dolphins died that were initially coincident with high densities of K. brevis. Most (93%) of the tested animals were positive for brevetoxin at concentrations up to 2,724 ng/mL. No DA was detected in these animals despite the presence of an intense DA-producing Pseudo-nitzschia bloom. In contrast to the absence or very low levels of brevetoxins measured in live dolphins, and those stranding in the absence of a K. brevis bloom, these data, taken together with the absence of any other obvious pathology, provide strong evidence that brevetoxin was the causative agent involved in these bottlenose dolphin mortality

  14. Predicted bioaccumulation of PCBs and toxaphene in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): the contribution of contaminated prey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maruya, K.; Smalling, K. [Skidaway Inst. of Oceanography, Savannah, GA (United States); Pulster, E. [Savannah State Univ., Savannah, GA (United States)

    2004-09-15

    Residues of two organochlorines (OCs) -- Aroclor 1268 (a highly chlorinated PCB formulation) and toxaphene (a DDT-replacement pesticide) -- are major persistent contaminants in St. Simons Sound near Brunswick, Georgia, USA. Although studies have recently documented OC levels in Brunswick area fish that are routinely consumed by humans, little is known about organochlorine body burdens in resident marine mammals. Sub-populations of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), an abundant odontocete of the coastal mid-south Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions, have recently been shown to exhibit a limited home range and site fidelity in a northern Florida estuary, underscoring the need to assess the impact of OCs in individuals exposed via their natural prey (i.e. contaminated fish).

  15. Definite records of Sperm Whale Physeter catodon (Linnaeus, Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris (Gray and Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Montagu (Mammalia: Cetartiodactyla in the Arabian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Pande

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Definite records of five Sperm Whales Physeter catodon (Liinaeus, 58 Spinner Dolphins Stenella longirostris (Gray and 12 Bottlenose Dolphins Tursiops truncatus (Montagu in the Arabian Sea, encountered during Ela Foundation’s Pelagic Birds Survey and ornithological expedition to Lakshadweep Archipelago from 12 to 16 March 2006, are presented along with notes on behaviour, key identification features, four photographs and the conservation status of each species.

  16. A common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prey handling technique for marine catfish (Ariidae) in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronje, Errol I; Barry, Kevin P; Sinclair, Carrie; Grace, Mark A; Barros, Nélio; Allen, Jason; Balmer, Brian; Panike, Anna; Toms, Christina; Mullin, Keith D; Wells, Randall S

    2017-01-01

    Few accounts describe predator-prey interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Montagu 1821) and marine catfish (Ariopsis felis Linnaeus 1766, Bagre marinus Mitchill 1815). Over the course of 50,167 sightings of bottlenose dolphin groups in Mississippi Sound and along the Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico, severed catfish heads were found floating and exhibiting movements at the surface in close proximity to 13 dolphin groups that demonstrated feeding behavior. These observations prompted a multi-disciplinary approach to study the predator-prey relationship between bottlenose dolphins and marine catfish. A review was conducted of bottlenose dolphin visual survey data and dorsal fin photographs from sightings where severed catfish heads were observed. Recovered severed catfish heads were preserved and studied, whole marine catfish were collected and examined, and stranding network pathology reports were reviewed for references to injuries related to fish spines. Photographic identification analysis confirms eight dolphins associated with severed catfish heads were present in three such sightings across an approximately 350 km expanse of coast between the Mississippi Sound and Saint Joseph Bay, FL. An examination of the severed catfish heads indicated interaction with dolphins, and fresh-caught whole hardhead catfish (A. felis) were examined to estimate the presumed total length of the catfish before decapitation. Thirty-eight instances of significant trauma or death in dolphins attributed to ingesting whole marine catfish were documented in stranding records collected from the southeastern United States of America. Bottlenose dolphins typically adhere to a ram-feeding strategy for prey capture followed by whole prey ingestion; however, marine catfish skull morphology may pose a consumption hazard due to rigid spines that can puncture and migrate through soft tissue, prompting a prey handling technique for certain dolphins, facilitating

  17. A common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus prey handling technique for marine catfish (Ariidae in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Errol I Ronje

    Full Text Available Few accounts describe predator-prey interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Montagu 1821 and marine catfish (Ariopsis felis Linnaeus 1766, Bagre marinus Mitchill 1815. Over the course of 50,167 sightings of bottlenose dolphin groups in Mississippi Sound and along the Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico, severed catfish heads were found floating and exhibiting movements at the surface in close proximity to 13 dolphin groups that demonstrated feeding behavior. These observations prompted a multi-disciplinary approach to study the predator-prey relationship between bottlenose dolphins and marine catfish. A review was conducted of bottlenose dolphin visual survey data and dorsal fin photographs from sightings where severed catfish heads were observed. Recovered severed catfish heads were preserved and studied, whole marine catfish were collected and examined, and stranding network pathology reports were reviewed for references to injuries related to fish spines. Photographic identification analysis confirms eight dolphins associated with severed catfish heads were present in three such sightings across an approximately 350 km expanse of coast between the Mississippi Sound and Saint Joseph Bay, FL. An examination of the severed catfish heads indicated interaction with dolphins, and fresh-caught whole hardhead catfish (A. felis were examined to estimate the presumed total length of the catfish before decapitation. Thirty-eight instances of significant trauma or death in dolphins attributed to ingesting whole marine catfish were documented in stranding records collected from the southeastern United States of America. Bottlenose dolphins typically adhere to a ram-feeding strategy for prey capture followed by whole prey ingestion; however, marine catfish skull morphology may pose a consumption hazard due to rigid spines that can puncture and migrate through soft tissue, prompting a prey handling technique for certain dolphins

  18. A common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prey handling technique for marine catfish (Ariidae) in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, Kevin P.; Sinclair, Carrie; Grace, Mark A.; Allen, Jason; Balmer, Brian; Panike, Anna; Toms, Christina; Mullin, Keith D.; Wells, Randall S.

    2017-01-01

    Few accounts describe predator-prey interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Montagu 1821) and marine catfish (Ariopsis felis Linnaeus 1766, Bagre marinus Mitchill 1815). Over the course of 50,167 sightings of bottlenose dolphin groups in Mississippi Sound and along the Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico, severed catfish heads were found floating and exhibiting movements at the surface in close proximity to 13 dolphin groups that demonstrated feeding behavior. These observations prompted a multi-disciplinary approach to study the predator-prey relationship between bottlenose dolphins and marine catfish. A review was conducted of bottlenose dolphin visual survey data and dorsal fin photographs from sightings where severed catfish heads were observed. Recovered severed catfish heads were preserved and studied, whole marine catfish were collected and examined, and stranding network pathology reports were reviewed for references to injuries related to fish spines. Photographic identification analysis confirms eight dolphins associated with severed catfish heads were present in three such sightings across an approximately 350 km expanse of coast between the Mississippi Sound and Saint Joseph Bay, FL. An examination of the severed catfish heads indicated interaction with dolphins, and fresh-caught whole hardhead catfish (A. felis) were examined to estimate the presumed total length of the catfish before decapitation. Thirty-eight instances of significant trauma or death in dolphins attributed to ingesting whole marine catfish were documented in stranding records collected from the southeastern United States of America. Bottlenose dolphins typically adhere to a ram-feeding strategy for prey capture followed by whole prey ingestion; however, marine catfish skull morphology may pose a consumption hazard due to rigid spines that can puncture and migrate through soft tissue, prompting a prey handling technique for certain dolphins, facilitating

  19. On the role of periodic structures in the lower jaw of the atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dible, S A; Flint, J A; Lepper, P A [Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU (United Kingdom)], E-mail: james.flint@ieee.org

    2009-03-01

    This paper proposes the application of band-gap theory to hearing in the atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Using the transmission line modelling (TLM) technique and published computed tomography (CT) data of an atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), a series of sound propagation experiments have been carried out. It is shown that the teeth in the lower jaw can be viewed as a periodic array of scattering elements which result in the formation of an acoustic stop band (or band gap) that is angular dependent. It is shown through simple and complex geometry simulations that performance enhancements such as improved gain and isolation between the two receive paths can be achieved. This mechanism has the potential to be exploited in direction-finding sonar.

  20. Identification and characteristics of signature whistles in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriesell, Hannah Joy; Elwen, Simon Harvey; Nastasi, Aurora; Gridley, Tess

    2014-01-01

    A signature whistle type is a learned, individually distinctive whistle type in a dolphin's acoustic repertoire that broadcasts the identity of the whistle owner. The acquisition and use of signature whistles indicates complex cognitive functioning that requires wider investigation in wild dolphin populations. Here we identify signature whistle types from a population of approximately 100 wild common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting Walvis Bay, and describe signature whistle occurrence, acoustic parameters and temporal production. A catalogue of 43 repeatedly emitted whistle types (REWTs) was generated by analysing 79 hrs of acoustic recordings. From this, 28 signature whistle types were identified using a method based on the temporal patterns in whistle sequences. A visual classification task conducted by 5 naïve judges showed high levels of agreement in classification of whistles (Fleiss-Kappa statistic, κ = 0.848, Z = 55.3, Ptruncatus population inhabiting African waters and it provides a baseline on which more in depth behavioural studies can be based.

  1. Discriminating features of echolocation clicks of melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and Gray's spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris longirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann-Pickering, Simone; Wiggins, Sean M; Hildebrand, John A; Roch, Marie A; Schnitzler, Hans-Ulrich

    2010-10-01

    Spectral parameters were used to discriminate between echolocation clicks produced by three dolphin species at Palmyra Atoll: melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Gray's spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris longirostris). Single species acoustic behavior during daytime observations was recorded with a towed hydrophone array sampling at 192 and 480 kHz. Additionally, an autonomous, bottom moored High-frequency Acoustic Recording Package (HARP) collected acoustic data with a sampling rate of 200 kHz. Melon-headed whale echolocation clicks had the lowest peak and center frequencies, spinner dolphins had the highest frequencies and bottlenose dolphins were nested in between these two species. Frequency differences were significant. Temporal parameters were not well suited for classification. Feature differences were enhanced by reducing variability within a set of single clicks by calculating mean spectra for groups of clicks. Median peak frequencies of averaged clicks (group size 50) of melon-headed whales ranged between 24.4 and 29.7 kHz, of bottlenose dolphins between 26.7 and 36.7 kHz, and of spinner dolphins between 33.8 and 36.0 kHz. Discriminant function analysis showed the ability to correctly discriminate between 93% of melon-headed whales, 75% of spinner dolphins and 54% of bottlenose dolphins.

  2. Genetic diversity of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops sp.) populations in the western North Pacific and the conservation implications.

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Ing; Nishida, Shin; Yang, Wei-Cheng; Isobe, Tomohiko; Tajima, Yuko; Hoelzel, A. Rus

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary processes that shape patterns of diversity in highly mobile marine species are poorly understood, but important towards transferable inference on their effective conservation. In this study, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) are studied to address this broader question. They exhibit remarkable geographical variation for morphology, life history, and genetic diversity, and this high level of variation has made the taxonomy of the genus controversial. A significant population ...

  3. An Inventory of Peer-reviewed Articles on Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) with a Comparison to Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    OpenAIRE

    Hill, Heather M.; Sara Guarino; Sarah Dietrich; Judy St. Leger

    2016-01-01

    The welfare of killer whales (Orcinus orca) has received worldwide attention recently. The purpose of this study was to sample the peer-reviewed scientific research on killer whales with a complementary comparison to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to ascertain the primary topics of research conducted with these two cetaceans. A second objective of the study was to assess the relationship between the research topic and the setting in which the research was conducted. From a ...

  4. Genome Sequence of a Gammaherpesvirus from a Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    OpenAIRE

    Davison, Andrew J.; Subramaniam, Kuttichantran; Kerr, Karen; Jacob, Jessica M.; Landrau, Nelmarie; Michael T Walsh; Wells, Randall S.; Waltzek, Thomas B.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT A herpesvirus genome was sequenced directly from a biopsy specimen of a rectal lesion from a female common bottlenose dolphin. This genome sequence comprises a unique region (161,235?bp) flanked by multiple copies of a terminal repeat (4,431?bp) and contains 72 putative genes. The virus was named common bottlenose dolphin gammaherpesvirus 1.

  5. Skin lesions on common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from three sites in the Northwest Atlantic, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie Burdett Hart

    Full Text Available Skin disease occurs frequently in many cetacean species across the globe; methods to categorize lesions have relied on photo-identification (photo-id, stranding, and by-catch data. The current study used photo-id data from four sampling months during 2009 to estimate skin lesion prevalence and type occurring on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from three sites along the southeast United States coast [Sarasota Bay, FL (SSB; near Brunswick and Sapelo Island, GA (BSG; and near Charleston, SC (CHS]. The prevalence of lesions was highest among BSG dolphins (P = 0.587 and lowest in SSB (P = 0.380, and the overall prevalence was significantly different among all sites (p<0.0167. Logistic regression modeling revealed a significant reduction in the odds of lesion occurrence for increasing water temperatures (OR = 0.92; 95%CI:0.906-0.938 and a significantly increased odds of lesion occurrence for BSG dolphins (OR = 1.39; 95%CI:1.203-1.614. Approximately one-third of the lesioned dolphins from each site presented with multiple types, and population differences in lesion type occurrence were observed (p<0.05. Lesions on stranded dolphins were sampled to determine the etiology of different lesion types, which included three visually distinct samples positive for herpesvirus. Although generally considered non-fatal, skin disease may be indicative of animal health or exposure to anthropogenic or environmental threats, and photo-id data provide an efficient and cost-effective approach to document the occurrence of skin lesions in free-ranging populations.

  6. Skin Lesions on Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Three Sites in the Northwest Atlantic, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Leslie Burdett; Rotstein, Dave S.; Wells, Randall S.; Allen, Jason; Barleycorn, Aaron; Balmer, Brian C.; Lane, Suzanne M.; Speakman, Todd; Zolman, Eric S.; Stolen, Megan; McFee, Wayne; Goldstein, Tracey; Rowles, Teri K.; Schwacke, Lori H.

    2012-01-01

    Skin disease occurs frequently in many cetacean species across the globe; methods to categorize lesions have relied on photo-identification (photo-id), stranding, and by-catch data. The current study used photo-id data from four sampling months during 2009 to estimate skin lesion prevalence and type occurring on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from three sites along the southeast United States coast [Sarasota Bay, FL (SSB); near Brunswick and Sapelo Island, GA (BSG); and near Charleston, SC (CHS)]. The prevalence of lesions was highest among BSG dolphins (P = 0.587) and lowest in SSB (P = 0.380), and the overall prevalence was significantly different among all sites (p<0.0167). Logistic regression modeling revealed a significant reduction in the odds of lesion occurrence for increasing water temperatures (OR = 0.92; 95%CI:0.906–0.938) and a significantly increased odds of lesion occurrence for BSG dolphins (OR = 1.39; 95%CI:1.203–1.614). Approximately one-third of the lesioned dolphins from each site presented with multiple types, and population differences in lesion type occurrence were observed (p<0.05). Lesions on stranded dolphins were sampled to determine the etiology of different lesion types, which included three visually distinct samples positive for herpesvirus. Although generally considered non-fatal, skin disease may be indicative of animal health or exposure to anthropogenic or environmental threats, and photo-id data provide an efficient and cost-effective approach to document the occurrence of skin lesions in free-ranging populations. PMID:22427955

  7. Health and Environmental Risk Assessment Project for bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the southeastern USA. II. Environmental aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S; Schaefer, Adam M; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A

    2017-07-24

    Bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus are the most common apex predators found in coastal and estuarine ecosystems along the southeastern coast of the USA, where these animals are exposed to multiple chemical pollutants and microbial agents. In this review, we summarize the results of investigations of environmental exposures evaluated in 360 free-ranging dolphins between 2003 and 2015. Bottlenose dolphins inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (IRL, n = 246), and coastal waters of Charleston, South Carolina (CHS, n = 114), were captured, given comprehensive health examinations, and released as part of a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional study of individual and population health. High concentrations of persistent organic pollutants including legacy contaminants (DDT and other pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl compounds) as well as 'emerging' contaminants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, perfluorinated compounds) were detected in dolphins from CHS, with lower concentrations in the IRL. Conversely, the concentrations of mercury in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins were among the highest reported worldwide and approximately 5 times as high as those found in CHS dolphins. A high prevalence of resistance to antibiotics commonly used in humans and animals was detected in bacteria isolated from fecal, blowhole, and/or gastric samples at both sites, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at CHS. Collectively, these studies illustrate the importance of long-term surveillance of estuarine populations of bottlenose dolphins and reaffirm their important role as sentinels for marine ecosystems and public health.

  8. Associations and the role of affiliative, agonistic, and socio-sexual behaviors among common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Briana Seay; Dudzinski, Kathleen Maria; Kuczaj, Stan Abraham

    2017-02-01

    Little is known about the specific behavioral exchanges that occur on a day-to-day basis between dyads of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This study assesses the proportion of time dyads spend in proximity (within ∼2m) and the proportion of time spent in affiliative, agonistic, or socio-sexual contexts within and between age/sex dolphin pairings to better understand their social relationships. Observations of bottlenose dolphins housed at the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences provided 10.5h of underwater footage from which to examine association coefficients and inter-individual interactions. These data suggest similar patterns to previous studies on bottlenose dolphins: mother-calf dyads shared the highest coefficients of association, followed by male-male, female-female, and male-female dyads. Four classes of association coefficients were defined for the population including low, medium, medium-high and high. This study is the first to quantitatively assess association patterns concurrently with affiliative, agonistic, and socio-sexual behaviors for bottlenose dolphins. The predominant relationships were affiliative. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Ecological variables influencing trace element concentrations in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) stranded in continental Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Sílvia S; Torres, Jordi; Ferreira, Marisa; Marçalo, Ana; Nicolau, Lídia; Vingada, José V; Eira, Catarina

    2016-02-15

    Both the conservation status of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) (Habitats Directive 92/43/CEE, Annex II) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive demand for data on their ecology and anthropogenic threats. To evaluate the bottlenose dolphin's toxicological status in continental Portugal, several trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn) were determined in 25 stranded individuals. The potential effect of sex, body length and stranding location on trace element concentrations was analysed. In the present study, bottlenose dolphins presented high mercury levels, only exceeded by animals from the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. Only essential elements were influenced by dolphin sex, whereas Cd, Hg and Pb bioaccumulated in larger dolphins, and hepatic Hg and Cd concentrations were higher in the northwest coast of continental Portugal. The location effect may relate to variations in bottlenose diet and trace element availability, according to the proximity to anthropogenic sources in the Atlantic Iberian coast. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Sociability of female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Understanding evolutionary pathways toward social convergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Heidi C

    2011-01-01

    On the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) occasionally pass through Admiralty Bay in large, fast-traveling groups of 100 or so individuals. Watching such a group race and splash through the water is reminiscent of a stampeding herd of ungulates, cetaceans' closest terrestrial ancestors. At other times, smaller social groups of bottlenose dolphins appear in the bay and provide a glimpse of the behavioral complexity that dolphins share with their distant relatives, the primates (Fig. 1). Despite being evolutionarily separated for 95 million years and evolving in vastly different environments, cetaceans and primates share striking similarities in behavior, socioecological problem-solving, life-history patterns, and cognitive capacity. By comparing attributes shared by primates and cetaceans, distraction from phylogenetic "noise" is minimized and our understanding of evolutionary pathways is enhanced. In particular, cetaceans provide a powerful outgroup for studying the evolution of primate social organization. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Field energetics and lung function in wild bottlenose dolphins,Tursiops truncatus, in Sarasota Bay Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahlman, A; Brodsky, M; Wells, R; McHugh, K; Allen, J; Barleycorn, A; Sweeney, J C; Fauquier, D; Moore, M

    2018-01-01

    We measured respiratory flow rates, and expired O 2 in 32 (2-34 years, body mass [ M b ] range: 73-291 kg) common bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) during voluntary breaths on land or in water (between 2014 and 2017). The data were used to measure the resting O 2 consumption rate ([Formula: see text], range: 0.76-9.45 ml O 2  min -1  kg -1 ) and tidal volume ( V T , range: 2.2-10.4 l) during rest. For adult dolphins, the resting V T , but not [Formula: see text], correlated with body mass ( M b , range: 141-291 kg) with an allometric mass-exponent of 0.41. These data suggest that the mass-specific V T of larger dolphins decreases considerably more than that of terrestrial mammals (mass-exponent: 1.03). The average resting [Formula: see text] was similar to previously published metabolic measurements from the same species. Our data indicate that the resting metabolic rate for a 150 kg dolphin would be 3.9 ml O 2  min -1  kg -1 , and the metabolic rate for active animals, assuming a multiplier of 3-6, would range from 11.7 to 23.4 ml O 2  min -1  kg -1 .\\absbreak Our measurements provide novel data for resting energy use and respiratory physiology in wild cetaceans, which may have significant value for conservation efforts and for understanding the bioenergetic requirements of this species.

  12. Dosing and therapeutic drug monitoring of voriconazole in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrier, Krm; van Elk, C E; Bunskoek, P E; van den Broek, Mph

    2017-02-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can suffer from fungal infections, which can be treated with voriconazole. In common practice, the voriconazole doses are extrapolated from human doses by adjusting for body weight only, because no dose regimen is available yet. Therefore, the aim of this study was to define a dose regimen for voriconazole in bottlenose dolphins. Dolphins treated with voriconazole between November 2005 and September 2015 at the Dolfinarium Harderwijk, the Netherlands, and TDM was performed were included. Voriconazole plasma concentrations were analyzed with a HPLC-UV method. A population pharmacokinetic model was developed using Mw/Pharm in which the elimination rate constant (k e ) and apparent total distribution volume (Vd) was calculated. The loading dose was calculated using the central Vd (Vd c ). The maintenance dose was simulated in Mw/Pharm using k e and total Vd.Eleven dolphins were included. K e was estimated to be 0.0026 ± 0.0007 hour -1 (mean ± SD), Vd 5.3 ± 3.2 l/kg (mean ± SD), and Vd c ranged between 1.8 and 2.8 l/kg (mean 2.2 l/kg). In order to obtain a median top plasma concentration of 5 mg/l, the loading dose was calculated to be 10 mg/kg (range 9.0-14.2 mg/kg) divided in three administrations (3.3 mg/kg every 24 hours). The maintenance dose was calculated to be 4 mg/kg once a week (range 1.7-6.0 mg/kg); 17% of the dolphins did not reach the therapeutic window of 1-5 mg/l without TDM. A TDM-guided dosing algorithm was developed in order to obtain therapeutic plasma concentrations in this population. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Variation in Female Reproductive Tract Morphology of the Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orbach, Dara N; Marshall, Christopher D; Würsig, Bernd; Mesnick, Sarah L

    2016-04-01

    Cetaceans exhibit vaginal folds, unusual protrusions of the vaginal wall into the vaginal lumen. Inconsistent terminology and a lack of anatomical landmarks in the literature have hindered comparative studies of the form and function of vaginal folds. Our objectives are to: (1) develop a standardized measurement protocol for the reproductive tracts of female cetaceans, (2) assess variation in morphometrics within the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), and (3) determine if vaginal muscle is skeletal, and therefore of somatic origin in this species. We selected 15 measurements to characterize female reproductive tracts and evaluated variability using fresh or frozen-thawed specimens from southeastern USA representing a range of sexual maturity states and reproductive states (n = 18 specimens). Presence of skeletal muscle and variation in the density of muscle banding were assessed using 90 histological samples (n = 5 specimens). Analyses of the gross morphological data revealed that the dolphins generally had one large vaginal fold that bisected the vaginal lumen. Vaginal morphology was similar for sexually mature and immature specimens and across reproductive states. The histological data revealed that the vaginal musculature consisted of smooth muscle, consistent with other mammals, leading us to conclude that vaginal contractions are likely under autonomic rather than somatic control. No differences were found in the density of smooth muscle banding among vaginal regions or sexual maturity states. Our systematic protocol lays the foundation for evaluating the function (e.g., sexual selection, natural selection) and evolution of vaginal folds. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Nontargeted Screening of Halogenated Organic Compounds in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, Mariana B; Maruya, Keith A; Dodder, Nathan G; Lailson-Brito, José; Azevedo, Alexandre; Santos-Neto, Elitieri; Torres, Joao P M; Malm, Olaf; Hoh, Eunha

    2017-02-07

    To catalog the diversity and abundance of halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) accumulating in high trophic marine species from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, tissue from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded or incidentally captured along the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were analyzed by a nontargeted approach based on GC×GC/TOF-MS. A total of 158 individual HOCs from 32 different structural classes were detected in the blubber of 4 adult male T. truncatus. Nearly 90% of the detected compounds are not routinely monitored in the environment. DDT-related and mirex/dechlorane-related compounds were the most abundant classes of anthropogenic origin. Methoxy-brominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-BDEs) and chlorinated methyl- and dimethyl bipyrroles (MBPs and DMBPs) were the most abundant natural products. Reported for the first time in southwestern Atlantic cetaceans and in contrast to North American marine mammals, chlorinated MBPs and DMBPs were more abundant than their brominated and/or mixed halogenated counterparts. HOC profiles in coastal T. truncatus from Brazil and California revealed a distinct difference, with a higher abundance of MeO-BDEs, mirex/dechloranes and chlorinated bipyrroles in the Brazilian dolphins. Thirty-six percent of the detected HOCs had an unknown structure. These results suggest broad geographical differences in the patterns of bioaccumulative chemicals found in the marine environment and indicate the need to develop more complete catalogs of HOCs from various marine environments.

  15. Clinical management of Candida albicans keratomycosis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeone, Claire A; Traversi, John P; Meegan, Jenny M; LeBert, Carolina; Colitz, Carmen M H; Jensen, Eric D

    2017-01-11

    Corneal ulceration secondary to trauma commonly affects marine mammals, often with opportunistic secondary bacterial or fungal infections. This report characterizes the combined use of auriculopalpebral and ophthalmic nerve blocks, adipose-derived stem cells, and subconjunctival injections for successful treatment of corneal trauma and infection in dolphins. An 11-year-old, female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presented with bilateral diffuse corneal opacities, which progressed to keratomycosis caused by Candida albicans. Aggressive medical management was employed, including the use of subconjunctival injections of adipose-derived stem cells, plasma, topical and oral antifungals and antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Anesthetic block of the auriculopalpebral and ophthalmic nerves was employed to evaluate the corneas. Subconjunctival injections were employed over 52 days, followed by topical drops for 5 months. At last evaluation, there was no evidence of blepharospasm bilaterally. Only a faint superficial gray corneal opacity remained OS. A temporal paraxial corneal opacity was present OD, with receding inactive vascularization and a small amount of melanosis temporally. © 2017 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  16. Transcriptomic analysis of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) skin biopsies to assess the effects of emerging contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunardi, Denise; Abelli, Luigi; Panti, Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Mancia, Annalaura

    2016-03-01

    Chemicals discovered in water at levels that may be significantly different than expected are referred to as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) because the risk to environmental health posed by their occurrence/frequency is still unknown. The worldwide distributed compounds perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and bisphenol A (BPA) may fall into this category due to effects on endocrine receptors. We applied an ex vivo assay using small slices of bioptic skin from the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, cultured and treated for 24 h with different PFOA or BPA concentrations to analyze global gene expression. RNA was labeled and hybridized to a species-specific oligomicroarray. The skin transcriptome held information on the contaminant exposure, potentially predictive about long-term effects on health, being the genes affected involved in immunity modulation, response to stress, lipid homeostasis, and development. The transcriptomic signature of dolphin skin could be therefore relevant as classifier for a specific contaminant. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Gastrointestinal parasites of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the extreme Southwestern Atlantic, with notes on diet composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, María Alejandra; Fernández, Mercedes; Dans, Silvana L; García, Néstor A; González, Raúl; Crespo, Enrique A

    2014-02-04

    We surveyed the gastrointestinal tracts of 6 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from Patagonia to check for helminth parasites and characterize dolphin diet. All dolphins harbored parasites (6477 helminths). We recorded 7 species, including nematodes Anisakis simplex s.l., Pseudoterranova decipiens, acanthocephalans Corynosoma cetaceum, C. australe, and digeneans Braunina cordiformis, Pholeter gastrophilus and Synthesium tursionis. Among the gastric helminths, the most prevalent species were C. cetaceum and A. simplex while C. australe and S. tursionis inhabited the intestine at low prevalence. This is the first report of C. australe and P. decipiens in bottlenose dolphins. Regarding diet, 5 stomachs contained food remains (consisting of 103 prey items). The most important prey species were Geotria australis and Stromateus brasiliensis, but their role in parasite transmission is unclear. At the community level, the gastrointestinal parasite community of T. truncatus was depauperate and strongly overlapped the community described for pelagic dolphins inhabiting Patagonia, suggesting a strong local influence in shaping helminth communities. Nevertheless, these observations are at odds with the notion that oceanic cetaceans have comparatively poorer helminth fauna than neritic species such as bottlenose dolphins, due to the lower likelihood of parasite exchange.

  18. Evaluation of anti-Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae IgG response in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus to a commercial pig vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nollens, Hendrik H; Giménez-Lirola, Luis G; Robeck, Todd R; Schmitt, Todd L; DiRocco, Stacy; Opriessnig, Tanja

    2016-10-27

    Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is the causative agent of erysipeloid in humans and of erysipelas in various animals, including bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus, in which an infection has the potential to cause peracute septicemia and death. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of using an off-label porcine (ER BAC PLUS®, Zoetis) E. rhusiopathiae bactrin in a bottlenose dolphin vaccination program by determining the anti-E. rhusiopathiae antibody levels in vaccinated dolphins over a 10 yr period. Serum samples (n = 88) were analyzed using a modified fluorescent microbead immunoassay from 54 dolphins, including 3 individuals with no history of vaccination and 51 dolphins with an average of 5 vaccinations, 3 of which had previously recovered from a natural E. rhusiopathiae infection. A mean 311-fold increase in the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody index was measured in a subsample of 10 dolphins 14 d after the first booster vaccination. Serum IgG antibody titers were influenced by number of vaccines received (r2 = 0.47, p < 0.05) but not by age, gender, history of natural infection, adverse vaccine reaction, vaccination interval or time since last vaccination. The commercial pig bacterin was deemed effective in generating humoral immunity against E. rhusiopathiae in dolphins. However, since the probability of an adverse reaction toward the vaccine was moderately correlated (p = 0.07, r2 = 0.1) with number of vaccines administered, more research is needed to determine the optimal vaccination interval.

  19. Genome Sequence of a Gammaherpesvirus from a Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davison, Andrew J; Subramaniam, Kuttichantran; Kerr, Karen; Jacob, Jessica M; Landrau-Giovannetti, Nelmarie; Walsh, Michael T; Wells, Randall S; Waltzek, Thomas B

    2017-08-03

    A herpesvirus genome was sequenced directly from a biopsy specimen of a rectal lesion from a female common bottlenose dolphin. This genome sequence comprises a unique region (161,235 bp) flanked by multiple copies of a terminal repeat (4,431 bp) and contains 72 putative genes. The virus was named common bottlenose dolphin gammaherpesvirus 1. Copyright © 2017 Davison et al.

  20. Echolocation parameters of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Freitas, Mafalda; Jensen, Frants H; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Madsen, Peter T

    2015-06-01

    Echolocation is a key sensory modality for toothed whale orientation, navigation, and foraging. However, a more comparative understanding of the biosonar properties of toothed whales is necessary to understand behavioral and evolutionary adaptions. To address this, two free-ranging sympatric delphinid species, Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), were studied. Biosonar clicks from both species were recorded within the same stretch of coastal habitat in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, using a vertical seven element hydrophone array. S. sahulensis used biosonar clicks with a mean source level of 199 ± 3 dB re 1 μPa peak-peak (pp), mean centroid frequency of 106 ± 11 kHz, and emitted at interclick intervals (ICIs) of 79 ± 33 ms. These parameters were similar to click parameters of sympatric T. aduncus, characterized by mean source levels of 204 ± 4 dB re 1 μPa pp, centroid frequency of 112 ± 9 kHz, and ICIs of 73 ± 29 ms. These properties are comparable to those of other similar sized delphinids and suggest that biosonar parameters are independent of sympatric delphinids and possibly driven by body size. The dynamic biosonar behavior of these delphinids may have, consequently, allowed for adaptations to local environments through high levels of control over sonar beam properties.

  1. Anisakis spp. induced granulomatous dermatitis in a harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena and a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Beurden, Steven J; IJsseldijk, Lonneke L; Cremers, Herman J W M; Gröne, Andrea; Verheije, M Hélène; Begeman, Lineke

    2015-01-15

    Cetaceans are well known definitive hosts of parasitic nematodes of the genus Anisakis (Nematoda: Anisakidae). Anisakid nematodes are also a health hazard for humans, potentially causing gastrointestinal infections or allergic reactions following the consumption of infected fish. In marine mammals, the nematodes develop from third-stage larvae to adults in the stomachs. In the first (or fore-) stomach, these parasites are typically associated with mucosal ulceration; parasites have not been identified in other organs. Two small cetaceans, a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus and a harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, presented marked gastric A. simplex infection, as well as chronic granulomatous and ulcerative dermatitis with intralesional nematodes, bordered by epithelial hyperplasia. Nematodes in the skin of the bottlenose dolphin were morphologically similar to Anisakis spp. Morphology of the parasitic remnants in the skin lesion of the harbour porpoise was indistinct, but molecular identification confirmed the presence of A. simplex. This is the first report of Anisakis spp. infection in the skin of marine mammals.

  2. Effects of oral megestrol acetate administration on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, Dorian S; Champagne, Cory D; Jensen, Eric D; Smith, Cynthia R; Cotte, Lara S; Meegan, Jenny M; Booth, Rebecca K; Wasser, Samuel K

    2017-07-15

    OBJECTIVE To evaluate the impact of oral megestrol acetate (MA) administration on adrenal function in male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). DESIGN Serial cross-sectional study. ANIMALS 8 adult male dolphins, all of which were receiving MA at various daily doses (range, 0 to 60 mg, PO) for the control of reproductive behavior. PROCEDURES Blood samples were collected every 2 weeks for 1 year from dolphins trained to voluntarily provide them. Cortisol, ACTH, and other hormone concentrations were measured in serum or plasma via radioimmunoassay or ELISA. Fecal samples, also provided by dolphins voluntarily, were assayed for glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations. Effects of daily MA dose on hormone concentrations were evaluated. RESULTS Daily MA doses as low as 10 mg strongly suppressed cortisol secretion in nearly all dolphins, and except for a single measurement, no dolphin had measurable serum concentrations at doses ≥ 20 mg. Variations in serum cortisol concentration were unrelated to season but were directly related to ACTH concentrations, suggesting primary effects upstream of the adrenal gland. Cessation of MA administration resulted in almost immediate restoration of measurable serum cortisol concentrations, although concentrations continued to rise in a few dolphins over the following weeks to months. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Caution should be exercised when administering MA to control reproductive behavior in male dolphins. Because the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis appeared to be sensitive to even small doses of MA in dolphins, duration of treatment may be the most critical consideration.

  3. Diffusion tractography reveals pervasive asymmetry of cerebral white matter tracts in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Alexandra K; Theilmann, Rebecca J; Ridgway, Sam H; Scadeng, Miriam

    2017-11-30

    Brain enlargement is associated with concomitant growth of interneuronal distance, increased conduction time, and reduced neuronal interconnectivity. Recognition of these functional constraints led to the hypothesis that large-brained mammals should exhibit greater structural and functional brain lateralization. As a taxon with the largest brains in the animal kingdom, Cetacea provides a unique opportunity to examine asymmetries of brain structure and function. In the present study, diffusion tensor imaging and tractography were used to investigate cerebral white matter asymmetry in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Widespread white matter asymmetries were observed with the preponderance of tracts exhibiting leftward structural asymmetries. Leftward lateralization may reflect differential processing and execution of behaviorally variant sensory and motor functions by the cerebral hemispheres. The arcuate fasciculus, an association tract linked to human language evolution, was isolated and exhibited rightward asymmetry suggesting a right hemisphere bias for conspecific communication unlike that of most mammals. This study represents the first examination of cetacean white matter asymmetry and constitutes an important step toward understanding potential drivers of structural asymmetry and its role in underpinning functional and behavioral lateralization in cetaceans.

  4. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) auditory brainstem responses to frequency-modulated "chirp" stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finneran, James J; Mulsow, Jason; Jones, Ryan; Houser, Dorian S; Burkard, Robert F

    2017-08-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that increasing-frequency chirp stimuli (up-chirps) can enhance human auditory brainstem response (ABR) amplitudes by compensating for temporal dispersion occurring along the cochlear partition. In this study, ABRs were measured in two bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in response to spectrally white clicks, up-chirps, and decreasing-frequency chirps (down-chirps). Chirp durations varied from 125 to 2000 μs. For all stimuli, frequency bandwidth was constant (10-180 kHz) and peak-equivalent sound pressure levels (peSPLs) were 115, 125, and 135 dB re 1 μPa. Up-chirps with durations less than ∼1000 μs generally increased ABR peak amplitudes compared to clicks with the same peSPL or energy flux spectral density level, while down-chirps with durations from above ∼250 to 500 μs decreased ABR amplitudes relative to clicks. The findings generally mirror those from human studies and suggest that the use of chirp stimuli may be an effective way to enhance broadband ABR amplitudes in larger marine mammals.

  5. An Inventory of Peer-reviewed Articles on Killer Whales (Orcinus orca with a Comparison to Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M. Hill

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The welfare of killer whales (Orcinus orca has received worldwide attention recently. The purpose of this study was to sample the peer-reviewed scientific research on killer whales with a complementary comparison to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus to ascertain the primary topics of research conducted with these two cetaceans. A second objective of the study was to assess the relationship between the research topic and the setting in which the research was conducted. From a database-driven search of peer-reviewed academic journal articles, 759 unique articles involving killer whales, 2,022 unique articles involving Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and 38 additional articles that included both species were retained for analysis. Coders categorized each article by topic (Anthropogenic Response, Cognition, Distribution, Echolocation, Foraging/Predation, Health/Physiology, Interactions with Humans, Sociality, and Vocalization and research setting (Natural Habitat, Captivity, or Both. Most studies of killer whales involved animals in their natural habitat (90% and the majority of killer whale studies, regardless of setting, concentrated on health and physiology, such as contaminants and genetic variability (31%, foraging and predation behaviors (26%, and geographic distribution (20%. The majority of the studies (68% involving bottlenose dolphins were also conducted in their natural habitat, but there was significantly more research comparatively with captive animals and with greater diversity. The results suggested that research with killer whales has been dominated by a limited range of topics with relatively little research conducted on topics that directly address issues of welfare. Similar to killer whales, research with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins has been dominated by health and physiology (48.5% and distribution (17.6%. In contrast to killer whales, topics such as sociality (9.5% and cognition (5% were more prominent in research

  6. Pathophysiology of Stress in Wild and Managed-Care Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    who leads the “Behavioral Response of Dolphins to Signals Simulating Mid-Frequency Active Sonar ” and collaborators in a joint effort for the...Fair, P.A. DNA Strand Breaks (Comet Assay) in Blood Lymphocytes from Wild Bottlenose Dolphins. Marine Pollution Bulletin (in press). Mazzaro

  7. Health and Environmental Risk Assessment Project for bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the southeastern USA. I. Infectious diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia; Schaefer, Adam M; Reif, John S

    2017-07-24

    From 2003 to 2015, 360 free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL, n = 246), Florida, and coastal waters of Charleston (CHS, n = 114), South Carolina, USA, were captured, given comprehensive health examinations, and released as part of a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional study of individual and population health. The aim of this review is to summarize the substantial health data generated by this study and to examine morbidity between capture sites and over time. The IRL and CHS dolphin populations are affected by complex infectious and neoplastic diseases often associated with immunologic disturbances. We found evidence of infection with cetacean morbillivirus, dolphin papilloma and herpes viruses, Chlamydiaceae, a novel uncultivated strain of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis (recently identified as the causal agent of dolphin lobomycosis/lacaziasis), and other pathogens. This is the first long-term study documenting the various types, progression, seroprevalence, and pathologic interrelationships of infectious diseases in dolphins from the southeastern USA. Additionally, the study has demonstrated that the bottlenose dolphin is a valuable sentinel animal that may reflect environmental health concerns and parallel emerging public health issues.

  8. LIVER ULTRASONOGRAPHY IN DOLPHINS: USE OF ULTRASONOGRAPHY TO ESTABLISH A TECHNIQUE FOR HEPATOBILIARY IMAGING AND TO EVALUATE METABOLIC DISEASE-ASSOCIATED LIVER CHANGES IN BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitz, Kelsey E; Smith, Cynthia R; Marks, Stanley L; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Ivančić, Marina

    2016-12-01

    The objective of this study was to establish a comprehensive technique for ultrasound examination of the dolphin hepatobiliary system and apply this technique to 30 dolphins to determine what, if any, sonographic changes are associated with blood-based indicators of metabolic syndrome (insulin greater than 14 μIU/ml or glucose greater than 112 mg/dl) and iron overload (transferrin saturation greater than 65%). A prospective study of individuals in a cross-sectional population with and without elevated postprandial insulin levels was performed. Twenty-nine bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) in a managed collection were included in the final data analysis. An in-water ultrasound technique was developed that included detailed analysis of the liver and pancreas. Dolphins with hyperinsulinemia concentrations had larger livers compared with dolphins with nonelevated concentrations. Using stepwise, multivariate regression including blood-based indicators of metabolic syndrome in dolphins, glucose was the best predictor of and had a positive linear association with liver size (P = 0.007, R 2 = 0.24). Bottlenose dolphins are susceptible to metabolic syndrome and associated complications that affect the liver, including fatty liver disease and iron overload. This study facilitated the establishment of a technique for a rapid, diagnostic, and noninvasive ultrasonographic evaluation of the dolphin liver. In addition, the study identified ultrasound-detectable hepatic changes associated primarily with elevated glucose concentration in dolphins. Future investigations will strive to detail the pathophysiological mechanisms for these changes.

  9. Taxonomy Icon Data: bottlenosed dolphin [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available bottlenosed dolphin Tursiops truncatus Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/Cetacea Tursiops..._truncatus_L.png Tursiops_truncatus_NL.png Tursiops_truncatus_S.png Tursiops_truncatus_NS.p...ng http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Tursiops+truncatus&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Tursiops...+truncatus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Tursiops...+truncatus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Tursiops+truncatus&t=NS http

  10. Responses to familiar and unfamiliar objects by belugas (Delphinapterus leucas), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guarino, Sara; Yeater, Deirdre; Lacy, Steve; Dees, Tricia; Hill, Heather M

    2017-09-01

    Previous research with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) demonstrated their ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar stimuli. Dolphins gazed longer at unfamiliar stimuli. The current study attempted to extend this original research by examining the responses of three species of cetaceans to objects that differed in familiarity. Eleven belugas from two facilities, five bottlenose dolphins and five Pacific white-sided dolphins housed at one facility were presented different objects in a free-swim scenario. The results indicated that the animals gazed the longest at unfamiliar objects, but these gaze durations did not significantly differ from gaze durations when viewing familiar objects. Rather, the animals gazed longer at unfamiliar objects when compared to the apparatus alone. Species differences emerged with longer gaze durations exhibited by belugas and bottlenose dolphins and significantly shorter gaze durations for Pacific white-sided dolphins. It is likely that the animals categorized objects into familiar and unfamiliar categories, but the free-swim paradigm in naturalistic social groupings did not elicit clear responses. Rather this procedure emphasized the importance of attention and individual preferences when investigating familiar and unfamiliar objects, which has implications for cognitive research and enrichment use.

  11. Detection of Brucella spp. in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus by a real-time PCR using blowhole swabs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qingzhong; Conway, Jessica; Phillips, Kristen M; Stolen, Megan; Durden, Wendy N; Fauquier, Deborah; McFee, Wayne E; Schwacke, Lori

    2016-08-09

    Blowhole swabs are a simple and non-invasive method for collecting samples from cetaceans and can be used for screening large numbers of animals in the field. This study reports a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Brucella spp. using blowhole swab samples from bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus stranded in the coastal region of Virginia, South Carolina and northern Florida, USA, between 2013 and 2015. We used real-time PCR results on lung samples from the same dolphins in order to estimate the relative sensitivity and specificity of real-time PCR of blowhole swabs. Brucella DNA was detected in lung tissue of 22% (18/81) and in blowhole swabs of 21% (17/81) of the sampled dolphins. The relative sensitivity and specificity of real-time PCR on blowhole swabs as compared to the real-time PCR on lung samples was 94% (17/18) and 100% (63/63), respectively. These results indicate that real-time PCR on blowhole swabs may be used as a non-invasive test for rapid detection of Brucella spp. in the respiratory tract of dolphins. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of blowhole swabs for detection of bacterial pathogens by real-time PCR in bottlenose dolphins.

  12. Hg and Se exposure in brain tissues of striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellante, Antonio; D'Agostino, Fabio; Traina, Anna; Piazzese, Daniela; Milazzo, Maria Francesca; Sprovieri, Mario

    2017-03-01

    In this study we analyzed Hg and Se concentrations in dolphin brain tissues of fifteen specimens of striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and eight specimens of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded in the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas, in order to assess the toxicological risks associated with Hg exposure. High Hg concentrations were found in brain tissues of both analyzed specie (1.86-243 mg/kg dw for striped dolphin and 2.1-98.7 mg/kg dw for bottlenose dolphin), exceeding levels associated with marine mammals neurotoxicity. Althougth the results clearly suggest that the protective effects of Se against Hg toxicity occur in cetaceans' brain tissues, a molar excess of mercury with respect to selenium was found, particularly in adult specimens of Stenella coeruleoalba. On contrary, negligible neurotoxicological risks were found for Tursiops truncatus specimens, due to detoxification processes. Data obtained allowed to prove a more marked neurotoxicological risk for adult specimens of Stenella coeruleoalba in both Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas.

  13. The orexin system in the enteric nervous system of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatta, Claudia; Russo, Finizia; Russolillo, Maria Grazia; Varricchio, Ettore; Paolucci, Marina; Castaldo, Luciana; Lucini, Carla; de Girolamo, Paolo; Cozzi, Bruno; Maruccio, Lucianna

    2014-01-01

    This study provides a general approach to the presence and possible role of orexins and their receptors in the gut (three gastric chambers and intestine) of confined environment bottlenose dolphin. The expression of prepro-orexin, orexin A and B and orexin 1 and 2 receptors were investigated by single immunostaining and western blot analysis. The co-localization of vasoactive intestinal peptide and orexin 1 receptor in the enteric nervous system was examined by double immunostaining. Also, orexin A concentration were measured in plasma samples to assess the possible diurnal variation of the plasma level of peptide in this species. Our results showed that the orexin system is widely distributed in bottlenose dolphin enteric nervous system of the all gastrointestinal tract examined. They are very peculiar and partially differs from that of terrestrial mammals. Orexin peptides and prepro-orexin were expressed in the main stomach, pyloric stomach and proximal intestine; while orexin receptors were expressed in the all examined tracts, with the exception of main stomach where found no evidence of orexin 2 receptor. Co-localization of vasoactive intestinal peptide and orexin 1 receptor were more evident in the pyloric stomach and proximal intestine. These data could suggest a possible role of orexin system on the contractility of bottlenose dolphin gastrointestinal districts. Finally, in agreement with several reports, bottlenose dolphin orexin A plasma level was higher in the morning during fasting. Our results emphasize some common features between bottlenose dolphin and terrestrial mammals. Certainly, further functional investigations may help to better explain the role of the orexin system in the energy balance of bottlenose dolphin and the complex interaction between feeding and digestive physiology.

  14. The orexin system in the enteric nervous system of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Gatta

    Full Text Available This study provides a general approach to the presence and possible role of orexins and their receptors in the gut (three gastric chambers and intestine of confined environment bottlenose dolphin. The expression of prepro-orexin, orexin A and B and orexin 1 and 2 receptors were investigated by single immunostaining and western blot analysis. The co-localization of vasoactive intestinal peptide and orexin 1 receptor in the enteric nervous system was examined by double immunostaining. Also, orexin A concentration were measured in plasma samples to assess the possible diurnal variation of the plasma level of peptide in this species. Our results showed that the orexin system is widely distributed in bottlenose dolphin enteric nervous system of the all gastrointestinal tract examined. They are very peculiar and partially differs from that of terrestrial mammals. Orexin peptides and prepro-orexin were expressed in the main stomach, pyloric stomach and proximal intestine; while orexin receptors were expressed in the all examined tracts, with the exception of main stomach where found no evidence of orexin 2 receptor. Co-localization of vasoactive intestinal peptide and orexin 1 receptor were more evident in the pyloric stomach and proximal intestine. These data could suggest a possible role of orexin system on the contractility of bottlenose dolphin gastrointestinal districts. Finally, in agreement with several reports, bottlenose dolphin orexin A plasma level was higher in the morning during fasting. Our results emphasize some common features between bottlenose dolphin and terrestrial mammals. Certainly, further functional investigations may help to better explain the role of the orexin system in the energy balance of bottlenose dolphin and the complex interaction between feeding and digestive physiology.

  15. The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a Model to Understand Variation in Stress and Reproductive Hormone Measures in Relation to Sampling Matrix, Demographics, and Environmental Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    Kellar N, M Trego, C Marks and A Dizon. 2006. Determining pregnancy from blubber in three species of delphinids. Mar Mamm Sci 22 (1):1-16. Schwacke L...Anemia, hypothyroidism and immune suppression associated with polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Proc R

  16. Perfluoroalkyl compounds in relation to life-history and reproductive parameters in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Houde, M.; Balmer, B.C.; Brandsma, S.H.; Wells, R.S.; Rowles, T.K.; Solomon, K.R.; Muir, D.C.G.

    2006-01-01

    Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) were determined in plasma, milk, and urine of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay (FL, USA) during three winter and two summer capture-and-release programs (2002¿ 2005). Plasma and urine samples were extracted using an ion-pairing

  17. Histological structure of the adrenal gland of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Adriatic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuković, S; Lucić, H; Zivković, A; Duras Gomercić, M; Gomercić, T; Galov, A

    2010-02-01

    The structure of the adrenal gland was studied in 11 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and five striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). These species are legally protected in Croatia. All examined animals died of natural causes and were found stranded along eastern Adriatic coast. In both species the adrenal gland consists of a cortex and a medulla; the cortex is divided into three zones. Whereas in the bottlenose dolphin, there is a zona arcuata which contains columnar cells arranged in the form of arches; in the striped dolphin this zone is replaced by zona glomerulosa containing rounded clusters of polygonal cells. In both species, the zona fasciculata consists of radially oriented cords of polygonal cells, whereas in zona reticularis cells are arranged in branching and anastomosing cords. The adrenal medulla in both species contains dark, epinephrine-secreting cells and light norepinephrine-secreting cells. Epinephrine-secreting cells are localized in the outer part of the medulla, whereas norepinephrine-secreting cells are found in the inner part, arranged in clusters and surrounded by septa of thin connective tissue. The gland is surrounded by a thick connective-tissue capsule, from where thick trabeculae extend towards the interior. In the bottlenose dolphin, group of cells resembling both medullar and cortical cells can be seen within the capsule; whereas only groups of cells resembling cortical cells are found within the capsule of the striped dolphin. In the bottlenose dolphin invagination of the adrenal cortex into the medulla is obvious as well as medullary protrusions extending through cortex to the connective tissue capsule.

  18. Lack of variation in voltage-gated sodium channels of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exposed to neurotoxic algal blooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammen, Kristina M; Rosel, Patricia E; Wells, Randall S; Read, Andrew J

    2014-12-01

    In coastal marine ecosystems, neurotoxins produced by harmful algal blooms (HABs) often result in large-scale mortality events of many marine species. Historical and frequent exposure to HABs therefore may provide a strong selective pressure for adaptations that result in toxin resistance. Neurotoxin resistance has independently evolved in a variety of terrestrial and marine species via mutations in genes encoding the toxin binding sites within the voltage-gated sodium channel gene complex. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that genetic variation in the putative binding site of brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) explains differences among individuals or populations in resistance to harmful Karenia brevis blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. We found very little variation in the sodium channel exons encoding the putative brevetoxin binding site among bottlenose dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle. Our study included samples from several bottlenose dolphin mortality events associated with HABs, but we found no association between genetic variation and survival. We observed a significant effect of geographic region on genetic variation for some sodium channel isoforms, but this can be primarily explained by rare private alleles and is more likely a reflection of regional genetic differentiation than the cause of different levels of HAB resistance between regions. In contrast to many other previously studied neurotoxin-resistant species, we conclude that bottlenose dolphins have not evolved resistance to HABs via mutations in genes encoding the brevetoxin binding site on the voltage-gated sodium channels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Cultural transmission of tool use by Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) provides access to a novel foraging niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krützen, Michael; Kreicker, Sina; MacLeod, Colin D; Learmonth, Jennifer; Kopps, Anna M; Walsham, Pamela; Allen, Simon J

    2014-06-07

    Culturally transmitted tool use has important ecological and evolutionary consequences and has been proposed as a significant driver of human evolution. Such evidence is still scarce in other animals. In cetaceans, tool use has been inferred using indirect evidence in one population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.), where particular dolphins ('spongers') use marine sponges during foraging. To date, evidence of whether this foraging tactic actually provides access to novel food items is lacking. We used fatty acid (FA) signature analysis to identify dietary differences between spongers and non-spongers, analysing data from 11 spongers and 27 non-spongers from two different study sites. Both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in FA profiles between spongers and non-spongers between and within study sites. Moreover, FA profiles differed significantly between spongers and non-spongers foraging within the same deep channel habitat, whereas the profiles of non-spongers from deep channel and shallow habitats at this site could not be distinguished. Our results indicate that sponge use by bottlenose dolphins is linked to significant differences in diet. It appears that cultural transmission of tool use in dolphins, as in humans, allows the exploitation of an otherwise unused niche.

  20. Nocturnal Vocal Activity in Captive Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Could Dolphins have Presleep Choruses?

    OpenAIRE

    Dorothee Kremers; Margarita Briseño Jaramillo; Martin Böye; Alban Lemasson; Martine Hausberger

    2014-01-01

    Lemasson & Hausberger : Equal contribution; International audience; Nocturnal vocal activity in dolphins is often thought to be associated with feeding activity. However, when no food resources are available dolphins spend their time for the most part resting/sleeping. While unihemispherically sleeping, dolphins mostly swim slowly and synchronously in close proximity with one or more other individuals. Although vocal activity is lower during resting/sleeping, dolphins are not entirely silent ...

  1. Abundance of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea: Delphinidae, inhabiting the Patos Lagoon estuary, southern Brazil: implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro F Fruet

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A new mark-recapture abundance estimate and a photographic census were carried out to investigate the possible decline in the abundance of the bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821, in the Patos Lagoon estuary due to the high levels of bycatch mortality which occurred between 2002 and 2006 in oceanic coastal areas close to the estuary. Fourteen systematic boat surveys were conducted between August and early December 2005 to photo-identify the bottlenose dolphins. The estimated number of animals, with long-lasting marks, in the population obtained from Chapman's and Mth models were 51 (95% CI = 49-53 and 52 (95% CI = 51-60, respectively. Taking into account the proportion of dolphins with long-lasting marks in the population, the total estimated population size ranged between 84 (95% CI = 76-93 and 86 (95% CI = 78-95 individuals, respectively, which was very similar to the 84 individuals revealed by the population census. Our results did not differ from the abundance estimate carried out in 1998, prior to the high fishing-related mortality event, suggesting that the population is stable. Plausible argument to explain the stability of the population is that some carcasses found on the oceanic coastal beaches near Patos Lagoon estuary come from animals that do not belong to the estuary community. Future studies should investigate fine-scale habitat partition between estuarine and adjacent coastal dolphins. If the existence of different communities living in close proximity (estuarine and coastal areas near to the estuary is confirmed, a new abundance estimate is needed to access the conservation status of bottlenose dolphins in this region.

  2. Mercury concentrations in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon, Florida: Patterns of spatial and temporal distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Adam M; Titcomb, Elizabeth Murdoch; Fair, Patricia A; Stavros, Hui-Chen W; Mazzoil, Marilyn; Bossart, Gregory D; Reif, John S

    2015-08-15

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) have tissue mercury concentrations among the highest reported worldwide. Analysis of total mercury (THg) concentrations in blood collected between 2003 and 2012 showed a significant linear decrease over time (p=0.04). Significant differences in the spatial distribution of THg in resident IRL dolphins were also observed with a general gradient in concentration from north to south. Evaluation of local biogeochemistry and accumulation of mercury in prey species is needed to better understand factors influencing the distribution of Hg in the apex predator. Analyses of temporal and spatial patterns of exposure to THg in this sentinel species may have implications for both ecosystem and public health in the region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Lumba-Lumba Hidung Botol Laut Jawa Adalah Tursiops aduncus Berdasar Sekuen Gen NADH Dehidrogenase Subunit 6 (VERIFICATION BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS FROM JAVA SEA IS TURSIOPS ADUNCUS BASED ON GENE SEQUENCES OF NADH DEHYDROGENASE SUBUNIT 6)

    OpenAIRE

    Rini Widayanti; Yuda Heru Fibrianto; Woro Danur Wendo

    2014-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) is one of the aquatic mammals widely spread in the marines ofIndonesia archipelago, especially the Java Sea. The taxonomy of the genus Tursiops is still  controversial.The purpose of this study was to examine the molecular basis of Tursiops sp of Java sea marine origin onthe basis of its NADH dehydrogenase gene subunit 6 (ND6) sequences. Samples of blood were collectedfrom five male bottle nose dolphins from captivity of PT. Wersut Seguni Indonesia. DNA was ...

  4. Behavioral Responses and Temporary Shift in Masked Hearing Threshold of Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, to 1-second Tones of 141 to 201 dB re 1 Micron Pa

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam

    1997-01-01

    ...) as a means of evaluating impacts of those emissions. Existing Navy methods published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America were applied to investigate TTS in the hearing sensitivity of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus...

  5. [Distribution and environmental conditions related to the behavior in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubero-Pardo, Priscilla

    2007-06-01

    Habitat characteristics influencing behavior in animal species vary locally. The influence that a particular environmental characteristic can have on a species depends not only on other variables, but on morphological, physiological and social conditions of that species. In this study, developed from June 1996 to July 1997, I studied whether specific behaviors are related to particular distribution areas and environmental factors in the bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata). The study area was covered along oblicuous linear transects, and the behavior of single groups was observed from 15 min to 5 h. Environmental factors such as depth, temperature, salinity and distance from shore, among others, were considered. For the bottlenose dolphin, foraging/feeding activities showed exclusive coincidence with river mouths, coral reef and mangrove areas, while social and milling activities where seen close to feeding areas. Traveling occurred along different points parallel to the coast, with a low percentage of cases across the gulf (16.56 %), suggesting that the bottlenose rarely crosses from one side to the other. In the spotted dolphin, several behaviors were observed simultaneously in the schools and it was not possible to associate areas with particular behaviors. The lack of significant relationships among activities and particular environmental variables (ANOVA tests) is attributed to three aspects: (a) transitions among activities generally occurred into a low variable area, (b) dolphins often traveled along large areas without changing activities and (c) environmental conditions in Golfo Dulce are homogeneous. In the two species the highest average in the number of individuals per group corresponded to the category of active socializing, followed by traveling, passive socializing and feeding. In the case of the bottlenose dolphin, the smallest group size was associated with feeding activities (ANOVA, F= 2.624, p=0.037, n=156

  6. Can bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) cooperate when solving a novel task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuczaj, Stan A; Winship, Kelley A; Eskelinen, Holli C

    2015-03-01

    Cooperative behavior has been observed in cetacean species in a variety of situations, including foraging, mate acquisition, play, and epimeletic behavior. However, it has proven difficult to demonstrate cooperative behavior among dolphins in more controlled settings. Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in this study were exposed to a task that could most easily be solved if dolphins cooperated. Six dolphins were provided opportunities to solve the task and had to learn to do so without human intervention or training. Two adult males consistently and spontaneously jointly interacted in order to most efficiently open a container that contained fish by pulling on ropes at the ends of the container. Their interaction was viewed as cooperative because each dolphin pulled on their respective ropes in the opposite direction, which resulted in one end of the container opening. The dolphins did not show aggression toward one another while solving the task, and both dolphins consumed the food after the container was opened. They also engaged in synchronous non-aggressive behaviors with the container after the food had been consumed. It is possible that some of the remaining four dolphins would have cooperated, but the two successful dolphins were dominant males and their interest in the apparatus appeared to preclude other animals from participating.

  7. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in blubber of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balmer, Brian C; Ylitalo, Gina M; McGeorge, Lauren E; Baugh, Keri A; Boyd, Daryle; Mullin, Keith D; Rosel, Patricia E; Sinclair, Carrie; Wells, Randall S; Zolman, Eric S; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-09-15

    A number of studies were initiated in response to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill to understand potential injuries to bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that inhabit the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) estuarine waters. As part of these studies, remote biopsy skin and blubber samples were collected from dolphins at six field sites that received varying degrees of oiling: Barataria Bay (BB), Chandeleur Sound West (CSW), Chandeleur Sound East (CSE), Mississippi Sound South (MSS), Mississippi Sound North (MSN), and St. Joseph Bay (SJ). Blubber samples from 108 male dolphins were analyzed for persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations, as high levels of POPs have been previously reported in other southeastern U.S. dolphins and the potential contribution of these compounds to adverse health effects in NGoM dolphins must be considered. Dolphin blubber levels of summed POPs (ΣPOPs) did not differ significantly across sites (F-test, P=0.9119) [μg/g lipid; geometric mean and 95% CI]; CSW [65.9 (51.4-84.6)], SJ [74.1 (53.0-104)], MSN [74.3 (58.7-93.9)], BB [75.3 (56.4-101)], CSE [80.5 (57.8-112)], and MSS [82.5 (65.9-103)]. Overall, POP concentrations were in the lower half of the range compared to previously reported concentrations from other southeastern U.S. sites. Increased dolphin mortalities have been ongoing in the NGoM and have been suggested to be linked with the DWH oil spill. In addition, lung disease, impaired adrenal function, and serum biochemical abnormalities have been reported in dolphins from BB, an area that was heavily oiled. The results of this study suggest that POPs are likely not a primary contributor to the poor health conditions and increased mortality observed in some populations of NGoM dolphins following the DWH oil spill. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Machine learning approaches to investigate the impact of PCBs on the transcriptome of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancia, Annalaura; Ryan, James C; Van Dolah, Frances M; Kucklick, John R; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S; Rosel, Patricia E; Hohn, Aleta A; Schwacke, Lori H

    2014-09-01

    As top-level predators, common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are particularly sensitive to chemical and biological contaminants that accumulate and biomagnify in the marine food chain. This work investigates the potential use of microarray technology and gene expression profile analysis to screen common bottlenose dolphins for exposure to environmental contaminants through the immunological and/or endocrine perturbations associated with these agents. A dolphin microarray representing 24,418 unigene sequences was used to analyze blood samples collected from 47 dolphins during capture-release health assessments from five different US coastal locations (Beaufort, NC, Sarasota Bay, FL, Saint Joseph Bay, FL, Sapelo Island, GA and Brunswick, GA). Organohalogen contaminants including pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners were determined in blubber biopsy samples from the same animals. A subset of samples (n = 10, males; n = 8, females) with the highest and the lowest measured values of PCBs in their blubber was used as strata to determine the differential gene expression of the exposure extremes through machine learning classification algorithms. A set of genes associated primarily with nuclear and DNA stability, cell division and apoptosis regulation, intra- and extra-cellular traffic, and immune response activation was selected by the algorithm for identifying the two exposure extremes. In order to test the hypothesis that these gene expression patterns reflect PCB exposure, we next investigated the blood transcriptomes of the remaining dolphin samples using machine-learning approaches, including K-nn and Support Vector Machines classifiers. Using the derived gene sets, the algorithms worked very well (100% success rate) at classifying dolphins according to the contaminant load accumulated in their blubber. These results suggest that gene expression profile analysis may provide a valuable means

  9. Were Multiple Stressors a ‘Perfect Storm’ for Northern Gulf of Mexico Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in 2011?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmichael, Ruth H.; Graham, William M.; Aven, Allen; Worthy, Graham; Howden, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    An unusual number of near term and neonatal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) mortalities occurred in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) in 2011, during the first calving season after two well documented environmental perturbations; sustained cold weather in 2010 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWHOS). Preceding the stranding event, large volumes of cold freshwater entered the nGOM due to unusually large snowmelt on the adjacent watershed, providing a third potential stressor. We consider the possibility that this extreme cold and freshwater event contributed to the pattern of perinatal dolphin strandings along the nGOM coast. During the 4-month period starting January 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins, including 46% perinatal calves (nearly double the percentage for the same time period from 2003–2010) washed ashore from Louisiana to western Florida. Comparison of the frequency distribution of strandings to flow rates and water temperature at a monitoring buoy outside Mobile Bay, Alabama (the 4th largest freshwater drainage in the U.S.) and along the nGOM coast showed that dolphin strandings peaked in Julian weeks 5, 8, and 12 (February and March), following water temperature minima by 2–3 weeks. If dolphin condition was already poor due to depleted food resources, bacterial infection, or other factors, it is plausible that the spring freshet contributed to the timing and location of the unique stranding event in early 2011. These data provide strong observational evidence to assess links between the timing of the DWHOS, other local environmental stressors, and mortality of a top local predator. Targeted analyses of tissues from stranded dolphins will be essential to define a cause of death, and our findings highlight the importance of considering environmental data along with biological samples to interpret stranding patterns during and after an unusual mortality event. PMID:22815950

  10. Were multiple stressors a 'perfect storm' for northern Gulf of Mexico bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in 2011?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth H Carmichael

    Full Text Available An unusual number of near term and neonatal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus mortalities occurred in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM in 2011, during the first calving season after two well documented environmental perturbations; sustained cold weather in 2010 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWHOS. Preceding the stranding event, large volumes of cold freshwater entered the nGOM due to unusually large snowmelt on the adjacent watershed, providing a third potential stressor. We consider the possibility that this extreme cold and freshwater event contributed to the pattern of perinatal dolphin strandings along the nGOM coast. During the 4-month period starting January 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins, including 46% perinatal calves (nearly double the percentage for the same time period from 2003-2010 washed ashore from Louisiana to western Florida. Comparison of the frequency distribution of strandings to flow rates and water temperature at a monitoring buoy outside Mobile Bay, Alabama (the 4(th largest freshwater drainage in the U.S. and along the nGOM coast showed that dolphin strandings peaked in Julian weeks 5, 8, and 12 (February and March, following water temperature minima by 2-3 weeks. If dolphin condition was already poor due to depleted food resources, bacterial infection, or other factors, it is plausible that the spring freshet contributed to the timing and location of the unique stranding event in early 2011. These data provide strong observational evidence to assess links between the timing of the DWHOS, other local environmental stressors, and mortality of a top local predator. Targeted analyses of tissues from stranded dolphins will be essential to define a cause of death, and our findings highlight the importance of considering environmental data along with biological samples to interpret stranding patterns during and after an unusual mortality event.

  11. Thyroid hormone concentrations in relation to age, sex, pregnancy, and perinatal loss in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Kristi L; Ramer, Jan; Brown, Janine L; Sweeney, Jay; Hanahoe, Erin M; Reidarson, Tom; Proudfoot, Jeffry; Bergfelt, Don R

    2014-02-01

    This study evaluated circulating concentrations of thyroid hormones in relation to age, sex, pregnancy status, and perinatal loss in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) under human care. A total of 373 blood samples were collected from 60 individual dolphins housed at nine aquariums/oceanariums. Serum concentrations of total and free thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) were analyzed with commercial RIA kits validated for use with dolphins. While the effect of age was indicated by higher (Pdolphins with perinatal loss. Lower concentrations ranged from 10% to 14% during early, 11% to 18% during mid, and 23% to 37% during late pregnancy. In conclusion, the effects of age, reproductive status and stage of pregnancy on thyroid hormone concentrations are necessary factors to take into account when assessing thyroid gland function. Since perinatal loss may be associated with hypothyroidism in dolphins, analysis of serum T4 and T3 should be considered for those dolphins that have a history of pregnancy loss. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Synchronous and Rhythmic Vocalizations and Correlated Underwater Behavior of Free-ranging Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in the Bahamas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise L. Herzing

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Since 1985 a resident community of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis, and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, have been studied underwater in the Bahamas. Over 200 individuals of both species have been identified and observed over the years. Basic correlations with sound patterns and behavior such as whistles during contact/reunions and squawks during aggression have been reported. This paper describes a small subset of their vocal repertoire that involves synchronous/rhythmic sound production. Dolphin behavior was recorded underwater using underwater video cameras with hydrophone input. Vocalizations were correlated with basic underwater behavioral activity and analyzed using Raven 1.3. Spotted dolphins were observed using two types of synchronized vocalizations including synchronized squawks (burst pulsed vocalizations and screams- (overlapping FM whistles during intraspecific and interspecific aggression. Bottlenose dolphins used three types of synchronized vocalizations; whistles/buzz bouts, bray/buzz bouts, and buzz bouts during intraspecific aggression. Body postures were synchronous with physical movements and often mirrored the rhythm of the vocalizations. The intervals between highly synchronized vocalizations had small variance and created a rhythmic quality and cadence to the acoustic sequences. Three types of vocalizations had similar ratios of sound duration to the spacing between sounds (Screams, whistle/buzz bouts, and bray/buzz bouts. Temporal aspects of sequences of sound and postures may be important aspects of individual and group coordination and behavior in delphinids.

  13. Relaxin as a hormonal aid to evaluate pregnancy and pregnancy loss in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergfelt, Don R; Blum, Jason L; Steinetz, Bernard G; Steinman, Karen J; O'Brien, Justin K; Robeck, Todd R

    2017-02-01

    This study was conducted to critically evaluate weekly and monthly circulating concentrations of immunoreactive relaxin throughout pregnancies that resulted in live births, stillbirths, and abortions in aquarium-based bottlenose dolphins. A relaxin RIA was used to analyze serum collected during 74 pregnancies involving 41 dolphins and 8 estrous cycles as well as 8 non-pregnant dolphins. Pregnancies resulted in live births (n=60), stillbirths (n=7), or abortions (n=7). Relative to parturition (Month 0), monthly changes (Pdolphins (status-by-week interaction, P=0.59). Status-by-month interaction (Pdolphins with live births, stillbirths, and abortions except concentrations were lower (Pdolphins with stillbirths but not in dolphins with abortions. In conclusion, this study provided new information on the pregnancy-specific nature of relaxin, critical evaluation of the fundamental characteristics of relaxin during pregnancy and pregnancy loss, and clarification on the strengths and limitations of relaxin as a diagnostic aid to determine pregnancy status and assess maternal-fetal health in bottlenose dolphins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Lateralized visual behavior in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) performing audio-visual tasks: the right visual field advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delfour, F; Marten, K

    2006-01-10

    Analyzing cerebral asymmetries in various species helps in understanding brain organization. The left and right sides of the brain (lateralization) are involved in different cognitive and sensory functions. This study focuses on dolphin visual lateralization as expressed by spontaneous eye preference when performing a complex cognitive task; we examine lateralization when processing different visual stimuli displayed on an underwater touch-screen (two-dimensional figures, three-dimensional figures and dolphin/human video sequences). Three female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were submitted to a 2-, 3- or 4-, choice visual/auditory discrimination problem, without any food reward: the subjects had to correctly match visual and acoustic stimuli together. In order to visualize and to touch the underwater target, the dolphins had to come close to the touch-screen and to position themselves using monocular vision (left or right eye) and/or binocular naso-ventral vision. The results showed an ability to associate simple visual forms and auditory information using an underwater touch-screen. Moreover, the subjects showed a spontaneous tendency to use monocular vision. Contrary to previous findings, our results did not clearly demonstrate right eye preference in spontaneous choice. However, the individuals' scores of correct answers were correlated with right eye vision, demonstrating the advantage of this visual field in visual information processing and suggesting a left hemispheric dominance. We also demonstrated that the nature of the presented visual stimulus does not seem to have any influence on the animals' monocular vision choice.

  15. Histomorphology of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) pancreas and association of increasing islet β-cell size with chronic hypercholesterolemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colegrove, Kathleen M; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2015-04-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can develop metabolic states mimicking prediabetes, including hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, elevated glucose, and fatty liver disease. Little is known, however, about dolphin pancreatic histomorphology. Distribution and area of islets, α, β, and δ cells were evaluated in pancreatic tissue from 22 dolphins (mean age 25.7years, range 0-51). Associations of these measurements were evaluated by sex, age, percent high glucose and lipids during the last year of life, and presence or absence of fatty liver disease and islet cell vacuolation. The most common pancreatic lesions identified were exocrine pancreas fibrosis (63.6%) and mild islet cell vacuolation (47.4%); there was no evidence of insulitis or amyloid deposition, changes commonly associated with type 2 diabetes. Dolphin islet architecture appears to be most similar to the pig, where α and β cells are localized to the central or periphery of the islet, respectively, or are well dispersed throughout the islet. Unlike pigs, large islets (greater than 10,000μm(2)) were common in dolphins, similar to that found in humans. A positive linear association was identified between dolphin age and islet area average, supporting a compensatory response similar to other species. The strongest finding in this study was a positive linear association between islet size, specifically β-cells, and percent blood samples with high cholesterol (greater than 280mg/dl, R(2)=0.57). This study is the most comprehensive assessment of the dolphin pancreas to date and may help direct future studies, including associations between chronic hypercholesterolemia and β-cell size. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Diet of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Gulf of Cadiz: Insights from stomach content and stable isotope analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giménez, Joan; Marçalo, Ana; Ramírez, Francisco; Verborgh, Philippe; Gauffier, Pauline; Esteban, Ruth; Nicolau, Lídia; González-Ortegón, Enrique; Baldó, Francisco; Vilas, César; Vingada, José; G Forero, Manuela; de Stephanis, Renaud

    2017-01-01

    The ecological role of species can vary among populations depending on local and regional differences in diet. This is particularly true for top predators such as the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), which exhibits a highly varied diet throughout its distribution range. Local dietary assessments are therefore critical to fully understand the role of this species within marine ecosystems, as well as its interaction with important ecosystem services such as fisheries. Here, we combined stomach content analyses (SCA) and stable isotope analyses (SIA) to describe bottlenose dolphins diet in the Gulf of Cadiz (North Atlantic Ocean). Prey items identified using SCA included European conger (Conger conger) and European hake (Merluccius merluccius) as the most important ingested prey. However, mass-balance isotopic mixing model (MixSIAR), using δ13C and δ15N, indicated that the assimilated diet consisted mainly on Sparidae species (e.g. seabream, Diplodus annularis and D. bellottii, rubberlip grunt, Plectorhinchus mediterraneus, and common pandora, Pagellus erythrinus) and a mixture of other species including European hake, mackerels (Scomber colias, S. japonicus and S. scombrus), European conger, red bandfish (Cepola macrophthalma) and European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus). These contrasting results highlight differences in the temporal and taxonomic resolution of each approach, but also point to potential differences between ingested (SCA) and assimilated (SIA) diets. Both approaches provide different insights, e.g. determination of consumed fish biomass for the management of fish stocks (SCA) or identification of important assimilated prey species to the consumer (SIA).

  17. Computed tomography and cross-sectional anatomy of the thorax of the live bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivančić, Marina; Solano, Mauricio; Smith, Cynthia R

    2014-05-01

    Pulmonary disease is one of the leading causes of cetacean morbidity and mortality in the wild and in managed collections. The purpose of this study was to present the computed tomographic (CT) appearance of the thorax of the live bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) out-of-water and to describe the technical and logistical parameters involved in CT image acquisition in this species. Six thoracic CT evaluations of four conscious adult bottlenose dolphins were performed between April 2007 and May 2012. Animals were trained to slide out of the water onto foam pads and were transported in covered trucks to a human CT facility. Under light sedation, animals were secured in sternal recumbency for acquisition of CT data. Non-contrast helical images were obtained during an end-inspiratory breath hold. Diagnostic, high quality images were obtained in all cases. Respiratory motion was largely insignificant due to the species' apneustic respiratory pattern. CT findings characteristic of this species include the presence of a bronchus trachealis, absence of lung lobation, cranial cervical extension of the lung, lack of conspicuity of intrathoracic lymph nodes, and presence of retia mirabilia. Dorsoventral narrowing of the heart relative to the thorax was seen in all animals and is suspected to be an artifact of gravity loading. Diagnostic thoracic computed tomography of live cetaceans is feasible and likely to prove clinically valuable. A detailed series of cross-sectional reference images is provided. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Diet of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from the Gulf of Cadiz: Insights from stomach content and stable isotope analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joan Giménez

    Full Text Available The ecological role of species can vary among populations depending on local and regional differences in diet. This is particularly true for top predators such as the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, which exhibits a highly varied diet throughout its distribution range. Local dietary assessments are therefore critical to fully understand the role of this species within marine ecosystems, as well as its interaction with important ecosystem services such as fisheries. Here, we combined stomach content analyses (SCA and stable isotope analyses (SIA to describe bottlenose dolphins diet in the Gulf of Cadiz (North Atlantic Ocean. Prey items identified using SCA included European conger (Conger conger and European hake (Merluccius merluccius as the most important ingested prey. However, mass-balance isotopic mixing model (MixSIAR, using δ13C and δ15N, indicated that the assimilated diet consisted mainly on Sparidae species (e.g. seabream, Diplodus annularis and D. bellottii, rubberlip grunt, Plectorhinchus mediterraneus, and common pandora, Pagellus erythrinus and a mixture of other species including European hake, mackerels (Scomber colias, S. japonicus and S. scombrus, European conger, red bandfish (Cepola macrophthalma and European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus. These contrasting results highlight differences in the temporal and taxonomic resolution of each approach, but also point to potential differences between ingested (SCA and assimilated (SIA diets. Both approaches provide different insights, e.g. determination of consumed fish biomass for the management of fish stocks (SCA or identification of important assimilated prey species to the consumer (SIA.

  19. Circulating gonadotropins and testicular hormones during sexual maturation and annual changes in male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsumata, Etsuko; Jaroenporn, Sukanya; Ueda, Yoko; Arai, Kazutoshi; Katsumata, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Gen; Taya, Kazuyoshi

    2017-11-17

    To reveal the reproductive biology in male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), circulating gonadotropins (follicle stimulating hormone [FSH] and luteinizing hormone [LH]) and testicular hormones (testosterone and inhibin) were monitored for 8-12 years in 2 captive bottlenose dolphins (Mars and Regulus). During the study period, Mars was undergoing sexual maturation, whereas Regulus was already mature at the beginning of the study. Assuming that Mars had reached sexual maturity when the significant increase in circulating testosterone levels was observed, serum concentration of inhibin was higher in the sexually immature stage than in the mature stage, whereas the serum concentration of FSH was higher in the sexually mature stage than in the immature stage. No difference was observed in the LH levels between pre- and post-sexual maturation. There was a significant increase in serum concentration of testosterone during spring in both animals. These results suggest that the mechanism responsible for regulating FSH secretion by inhibin functions during the sexually immature stage in this species.

  20. Cognitive enrichment for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): evaluation of a novel underwater maze device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Fay E; Davies, Samuel L; Madigan, Andrew W; Warner, Abby J; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive enrichment is gaining popularity as a tool to enhance captive animal well-being, but research on captive cetaceans is lacking. Dolphin cognition has been studied intensively since the 1950s, and several hundred bottlenose dolphins are housed in major zoos and aquaria worldwide, but most dolphin enrichment consists of simple floating objects. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a novel, underwater maze device (UMD) was cognitively enriching for one group of male and one group of female dolphins at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, CA. The dolphin's task was to navigate a rubber ball through a maze of pipes, towards an exit pipe. We also tested a modification where an edible gelatine ball fell into the pool once the UMD was solved. The UMD was provided to each group between 8 and 11 times over a 4-week period. Male dolphins used the UMD without prior training, whereas females did not use the UMD at all. Two male dolphins solved the UMD 17 times, using a variety of problem-solving strategies. The UMD had no significant effect on circular (repetitive) swimming patterns, but males spent significantly more time underwater when the UMD was present. Males used the UMD significantly more when it contained the rubber ball, but the gelatine ball stimulated social play. The UMD is a safe and practical device for captive dolphins. It now requires further testing on other dolphins, particularly females, to in order to examine whether the sex differences we observed are a general phenomenon. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. A new Synthesium species (Digenea: Brachycladiidae) from the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in Southwestern Atlantic waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebert, Mariana B; Mülller, Maria I; Marigo, Juliana; Valente, Ana L S; Cremer, Marta J; da Silva, Reinaldo J

    2017-05-01

    A new species of Synthesium from the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus in South Brazilian waters is described. Morphological and molecular identification was performed, and phylogenetic analyses were carried out using the ribosomal small subunit and internal transcribed spacer 1 and the mitochondrial NDH dehydrogenase subunit 3 and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 genes. The main characteristics of the new species are the subterminal round-shaped oral sucker, the anterior distribution of vitellaria reaching the level of the ovary and the oval-shaped testes. The results obtained with the molecular markers supported the inclusion of the specimens into the genus Synthesium. The nucleotide divergence detected for the mitochondrial genes among the new species and others of the same genus supported the erection of a new species. This is the ninth species assigned to the genus and the third Synthesium species recorded in the South Atlantic Ocean.

  2. Isolation of culturable microorganisms from free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Pamela J; Johnson, Wesley R; Pisani, John; Bossart, Gregory D; Adams, Jeff; Reif, John S; Fair, Patricia A

    2011-03-24

    Reports of diseases in marine mammals are increasing worldwide, however our understanding of the microorganisms associated with marine mammals is still limited. In this study, we cultured bacteria and fungi isolated from the upper respiratory tract (blowhole), gastric fluid and anus of 180 wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from two estuarine locations along the southeastern Atlantic Coast of the United States. A total of 339 and 491 isolates from Charleston, SC (CHS) and Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) dolphins, respectively, were cultured from gastric (70 CHS/82 IRL), fecal (141 CHS/184 IRL), and blowhole (128 CHS/225 IRL) swabs on selective media used for routine clinical microorganisms of human concern. The most frequently cultured Gram-negative bacteria from all sample and study types were Plesiomonas shigelloides, Aeromonas hydrophila, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas fluorescens. Among the Gram-positive bacteria, Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus sp., and Staphylococcus Coag. Neg were the predominant organisms. For fungi, the most abundant species were Candida glabrata, budding yeasts, and Candida tropicalis. Of concern, the MRSA strain of Staphylococcus aureus was detected in the blowhole and gastric swabs from CHS dolphins. In general, a greater prevalence of bacteria and fungi (four-fold increase) were cultured from IRL than CHS animals. Together, these culture-dependent studies, coupled to on-going culture-independent approaches, should help establish a baseline of microorganisms associated with bottlenose dolphins and aid in the identification of organisms responsible for infectious diseases(s) in these animals. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Eosinophilia and biotoxin exposure in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from a coastal area impacted by repeated mortality events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwacke, Lori H., E-mail: Lori.Schwacke@noaa.gov [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Center for Human Health Risks, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (United States); Twiner, Michael J. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (United States); De Guise, Sylvain [University of Connecticut, Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, 61 North Eagleville Road, U-89, Storrs, CT 06269 (United States); Balmer, Brian C.; Wells, Randall S. [Chicago Zoological Society, c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236 (United States); Townsend, Forrest I. [Bayside Hospital for Animals, 251 N.E. Racetrack Road, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547 (United States); Rotstein, David C. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (United States); Varela, Rene A. [Ocean Embassy Inc, 6433 Pinecastle Blvd, Ste 2, Orlando, FL 32809 (United States); Hansen, Larry J. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center,101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, NC 28516 (United States); Zolman, Eric S. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412 (United States); Spradlin, Trevor R. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (United States); and others

    2010-08-15

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting coastal waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico have been impacted by recurrent unusual mortality events over the past few decades. Several of these mortality events along the Florida panhandle have been tentatively attributed to poisoning from brevetoxin produced by the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. While dolphins in other regions of the Florida coast are often exposed to K. brevis blooms, large-scale dolphin mortality events are relatively rare and the frequency and magnitude of die-offs along the Panhandle raise concern for the apparent vulnerability of dolphins in this region. We report results from dolphin health assessments conducted near St. Joseph Bay, Florida, an area impacted by 3 unusual die-offs within a 7-year time span. An eosinophilia syndrome, manifested as an elevated blood eosinophil count without obvious cause, was observed in 23% of sampled dolphins. Elevated eosinophil counts were associated with decreased T-lymphocyte proliferation and increased neutrophil phagocytosis. In addition, indication of chronic low-level exposure to another algal toxin, domoic acid produced by the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp., was determined. Previous studies of other marine mammal populations exposed recurrently to Pseudo-nitzschia blooms have suggested a possible link between the eosinophilia and domoic acid exposure. While the chronic eosinophilia syndrome could over the long-term produce organ damage and alter immunological status and thereby increase vulnerability to other challenges, the significance of the high prevalence of the syndrome to the observed mortality events in the St. Joseph Bay area is unclear. Nonetheless, the unusual immunological findings and concurrent evidence of domoic acid exposure in this sentinel marine species suggest a need for further investigation to elucidate potential links between chronic, low-level exposure to algal toxins and immune health.

  4. Modulation of whistle production related to training sessions in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) under human care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez Marulanda, Juliana; Adam, Olivier; Delfour, Fabienne

    2016-11-01

    Bottlenose dolphins are highly social cetaceans with an extensive sound production including clicks, burst-pulsed sounds, and whistles. Some whistles, known as signature whistles, are individually specific. These acoustic signatures are commonly described as being emitted in contexts of stress during forced isolation and as group cohesion calls. Interactions between humans and captive dolphins is largely based on positive reinforcement conditioning within several training/feeding sessions per day. Vocal behavior of dolphins during these interactions might vary. To investigate this, we recorded 10 bottlenose dolphins of Parc Asterix dolphinarium (France) before, during and after 10 training sessions for a total duration of 7 hr and 32 min. We detected 3,272 whistles with 2,884 presenting a quality good enough to be categorized. We created a catalog of whistle types by visual categorization verified by five naive judges (Fleiss' Kappa Test). We then applied the SIGID method to identify the signatures whistles present in our recordings. We found 279 whistles belonging to one of the four identified signature whistle types. The remaining 2,605 were classified as non-signature whistles. The non-signature whistles emission rate was higher during and after the training sessions than before. Emission rate of three signature whistles types significantly increased afterwards as compared to before the training sessions. We suggest that dolphins use their signature whistles when they return to their intraspecific social interactions succeeding scheduled and human-organized training sessions. More observations are needed to make conclusions about the function of signature whistles in relation to training sessions. Zoo Biol. 35:495-504, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Maternal signature whistle use aids mother-calf reunions in a bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephanie L; Guarino, Emily; Keaton, Loriel; Erb, Linda; Jaakkola, Kelly

    2016-05-01

    Individual vocal signatures play an important role in parent-offspring recognition in many animals. One species that uses signature calls to accurately facilitate individual recognition is the bottlenose dolphin. Female dolphins and their calves will use their highly individualised signature whistles to identify and maintain contact with one another. Previous studies have shown high signature whistle rates of both mothers and calves during forced separations. In more natural settings, it appears that the calf vocalises more frequently to initiate reunions with its mother. However, little is known about the mechanisms a female dolphin may employ when there is strong motivation for her to reunite with her calf. In this study, we conducted a series of experimental trials in which we asked a female dolphin to retrieve either her wandering calf or a series of inanimate objects (control). Our results show that she used her vocal signature to actively recruit her calf, and produced no such signal when asked to retrieve the objects. This is the first study to clearly manipulate a dolphin's motivation to retrieve her calf with experimental controls. The results highlight that signature whistles are not only used in broadcasting individual identity, but that maternal signature whistle use is important in facilitating mother-calf reunions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The distribution and morphological characteristics of catecholaminergic cells in the diencephalon and midbrain of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manger, Paul R; Fuxe, Kjell; Ridgway, Sam H; Siegel, Jerome M

    2004-01-01

    The present study describes the distribution and cellular morphology of catecholaminergic neurons in the diencephalon and midbrain of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry was used to visualize these putatively dopaminergic neurons. The standard A1-A17, C1-C3, nomenclature is used for expediency; however, the neuroanatomical names of the various nuclei have also been given. Dolphins exhibit certain tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (TH-ir) catecholaminergic neuronal groups in the midbrain (A8, A9, A10) and diencephalon (A11, A12, A14), however, no neuronal clusters clearly corresponding to the A13 and A15 groups could be identified. The subdivisions of these neuronal groups are in general agreement with those of other mammals, but there is a high degree of species specificity. First, three TH-ir neuronal groups not identified in other species were found: in the ventral lateral peri-aqueductal gray matter, posterior dorsal hypothalamus, and rostral mesencephalic raphe. Second, the normal components of the substantia nigra (A9 or pars compacta, A9 lateral or pars lateralis, A9 ventral or pars reticulata) were extremely cell sparse, but there was a substantial expansion of the A9 medial and A10 lateral subdivisions forming an impressive 'ventral wing' in the posterior substantia nigra. The findings of this and previous studies suggest a distinct evolutionary trend occurring in the neuromodulatory systems in mammals. The results are discussed in relation to motor control, thermoregulation, unihemispheric sleep, and dolphin cognition. Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

  7. Comparative physiology of vocal musculature in two odontocetes, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thometz, Nicole M; Dearolf, Jennifer L; Dunkin, Robin C; Noren, Dawn P; Holt, Marla M; Sims, Olivia C; Cathey, Brandon C; Williams, Terrie M

    2018-01-01

    The mechanism by which odontocetes produce sound is unique among mammals. To gain insight into the physiological properties that support sound production in toothed whales, we examined myoglobin content ([Mb]), non-bicarbonate buffering capacity (β), fiber-type profiles, and myosin heavy chain expression of vocal musculature in two odontocetes: the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus; n = 4) and the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena; n = 5). Both species use the same anatomical structures to produce sound, but differ markedly in their vocal repertoires. Tursiops produce both broadband clicks and tonal whistles, while Phocoena only produce higher frequency clicks. Specific muscles examined in this study included: (1) the nasal musculature around the phonic lips on the right (RNM) and left (LNM) sides of the head, (2) the palatopharyngeal sphincter (PPS), which surrounds the larynx and aids in pressurizing cranial air spaces, and (3) the genioglossus complex (GGC), a group of muscles positioned ventrally within the head. Overall, vocal muscles had significantly lower [Mb] and β than locomotor muscles from the same species. The PPS was predominately composed of small diameter slow-twitch fibers. Fiber-type and myosin heavy chain analyses revealed that the GGC was comprised largely of fast-twitch fibers (Tursiops: 88.6%, Phocoena: 79.7%) and had the highest β of all vocal muscles. Notably, there was a significant difference in [Mb] between the RNM and LNM in Tursiops, but not Phocoena. Our results reveal shared physiological characteristics of individual vocal muscles across species that enhance our understanding of key functional roles, as well as species-specific differences which appear to reflect differences in vocal capacities.

  8. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) strandings in South Carolina, 1992-1996

    OpenAIRE

    McFee, Wayne E.; Hopkins-Murphy, Sally R.

    2002-01-01

    From 1992 to 1996, 153 bottlenose dolphin stranded in South Carolina, accounting for 73% of all marine mammal strandings during this period. The objectives of our study were to evaluate data from these strandings to deter-mine 1) annual trends in strandings, 2) seasonal and spatial distribution trends, 3) life history parameters such as sex ratio and age classes, 3) seasonal trends in reproduction, and 4) the extent to which humans have played a role in causing these strandings (human inter-a...

  9. The importance of delineating networks by activity type in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazda, Stefanie; Iyer, Swami; Killingback, Timothy; Connor, Richard; Brault, Solange

    2015-03-01

    Network analysis has proved to be a valuable tool for studying the behavioural patterns of complex social animals. Often such studies either do not distinguish between different behavioural states of the organisms or simply focus attention on a single behavioural state to the exclusion of all others. In either of these approaches it is impossible to ascertain how the behavioural patterns of individuals depend on the type of activity they are engaged in. Here we report on a network-based analysis of the behavioural associations in a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida. We consider three distinct behavioural states-socializing, travelling and foraging-and analyse the association networks corresponding to each activity. Moreover, in constructing the different activity networks we do not simply record a spatial association between two individuals as being either present or absent, but rather quantify the degree of any association, thus allowing us to construct weighted networks describing each activity. The results of these weighted activity networks indicate that networks can reveal detailed patterns of bottlenose dolphins at the population level; dolphins socialize in large groups with preferential associations; travel in small groups with preferential associates; and spread out to forage in very small, weakly connected groups. There is some overlap in the socialize and travel networks but little overlap between the forage and other networks. This indicates that the social bonds maintained in other activities are less important as they forage on dispersed, solitary prey. The overall network, not sorted by activity, does not accurately represent any of these patterns.

  10. Niche Differentiation and Prey Selectivity among Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Sighted in St. George Sound, Gulf of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel M. Wilson

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Two groups of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus have been identified within St. George Sound, Florida, USA: high site-fidelity individuals (HSF which are individuals sighted multiple times in the region (i.e., ≥2 months, ≥2 seasons, and ≥2 years, and low site-fidelity individuals (LSF, which are individuals sighted fewer than 2 months, in 2 different seasons among 2 different years. Our goal was to determine whether differences in foraging behaviors were correlated with differences in sighting frequency and overall usage of St. George Sound by the two groups. We used carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotopes and niche hypervolume metrics to model the foodweb of St. George Sound. Mixing model results indicated that croaker, mojarra, pigfish, pinfish, and silverperch were the most important prey items for dolphins. The hypervolume metrics demonstrate niche partitioning between HSFs and LSFs, with the HSFs relying more heavily on pinfish, pigfish, and mojarra, while the LSFs relied more on silverperch. Plankton, benthic diatoms, seagrass, and epiphytes all contributed to secondary production within St. George Sound. This diversity of source utilization by seagrass-associated consumers supported by a high rate of total production likely sustains high secondary productivity despite the potential for competition in this system. Zooplankton was the most important basal source to the system, followed by seagrass and benthic primary production (as indicated by a sanddollar proxy. The reliance of dolphins on seagrass-dependent prey indicates that alteration of seagrass habitat would significantly impact the dolphin community foraging in St. George Sound and suggests that preservation of seagrass habitat is an important component of an effective management strategy for dolphin populations in the region.

  11. Stress response of wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) during capture-release health assessment studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Schaefer, Adam M; Romano, Tracy A; Bossart, Gregory D; Lamb, Stephen V; Reif, John S

    2014-09-15

    There is a growing concern about the impacts of stress in marine mammals as they face a greater array of threats. The stress response of free-ranging dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was examined by measuring their physiologic response to capture and handling. Samples were collected from 168 dolphins during capture-release health assessments 2003-2007 at two study sites: Charleston, SC (CHS) and the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL). Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, aldosterone (ALD) and catecholamines (epinephrine (EPI), norepinephrine (NOR), dopamine (DA)), were measured in blood and cortisol in urine. Mean time to collect pre-examination samples after netting the animals was 22min; post-examination samples were taken prior to release (mean 1h 37min). EPI and DA concentrations decreased significantly with increased time to blood sampling. ACTH and cortisol levels increased from the initial capture event to the post-examination sample. EPI concentrations increased significantly with increasing time to the pre-examination sample and decreased significantly with time between the pre- and post-examination sample. Cortisol concentrations increased between the pre- and post-examination in CHS dolphins. Age- and sex-adjusted mean pre-examination values of catecholamines were significantly higher in CHS dolphins; ALD was higher in IRL dolphins. Significant differences related to age or sex included higher NOR concentrations in males; higher ALD and urine cortisol levels in juveniles than adults. Wild dolphins exhibited a typical mammalian response to acute stress of capture and restraint. Further studies that relate hormone levels to biological and health endpoints are warranted. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Acoustic Habitat of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus within a Highly Urbanized Estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A. Marley

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available There is growing awareness of underwater noise in a variety of marine habitats, and how such noise may adversely affect marine species. This is of particular concern for acoustically-specialized species, such as dolphins. In order to ascertain the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on these animals, baseline information is required for defining the soundscape of dolphin habitats. The Swan-Canning River system in Western Australia flows through the city of Perth, and experiences numerous anthropogenic activities. Despite this, the river system is home to a community of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus. To provide a baseline soundscape description of dolphin habitat, over 11,600 h of acoustic data were analyzed from five sites within the Swan River (from Fremantle Inner Harbor to 20 km upstream across an 8-year period. Multiple sound sources were recorded at these sites, including: snapping shrimp; fishes; dolphins; pile-driving; bridge and road traffic; and vessel traffic. The two most prevalent sound sources, vessel traffic and snapping shrimp, likely have very different effects on dolphin communication with the former expected to be more disruptive. Sites were characteristic in their prominent sound sources, showing clear among-site variations, with some sites being “noisier” than others based on broadband noise levels, octave-band noise levels, and power spectrum density percentiles. Perth Waters had the highest broadband noise (10–11 kHz; median 113 dB re 1 μPa rms, whilst Heirisson Island was quietest (median 100 dB re 1 μPa rms. Generalized estimating equations identified variation in broadband noise levels within sites at a fine temporal scale, although sites differed in the significance of temporal variables. At Mosman Bay, a long-term dataset spanning eight years highlighted inter-annual variation in broadband noise levels, but no overall upwards or downwards trend over time. Acoustic habitats of the Swan

  13. Gastrointestinal parasites of free-living Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Northern Red Sea, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinertz, S; Hermosilla, C; Ziltener, A; Kreicker, S; Hirzmann, J; Abdel-Ghaffar, F; Taubert, A

    2014-04-01

    The present study represents the first report on the gastrointestinal parasite fauna infecting the free-living and alive Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) inhabiting waters of the Red Sea at Hurghada, Egypt. A total of 94 individual faecal samples of the examined bottlenose dolphins were collected during several diving expeditions within their natural habitats. Using classical parasitological techniques, such as sodium acetate acetic acid formalin method, carbol fuchsin-stained faecal smears, coproantigen ELISA, PCR and macroscopical analyses, the study revealed infections with 21 different parasite species belonging to protozoans and metazoans with some of them bearing zoonotic and/or pathogenic potential. Four identified parasite species are potential zoonotic species (Giardia spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Diphyllobothrium spp., Ascaridida indet.); three of them are known to have high pathogenic potential for the examined dolphin species (Nasitrema attenuata, Zalophotrema spp. and Pholeter gastrophilus) and some appear to be directly associated with stranding events. In detail, the study indicates stages of ten protozoan species (Giardia spp., Sarcocystis spp., Isospora (like) spp., Cystoisospora (like) spp., Ciliata indet. I and II, Holotricha indet., Dinoflagellata indet., Hexamita (like) spp., Cryptosporidium spp.), seven trematode species (N. attenuata, Nasitrema spp. I and II, Zalophotrema curilensis, Zalophotrema spp., Pholeter gastrophilus, Trematoda indet.), one cestode species (Diphyllobothrium spp.), two nematode species (Ascaridida indet, Capillaria spp.) and one crustacean parasite (Cymothoidae indet.). Additionally, we molecularly identified adult worms of Anisakis typica in individual dolphin vomitus samples by molecular analyses. A. typica is a common parasite of various dolphin species of warmer temperate and tropical waters and has not been attributed as food-borne parasitic zoonoses so far. Overall, these parasitological findings

  14. Fractal scaling in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) echolocation: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perisho, Shaun T.; Kelty-Stephen, Damian G.; Hajnal, Alen; Houser, Dorian; Kuczaj, Stan A., II

    2016-02-01

    Fractal scaling patterns, which entail a power-law relationship between magnitude of fluctuations in a variable and the scale at which the variable is measured, have been found in many aspects of human behavior. These findings have led to advances in behavioral models (e.g. providing empirical support for cascade-driven theories of cognition) and have had practical medical applications (e.g. providing new methods for early diagnosis of medical conditions). In the present paper, fractal analysis is used to investigate whether similar fractal scaling patterns exist in inter-click interval and peak-peak amplitude measurements of bottlenose dolphin click trains. Several echolocation recordings taken from two male bottlenose dolphins were analyzed using Detrended Fluctuation Analysis and Higuchi's (1988) method for determination of fractal dimension. Both animals were found to exhibit fractal scaling patterns near what is consistent with persistent long range correlations. These findings suggest that recent advances in human cognition and medicine may have important parallel applications to echolocation as well.

  15. Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus as A Sentinel for Exposure to Mercury in Humans: Closing the Loop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Reif

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth’s surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which cover the majority of the earth’s surface. In the marine environment, inorganic Hg is converted to the most toxic form of the element, methylmercury, and biomagnified through the trophic levels of the food web. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus is the apex predator in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Due to their long life span and trophic position, bottlenose dolphins bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants including Hg, thus making them an important sentinel species for ecosystem and public health. Bottlenose dolphins in Florida bioaccumulate high concentrations of Hg in their blood, skin and internal organs. The concentrations of Hg in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL are among the highest reported world-wide. In previous studies, we demonstrated associations between concentrations of total Hg in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins and markers of endocrine, renal, hepatic, hematologic and immune system dysfunction. The predominant manifestation of exposure to mercury in humans is neurotoxicity. During the 1950s and 1960s, residents of Minamata bay, Japan were exposed to high concentrations of methyl mercury as the result of ingestion of fish and shellfish that had become contaminated in this infamous environmental disaster. Affected adults had severe motor and sensory abnormalities often leading to death. Methyl mercury crosses the placenta during pregnancy. Children exposed in utero were born with multiple congenital anomalies and also suffered from neurologic disorders. Significantly, local cats that consumed Hg contaminated fish developed severe signs of neurotoxicity which led to

  16. Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as A Sentinel for Exposure to Mercury in Humans: Closing the Loop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S.; Schaefer, Adam M.; Bossart, Gregory D.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth’s surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which cover the majority of the earth’s surface. In the marine environment, inorganic Hg is converted to the most toxic form of the element, methylmercury, and biomagnified through the trophic levels of the food web. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is the apex predator in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Due to their long life span and trophic position, bottlenose dolphins bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants including Hg, thus making them an important sentinel species for ecosystem and public health. Bottlenose dolphins in Florida bioaccumulate high concentrations of Hg in their blood, skin and internal organs. The concentrations of Hg in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) are among the highest reported world-wide. In previous studies, we demonstrated associations between concentrations of total Hg in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins and markers of endocrine, renal, hepatic, hematologic and immune system dysfunction. The predominant manifestation of exposure to mercury in humans is neurotoxicity. During the 1950s and 1960s, residents of Minamata bay, Japan were exposed to high concentrations of methyl mercury as the result of ingestion of fish and shellfish that had become contaminated in this infamous environmental disaster. Affected adults had severe motor and sensory abnormalities often leading to death. Methyl mercury crosses the placenta during pregnancy. Children exposed in utero were born with multiple congenital anomalies and also suffered from neurologic disorders. Significantly, local cats that consumed Hg contaminated fish developed severe signs of neurotoxicity which led to their subsequent

  17. Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as A Sentinel for Exposure to Mercury in Humans: Closing the Loop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S; Schaefer, Adam M; Bossart, Gregory D

    2015-11-12

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth's surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which cover the majority of the earth's surface. In the marine environment, inorganic Hg is converted to the most toxic form of the element, methylmercury, and biomagnified through the trophic levels of the food web. The bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) is the apex predator in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Due to their long life span and trophic position, bottlenose dolphins bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants including Hg, thus making them an important sentinel species for ecosystem and public health. Bottlenose dolphins in Florida bioaccumulate high concentrations of Hg in their blood, skin and internal organs. The concentrations of Hg in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) are among the highest reported world-wide. In previous studies, we demonstrated associations between concentrations of total Hg in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins and markers of endocrine, renal, hepatic, hematologic and immune system dysfunction. The predominant manifestation of exposure to mercury in humans is neurotoxicity. During the 1950s and 1960s, residents of Minamata bay, Japan were exposed to high concentrations of methyl mercury as the result of ingestion of fish and shellfish that had become contaminated in this infamous environmental disaster. Affected adults had severe motor and sensory abnormalities often leading to death. Methyl mercury crosses the placenta during pregnancy. Children exposed in utero were born with multiple congenital anomalies and also suffered from neurologic disorders. Significantly, local cats that consumed Hg contaminated fish developed severe signs of neurotoxicity which led to their subsequent

  18. Evaluation of annual survival and mortality rates and longevity of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) at the United States Navy Marine Mammal Program from 2004 through 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Jensen, Eric D; Smith, Cynthia R; Xitco, Mark; Ridgway, Sam H

    2015-04-15

    Objective-To evaluate annual survival and mortality rates and the longevity of a managed population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Design-Retrospective cohort study. Animals-103 bottlenose dolphins at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program (MMP). Procedures-Population age structures, annual survival and crude mortality rates, and median age at death for dolphins > 30 days old were determined from 2004 through 2013. Results-During 2004 through 2013, the annual survival rates for MMP dolphins ranged from 0.98 to 1.0, and the annual crude mortality rates ranged from 0% to 5%, with a mean of 2.7%. The median age at death was 30.1 years from 2004 through 2008 and increased to 32 years from 2009 through 2013. The maximum age for a dolphin in the study was 52 years. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results indicated that the annual mortality rates were low and survival rates were high for dolphins in the MMP from 2004 through 2013 and that the median age at death for MMP dolphins during that time was over 10 years greater than that reported in free-ranging dolphins. These findings were likely attributable to the continually improving care and husbandry of managed dolphin populations.

  19. Recognition of Frequency Modulated Whistle-Like Sounds by a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Humans with Transformations in Amplitude, Duration and Frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K; DeLong, Caroline M; Dziedzic, Brandon; Black, Amy; Bakhtiari, Kimberly

    2016-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) use the frequency contour of whistles produced by conspecifics for individual recognition. Here we tested a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) ability to recognize frequency modulated whistle-like sounds using a three alternative matching-to-sample paradigm. The dolphin was first trained to select a specific object (object A) in response to a specific sound (sound A) for a total of three object-sound associations. The sounds were then transformed by amplitude, duration, or frequency transposition while still preserving the frequency contour of each sound. For comparison purposes, 30 human participants completed an identical task with the same sounds, objects, and training procedure. The dolphin's ability to correctly match objects to sounds was robust to changes in amplitude with only a minor decrement in performance for short durations. The dolphin failed to recognize sounds that were frequency transposed by plus or minus ½ octaves. Human participants demonstrated robust recognition with all acoustic transformations. The results indicate that this dolphin's acoustic recognition of whistle-like sounds was constrained by absolute pitch. Unlike human speech, which varies considerably in average frequency, signature whistles are relatively stable in frequency, which may have selected for a whistle recognition system invariant to frequency transposition.

  20. Recognition of Frequency Modulated Whistle-Like Sounds by a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus and Humans with Transformations in Amplitude, Duration and Frequency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian K Branstetter

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus use the frequency contour of whistles produced by conspecifics for individual recognition. Here we tested a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus ability to recognize frequency modulated whistle-like sounds using a three alternative matching-to-sample paradigm. The dolphin was first trained to select a specific object (object A in response to a specific sound (sound A for a total of three object-sound associations. The sounds were then transformed by amplitude, duration, or frequency transposition while still preserving the frequency contour of each sound. For comparison purposes, 30 human participants completed an identical task with the same sounds, objects, and training procedure. The dolphin's ability to correctly match objects to sounds was robust to changes in amplitude with only a minor decrement in performance for short durations. The dolphin failed to recognize sounds that were frequency transposed by plus or minus ½ octaves. Human participants demonstrated robust recognition with all acoustic transformations. The results indicate that this dolphin's acoustic recognition of whistle-like sounds was constrained by absolute pitch. Unlike human speech, which varies considerably in average frequency, signature whistles are relatively stable in frequency, which may have selected for a whistle recognition system invariant to frequency transposition.

  1. Temporal δ13C records from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) reflect variation in foraging location and global carbon cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossman, S. L.; Barros, N. B.; Ostrom, P. H.; Gandhi, H.; Wells, R. S.

    2010-12-01

    With four decades of data on a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident to Sarasota Bay (SB), The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program offers an unparalleled platform for ground-truthing stable isotope data and exploring bottlenose dolphin ecology in a natural setting. We explored carbon isotope value fidelity to habitat utilization by comparing δ13C data from whole teeth and muscle to the individual dolphin's proclivity towards foraging in seagrass beds based on observational data. We then examined variation in habitat use based on temporal isotope records. Whole tooth protein isotope values do not show a significant correlation with the observed percentage of foraging in seagrass habitat. In contrast, δ13C values from muscle showed a significant positive relationship with the observational data. Differences in the degree of tissue turn over may account for this distinction between tooth and muscle. Dolphin teeth consist of annually deposited layers that are inert once formed. Thus, the isotopic composition of protein in annuli reflect foraging at the time of deposition. In addition to incorporating variation associated with differences in foraging over the lifetime of the individual, whole tooth isotope values are confounded because a disproportionate amount of tooth protein derives from the first few years of life. Given the turnover time of muscle tissue, isotope values reflect diet over the past several months. From 1991 to 2008, muscle δ13C values showed a significant decline, -13.5‰ to -15.1‰.This time period encompasses a state wide net fishing ban (1995) however other factors such as a series of red tide harmful algal blooms, a decline in predators, increases in shallow water boat traffic and an increase in string ray abundance may also contribute to the temporal isotope trend. To examine changes in dolphin foraging habitat further back in time we analyzed the tip of crown of the tooth which records the isotopic signal from the

  2. Complex Social Structure of an Endangered Population of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Aeolian Archipelago (Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Monica F; Boitani, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    We investigated social structure and association patterns for a small population of Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, inhabiting the Aeolian Archipelago (southern Italy). Specifically we evaluate the role of sex and age composition, residency patterns and interaction with trammel nets on this social organization. Association data for 23 regularly sighted individuals were obtained from summer photoidentification surveys collected from 2005-2012. Using a combined cluster and social network analysis approach, we found associations between dolphins were hierarchically structured, where two mixed-sex social units were subdivided into smaller temporarily dynamic groups. We found non-random and long-term preferred associations in the population; however, the degree of social cohesion, residence pattern and interaction with trammel nets differed considerably between the two social units. Six of eight females occurred in the more resident social unit-1; in addition, social unit-1 individuals had significantly stronger associations, higher preferred associates, lived in larger groups and occurred less frequently with trammel nets. Nine of eleven males were clustered in social unit-2 and five of these males, interacting with trammel nets, formed small groups and preferred associations. We propose that female and male groups associate in the study area during the breeding season and that some males choose to interact with reproductive females forming a distinct but interrelated social unit. Other males may be associating in a larger fission-fusion network, which consists of dolphins that appear to temporarily join the network from the coastal population. We cannot exclude that some males specialized in trammel net foraging, suggesting that this foraging technique may favor a solitary lifestyle. Large group sizes and high degree of social cohesion for females could be an indication of greater protection and more efficiency in detecting, deterring or

  3. Complex Social Structure of an Endangered Population of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in the Aeolian Archipelago (Italy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica F Blasi

    Full Text Available We investigated social structure and association patterns for a small population of Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, inhabiting the Aeolian Archipelago (southern Italy. Specifically we evaluate the role of sex and age composition, residency patterns and interaction with trammel nets on this social organization. Association data for 23 regularly sighted individuals were obtained from summer photoidentification surveys collected from 2005-2012. Using a combined cluster and social network analysis approach, we found associations between dolphins were hierarchically structured, where two mixed-sex social units were subdivided into smaller temporarily dynamic groups. We found non-random and long-term preferred associations in the population; however, the degree of social cohesion, residence pattern and interaction with trammel nets differed considerably between the two social units. Six of eight females occurred in the more resident social unit-1; in addition, social unit-1 individuals had significantly stronger associations, higher preferred associates, lived in larger groups and occurred less frequently with trammel nets. Nine of eleven males were clustered in social unit-2 and five of these males, interacting with trammel nets, formed small groups and preferred associations. We propose that female and male groups associate in the study area during the breeding season and that some males choose to interact with reproductive females forming a distinct but interrelated social unit. Other males may be associating in a larger fission-fusion network, which consists of dolphins that appear to temporarily join the network from the coastal population. We cannot exclude that some males specialized in trammel net foraging, suggesting that this foraging technique may favor a solitary lifestyle. Large group sizes and high degree of social cohesion for females could be an indication of greater protection and more efficiency in detecting

  4. Complex Social Structure of an Endangered Population of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Aeolian Archipelago (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Monica F.; Boitani, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    We investigated social structure and association patterns for a small population of Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, inhabiting the Aeolian Archipelago (southern Italy). Specifically we evaluate the role of sex and age composition, residency patterns and interaction with trammel nets on this social organization. Association data for 23 regularly sighted individuals were obtained from summer photoidentification surveys collected from 2005–2012. Using a combined cluster and social network analysis approach, we found associations between dolphins were hierarchically structured, where two mixed-sex social units were subdivided into smaller temporarily dynamic groups. We found non-random and long-term preferred associations in the population; however, the degree of social cohesion, residence pattern and interaction with trammel nets differed considerably between the two social units. Six of eight females occurred in the more resident social unit-1; in addition, social unit-1 individuals had significantly stronger associations, higher preferred associates, lived in larger groups and occurred less frequently with trammel nets. Nine of eleven males were clustered in social unit-2 and five of these males, interacting with trammel nets, formed small groups and preferred associations. We propose that female and male groups associate in the study area during the breeding season and that some males choose to interact with reproductive females forming a distinct but interrelated social unit. Other males may be associating in a larger fission-fusion network, which consists of dolphins that appear to temporarily join the network from the coastal population. We cannot exclude that some males specialized in trammel net foraging, suggesting that this foraging technique may favor a solitary lifestyle. Large group sizes and high degree of social cohesion for females could be an indication of greater protection and more efficiency in detecting, deterring or

  5. The effects of click and masker spectrum on the auditory brainstem response of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulsow, Jason; Finneran, James J; Houser, Dorian S; Burkard, Robert F

    2016-10-01

    Two experiments were performed that investigated the effects of (1) click level and (2) continuous broadband noise on the binaural auditory brainstem response (ABR) of normal-hearing and hearing-impaired bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). In addition to spectrally uncompensated clicks and noise, stimuli were digitally compensated to achieve "white" spectra (flat spectral density level) or "pink" spectra (spectral density level rolling off at -3 dB/octave). For experiment 1, in all spectral conditions, ABR peak latencies increased and peak amplitudes decreased with decreasing click level, but interwave intervals changed little. Latency-intensity function (LIF) slopes ranged from -3 to -11 μs/dB. The LIF slopes of ABR peaks evoked by uncompensated clicks were steeper in dolphins with hearing loss. Click level was held constant during experiment 2, and the effect of bilaterally delivered broadband masking noise on the ABR was investigated. Clicks and noise were filtered to create a pink click/noise condition and a white click/noise condition. With increasing levels of masking noise, peak latencies increased (although only P1-P4 white reached significance), peak amplitudes decreased, and interpeak intervals increased (although not significantly). These effects are compared to results reported for terrestrial mammals, and implications for auditory health assessment and biosonar function are discussed.

  6. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) do also cast neutrophil extracellular traps against the apicomplexan parasiteNeospora caninum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villagra-Blanco, R; Silva, L M R; Aguilella-Segura, A; Arcenillas-Hernández, I; Martínez-Carrasco, C; Seipp, A; Gärtner, U; Ruiz de Ybañez, R; Taubert, A; Hermosilla, C

    2017-12-01

    Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are web-like structures composed of nuclear DNA decorated with histones and cytoplasmic peptides which antiparasitic properties have not previously been investigated in cetaceans. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) were isolated from healthy bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ), and stimulated with Neospora caninum tachyzoites and the NETs-agonist zymosan. In vitro interactions of PMN with the tachyzoites resulted in rapid extrusion of NETs. For the demonstration and quantification of cetacean NETs, extracellular DNA was stained by using either Sytox Orange ® or Pico Green ® . Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence analyses demonstrated PMN-derived release of NETs upon exposure to tachyzoites of N. caninum. Co-localization studies of N. caninum induced cetacean NETs proved the presence of DNA adorned with histones (H1, H2A/H2B, H3, H4), neutrophil elastase (NE), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and pentraxin (PTX) confirming the molecular properties of mammalian NETosis. Dolphin-derived N. caninum -NETosis were efficiently suppressed by DNase I and diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) treatments. Our results indicate that cetacean-derived NETs represent an ancient, conserved and relevant defense effector mechanism of the host innate immune system against N. caninum and probably other related neozoan parasites circulating in the marine environment.

  7. Trichosporon asteroides Isolated from Cutaneous Lesions of a Suspected Case of "paracoccidioidomycosis ceti" in a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Keiichi; Nakamura, Ichiro; Itano, Eiko Nakagawa; Takemura, Kazunori; Nakazato, Yasutomo; Sano, Ayako

    2017-10-01

    "Paracoccidioidomycosis ceti" is a rare zoonotic fungal infection affecting dolphins and is endemic worldwide. The causative agents are Paracoccidioides species; however, it is impossible to isolate the fungal species. We isolated Trichosporon asteroides from multifocal, irregularly raised skin lesions on a female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) captured off coast of Japan, which was suspected to have "paracoccidioidomycosis ceti." An abundance of round, yeast-like cells was detected in a potassium hydroxide direct-mount specimen of the skin samples; however, nested PCR targeting the partial sequence of 43-kDa glycoprotein-coding gene correspondent to Paracoccidioides sp. was negative. Biopsied tissue samples were cultured on brain heart infusion agar plates supplemented with chloramphenicol, 1% yeast extract, and 4% sodium chloride (4% NaCl-BHI), on Mycosel agar with 4% sodium chloride (4% NaCl-Mycosel), and on potato dextrose agar supplemented with chloramphenicol (CPDA) at 35 °C for 4 weeks. Cream-colored and wrinkled colonies consisting of hyphae and arthroconidia grew on 4% NaCl-BHI and CPDA, while film-like colonies composed of arthroconidia and round yeast-like cells developed on 4% NaCl-Mycosel. Although these primary cultures resembled fresh isolates of P. brasiliensis, they were identified as Trichosporon asteroides based on routine mycological studies and the internal transcribed spacer regions of ribosomal RNA sequences. The results suggested that trichosporonosis caused by T. asteroides might remain latent among cases of "paracoccidioidomycosis ceti" diagnosed without cultures and molecular biological analysis.

  8. Evaluation of Serum for Pathophysiological Effects of Prolonged Low Salinity Water Exposure in Displaced Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Y. Ewing

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a retrospective study of serum biochemistry and hematologic findings from displaced, out-of-habitat bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus exposed to various low salinity environments in waters along the southern United States including southeastern Atlantic and northern Gulf of Mexico. Serum sodium, chloride, and calculated osmolality were significantly lower and below reference ranges in displaced animals compared to free-ranging case control animals. This suggests clinical hyponatremia, hypochloremia, and hypo-osmolality due to an uptake of low saline water from the environment. In addition, significant differences were found in other serum chemistry variables, although none were outside of normal reference ranges for non-controlled free-ranging animals. Multiple linear regressions demonstrated the degree of salinity had a greater pathophysiologic response than the duration of fresh water exposure. The Na/Cl ratio and bicarbonate were the only variables that were significantly modulated by exposure duration. These findings suggest that the degree of salinity is a critical factor when assessing and managing care for dolphins chronically exposed to low salinity water. Results from this study indicate that changes in various biochemical parameters can be used to determine fresh water exposure and aid in determining the treatment for animals recovered from low salinity waters.

  9. Evaluation of Serum for Pathophysiological Effects of Prolonged Low Salinity Water Exposure in Displaced Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewing, Ruth Y; Mase-Guthrie, Blair; McFee, Wayne; Townsend, Forrest; Manire, Charles A; Walsh, Michael; Borkowski, Rose; Bossart, Gregory D; Schaefer, Adam M

    2017-01-01

    We conducted a retrospective study of serum biochemistry and hematologic findings from displaced, out-of-habitat bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) exposed to various low salinity environments in waters along the southern United States including southeastern Atlantic and northern Gulf of Mexico. Serum sodium, chloride, and calculated osmolality were significantly lower and below reference ranges in displaced animals compared to free-ranging case control animals. This suggests clinical hyponatremia, hypochloremia, and hypo-osmolality due to an uptake of low saline water from the environment. In addition, significant differences were found in other serum chemistry variables, although none were outside of normal reference ranges for non-controlled free-ranging animals. Multiple linear regressions demonstrated the degree of salinity had a greater pathophysiologic response than the duration of fresh water exposure. The Na/Cl ratio and bicarbonate were the only variables that were significantly modulated by exposure duration. These findings suggest that the degree of salinity is a critical factor when assessing and managing care for dolphins chronically exposed to low salinity water. Results from this study indicate that changes in various biochemical parameters can be used to determine fresh water exposure and aid in determining the treatment for animals recovered from low salinity waters.

  10. Geographic specificity of Aroclor 1268 in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) frequenting the Turtle/Brunswick River Estuary, Georgia (USA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pulster, Erin L. [Marine Sciences Department, Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia, 31404 (United States); Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, Georgia, 31411 (United States)], E-mail: epulster@mote.org; Maruya, Keith A. [Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, Georgia, 31411 (United States)

    2008-04-15

    Coastal marine resources are at risk from anthropogenic contaminants, including legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) with half-lives of decades or more. To determine if polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) signatures can be used to distinguish among local populations of inshore bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the southeastern U.S. coast, blubber from free-ranging and stranded animals were collected along the Georgia coast in 2004 and analyzed for PCB congeners using gas chromatography with electron capture and negative chemical ionization mass spectrometric detection (GC-ECD and GC-NCI-MS). Mean total PCB concentrations (77 {+-} 34 {mu}g/g lipid) were more than 10 fold higher and congener distributions were highly enriched in Cl{sub 7}-Cl{sub 10} homologs in free-ranging animals from the Turtle/Brunswick River estuary (TBRE) compared with strandings samples from Savannah area estuaries 90 km to the north. Using principal components analysis (PCA), the Aroclor 1268 signature associated with TBRE animals was distinct from that observed in Savannah area animals, and also from those in animals biopsied in other southeastern U.S estuaries. Moreover, PCB signatures in dolphin blubber closely resembled those in local preferred prey fish species, strengthening the hypothesis that inshore T. truncatus populations exhibit long-term fidelity to specific estuaries and making them excellent sentinels for assessing the impact of stressors on coastal ecosystem health.

  11. Thoracic auscultation in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and South African fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) with an electronic stethoscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharpegge, Julia; Hartmann, Manuel García; Eulenberger, Klaus

    2012-06-01

    Thoracic auscultation is an important diagnostic method used in cases of suspected pulmonary disease in many species, as respiratory sounds contain significant information on the physiology and pathology of the lungs and upper airways. Respiratory diseases are frequent in marine mammals and are often listed as one of their main causes of death. The aim of this study was to investigate and report baseline parameters for the electronic-mediated thoracic auscultation of one cetacean species and two pinniped species in captivity. Respiratory sounds from 20 captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), 6 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and 5 South African fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) were recorded with an electronic stethoscope. The sounds were analyzed for duration of the respiratory cycle, adventitious sounds, and peak frequencies of recorded sounds during expiration and inspiration as well as for sound intensity as reflected by waveform amplitude during the respiratory cycle. In respiratory cycles of the bottlenose dolphins' expiring "on command," the duration of the expiration was significantly shorter than the duration of the inspiration. In the examined pinnipeds of this study, there was no clear pattern concerning the duration of one breathing phase: Adventitious sounds were detected most often in bottlenose dolphins that were expiring on command and could be compared with "forced expiratory wheezes" in humans. This is the first report of forced expiratory wheezes in bottlenose dolphins; they can easily be misinterpreted as pathologic respiratory sounds. The peak frequencies of the respiratory sounds reached over 2,000 Hz in bottlenose dolphins and over 1,000 Hz in California sea lions and South African fur seals, but the variation of the frequency spectra was very high in all animals. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first systematic analysis of respiratory sounds of bottlenose dolphins and two species of pinnipeds.

  12. Development and testing of species-specific ELISA assays to measure IFN-γ and TNF-α in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberle, Kirsten C; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Jensen, Eric D; LaBresh, Joanna; Sullivan, Yvonne; Kakach, Laura; Sacco, Randy E

    2018-01-01

    Monitoring the immune status of cetaceans is important for a variety of health conditions. Assays to quantify cytokines, especially pro-inflammatory cytokines, could be employed, in addition to currently available diagnostic assays, to screen for alterations in the health status of an animal. Though a number of immunological assays are readily available for humans and mice, specific assays for many veterinary species, including cetaceans such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), are more limited. Herein, we describe the development of IFN-gamma (IFN-γ) and TNF-alpha (TNF-α) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) specific to bottlenose dolphins. Utilizing these assays, we monitored the immune status of bottlenose dolphins from a managed population over a period of eleven months. The ELISA assays developed for bottlenose dolphins were used to measure IFN-γ and TNF-α in serum or in culture supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with varying concentrations of mitogens concanavalin A (ConA) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Induction of TNF-α in PBMC cultures was consistently highest with 1 μg/mL ConA, while 1 μg/mL PHA induced the highest secretion of IFN-γ. Serum levels of TNF-α and IFN-γ remained relatively constant for each animal over the time period examined. CBC and plasma chemistry variables measured concurrently in the bottlenose dolphins were then examined as independent predictors of cytokine levels. We found these clinical variables were more likely to predict linear changes in serum IFN-γ and TNF-α levels compared to concentrations of these cytokines in mitogen-stimulated PBMC culture supernatants. Cytokine assays developed will be of substantial benefit in monitoring bottlenose dolphin health as an adjunct to currently available diagnostic tests.

  13. Seasonal variation in the skin transcriptome of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frances M Van Dolah

    Full Text Available As long-lived predators that integrate exposures across multiple trophic levels, cetaceans are recognized as sentinels for the health of marine ecosystems. Their utility as sentinels requires the establishment of baseline health parameters. Because cetaceans are protected, measurements obtained with minimal disruption to free ranging animals are highly desirable. In this study we investigated the utility of skin gene expression profiling to monitor health and contaminant exposure in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. Remote integument biopsies were collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (May 2010 and during summer and winter for two years following oil contamination (2010-2011. A bottlenose dolphin microarray was used to characterize the skin transcriptomes of 94 individuals from three populations: Barataria Bay, Louisiana, Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, and Mississippi Sound, Mississippi/Alabama. Skin transcriptomes did not differ significantly between populations. In contrast, season had a profound effect on gene expression, with nearly one-third of all genes on the array differing in expression between winter and the warmer seasons (moderated T-test; ptwo-fold higher concentrations in summer compared to winter, due to a seasonal decrease in blubber thickness and loss of stored lipid. However, global gene expression did not correlate strongly with seasonally changing contaminant concentrations, most likely because the refractory, lipid-stored metabolites are not substrates for phase I or II xenobiotic detoxification pathways. Rather, processes related to cell proliferation, motility, and differentiation dominated the differences in expression in winter and the warmer seasons. More subtle differences were seen between spring and summer (1.5% of genes differentially expressed. However, two presumed oil-exposed animals from spring presented gene expression profiles more similar to the summer

  14. Mercury and selenium status of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): A study in stranded animals on the Canary Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Alvarez, Natalia; Fernández, Antonio; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Arbelo, Manuel; Sierra, Eva; Almunia, Javier; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2015-12-01

    The mercury (Hg) level in the marine environment has tripled in recent decades, becoming a great concern because of its high toxic potential. This study reports Hg and selenium (Se) status, and the first Se/Hg molar ratio assessment in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the waters of the Canary Islands. Total Hg and Se concentrations were determined in the blubber and liver collected from 30 specimens stranded along the coasts of the archipelago from 1997 to 2013. The median values for total Hg in the blubber and liver were 80.83 and 223.77 μg g(-1) dry weight (dw), and the median levels for Se in both tissues were 7.29 and 68.63 μg g(-1) dw, respectively. Hg concentrations in the liver were lower than 100 μg g(-1) wet weight (ww), comparable to those obtained in bottlenose dolphins from the North Sea, the Western Atlantic Ocean and several locations in the Pacific Ocean. The Mediterranean Sea and South of Australia are the most contaminated areas for both elements in this cetacean species. In addition, it must be stressed that the levels of Hg and Se in the liver showed an increasing trend with the age of the animals. As expected, a strong positive correlation between Hg and Se was observed (rs=0.960). Surprisingly, both younger and older specimens had a Se/Hg molar ratio different from 1, suggesting that these individuals may be at greater toxicological risk for high concentrations of both elements or a deficiency of Se without a protective action against Hg toxicity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Seasonal variation in the skin transcriptome of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dolah, Frances M; Neely, Marion G; McGeorge, Lauren E; Balmer, Brian C; Ylitalo, Gina M; Zolman, Eric S; Speakman, Todd; Sinclair, Carrie; Kellar, Nicholas M; Rosel, Patricia E; Mullin, Keith D; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-01-01

    As long-lived predators that integrate exposures across multiple trophic levels, cetaceans are recognized as sentinels for the health of marine ecosystems. Their utility as sentinels requires the establishment of baseline health parameters. Because cetaceans are protected, measurements obtained with minimal disruption to free ranging animals are highly desirable. In this study we investigated the utility of skin gene expression profiling to monitor health and contaminant exposure in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Remote integument biopsies were collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (May 2010) and during summer and winter for two years following oil contamination (2010-2011). A bottlenose dolphin microarray was used to characterize the skin transcriptomes of 94 individuals from three populations: Barataria Bay, Louisiana, Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, and Mississippi Sound, Mississippi/Alabama. Skin transcriptomes did not differ significantly between populations. In contrast, season had a profound effect on gene expression, with nearly one-third of all genes on the array differing in expression between winter and the warmer seasons (moderated T-test; ptwo-fold higher concentrations in summer compared to winter, due to a seasonal decrease in blubber thickness and loss of stored lipid. However, global gene expression did not correlate strongly with seasonally changing contaminant concentrations, most likely because the refractory, lipid-stored metabolites are not substrates for phase I or II xenobiotic detoxification pathways. Rather, processes related to cell proliferation, motility, and differentiation dominated the differences in expression in winter and the warmer seasons. More subtle differences were seen between spring and summer (1.5% of genes differentially expressed). However, two presumed oil-exposed animals from spring presented gene expression profiles more similar to the summer animals (presumed

  16. The bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus foraging around a fish farm: Effects of prey abundance on dolphins’ behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Díaz LÓPEZ

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The extent to which prey abundance influences both bottlenose dolphin foraging behavior and group size in the presence of human activities has not previously been studied. The primary aim of this study was to identify and quantify how wild bottlenose dolphins respond, individually and as groups, to the relative abundance of prey around a fish farm. Detailed views of dolphins’ behavior were obtained by focal following individual animals whilst simultaneously collecting surface and underwater behavioral data. A total of 2150 dive intervals were analyzed, corresponding to 342 focal samples, lasting over 34 hours. Bottlenose dolphins remained submerged for a mean duration of 46.4 seconds and a maximum of 249 seconds. This study provides the first quantified data on bottlenose dolphin diving behavior in a marine fin-fish farm area. This study’s results indicate that within a fish farm area used intensively by bottlenose dolphins for feeding, dolphins did not modify dive duration. Additionally, underwater observations confirmed that dolphins find it easier to exploit a concentrated food source and it appears that hunting tactic and not group size plays an important role during feeding activities. Thus, bottlenose dolphins appear capable of modifying their hunting tactics according to the abundance of prey. When top predators display behavioral responses to activities not directed at them, the task of studying all possible effects of human activities can become even more challenging [Current Zoology 55(4: 243–248, 2009].

  17. Plasma Hypoxanthine-Guanine Phosphoribosyl Transferase Activity in Bottlenose Dolphins Contributes to Avoiding Accumulation of Non-recyclable Purines

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    López-Cruz, Roberto I; Crocker, Daniel E; Gaxiola-Robles, Ramón; Bernal, Jaime A; Real-Valle, Roberto A; Lugo-Lugo, Orlando; Zenteno-Savín, Tania

    2016-01-01

    ... were examined in plasma and red blood cells from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humans. Hypoxanthine and inosine monophosphate concentrations were higher in plasma from dolphins than humans...

  18. Acoustic behavior associated with cooperative task success in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskelinen, Holli C; Winship, Kelley A; Jones, Brittany L; Ames, Audra E M; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2016-07-01

    Although many species have proven capable of cooperating to achieve common goals, the role of communication in cooperation has received relatively little attention. Analysis of communication between partners is vital in determining whether actions are truly cooperative rather than serendipitous or learned via trial and error (Chalmeau and Gallo in Behav Process 35:101-111, 1996a. doi: 10.1016/0376-6357(95)00049-6 , Primates 37:39-47, 1996b. doi: 10.1007/BF02382918 ). Wild cetaceans often produce sounds during cooperative foraging, playing, and mating, but the role of these sounds in cooperative events is largely unknown. Here, we investigated acoustic communication between two male bottlenose dolphins while they cooperatively opened a container (Kuczaj et al. in Anim Cogn 18:543-550, 2015b. doi: 10.1007/s10071-014-0822-4 ). Analyses of whistles, burst pulses, and bi-phonations that occurred during four contexts (i.e., no container, no animals interacting with container, one animal interacting with container, and two animals interacting with container) revealed that overall sound production rate significantly increased during container interactions. Sound production rates were also significantly higher during cooperative successes than solo successes, suggesting that the coordination of efforts rather than the apparatus itself was responsible for the phonation increase. The most common sound type during cooperative successes was burst pulse signals, similar to past recordings of cooperative events in bottlenose dolphins (Bastian in Animal sonar systems. Laboratoire de Physiologie Acoustique, Jouy-en Josas, pp 803-873, 1967; Connor and Smolker 1996).

  19. Distribution of Calretinin Immunoreactivity in the Lateral Nucleus of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rambaldi, A M; Cozzi, B; Grandis, A; Canova, M; Mazzoni, M; Bombardi, C

    2017-11-01

    The amgdaloid complex consists of different nuclei, each with unique cytoarchitectonic, chemoarchitectonic and connectional characteristics. Most of the inputs coming from cortical and subcortical areas enter the amygdala via the lateral nucleus, which makes it the main receiving structure of the complex. The activity of its neurons is coordinated and modulated by different inhibitory, GABAergic-interneurons, which can be classified for their expression of various calcium-binding proteins, as well as by morphological characteristics. This research based on the analysis of the amygdala of three bottlenose dolphins, provides the first description of the topography, cytoarchitecture and distribution of calretinin immunoreactivity of the lateral nucleus. Our observations on the bottlenose dolphin confirmed the general topography of the mammalian amygdala and of the lateral nucleus. Notably, we identified six subdivision of the nucleus, more than those reported until now in the rat, monkey and human lateral nucleus. This could reveal an outstanding capability of integration and elaboration of external stimuli. In addition, we observed a strong presence of CR-immunoreactive (-ir) neurons and fibres. CR-ir neurons were mainly non-pyramidal inhibitory neurons; in particular, 80% of IR-cells were represented by large and small polygonal neurons. In the lateral nucleus of the human amygdala, CR-ir neurons form inhibitory synapses on calbindin-D28k-IR inhibitory interneurons. Since calbindin-D28k-ir interneurons make inhibitory synapses on the pyramidal cells, the final goal of the CR-ir interneurons could be the synchronization of cells activity, thus playing an important role in the control of information flow in the lateral amygdalar nucleus. Anat Rec, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Anat Rec, 300:2008-2016, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Schedule of human-controlled periods structures bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) behavior in their free-time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Isabella L K; Rödel, Heiko G; Cellier, Marjorie; Vink, Dennis; Michaud, Isaure; Mercera, Birgitta; Böye, Martin; Hausberger, Martine; Lemasson, Alban; Delfour, Fabienne

    2017-08-01

    Behavioral patterns are established in response to predictable environmental cues. Animals under human care frequently experience predictable, human-controlled events each day, but very few studies have questioned exactly how behavioral patterns are affected by such activities. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) maintained for public display are good models to study such patterns since they experience multiple daily human-controlled periods (e.g., shows, training for shows, medical training). Thus, we investigated the effect of training session schedule on their "free-time" behavior, studying 29 individuals within 4 groups from 3 European facilities. Our initial time budget analyses revealed that among the behaviors studied, dolphins spent the most time engaged in synchronous swimming, and within this category swam most at slow speeds and in close proximity to each other. "Slow-close" synchronous swimming peaked shortly after training sessions and was low shortly before the next session. Play behavior had significantly higher frequencies in juveniles than in adults, but the effect was only seen during the in-between session period (interval neither shortly before nor after sessions). Anticipatory behavior toward sessions was significantly higher shortly before sessions and lower afterward. We conclude that dolphin behaviors unconnected to the human-controlled periods were modulated by them: slow-close synchronous swimming and age-dependent play, which have important social dimensions and links to welfare. We discuss potential parallels to human-controlled periods in other species, including humans themselves. Our findings could be taken into account when designing welfare assessments, and aid in the provision of enrichment and maintaining effective schedules beneficial to animals themselves. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Effect of cryopreservation on the sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Calabuig, M J; López-Fernández, C; Johnston, S D; Blyde, D; Cooper, J; Harrison, K; de la Fuente, J; Gosálvez, J

    2015-04-01

    Sperm DNA fragmentation is one of the major causes of infertility; the sperm chromatin dispersion test (SCDt) evaluates this parameter and offers the advantage of species-specific validated protocol and ease of use under field conditions. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics in both fresh and post-thaw bottlenose dolphin sperm using the SCDt following different cryopreservation protocols to gain new information about the post-thaw differential sperm DNA longevity in this species. Fresh and cryopreserved semen samples from five bottlenose dolphins were examined for sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics using the SCDt (Halomax(®)). Sperm DNA fragmentation was assessed immediately at collection and following cryopreservation (T0) and then after 0.5, 1, 4, 8, 24, 48 and 72 h incubation at 37°C. Serially collected ejaculates from four dolphins were frozen using different cryopreservation protocols in a TES-TRIS-fructose buffer (TTF), an egg-yolk-free vegetable lipid LP1 buffer (LP1) and human sperm preservation medium (HSPM). Fresh ejaculated spermatozoa initially showed low levels of DNA fragmentation for up to 48 h. Lower Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) was found in the second fresh ejaculate compared to the first when more than one sample was collected on the same day (p < 0.05); this difference was not apparent in any other seminal characteristic. While there was no difference observed in SDF between fresh and frozen-thawed sperm using the different cryopreservation protocols immediately after thawing (T0), frozen-thawed spermatozoa incubated at 37°C showed an increase in the rate of SDF after 24 h. Sperm frozen in the LP1(℗) buffer had higher levels (p < 0.05) of DNA fragmentation after 24- and 48-h incubation than those frozen in TTF or HSPM. No correlation was found between any seminal characteristic and DNA fragmentation in either fresh and/or frozen-thawed samples. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  2. Western blot expression of 5-lipoxygenase in the brain from striped dolphins (stenella coeruleoalba) and bottlenose dolphins (tursiops truncatus) with or without encephalitis/meningo-encephalitis of infectious nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, G; Falconi, A; Di Francesco, A; Mazzariol, S; Centelleghe, C; Casalone, C; Pautasso, A; Cocumelli, C; Eleni, C; Petrella, A; Di Francesco, C E; Sabatucci, A; Leonardi, L; Serroni, A; Marsili, L; Storelli, M M; Giacominelli-Stuffler, R

    2015-01-01

    Dolphin Morbillivirus (DMV), Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella ceti are pathogens of major concern for wild cetaceans. Although a more or less severe encephalitis/meningo-encephalitis may occur in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) infected by the aforementioned agents, almost no information is available on the neuropathogenesis of brain lesions, including the neuronal and non-neuronal cells targeted during infection, along with the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. We analyzed 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) expression in the brain of 11 striped dolphins and 5 bottlenose dolphins, affected or not by encephalitic lesions of various degrees associated with DMV, T. gondii and B. ceti. All the 8 striped dolphins with encephalitis showed a more consistent 5-LOX expression than that observed in the 3 striped dolphins showing no morphologic evidence of brain lesions, with the most prominent band intensity being detected in a B. ceti-infected animal. Similar results were not obtained in T. gondii-infected vs T. gondii-uninfected bottlenose dolphins. Overall, the higher 5-LOX expression found in the brain of the 8 striped dolphins with infectious neuroinflammation is of interest, given that 5-LOX is a putative marker for neurodegeneration in human patients and in experimental animal models. Therefore, further investigation on this challenging issue is also needed in stranded cetaceans affected by central neuropathies.

  3. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in blood and blubber of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) at three northern Gulf of Mexico sites following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balmer, Jennifer E; Ylitalo, Gina M; Rowles, Teresa K; Mullin, Keith D; Wells, Randall S; Townsend, Forrest I; Pearce, Ronald W; Bolton, Jennie L; Zolman, Eric S; Balmer, Brian C; Schwacke, Lori H

    2018-04-15

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), including those impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, inhabit the coastal and estuarine waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). In response to the spill, dolphin health assessments conducted in Barataria Bay, Louisiana - a site that experienced heavy and prolonged oiling - uncovered a high prevalence of health abnormalities and individuals in poor body condition. Although the health effects observed were suggestive of petroleum toxicity, a lack of pre-spill information regarding dolphin health raises the possibility that other environmental factors may have contributed to the adverse health of dolphins in this oil-impacted area. To assess how exposure to other environmental pollutants may affect the health of northern GoM dolphin populations impacted by the DWH oil spill, a suite of 69 persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including PCBs, PBDEs and organochlorine pesticides, was determined in blood and a subset of blubber samples collected during health assessments of 145 bottlenose dolphins at three GoM sites: two oil impacted sites - Barataria Bay, LA (BB), and Mississippi Sound, MS (MS) and an unimpacted reference site - Sarasota Bay, FL (SB). Overall, levels of POPs at all three sites appeared comparable or lower than concentrations previously reported for coastal bottlenose dolphin populations outside of the northern GoM. POP levels measured in BB dolphins were also comparable or lower than those measured at the unimpacted reference site (SB) within the northern GoM. Additionally, the relationship between blubber and blood contaminant levels in a smaller subset of BB and SB suggests that BB animals were not experiencing elevated blood-contaminant concentrations as a result of their poor body condition. Cumulatively, these results suggest that background levels of POPs measured are unlikely to produce the health abnormalities previously reported for BB dolphins. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B

  4. Sighting frequency and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the northeast coast of Margarita Island and Los Frailes Archipelago, Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oviedo, Lenin; Silva, Noemi

    2005-01-01

    The study of local cetaceans in Venezuela has a very recent history, and few efforts have been made in the assessment of coastal populations based on field research. The occurrence of whales and dolphins along the northeast coast of Venezuela has been documented through sightings and stranding records. Given the underwater topographical features and the influence of upwelling processes, this area is considered a very productive coastal ecosystem. Our objective was to establish the sighting frequency and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins in the area. Sighting records were gathered on bottlenose dolphins and other cetacean species occurring along the northeast coast of Margarita Island and Los Frailes Archipelago through direct observation during land-based (6 surveys, 48 hours of observation) and boat-based surveys (24 surveys, 121 hours of observation, 1295 km covered). A sighting frequency was calculated using two methodologies and then compared, considering: 1) a mean effective observation time (4.27 hours), and 2) distance covered with cetacean sightings (1108 kin). A third method is proposed relating a mean effective distance covered with cetacean sightings and expressed as a percentage. The abundance index was calculated using the mean effective observation time. The sighting frequency of Tursiops truncattus in the study area was 3 - 4 sightings per day of 4.27 observation hours, or by 185 kilometers covered. The relative abundance was calculated as 35 dolphins in the study area, so a total population of less than 60 dolphins could inhabit the proposed range. Tursiops truncatus is the dominant species in the northeast coast of Margarita Island and Los Frailes Archipelago with 70% of all the sightings, so this locality could be termed as the distribution range of a possible local population of bottlenose dolphins.

  5. Nontargeted biomonitoring of halogenated organic compounds in two ecotypes of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Southern California Bight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaul, Nellie J; Dodder, Nathan G; Aluwihare, Lihini I; Mackintosh, Susan A; Maruya, Keith A; Chivers, Susan J; Danil, Kerri; Weller, David W; Hoh, Eunha

    2015-02-03

    Targeted environmental monitoring reveals contamination by known chemicals, but may exclude potentially pervasive but unknown compounds. Marine mammals are sentinels of persistent and bioaccumulative contaminants due to their longevity and high trophic position. Using nontargeted analysis, we constructed a mass spectral library of 327 persistent and bioaccumulative compounds identified in blubber from two ecotypes of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) sampled in the Southern California Bight. This library of halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) consisted of 180 anthropogenic contaminants, 41 natural products, 4 with mixed sources, 8 with unknown sources, and 94 with partial structural characterization and unknown sources. The abundance of compounds whose structures could not be fully elucidated highlights the prevalence of undiscovered HOCs accumulating in marine food webs. Eighty-six percent of the identified compounds are not currently monitored, including 133 known anthropogenic chemicals. Compounds related to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were the most abundant. Natural products were, in some cases, detected at abundances similar to anthropogenic compounds. The profile of naturally occurring HOCs differed between ecotypes, suggesting more abundant offshore sources of these compounds. This nontargeted analytical framework provided a comprehensive list of HOCs that may be characteristic of the region, and its application within monitoring surveys may suggest new chemicals for evaluation.

  6. Coinfection by Cetacean morbillivirus and Aspergillus fumigatus in a juvenile bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassle, Stephen E; Landrau-Giovannetti, Nelmarie; Farina, Lisa L; Leone, Angelique; Wellehan, James F X; Stacy, Nicole I; Thompson, Patrick; Herring, Hada; Mase-Guthrie, Blair; Blas-Machado, Uriel; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Walsh, Michael T; Waltzek, Thomas B

    2016-11-01

    A recently deceased juvenile male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was found floating in the Gulf of Mexico, off Sand Key in Clearwater, Florida. At autopsy, we identified pneumonia and a focus of malacia in the right cerebrum. Cytologic evaluation of tissue imprints from the right cerebrum revealed fungal hyphae. Fungal cultures of the lung and brain yielded Aspergillus fumigatus, which was confirmed by amplification of a portion of the fungal nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 region sequence. Microscopic pulmonary lesions of bronchiolar epithelial cell syncytia with intracytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions within bronchiolar epithelial cells were suggestive of Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) infection. The occurrence of CeMV infection was supported by positive immunohistochemical staining for morbillivirus antigen. CeMV detection was confirmed by amplification and sequencing a portion of the morbilliviral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene from lung tissue. This case provides CeMV sequence data available from the Gulf of Mexico and underscores the need for genomic sequencing across diverse host, temporospatial, and population (i.e., single animal vs. mass mortality events) scales to improve our understanding of these globally emerging pathogens. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Foraging habits in a generalist predator: sex and age influence habitat selection and resource use among bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sam Rossman,; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Nelio B. Barros,; Hasand Gandhi,; Peggy H. Ostrom,; Stricker, Craig A.; Randall S. Wells,

    2015-01-01

    This study examines resource use (diet, habitat use, and trophic level) within and among demographic groups (males, females, and juveniles) of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We analyzed the δ13C and δ15N values of 15 prey species constituting 84% of the species found in stomach contents. We used these data to establish a trophic enrichment factor (TEF) to inform dietary analysis using a Bayesian isotope mixing model. We document a TEF of 0‰ and 2.0‰ for δ13C and δ15N, respectively. The dietary results showed that all demographic groups relied heavily on low trophic level seagrass-associated prey. Bayesian standard ellipse areas (SEAb) were calculated to assess diversity in resource use. The SEAb of females was nearly four times larger than that of males indicating varied resource use, likely a consequence of small home ranges and habitat specialization. Juveniles possessed an intermediate SEAb, generally feeding at a lower trophic level compared to females, potentially an effect of natal philopatry and immature foraging skills. The small SEAb of males reflects a high degree of specialization on seagrass associated prey. Patterns in resource use by the demographic groups are likely linked to differences in the relative importance of social and ecological factors.

  8. Risk Factors for Colonization of E. coli in Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M. Schaefer

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Opportunistic pathogens related to degradation in water quality are of concern to both wildlife and public health. The objective of this study was to identify spatial, temporal, and environmental risk factors for E. coli colonization among Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL, FL between 2003 and 2007. Age, gender, capture location, coastal human population density, proximity of sewage treatment plants, number of septic tanks, cumulative precipitation 48 hrs and 30 days prior to capture, salinity, and water temperature were analyzed as potential risk factors. Highest E. coli colonization rates occurred in the northern segments of the IRL. The risk of E. coli colonization was the highest among the youngest individuals, in counties with the highest cumulative rainfall 48 hrs and in counties with the highest number of septic systems during the year of capture. The prevalence of colonization was the highest during 2004, a year during which multiple hurricanes hit the coast of Florida. Septic tanks, in combination with weather-related events suggest a possible pathway for introduction of fecal coliforms into estuarine ecosystems. The ability of E. coli and related bacteria to act as primary pathogens or cause opportunistic infections adds importance of these findings.

  9. Toxic element concentrations in the bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's (Grampus griseus) dolphins stranded in eastern Adriatic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilandžić, Nina; Sedak, Marija; Ðokić, Maja; Ðuras Gomerčić, Martina; Gomerčić, Tomislav; Zadravec, Manuela; Benić, Miroslav; Prevendar Crnić, Andrea

    2012-09-01

    Concentrations of cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) were measured in muscle, liver and kidney of three cetacean species, the bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's (Grampus griseus) dolphins from the Croatian waters of the Adriatic Sea. In all three dolphin species Cd levels decreased in tissues in the order: kidney > liver > muscle, while As and Pb decreased in the order: liver > kidney > muscle for striped and Risso's dolphins, but with the order reversed for liver and kidney in the bottlenose dolphin for Pb. Levels of Hg consistently followed the order: liver > muscle > kidney, with mean concentrations in the liver being 11-34 times higher than in the other tissues. The highest mean concentrations of trace elements were measured in Risso's dolphins at 14.9 μg/g wet weight, for Cd in the kidney, and concentrations in the liver of 2.41, 1,115 and 0.63 μg/g for As, Hg and Pb, respectively. Statistically significant differences between the three dolphin species were determined for Cd, Hg and Pb in liver tissues, for As in muscle and for Cd in kidney. Significant correlations of metals between tissues were determined in all three species. The results presented give an indication of the environmental condition with regard to the content of toxic metals along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea.

  10. Visible and invisible displacement with dynamic visual occlusion in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christine M; Sullivan, Jess; Buck, Cara L; Trexel, Julie; Scarpuzzi, Mike

    2015-01-01

    Anticipating the location of a temporarily obscured target-what Piaget (the construction of reality in the child. Basic Books, New York, 1954) called "object permanence"-is a critical skill, especially in hunters of mobile prey. Previous research with bottlenose dolphins found they could predict the location of a target that had been visibly displaced into an opaque container, but not one that was first placed in an opaque container and then invisibly displaced to another container. We tested whether, by altering the task to involve occlusion rather than containment, these animals could show more advanced object permanence skills. We projected dynamic visual displays at an underwater-viewing window and videotaped the animals' head moves while observing these displays. In Experiment 1, the animals observed a small black disk moving behind occluders that shifted in size, ultimately forming one large occluder. Nine out of ten subjects "tracked" the presumed movement of the disk behind this occluder on their first trial-and in a statistically significant number of subsequent trials-confirming their visible displacement abilities. In Experiment 2, we tested their invisible displacement abilities. The disk first disappeared behind a pair of moving occluders, which then moved behind a stationary occluder. The moving occluders then reappeared and separated, revealing that the disk was no longer behind them. The subjects subsequently looked to the correct stationary occluder on eight of their ten first trials, and in a statistically significant number of subsequent trials. Thus, by altering the stimuli to be more ecologically valid, we were able to show that the dolphins could indeed succeed at an invisible displacement task.

  11. Adrenal Gland and Lung Lesions in Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Found Dead following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Venn-Watson

    Full Text Available A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM cetacean unusual mortality event (UME involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributing factors and causes of deaths for stranded UME dolphins from June 2010 through December 2012, lung and adrenal gland tissues were histologically evaluated from 46 fresh dead non-perinatal carcasses that stranded in Louisiana (including 22 from Barataria Bay, Mississippi, and Alabama. UME dolphins were tested for evidence of biotoxicosis, morbillivirus infection, and brucellosis. Results were compared to up to 106 fresh dead stranded dolphins from outside the UME area or prior to the DWH spill. UME dolphins were more likely to have primary bacterial pneumonia (22% compared to 2% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003 and thin adrenal cortices (33% compared to 7% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003. In 70% of UME dolphins with primary bacterial pneumonia, the condition either caused or contributed significantly to death. Brucellosis and morbillivirus infections were detected in 7% and 11% of UME dolphins, respectively, and biotoxin levels were low or below the detection limit, indicating that these were not primary causes of the current UME. The rare, life-threatening, and chronic adrenal gland and lung diseases identified in stranded UME dolphins are consistent with exposure to petroleum compounds as seen in other mammals. Exposure of dolphins to elevated petroleum compounds present in coastal GoM waters during and after the DWH oil spill is proposed as a cause of adrenal and lung disease and as a contributor to increased dolphin deaths.

  12. Adrenal Gland and Lung Lesions in Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Found Dead following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Colegrove, Kathleen M; Litz, Jenny; Kinsel, Michael; Terio, Karen; Saliki, Jeremiah; Fire, Spencer; Carmichael, Ruth; Chevis, Connie; Hatchett, Wendy; Pitchford, Jonathan; Tumlin, Mandy; Field, Cara; Smith, Suzanne; Ewing, Ruth; Fauquier, Deborah; Lovewell, Gretchen; Whitehead, Heidi; Rotstein, David; McFee, Wayne; Fougeres, Erin; Rowles, Teri

    2015-01-01

    A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) cetacean unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributing factors and causes of deaths for stranded UME dolphins from June 2010 through December 2012, lung and adrenal gland tissues were histologically evaluated from 46 fresh dead non-perinatal carcasses that stranded in Louisiana (including 22 from Barataria Bay), Mississippi, and Alabama. UME dolphins were tested for evidence of biotoxicosis, morbillivirus infection, and brucellosis. Results were compared to up to 106 fresh dead stranded dolphins from outside the UME area or prior to the DWH spill. UME dolphins were more likely to have primary bacterial pneumonia (22% compared to 2% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003) and thin adrenal cortices (33% compared to 7% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003). In 70% of UME dolphins with primary bacterial pneumonia, the condition either caused or contributed significantly to death. Brucellosis and morbillivirus infections were detected in 7% and 11% of UME dolphins, respectively, and biotoxin levels were low or below the detection limit, indicating that these were not primary causes of the current UME. The rare, life-threatening, and chronic adrenal gland and lung diseases identified in stranded UME dolphins are consistent with exposure to petroleum compounds as seen in other mammals. Exposure of dolphins to elevated petroleum compounds present in coastal GoM waters during and after the DWH oil spill is proposed as a cause of adrenal and lung disease and as a contributor to increased dolphin deaths.

  13. Adrenal Gland and Lung Lesions in Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Found Dead following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Colegrove, Kathleen M.; Litz, Jenny; Kinsel, Michael; Terio, Karen; Saliki, Jeremiah; Fire, Spencer; Carmichael, Ruth; Chevis, Connie; Hatchett, Wendy; Pitchford, Jonathan; Tumlin, Mandy; Field, Cara; Smith, Suzanne; Ewing, Ruth; Fauquier, Deborah; Lovewell, Gretchen; Whitehead, Heidi; Rotstein, David; McFee, Wayne; Fougeres, Erin; Rowles, Teri

    2015-01-01

    A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) cetacean unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributing factors and causes of deaths for stranded UME dolphins from June 2010 through December 2012, lung and adrenal gland tissues were histologically evaluated from 46 fresh dead non-perinatal carcasses that stranded in Louisiana (including 22 from Barataria Bay), Mississippi, and Alabama. UME dolphins were tested for evidence of biotoxicosis, morbillivirus infection, and brucellosis. Results were compared to up to 106 fresh dead stranded dolphins from outside the UME area or prior to the DWH spill. UME dolphins were more likely to have primary bacterial pneumonia (22% compared to 2% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003) and thin adrenal cortices (33% compared to 7% in non-UME dolphins, P = .003). In 70% of UME dolphins with primary bacterial pneumonia, the condition either caused or contributed significantly to death. Brucellosis and morbillivirus infections were detected in 7% and 11% of UME dolphins, respectively, and biotoxin levels were low or below the detection limit, indicating that these were not primary causes of the current UME. The rare, life-threatening, and chronic adrenal gland and lung diseases identified in stranded UME dolphins are consistent with exposure to petroleum compounds as seen in other mammals. Exposure of dolphins to elevated petroleum compounds present in coastal GoM waters during and after the DWH oil spill is proposed as a cause of adrenal and lung disease and as a contributor to increased dolphin deaths. PMID:25992681

  14. Concentrations of metallic elements in kidney, liver, and lung tissue of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus from coastal waters of Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapunda, Edgar C; Othman, Othman C; Akwilapo, Leonard D; Bouwman, Hindrik; Mwevura, Haji

    2017-09-15

    Concentrations of metallic elements in kidney, liver and lung tissues of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins Tursiops aduncus from coastal waters of Zanzibar were determined using inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectroscopy. Cadmium, chromium, copper, and zinc were quantifiable in all tissues at concentration ranges of 0.10-150, 0.08-3.2, 1.1-88 and 14-210μg/g dry mass, respectively. Copper and zinc was significantly higher in liver, and females had significantly higher Cd in liver, and chromium in lung. Generally, T. aduncus dolphins from coastal waters around Zanzibar carry low concentrations of metals compared with dolphins from other areas. Cadmium increased significantly with age in kidney and lung. Copper decreased significantly with age in liver, probably due to foetal metallothionein. This study supplied baseline data against which future trends in marine mammals in the Indian Ocean, the world's third largest, can be assessed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Recognition of Frequency Modulated Whistle-Like Sounds by a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Humans with Transformations in Amplitude, Duration and Frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K.; DeLong, Caroline M.; Dziedzic, Brandon; Black, Amy; Bakhtiari, Kimberly

    2016-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) use the frequency contour of whistles produced by conspecifics for individual recognition. Here we tested a bottlenose dolphin’s (Tursiops truncatus) ability to recognize frequency modulated whistle-like sounds using a three alternative matching-to-sample paradigm. The dolphin was first trained to select a specific object (object A) in response to a specific sound (sound A) for a total of three object-sound associations. The sounds were then transformed by amplitude, duration, or frequency transposition while still preserving the frequency contour of each sound. For comparison purposes, 30 human participants completed an identical task with the same sounds, objects, and training procedure. The dolphin’s ability to correctly match objects to sounds was robust to changes in amplitude with only a minor decrement in performance for short durations. The dolphin failed to recognize sounds that were frequency transposed by plus or minus ½ octaves. Human participants demonstrated robust recognition with all acoustic transformations. The results indicate that this dolphin’s acoustic recognition of whistle-like sounds was constrained by absolute pitch. Unlike human speech, which varies considerably in average frequency, signature whistles are relatively stable in frequency, which may have selected for a whistle recognition system invariant to frequency transposition. PMID:26863519

  16. Demographic clusters identified within the northern Gulf of Mexico common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates unusual mortality event: January 2010-June 2013.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Venn-Watson

    Full Text Available A multi-year unusual mortality event (UME involving primarily common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates was declared in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM with an initial start date of February 2010 and remains ongoing as of August 2014. To examine potential changing characteristics of the UME over time, we compared the number and demographics of dolphin strandings from January 2010 through June 2013 across the entire GoM as well as against baseline (1990-2009 GoM stranding patterns. Years 2010 and 2011 had the highest annual number of stranded dolphins since Louisiana's record began, and 2011 was one of the years with the highest strandings for both Mississippi and Alabama. Statewide, annual numbers of stranded dolphins were not elevated for GoM coasts of Florida or Texas during the UME period. Demographic, spatial, and temporal clusters identified within this UME included increased strandings in northern coastal Louisiana and Mississippi (March-May 2010; Barataria Bay, Louisiana (August 2010-December 2011; Mississippi and Alabama (2011, including a high prevalence and number of stranded perinates; and multiple GoM states during early 2013. While the causes of the GoM UME have not been determined, the location and magnitude of dolphin strandings during and the year following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including the Barataria Bay cluster from August 2010 to December 2011, overlap in time and space with locations that received heavy and prolonged oiling. There are, however, multiple known causes of previous GoM dolphin UMEs, including brevetoxicosis and dolphin morbillivirus. Additionally, increased dolphin strandings occurred in northern Louisiana and Mississippi before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Identification of spatial, temporal, and demographic clusters within the UME suggest that this mortality event may involve different contributing factors varying by location, time, and bottlenose dolphin populations that will be

  17. Demographic clusters identified within the northern Gulf of Mexico common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates) unusual mortality event: January 2010-June 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Garrison, Lance; Litz, Jenny; Fougeres, Erin; Mase, Blair; Rappucci, Gina; Stratton, Elizabeth; Carmichael, Ruth; Odell, Daniel; Shannon, Delphine; Shippee, Steve; Smith, Suzanne; Staggs, Lydia; Tumlin, Mandy; Whitehead, Heidi; Rowles, Teri

    2015-01-01

    A multi-year unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates) was declared in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) with an initial start date of February 2010 and remains ongoing as of August 2014. To examine potential changing characteristics of the UME over time, we compared the number and demographics of dolphin strandings from January 2010 through June 2013 across the entire GoM as well as against baseline (1990-2009) GoM stranding patterns. Years 2010 and 2011 had the highest annual number of stranded dolphins since Louisiana's record began, and 2011 was one of the years with the highest strandings for both Mississippi and Alabama. Statewide, annual numbers of stranded dolphins were not elevated for GoM coasts of Florida or Texas during the UME period. Demographic, spatial, and temporal clusters identified within this UME included increased strandings in northern coastal Louisiana and Mississippi (March-May 2010); Barataria Bay, Louisiana (August 2010-December 2011); Mississippi and Alabama (2011, including a high prevalence and number of stranded perinates); and multiple GoM states during early 2013. While the causes of the GoM UME have not been determined, the location and magnitude of dolphin strandings during and the year following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including the Barataria Bay cluster from August 2010 to December 2011, overlap in time and space with locations that received heavy and prolonged oiling. There are, however, multiple known causes of previous GoM dolphin UMEs, including brevetoxicosis and dolphin morbillivirus. Additionally, increased dolphin strandings occurred in northern Louisiana and Mississippi before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Identification of spatial, temporal, and demographic clusters within the UME suggest that this mortality event may involve different contributing factors varying by location, time, and bottlenose dolphin populations that will be better discerned

  18. Female reproductive success and calf survival in a North Sea coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Kevin P; Sim, Texa M C; Culloch, Ross M; Bean, Thomas S; Cordoba Aguilar, Isabel; Eisfeld, Sonja M; Filan, Miranda; Haskins, Gary N; Williams, Genevieve; Pierce, Graham J

    2017-01-01

    Between-female variation in reproductive output provides a strong measure of individual fitness and a quantifiable measure of the health of a population which may be highly informative to management. In the present study, we examined reproductive traits in female bottlenose dolphins from the east coast of Scotland using longitudinal sightings data collected over twenty years. From a total of 102 females identified between 1997 and 2016, 74 mothers produced a collective total of 193 calves. Females gave birth from 6 to 13 years of age with a mean age of 8. Calves were produced during all study months, May to October inclusive, but showed a seasonal birth pulse corresponding to the regional peak in summer water temperatures. Approximately 83% (n = 116) of the calves of established fate were successfully raised to year 2-3. Of the known mortalities, ~45% were first-born calves. Calf survival rates were also lower in multiparous females who had previously lost calves. A mean inter-birth interval (IBI) of 3.80 years (n = 110) and mean fecundity of 0.16 was estimated for the population. Calf loss resulted in shortened IBIs, whilst longer IBIs were observed in females assumed to be approaching reproductive senescence. Maternal age and size, breeding experience, dominance, individual associations, group size and other social factors, were all concluded to influence reproductive success (RS) in this population. Some females are likely more important than others for the future viability of the population. Consequently, a better knowledge of the demographic groups containing those females showing higher reproductive success would be highly desirable for conservation efforts aimed at their protection.

  19. Selection of suitable reference genes for normalization of quantitative RT-PCR in peripheral blood samples of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, I-Hua; Chou, Lien-Siang; Chou, Shih-Jen; Wang, Jiann-Hsiung; Stott, Jeffrey; Blanchard, Myra; Jen, I-Fan; Yang, Wei-Cheng

    2015-10-21

    Quantitative RT-PCR is often used as a research tool directed at gene transcription. Selection of optimal housekeeping genes (HKGs) as reference genes is critical to establishing sensitive and reproducible qRT-PCR-based assays. The current study was designed to identify the appropriate reference genes in blood leukocytes of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for gene transcription research. Seventy-five blood samples collected from 7 bottlenose dolphins were used to analyze 15 candidate HKGs (ACTB, B2M, GAPDH, HPRT1, LDHB, PGK1, RPL4, RPL8, RPL18, RPS9, RPS18, TFRC, YWHAZ, LDHA, SDHA). HKG stability in qRT-PCR was determined using geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and comparative delta Ct algorithms. Utilization of RefFinder, which combined all 4 algorithms, suggested that PGK1, HPRT1 and RPL4 were the most stable HKGs in bottlenose dolphin blood. Gene transcription perturbations in blood can serve as an indication of health status in cetaceans as it occurs prior to alterations in hematology and chemistry. This study identified HKGs that could be used in gene transcript studies, which may contribute to further mRNA relative quantification research in the peripheral blood leukocytes in captive cetaceans.

  20. Successful amplification of mitochondrial DNA from dentin of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Isabel Weber

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Twenty-four teeth of Tursiops truncatus from the collection of the Marine Mammals Laboratory (FURG-RS were analysed for their potential as DNA source for population genetic and taxonomic studies. All teeth were submitted to decontamination, grinding and demineralisation processes. Dentin powder was weighed for DNA extraction, which was evaluated by the amplification of two mitochondrial genes through PCR using universal primers. Cytochrome-b gene was amplified successfully. PCR products showed concentrations of 3-12 ng/µl for dentin powder, which was positively correlated to the quantity of dentin powder used for DNA extraction. To rule out contamination a SSCP was carried out including positive controls, and samples of humans involved in the analysis. The SSCP patterns for T. truncatus differed from all others, showing also polymorphism for the region. It was concluded that dentin was a good source of mtDNA for genetic studies in dolphins.Vinte e quatro amostras de material dentário de Tursiops truncatus oriundas da coleção do Laboratório de Mamíferos Marinhos (FURG-RS foram avaliadas para determinar seu potencial como fonte de DNA para estudos genético-populacionais e sistemáticos. Todos os dentes foram submetidos a processos de desinfecção, trituração e desmineralização. A dentina obtida foi pesada previamente à extração de DNA, a qual foi avaliada através da amplificação de dois genes mitocondriais, através da técnica de PCR (Reação em Cadeia da Polimerase, utilizando oligonucleotídeos iniciadores universais. Obteve-se sucesso apenas na amplificação do gene Citocromo-b. Destes produtos obtiveram-se concentrações de 3-12 ng/µl para o material dentário, observando-se uma relação linear positiva com a quantidade em gramas utilizada na extração de DNA. Com o objetivo de eliminar a possibilidade de contaminação foi realizada uma análise SSCP (Polimorfismo Conformacional de Fita Simples incluindo os controles

  1. Effects of vibratory pile driver noise on echolocation and vigilance in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K; Bowman, Victoria F; Houser, Dorian S; Tormey, Megan; Banks, Patchouly; Finneran, James J; Jenkins, Keith

    2018-01-01

    Vibratory pile drivers, used for marine construction, can produce sustained, high sound pressure levels (SPLs) in areas that overlap with dolphin habitats. Dolphins rely on echolocation for navigation, detecting predators and prey, and to coordinate group behavior. This study examined the effects of vibratory pile driver noise on dolphin sustained target detection capabilities through echolocation. Five dolphins were required to scan their enclosure and indicate the occurrences of phantom echoes during five different source levels of vibratory pile driver playback sound (no-playback control, 110, 120, 130, and 140 dB re 1 μPa). Three of the dolphins demonstrated a significant decrease in target detection performance at 140 dB playback level that was associated with an almost complete secession of echolocation activity. The performance of two dolphins was not affected. All dolphins rapidly returned to baseline levels of target detection performance by their second replication. However, an increased number of clicks was produced at the highest playback SPL. The data suggest that the decrease in vigilant behavior was due to the vibratory pile driver noise distracting the dolphins and decreasing their motivation to perform the task.

  2. Quantitative examination of the bottlenose dolphin cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Alicia; Grisham, William; Sheh, Colleen; Annese, Jacopo; Ridgway, Sam

    2013-08-01

    Neuroanatomical research into the brain of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has revealed striking similarities with the human brain in terms of size and complexity. However, the dolphin brain also contains unique allometric relationships. When compared to the human brain, the dolphin cerebellum is noticeably larger. Upon closer examination, the lobule composition of the cerebellum is distinct between the two species. In this study, we used magnetic resonance imaging to analyze cerebellar anatomy in the bottlenose dolphin and measure the volume of the separate cerebellar lobules in the bottlenose dolphin and human. Lobule identification was assisted by three-dimensional modeling. We find that lobules VI, VIIb, VIII, and IX are the largest lobules of the bottlenose dolphin cerebellum, while the anterior lobe (I-V), crus I, crus II, and the flocculonodular lobe are smaller. Different lobule sizes may have functional implications. Auditory-associated lobules VIIb, VIII, IX are likely large in the bottlenose dolphin due to echolocation abilities. Our study provides quantitative information on cerebellar anatomy that substantiates previous reports based on gross observation and subjective analysis. This study is part of a continuing effort toward providing explicit descriptions of cetacean neuroanatomy to support the interpretation of behavioral studies on cetacean cognition. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. The Anatomy and Function of the Ear of the Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Purves, P.E.; Utrecht, van W.L.

    1963-01-01

    3. An account is given of sound conductivity experiments which were carried out on the auditory structures in a very fresh, dead specimen of Tursiops. 4. The probable function of the external auditory meatus is discussed in relationship to the arrangement of the accessory air sinuses of the middle

  4. Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Spermatozoa: Collection, Cryopreservation, and Heterologous In Vitro Fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Calabuig, María Jesús; García-Vázquez, Francisco Alberto; Laguna-Barraza, Ricardo; Barros-García, Carlos; García-Parraga, Daniel; Rizos, Dimitrios; Gutiérrez Adan, Alfonso; Pérez-Gutíerrez, José Félix

    2017-08-21

    The use of cryopreserved dolphin spermatozoa facilitates the exchange of genetic material between aquatic parks and makes spermatozoa accessible to laboratories for studies to further our understanding of marine mammal reproduction. Heterologous IVF, a replacement for homologous IVF, could provide a means to test the sperm fertility potential; to study gamete physiology and early embryo development; and to avoid the use of valuable dolphin oocytes, which are difficult to obtain. Here, we present protocols that have been successfully used to collect and cryopreserve dolphin spermatozoa. The collection of semen is performed by manual stimulation on trained dolphins. Cryopreservation is accomplished using a TRIS egg-yolk based extender with glycerol. In addition, we present a protocol that describes heterologous IVF using dolphin spermatozoa and bovine oocytes and that verifies the hybrid nature of the resulting embryo using PCR. Heterologous fertilization raises questions on fertilization and can be used as a tool to study gamete physiology and early embryo development. In addition, the success of heterologous IVF demonstrates the potential of this technique to test dolphin sperm fertilizing capacity, which is worth further examination.

  5. Purine metabolism in response to hypoxic conditions associated with breath-hold diving and exercise in erythrocytes and plasma from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo Velasco-Martínez, Iris; Hernández-Camacho, Claudia J; Méndez-Rodríguez, Lía C; Zenteno-Savín, Tania

    2016-01-01

    In mammalian tissues under hypoxic conditions, ATP degradation results in accumulation of purine metabolites. During exercise, muscle energetic demand increases and oxygen consumption can exceed its supply. During breath-hold diving, oxygen supply is reduced and, although oxygen utilization is regulated by bradycardia (low heart rate) and peripheral vasoconstriction, tissues with low blood flow (ischemia) may become hypoxic. The goal of this study was to evaluate potential differences in the circulating levels of purine metabolism components between diving and exercise in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Blood samples were taken from captive dolphins following a swimming routine (n=8) and after a 2min dive (n=8). Activity of enzymes involved in purine metabolism (hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT), inosine monophosphate deshydrogenase (IMPDH), xanthine oxidase (XO), purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP)), and purine metabolite (hypoxanthine (HX), xanthine (X), uric acid (UA), inosine monophosphate (IMP), inosine, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)), adenosine, adenosine monophosphate (AMP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), ATP, guanosine diphosphate (GDP), guanosine triphosphate (GTP)) concentrations were quantified in erythrocyte and plasma samples. Enzymatic activity and purine metabolite concentrations involved in purine synthesis and degradation, were not significantly different between diving and exercise. Plasma adenosine concentration was higher after diving than exercise (p=0.03); this may be related to dive-induced ischemia. In erythrocytes, HGPRT activity was higher after diving than exercise (p=0.007), suggesting an increased capacity for purine recycling and ATP synthesis from IMP in ischemic tissues of bottlenose dolphins during diving. Purine recycling and physiological adaptations may maintain the ATP concentrations in bottlenose dolphins after diving and exercise. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Lumba-Lumba Hidung Botol Laut Jawa Adalah Tursiops aduncus Berdasar Sekuen Gen NADH Dehidrogenase Subunit 6 (VERIFICATION BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS FROM JAVA SEA IS TURSIOPS ADUNCUS BASED ON GENE SEQUENCES OF NADH DEHYDROGENASE SUBUNIT 6

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rini Widayanti

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp. is one of the aquatic mammals widely spread in the marines ofIndonesia archipelago, especially the Java Sea. The taxonomy of the genus Tursiops is still  controversial.The purpose of this study was to examine the molecular basis of Tursiops sp of Java sea marine origin onthe basis of its NADH dehydrogenase gene subunit 6 (ND6 sequences. Samples of blood were collectedfrom five male bottle nose dolphins from captivity of PT. Wersut Seguni Indonesia. DNA was isolated,amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR, sequenced, and analyzed the data using the MEGA v. 5.1program. The results of PCR amplification was 868 base pairs (bp, DNA sequencing showed that 528nucleotides were ND6 gene, nucleotide at the position of 387 could be used to distinguish the bottle nosedolphins Java marine origin with T. aduncus.   Filogram using Neighbor joining method based on thenucleotide sequence of the gene ND6, showed that bottle nose dolphins Java marine origin belong to groupof T. aduncus.

  7. Heterologous murine and bovine IVF using bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Calabuig, M J; de la Fuente, J; Laguna-Barraza, R; Beltrán-Breña, P; Martínez-Nevado, E; Johnston, S D; Rizos, D; Gutiérrez-Adán, A; Pérez-Gutiérrez, J F

    2015-10-01

    Assisted reproductive technologies are of great importance for increasing the genetic diversity in captive animals. The use of bovine or murine oocytes in heterologous IVF provides advantages compared to homologous IVF in nondomestic animals, such as the accessibility to oocytes and the availability of well-developed in vitro maturation systems. The aim of this study was to determine the heterologous IVF parameters using cryopreserved dolphin spermatozoa and zona-intact bovine or murine oocytes and to examine the nuclear chromatin status of the dolphin spermatozoa. All the processes involved in the fertilization including embryo cleavage were observed by confocal microscopy and hybrid embryo formation was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Heterologous bovine IVF showed no polyspermy, lower percentages of pronuclear formation, and a lower cleavage rate compared to homologous IVF group (34.8% vs. 89.3%). Heterologous murine IVF showed a lower cleavage rate than homologous IVF (9.6% vs. 77.1%). With respect to dolphin sperm chromatin, it was more stable, i.e. more resistant to EDTA-SDS decondensation than the bovine sperm chromatin. This study revealed the stability of the dolphin sperm chromatin and the ability of the dolphin spermatozoa to penetrate zona-intact bovine and murine oocytes, leading to hybrid embryo formation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Use of the robust design to estimate seasonal abundance and demographic parameters of a coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly C Smith

    Full Text Available As delphinid populations become increasingly exposed to human activities we rely on our capacity to produce accurate abundance estimates upon which to base management decisions. This study applied mark-recapture methods following the Robust Design to estimate abundance, demographic parameters, and temporary emigration rates of an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus population off Bunbury, Western Australia. Boat-based photo-identification surveys were conducted year-round over three consecutive years along pre-determined transect lines to create a consistent sampling effort throughout the study period and area. The best fitting capture-recapture model showed a population with a seasonal Markovian temporary emigration with time varying survival and capture probabilities. Abundance estimates were seasonally dependent with consistently lower numbers obtained during winter and higher during summer and autumn across the three-year study period. Specifically, abundance estimates for all adults and juveniles (combined varied from a low of 63 (95% CI 59 to 73 in winter of 2007 to a high of 139 (95% CI 134 to148 in autumn of 2009. Temporary emigration rates (γ' for animals absent in the previous period ranged from 0.34 to 0.97 (mean  =  0.54; ±SE 0.11 with a peak during spring. Temporary emigration rates for animals present during the previous period (γ'' were lower, ranging from 0.00 to 0.29, with a mean of 0.16 (± SE 0.04. This model yielded a mean apparent survival estimate for juveniles and adults (combined of 0.95 (± SE 0.02 and a capture probability from 0.07 to 0.51 with a mean of 0.30 (± SE 0.04. This study demonstrates the importance of incorporating temporary emigration to accurately estimate abundance of coastal delphinids. Temporary emigration rates were high in this study, despite the large area surveyed, indicating the challenges of sampling highly mobile animals which range over large spatial areas.

  9. Evaluation of two commercially available immunological kits for the diagnosis of Helicobacter spp. in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal-Guadarrama, María José; Fernández-Gallardo, Nuhacet; Zamora-Padrón, Rafael; Pacheco, Víctor; Reyes-Batlle, María; Valladares, Basilio; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique

    2015-05-01

    Helicobacter pylori is considered to be responsible for the most common gastric infections in humans worldwide. In animals, other Helicobacter species are linked to gastritis with and without the presence of ulcers in their respective hosts. Moreover, gastric ulcers have been reported for decades in wild and captive dolphins. Clinical signs include lack of appetite, anorexia, abdominal tenderness, depression, and occasional unresponsiveness. In this study, serum and stool of nine bottlenose dolphins from Loro Parque collection Tenerife, Spain were examined for the presence of Helicobacter spp. The aim of our study was to evaluate the use of two commercially available kits for the detection of H. pylori in humans: a stool antigen immunoassay (Letitest H. pylori CARD) and a Western blot assay (EUROLINE-WB H. pylori) that were adapted to identify specific Helicobacter spp. antibodies in the tested Loro Parque bottlenose dolphin collection. The utility of these diagnostic kits for their application in dolphins is demonstrated, and their use in the future for the diagnosis of Helicobacter spp. in both wild and captive dolphins is proposed in this study.

  10. [Passive hearing stability in the bottle-nosed dolphin Tursiops truncatus to low frequency noise spectrum deformation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaĭtsev, K A; Korolev, V I; Akhi, A V

    2012-01-01

    In behavioral experiments on bottle-nosed dolphins there was evaluated efficiency of identification of the low frequency noises that represent a certain rhythmical sequence of impulses, at destabilization of their spectra by method of frequency wobble. Results of the experiments have shown that disturbance of spectra structure at erosion of its discrete components does not lead to a decrease of efficiency of the noise identification, which indicates the greater significance of the time, rather than spectral mechanisms at processing of the complex acoustic signals by the dolphin auditory system.

  11. Anticipatory behavior in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Ann-Louise M; Delfour, Fabienne; Carter, Toby

    2013-01-01

    This study examined whether a group of captive dolphins displayed anticipatory behaviors before shows. In general, anticipation occurs when an event is being predicted. Anticipatory behavior is defined by Spruijt et al. as "responses elicited by rewarding stimuli that lead to and facilitate consummatory behavior (Spruijt et al., 2001, Appl Anim Behav Sci 72: 145-171)." Using behavioral recording techniques, the behaviors, breathing rates, space use, and activity levels of all dolphins was recorded both before and after shows. Analysis compared pre- and post-show data in addition to looking at gradual changes in behavior prior to show sessions. Significant changes were found in the behavior and space use prior to sessions with the dolphins decreasing their activity levels, spending more time at the surface and moving towards the starting point of a session before it took place. There was a significant increase in the vigilant behavior before sessions, indicating that the dolphins were becoming more alert towards their trainers and other activities around the pool. This result mirrors previous research with other captive species; as feeding time was approaching, the animals seemed to "wait" and look for the handlers. Any behavioral change that may be regarded as anticipatory behavior was not evidently abnormal or stereotypic in nature, and breathing rates remained stable indicating that the animals do not perceive the shows as stressful or as an aversive experience. Additionally, behavior and level of activity remained stable following the sessions. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Determining the Molecular and Genetic Basis for Diabetes in Navy Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-12

    hepatocytes may reduce gluconeogenic gene expression and ciruculating blood glucose levels in Navy dolphins. VIM. Foreign Collaborations and...reporting period: Bing Luan, Ph.D. Literature Cited 1. Venn-Watson S, Ridgway SH (2007) Big brains and blood glucose: Common ground for diabetes...truncatus): Assessing a potential risk factor for urate nephrolithiasis. Comp / Wed 60:149-153. 10

  13. A new level of complexity in the male alliance networks of Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Richard C; Watson-Capps, Jana J; Sherwin, William B; Krützen, Michael

    2011-08-23

    Male bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia form two levels of alliances; two to three males cooperate to herd individual females and teams of greater than three males compete with other groups for females. Previous observation suggested two alliance tactics: small four to six member teams of relatives that formed stable pairs or trios and unrelated males in a large 14-member second-order alliance that had labile trio formation. Here, we present evidence for a third level of alliance formation, a continuum of second-order alliance sizes and no relationship between first-order alliance stability and second-order alliance size. These findings challenge the 'two alliance tactics' hypothesis and add to the evidence that Shark Bay male bottlenose dolphins engage in alliance formation that likely places considerable demands on their social cognition. This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society

  14. Perfluoroalkylphosphinic Acids in Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Relation to Other Perfluoroalkyl Acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Silva, Amila O; Spencer, Christine; Ho, Ki Chung D; Al Tarhuni, Mohammed; Go, Christopher; Houde, Magali; de Solla, Shane R; Lavoie, Raphael A; King, Laura E; Muir, Derek C G; Fair, Patricia A; Wells, Randall S; Bossart, Gregory D

    2016-10-18

    Perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPIAs) are perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that are used for their surfactant properties in a variety of applications, resulting in their presence in environmental waters; however, they have not been widely studied in biota. A survey of PFPIAs was conducted in fish, dolphins, and birds from various locations in North America. Northern pike (Esox lucius) were collected at two locations in 2011 near Montréal Island in the St. Lawrence River, Canada, double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were collected from bird colonies in the Great Lakes in 2010-2012, and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL and Charleston Harbor, SC were sampled in 2004-2009. PFPIAs had a detection frequency of 100% in all animals. This is the first report of PFPIAs in fish, dolphin, and bird plasma. Total PFPIA levels (mean ± standard deviation, 1.87 ± 2.17 ng/g wet weight (ww), range of 0.112-15.3 ng/g ww) were 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than those of perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCA) and perfluoroalkanesulfonates (PFSA) in the same samples. The predominant congeners were 6:8 PFPIA (cormorants and pike) and 6:6 PFPIA (dolphins). Total PFPIAs in cormorants from Hamilton Harbour (5.02 ± 2.80 ng/g ww) were statistically higher than in other areas and taxonomic groups. The ubiquity of PFPIAs warrants further research on sources and effects of these unique compounds.

  15. Laminar and cytoarchitectonic features of the cerebral cortex in the Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furutani, Rui

    2008-09-01

    The present investigation carried out Nissl, Klüver-Barrera, and Golgi studies of the cerebral cortex in three distinct genera of oceanic dolphins (Risso's dolphin, striped dolphin and bottlenose dolphin) to identify and classify cortical laminar and cytoarchitectonic structures in four distinct functional areas, including primary motor (M1), primary sensory (S1), primary visual (V1), and primary auditory (A1) cortices. The laminar and cytoarchitectonic organization of each of these cortical areas was similar among the three dolphin species. M1 was visualized as five-layer structure that included the molecular layer (layer I), external granular layer (layer II), external pyramidal layer (layer III), internal pyramidal layer (layer V), and fusiform layer (layer VI). The internal granular layer was absent. The cetacean sensory-related cortical areas S1, V1, and A1 were also found to have a five-layer organization comprising layers I, II, III, V and VI. In particular, A1 was characterized by the broadest layer I, layer II and developed band of pyramidal neurons in layers III (sublayers IIIa, IIIb and IIIc) and V. The patch organization consisting of the layer IIIb-pyramidal neurons was detected in the S1 and V1, but not in A1. The laminar patterns of V1 and S1 were similar, but the cytoarchitectonic structures of the two areas were different. V1 was characterized by a broader layer II than that of S1, and also contained the specialized pyramidal and multipolar stellate neurons in layers III and V.

  16. Seasonal encounter rates and residency patterns of an unstudied population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the northwestern Levantine Sea, Turkey

    OpenAIRE

    Baş, Aylin Akkaya; Erdoğan, Mehmet Akif; Morris, Neil Richard Charles; Yeoman, Kathryn; Humphrey, Ophélie; Gaggioli, Elisa; Roland, Chloe

    2017-01-01

    Insufficient data regarding abundance, distribution and movement patterns of bottlenose dolphins has contributed to lack of effective conservation strategies within the Levantine Sea. It has been inferred that the bottlenose dolphin population has decreased by 30 % in the last 60 years, thus a basin wide research effort on the population is an urgent priority. We present the preliminary results of the first bottlenose dolphin photo-identification study in the northwestern Levantine Sea. 32 bo...

  17. Insights about the genetic diversity and population structure of an offshore group of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mid-Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castilho, C S; Pedone-Valdez, F; Bertuol, F; Fruet, P; Genoves, R C; Di Tullio, J C; Caon, G; Hoffmann, L S; Freitas, T R O

    2015-04-15

    Although the genus Tursiops has a worldwide distribution and is globally well-studied, some dolphin populations continue to face high risks of decline. Hence, it is necessary to assess the genetic diversity and structure of this genus to properly assess its conservation status and to implement appropriate management actions. In Brazil, genetic studies on this group remain rare, particularly for populations inhabiting offshore waters. Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (SPSPA) is a small group of islands located in the Mid- Atlantic Ridge, where recent studies of the Tursiops truncatus group indicate that individuals are resident throughout the year around the archipelago, exhibiting considerable site fidelity. A previous study with this group indicated that the individuals form an isolated population. To test this hypothesis, and describe the genetic diversity of SPSPA individuals, we assessed 12 microsatellite loci and a portion of the mitochondrial control region. Bayesian analysis revealed that SPSPA bottlenose dolphins form a unique population. In a phylogeographic perspective, we found that individuals from SPSPA shared mtDNA haplotypes with inshore and offshore individuals from North Atlantic, suggesting that they are not currently isolated from their conspecifics. Mirroring mtDNA findings, microsatellite analysis revealed that most of the pairs of individuals sampled seem to be unrelated (83.8%) and no indication of inbreeding, what would be expected if a small population such as SPSPA was reproductively isolated.

  18. Coinfection by Ureaplasma spp., Photobacterium damselae and an Actinomyces-like microorganism in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with pleuropneumonia stranded along the Adriatic coast of Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Francesco, Gabriella; Cammà, Cesare; Curini, Valentina; Mazzariol, Sandro; Proietto, Umberto; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Ferri, Nicola; Di Provvido, Andrea; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-04-01

    A case of pleuropneumonia is reported in an adult male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) found stranded in 2014 along the Central Adriatic coast of Italy. A severe pyogranulomatous pneumonia and thoracic lymphadenopathy were present at necropsy. Numerous Splendore-Hoeppli bodies were found microscopically scattered throughout the lung. Histochemical evidence of Actinomyces-like organisms was obtained from the pulmonary parenchyma, with a strain of Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida and Ureaplasma spp. being also isolated from the same tissue. For the latter, a genome fragment of approximately 1400 bp from the 16s rDNA was amplified and sequenced. BLAST analysis revealed 100% identity with an uncultured Ureaplasma spp. (JQ193826.1). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Neural representation of the self-heard biosonar click in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finneran, James J; Mulsow, Jason; Houser, Dorian S; Schlundt, Carolyn E

    2017-05-01

    The neural representation of the dolphin broadband biosonar click was investigated by measuring auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to "self-heard" clicks masked with noise bursts having various high-pass cutoff frequencies. Narrowband ABRs were obtained by sequentially subtracting responses obtained with noise having lower high-pass cutoff frequencies from those obtained with noise having higher cutoff frequencies. For comparison to the biosonar data, ABRs were also measured in a passive listening experiment, where external clicks and masking noise were presented to the dolphins and narrowband ABRs were again derived using the subtractive high-pass noise technique. The results showed little change in the peak latencies of the ABR to the self-heard click from 28 to 113 kHz; i.e., the high-frequency neural responses to the self-heard click were delayed relative to those of an external, spectrally "pink" click. The neural representation of the self-heard click is thus highly synchronous across the echolocation frequencies and does not strongly resemble that of a frequency modulated downsweep (i.e., decreasing-frequency chirp). Longer ABR latencies at higher frequencies are hypothesized to arise from spectral differences between self-heard clicks and external clicks, forward masking from previously emitted biosonar clicks, or neural inhibition accompanying the emission of clicks.

  20. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) auditory brainstem responses recorded using conventional and randomized stimulation and averaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finneran, James J

    2017-08-01

    Auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurements using conventional averaging (i.e., constant interstimulus interval, ISI) are limited to stimulus rates low enough to prevent overlapping of the ABRs to successive stimuli. To overcome this limitation, stimuli may be presented at high rates using pseudorandom sequences (e.g., maximum length sequences) or quasi-periodic sequences; however, these methods restrict the available stimulus sequences and require deconvolution to recover the ABR from the overlapping responses. Randomized stimulation and averaging (RSA) is an alternate method where evoked responses at high rates are obtained by averaging responses to stimuli with ISIs drawn from a random distribution. The RSA method enables precise control over stimulus jitter, is flexible with respect to stimulus sequence parameters, and does not require deconvolution to extract the ABR waveform. In this study, ABRs were measured in three normal-hearing dolphins using conventional averaging and RSA. Results show the RSA method to be effective in dolphins if the ISI jitter ≥ ∼1.5 ms and that the influence of stimulus artifacts in the averaged ABR can be substantially reduced by alternating stimulus polarity on successive presentations rather than employing digital blanking or iterative processes.

  1. Detection of hereditary bisalbuminemia in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821): comparison between capillary zone and agarose gel electrophoresis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gili, Claudia; Bonsembiante, Federico; Bonanni, Renzo; Giordano, Alessia; Ledda, Sabina; Beffagna, Giorgia; Paltrinieri, Saverio; Sommer, Matteo; Gelain, Maria Elena

    2016-08-20

    Hereditary bisalbuminemia is a relatively rare anomaly characterized by the occurrence of two albumin fractions on serum protein separation by electrophoresis. In human medicine, it is usually revealed by chance, is not been clearly associated with a specific disease and the causative genetic alteration is a point mutation of human serum albumin gene inherited in an autosomal codominant pattern. This type of alteration is well recognizable by capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE), whilst agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) not always produces a clear separation of albumin fractions. The aims of this study is to report the presence of this abnormality in two separate groups of related bottlenose dolphins and to compare the results obtained with capillary zone and agarose gel electrophoresis. Serum samples from 40 bottlenose dolphins kept under human care were analyzed. In 9 samples a double albumin peak was evident in CZE electrophoresis while no double peak was noted in AGE profile. Since only an apparently wider albumin peaks were noted in some AGE electrophoretic profiles, the ratio between base and height (b/h) of the albumin peak was calculated and each point-value recorded in the whole set of data was used to calculate a receiver operating characteristic curve: when the b/h ratio of albumin peak was equal or higher than 0.25, the sensitivity and specificity of AGE to detect bisalbuminemic samples were 87 and 63 %, respectively. The bisalbuminemic dolphins belong to two distinct families: in the first family, all the siblings derived from the same normal sire were bisalbuminemic, whereas in the second family bisalbuminemia was present in a sire and in two out of three siblings. We report for the first time the presence of hereditary bisalbuminemia in two groups of related bottlenose dolphins identified by means of CZE and we confirm that AGE could fail in the identification of this alteration.

  2. Density, abundance, survival, and ranging patterns of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Mississippi Sound following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullin, Keith D; McDonald, Trent; Wells, Randall S; Balmer, Brian C; Speakman, Todd; Sinclair, Carrie; Zolman, Eric S; Hornsby, Fawn; McBride, Shauna M; Wilkinson, Krystan A; Schwacke, Lori H

    2017-01-01

    After the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill began in April 2010, studies were initiated on northern Gulf of Mexico common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Mississippi Sound (MSS) to determine density, abundance, and survival, during and after the oil spill, and to compare these results to previous research in this region. Seasonal boat-based photo-identification surveys (2010-2012) were conducted in a section of MSS to estimate dolphin density and survival, and satellite-linked telemetry (2013) was used to determine ranging patterns. Telemetry suggested two different ranging patterns in MSS: (1) inshore waters with seasonal movements into mid-MSS, and (2) around the barrier islands exclusively. Based upon these data, dolphin density was estimated in two strata (Inshore and Island) using a spatially-explicit robust-design capture-recapture model. Inshore and Island density varied between 0.77-1.61 dolphins km-2 ([Formula: see text] = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.28-1.53) and 3.32-5.74 dolphins km-2 ([Formula: see text] = 4.43, 95% CI: 2.70-5.63), respectively. The estimated annual survival rate for dolphins with distinctive fins was very low in the year following the spill, 0.73 (95% CI: 0.67-0.78), and consistent with the occurrence of a large scale cetacean unusual mortality event that was in part attributed to the DWH oil spill. Fluctuations in density were not as large or seasonally consistent as previously reported. Total abundance for MSS extrapolated from density results ranged from 4,610 in July 2011 to 3,046 in January 2012 ([Formula: see text] = 3,469, 95% CI: 3,113-3,725).

  3. Density, abundance, survival, and ranging patterns of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in Mississippi Sound following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith D Mullin

    Full Text Available After the Deepwater Horizon (DWH oil spill began in April 2010, studies were initiated on northern Gulf of Mexico common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in Mississippi Sound (MSS to determine density, abundance, and survival, during and after the oil spill, and to compare these results to previous research in this region. Seasonal boat-based photo-identification surveys (2010-2012 were conducted in a section of MSS to estimate dolphin density and survival, and satellite-linked telemetry (2013 was used to determine ranging patterns. Telemetry suggested two different ranging patterns in MSS: (1 inshore waters with seasonal movements into mid-MSS, and (2 around the barrier islands exclusively. Based upon these data, dolphin density was estimated in two strata (Inshore and Island using a spatially-explicit robust-design capture-recapture model. Inshore and Island density varied between 0.77-1.61 dolphins km-2 ([Formula: see text] = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.28-1.53 and 3.32-5.74 dolphins km-2 ([Formula: see text] = 4.43, 95% CI: 2.70-5.63, respectively. The estimated annual survival rate for dolphins with distinctive fins was very low in the year following the spill, 0.73 (95% CI: 0.67-0.78, and consistent with the occurrence of a large scale cetacean unusual mortality event that was in part attributed to the DWH oil spill. Fluctuations in density were not as large or seasonally consistent as previously reported. Total abundance for MSS extrapolated from density results ranged from 4,610 in July 2011 to 3,046 in January 2012 ([Formula: see text] = 3,469, 95% CI: 3,113-3,725.

  4. Density, abundance, survival, and ranging patterns of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Mississippi Sound following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullin, Keith D.; Wells, Randall S.; Balmer, Brian C.; Speakman, Todd; Sinclair, Carrie; Zolman, Eric S.; Hornsby, Fawn; McBride, Shauna M.; Wilkinson, Krystan A.; Schwacke, Lori H.

    2017-01-01

    After the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill began in April 2010, studies were initiated on northern Gulf of Mexico common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Mississippi Sound (MSS) to determine density, abundance, and survival, during and after the oil spill, and to compare these results to previous research in this region. Seasonal boat-based photo-identification surveys (2010–2012) were conducted in a section of MSS to estimate dolphin density and survival, and satellite-linked telemetry (2013) was used to determine ranging patterns. Telemetry suggested two different ranging patterns in MSS: (1) inshore waters with seasonal movements into mid-MSS, and (2) around the barrier islands exclusively. Based upon these data, dolphin density was estimated in two strata (Inshore and Island) using a spatially-explicit robust-design capture-recapture model. Inshore and Island density varied between 0.77–1.61 dolphins km−2 (x¯ = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.28–1.53) and 3.32–5.74 dolphins km−2 (x¯ = 4.43, 95% CI: 2.70–5.63), respectively. The estimated annual survival rate for dolphins with distinctive fins was very low in the year following the spill, 0.73 (95% CI: 0.67–0.78), and consistent with the occurrence of a large scale cetacean unusual mortality event that was in part attributed to the DWH oil spill. Fluctuations in density were not as large or seasonally consistent as previously reported. Total abundance for MSS extrapolated from density results ranged from 4,610 in July 2011 to 3,046 in January 2012 (x¯ = 3,469, 95% CI: 3,113–3,725). PMID:29053728

  5. Epidemiology of tattoo skin disease in captive common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Are males more vulnerable than females?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Van Waerebeek, Koen; Duignan, Pádraig J

    2018-01-22

    Clinical and epidemiological features of tattoo skin disease (TSD) are reported for 257 common bottlenose dolphins held in 31 facilities in the Northern Hemisphere. Photographs and biological data of 146 females and 111 males were analyzed. Dolphins were classified into three age classes: 0-3 years, 4-8 years, and older than 9 years. From 2012 to 2014, 20.6% of the 257 dolphins showed clinical TSD. The youngest dolphins with tattoo lesions were 14 and 15 months old. TSD persisted from 4 to 65 months in 30 dolphins. Prevalence varied between facilities from 5.6% to 60%, possibly reflecting variation in environmental factors. Unlike in free-ranging Delphinidae, TSD prevalence was significantly higher in males (31.5%) than in females (12.3%). Infection was age-dependent only in females. Prevalence of very large tattoos was also higher in males (28.6%) than in females (11.1%). These data suggest that male T. truncatus are more vulnerable to TSD than females, possibly because of differences in immune response and susceptibility to captivity-related stress.

  6. Vibrio parahaemolyticus- and V. alginolyticus-associated meningo-encephalitis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from the Adriatic coast of Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Renzo, Ludovica; Di Francesco, Gabriella; Profico, Chiara; Di Francesco, Cristina E; Ferri, Nicola; Averaimo, Daniela; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2017-12-01

    A case of Vibrio parahaemolyticus- and V. alginolyticus-associated meningo-encephalitis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) found stranded along the Adriatic coast of Italy in 2016 is herein reported, along with a minireview on V. parahaemolyticus and V. alginolyticus infections in aquatic mammals. Macroscopically, two abscesses were found in the dolphin's forebrain, along with an extensive, bilateral, parasitic broncho-pneumonia. Histologically, a suppurative-to-pyogranulomatous meningo-encephalitis involved the brain but not the cerebellum. Microbiological investigations yielded isolation of V. parahaemolyticus and V. alginolyticus from the aforementioned abscesses and from the brain parenchyma, respectively, with simultaneous recovery of Shewanella algae from the heart and of Photobacterium damselae from a blowhole swab. Although V. parahaemolyticus and V. alginolyticus, which are widely distributed across marine ecosystems worldwide, likely played a role in the development of the suppurative meningo-encephalitis in this dolphin, we are not aware of previous isolations of any of these two bacteria neither from cetacean brain lesions, nor from abscesses in aquatic mammals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Characterization and phylogenetic analysis of a Cunninghamella bertholletiae isolate from a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragulat, M Rosa; Castellá, Gemma; Isidoro-Ayza, Marcos; Domingo, Mariano; Cabañes, F Javier

    Cunninghamella is a genus of the order Mucorales which includes saprophytic species, rarely causing mycoses. The most frequently reported in human mycoses is the thermophilic species Cunninghamella bertholletiae. However, this species does not appear to cause mucormycosis in animals, so there is scarce information about C. bertholletiae isolates from animals. In this paper we describe the phenotypic and genotypic characterization, and the phylogenetic analysis, of an isolate of C. bertholletiae involved in a central nervous system mucormycosis in a dolphin. The isolate studied in this publication was characterized using the current morphological and physiological identification system for Cunninghamella species. DNA sequencing and analysis of the D1/D2 regions of the 26S rRNA gene and the ITS-5.8S rRNA gene sequences were also performed. Colonies were fast-growing, white at first, although they became tannish-gray, covering the whole plate after 7 days of incubation at 30 and 40°C. Limited growth was observed after 7 days at 45°C. The micromorphology showed characteristic erect sporangiophores. The identification of the isolate was confirmed by DNA sequencing of the D1/D2 regions of the 26S and the ITS-5.8S (ITS) rRNA gene sequencing. In the phylogenetic study, the isolate clustered in the same clade as C. bertholletiae neotype strain although some differences were observed in the ITS sequences. In the cetacean cases, the possible sources of infection are unclear. The reasons why this pathogen has been found only in cetaceans and not in other domestic or wild animals are at the moment unknown and need further study. Copyright © 2017 Asociación Española de Micología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  8. Phenotyping and comparing the immune cell populations of free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and dolphins under human care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouri-Shirazi, Mahyar; Bible, Brittany F; Zeng, Menghua; Tamjidi, Saba; Bossart, Gregory D

    2017-03-27

    Studies suggest that free-ranging bottlenose dolphins exhibit a suppressed immune system because of exposure to contaminants or microorganisms. However, due to a lack of commercially available antibodies specific to marine mammal immune cell surface markers, the research has been indecisive. The purpose of this study was to identify cross-reactive terrestrial-specific antibodies in order to assess the changes in the immune cell populations of dolphins under human care and free-ranging dolphins. The blood and PBMC fraction of blood samples from human care and free-ranging dolphins were characterized by H&E staining of cytospin slides and flow cytometry using a panel of terrestrial-specific antibodies. In this study, we show that out of 65 terrestrial-specific antibodies tested, 11 were cross-reactive and identified dolphin immune cell populations within their peripheral blood. Using these antibodies, we found significant differences in the absolute number of cells expressing specific markers within their lymphocyte and monocyte fractions. Interestingly, the peripheral blood mononuclear cell profile of free-ranging dolphins retained an additional population of cells that divided them into two groups showing a low (56%) percentage of smaller cells resembling granulocytes. We found that the cross-reactive antibodies not only identified specific changes in the immune cells of free-ranging dolphins, but also opened the possibility to investigate the causal relationship between immunosuppression and mortality seen in free-ranging dolphins.

  9. Determination of testosterone in saliva and blow of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogg, C J; Vickers, E R; Rogers, T L

    2005-01-25

    A rapid, accurate and reproducible assay utilising high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) has been developed and validated for determining testosterone concentrations in saliva and blow of bottlenose dolphins. Sample preparation used solid phase extraction with specific preconditioning of cartridges. Analytes were eluted with 100% acetonitrile, dried under nitrogen and stored at -80 degrees C. Samples were reconstituted in 60% acetonitrile for LC-MS analysis. Chromatographic separation was achieved with an Alltech Macrosphere C8 stainless steel analytical column (2.1 mm x 150 mm i.d., 5 microm particle size, 300 angstroms pore size) using a 55% mobile phase B isocratic method (mobile phase A = 0.5% acetic acid; mobile phase B = 0.5% acetic acid, 90% acetonitrile). Samples were analysed in SIM at m/z 289.20 (testosterone mw 288.40) and a positive ion ESI. The limit of quantification was 0.5 ng/ml with a limit of detection of 0.2 ng/ml. The concentration curve was linear from 0.5 to 50 ng/ml (y = 0.01x + 0.0045, r(2) = 0.959, r = 0.979, p captive bottlenose dolphins.

  10. Evaluating Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) leukocyte differential counts comparing the CellaVision DM96 and the manual method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaias, Julia; Bradley, Christine; Richardson, Jill; Eskelinen, Holli C; Ikpatt, Frances; Cray, Carolyn

    2017-09-01

    The leukocyte differential count is an excellent diagnostic tool; however, the manual differential count has several drawbacks, especially for nontraditional species. Automated cell analyzers commonly used in veterinary practices require species-specific validation for use in nondomestic species other than dogs and cats. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of the CellaVision DM96 (DM96), an automated image analysis system, as a rapid and accurate method for providing a WBC differential count in comparison to the manual WBC differential count in bottlenose dolphins. Ten fresh, EDTA anticoagulated blood samples were collected, blood smears were made and stained, and the differential WBC counts were performed on the DM96 and compared with manual differential WBC counts. Agreement, means, and errors were compared between the methods. There was good agreement between the DM96 and manual differential WBC counts for neutrophils; however, there was significant variation when comparing lymphocyte, monocyte, and eosinophil counts. No basophils were seen by any method. Despite a small sample size, the DM96 appeared to provide a viable alternative for automated neutrophil counting in blood of bottlenose dolphins. Whether the counts are comparable in animals with highly pathologic differential counts must be addressed in follow-up studies, preferably with more study animals. © 2017 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

  11. Ratiometric measurements of adiponectin by mass spectrometry in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus with iron overload reveal an association with insulin resistance and glucagon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin A Neely

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available High molecular weight (HMW adiponectin levels are reduced in humans with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Similar to humans with insulin resistance, managed bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus diagnosed with hemochromatosis (iron overload have higher levels of 2 h post-prandial plasma insulin than healthy controls. A parallel reaction monitoring assay for dolphin serum adiponectin was developed based on tryptic peptides identified by mass spectrometry. Using identified post-translational modifications, a differential measurement was constructed. Total and unmodified adiponectin levels were measured in sera from dolphins with (n=4 and without (n=5 iron overload. This measurement yielded total adiponectin levels as well as site specific percent unmodified adiponectin that may inversely correlate with HMW adiponectin. Differences in insulin levels between iron overload cases and controls were observed 2 h post-prandial, but not during the fasting state. Thus, post-prandial as well as fasting serum adiponectin levels were measured to determine whether adiponectin and insulin would follow similar patterns. There was no difference in total adiponectin or percent unmodified adiponectin from case or control fasting animals. There was no difference in post-prandial total adiponectin levels between case and control dolphins (mean ± S.D. at 763 ± 298 and 727 ± 291 pmol/ml, respectively (p = 0.91; however, percent unmodified adiponectin was significantly higher in post-prandial cases compared controls (30.0 ± 6.3 versus 17.0 ± 6.6%, respectively; p = 0.016. Interestingly, both total and percent unmodified adiponectin were correlated with glucagon levels in controls (r = 0.999, p < 0.001, but not in cases, which is possibly a reflection of insulin resistance. Although total adiponectin levels were not significantly different, the elevated percent unmodified adiponectin follows a trend similar to HMW adiponectin reported for humans with

  12. Organochlorine, organobromine, metal, and selenium residues in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) collected during an unusual mortality event in the Gulf of Mexico, 1990.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuehl, D W; Haebler, R

    1995-05-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), cis-chlordane, oxychlordane, heptachlor epoxide, mirex, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), lindane, octachlorostyrene (OCS), p,p'-DDE,p,p'-DDT, dieldrin, triphenylphosphate (TPP), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PB-DPEs) were measured in the blubber, and five metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, and manganese) and selenium were measured in the liver of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) obtained from the Gulf of Mexico during an unusual mortality event in 1990. The collection of animals included fetuses, sucklings (< 1 year old), immature dolphins (2-5 years old), and adults of both sexes. PCBs, p,p'-DDE, HCB, and PBDPEs were detected in the blubber of each animal. Mean concentrations of organic contaminants were generally highest in adult males. p,p'-DDE was the single component analyte measured at the highest concentration. Immature females had greater concentrations of most chlorinated organics than adult females. Mercury and cadmium concentrations in liver increased with increasing age-class. The correlation between mercury and selenium in all animals was r = 0.96, with a mole ratio of 0.90. Concentrations of lead, manganese, cadmium, and chromium did not follow any particular age-class trend.

  13. Abundancia de dos poblaciones de toninas (Tursiops truncatus en el norte de Veracruz, México Abundance of two populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in northern Veracruz, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle P. Valdes-Arellanes

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available En México no se conoce el tamaño de las poblaciones de la tonina (Tursiops truncatus debido a su gran movilidad y al ocasional intercambio de individuos entre poblaciones. El objetivo de este estudio fue determinar la abundancia de toninas en la zona norte de Veracruz. De marzo de 2005 a diciembre de 2007 se realizaron 50 navegaciones con un esfuerzo total de 236.7 horas. Los resultados obtenidos de la foto-identificación de toninas, se emplearon en el modelo Jolly-Seber y se estimó con este modelo un total de N=302 ±113 organismos para toda el área de estudio. Para Tamiahua, se estimó una población de N=177 ± 10 delfines y para Tuxpan N=161 ± 68 delfines. Estos resultados sugieren que existe un mínimo intercambio de delfines entre zonas y por tanto, las poblaciones no están aisladas; sin embargo, los organismos tienen preferencia por ciertas áreas. La foto-recaptura de algunos individuos en la zona de Tamiahua confirma que la fidelidad al sitio se ha mantenido por 13 años. Es probable que esto se deba a que cada una de las zonas presenta estuarios con alta productividad que son ideales para refugio y crianza de las toninas.In Mexico, the population size of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus is unknown, due to the fact that they are highly mobile, and occasionally there are exchanges of individuals between populations. The objective of this study was to determine the abundance of dolphins in the north of Veracruz. From March 2005 to December 2007 were 50 surveys with a total effort of 236.7 hours. The results of the photo-identification of dolphins were used in the Jolly-Seber model, and with this model we estimated a total of N = 302 ± 113 dolphins throughout the study area. For Tamiahua a population estimate of N = 177 ± 10 dolphins, and for Tuxpan N = 161 ± 68 dolphins. These results suggest that there is minimal exchange of dolphins between areas; therefore it is assumed that populations are not isolated but dolphins

  14. Estimates of DNA strand breakage in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus leukocytes measured with the Comet and DNA diffusion assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Díaz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of DNA damage by mean of Comet or single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE assay has been commonly used to assess genotoxic impact in aquatic animals being able to detect exposure to low concentrations of contaminants in a wide range of species. The aims of this work were 1 to evaluate the usefulness of the Comet to detect DNA strand breakage in dolphin leukocytes, 2 to use the DNA diffusion assay to determine the amount of DNA strand breakage associated with apoptosis or necrosis, and 3 to determine the proportion of DNA strand breakage that was unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. Significant intra-individual variation was observed in all of the estimates of DNA damage. DNA strand breakage was overestimated because a considerable amount (~29% of the DNA damage was derived from apoptosis and necrosis. The remaining DNA damage in dolphin leukocytes was caused by factors unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. These results indicate that the DNA diffusion assay is a complementary tool that can be used together with the Comet assay to assess DNA damage in bottlenose dolphins.

  15. Intra- and Interspecific Interactions as Proximate Determinants of Sexual Dimorphism and Allometric Trajectories in the Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Francesco, Maria Carla; Loy, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Feeding adaptation, social behaviour, and interspecific interactions related to sexual dimorphism and allometric growth are particularly challenging to be investigated in the high sexual monomorphic Delphinidae. We used geometric morphometrics to extensively explore sexual dimorphism and ontogenetic allometry of different projections of the skull and the mandible of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Two-dimensional landmarks were recorded on the dorsal, ventral, lateral, and occipital views of the skull, and on the lateral view of the left and the right mandible of 104 specimens from the Mediterranean and the North Seas, differing environmental condition and degree of interspecific associations. Landmark configurations were transformed, standardized and superimposed through a Generalized Procrustes Analysis. Size and shape differences between adult males and females were respectively evaluated through ANOVA on centroid size, Procrustes ANOVA on Procrustes distances, and MANOVA on Procrustes coordinates. Ontogenetic allometry was investigated by multivariate regression of shape coordinates on centroid size in the largest homogenous sample from the North Sea. Results evidenced sexual dimorphic asymmetric traits only detected in the adults of the North Sea bottlenose dolphins living in monospecific associations, with females bearing a marked incision of the cavity hosting the left tympanic bulla. These differences were related to a more refined echolocalization system that likely enhances the exploitation of local resources by philopatric females. Distinct shape in immature versus mature stages and asymmetric changes in postnatal allometry of dorsal and occipital traits, suggest that differences between males and females are established early during growth. Allometric growth trajectories differed between males and females for the ventral view of the skull. Allometric trajectories differed among projections of skull and mandible, and were related to dietary

  16. Intra- and Interspecific Interactions as Proximate Determinants of Sexual Dimorphism and Allometric Trajectories in the Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Carla de Francesco

    Full Text Available Feeding adaptation, social behaviour, and interspecific interactions related to sexual dimorphism and allometric growth are particularly challenging to be investigated in the high sexual monomorphic Delphinidae. We used geometric morphometrics to extensively explore sexual dimorphism and ontogenetic allometry of different projections of the skull and the mandible of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Two-dimensional landmarks were recorded on the dorsal, ventral, lateral, and occipital views of the skull, and on the lateral view of the left and the right mandible of 104 specimens from the Mediterranean and the North Seas, differing environmental condition and degree of interspecific associations. Landmark configurations were transformed, standardized and superimposed through a Generalized Procrustes Analysis. Size and shape differences between adult males and females were respectively evaluated through ANOVA on centroid size, Procrustes ANOVA on Procrustes distances, and MANOVA on Procrustes coordinates. Ontogenetic allometry was investigated by multivariate regression of shape coordinates on centroid size in the largest homogenous sample from the North Sea. Results evidenced sexual dimorphic asymmetric traits only detected in the adults of the North Sea bottlenose dolphins living in monospecific associations, with females bearing a marked incision of the cavity hosting the left tympanic bulla. These differences were related to a more refined echolocalization system that likely enhances the exploitation of local resources by philopatric females. Distinct shape in immature versus mature stages and asymmetric changes in postnatal allometry of dorsal and occipital traits, suggest that differences between males and females are established early during growth. Allometric growth trajectories differed between males and females for the ventral view of the skull. Allometric trajectories differed among projections of skull and mandible, and were

  17. Evidence for distinct coastal and offshore communities of bottlenose dolphins in the North East Atlantic

    OpenAIRE

    Oudejans, Machiel G.; Fleur Visser; Anneli Englund; Emer Rogan; Ingram, Simon N.

    2015-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphin stock structure in the northeast Atlantic remains poorly understood. However, fine scale photo-id data have shown that populations can comprise multiple overlapping social communities. These social communities form structural elements of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) [corrected] populations, reflecting specific ecological and behavioural adaptations to local habitats. We investigated the social structure of bottlenose dolphins in the waters of northwest Ireland an...

  18. Analysis of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins and pectenotoxin-2 in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhihong; Broadwater, Margaret H; Ramsdell, John S

    2015-10-16

    Toxins produced by harmful algae are associated with detrimental health effects and mass mortalities of marine mammals. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is generally used to confirm the presence of algal toxins in marine mammals. Sample preparation and LC-MS/MS methods for the determination of three diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins (okadaic acid, OA; dinophysistoxin-1, DTX1; dinophysistoxin-2, DTX2) and pectenotoxin-2 (PTX2) in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) urine and tissue samples were evaluated using spike-and-recovery tests. Sample clean-up with either reversed-phase silica or polymeric solid-phase extraction (SPE) reduced interference of sample matrices and improved toxin recoveries, with polymeric SPE showing higher sample loading capacity. LC separation on Xbridge C18 columns using acetonitrile/water gradient elutions with ammonia as the additive was chosen for its high detectivity and sensitivity in the MS detection of DSP toxins in negative ion mode. The retention times of OA, DTX1, and DTX2, separated as negative ions, increased with LC column temperature while the retention time of PTX2, separated as the neutral molecule, was weakly affected. At the same column temperature, retention times of OA, DTX1, and DTX2 gradually increased as the mobile phases aged while the retention time of PTX2 remained unchanged; higher column temperatures resulted in a greater increase in the retention time of each DSP toxin with mobile phase aging. Average recoveries of the 4 toxins in bottlenose dolphin samples ranged from 80% to 130% with relative standard deviations of less than 15% using the LC mobile phases prepared within one week at a column temperature of 30°C or 40°C. The preferred column temperature was 30°C, as the retention times of DSP toxins were less affected by mobile phase aging at this temperature. The limit of detection of each toxin analyzed in bottlenose dolphin samples was 2.8 ng/g or less in tissue

  19. Longitudinal monitoring of bottlenose dolphin leukocyte cytokine mRNA responsiveness by qPCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Both veterinarians caring for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in managed populations and researchers monitoring wild populations use blood-based diagnostics to monitor bottlenose dolphin health. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) can be used to assess cytokine expression patterns of peripheral blood m...

  20. Development and application of specific cytokine assays in tissue samples from a bottlenose dolphin with hyperinsulinemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic inflammation has been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in humans. Postmortem hepatic and splenic tissue from a 46-year old geriatric male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with insulin resistance (chronic hyperinsulinemia with hyperglycemia) , chronic = inflamma...

  1. Sighting frequency and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus along the northeast coast of Margarita Island and Los Frailes Archipelago, Venezuela

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenin Oviedo

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available The study of local cetaceans in Venezuela has a very recent history, and few efforts have been made in the assessment of coastal populations based on field research. The occurrence of whales and dolphins along the northeast coast of Venezuela has been documented through sightings and stranding records. Given the underwater topographical features and the influence of upwelling processes, this area is considered a very productive coastal ecosystem. Our objective was to establish the sighting frequency and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins in the area. Sighting records were gathered on bottlenose dolphins and other cetacean species occurring along the northeast coast of Margarita Island and Los Frailes Archipelago through direct observation during land-based (6 surveys, 48 hours of observation and boat-based surveys (24 surveys, 121 hours of observation, 1295 km covered. A sighting frequency was calculated using two methodologies and then compared, considering: 1 a mean effective observation time (4.27 hours, and 2 distance covered with cetacean sightings (1108 km. A third method is proposed relating a mean effective distance covered with cetacean sightings and expressed as a percentage. The abundance index was calculated using the mean effective observation time. The sighting frequency of Tursiops truncatus in the study area was 3 - 4 sightings per day of 4.27 observation hours, or by 185 kilometers covered. The relative abundance was calculated as 35 dolphins in the study area, so a total population of less than 60 dolphins could inhabit the proposed range. Tursiops truncatus is the dominant species in the northeast coast of Margarita Island and Los Frailes Archipelago with 70% of all the sightings, so this locality could be termed as the distribution range of a possible local population of bottlenose dolphins. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(3-4: 595-600. Epub 2005 Oct 3.El estudio de cetáceos locales en Venezuela tiene una historia bien reciente

  2. Movement patterns of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the presence of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The presence and movement of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins Tursiops aduncus were investigated using shore-based observations made during a humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae migration survey at Cape Vidal, South Africa, undertaken between June and October 1988–1991. Occurrence was analysed as ...

  3. Development of specific cytokine and Chemokine ELISAs for Bottlenose Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earlier detection of changes in the health status of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) is expected to further improve their medical care. Cytokines and chemokines are critical mediators of the cellular immune response, and studies have suggested that these molecules may serve as important bio...

  4. Monitoring the habitat use of common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus using passive acoustics in a Mediterranean marine protected area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. LA MANNA

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Tursiops truncatus subpopulation has been classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of its decline. This species in coastal areas is exposed to a wide variety of threats: directed kills, bycatch, reduced prey availability caused by environmental degradation and overfishing, habitat degradation including disturbances from boat traffic and noise. Despite the increase in boat traffic in the Mediterranean Sea, the effect on T. truncatus’ habitat use has been studied in little detail and few data have been published. This study represents the first attempt to characterise spatial and temporal habitat use by T. truncatus and its relation to boat traffic in the Isole Pelagie Marine Protected Area (Italy on the basis of an originally developed passive acoustic monitoring system (PAM. The devices were deployed in 2 areas in the southern waters of Lampedusa, during 2 separate years (2006 and 2009, each time for 3 months (from July to September and in 6 time slots (3 diurnal and 3 nocturnal. Acoustic analysis showed that T. truncatus used the Southern coastal area of Lampedusa independently of the year, primarily during the early summer, a period coinciding with the peak of calving season. Dolphin occurrences appeared independent of boat traffic, with the exception of the smallest temporal scale (time slots: dolphin occurrences were more prevalent during the night when the level of boat traffic was lower. This study provides evidence on T. truncatus habitat use in the Mediterranean Sea and reveals that boat traffic could be one of the factors influencing it, thus stressing the need for further detailed investigation regarding this topic.

  5. The Influence of Age, Sex, and Social Affiliation on the Responses of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus to a Novel Stimulus Over Time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa M. Lopes

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Responses to novelty may differ among individuals as a function of age, sex, and/or the presence of offspring, and understanding how marine mammals respond to novel stimuli is critical to management. In this study, 20 captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus were exposed to a novel object, consisting of PVC pipes and either a non-reflective or reflective surface. Their responses, broadly defined as either non-social or social, non-aggressive or aggressive interactions with the stimulus, were recorded across 10 exposure trials and compared among age classes and between males and females. Adult females exhibited the highest frequency of interactions, and those with dependent calves participated in more social interactions. Both adults and calves displayed a significantly greater frequency of interactions and aggression when exposed to the reflective versus non-reflective surface, indicating that the characteristics of the stimulus influenced the response. Although the number of interactions did not change across repeated exposures, there were significantly more aggressive interactions during later exposures, suggesting sensitization to the stimulus. There was no evidence of habituation over time for any of the subjects. Thus, when managing marine mammal exposure to anthropogenic stimuli, it is important to consider the demographics of the population, as well as the characteristics of the stimulus that may contribute to habituation, sensitization, and/or tolerance.

  6. Ratiometric Measurements of Adiponectin by Mass Spectrometry in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with Iron Overload Reveal an Association with Insulin Resistance and Glucagon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neely, Benjamin A.; Carlin, Kevin P.; Arthur, John M.; McFee, Wayne E.; Janech, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

    High molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin levels are reduced in humans with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Similar to humans with insulin resistance, managed bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) diagnosed with hemochromatosis (iron overload) have higher levels of 2 h post-prandial plasma insulin than healthy controls. A parallel reaction monitoring assay for dolphin serum adiponectin was developed based on tryptic peptides identified by mass spectrometry. Using identified post-translational modifications, a differential measurement was constructed. Total and unmodified adiponectin levels were measured in sera from dolphins with (n = 4) and without (n = 5) iron overload. This measurement yielded total adiponectin levels as well as site specific percent unmodified adiponectin that may inversely correlate with HMW adiponectin. Differences in insulin levels between iron overload cases and controls were observed 2 h post-prandial, but not during the fasting state. Thus, post-prandial as well as fasting serum adiponectin levels were measured to determine whether adiponectin and insulin would follow similar patterns. There was no difference in total adiponectin or percent unmodified adiponectin from case or control fasting animals. There was no difference in post-prandial total adiponectin levels between case and control dolphins (mean ± SD) at 763 ± 298 and 727 ± 291 pmol/ml, respectively (p = 0.91); however, percent unmodified adiponectin was significantly higher in post-prandial cases compared to controls (30.0 ± 6.3 versus 17.0 ± 6.6%, respectively; p = 0.016). Interestingly, both total and percent unmodified adiponectin were correlated with glucagon levels in controls (r = 0.999, p  < 0.001), but not in cases, which is possibly a reflection of insulin resistance. Although total adiponectin levels were not significantly different, the elevated percent unmodified adiponectin follows a trend similar to

  7. Fractal analysis reveals pernicious stress levels related to boat presence and type in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seuront, Laurent; Cribb, Nardi

    2011-06-01

    The stress induced in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus, by boat presence and type was investigated in a highly urbanized coastal environment, the Port Adelaide River-Barker Inlet Estuary, South Australia. The level of stress experienced by bottlenose dolphins was inferred from the distribution patterns of their dive durations. Dive duration has previously been shown to increase under boat traffic conditions, and is considered as a typical avoidance behavior. Dive durations were opportunistically recorded from land-based stations between January 2008 and October 2010 in the absence of boat traffic, and in the presence of kayaks, inflatable motor boats, powerboats and fishing boats. Subsequent analyses were based on nearly 6000 behavioral observations. No significant differences in dive durations were found between control observations (i.e. absence of boats) and boat interferences, which could erroneously lead to conclude that boat traffic did not induce any stress in T. aduncus. In contrast, the scaling exponents of the cumulative probability distribution of dive durations obtained in the absence of boat traffic and under different conditions of boat interferences show (i) that the presence of boats affected the complexity of dive duration patterns and (ii) that stress levels were a function of boat type. Specifically, the complexity of dive duration patterns (estimated by the scaling exponent ϕ) did not significantly differ between control behavioral observations and behavioral observations conducted in the presence of kayaks. A significant increased in behavioral stress (i.e. decreasing values of ϕ) was, however, induced by the presence of fishing boats, motorized inflatable boats and powerboats. This demonstrates that traditional approaches based on the analysis of averaged behavioral metrics may not be sensitive enough to detect changes in the distribution pattern of behavioral sequences, hence underestimate the potential consequences of

  8. Vascularization of air sinuses and fat bodies in the head of the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus: morphological implications on physiology

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    Alex eCostidis

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available AbstractCetaceans have long been considered capable of limiting diving-induced nitrogen absorption and subsequent decompression sickness through a series of behavioral, anatomical, and physiological adaptations. Recent studies however suggest that in some situations these adaptive mechanisms might be overcome, resulting in lethal and sublethal injuries. Perhaps most relevant to this discussion is the finding of intravascular gas and fat emboli in mass-stranded beaked whales. Although the source of the gas emboli has as yet to been ascertained, preliminary findings suggest nitrogen is the primary component. Since nitrogen gas embolus formation in divers is linked to nitrogen saturation, it seems premature to dismiss similar pathogenic mechanisms in breath-hold diving cetaceans. Due to the various anatomical adaptations in cetacean lungs, the pulmonary system is thought of as an unlikely site of significant nitrogen absorption. The accessory sinus system on the ventral head of odontocete cetaceans contains a sizeable volume of air that is exposed to the changing hydrostatic pressures during a dive, and is intimately associated with vasculature potentially capable of absorbing nitrogen through its walls. The source of the fat emboli has also remained elusive. Most mammalian fat deposits are considered poorly-vascularized and therefore unlikely sites of intravascular introduction of lipid, although cetacean blubber may not be as poorly vascularized as previously thought. We present new data on the vasculature of air sinuses and acoustic fat bodies in the head of bottlenose dolphins and compare it to published accounts. We show that the mandibular fat bodies and accessory sinus system are associated with extensive venous plexuses and suggest potential physiological and pathological implications.

  9. A systematic health assessment of indian ocean bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and indo-pacific humpback (Sousa plumbea) dolphins incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal Coast, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Emily P; de Wet, Morné; Thompson, Peter; Siebert, Ursula; Wohlsein, Peter; Plön, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    Coastal dolphins are regarded as indicators of changes in coastal marine ecosystem health that could impact humans utilizing the marine environment for food or recreation. Necropsy and histology examinations were performed on 35 Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) and five Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa, between 2010 and 2012. Parasitic lesions included pneumonia (85%), abdominal and thoracic serositis (75%), gastroenteritis (70%), hepatitis (62%), and endometritis (42%). Parasitic species identified were Halocercus sp. (lung), Crassicauda sp. (skeletal muscle) and Xenobalanus globicipitis (skin). Additional findings included bronchiolar epithelial mineralisation (83%), splenic filamentous tags (45%), non-suppurative meningoencephalitis (39%), and myocardial fibrosis (26%). No immunohistochemically positive reaction was present in lesions suggestive of dolphin morbillivirus, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella spp. The first confirmed cases of lobomycosis and sarcocystosis in South African dolphins were documented. Most lesions were mild, and all animals were considered to be in good nutritional condition, based on blubber thickness and muscle mass. Apparent temporal changes in parasitic disease prevalence may indicate a change in the host/parasite interface. This study provided valuable baseline information on conditions affecting coastal dolphin populations in South Africa and, to our knowledge, constitutes the first reported systematic health assessment in incidentally caught dolphins in the Southern Hemisphere. Further research on temporal disease trends as well as disease pathophysiology and anthropogenic factors affecting these populations is needed.

  10. Sex Difference in Bottlenose Dolphin Sightings during a Long-term Bridge Construction Project

    OpenAIRE

    Ann Weaver

    2015-01-01

    Almost nothing is known about the effect of long-term bridge construction on free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The species’ natural history predicts that there should be sex differences in reaction to construction because bottlenose dolphins show sex differences in most of their behaviors. A 5-year bridge construction project over a narrow but important dolphin corridor at John’s Pass tidal inlet, St. Petersburg FL, brought chronic environmental changes. The purpose of th...

  11. PFOS and PFOSA in Bottlenose Dolphins: An Investigation into Two High Mortality Epizootics (NRMMSTSN2009)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Along the Atlantic coast of the United States during 1987 and 1988, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) suffered one of this country's largest marine mammal mass mortality events. An estimated 50% of all near-shore bottlenose died during this short period. Two years later a ...

  12. PFOS and PFOSA in Bottlenose Dolphins: An Investigation into Two Unusually High Mortality Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Along the Atlantic coast of the United States during 1987 and 1988, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) suffered one of this country's largest marine mammal mass mortality events. An estimated 50% of all near-shore bottlenose died during this short period. Two years later a ...

  13. PFOS and PFOSA in Bottlenose Dolphins: An Investigation into Two Unusual Mortality Epizootics (WDA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Along the Atlantic coast of the United States during 1987 and 1988, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) suffered one of this country's largest marine mammal mass mortality events. An estimated 50% of all near-shore bottlenose died during this short period. Two years later a ...

  14. PFOS and PFOSA in Bottlenose Dolphins: An Investigation into Two Unusually High Mortality Epizootics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Along the Atlantic coast of the United States during 1987 and 1988, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) suffered one of this country's largest marine mammal mass mortality events. An estimated 50% of all near-shore bottlenose died during this short period. Two years later a ...

  15. In vitro exposure of DE-71, a penta-PBDE mixture, on immune endpoints in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and B6C3F1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Jena R; Peden-Adams, Margie M; White, Natasha D; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A

    2015-02-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are an emerging contaminant of concern with low level exposures demonstrating toxicity in laboratory animals and wildlife, although immunotoxicity studies have been limited. Bottlenose dolphin peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) and mouse splenocytes were exposed to environmentally relevant DE-71 (a penta-PBDE mixture) concentrations (0-50 µg ml(-1) ) in vitro. Natural killer (NK) cell activity and lymphocyte (B and T cell) proliferation were evaluated using the parallelogram approach for risk assessment. This study aimed to substantiate results from field studies with dolphins, assess the sensitivities between the mouse model and dolphins, and to evaluate risk using the parallelogram approach. In mouse cells, NK cell activity increased at in vitro doses 0.05, 0.5 and 25 µg DE-71 ml(-1) , whereas proliferation was not modulated. In dolphin cells, NK cell activity and lymphocyte proliferation was not altered after in vitro exposure. In vitro exposure of dolphin PBLs to DE-71 showed similar results to correlative field studies; NK cell activity in mice was more sensitive to in vitro exposure than dolphins, and the parallelogram approach showed correlation with all three endpoints to predict risk in bottlenose dolphins. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Validating the Novel Method of Measuring Cortisol Levels in Cetacean Skin by use of an ACTH Challenge in Bottlenose Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    in Cetacean Skin by use of an ACTH Challenge in Bottlenose Dolphins Thea Bechshoft Aarhus University Bioscience Roskilde Frederiksborgvej...using skin samples collected from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphins will be sampled as part of an ongoing out-of water stress test...N000141110436. The stress test in brief: Each dolphin is asked to perform a routine, voluntary beach into a padded beaching tray. Immediately following

  17. Behavior of a solitary sociable female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) off the coast of Kent, Southeast England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisfeld, Sonja M; Simmonds, Mark P; Stansfield, Laura R

    2010-01-01

    This article provides a report of the behavior of a solitary sociable dolphin studied on the southeast coast of England in 2007. This is the first study of its kind in which behavior of such a nonhuman animal was systematically studied. By the time of this study, this young female was highly interactive with people in the water. People accompanied the dolphin for 18.4% of the 100 hr of observation, and their presence changed her behavior. The study recorded 39 different behaviors; feeding and resting behaviors declined in frequency in the presence of people. In addition, the dolphin exhibited behavior possibly hazardous to people in the water, which included preventing swimmers from leaving the water. The dolphin received several wounds, at least one of which was life-threatening. This article discusses the welfare implications for such animals.

  18. Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Acoustic Habitat of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) within a Highly Urbanized Estuary

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah A. Marley; Christine Erbe; Chandra P. Salgado Kent; Miles J. G. Parsons; Parnum, Iain M.

    2017-01-01

    There is growing awareness of underwater noise in a variety of marine habitats, and how such noise may adversely affect marine species. This is of particular concern for acoustically-specialized species, such as dolphins. In order to ascertain the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on these animals, baseline information is required for defining the soundscape of dolphin habitats. The Swan-Canning River system in Western Australia flows through the city of Perth, and experiences numerous...

  19. Evidence for a Numerosity Category that is Based on Abstract Qualities of ‘Few’ versus ‘Many’ in the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sevgi eYaman

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available A previous study (Kilian et al., 2003 had demonstrated that bottlenose dolphins can discriminate visual stimuli differing in numerosity. The aim of the present study was twofold: First, we sought to determine if dolphins are able to use a numerical category based on ‘few’ versus ‘many’ when discriminating stimuli according to the number of their constituent patterns. Second, we aimed to extend the previously demonstrated range of numbers, thereby testing the limits of the numerical abilities of bottlenose dolphins. To this end, one adult bottlenose dolphin learned to discriminate between two simultaneously presented stimuli which varied in the number of elements they contained. After initial training, several confounding parameters were excluded to render it likely that discrimination performance indeed depended on numerosity. Subsequently, the animal was tested with new stimuli of intermediate as well as higher numbers of elements. Once discrimination had been achieved, a reversal-training on a subset of stimuli was initiated. Afterwards, the subject generalized the reversal successful to new and unreinforced stimuli. Our results reveal two main findings: Firstly, our data strongly suggest a magnitude and a distance effect. Thus, coding of numerical information in dolphins might follow logarithmic scaling as postulated by the Weber-Fechner law. Secondly, after learning a reversal of contingencies, the dolphin generalized the reversal successful to new and unreinforced stimuli. Thus, within the limits of a study that was conducted with a single individual, our results suggest that dolphins are able to learn and use a numerical category that is based on abstract qualities of ‘few’ versus ‘many’.

  20. Monitoring the habitat use of common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) using passive acoustics in a Mediterranean marine protected area

    OpenAIRE

    La Manna, G.; MANGHI, M.; Sara', G.

    2014-01-01

    The Mediterranean Tursiops truncatus subpopulation has been classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of its decline. This species in coastal areas is exposed to a wide variety of threats: directed kills, bycatch, reduced prey availability caused by environmental degradation and overfishing, habitat degradation including disturbances from boat traffic and noise. Despite the increase in boat traffic in the Mediterranean Sea, the effect on T. truncatus’ habitat use has been studied ...

  1. The ability to recognize objects from bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) echoes generalizes across multiple orientations in humans and neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLong, Caroline M; Heberle, Amanda L; Wisniewski, Matthew G; Mercado, Eduardo

    2014-05-01

    Object constancy, the ability to recognize objects despite changes in orientation, has not been well studied in the auditory modality. Dolphins use echolocation for object recognition, and objects ensonified by dolphins produce echoes that can vary significantly as a function of orientation. In this experiment, human listeners had to classify echoes from objects varying in material, shape, and size that were ensonified with dolphin signals. Participants were trained to discriminate among the objects using an 18-echo stimulus from a 10° range of aspect angles, then tested with novel aspect angles across a 60° range. Participants were typically successful recognizing the objects at all angles (M = 78 %). Artificial neural networks were trained and tested with the same stimuli with the purpose of identifying acoustic cues that enable object recognition. A multilayer perceptron performed similarly to the humans and revealed that recognition was enabled by both the amplitude and frequency of echoes, as well as the temporal dynamics of these features over the course of echo trains. These results provide insight into representational processes underlying echoic recognition in dolphins and suggest that object constancy perceived through the auditory modality is likely to parallel what has been found in the visual domain in studies with both humans and animals.

  2. Skin Transcriptomes of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the northern Gulf of Mexico and southeastern U.S. Atlantic coasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neely, Marion G; Morey, Jeanine S; Anderson, Paul; Balmer, Brian C; Ylitalo, Gina M; Zolman, Eric S; Speakman, Todd R; Sinclair, Carrie; Bachman, Melannie J; Huncik, Kevin; Kucklick, John; Rosel, Patricia E; Mullin, Keith D; Rowles, Teri K; Schwacke, Lori H; Van Dolah, Frances M

    2017-08-23

    Common bottlenose dolphins serve as sentinels for the health of their coastal environments as they are susceptible to health impacts from anthropogenic inputs through both direct exposure and food web magnification. Remote biopsy samples have been widely used to reveal contaminant burdens in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, but do not address the health consequences of this exposure. To gain insight into whether remote biopsies can also identify health impacts associated with contaminant burdens, we employed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to interrogate the transcriptomes of remote skin biopsies from 116 bottlenose dolphins from the northern Gulf of Mexico and southeastern U.S. Atlantic coasts. Gene expression was analyzed using principal component analysis, differential expression testing, and gene co-expression networks, and the results correlated to season, location, and contaminant burden. Season had a significant impact, with over 60% of genes differentially expressed between spring/summer and winter months. Geographic location exhibited lesser effects on the transcriptome, with 23.5% of genes differentially expressed between the northern Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern U.S. Atlantic locations. Despite a large overlap between the seasonal and geographical gene sets, the pathways altered in the observed gene expression profiles were somewhat distinct. Co-regulated gene modules and differential expression analysis both identified epidermal development and cellular architecture pathways to be expressed at lower levels in animals from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Although contaminant burdens measured were not significantly different between regions, some correlation with contaminant loads in individuals was observed among co-expressed gene modules, but these did not include classical detoxification pathways. Instead, this study identified other, possibly downstream pathways, including those involved in cellular architecture, immune response, and oxidative stress

  3. The neocortex of cetartiodactyls: I. A comparative Golgi analysis of neuronal morphology in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butti, Camilla; Janeway, Caroline M; Townshend, Courtney; Wicinski, Bridget A; Reidenberg, Joy S; Ridgway, Sam H; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Jacobs, Bob

    2015-11-01

    The present study documents the morphology of neurons in several regions of the neocortex from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the North Atlantic minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Golgi-stained neurons (n = 210) were analyzed in the frontal and temporal neocortex as well as in the primary visual and primary motor areas. Qualitatively, all three species exhibited a diversity of neuronal morphologies, with spiny neurons including typical pyramidal types, similar to those observed in primates and rodents, as well as other spiny neuron types that had more variable morphology and/or orientation. Five neuron types, with a vertical apical dendrite, approximated the general pyramidal neuron morphology (i.e., typical pyramidal, extraverted, magnopyramidal, multiapical, and bitufted neurons), with a predominance of typical and extraverted pyramidal neurons. In what may represent a cetacean morphological apomorphy, both typical pyramidal and magnopyramidal neurons frequently exhibited a tri-tufted variant. In the humpback whale, there were also large, star-like neurons with no discernable apical dendrite. Aspiny bipolar and multipolar interneurons were morphologically consistent with those reported previously in other mammals. Quantitative analyses showed that neuronal size and dendritic extent increased in association with body size and brain mass (bottlenose dolphin whale humpback whale). The present data thus suggest that certain spiny neuron morphologies may be apomorphies in the neocortex of cetaceans as compared to other mammals and that neuronal dendritic extent covaries with brain and body size.

  4. Stereology of the thyroid gland in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in comparison with human (Homo sapiens): quantitative and functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kot, Brian Chin Wing; Lau, Thomas Yue Huen; Cheng, Sammy Chi Him

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian thyroid gland maintains basal metabolism in tissues for optimal function. Determining thyroid volume is important in assessing growth and involution. Volume estimation is also important in stereological studies. Direct measurements of colloid volume and nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of the follicular cells may provide important information about thyroid gland function such as hormone storage and secretion, which helps understand the changes at morphological and functional levels. The present study determined the colloid volume using simple stereological principle and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of 4 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and 2 human thyroid glands. In both dolphin and human thyroid glands, the size of the follicles tended to be quite variable. The distribution of large and small follicles within the thyroid gland was also found to be random in both the dolphin and human thyroid gland; however, the size of follicles appeared to decrease as a function of increasing age in the dolphin thyroid gland. The mean colloid volume of the dolphin thyroid gland and human thyroid gland was 1.22×10(5) µm(3) and 7.02×10(5) µm(3) respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean colloid volume. The mean N/C ratio of the dolphin thyroid follicular epithelia and human follicular epithelia was 0.50 and 0.64 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean N/C ratio. This information contributes to understanding dolphin thyroid physiology and its structural adaptations to meet the physical demands of the aquatic environment, and aids with ultrasonography and corrective therapy in live subjects.

  5. Stereology of the thyroid gland in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus in comparison with human (Homo sapiens: quantitative and functional implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Chin Wing Kot

    Full Text Available The mammalian thyroid gland maintains basal metabolism in tissues for optimal function. Determining thyroid volume is important in assessing growth and involution. Volume estimation is also important in stereological studies. Direct measurements of colloid volume and nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of the follicular cells may provide important information about thyroid gland function such as hormone storage and secretion, which helps understand the changes at morphological and functional levels. The present study determined the colloid volume using simple stereological principle and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of 4 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and 2 human thyroid glands. In both dolphin and human thyroid glands, the size of the follicles tended to be quite variable. The distribution of large and small follicles within the thyroid gland was also found to be random in both the dolphin and human thyroid gland; however, the size of follicles appeared to decrease as a function of increasing age in the dolphin thyroid gland. The mean colloid volume of the dolphin thyroid gland and human thyroid gland was 1.22×10(5 µm(3 and 7.02×10(5 µm(3 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean colloid volume. The mean N/C ratio of the dolphin thyroid follicular epithelia and human follicular epithelia was 0.50 and 0.64 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean N/C ratio. This information contributes to understanding dolphin thyroid physiology and its structural adaptations to meet the physical demands of the aquatic environment, and aids with ultrasonography and corrective therapy in live subjects.

  6. Gene expression changes in bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, skin cells following exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mollenhauer, Meagan A.M. [Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States)], E-mail: willimea@musc.edu; Carter, Barbara J. [EcoArray, Inc., Gainesville, FL (United States); Peden-Adams, Margie M. [Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Science Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, Mystic, CT (United States); Bossart, Gregory D. [Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Fort Pierce, FL (United States); Fair, Patricia A. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Ocean Service/Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, Charleston, SC (United States)

    2009-01-18

    Methylmercury (MeHg) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) bioaccumulate and biomagnify in the environment and increasing concentrations of these pollutants have been found in wildlife and humans. Both chemicals are worldwide contaminants with wide ranging biological effects and have been identified in relatively high concentrations in apex level marine mammals such as bottlenose dolphins. The primary objective of this study was to determine if exposure to MeHg or PFOS would alter the gene expression in primary bottlenose dolphin epidermal cell cultures. Primary skin cells were isolated and cultured from skin samples collected from wild bottlenose dolphins. The cells were subsequently exposed to 13 ppm PFOS or 1 ppm MeHg and changes in gene expression were analyzed by suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) and quantitative real-time PCR (QPCR). 116 genes were positively identified in the dolphin skin cells by SSH. Of these, 16 total genes were analyzed by QPCR (9 and 11 genes following PFOS or MeHg exposure, respectively, with four overlapping genes). Results indicate MeHg significantly alters gene expression patterns following 24 h exposure, but has no measurable effect after only 1 h. PFOS exposure, however, caused significant alterations following both 1 and 25 h. Overall, the changes in gene expression observed indicate these concentrations of MeHg and PFOS significantly alter normal gene expression patterns. The changes in gene expression following exposure to these contaminants not only indicate a cellular stress response, but also decreased cell cycle progression and cellular proliferation and reduced protein translation. Alterations in normal cellular biology, like those observed, may lead to changes in health in marine mammals exposed to contaminants; however, this warrants further investigation.

  7. Differences in the whistle characteristics and repertoire of Bottlenose and Spinner Dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bazúa-Durán Carmen

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Several methods have been used to compare the whistles produced by dolphins. The two methods used in this study are: (1 a classification of whistle contours in six categories (i.e. constant frequency, upsweep, downsweep, concave, convex, and sine and (2 the extraction of frequency and time parameters from each whistle contour. Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus whistles are described in the same way when comparing whistle contour distributions in each of the six categories and whistle frequency and time parameters using Discriminant Function Analysis. For Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris whistles, each method describes whistles differently. Several facts may explain these differences in describing dolphin whistles, such as a greater fluidity of Spinner Dolphin groups when compared to Bottlenose Dolphin groups, greater geographic variation in the whistles of Bottlenose Dolphins than in those of Spinner Dolphins, an average beginning frequency 16% lower than the average ending frequency in Spinner Dolphin whistles compared to a varied relationship for Bottlenose Dolphins, and stricter criteria used to define whistle contour categories in the study of Spinner Dolphin whistles than in the Bottlenose Dolphin whistle study.

  8. Abundance and Summer Distribution of a Local Stock of Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Delphinidae, in Coastal Waters near Sudak (Ukraine, Crimea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladilina E. V.

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The first assessment of abundance of a local population of bottlenose dolphins in the Black Sea (near the Sudak coast in 2011–2012 has been conducted: the results of a mark-recapture study of photo identified animals were complemented by a vessel line transect survey. The overall abundance of a population was estimated at between 621 ± 198 and 715 ± 267 animals (Chapman and Petersen estimates, and the majority of members of the population were recorded in the surveyed area. The summer range covered the area of a few hundred square kilometers, similar to migrating coastal stocks in other world regions. The greatest density of distribution was observed in August in sea 45–60 m deep; in addition, frequent approaches to the coastline are usual for dolphins of this stock. These trends in distribution may be partly explained by distribution of prey. Interaction with sprat trawling fisheries can be a factor shaping the local population structure. Coastal waters of Sudak and adjoining sea areas are an important habitat for bottlenose dolphins in the northern Black Sea, significant for their conservation.

  9. Abundance and Summer Distribution of a Local Stock of Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Delphinidae), in Coastal Waters near Sudak (Ukraine, Crimea)

    OpenAIRE

    Gladilina E. V.; Gol’din P. E.

    2016-01-01

    The first assessment of abundance of a local population of bottlenose dolphins in the Black Sea (near the Sudak coast) in 2011–2012 has been conducted: the results of a mark-recapture study of photo identified animals were complemented by a vessel line transect survey. The overall abundance of a population was estimated at between 621 ± 198 and 715 ± 267 animals (Chapman and Petersen estimates), and the majority of members of the population were recorded in the surveyed area. The summer range...

  10. Stable isotopes differentiate bottlenose dolphins off west-central Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Nélio B.; Ostrom, P. H.; Stricker, Craig A.; Wells, R.S.

    2010-01-01

    Distinguishing discrete population units among continuously distributed coastal small cetaceans is challenging and crucial to conservation. We evaluated the utility of stable isotopes in assessing group membership in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off west-central Florida by analyzing carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope values (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S) of tooth collagen from stranded dolphins. Individuals derived from three putative general population units: Sarasota Bay (SB), nearshore Gulf of Mexico (GULF), and offshore waters (OFF). Animals of known history (SB) served to ground truth the approach against animals of unknown history from the Gulf of Mexico (GULF, OFF). Dolphin groups differed significantly for each isotope. Average δ13C values from SB dolphins (−10.6‰) utilizing sea grass ecosystems differed from those of GULF (−11.9‰) and OFF (−11.9‰). Average δ15N values of GULF (12.7‰) and OFF (13.2‰) were higher than those of SB dolphins (11.9‰), consistent with differences in prey trophic levels. δ34S values showed definitive differences among SB (7.1‰), GULF (11.3‰), and OFF (16.5‰) dolphins. This is the first application of isotopes to population assignment of bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico and results suggest that isotopes may provide a powerful tool in the conservation of small cetaceans.

  11. Lobomycosis in Man and Lobomycosis-like Disease in Bottlenose Dolphin, Venezuela

    OpenAIRE

    Bermudez, Luis; Van Bressem, Marie-Fran?oise; Reyes-Jaimes, Oscar; Sayegh, Alejandro J.; Paniz-Mondolfi,Alberto E.

    2009-01-01

    We report 1 case of lobomycosis caused by Lacazia loboi in a fisherman and 1 case of lobomycosis-like disease in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) along the coast of Venezuela. These findings suggest that the marine environment is a likely habitat for L. loboi and a reservoir for infection.

  12. Lobomycosis in Man and Lobomycosis-like Disease in Bottlenose Dolphin, Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermudez, Luis; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Reyes-Jaimes, Oscar; Sayegh, Alejandro J.

    2009-01-01

    We report 1 case of lobomycosis caused by Lacazia loboi in a fisherman and 1 case of lobomycosis-like disease in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) along the coast of Venezuela. These findings suggest that the marine environment is a likely habitat for L. loboi and a reservoir for infection. PMID:19751598

  13. Biscayne Bay Florida Bottlenose Dolphin Studies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Biscayne Bay, Florida, adjacent estuaries and nearshore...

  14. Real-time PCR assays for detection of Brucella spp. and the identification of genotype ST27 in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qingzhong; McFee, Wayne E; Goldstein, Tracey; Tiller, Rebekah V; Schwacke, Lori

    2014-05-01

    Rapid detection of Brucella spp. in marine mammals is challenging. Microbiologic culture is used for definitive diagnosis of brucellosis, but is time consuming, has low sensitivity and can be hazardous to laboratory personnel. Serological methods can aid in diagnosis, but may not differentiate prior exposure versus current active infection and may cross-react with unrelated Gram-negative bacteria. This study reports a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Brucella spp. and application to screen clinical samples from bottlenose dolphins stranded along the coast of South Carolina, USA. The assay was found to be 100% sensitive for the Brucella strains tested, and the limit of detection was 0.27fg of genomic DNA from Brucella ceti B1/94 per PCR volume. No amplification was detected for the non-Brucella pathogens tested. Brucella DNA was detected in 31% (55/178) of clinical samples tested. These studies indicate that the real-time PCR assay is highly sensitive and specific for the detection of Brucella spp. in bottlenose dolphins. We also developed a second real-time PCR assay for rapid identification of Brucella ST27, a genotype that is associated with human zoonotic infection. Positive results were obtained for Brucella strains which had been identified as ST27 by multilocus sequence typing. No amplification was found for other Brucella strains included in this study. ST27 was identified in 33% (18/54) of Brucella spp. DNA-positive clinical samples. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of a real-time PCR assay for identification of Brucella genotype ST27 in marine mammals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Evaluation of a genus-specific ELISA and a commercial Aspergillus Western blot IgG® immunoblot kit for the diagnosis of aspergillosis in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desoubeaux, Guillaume; Le-Bert, Carolina; Fravel, Vanessa; Clauss, Tonya; Delaune, Alexa J; Soto, Jeny; Jensen, Eric D; Flower, Jennifer E; Wells, Randall; Bossart, Gregory D; Cray, Carolyn

    2017-12-08

    Aspergillosis is a fungal infection with high mortality and morbidity rates. As in humans, its definitive diagnosis is difficult in animals, and thus new laboratory tools are required to overcome the diagnostic limitations due to low specificity and lack of standardization. In this study of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), we evaluated the diagnostic performance of a new commercial immunoblot kit that had been initially developed for the serologic diagnosis of chronic aspergillosis in humans. Using this in a quantitative approach, we first established its positive cutoff within an observation cohort of 32 serum samples from dolphins with "proven" or "probable" diagnosis of aspergillosis and 55 negative controls. A novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test was also developed for detecting anti-Aspergillus antibodies, and results were compared between the two assays. Overall, the diagnostic performance of immunoblot and ELISA were strongly correlated (P < .0001). The former showed lower sensitivity (65.6% versus 90.6%), but higher specificity (92.7% vs. 69.1%), with no cross-reaction with other fungal infections caused by miscellaneous non-Aspergillus genera. When assessing their use in a validation cohort, the immunoblot kit and the ELISA enabled positive diagnosis before mycological cultures in 42.9% and 33.3% subjects addressed for suspicion of aspergillosis, respectively. There was also significant impact of antifungal treatment on the results of the two tests (P < .05). In all, these new serological methods show promise in aiding in the diagnosis of aspergillosis in dolphins, and illustrate the opportunity to adapt commercial reagents directed for human diagnostics to detect similar changes in other animals. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Is blood thicker than water? The role of kin and non-kin in non-mother-calf associations of captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levengood, Alexis L; Dudzinski, Kathleen M

    2016-03-01

    Relationships are important for social animals and kinship can play a vital role. Still, occurrence and function of kin bonds (aside from mother) in delphinid calf associations, alloparenting, or calf rearing are poorly represented in the literature. This study examined the role of kin and non-kin in non-mother-calf associations for a managed population of bottlenose dolphins. Calf associations were event sampled to determine if kin and non-kin differences existed in frequency or duration. Calves with kin present exhibited a higher average number of associates than calves without kin. Yet calves showed no conclusive association preference in frequency; though some individuals showed early signs of developing kin preferences. Duration and context of associations did not differ between kin and non-kin, suggesting they serve the same developmental purpose. However, personality, calf age, and associate age played a greater role in the formation of calf associations, supporting the notion that calves choose associates with similar traits, aiding in their development in difficult and changing environments. Though kinship is important in the formation of relationships in older dolphins, it appears that outside the mother-calf bond, there are other more influential factors, such as age, personality, and sociality in the formation of early developmental bonds. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan... § 229.35 Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan. (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to implement the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan to reduce incidental mortality and serious...

  18. What do dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) understand about hidden objects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaakkola, Kelly; Guarino, Emily; Rodriguez, Mandy; Erb, Linda; Trone, Marie

    2010-01-01

    Object permanence, the ability to mentally represent and reason about objects that have disappeared from view, is a fundamental cognitive skill that has been extensively studied in human infants and terrestrial animals, but not in marine animals. A series of four experiments examined this ability in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). After being trained on a "find the object" game, dolphins were tested on visible and invisible displacement tasks, and transpositions. In Experiments 1 and 2, dolphins succeeded at visible displacements, but not at invisible displacements or transpositions. Experiment 3 showed that they were able to pass an invisible displacement task in which a person's hand rather than a container was used as the displacement device. However, follow-up controls suggested they did so by learning local rules rather than via a true representation of the movement of hidden objects. Experiment 4 demonstrated that the dolphins did not rely on such local rules to pass visible displacement tasks. Thus, like many terrestrial animals, dolphins are able to succeed on visible displacement tasks, but seem unable to succeed on tasks requiring the tracking of hidden objects.

  19. Cognitive adaptation of sonar gain control in the bottlenose dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloepper, Laura N; Smith, Adam B; Nachtigall, Paul E; Buck, John R; Simmons, James A; Pacini, Aude F

    2014-01-01

    Echolocating animals adjust the transmit intensity and receive sensitivity of their sonar in order to regulate the sensation level of their echoes; this process is often termed automatic gain control. Gain control is considered not to be under the animal's cognitive control, but previous investigations studied animals ensonifying targets or hydrophone arrays at predictable distances. To test whether animals maintain gain control at a fixed level in uncertain conditions, we measured changes in signal intensity for a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) detecting a target at three target distances (2.5, 4 and 7 m) in two types of sessions: predictable and unpredictable. Predictable sessions presented the target at a constant distance; unpredictable sessions moved the target randomly between the three target positions. In the predictable sessions the dolphin demonstrated intensity distance compensation, increasing the emitted click intensity as the target distance increased. Additionally, as trials within sessions progressed, the animal adjusted its click intensity even from the first click in a click train, which is consistent with the animal expecting a target at a certain range. In the unpredictable sessions there was no significant difference of intensity with target distance until after the 7th click in a click train. Together, these results demonstrate that the bottlenose dolphin uses learning and expectation for sonar gain control.

  20. Cognitive adaptation of sonar gain control in the bottlenose dolphin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura N Kloepper

    Full Text Available Echolocating animals adjust the transmit intensity and receive sensitivity of their sonar in order to regulate the sensation level of their echoes; this process is often termed automatic gain control. Gain control is considered not to be under the animal's cognitive control, but previous investigations studied animals ensonifying targets or hydrophone arrays at predictable distances. To test whether animals maintain gain control at a fixed level in uncertain conditions, we measured changes in signal intensity for a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus detecting a target at three target distances (2.5, 4 and 7 m in two types of sessions: predictable and unpredictable. Predictable sessions presented the target at a constant distance; unpredictable sessions moved the target randomly between the three target positions. In the predictable sessions the dolphin demonstrated intensity distance compensation, increasing the emitted click intensity as the target distance increased. Additionally, as trials within sessions progressed, the animal adjusted its click intensity even from the first click in a click train, which is consistent with the animal expecting a target at a certain range. In the unpredictable sessions there was no significant difference of intensity with target distance until after the 7th click in a click train. Together, these results demonstrate that the bottlenose dolphin uses learning and expectation for sonar gain control.

  1. Platelet-rich plasma and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine-associated treatments in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Griffeth

    Full Text Available Dolphins exhibit an extraordinary capacity to heal deep soft tissue injuries. Nevertheless, accelerated wound healing in wild or captive dolphins would minimize infection and other side effects associated with open wounds in marine animals. Here, we propose the use of a biological-based therapy for wound healing in dolphins by the application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP. Blood samples were collected from 9 different dolphins and a specific and simple protocol which concentrates platelets greater than two times that of whole blood was developed. As opposed to a commonly employed human protocol for PRP preparation, a single centrifugation for 3 minutes at 900 rpm resulted in the best condition for the concentration of dolphin platelets. By FACS analysis, dolphin platelets showed reactivity to platelet cell-surface marker CD41. Analysis by electron microscopy revealed that dolphin platelets were larger in size than human platelets. These findings may explain the need to reduce the duration and speed of centrifugation of whole blood from dolphins to obtain a 2-fold increase and maintain proper morphology of the platelets. For the first time, levels of several growth factors from activated dolphin platelets were quantified. Compared to humans, concentrations of PDGF-BB were not different, while TGFβ and VEGF-A were significantly lower in dolphins. Additionally, adipose tissue was obtained from cadaveric dolphins found along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs were successfully isolated, amplified, and characterized. When dolphin ASCs were treated with 2.5 or 5% dolphin PRP they exhibited significant increased proliferation and improved phagocytotic activity, indicating that in culture, PRP may improve the regenerative capacity of ASCs. Taken together, we show an effective and well-defined protocol for efficient PRP isolation. This protocol alone or in combination with ASCs, may constitute the basis of a

  2. Platelet-rich plasma and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine-associated treatments in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffeth, Richard J; García-Párraga, Daniel; Mellado-López, Maravillas; Crespo-Picazo, Jose Luis; Soriano-Navarro, Mario; Martinez-Romero, Alicia; Moreno-Manzano, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Dolphins exhibit an extraordinary capacity to heal deep soft tissue injuries. Nevertheless, accelerated wound healing in wild or captive dolphins would minimize infection and other side effects associated with open wounds in marine animals. Here, we propose the use of a biological-based therapy for wound healing in dolphins by the application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Blood samples were collected from 9 different dolphins and a specific and simple protocol which concentrates platelets greater than two times that of whole blood was developed. As opposed to a commonly employed human protocol for PRP preparation, a single centrifugation for 3 minutes at 900 rpm resulted in the best condition for the concentration of dolphin platelets. By FACS analysis, dolphin platelets showed reactivity to platelet cell-surface marker CD41. Analysis by electron microscopy revealed that dolphin platelets were larger in size than human platelets. These findings may explain the need to reduce the duration and speed of centrifugation of whole blood from dolphins to obtain a 2-fold increase and maintain proper morphology of the platelets. For the first time, levels of several growth factors from activated dolphin platelets were quantified. Compared to humans, concentrations of PDGF-BB were not different, while TGFβ and VEGF-A were significantly lower in dolphins. Additionally, adipose tissue was obtained from cadaveric dolphins found along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) were successfully isolated, amplified, and characterized. When dolphin ASCs were treated with 2.5 or 5% dolphin PRP they exhibited significant increased proliferation and improved phagocytotic activity, indicating that in culture, PRP may improve the regenerative capacity of ASCs. Taken together, we show an effective and well-defined protocol for efficient PRP isolation. This protocol alone or in combination with ASCs, may constitute the basis of a biological

  3. Cultural transmission of tool use combined with habitat specializations leads to fine-scale genetic structure in bottlenose dolphins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kopps, Anna M.; Ackermann, Corinne Y.; Sherwin, William B.; Allen, Simon J.; Bejder, Lars; Kruetzen, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Socially learned behaviours leading to genetic population structure have rarely been described outside humans. Here, we provide evidence of fine-scale genetic structure that has probably arisen based on socially transmitted behaviours in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in western Shark Bay,

  4. Early social networks predict survival in wild bottlenose dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret A Stanton

    Full Text Available A fundamental question concerning group-living species is what factors influence the evolution of sociality. Although several studies link adult social bonds to fitness, social patterns and relationships are often formed early in life and are also likely to have fitness consequences, particularly in species with lengthy developmental periods, extensive social learning, and early social bond-formation. In a longitudinal study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp., calf social network structure, specifically the metric eigenvector centrality, predicted juvenile survival in males. Additionally, male calves that died post-weaning had stronger ties to juvenile males than surviving male calves, suggesting that juvenile males impose fitness costs on their younger counterparts. Our study indicates that selection is acting on social traits early in life and highlights the need to examine the costs and benefits of social bonds during formative life history stages.

  5. Observations of NC stop nets for bottlenose dolphin takes

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To observe the NC stop net fishery to document the entanglement of bottlenose dolphins and movement of dolphins around the nets.

  6. Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephanie L; Janik, Vincent M

    2013-08-06

    In animal communication research, vocal labeling refers to incidents in which an animal consistently uses a specific acoustic signal when presented with a specific object or class of objects. Labeling with learned signals is a foundation of human language but is notably rare in nonhuman communication systems. In natural animal systems, labeling often occurs with signals that are not influenced by learning, such as in alarm and food calling. There is a suggestion, however, that some species use learned signals to label conspecific individuals in their own communication system when mimicking individually distinctive calls. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a promising animal for exploration in this area because they are capable of vocal production learning and can learn to use arbitrary signals to report the presence or absence of objects. Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin's learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system.

  7. Cognitive skills in bottlenose dolphin communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janik, Vincent M

    2013-04-01

    Bottlenose dolphins display a behavioural skill set that makes them an interesting model system for the study of complexity in communication and cognition. They are capable of vocal learning, referential labelling, syntax comprehension, and joint attention. In their own communication system, these skills are used in individual recognition, group cohesion, and coordination, which suggests that social challenges are a universal selection pressure for complexity in communication and cognition independent of the physical environment. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Bottlenose dolphin iris asymmetries enhance aerial and underwater vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivamonte, Andre

    2009-02-01

    When the iris of the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) contracts it constrains the path of light that can focus onto the two areas of the retina having a finer retinal mosaic. Under high ambient light conditions the operculum of the iris shields the lens and forms in the process two asymmetrically shaped, sized and positioned slit pupils. Tracing rays of light in the reverse direction through the pupils from the retinal regions associated with higher resolution confirm behaviorally observed preferred aerial and underwater viewing directions. In the forward and downward viewing direction, the larger temporal pupil admits light that is focused by the weakly refractive margin of a bifocal lens onto the temporal area centralis compensating for the addition of the optically strong front surface of the cornea in air. A schematic dolphin eye model incorporating a bifocal lens offers an explanation for a dolphin's comparable visual acuities in air and water for both high and low ambient light conditions. Comparison of methods for curve fitting psychometric ogive functions to behavioral visual acuity and spectral sensitivity data are discussed.

  9. THE NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF THE DIET OF BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) IS BETTER ASSESSED RELATIVE TO METABOLIZABLE ENERGY THAN DRY MATTER.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardente, Amanda J; Hill, Richard C

    2015-06-01

    Nutrient concentrations in a diet can be expressed either "as fed," relative to dry matter (DM), or relative to metabolizable energy (ME). Most published literature evaluates the diet of dolphins by comparing nutrient content relative to DM. Nevertheless, ME requirements, not DM, determine how much food dolphins need to maintain their body condition. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate why it is important to calculate the ME content of fish fed to dolphins and compare nutrient concentrations in dolphin diets relative to ME, not DM. Two studies that compared the nutrient composition of fish species on a DM basis were reevaluated. The ME content of each fish species was calculated and found to vary widely among species, from 0.94 to 1.58 Mcal/kg as fed. Water, mineral, and fat concentrations relative to ME also varied markedly among fish species. To demonstrate the magnitude of nutrient content differences between fish, the percent change in nutrient concentration for each species was calculated relative to herring. The percent changes for DM and ME analyses were then compared. Percent change in nutrient concentration was either over- or underestimated on a DM basis when compared with the percent change on an ME basis. Notable discrepancies were evident among important nutrients, such as crude protein, water, and sodium. Caretakers of managed dolphins must account for differences in energy density when deciding how much to feed and assessing the nutrient composition of the diet.

  10. Head sinuses, melon, and jaws of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, observed with computed tomography structural and single photon emission computed tomography functional imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James J.; Carder, Don; van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Hoh, Carl; Corbeil, Jacqueline; Mattrey, Robert

    2003-04-01

    The head sinuses, melon, and lower jaws of dolphins have been studied extensively with various methods including radiography, chemical analysis, and imaging of dead specimens. Here we report the first structural and functional imaging of live dolphins. Two animals were imaged, one male and one female. Computed tomography (CT) revealed extensive air cavities posterior and medial to the ear as well as between the ear and sound-producing nasal structures. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) employing 50 mCi of the intravenously injected ligand technetium [Tc-99m] biscisate (Neurolite) revealed extensive and uptake in the core of the melon as well as near the pan bone area of the lower jaw. Count density on SPECT images was four times greater in melon as in the surrounding tissue and blubber layer suggesting that the melon is an active rather than a passive tissue. Since the dolphin temporal bone is not attached to the skull except by fibrous suspensions, the air cavities medial and posterior to the ear as well as the abutment of the temporal bone, to the acoustic fat bodies of each lower jaw, should be considered in modeling the mechanism of sound transmission from the environment to the dolphin ear.

  11. Monitoring bottlenose dolphin leukocyte cytokine mRNA responsiveness by qPCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberle, Kirsten C.; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K.; Jensen, Eric D.; Porter, Tracy J.; Waters, Theresa E.; Sacco, Randy E.

    2017-01-01

    Both veterinarians caring for dolphins in managed populations and researchers monitoring wild populations use blood-based diagnostics to monitor bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) health. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) can be used to assess cytokine transcription patterns of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). This can supplement currently available blood tests with information on immune status. Full realization of this potential requires establishment of normal ranges of cytokine gene transcription levels in bottlenose dolphins. We surveyed four dolphins over the span of seven months by serial bleeds. PBMC were stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin (1, 5, and 10 μg/mL) and concanavalin A (1 μg/mL) for 48 H in vitro. RNA from these cultures was probed by qPCR using Tursiops truncatus-specific primers (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, IL-18, IFN-γ and TNF-α). Two blood samples from an additional bottlenose dolphin diagnosed with acute pulmonary disease add further perspective to the data. We observed that mitogen choice made a significant difference in the magnitude of gene transcription observed. On the other hand, most cytokines tested exhibited limited intra-animal variation. However, IL-6 and IL-12p40 differed between older and younger dolphins. Furthermore, the magnitude of mitogenic response clusters the tested cytokines into three groups. The data provide a reference for the selection of target cytokine mRNAs and their expected range of mitogen-stimulated cytokine gene transcription for future studies. PMID:29272269

  12. Monitoring bottlenose dolphin leukocyte cytokine mRNA responsiveness by qPCR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amelia Ruth Hofstetter

    Full Text Available Both veterinarians caring for dolphins in managed populations and researchers monitoring wild populations use blood-based diagnostics to monitor bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus health. Quantitative PCR (qPCR can be used to assess cytokine transcription patterns of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC. This can supplement currently available blood tests with information on immune status. Full realization of this potential requires establishment of normal ranges of cytokine gene transcription levels in bottlenose dolphins. We surveyed four dolphins over the span of seven months by serial bleeds. PBMC were stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin (1, 5, and 10 μg/mL and concanavalin A (1 μg/mL for 48 H in vitro. RNA from these cultures was probed by qPCR using Tursiops truncatus-specific primers (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, IL-18, IFN-γ and TNF-α. Two blood samples from an additional bottlenose dolphin diagnosed with acute pulmonary disease add further perspective to the data. We observed that mitogen choice made a significant difference in the magnitude of gene transcription observed. On the other hand, most cytokines tested exhibited limited intra-animal variation. However, IL-6 and IL-12p40 differed between older and younger dolphins. Furthermore, the magnitude of mitogenic response clusters the tested cytokines into three groups. The data provide a reference for the selection of target cytokine mRNAs and their expected range of mitogen-stimulated cytokine gene transcription for future studies.

  13. Evidence for distinct coastal and offshore communities of bottlenose dolphins in the north east Atlantic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Machiel G Oudejans

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphin stock structure in the northeast Atlantic remains poorly understood. However, fine scale photo-id data have shown that populations can comprise multiple overlapping social communities. These social communities form structural elements of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus [corrected] populations, reflecting specific ecological and behavioural adaptations to local habitats. We investigated the social structure of bottlenose dolphins in the waters of northwest Ireland and present evidence for distinct inshore and offshore social communities. Individuals of the inshore community had a coastal distribution restricted to waters within 3 km from shore. These animals exhibited a cohesive, fission-fusion social organisation, with repeated resightings within the research area, within a larger coastal home range. The offshore community comprised one or more distinct groups, found significantly further offshore (>4 km than the inshore animals. In addition, dorsal fin scarring patterns differed significantly between inshore and offshore communities with individuals of the offshore community having more distinctly marked dorsal fins. Specifically, almost half of the individuals in the offshore community (48% had characteristic stereotyped damage to the tip of the dorsal fin, rarely recorded in the inshore community (7%. We propose that this characteristic is likely due to interactions with pelagic fisheries. Social segregation and scarring differences found here indicate that the distinct communities are likely to be spatially and behaviourally segregated. Together with recent genetic evidence of distinct offshore and coastal population structures, this provides evidence for bottlenose dolphin inshore/offshore community differentiation in the northeast Atlantic. We recommend that social communities should be considered as fundamental units for the management and conservation of bottlenose dolphins and their habitat specialisations.

  14. Evidence for distinct coastal and offshore communities of bottlenose dolphins in the north east Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oudejans, Machiel G; Visser, Fleur; Englund, Anneli; Rogan, Emer; Ingram, Simon N

    2015-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphin stock structure in the northeast Atlantic remains poorly understood. However, fine scale photo-id data have shown that populations can comprise multiple overlapping social communities. These social communities form structural elements of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) [corrected] populations, reflecting specific ecological and behavioural adaptations to local habitats. We investigated the social structure of bottlenose dolphins in the waters of northwest Ireland and present evidence for distinct inshore and offshore social communities. Individuals of the inshore community had a coastal distribution restricted to waters within 3 km from shore. These animals exhibited a cohesive, fission-fusion social organisation, with repeated resightings within the research area, within a larger coastal home range. The offshore community comprised one or more distinct groups, found significantly further offshore (>4 km) than the inshore animals. In addition, dorsal fin scarring patterns differed significantly between inshore and offshore communities with individuals of the offshore community having more distinctly marked dorsal fins. Specifically, almost half of the individuals in the offshore community (48%) had characteristic stereotyped damage to the tip of the dorsal fin, rarely recorded in the inshore community (7%). We propose that this characteristic is likely due to interactions with pelagic fisheries. Social segregation and scarring differences found here indicate that the distinct communities are likely to be spatially and behaviourally segregated. Together with recent genetic evidence of distinct offshore and coastal population structures, this provides evidence for bottlenose dolphin inshore/offshore community differentiation in the northeast Atlantic. We recommend that social communities should be considered as fundamental units for the management and conservation of bottlenose dolphins and their habitat specialisations.

  15. Evidence for Distinct Coastal and Offshore Communities of Bottlenose Dolphins in the North East Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oudejans, Machiel G.; Visser, Fleur; Englund, Anneli; Rogan, Emer; Ingram, Simon N.

    2015-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphin stock structure in the northeast Atlantic remains poorly understood. However, fine scale photo-id data have shown that populations can comprise multiple overlapping social communities. These social communities form structural elements of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations, reflecting specific ecological and behavioural adaptations to local habitats. We investigated the social structure of bottlenose dolphins in the waters of northwest Ireland and present evidence for distinct inshore and offshore social communities. Individuals of the inshore community had a coastal distribution restricted to waters within 3 km from shore. These animals exhibited a cohesive, fission-fusion social organisation, with repeated resightings within the research area, within a larger coastal home range. The offshore community comprised one or more distinct groups, found significantly further offshore (>4 km) than the inshore animals. In addition, dorsal fin scarring patterns differed significantly between inshore and offshore communities with individuals of the offshore community having more distinctly marked dorsal fins. Specifically, almost half of the individuals in the offshore community (48%) had characteristic stereotyped damage to the tip of the dorsal fin, rarely recorded in the inshore community (7%). We propose that this characteristic is likely due to interactions with pelagic fisheries. Social segregation and scarring differences found here indicate that the distinct communities are likely to be spatially and behaviourally segregated. Together with recent genetic evidence of distinct offshore and coastal population structures, this provides evidence for bottlenose dolphin inshore/offshore community differentiation in the northeast Atlantic. We recommend that social communities should be considered as fundamental units for the management and conservation of bottlenose dolphins and their habitat specialisations. PMID:25853823

  16. Sex Difference in Bottlenose Dolphin Sightings during a Long-term Bridge Construction Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Weaver

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Almost nothing is known about the effect of long-term bridge construction on free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. The species’ natural history predicts that there should be sex differences in reaction to construction because bottlenose dolphins show sex differences in most of their behaviors. A 5-year bridge construction project over a narrow but important dolphin corridor at John’s Pass tidal inlet, St. Petersburg FL, brought chronic environmental changes. The purpose of this 8-year study was to determine if bridge construction was associated with changes in dolphin sightings. The sex difference hypothesis was tested with a comparison of sighting probabilities before, during and after bridge construction. Sighting probabilities were generated for 68 adults seen n = 6504 times during N = 951 small-boat surveys of the 6.5-mile estuarine study area, documented with photo identification June 2005-December 2012. The sex difference hypothesis was supported with a significant interaction between construction and gender. Female sightings showed a significant linear decline across construction. Male sightings did not change across construction. The main conclusion is that adult males and females may react differently to habitat changes associated with anthropogenic activities. Sex differences in environmental monitoring and vigilance associated with maternal behavior may have played a role. This is the first report on John’s Pass dolphins that evaluates changes in their behavior during a major construction project across a narrow but important dolphin corridor.

  17. PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS OF THE GENOME OF AN ENTERITIS-ASSOCIATED BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN MASTADENOVIRUS SUPPORTS A CLADE INFECTING THE CETARTIODACTYLA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Standorf, Kali; Cortés-Hinojosa, Galaxia; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Rivera, Rebecca; Archer, Linda L; Wellehan, James F X

    2017-10-27

    Adenoviruses are nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses, known to infect members of all tetrapod classes, with a similarity between phylogenies of hosts and viruses observed. We characterized bottlenose dolphin adenovirus 2 (BdAdV-2) found in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with enteritis. Virions were seen by negative staining electron microscopy of feces. Initial sequences obtained using conserved PCR primers were expanded using primer walking techniques, and the complete coding sequence was obtained. Phylogenetic analyses were consistent with coevolution of this virus and its bottlenose dolphin host, placing BdAdV-2 into a monophyletic group with other mastadenoviruses of Cetartiodactyla. When considering the low guanine/cytosine (G/C) content of BdAdV-2 with the phylogenetic data, this virus may represent a host-jumping event from another member of Cetartiodactyla. Analysis of partial polymerase indicated that bottlenose dolphin adenovirus 1, previously identified in Spain, and BdAdV-2 are sister taxa with harbor porpoise adenovirus 1, forming a cetacean clade. Bottlenose dolphin adenovirus 2 includes a highly divergent fiber gene. Two genes homologous to the dUTPase superfamily are also present which could play a role in enabling viral replication in nondividing cells. We used sequence data to develop a probe hybridization quantitative PCR assay specific to BdAdV-2 with a limit of detection of 10 copies.

  18. GoM Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-identification studies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Mississippi Sound and nearshore coastal waters. The...

  19. Factor associated variations in the home range of a resident Adriatic common bottlenose dolphin population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rako-Gospić, Nikolina; Radulović, Marko; Vučur, Tihana; Pleslić, Grgur; Holcer, Draško; Mackelworth, Peter

    2017-11-15

    This study investigates the influence of the most dominant factors (association patterns, gender, natal philopatry and anthropogenic pressure) on the home range size of the 44 most resident common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the waters of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago (north Adriatic Sea, Croatia), a recently declared NATURA 2000 SCI. Results show that variations in home range patterns (MCP, 95% KDE and 50% KDE home range size) among the individual resident dolphins are primarily related to differences in gender and reflect the way in which different genders respond to external stressors. In addition, results confirm the seasonal influence of nautical tourism on both female and male dolphins through changes in their home range sizes. The overall results improve current knowledge of the main anthropogenic threats that should be taken into consideration when developing conservation measures to be applied to this Cres and Lošinj SCI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Decline in relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins exposed to long-term disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejder, Lars; Samuels, Amy; Whitehead, Hal; Gales, Nick; Mann, Janet; Connor, Richard; Heithaus, Mike; Watson-Capps, Jana; Flaherty, Cindy; Krützen, Michael

    2006-12-01

    Studies evaluating effects of human activity on wildlife typically emphasize short-term behavioral responses from which it is difficult to infer biological significance or formulate plans to mitigate harmful impacts. Based on decades of detailed behavioral records, we evaluated long-term impacts of vessel activity on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Australia. We compared dolphin abundance within adjacent 36-km2 tourism and control sites, over three consecutive 4.5-year periods wherein research activity was relatively constant but tourism levels increased from zero, to one, to two dolphin-watching operators. A nonlinear logistic model demonstrated that there was no difference in dolphin abundance between periods with no tourism and periods in which one operator offered tours. As the number of tour operators increased to two, there was a significant average decline in dolphin abundance (14.9%; 95% CI=-20.8 to -8.23), approximating a decline of one per seven individuals. Concurrently, within the control site, the average increase in dolphin abundance was not significant (8.5%; 95% CI=-4.0 to +16.7). Given the substantially greater presence and proximity of tour vessels to dolphins relative to research vessels, tour-vessel activity contributed more to declining dolphin numbers within the tourism site than research vessels. Although this trend may not jeopardize the large, genetically diverse dolphin population of Shark Bay, the decline is unlikely to be sustainable for local dolphin tourism. A similar decline would be devastating for small, closed, resident, or endangered cetacean populations. The substantial effect of tour vessels on dolphin abundance in a region of low-level tourism calls into question the presumption that dolphin-watching tourism is benign.

  1. Vocal copying of individually distinctive signature whistles in bottlenose dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephanie L.; Sayigh, Laela S.; Wells, Randall S.; Fellner, Wendi; Janik, Vincent M.

    2013-01-01

    Vocal learning is relatively common in birds but less so in mammals. Sexual selection and individual or group recognition have been identified as major forces in its evolution. While important in the development of vocal displays, vocal learning also allows signal copying in social interactions. Such copying can function in addressing or labelling selected conspecifics. Most examples of addressing in non-humans come from bird song, where matching occurs in an aggressive context. However, in other animals, addressing with learned signals is very much an affiliative signal. We studied the function of vocal copying in a mammal that shows vocal learning as well as complex cognitive and social behaviour, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Copying occurred almost exclusively between close associates such as mother–calf pairs and male alliances during separation and was not followed by aggression. All copies were clearly recognizable as such because copiers consistently modified some acoustic parameters of a signal when copying it. We found no evidence for the use of copying in aggression or deception. This use of vocal copying is similar to its use in human language, where the maintenance of social bonds appears to be more important than the immediate defence of resources. PMID:23427174

  2. Stable isotopes of captive cetaceans (killer whales and bottlenose dolphins).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caut, Stéphane; Laran, Sophie; Garcia-Hartmann, Emmanuel; Das, Krishna

    2011-02-15

    There is currently a great deal of interest in using stable isotope methods to investigate diet, trophic level and migration in wild cetaceans. In order to correctly interpret the results stemming from these methods, it is crucial to understand how diet isotopic values are reflected in consumer tissues. In this study, we investigated patterns of isotopic discrimination between diet and blood constituents of two species of cetaceans (killer whale, Orcinus orca, and bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus) fed controlled diets over 308 and 312 days, respectively. Diet discrimination factors (Δ; mean ± s.d.) for plasma were estimated to Δ(13)C=2.3±0.6‰ and Δ(15)N=1.8±0.3‰, respectively, for both species and to Δ(13)C=2.7±0.3‰ and Δ(15)N=0.5±0.1‰ for red blood cells. Delipidation did not have a significant effect on carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of blood constituents, confirming that cetacean blood does not serve as a reservoir of lipids. In contrast, carbon isotopic values were higher in delipidated samples of blubber, liver and muscle from killer whales. The potential for conflict between fisheries and cetaceans has heightened the need for trophic information about these taxa. These results provide the first published stable isotope incorporation data for cetaceans, which are essential if conclusions are to be drawn on issues concerning trophic structures, carbon sources and diet reconstruction.

  3. Shark predation on Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins TUTSiops ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1988-10-24

    Oct 24, 1988 ... The incidence of shark induced scars on Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins caught in gill nets off Natal, on the south-east coast of southern Africa, was monitored between January 1983 and June 1987. The occurrence of dolphin remains in sharks caught in these nets between January 1980 and December ...

  4. Individual specialization in the foraging habits of female bottlenose dolphins living in a trophically diverse and habitat rich estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossman, Sam; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Stolen, Megan; Barros, Nélio B.; Gandhi, Hasand; Stricker, Craig A.; Wells, Randall S.

    2015-01-01

    We examine individual specialization in foraging habits (foraging habitat and trophic level) of female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA, by analyzing time series of stable isotope (δ15N and δ13C) values in sequential growth layer groups within teeth. The isotope data provide a chronology of foraging habits over the lifetime of the individual and allowed us to show that female bottlenose dolphins exhibit a high degree of individual specialization in both foraging habitat and trophic level. The foraging habits used by adult females are similar to those they used as calves and may be passed down from mother to calf through social learning. We also characterized the foraging habits and home range of each individual by constructing standard ellipses from isotope values and dolphin sightings data (latitude and longitude), respectively. These data show that Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphins forage within a subset of the habitats in which they are observed. Moreover, females with similar observational standard ellipses often possessed different foraging specializations. Female bottlenose dolphins may demonstrate individual specialization in foraging habits because it reduces some of the cost of living in groups, such as competition for prey.

  5. 77 FR 22759 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Bottlenose Dolphin...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-17

    ... Region Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation Outreach Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... bottlenose dolphins, which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In particular, the surveys... regulations prohibiting feeding and harassment of bottlenose dolphins, and how they gained their knowledge and...

  6. 77 FR 21946 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-12

    ... Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan AGENCY: National Marine... Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP) and implementing regulations by permanently continuing medium... April 30. Members of the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Team (BDTRT) recommended these regulations be...

  7. California Sea Lions Use Dolphins to Locate Food

    OpenAIRE

    Bearzi, Maddalena

    2006-01-01

    Aggregations by 3 species of dolphins (the bottlenose dolphin [Tursiops truncatus], the short-beaked common dolphin [Delphinus delphis], and the long-beaked common dolphin [Delphinus capensis]) and California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) were investigated in Santa Monica Bay, California. Groups were followed and observed during 201 boat-based surveys conducted in 1997–2001 documenting that sea lions were aggregated in 18.6% of the sightings with bottlenose dolphins (150 bottlenose dolph...

  8. Development and application of specific cytokine assays in tissue samples from a bottlenose dolphin with hyperinsulinemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten eEberle

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Chronic inflammation has been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D in humans. Postmortem hepatic and splenic tissue from a 46-year-old geriatric male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus with insulin resistance (chronic hyperinsulinemia with hyperglycemia, chronic inflammation (white blood cell count greater than 12,000 cells/μL, and mild fatty liver disease was evaluated for elevated pro-inflammatory mediators. Cytokine mRNA expression in postmortem hepatic and splenic tissue, as determined by real-time PCR, included an array of cytokines: TGF-β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, and IL-18. Values from this dolphin were compared to a younger reference dolphin with no known chronic metabolic perturbations or inflammation. Levels of TGF-β, TNF-α, and IL-4 were higher in the case dolphin's liver compared to that of the reference dolphin. In the case dolphin's spleen, IL-10 and IFN-γ mRNA was upregulated while IL-4 was less than reference dolphin. IL-18 and IL-13 were upregulated in both tissues. Fluorescent immunohistochemistry (IHC utilized the following antibodies: anti-porcine IL-6, anti-bovine IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-10, anti-human TGF-β, anti-ovine IL-1β, and anti-dolphin IL-8. Fluorescent IHC in spleen from the case dolphin revealed staining of IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, and TGF-β throughout the tissue. IL-10 and IFN-γ were seen to predominate in areas surrounding the follicles of splenic tissue. This is the first characterization of cytokine levels in dolphin hepatic and splenic tissue. While there are limitations to a case study, this report of inflammatory biomarkers in tissues of a dolphin with insulin resistance and fatty liver disease are similar to those observed in human patients.

  9. Reproductive outcome and survival of common bottlenose dolphins sampled in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Suzanne M; Smith, Cynthia R; Mitchell, Jason; Balmer, Brian C; Barry, Kevin P; McDonald, Trent; Mori, Chiharu S; Rosel, Patricia E; Rowles, Teresa K; Speakman, Todd R; Townsend, Forrest I; Tumlin, Mandy C; Wells, Randall S; Zolman, Eric S; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-11-07

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit bays, sounds and estuaries across the Gulf of Mexico. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, studies were initiated to assess potential effects on these ecologically important apex predators. A previous study reported disease conditions, including lung disease and impaired stress response, for 32 dolphins that were temporarily captured and given health assessments in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA. Ten of the sampled dolphins were determined to be pregnant, with expected due dates the following spring or summer. Here, we report findings after 47 months of follow-up monitoring of those sampled dolphins. Only 20% (95% CI: 2.50-55.6%) of the pregnant dolphins produced viable calves, as compared with a previously reported pregnancy success rate of 83% in a reference population. Fifty-seven per cent of pregnant females that did not successfully produce a calf had been previously diagnosed with moderate-severe lung disease. In addition, the estimated annual survival rate of the sampled cohort was low (86.8%, 95% CI: 80.0-92.7%) as compared with survival rates of 95.1% and 96.2% from two other previously studied bottlenose dolphin populations. Our findings confirm low reproductive success and high mortality in dolphins from a heavily oiled estuary when compared with other populations. Follow-up studies are needed to better understand the potential recovery of dolphins in Barataria Bay and, by extension, other Gulf coastal regions impacted by the spill. © 2015 The Authors.

  10. Quantification of the interaction between bottlenose dolphins and the Atlantic blue crab fishery in Charleston, South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duquette, Ashley

    Entanglement in commercial fishery equipment is the number one anthropogenic cause of marine mammal death worldwide. The Atlantic blue crab fishery is the number one cause of fishery related incidents for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in South Carolina. It is hypothesized that the dolphins are attracted to the pots either by the bait or possibly the other marine life drawn to the pots. Hydrophones deployed in baited and unbaited crab pots recorded dolphin vocalizations which were used as proxy for dolphin presence. Recorded data were used to quantify the interaction between dolphins and crab pots as well as elucidate the effects of tide, bait presences, and time of day on the interactions. Sonar imaging was deployed to determine if prey species aggregated around the crab pots and whether bait presence affects the fish activity. The hydrophones recorded 1,103 hours of audio data, and 18 hours of visual data were recorded by the dual-frequency identification sonar. The results found that dolphin interactions with the crab pots were not significantly impacted by the presence of bait. Time of day and tidal stage did affect the frequency and duration of interactions. Prey species were observed aggregating around the crab pots and no impact of bait presence on fish activity was observed. Results from this study will aid in the understanding of when and why bottlenose dolphins interact with the Atlantic blue crab fishery. Such information can then be used in the formulation of preventative measures against entanglement.

  11. Remote Monitoring of Dolphins and Whales in the High Naval Activity Areas in Hawaiian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    Stenella co- eruleoalba), and bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) (J. Oswald, pers. com.). In Fig. 13 are the number of recording days between...Atlantic bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ),” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 131, 569-576. Au, W. W. L., Branstetter, B., Moore, P. W., and Finneran, J

  12. Hearing sensation levels of emitted biosonar clicks in an echolocating Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songhai Li

    Full Text Available Emitted biosonar clicks and auditory evoked potential (AEP responses triggered by the clicks were synchronously recorded during echolocation in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus trained to wear suction-cup EEG electrodes and to detect targets by echolocation. Three targets with target strengths of -34, -28, and -22 dB were used at distances of 2 to 6.5 m for each target. The AEP responses were sorted according to the corresponding emitted click source levels in 5-dB bins and averaged within each bin to extract biosonar click-related AEPs from noise. The AEP amplitudes were measured peak-to-peak and plotted as a function of click source levels for each target type, distance, and target-present or target-absent condition. Hearing sensation levels of the biosonar clicks were evaluated by comparing the functions of the biosonar click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click source level to a function of external (in free field click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click sound pressure level. The results indicated that the dolphin's hearing sensation levels to her own biosonar clicks were equal to that of external clicks with sound pressure levels 16 to 36 dB lower than the biosonar click source levels, varying with target type, distance, and condition. These data may be assumed to indicate that the bottlenose dolphin possesses effective protection mechanisms to isolate the self-produced intense biosonar beam from the animal's ears during echolocation.

  13. Underwater recordings of the whistles of bottlenose dolphins in Fremantle Inner Harbour, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Sarah A.; Erbe, Christine; Kent, Chandra P. Salgado

    2017-09-01

    Dolphins use frequency-modulated whistles for a variety of social functions. Whistles vary in their characteristics according to context, such as activity state, group size, group composition, geographic location, and ambient noise levels. Therefore, comparison of whistle characteristics can be used to address numerous research questions regarding dolphin populations and behaviour. However, logistical and economic constraints on dolphin research have resulted in data collection biases, inconsistent analytical approaches, and knowledge gaps. This Data Descriptor presents an acoustic dataset of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) whistles recorded in the Fremantle Inner Harbour, Western Australia. Data were collected using an autonomous recorder and analysed using a range of acoustic measurements. Acoustic data review identified 336 whistles, which were subsequently measured for six key characteristics using Raven Pro software. Of these, 164 'high-quality' whistles were manually measured to provide an additional five acoustic characteristics. Digital files of individual whistles and corresponding measurements make this dataset available to researchers to address future questions regarding variations within and between dolphin communities.

  14. Captive Bottlenose Dolphins Do Discriminate Human-Made Sounds Both Underwater and in the Air

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Lima

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus spontaneously emit individual acoustic signals that identify them to group members. We tested whether these cetaceans could learn artificial individual sound cues played underwater and whether they would generalize this learning to airborne sounds. Dolphins are thought to perceive only underwater sounds and their training depends largely on visual signals. We investigated the behavioral responses of seven dolphins in a group to learned human-made individual sound cues, played underwater and in the air. Dolphins recognized their own sound cue after hearing it underwater as they immediately moved toward the source, whereas when it was airborne they gazed more at the source of their own sound cue but did not approach it. We hypothesize that they perhaps detected modifications of the sound induced by air or were confused by the novelty of the situation, but nevertheless recognized they were being “targeted.” They did not respond when hearing another group member’s cue in either situation. This study provides further evidence that dolphins respond to individual-specific sounds and that these marine mammals possess some capacity for processing airborne acoustic signals.

  15. Captive Bottlenose Dolphins Do Discriminate Human-Made Sounds Both Underwater and in the Air

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Alice; Sébilleau, Mélissa; Boye, Martin; Durand, Candice; Hausberger, Martine; Lemasson, Alban

    2018-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) spontaneously emit individual acoustic signals that identify them to group members. We tested whether these cetaceans could learn artificial individual sound cues played underwater and whether they would generalize this learning to airborne sounds. Dolphins are thought to perceive only underwater sounds and their training depends largely on visual signals. We investigated the behavioral responses of seven dolphins in a group to learned human-made individual sound cues, played underwater and in the air. Dolphins recognized their own sound cue after hearing it underwater as they immediately moved toward the source, whereas when it was airborne they gazed more at the source of their own sound cue but did not approach it. We hypothesize that they perhaps detected modifications of the sound induced by air or were confused by the novelty of the situation, but nevertheless recognized they were being “targeted.” They did not respond when hearing another group member’s cue in either situation. This study provides further evidence that dolphins respond to individual-specific sounds and that these marine mammals possess some capacity for processing airborne acoustic signals. PMID:29445350

  16. Bottlenose Dolphins: Energy Consumption during Pregnancy, Lactation, and Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    cost for most mam- mars. The literature on energy consumption during gestation and lactation of bottle - nose dolphins is very small and all the reports...Tt453, from 18 months prior to parturition (-18). through birth (0), and continuing for 24 months of lactation (23). 36 Figure 1. Daily feeding ...Professional Paper 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS: PR: MM40 Energy Consumption During Pregnancy, Lactation , and Growth PE: 0603709N

  17. Chemical residues in Dolphins from the US Atlantic coast including atlantic bottlenose obtained during the 1987/88 mass mortality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuehl, D.W.; Haebler, R.; Potter, C.

    1991-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) collected during the 1987/88 mass mortality event along the Atlantic coast of the United States have been analyzed for anthropogenic chemical contaminants. Average contaminant concentrations in adult males were higher than the average concentrations measured in adult females. Females could be divided into two groups by contaminant concentrations, one with low concentrations, and another with concentrations 4.4 times (PCBs) to 8.9 times (p,p'-DDE) greater. Contaminant concentrations in bottlenose were generally greater than the concentrations measured in either common (Delphinus delphis) or white-sided (Lagernorhynchus acutus) dolphins from the western North Atlantic Ocean. A subset of animals screened for unusual chemical contaminants showed that numerous polybrominated chemicals were present, including polybrominated biphenyls and diphenyl ethers not previously found in marine mammals from U.S. coastal waters.

  18. Evaluation of potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome in bottlenose dolphins:feeding and activity patterns of dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Randall S.; McHugh, Katherine A.; Douglas, David C.; Shippee, Steve; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Barros, Nélio B.; Phillips, Goldie T.

    2014-01-01

    Free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) living in Sarasota Bay, Florida appear to have a lower risk of developing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome compared to a group of dolphins managed under human care. Similar to humans, differences in diet and activity cycles between these groups may explain why Sarasota dolphins have lower insulin, glucose, and lipids. To identify potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome, existing and new data were incorporated to describe feeding and activity patterns of the Sarasota Bay wild dolphin community. Sarasota dolphins eat a wide variety of live fish and spend 10–20% of daylight hours foraging and feeding. Feeding occurs throughout the day, with the dolphins eating small proportions of their total daily intake in brief bouts. The natural pattern of wild dolphins is to feed as necessary and possible at any time of the day or night. Wild dolphins rarely eat dead fish or consume large amounts of prey in concentrated time periods. Wild dolphins are active throughout the day and night; they may engage in bouts of each key activity category at any time during daytime. Dive patterns of radio-tagged dolphins varied only slightly with time of day. Travel rates may be slightly lower at night, suggesting a diurnal rhythm, albeit not one involving complete, extended rest. In comparison, the managed dolphins are older; often fed a smaller variety of frozen-thawed fish types; fed fish species not in their natural diet; feedings and engaged activities are often during the day; and they are fed larger but fewer meals. In summary, potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome in dolphins may include young age, activity, and small meals fed throughout the day and night, and specific fish nutrients. These protective factors against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are similar to those reported in humans. Further studies may benefit humans and dolphins.

  19. 77 FR 45268 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-31

    ... Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan AGENCY: National Marine... Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP) and its implementing regulations by permanently continuing nighttime... November 1 through April 30. Members of the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Team (Team) recommended these...

  20. Fatal Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae septicemia in two Atlantic dolphins (Stenella frontalis and Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Delgado, J; Arbelo, M; Sierra, E; Vela, A; Domínguez, M; Paz, Y; Andrada, M; Domínguez, L; Fernández, A

    2015-09-17

    We describe gross, histopathologic, ultrastructural, immunohistochemical, and microbiologic features of acute septicemia by Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in an Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis and an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Generalized lymphadenomegaly and widespread hemorrhages were the most consistent macroscopic findings. Tricavitary effusion and icterus were noted in one individual. Histologically, all organs examined showed numerous variably sized bacillary bacterial emboli (Gram-positive; Ziehl-Neelsen-negative), typically associated with systemic congestion, edema, hemorrhages, and fibrinocellular thrombi. These bacteria were frequently intravascular, either extracellular or intramonocytic/macrophagic, and to a lesser extent, free within the interstitium of parenchymal organs. In both cases, microbiological analysis yielded E. rhusiopathiae. A primary anti-E. rhusiopathiae antibody created in mice from one of the strains isolated allowed positive immunohistochemical detection. Electron microscopy and dual immunohistochemistry with lysozyme and MAC387 antibodies confirmed the intramacrophagic location of the bacilli. E. rhusiopathiae, a known multispecies and zoonotic agent, should be considered as a potential etiologic agent in septicemia cases in free-ranging individuals of these dolphin species.

  1. How does Australia's largest dolphin-watching industry affect the behaviour of a small and resident population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckenreuter, Andre; Möller, Luciana; Harcourt, Robert

    2012-04-30

    The small, genetically distinct population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Port Stephens, New South Wales (NSW), is the target of the largest dolphin-watching industry in Australia and is located within the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park that was created in 2005. The effects of this industry have been identified as of significant management importance by the Marine Parks Authority NSW. Accordingly, the impact of commercial dolphin-watching boats was investigated from boat-based surveys from August 2008 to August 2009. Presence of dolphin-watching boats altered both the dolphins' behavioural states and activity budgets. Dolphins spent 66.5% less time feeding and 44.2% less time socialising, spent four times more milling, and were never observed to rest in the presence of dolphin-watching boats. Moreover, dolphin groups were more cohesive during dolphin-watching boat encounters and dolphins tended to avoid tour boats. These effects were exacerbated as the number of boats increased and the distance from boats decreased. The rate of approach was high with boats approaching each dolphin group three times per day in winter and six times in summer. Moreover, groups of dolphins with newborns were approached closer than state regulated minimum approach distances in nine out of ten encounters. Globally, dolphin-watching industries frequent small resident groups of coastal dolphins and effects are likely to be similar. We suggest that existing controls are inadequate and that these together with additional regulations be enforced by a regular presence of authorities. We suggest no more than one dolphin-watching boat within 50 m of a group of dolphins, or 100 m if calves are present. Operating times of dolphin-watching boats should be restricted in numbers after 1 pm, i.e., during preferred foraging times for dolphins. Additionally, exclusion zones should be considered to reduce pressure on dolphins undertaking critical activities such as

  2. From genome-wide to candidate gene: an investigation of variation at the major histocompatibility complex in common bottlenose dolphins exposed to harmful algal blooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammen, Kristina M; Wilcox, Lynsey A; Rosel, Patricia E; Wells, Randall S; Read, Andrew J

    2015-02-01

    The role the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays in response to exposure to environmental toxins is relatively poorly understood, particularly in comparison to its well-described role in pathogen immunity. We investigated associations between MHC diversity and resistance to brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A previous genome-wide association study investigating an apparent difference in harmful algal bloom (HAB) resistance among dolphin populations in the Gulf of Mexico identified genetic variation associated with survival in close genomic proximity to multiple MHC class II loci. Here, we characterized genetic variation at DQA, DQB, DRA, and DRB loci in dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle, including dolphins that died during HABs and dolphins presumed to have survived HAB exposure. We found that DRB and DQB exhibited patterns of genetic differentiation among geographic regions that differed from neutral microsatellite loci. In addition, genetic differentiation at DRB across multiple pairwise comparisons of live and dead dolphins was greater than differentiation observed at neutral loci. Our findings at these MHC loci did not approach the strength of association with survival previously described for a nearby genetic variant. However, the results provide evidence that selective pressures at the MHC vary among dolphin populations that differ in the frequency of HAB exposure and that the overall composition of DRB variants differs between dolphin survivors and non-survivors of HABs. These results may suggest a potential role of MHC diversity in variable survival of bottlenose dolphins exposed to HABs.

  3. Rhythm perception and production by the bottlenose dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harley, Heidi E.; Crowell, Sara E.; Fellner, Wendi; Odell, Kim; Larsen-Plott, Leslie

    2005-09-01

    Rhythm is an important component of many natural communication systems, but it has rarely been the focus of laboratory studies of nonhuman species. Recent cognitive studies with a bottlenose dolphin confirm that a dolphin can discriminate among six different 14-kHz 4-s acoustic rhythms at 94% accuracy, and can transfer that discrimination across multiple frequency (93%) and tempo (16%-93%) shifts. In addition, a dolphin has learned to produce six different rhythms in an object-labeling paradigm. Original training required the dolphin to produce the rhythms using a pneumatic switch that led to the in-air projection of computer-generated tones. However, the dolphin spontaneously began to produce the rhythms vocally as well. To date, the dolphin has accurately labeled five objects with unique rhythms at 87% accuracy using the switch and at 83% accuracy using his own vocalizations. Confusions at the various tempos in the perception study and the variability of some characteristics and stability of others in the production study provide insight into how dolphins represent rhythm and have implications for natural communication in this species.

  4. Tursiops truncatus calf

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Respiratory development in a captive-born bottlenose dolphin. Tursiops truncatus calf. V.M. Peddemors·. Biology Department, University of Natal, King George V Avenue, Durban, 4001 Republic of South Africa. Received 30 October 1989; accepted 15 May 1990. Changes in calf-mother association are examined and ...

  5. Monitoring dolphins in an urban marine system: total and effective population size estimates of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina C Ansmann

    Full Text Available Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia is an area of high biodiversity and conservation value and home to two sympatric sub-populations of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus. These dolphins live in close proximity to major urban developments. Successful management requires information regarding their abundance. Here, we estimate total and effective population sizes of bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay using photo-identification and genetic data collected during boat-based surveys in 2008-2010. Abundance (N was estimated using open population mark-recapture models based on sighting histories of distinctive individuals. Effective population size (Ne was estimated using the linkage disequilibrium method based on nuclear genetic data at 20 microsatellite markers in skin samples, and corrected for bias caused by overlapping generations (Ne c. A total of 174 sightings of dolphin groups were recorded and 365 different individuals identified. Over the whole of Moreton Bay, a population size N of 554 ± 22.2 (SE (95% CI: 510-598 was estimated. The southern bay sub-population was small at an estimated N = 193 ± 6.4 (SE (95% CI: 181-207, while the North sub-population was more numerous, with 446 ± 56 (SE (95% CI: 336-556 individuals. The small estimated effective population size of the southern sub-population (Ne c = 56, 95% CI: 33-128 raises conservation concerns. A power analysis suggested that to reliably detect small (5% declines in size of this population would require substantial survey effort (>4 years of annual mark-recapture surveys at the precision levels achieved here. To ensure that ecological as well as genetic diversity within this population of bottlenose dolphins is preserved, we consider that North and South sub-populations should be treated as separate management units. Systematic surveys over smaller areas holding locally-adapted sub-populations are suggested as an alternative method for increasing ability to detect

  6. Monitoring Dolphins in an Urban Marine System: Total and Effective Population Size Estimates of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins in Moreton Bay, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansmann, Ina C.; Lanyon, Janet M.; Seddon, Jennifer M.; Parra, Guido J.

    2013-01-01

    Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia is an area of high biodiversity and conservation value and home to two sympatric sub-populations of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). These dolphins live in close proximity to major urban developments. Successful management requires information regarding their abundance. Here, we estimate total and effective population sizes of bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay using photo-identification and genetic data collected during boat-based surveys in 2008–2010. Abundance (N) was estimated using open population mark-recapture models based on sighting histories of distinctive individuals. Effective population size (Ne) was estimated using the linkage disequilibrium method based on nuclear genetic data at 20 microsatellite markers in skin samples, and corrected for bias caused by overlapping generations (Nec). A total of 174 sightings of dolphin groups were recorded and 365 different individuals identified. Over the whole of Moreton Bay, a population size N of 554±22.2 (SE) (95% CI: 510–598) was estimated. The southern bay sub-population was small at an estimated N = 193±6.4 (SE) (95% CI: 181–207), while the North sub-population was more numerous, with 446±56 (SE) (95% CI: 336–556) individuals. The small estimated effective population size of the southern sub-population (Nec = 56, 95% CI: 33–128) raises conservation concerns. A power analysis suggested that to reliably detect small (5%) declines in size of this population would require substantial survey effort (>4 years of annual mark-recapture surveys) at the precision levels achieved here. To ensure that ecological as well as genetic diversity within this population of bottlenose dolphins is preserved, we consider that North and South sub-populations should be treated as separate management units. Systematic surveys over smaller areas holding locally-adapted sub-populations are suggested as an alternative method for increasing ability to detect

  7. A kinematic study on (unintentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa eSartori

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of observing other’s movements on subsequent performance in bottlenose dolphins. The imitative ability of non-human animals has intrigued a number of researchers. So far, however, studies in dolphins have been confined to intentional imitation concerned with the explicit request to imitate other agents. In the absence of instruction to imitate, do dolphins (unintentionally replicate other’s movement features? To test this, dolphins were filmed while reaching and touching a stimulus before and after observing another dolphin (i.e., model performing the same action. All videos were reviewed and segmented in order to extract the relevant movements. A marker was inserted post-hoc via software on the videos upon the anatomical landmark of interest (i.e. rostrum and was tracked throughout the time course of the movement sequence. The movement was analyzed using an in-house software developed to perform two-dimensional (2D post-hoc kinematic analysis. The results indicate that dolphins’ kinematics is sensitive to other’s movement features. Movements performed for the ‘visuomotor priming’ condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern similar to that performed by the observed dolphin (i.e., model. Addressing the issue of spontaneous imitation in bottlenose dolphins might allow ascertaining whether the potential or impulse to produce an imitative action is generated, not just when they intend to imitate, but whenever they watch another conspecific’s behavior. In closing, this will clarify whether motor representational capacity is a by-product of factors specific to humans or whether more general characteristics such as processes of associative learning prompted by high level of encephalization could help to explain the evolution of this ability.

  8. Comparison of lipids in selected tissues of the Florida manatee (Order Sirenia) and bottlenose dolphin (Order Cetacea; Suborder Odontoceti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Audra L; Van Vleet, Edward S; Reynolds, John E

    2002-07-01

    The position, porosity and oil-filled nature of the zygomatic process of the squamosal bone (ZPSB) of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, suggest that it may have a similar sound conduction function to that of the intramandibular fat body (IMFB) of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, and other odontocetes. To examine this possibility we determined the lipid composition of the ZPSB and adipose tissue from the dorsal part of the head region of the Florida manatee, and compared it to that of the dolphin IMFB and melon (another fatty area implicated in sound conduction in odontocetes). Lipids from manatee ZPSB and from adipose tissue were composed almost entirely of triacylglycerols. The most abundant fatty acids of the ZPSB were 18:1, 16:0, 14:0 and 16:1. The major fatty acids of the adipose tissue in the head were the four mentioned above, along with 12:0 and 18:0. Manatee samples did not contain isovaleric acid (iso-5:0), which was found in the bottlenose dolphin IMFB and melon, and has been related to sound conduction in dolphins and some other odontocetes. Thus, if manatee tissues are capable of sound conduction, and this process does occur through the ZPSB, a somewhat different suite of lipid components must support this function.

  9. A computational model of the bottlenose dolphin sonar: Feature-extracting method

    OpenAIRE

    Zorikov, T.

    2009-01-01

    The data describing a process of echo-image formation in bottlenose dolphin sonar perception were accumulated in our experimental explorations. These data were formalized mathematically and used in the computational model, comparative testing of which in echo-discrimination tasks revealed no less capabilities then those of bottlenose dolphins.

  10. Training bottlenose dolphins to overcome avoidance of environmental enrichment objects in order to stimulate play activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neto, Márcia P; Silveira, Miguel; Dos Santos, Manuel E

    2016-05-01

    Enrichment programs may contribute to the quality of life and stress reduction in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) kept in zoos and aquaria. The results of these programs are generally positive in terms of welfare, but the magnitude of their effects may vary greatly between individuals of the same species, especially when the enrichment plans are based on the introduction of manipulative objects. Some animals will interact spontaneously with novel objects, even without food rewards and in the absence of the trainers, while others show no interest or even aversion toward the objects. To determine if formal training can improve these conditions, we measured the effects of an operant conditioning program in the manipulation of objects by dolphins that initially avoided them. This program took place between April and October 2013 at Zoomarine Portugal. Subjects were two female and two male bottlenose dolphins (adults with ages from 17 to 35 years) that after a preliminary analysis showed avoidance or low interest in the manipulation of various toys. The level of interaction with introduced enrichment objects was observed before and after formal training to explore the toys (sixteen 20-min observation sessions per animal "before" and "after training"). In all subjects, an index of interest in object manipulation, in the absence of trainers, increased significantly after the application of the training techniques. The results show that an initial reinforcement program focused on the manipulation of toys may overcome resistance, improving the effects of environmental enrichment plans, and it is a potentially useful strategy to increase the welfare of some captive animals. Zoo Biol. 35:210-215, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adimey, Nicole M; Hudak, Christine A; Powell, Jessica R; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Foley, Allen; Farmer, Nicholas A; White, Linda; Minch, Karrie

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (psea turtles (psea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Reproductive activity after induced anestrus using altrenogest in Tursiops truncatus females in captivity in marine environment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    José Herrera; Roberto Sánchez; Jaime Alberto Bernal; Alfonso López; Juan Gabriel Rivera; Adrian Guzmán; Alejandro Ávalos

    2015-01-01

      Interest to reproduce Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in captivity has increased due to the international restrictions for its commercialization and the risks and logistical difficulties for transporting specimens...

  13. Cultural transmission of tool use combined with habitat specializations leads to fine-scale genetic structure in bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopps, Anna M; Ackermann, Corinne Y; Sherwin, William B; Allen, Simon J; Bejder, Lars; Krützen, Michael

    2014-05-07

    Socially learned behaviours leading to genetic population structure have rarely been described outside humans. Here, we provide evidence of fine-scale genetic structure that has probably arisen based on socially transmitted behaviours in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in western Shark Bay, Western Australia. We argue that vertical social transmission in different habitats has led to significant geographical genetic structure of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes. Dolphins with mtDNA haplotypes E or F are found predominantly in deep (more than 10 m) channel habitat, while dolphins with a third haplotype (H) are found predominantly in shallow habitat (less than 10 m), indicating a strong haplotype-habitat correlation. Some dolphins in the deep habitat engage in a foraging strategy using tools. These 'sponging' dolphins are members of one matriline, carrying haplotype E. This pattern is consistent with what had been demonstrated previously at another research site in Shark Bay, where vertical social transmission of sponging had been shown using multiple lines of evidence. Using an individual-based model, we found support that in western Shark Bay, socially transmitted specializations may have led to the observed genetic structure. The reported genetic structure appears to present an example of cultural hitchhiking of mtDNA haplotypes on socially transmitted foraging strategies, suggesting that, as in humans, genetic structure can be shaped through cultural transmission.

  14. Demographics of the Disappearing Bottlenose Dolphin in Argentina: A Common Species on Its Way Out?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeulen, Els; Bräger, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the once common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Argentina have precipitously declined throughout the country in the past decades. Unfortunately, local declines of common species are easily overlooked when establishing priorities for conservation. In this study, demographics of what may well be the last remaining resident population in the country were assessed using mark—recapture analysis (Pollock’s Robust Design) of a photo-identification dataset collected during 2006–2011 in Bahía San Antonio (Patagonia, Argentina). Total abundance, corrected for unmarked individuals, ranged from 40 (95%CI: 16.1–98.8) to 83 (95%CI = 45.8–151.8) individuals and showed a decrease over the years. Adult survival rates varied between 0.97 (± 0.037 SE) and 0.99 (± 0.010 SE). Average calving interval equalled 3.5 ± 1.03 years, with 3.5 births/year in the entire population and a minimum annual birth rate of 4.2%. However, data suggest that calves may have been born and lost before being documented, underestimating birth rate, calf mortality, and possibly the number of reproductive females. Either way, the recruitment rate of calves appears to be insufficient to support the size of the population. This population is relatively small and declining. Considering the disappearance of populations north and south of the study area, an incessant decline will have severe consequences for the continuous existence of this species in Argentina, indicating an urgent need for serious conservation efforts. This study provides insight into how the failure to recognize local population declines can threaten the national (and eventually the international) status of a common species like the bottlenose dolphin. PMID:25786234

  15. A Quantitative Analysis of Pulsed Signals Emitted by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rita Luís

    Full Text Available Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, produce a wide variety of vocal emissions for communication and echolocation, of which the pulsed repertoire has been the most difficult to categorize. Packets of high repetition, broadband pulses are still largely reported under a general designation of burst-pulses, and traditional attempts to classify these emissions rely mainly in their aural characteristics and in graphical aspects of spectrograms. Here, we present a quantitative analysis of pulsed signals emitted by wild bottlenose dolphins, in the Sado estuary, Portugal (2011-2014, and test the reliability of a traditional classification approach. Acoustic parameters (minimum frequency, maximum frequency, peak frequency, duration, repetition rate and inter-click-interval were extracted from 930 pulsed signals, previously categorized using a traditional approach. Discriminant function analysis revealed a high reliability of the traditional classification approach (93.5% of pulsed signals were consistently assigned to their aurally based categories. According to the discriminant function analysis (Wilk's Λ = 0.11, F3, 2.41 = 282.75, P < 0.001, repetition rate is the feature that best enables the discrimination of different pulsed signals (structure coefficient = 0.98. Classification using hierarchical cluster analysis led to a similar categorization pattern: two main signal types with distinct magnitudes of repetition rate were clustered into five groups. The pulsed signals, here described, present significant differences in their time-frequency features, especially repetition rate (P < 0.001, inter-click-interval (P < 0.001 and duration (P < 0.001. We document the occurrence of a distinct signal type-short burst-pulses, and highlight the existence of a diverse repertoire of pulsed vocalizations emitted in graded sequences. The use of quantitative analysis of pulsed signals is essential to improve classifications and to better assess the

  16. Unexpected similarity in RBC DHA and AA levels between bottlenose dolphins and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, William S; Schmitt, Todd L

    2014-01-01

    The Omega-3 Index [red blood cell (RBC) content of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)+docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] is inversely related to risk of cardiovascular disease in humans. In the U.S., the average Omega-3 Index is about 4-6% of RBC fatty acids, whereas in Japan it is 9-10%. The range of physiologically-possible levels for the Omega-3 Index in other mammals is unknown. To compare the RBC fatty acid composition of a common piscivorous mammal, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), with that of (U.S.) humans, and to examine the extent to which dietary fatty acid patterns were reflected in RBCs. RBCs were isolated from routine blood samples collected from 35 healthy dolphins at two display facilities and were analyzed by gas chromatography. For humans, historic, deidentified RBC fatty acid data from our laboratory were used (n=11,329; mean age 58). The mean Omega-3 Index of the dolphins was 19.9% compared with 6.0% for humans. EPA levels were 15.3% vs 1.2%, respectively, but DHA levels were virtually identical (4.6% vs 4.8%). Linoleic acid (LNA) levels were much lower in dolphins vs humans (0.5% vs 12.5%) whereas arachidonic acid (ARA) levels were similar (12.3% vs 14.5%). In a subgroup of humans with an Omega-3 Index in the >99.2 percentile, the mean index was similar to that of the dolphins. Based on an analysis of their food, the dolphins consumed about 60g of EPA+DHA per day as compared to about 0.1g in humans. Dolphins have an Omega-3 Index that is (only) 3-4× higher than that of U.S. adults despite their intake of EPA+DHA being about 165× higher (as a percent of kcal). RBC, EPA and LNA levels are relatively more reflective of dietary intakes than are DHA and ARA levels. The mechanisms by which certain fatty acid levels appear to be fixed and others may vary in RBC membranes are unknown. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton-Robb, Kate; Gershwin, Lisa-ann; Thompson, Ross; Austin, Jeremy; Owen, Kylie; McKechnie, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic threats.

  18. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Charlton-Robb

    Full Text Available Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic

  19. Bottlenose dolphins modify behavior to reduce metabolic effect of tag attachment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    van der Hoop, Julie M; Fahlman, Andreas; Hurst, Thomas; Rocho-Levine, Julie; Shorter, K Alex; Petrov, Victor; Moore, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    .... These costs have never been measured in free-swimming cetaceans. To examine the effect of drag from a tag on metabolic rate, cost of transport and swimming behavior, four captive male dolphins (Tursiops truncatus...

  20. GoM Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-identification studies - NRDA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Barataria Bay, LA, Mississippi Sound, MS and nearshore...

  1. Bottlenose dolphin age structure and growth in the Mississippi Sound region of the Gulf of Mexico

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Teeth were collected from bottlenose dolphins that stranded within the north-central Gulf of Mexico between 1986-2003. These teeth were sectioned and growth rings...

  2. A Permanent Automated Real-Time Passive Acoustic Monitoring System for Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Brunoldi

    Full Text Available Within the framework of the EU Life+ project named LIFE09 NAT/IT/000190 ARION, a permanent automated real-time passive acoustic monitoring system for the improvement of the conservation status of the transient and resident population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus has been implemented and installed in the Portofino Marine Protected Area (MPA, Ligurian Sea. The system is able to detect the simultaneous presence of dolphins and boats in the area and to give their position in real time. This information is used to prevent collisions by diffusing warning messages to all the categories involved (tourists, professional fishermen and so on. The system consists of two gps-synchronized acoustic units, based on a particular type of marine buoy (elastic beacon, deployed about 1 km off the Portofino headland. Each one is equipped with a four-hydrophone array and an onboard acquisition system which can record the typical social communication whistles emitted by the dolphins and the sound emitted by boat engines. Signals are pre-filtered, digitized and then broadcast to the ground station via wi-fi. The raw data are elaborated to get the direction of the acoustic target to each unit, and hence the position of dolphins and boats in real time by triangulation.

  3. Vocal activities reflect the temporal distribution of bottlenose dolphin social and non-social activity in a zoological park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Alice; Lemasson, Alban; Boye, Martin; Hausberger, Martine

    2017-12-01

    Under natural conditions bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) spend their time mostly feeding and then travelling, socializing, or resting. These activities are not randomly distributed, with feeding being higher in early morning and late afternoon. Social activities and vocal behavior seem to be very important in dolphin daily activity. This study aimed to describe the activity time-budget and its relation to vocal behavior for dolphins in a zoological park. We recorded behaviors and vocalizations of six dolphins over 2 months. All subjects performed more non-agonistic social interactions and play in the morning than in the afternoon. The different categories of vocalizations were distributed non-randomly throughout the day, with more chirps in the afternoon, when the animals were "less social." The most striking result was the strong correlation between activities and the categories of vocalizations produced. The results confirm the association between burst pulses and whistles with social activities, but also reveal that both are also associated with solitary play. More chirps were produced when dolphins were engaged in socio-sexual behaviors, emphasizing the need for further questioning about the function of this vocal category. This study reveals that: (i) in a group kept in zoological management, social activities are mostly present in the morning; and (ii) the acoustic signals produced by dolphins may give a reliable representation of their current activities. While more studies on the context of signal production are needed, our findings provide a useful tool for understanding free ranging dolphin behavior when they are not visible. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Captive bottlenose dolphins and killer whales harbor a species-specific skin microbiota that varies among individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarello, M; Villéger, S; Bouvier, C; Auguet, J C; Bouvier, T

    2017-11-10

    Marine animals surfaces host diverse microbial communities, which play major roles for host's health. Most inventories of marine animal surface microbiota have focused on corals and fishes, while cetaceans remain overlooked. The few studies focused on wild cetaceans, making difficult to distinguish intrinsic inter- and/or intraspecific variability in skin microbiota from environmental effects. We used high-throughput sequencing to assess the skin microbiota from 4 body zones of 8 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca), housed in captivity (Marineland park, France). Overall, cetacean skin microbiota is more diverse than planktonic communities and is dominated by different phylogenetic lineages and functions. In addition, the two cetacean species host different skin microbiotas. Within each species, variability was higher between individuals than between body parts, suggesting a high individuality of cetacean skin microbiota. Overall, the skin microbiota of the assessed cetaceans related more to the humpback whale and fishes' than to microbiotas of terrestrial mammals.

  5. Retrospective analysis of bottlenose dolphin foraging: a legacy of anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossman, Sam; Barros, Nélio B.; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Stricker, Craig A.; Hohn, Aleta A.; Gandhi, Hasand; Wells, Randall S.

    2013-01-01

    We used stable isotope analysis to investigate the foraging ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in relation to a series of anthropogenic disturbances. We first demonstrated that stable isotopes are a faithful indicator of habitat use by comparing muscle isotope values to behavioral foraging data from the same individuals. δ13C values increased, while δ34S and δ15N values decreased with the percentage of feeding observations in seagrass habitat. We then utilized stable isotope values of muscle to assess temporal variation in foraging habitat from 1991 to 2010 and collagen from tooth crown tips to assess the time period 1944 to 2007. From 1991 to 2010, δ13C values of muscle decreased while δ34S values increased indicating reduced utilization of seagrass habitat. From 1944 to 1989 δ13C values of the crown tip declined significantly, likely due to a reduction in the coverage of seagrass habitat and δ15N values significantly increased, a trend we attribute to nutrient loading from a rapidly increasing human population. Our results demonstrate the utility of using marine mammal foraging habits to retrospectively assess the extent to which anthropogenic disturbance impacts coastal food webs.

  6. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    of sight of surface observers. These species differ in the acoustic habitats they dwell in, as well as in group structure and foraging ecology. The overall aim of this thesis has been to address, in a comparative fashion, how these two species behave acoustically in the wild, and how they have adapted...... and extend the range of depths they can cover while producing sounds pneumatically. Surprisingly, I find that the frequency content of pilot whale calls, including the time/frequency modulation patterns that seem to convey information for some toothed whales, is unaffected by depth despite the compression....... As a consequence, the frequency contours that convey acoustic signatures in delphinids are unaffected by changes in depth as well as changes in the size of different nasal air sacs during sound production. Finally, both bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales are the subject of heavy whale watching activities...

  7. Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars...novel biomarkers to examine whether significant sublethal responses to sonar-type sounds occur in bottlenose dolphins exposed to such sounds. The...SUBTITLE Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins

  8. Bottlenose dolphins modify behavior to reduce metabolic effect of tag attachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoop, Julie M; Fahlman, Andreas; Hurst, Thomas; Rocho-Levine, Julie; Shorter, K Alex; Petrov, Victor; Moore, Michael J

    2014-12-01

    Attaching bio-telemetry or -logging devices ('tags') to marine animals for research and monitoring adds drag to streamlined bodies, thus affecting posture, swimming gaits and energy balance. These costs have never been measured in free-swimming cetaceans. To examine the effect of drag from a tag on metabolic rate, cost of transport and swimming behavior, four captive male dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were trained to swim a set course, either non-tagged (n=7) or fitted with a tag (DTAG2; n=12), and surface exclusively in a flow-through respirometer in which oxygen consumption VO₂ and carbon dioxide production (VO₂; ml kg(-1) min(-1)) rates were measured and respiratory exchange ratio (VO₂/resting VO₂) was calculated. Tags did not significantly affect individual mass-specific oxygen consumption, physical activity ratios (exercise /resting ), total or net cost of transport (COT; J m(-1) kg(-1)) or locomotor costs during swimming or two-minute recovery phases. However, individuals swam significantly slower when tagged (by ~11%; mean ± s.d., 3.31±0.35 m s(-1)) than when non-tagged (3.73±0.41 m s(-1)). A combined theoretical and computational fluid dynamics model estimating drag forces and power exertion during swimming suggests that drag loading and energy consumption are reduced at lower swimming speeds. Bottlenose dolphins in the specific swimming task in this experiment slowed to the point where the tag yielded no increases in drag or power, while showing no difference in metabolic parameters when instrumented with a DTAG2. These results, and our observations, suggest that animals modify their behavior to maintain metabolic output and energy expenditure when faced with tag-induced drag. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Dietary cation-anion difference may explain why ammonium urate nephrolithiasis occurs more frequently in common bottlenose dolphins () under human care than in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardente, A J; Wells, R S; Smith, C R; Walsh, M T; Jensen, E D; Schmitt, T L; Colee, J; Vagt, B J; Hill, R C

    2017-03-01

    Ammonium urate nephrolithiasis frequently develops in common bottlenose dolphins () managed under human care but is rare in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins. In other species, the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) can affect ammonium urate urolith formation by increasing proton excretion as ammonium ions. Therefore, differences in diet between the 2 dolphin populations could affect urolith formation, but the DCAD of most species consumed by free-ranging and managed dolphins is unknown. To compare the nutrient composition of diets consumed by free-ranging and managed bottlenose dolphins, samples ( = 5) of the 8 species of fish commonly consumed by free-ranging bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, FL, and the 7 species of fish and squid commonly fed to managed bottlenose dolphins were analyzed for nutrient content. Metabolizable energy was calculated using Atwater factors; the DCAD was calculated using 4 equations commonly used in people and animals that use different absorption coefficients. The nutrient composition of individual species was used to predict the DCAD of 2 model diets typically fed to managed common bottlenose dolphins and a model diet typically consumed by common bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay. To mimic differences in postmortem handling of fish for the 2 populations of bottlenose dolphins, "free-ranging" samples were immediately frozen at -80°C and minimally thawed before analysis, whereas "managed" samples were frozen for 6 to 9 mo at -18°C and completely thawed. "Free-ranging" species contained more Ca and P and less Na and Cl than "managed" fish and squid species. As a consequence, the DCAD of both model managed dolphin diets obtained using 3 of the 4 equations was much more negative than the DCAD of the model free-ranging bottlenose dolphin diet ( dolphins must excrete more protons in urine than free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, which will promote nephrolith formation. The nutrient composition of the free-ranging bottlenose

  10. High genetic structure and low mitochondrial diversity in bottlenose dolphins of the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama: A population at risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barragán-Barrera, Dalia C; May-Collado, Laura J; Tezanos-Pinto, Gabriela; Islas-Villanueva, Valentina; Correa-Cárdenas, Camilo A; Caballero, Susana

    2017-01-01

    The current conservation status of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) under the IUCN is 'least concern'. However, in the Caribbean, small and localized populations of the 'inshore form' may be at higher risk of extinction than the 'worldwide distributed form' due to a combination of factors including small population size, high site fidelity, genetic isolation, and range overlap with human activities. Here, we study the population genetic structure of bottlenose dolphins from the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama. This is a small population characterized by high site fidelity and is currently heavily-impacted by the local dolphin-watching industry. We collected skin tissue samples from 25 dolphins to study the genetic diversity and structure of this population. We amplified a portion of the mitochondrial Control Region (mtDNA-CR) and nine microsatellite loci. The mtDNA-CR analyses revealed that dolphins in Bocas del Toro belong to the 'inshore form', grouped with the Bahamas-Colombia-Cuba-Mexico population unit. They also possess a unique haplotype new for the Caribbean. The microsatellite data indicated that the Bocas del Toro dolphin population is highly structured, likely due to restricted movement patterns. Previous abundance estimates obtained with mark-recapture methods reported a small population of 80 dolphins (95% CI = 72-87), which is similar to the contemporary effective population size estimated in this study (Ne = 73 individuals; CI = 18.0 - ∞; 0.05). The combination of small population size, high degree of genetic isolation, and intense daily interactions with dolphin-watching boats puts the Bocas del Toro dolphin to at high risk of extinction. Despite national guidelines to regulate the dolphin-watching industry in Bocas del Toro and ongoing educational programs for tour operators, only in 2012 seven animals have died due to boat collisions. Our results suggest that the conservation status of bottlenose dolphins in Bocas del Toro

  11. High genetic structure and low mitochondrial diversity in bottlenose dolphins of the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama: A population at risk?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia C Barragán-Barrera

    Full Text Available The current conservation status of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus under the IUCN is 'least concern'. However, in the Caribbean, small and localized populations of the 'inshore form' may be at higher risk of extinction than the 'worldwide distributed form' due to a combination of factors including small population size, high site fidelity, genetic isolation, and range overlap with human activities. Here, we study the population genetic structure of bottlenose dolphins from the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama. This is a small population characterized by high site fidelity and is currently heavily-impacted by the local dolphin-watching industry. We collected skin tissue samples from 25 dolphins to study the genetic diversity and structure of this population. We amplified a portion of the mitochondrial Control Region (mtDNA-CR and nine microsatellite loci. The mtDNA-CR analyses revealed that dolphins in Bocas del Toro belong to the 'inshore form', grouped with the Bahamas-Colombia-Cuba-Mexico population unit. They also possess a unique haplotype new for the Caribbean. The microsatellite data indicated that the Bocas del Toro dolphin population is highly structured, likely due to restricted movement patterns. Previous abundance estimates obtained with mark-recapture methods reported a small population of 80 dolphins (95% CI = 72-87, which is similar to the contemporary effective population size estimated in this study (Ne = 73 individuals; CI = 18.0 - ∞; 0.05. The combination of small population size, high degree of genetic isolation, and intense daily interactions with dolphin-watching boats puts the Bocas del Toro dolphin to at high risk of extinction. Despite national guidelines to regulate the dolphin-watching industry in Bocas del Toro and ongoing educational programs for tour operators, only in 2012 seven animals have died due to boat collisions. Our results suggest that the conservation status of bottlenose dolphins in

  12. Spatial variation in the accumulation of POPs and mercury in bottlenose dolphins of the Lower Florida Keys and the coastal Everglades (South Florida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damseaux, France; Kiszka, Jeremy J; Heithaus, Michael R; Scholl, George; Eppe, Gauthier; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Lewis, Jennifer; Hao, Wensi; Fontaine, Michaël C; Das, Krishna

    2017-01-01

    The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an upper trophic level predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of southern Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE). The objective of this study was to assess contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in skin and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, DDXs, HCHs, HCB, Σ PCDD/Fs and Σ DL-PCBs) in blubber samples of bottlenose dolphins from LFK (n = 27) and FCE (n = 24). PCBs were the major class of compounds found in bottlenose dolphin blubber and were higher in individuals from LFK (Σ 6 PCBs LFK males: 13,421 ± 7730 ng g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs LFK females: 9683 ± 19,007 ng g-1 lipids) than from FCE (Σ 6 PCBs FCE males: 5638 ng g-1 ± 3627 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs FCE females: 1427 ± 908 ng g-1 lipids). These levels were lower than previously published data from the southeastern USA. The Σ DL-PCBs were the most prevalent pollutants of dioxin and dioxin like compounds (Σ DL-PCBs LFK: 739 ng g-1 lipids, Σ DL-PCBs FCE: 183 ng g-1 lipids) since PCDD/F concentrations were low for both locations (mean 0.1 ng g-1 lipids for LFK and FCE dolphins). The toxicity equivalences of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs expressed as TEQ in LFK and FCE dolphins is mainly expressed by DL-PCBs (81% LFK - 65% FCE). T-Hg concentrations in skin were significantly higher in FCE (FCE median 9314 ng g-1 dw) compared to LFK dolphins (LFK median 2941 ng g-1 dw). These concentrations are the highest recorded in bottlenose dolphins in the southeastern USA, and may be explained, at least partially, by the biogeochemistry of the Everglades and mangrove sedimentary habitats that create favourable conditions for the retention of mercury and make it available at high concentrations for aquatic predators. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Bacterial Species Identified on the Skin of Bottlenose Dolphins Off Southern California via Next Generation Sequencing Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Corey D; Weller, David W; Nelson, Karen E; Chivers, Susan J; Torralba, Manolito; Grimes, D Jay

    2017-10-28

    The dermis of cetaceans is in constant contact with microbial species. Although the skin of the bottlenose dolphin provides adequate defense against most disease-causing microbes, it also provides an environment for microbial community development. Microbial community uniqueness and richness associated with bottlenose dolphin skin is a function of varying habitats and changing environmental conditions. The current study uses ribosomal DNA as a marker to identify bacteria found on the skin of coastal and offshore bottlenose dolphins off of Southern California. The unique microbial communities recovered from these dolphins suggest a greater microbial diversity on the skin of offshore ecotype bottlenose dolphins, while microbial populations associated with the coastal ecotype include species that are more closely related to each other and that suggest exposure to communities that are likely to be associated with terrestrial runoff.

  14. Variability of Hormonal Stress Markers Collected from a Managed Dolphin Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Tursiops truncatus ),” corresponds to an incidential finding of the suppression of the HPA axis by megestrol acetate, a compound that is used by some...concentrations in relation to age, sex, pregnancy, and perinatal loss in bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ). Gen. Comp. Endocrin. 197: 73-81. doi

  15. Individual-based model framework to assess population consequences of polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in bottlenose dolphins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hall, A.J.; McConnell, B.J.; Rowles, T.K.; Aguilar, A.; Borrell, A.; Schwacke, L.; Reijnders, P.J.H.; Wells, R.

    2006-01-01

    Marine mammals are susceptible to the effects of anthropogenic contaminants. Here we examine the effect of different polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) accumulation scenarios on potential population growth rates using, as an example, data obtained for the population of bottlenose dolphins from Sarasota

  16. Morbillivirus-associated unusual mortality event in South Australian bottlenose dolphins is largest reported for the Southern Hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemper, C M; Tomo, I; Bingham, J; Bastianello, S S; Wang, J; Gibbs, S E; Woolford, L; Dickason, C; Kelly, D

    2016-12-01

    Cases of morbillivirus have been recorded in the Southern Hemisphere but have not been linked to significant marine mammal mortality. Post-mortems were conducted on 58 carcasses (44 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, two common bottlenose dolphins, 12 short-beaked common dolphins) from South Australia during 2005-2013, including an unusual mortality event (UME) in St Vincent Gulf Bioregion (SVG) during 2013. Diagnostic pathology, circumstance of death, body condition, age and stomach contents were documented for Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. At least 50 dolphins died during the UME, 41 were Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and most were young. The UME lasted about seven months and had two peaks, the first being the largest. Effect on the population is unknown. Diagnostic testing for morbillivirus was conducted on 57 carcasses, with evidence for infection in all species during 2011-2013. All tested UME bottlenose dolphins were positive for cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV), and the pathology included interstitial pneumonia, lymphoid depletion and syncytia. Concurrent pathologies, including lung parasite and fungal infections, and severe cutaneous bruising were observed in many dolphins. The event coincided with elevated water temperatures, a diatom bloom and significant fish die-offs. We conclude that the cause for the UME was multifactorial and that CeMV was a major contributor.

  17. Morbillivirus-associated unusual mortality event in South Australian bottlenose dolphins is largest reported for the Southern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomo, I.; Bingham, J.; Bastianello, S. S.; Wang, J.; Gibbs, S. E.; Woolford, L.; Dickason, C.; Kelly, D.

    2016-01-01

    Cases of morbillivirus have been recorded in the Southern Hemisphere but have not been linked to significant marine mammal mortality. Post-mortems were conducted on 58 carcasses (44 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, two common bottlenose dolphins, 12 short-beaked common dolphins) from South Australia during 2005–2013, including an unusual mortality event (UME) in St Vincent Gulf Bioregion (SVG) during 2013. Diagnostic pathology, circumstance of death, body condition, age and stomach contents were documented for Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. At least 50 dolphins died during the UME, 41 were Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and most were young. The UME lasted about seven months and had two peaks, the first being the largest. Effect on the population is unknown. Diagnostic testing for morbillivirus was conducted on 57 carcasses, with evidence for infection in all species during 2011–2013. All tested UME bottlenose dolphins were positive for cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV), and the pathology included interstitial pneumonia, lymphoid depletion and syncytia. Concurrent pathologies, including lung parasite and fungal infections, and severe cutaneous bruising were observed in many dolphins. The event coincided with elevated water temperatures, a diatom bloom and significant fish die-offs. We conclude that the cause for the UME was multifactorial and that CeMV was a major contributor. PMID:28083115

  18. Responses of Human-Habituated Wild Atlantic Spotted Dolphins to Play Behaviors Using a Two-Way Human/Dolphin Interface

    OpenAIRE

    Denise L. Herzing; Delfour, Fabienne; Pack, Adam A.

    2012-01-01

    Since 1985, a well-studied community of free ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, and bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, has been observed underwater in the Bahamas. Over this period, the dolphins have become habituated to human swimmers. Long-term underwater observations revealed that some of these dolphins engaged in play behavior using man-made and natural objects in the presence of humans, and allowed humans to interact with them during play. We investigated the do...

  19. Don?t forget the porpoise: acoustic monitoring reveals fine scale temporal variation between bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise in Cardigan Bay SAC

    OpenAIRE

    Nuuttila, Hanna K.; Courtene-Jones, Winnie; Baulch, Sarah; Simon, Malene; Evans, Peter G. H.

    2017-01-01

    Populations of bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise inhabit Cardigan Bay, which was designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), with bottlenose dolphin listed as a primary feature for its conservation status. Understanding the abundance, distribution and habitat use of species is fundamental for conservation and the implementation of management. Bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise usage of feeding sites within Cardigan Bay SAC was examined using passive acoustic monitoring. Acoust...

  20. TOXOPLASMOSIS IN CAPTIVE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) AND WALRUS (ODOBENUS ROSMRUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a seaquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose ...

  1. Stress Hormones and their Regulation in a Captive Dolphin Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Dolphin Population Cory D Champagne & Dorian S. Houser National Marine Mammal Foundation 2240 Shelter Island Dr, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92106 phone...understanding of how the stress response operates in marine mammals by evaluating markers of stress in a captive dolphin population. It determines...baseline levels of putative stress hormones and evaluates the functional consequences of increased stress in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops

  2. High Frequency Components in Bottlenose Dolphin Echolocation Signals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Toland, Ronald

    1998-01-01

    .... To assess the importance of these high frequencies in dolphin echolocation and target identification, experiments were performed in which an acoustic filter, used to suppress the high frequencies...

  3. A kinematic study on (un)intentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Luisa; Bulgheroni, Maria; Tizzi, Raffaella; Castiello, Umberto

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of observing other's movements on subsequent performance in bottlenose dolphins. The imitative ability of non-human animals has intrigued a number of researchers. So far, however, studies in dolphins have been confined to intentional imitation concerned with the explicit request to imitate other agents. In the absence of instruction to imitate, do dolphins (un)intentionally replicate other's movement features? To test this, dolphins were filmed while reaching and touching a stimulus before and after observing another dolphin (i.e., model) performing the same action. All videos were reviewed and segmented in order to extract the relevant movements. A marker was inserted post hoc via software on the videos upon the anatomical landmark of interest (i.e., rostrum) and was tracked throughout the time course of the movement sequence. The movement was analyzed using an in-house software developed to perform two-dimensional (2D) post hoc kinematic analysis. The results indicate that dolphins' kinematics is sensitive to other's movement features. Movements performed for the "visuomotor priming" condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern similar to that performed by the observed dolphin (i.e., model). Addressing the issue of spontaneous imitation in bottlenose dolphins might allow ascertaining whether the potential or impulse to produce an imitative action is generated, not just when they intend to imitate, but whenever they watch another conspecific's behavior. In closing, this will clarify whether motor representational capacity is a by-product of factors specific to humans or whether more general characteristics such as processes of associative learning prompted by high level of encephalization could help to explain the evolution of this ability.

  4. Analysis and Modeling of Echolocation Signals Emitted by Mediterranean Bottlenose Dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greco Maria

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the echolocation sounds emitted by Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins. We extracted the click trains by visual inspection of the data files recorded along the coast of the Tuscany with the collaboration of the CETUS Research Center. We modeled the extracted sonar clicks as Gaussian or exponential multicomponent signals, we estimated the characteristic parameters and compared the data with the reconstructed signals based on the estimates. Results about the estimation and the data fitting are largely shown in the paper.

  5. A kinematic study on (un)intentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Luisa; Bulgheroni, Maria; Tizzi, Raffaella; Castiello, Umberto

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of observing other’s movements on subsequent performance in bottlenose dolphins. The imitative ability of non-human animals has intrigued a number of researchers. So far, however, studies in dolphins have been confined to intentional imitation concerned with the explicit request to imitate other agents. In the absence of instruction to imitate, do dolphins (un)intentionally replicate other’s movement features? To test this, dolphins were filmed while reaching and touching a stimulus before and after observing another dolphin (i.e., model) performing the same action. All videos were reviewed and segmented in order to extract the relevant movements. A marker was inserted post hoc via software on the videos upon the anatomical landmark of interest (i.e., rostrum) and was tracked throughout the time course of the movement sequence. The movement was analyzed using an in-house software developed to perform two-dimensional (2D) post hoc kinematic analysis. The results indicate that dolphins’ kinematics is sensitive to other’s movement features. Movements performed for the “visuomotor priming” condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern similar to that performed by the observed dolphin (i.e., model). Addressing the issue of spontaneous imitation in bottlenose dolphins might allow ascertaining whether the potential or impulse to produce an imitative action is generated, not just when they intend to imitate, but whenever they watch another conspecific’s behavior. In closing, this will clarify whether motor representational capacity is a by-product of factors specific to humans or whether more general characteristics such as processes of associative learning prompted by high level of encephalization could help to explain the evolution of this ability. PMID:26300764

  6. The experience of self in the bottlenose dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, D; Whitlow, J W

    1995-06-01

    Marten and Psarakos have presented some evidence which suggests that objective self-awareness and possibly representations of self may characterize the dolphins' experience of self. Their research demonstrates the possibility of similarities in the sense of self between primate species and dolphins, although whether dolphins have subjective self-awareness, personal memories, and theories of self--all important facets of the sense of self in humans--was not examined. Clearly, even this limited evidence was difficult to achieve; the difficulties in adapting methods and coding behavior are quite apparent in their report. Future progress, however, may depend upon clarification of what are the necessary components for a sense of self and an explication of how these might be reflected in dolphin behavior. We are mindful of the authors' point (pp. 219 and 220) that the dolphin lives more in an acoustic than a visual environment. Thus, while tasks relying upon vision may reveal the presence or absence of the sense of self in primates, it might well be the case that in dolphins self-related experiences might be better revealed in auditory tasks. But then, what is the nature of human self-awareness in terms of audition? While both conceptual and methodological hurdles remain, Marten and Psarakos have demonstrated that important questions can be asked about the minds and phenomenal worlds of nonanthropoid species.

  7. Travel at low energetic cost by swimming and wave-riding bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, T M; Friedl, W A; Fong, M L; Yamada, R M; Sedivy, P; Haun, J E

    1992-02-27

    Over the past 50 years there has been much speculation about the energetic cost of swimming and wave-riding by dolphins. When aligned properly in front of the bow of moving ships in the stern wake of small boats, on wind waves, and even in the wake of larger cetaceans, the animals appear to move effortlessly through the water without the benefit of propulsive strokes by the flukes. Theoretically, body streamlining as well as other anatomical and behavioural adaptations contribute to low transport costs in these animals. The economy of movement permitted by wave-riding has been perceived as an energetic advantage for the swimming dolphin, but has been hard to prove in the absence of physiological data for exercising cetaceans. Here we determine the aerobic and anaerobic costs of swimming and wave-riding in bottlenose dolphins and find that the minimum cost of transport for swimming dolphins is 1.29 +/- 0.05 J kg-1 m-1 at a cruising speed of 2.1 m s-1. Aerobic costs are nearly twice as high for swimming seals and sea lions, and 8-12 times higher for human swimmers. Wave-riding by dolphins provides additional benefits in terms of speed. The results indicate that behavioural, physiological and morphological factors make swimming an economical form of high-speed travel for dolphins.

  8. Evaluation of seasonal changes of serum and plasma estradiol-17β, progesterone and testosterone in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) by chemiluminescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fragalà, Santo; Medica, Pietro; Grande, Francesco; Vazzana, Irene; Fazio, Esterina

    2015-08-01

    The purpose of the research was to test and validate an innovative and safe chemiluminescence method to evaluate sexual hormones in serum and plasma samples of Tursiops truncatus. The research was performed on 9 bottlenose dolphins entertained in Oltremare and in Zoomarine aquatic parks, sampled by the tail vein or from the ventral one and an ultrasound monitoring, throughout a 6 months period. Blood samples were analyzed using a chemiluminescence method. Data obtained were compared to radioimmunoassay and enzyme immuno assay reference data, with the purpose to test and validate this method, through the calculation of the coefficient of variability, and its reliability on serum and plasma samples. A one-way analysis of variance was applied to test the effect of time on serum and plasma hormonal changes. Mean concentrations of estradiol-17β in serum were equal to 149.07±6.82 pmol/L, and in plasma equal to 159.14±12.99 pmol/L; mean values of progesterone in serum were equal to 0.69±0.05 pmol/L, and in plasma equal to 0.64±0.05 pmol/L; mean values of testosterone in serum were equal to 44.43±14.42 nmol/L, and in plasma equal to 48.99±11.20 nmol/L. It would be interesting to widen the investigations on a larger number of subjects, in which the relationship between the concentrations of free and binding steroid hormones, with the dosing of binding proteins, would define the physiological ranges of reference in the T. truncatus.

  9. Gotta Go, Mom’s Calling: Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Mothers Use Individually Distinctive Acoustic Signals To Call Their Calves

    OpenAIRE

    Stan A. Kuczaj II; Holli C. Eskelinen; Brittany L. Jones; Jill L. Borger-Turner

    2015-01-01

    Dolphin calves often wander away from their mothers, which can compromise their safety and survival. Mothers can retrieve their calves by actively pursuing them or by signaling their wandering calves to return. However, little is known about the retrieval techniques employed by mothers in specific calf recall contexts. We experimentally investigated maternal calf retrieval methods by assessing behavioral and acoustic strategies employed by three Atlantic bottlenose dolphin mothers to elicit t...

  10. Decades-long social memory in bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruck, Jason N

    2013-10-07

    Long-term social memory is important, because it is an ecologically relevant test of cognitive capacity, it helps us understand which social relationships are remembered and it relates two seemingly disparate disciplines: cognition and sociality. For dolphins, long-term memory for conspecifics could help assess social threats as well as potential social or hunting alliances in a very fluid and complex fission-fusion social system, yet we have no idea how long dolphins can remember each other. Through a playback study conducted within a multi-institution dolphin breeding consortium (where animals are moved between different facilities), recognition of unfamiliar versus familiar signature whistles of former tank mates was assessed. This research shows that dolphins have the potential for lifelong memory for each other regardless of relatedness, sex or duration of association. This is, to my knowledge, the first study to show that social recognition can last for at least 20 years in a non-human species and the first large-scale study to address long-term memory in a cetacean. These results, paired with evidence from elephants and humans, provide suggestive evidence that sociality and cognition could be related, as a good memory is necessary in a fluid social system.

  11. Bottlenose dolphins engaging in more social affiliative behaviour judge ambiguous cues more optimistically.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Isabella L K; Rödel, Heiko G; Delfour, Fabienne

    2017-03-30

    Cognitive bias tests measure variation in emotional appraisal and are validated methods to assess animals' affective states. However, the link between social behaviours and cognitive bias has not yet been investigated. Bottlenose dolphins are a gregarious species for whom welfare research is increasing in importance, and thus are a good model to test such an association. We adapted a spatial location judgement bias test for eight captive bottlenose dolphins to investigate the link between cognitive bias and social behaviour, where we conducted behavioural observations outside of training sessions and did not experimentally induce an affective state. Subjects showed stable individual differences in cognitive biases across the three test days. Furthermore, dolphins showing more synchronous swimming, a fundamental affiliative behaviour, judged ambiguous cues significantly more optimistically. Our longer-term data showed cognitive bias and synchronous swimming frequency were significantly associated for up to two months preceding the test, but disappeared prior to that, suggesting that here cognitive bias differences were reflected by transitory affective states rather than longer-term traits. We hypothesise that the frequency of synchronous swimming may induce affective states and/or be induced by them; either way, it has strong potential as an indicator of affective state in this species and beyond. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Unusual sighting of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) in the Kvarnerić, Northern Adriatic sea

    OpenAIRE

    Bearzi, Giovanni; Fortuna, Caterina Maria; Notabartolo di Sciara, Giuseppe

    1998-01-01

    An adult striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, was encountered east of the island of Lošinj on 6 May 1996, and observed from a small inflatable boat for 5 hours. The only cetacean species that has been consistently observed in the Northern Adriatic Sea in the last decades is the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. Occasional reports of striped dolphins in the Central and Northern Adriatic Sea may simply reflect the occurrence of stray individuals, but the fact that such observations ...

  13. Patterns of Dolphin Bycatch in a North-Western Australian Trawl Fishery

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, Simon J.; Julian A Tyne; Kobryn, Halina T.; Lars Bejder; Pollock, Kenneth H.; Neil R Loneragan

    2014-01-01

    The bycatch of small cetaceans in commercial fisheries is a global wildlife management problem. We used data from skippers' logbooks and independent observers to assess common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) bycatch patterns between 2003 and 2009 in the Pilbara Trawl Fishery, Western Australia. Both datasets indicated that dolphins were caught in all fishery areas, across all depths and throughout the year. Over the entire datasets, observer reported bycatch rates (n = 52 dolphins in ...

  14. Eighteen-year study of South Australian dolphins shows variation in lung nematodes by season, year, age class, and location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomo, Ikuko; Kemper, Catherine M; Lavery, Trish J

    2010-04-01

    Between 1990 and 2007, carcasses of opportunistically collected short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis; n=238), Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus; n=167), and common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus; n=15) were examined for parasites and life history data. Three species of lung nematodes (Halocercus lagenorhynchi, Stenurus ovatus, Pharurus alatus) were identified in surface nodules, subsurface lesions, or airways. Nematode burdens were light to heavy and, in many cases, would have compromised the dolphins' health. The number of dolphins infected was related to species, year, season, age class, and geographic region. Nematodes were found in all three species but were more prevalent in short-beaked common dolphins (mean annual prevalence=26%) than in bottlenose dolphins (12%). There was a significant increase in prevalence of nematodes in short-beaked common dolphins in 2005-06 (63%) compared to 1990-2004 (14%), with a peak in April-June. More young short-beaked common dolphins were infected than subadults and adults and, during the unusual infection event, there were more dependent calves (dolphin (Tursiops spp.) calves but no increase in overall prevalence was detected during 2005-06. Because neonates of both short-beaked common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins were infected, mother-to-calf transmission is suspected for these species in South Australia. Numbers of infections in short-beaked common dolphins were higher in Gulf St Vincent than elsewhere in South Australia, particularly in 2005-06. The cause of the unusual infection event in short-beaked common dolphins is unknown. We discuss the influence of dolphin diet, life history, and external factors.

  15. Successful treatment of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a bottlenose dolphin with high-dose posaconazole

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.E. Bunskoek (Paulien); S. Seyedmousavi (Seyedmojtaba); S. Gans (Steven); van Vierzen, P.B.J. (Peter B.J.); W.J. Melchers (Willem); C.E. van Elk; J.W. Mouton (Johan); P.E. Verweij (Paul)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractInvasive aspergillosis due to azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus is difficult to manage. We describe a case of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a female bottlenose dolphin, who failed to respond to voriconazole and posaconazole therapy. As intravenous therapy was precluded,

  16. Successful treatment of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a bottlenose dolphin with high-dose posaconazole

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bunskoek, P.E.; Seyedmousavi, S.; Gans, S.J.; Vierzen, P.B. van; Melchers, W.J.G.; Elk, C.E. van; Mouton, J.W.; Verweij, P.E.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis due to azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus is difficult to manage. We describe a case of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a female bottlenose dolphin, who failed to respond to voriconazole and posaconazole therapy. As intravenous therapy was precluded, high dose

  17. Comparison of mercury contamination in live and dead dolphins from a newly described species, Tursiops australis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alissa Monk

    Full Text Available Globally it is estimated that up to 37% of all marine mammals are at a risk of extinction, due in particular to human impacts, including coastal pollution. Dolphins are known to be at risk from anthropogenic contaminants due to their longevity and high trophic position. While it is known that beach-cast animals are often high in contaminants, it has not been possible to determine whether levels may also be high in live animals from the same populations. In this paper we quantitatively assess mercury contamination in the two main populations of a newly described dolphin species from south eastern Australia, Tursiops australis. This species appear to be limited to coastal waters in close proximity to a major urban centre, and as such is likely to be vulnerable to anthropogenic pollution. For the first time, we were able to compare blubber mercury concentrations from biopsy samples of live individuals and necropsies of beach-cast animals and show that beach-cast animals were highly contaminated with mercury, at almost three times the levels found in live animals. Levels in live animals were also high, and are attributable to chronic low dose exposure to mercury from the dolphin's diet. Measurable levels of mercury were found in a number of important prey fish species. This illustrates the potential for low dose toxins in the environment to pass through marine food webs and potentially contribute to marine mammal deaths. This study demonstrates the potential use of blubber from biopsy samples to make inferences about the health of dolphins exposed to mercury.

  18. Comparison of Mercury Contamination in Live and Dead Dolphins from a Newly Described Species, Tursiops australis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monk, Alissa; Charlton-Robb, Kate; Buddhadasa, Saman; Thompson, Ross M.

    2014-01-01

    Globally it is estimated that up to 37% of all marine mammals are at a risk of extinction, due in particular to human impacts, including coastal pollution. Dolphins are known to be at risk from anthropogenic contaminants due to their longevity and high trophic position. While it is known that beach-cast animals are often high in contaminants, it has not been possible to determine whether levels may also be high in live animals from the same populations. In this paper we quantitatively assess mercury contamination in the two main populations of a newly described dolphin species from south eastern Australia, Tursiops australis. This species appear to be limited to coastal waters in close proximity to a major urban centre, and as such is likely to be vulnerable to anthropogenic pollution. For the first time, we were able to compare blubber mercury concentrations from biopsy samples of live individuals and necropsies of beach-cast animals and show that beach-cast animals were highly contaminated with mercury, at almost three times the levels found in live animals. Levels in live animals were also high, and are attributable to chronic low dose exposure to mercury from the dolphin's diet. Measurable levels of mercury were found in a number of important prey fish species. This illustrates the potential for low dose toxins in the environment to pass through marine food webs and potentially contribute to marine mammal deaths. This study demonstrates the potential use of blubber from biopsy samples to make inferences about the health of dolphins exposed to mercury. PMID:25137255

  19. Why are male social relationships complex in the Doubtful Sound bottlenose dolphin population?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Lusseau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Access to oestrus females tends to be the main driver of male sociality. This factor can lead to complex behavioural interactions between males and groups of males. Male bottlenose dolphins may form alliances to consort females and to compete with other males. In some populations these alliances may form temporary coalitions when competing for females. I examined the role of dyadic and group interactions in the association patterns of male bottlenose dolphins in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. There is no apparent mating competition in this population and no consortship has been observed, yet agonistic interactions between males occur regularly. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By comparing the network of male interactions in several social dimensions (affiliative, agonistic, and associative I show that while agonistic interactions relate to dyadic association patterns, affiliative interactions seem to relate to group association patterns. Some evidence suggests that groups of males also formed temporary coalitions during agonistic interactions. While different groups of males had similar relationships with non-oestrus females, the time they spent with oestrus females and mothers of newborns differed greatly. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: After considering several hypotheses, I propose that the evolution of these complex relationships was driven by sexual competition probably to out-compete other males for female choice.

  20. Passive acoustic monitoring of bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise, in Cardigan Bay, Wales, with implications for habitat use and partitioning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, Malene Juul; Nuuttila, Hanna; Reyes-Zamudio, Mercedes M

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge about harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin occurrence in Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Wales, is limited to daylight hours during summer, when conditions are suitable for traditional visual surveys. T-PODs are autonomous instruments programmed to log time-cues of s......Knowledge about harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin occurrence in Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Wales, is limited to daylight hours during summer, when conditions are suitable for traditional visual surveys. T-PODs are autonomous instruments programmed to log time......-cues of species-specific echolocation signals for long periods of time. Here we investigated bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise habitat use and partitioning by deploying ten calibrated T-PODs in Cardigan Bay SAC for one year. The T-PODs detected both species all year round with a peak of detections in April......-October for dolphins and in October-March for porpoise, revealing a previously unknown importance of the place to harbour porpoise during winter. Though the two species are sympatric, simultaneous detections of both species were rare and indication of temporal habitat partitioning between the two species in some parts...

  1. Genomic and expression analyses of Tursiops truncatus T cell receptor gamma (TRG) and alpha/delta (TRA/TRD) loci reveal a similar basic public γδ repertoire in dolphin and human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linguiti, Giovanna; Antonacci, Rachele; Tasco, Gianluca; Grande, Francesco; Casadio, Rita; Massari, Serafina; Castelli, Vito; Consiglio, Arianna; Lefranc, Marie-Paule; Ciccarese, Salvatrice

    2016-08-15

    The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a mammal that belongs to the Cetartiodactyla and have lived in marine ecosystems for nearly 60 millions years. Despite its popularity, our knowledge about its adaptive immunity and evolution is very limited. Furthermore, nothing is known about the genomics and evolution of dolphin antigen receptor immunity. Here we report a evolutionary and expression study of Tursiops truncatus T cell receptor gamma (TRG) and alpha/delta (TRA/TRD) genes. We have identified in silico the TRG and TRA/TRD genes and analyzed the relevant mature transcripts in blood and in skin from four subjects. The dolphin TRG locus is the smallest and simplest of all mammalian loci as yet studied. It shows a genomic organization comprising two variable (V1 and V2), three joining (J1, J2 and J3) and a single constant (C), genes. Despite the fragmented nature of the genome assemblies, we deduced the TRA/TRD locus organization, with the recent TRDV1 subgroup genes duplications, as it is expected in artiodactyls. Expression analysis from blood of a subject allowed us to assign unambiguously eight TRAV genes to those annotated in the genomic sequence and to twelve new genes, belonging to five different subgroups. All transcripts were productive and no relevant biases towards TRAV-J rearrangements are observed. Blood and skin from four unrelated subjects expression data provide evidence for an unusual ratio of productive/unproductive transcripts which arise from the TRG V-J gene rearrangement and for a "public" gamma delta TR repertoire. The productive cDNA sequences, shared both in the same and in different individuals, include biases of the TRGV1 and TRGJ2 genes. The high frequency of TRGV1-J2/TRDV1- D1-J4 productive rearrangements in dolphins may represent an interesting oligo-clonal population comparable to that found in human with the TRGV9- JP/TRDV2-D-J T cells and in primates. Although the features of the TRG and TRA/TRD loci organization reflect

  2. Copper Levels in Tissues of Dolphins Tursiops truncatus, Stenella coeruleoalba and Grampus griseus from the Croatian Adriatic Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilandžić, Nina; Đokić, Maja; Sedak, Marija; Đuras, Martina; Gomerčić, Tomislav; Benić, Miroslav

    2016-09-01

    Copper concentrations were determined in muscle, liver, kidney, spleen and lung tissues of three dolphin species. Dolphins of Tursiops truncatus (young and adult), Stenella coeruleoalba and Grampus griseus were stranded along the Croatian coast. Concentrations in tissues of all three dolphin species were highest in the liver (4.92-16.5 μg/g) followed by kidney (2.85-5.29 μg/g). Similar levels were measured in muscle, spleen and lung in range 1.13-3.67 μg/g. Statistics analysis showed significant differences of Cu concentrations for muscle (p = 0.008), kidney (p = 0.04) and liver (p = 0.02) between the three dolphin species. Also, for all three species significant differences between tissue types of the same species were determined (p < 0.001, all). However, there were no significant differences in Cu levels of the same tissues between males and females within same species. Also, significant differences of body length and weight between three dolphin were found (p < 0.001, both).

  3. Prion search and cellular prion protein expression in stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, G; Cocumelli, C; Meoli, R; Barbaro, K; Terracciano, G; Di Francesco, C E; Mazzariol, S; Eleni, C

    2012-01-01

    The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso s dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine.

  4. Gotta Go, Mom’s Calling: Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus Mothers Use Individually Distinctive Acoustic Signals To Call Their Calves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stan A. Kuczaj II

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Dolphin calves often wander away from their mothers, which can compromise their safety and survival. Mothers can retrieve their calves by actively pursuing them or by signaling their wandering calves to return. However, little is known about the retrieval techniques employed by mothers in specific calf recall contexts. We experimentally investigated maternal calf retrieval methods by assessing behavioral and acoustic strategies employed by three Atlantic bottlenose dolphin mothers to elicit their calf’s return in a controlled, non-threatening setting. Three mothers were asked to retrieve their calves on cue in this setting, and could do so however they chose. Mothers were much more likely to use energetically less costly acoustic signals than physical retrievals. Each mother produced individually distinctive calls that incorporated the mother’s signature whistle but often also involved additional whistles and clicks. The dolphin mothers’ use of individually distinctive calls to request a calf’s return is consistent with the notion that other dolphins can distinguish such calls and provides additional support for the notion that dolphin communication is flexible rather than fixed.

  5. Don't forget the porpoise: acoustic monitoring reveals fine scale temporal variation between bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise in Cardigan Bay SAC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuuttila, Hanna K; Courtene-Jones, Winnie; Baulch, Sarah; Simon, Malene; Evans, Peter G H

    2017-01-01

    Populations of bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise inhabit Cardigan Bay, which was designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), with bottlenose dolphin listed as a primary feature for its conservation status. Understanding the abundance, distribution and habitat use of species is fundamental for conservation and the implementation of management. Bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise usage of feeding sites within Cardigan Bay SAC was examined using passive acoustic monitoring. Acoustic detections recorded with calibrated T-PODs (acoustic data loggers) indicated harbour porpoise to be present year round and in greater relative abundance than bottlenose dolphin. Fine-scale temporal partitioning between the species occurred at three levels: (1) seasonal differences, consistent between years, with porpoise detections peaking in winter months and dolphin detections in summer months; (2) diel variation, consistent across sites, seasons and years, with porpoise detections highest at night and dolphin detections highest shortly after sunrise; and (3) tidal variation was observed with peak dolphin detections occurring during ebb at the middle of the tidal cycle and before low tide, whereas harbour porpoise detections were highest at slack water, during and after high water with a secondary peak recorded during and after low water. General Additive Models (GAMs) were applied to better understand the effects of each covariate. The reported abundance and distribution of the two species, along with the temporal variation observed, have implications for the design and management of protected areas. Currently, in the UK, no SACs have been formally designated for harbour porpoise while three exist for bottlenose dolphins. Here, we demonstrate a need for increased protection and species-specific mitigation measures for harbour porpoise.

  6. Cutaneous Granulomas in Dolphins Caused by Novel Uncultivated Paracoccidioides brasiliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilela, Raquel; Bossart, Gregory D; St Leger, Judy A; Dalton, Leslie M; Reif, John S; Schaefer, Adam M; McCarthy, Peter J; Fair, Patricia A; Mendoza, Leonel

    2016-12-01

    Cutaneous granulomas in dolphins were believed to be caused by Lacazia loboi, which also causes a similar disease in humans. This hypothesis was recently challenged by reports that fungal DNA sequences from dolphins grouped this pathogen with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. We conducted phylogenetic analysis of fungi from 6 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with cutaneous granulomas and chains of yeast cells in infected tissues. Kex gene sequences of P. brasiliensis from dolphins showed 100% homology with sequences from cultivated P. brasiliensis, 73% with those of L. loboi, and 93% with those of P. lutzii. Parsimony analysis placed DNA sequences from dolphins within a cluster with human P. brasiliensis strains. This cluster was the sister taxon to P. lutzii and L. loboi. Our molecular data support previous findings and suggest that a novel uncultivated strain of P. brasiliensis restricted to cutaneous lesions in dolphins is probably the cause of lacaziosis/lobomycosis, herein referred to as paracoccidioidomycosis ceti.

  7. Cutaneous Granulomas in Dolphins Caused by Novel Uncultivated Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilela, Raquel; Bossart, Gregory D.; St. Leger, Judy A.; Dalton, Leslie M.; Reif, John S.; Schaefer, Adam M.; McCarthy, Peter J.; Fair, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Cutaneous granulomas in dolphins were believed to be caused by Lacazia loboi, which also causes a similar disease in humans. This hypothesis was recently challenged by reports that fungal DNA sequences from dolphins grouped this pathogen with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. We conducted phylogenetic analysis of fungi from 6 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with cutaneous granulomas and chains of yeast cells in infected tissues. Kex gene sequences of P. brasiliensis from dolphins showed 100% homology with sequences from cultivated P. brasiliensis, 73% with those of L. loboi, and 93% with those of P. lutzii. Parsimony analysis placed DNA sequences from dolphins within a cluster with human P. brasiliensis strains. This cluster was the sister taxon to P. lutzii and L. loboi. Our molecular data support previous findings and suggest that a novel uncultivated strain of P. brasiliensis restricted to cutaneous lesions in dolphins is probably the cause of lacaziosis/lobomycosis, herein referred to as paracoccidioidomycosis ceti. PMID:27869614

  8. Reproductive activity after induced anestrus using altrenogest in Tursiops truncatus females in captivity in marine environment

    OpenAIRE

    Herrera, J. A.; R. Sánchez; Bernal, J. A.; López, A; J. G. Rivera; Guzmán, A.; Ávalos, A.

    2015-01-01

    i nterest to reproduce Bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ) in captivity has increased due to the international restrictions for its commercialization and the risks and logistical difficulties for transporting specimens. Therefore, it has become important to study its reproductive biology in captivity. The objective of the present study was to determine altrenogest ( r egumate ®) post-treatment indicators of vaginal cytology, estradiol levels and restarting of reproductive activity ...

  9. What Laboratory Research has Told Us about Dolphin Cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Herman, Louis M.

    2010-01-01

    Studies of sensory, cognitive, and communicative skills of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were carried out over a 34-year period at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Honolulu. Findings on sensory skills included fine discrimination of auditory frequency differences andauditory duration, good visual resolution capabilities in water and in air, and sharing of object recognition across the senses of vision and echolocation. Short-term memory for auditory and visual materials...

  10. Successful treatment of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a bottlenose dolphin with high-dose posaconazole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulien E. Bunskoek

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Invasive aspergillosis due to azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus is difficult to manage. We describe a case of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a female bottlenose dolphin, who failed to respond to voriconazole and posaconazole therapy. As intravenous therapy was precluded, high dose posaconazole was initiated aimed at achieving trough levels exceeding 3 mg/l. Posaconazole serum levels of 3–9.5 mg/l were achieved without significant side-effects. Follow-up bronchoscopy and computed tomography showed complete resolution of the lesions.

  11. Natural Variation in Stress Hormones, Comparisons Across Matrices, and Impacts Resulting from Induced Stress in the Bottlenose Dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, Dorian S; Champagne, Cory D; Crocker, Daniel E; Kellar, Nicholas M; Cockrem, John; Romano, Tracy; Booth, Rebecca K; Wasser, Samuel K

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge regarding stress hormones and how they vary in response to seasonality, gender, age, and reproductive status for any marine mammal is limited. Furthermore, stress hormones may be measured in more than one matrix (e.g., feces, blood, blubber), but the relationships between levels of a given hormone across these matrices are unknown, further complicating the interpretations of hormones measured in samples collected from wild animals. A study is underway to address these issues in a population of bottlenose dolphins trained for voluntary participation in sample collections from different matrices and across season and time of day.

  12. The environment as a driver of immune and endocrine responses in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia A Fair

    Full Text Available Immune and endocrine responses play a critical role in allowing animals to adjust to environmental perturbations. We measured immune and endocrine related markers in multiple samples from individuals from two managed-care care dolphin groups (n = 82 samples from 17 dolphins and single samples collected from two wild dolphin populations: Indian River Lagoon, (IRL FL (n = 26; and Charleston, (CHS SC (n = 19. The immune systems of wild dolphins were more upregulated than those of managed-care-dolphins as shown by higher concentrations of IgG and increases in lysozyme, NK cell function, pathogen antibody titers and leukocyte cytokine transcript levels. Collectively, managed-care care dolphins had significantly lower levels of transcripts encoding pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF, anti-viral MX1 and INFα and regulatory IL-10. IL-2Rα and CD69, markers of lymphocyte activation, were both lower in managed-care care dolphins. IL-4, a cytokine associated with TH2 activity, was lower in managed-care care dolphins compared to the free-ranging dolphins. Differences in immune parameters appear to reflect the environmental conditions under which these four dolphin populations live which vary widely in temperature, nutrition, veterinary care, pathogen/contaminant exposures, etc. Many of the differences found were consistent with reduced pathogenic antigenic stimulation in managed-care care dolphins compared to wild dolphins. Managed-care care dolphins had relatively low TH2 lymphocyte activity and fewer circulating eosinophils compared to wild dolphins. Both of these immunologic parameters are associated with exposure to helminth parasites which is uncommon in managed-care care dolphins. Less consistent trends were observed in a suite of hormones but significant differences were found for cortisol, ACTH, total T4, free T3, and epinephrine. While the underlying mechanisms are likely multiple and complex, the marked differences observed in the immune and endocrine

  13. The environment as a driver of immune and endocrine responses in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Schaefer, Adam M; Houser, Dorian S; Bossart, Gregory D; Romano, Tracy A; Champagne, Cory D; Stott, Jeffrey L; Rice, Charles D; White, Natasha; Reif, John S

    2017-01-01

    Immune and endocrine responses play a critical role in allowing animals to adjust to environmental perturbations. We measured immune and endocrine related markers in multiple samples from individuals from two managed-care care dolphin groups (n = 82 samples from 17 dolphins and single samples collected from two wild dolphin populations: Indian River Lagoon, (IRL) FL (n = 26); and Charleston, (CHS) SC (n = 19). The immune systems of wild dolphins were more upregulated than those of managed-care-dolphins as shown by higher concentrations of IgG and increases in lysozyme, NK cell function, pathogen antibody titers and leukocyte cytokine transcript levels. Collectively, managed-care care dolphins had significantly lower levels of transcripts encoding pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF, anti-viral MX1 and INFα and regulatory IL-10. IL-2Rα and CD69, markers of lymphocyte activation, were both lower in managed-care care dolphins. IL-4, a cytokine associated with TH2 activity, was lower in managed-care care dolphins compared to the free-ranging dolphins. Differences in immune parameters appear to reflect the environmental conditions under which these four dolphin populations live which vary widely in temperature, nutrition, veterinary care, pathogen/contaminant exposures, etc. Many of the differences found were consistent with reduced pathogenic antigenic stimulation in managed-care care dolphins compared to wild dolphins. Managed-care care dolphins had relatively low TH2 lymphocyte activity and fewer circulating eosinophils compared to wild dolphins. Both of these immunologic parameters are associated with exposure to helminth parasites which is uncommon in managed-care care dolphins. Less consistent trends were observed in a suite of hormones but significant differences were found for cortisol, ACTH, total T4, free T3, and epinephrine. While the underlying mechanisms are likely multiple and complex, the marked differences observed in the immune and endocrine systems of wild

  14. An insight into the epidemiology of dolphin morbillivirus worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, M; Waerebeek, K V; Jepson, P D; Raga, J A; Duignan, P J; Nielsen, O; Di Beneditto, A P; Siciliano, S; Ramos, R; Kant, W; Peddemors, V; Kinoshita, R; Ross, P S; López-Fernandez, A; Evans, K; Crespo, E; Barrett, T

    2001-08-20

    Serum samples from 288 cetaceans representing 25 species and originating from 11 different countries were collected between 1995 and 1999 and examined for the presence of dolphin morbillivirus (DMV)-specific antibodies by an indirect ELISA (iELISA) (N = 267) or a plaque reduction assay (N = 21). A total of 35 odontocetes were seropositive: three harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and a common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) from the Northeastern (NE) Atlantic, a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from Kent (England), three striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), two Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) and a bottlenose dolphin from the Mediterranean Sea, one common dolphin from the Southwest (SW) Indian Ocean, three Fraser's dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) from the SW Atlantic, 18 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) and a bottlenose dolphin from the SW Pacific as well as a captive bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) originally from Taiwan. The presence of morbillivirus antibodies in 17 of these animals was further examined in other iELISAs and virus neutralization tests. Our results indicate that DMV infects cetaceans worldwide. This is the first report of DMV-seropositive animals from the SW Indian, SW Atlantic and West Pacific Oceans. Prevalence of DMV-seropositives was 85.7% in 21 pilot whales from the SW Pacific and both sexually mature and immature individuals were infected. This indicates that DMV is endemic in these animals. The same situation may occur among Fraser's dolphins from the SW Atlantic. The prevalence of DMV-seropositives was 5.26% and 5.36% in 19 common dolphins and 56 harbour porpoise from the NE Atlantic, respectively, and 18.75% in 16 striped dolphins from the Mediterranean. Prevalence varied significantly with sexual maturity in harbour porpoises and striped dolphins; all DMV-seropositives being mature animals. The prevalence of seropositive harbour porpoise and striped dolphins appeared to have decreased since previous

  15. Body and self in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Louis M

    2012-03-01

    In keeping with recent views of consciousness of self as represented in the body in action, empirical studies are reviewed that demonstrate a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) conscious awareness of its own body and body parts, implying a representational "body image" system. Additional work reviewed demonstrates an advanced capability of dolphins for motor imitation of self-produced behaviors and of behaviors of others, including imitation of human actions, supporting hypotheses that dolphins have a sense of agency and ownership of their actions and may implicitly attribute those levels of self-awareness to others. Possibly, a mirror-neuron system, or its functional equivalent to that described in monkeys and humans, may mediate both self-awareness and awareness of others. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in wild dolphins from the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezón, O; Resendes, A R; Domingo, M; Raga, J A; Agustí, C; Alegre, F; Mons, J L; Dubey, J P; Almería, S

    2004-06-01

    Although Toxoplasma gondii infection has been found occasionally in cetaceans, little is known of the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii in wild dolphins. Antibodies to T. gondii were determined in serum samples from 58 dolphins stranded in the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Modified agglutination test was used to determine T. gondii antibodies, and a titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 4 of 36 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), in 2 of 4 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), in 4 of 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and in 1 harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Antibodies were not found in 9 Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) and in 1 long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) surveyed. The results indicate that T. gondii infection is frequent in at least 3 dolphin species from the Mediterranean Sea.

  17. Pathophysiology of Stress in Wild and Managed-Care Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    blood count (CBC) and serum collected in serum separator tubes (Beckon, Dickinson, and Co., Franklin Lakes, NJ). The tubes were carefully inverted ...environmental stressors such as elevated sound levels, intense light, or low blood sugar . Method: Catecholamines were measured by Dr Tracy Romano of

  18. Development and Functions of Signature Whistles of Free-Ranging Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-09-01

    sharing in the vampire bat . Nature 308: 181-184. Ydenberg, R. C., L A. Giraldeau, and J. B. Falls. 1988. Neighbours, strangers, and the asymmetric war of...STUDY REFERENCE FOCUS Bats PO Balcombe 1990 PO,VW Balcombe and McCracken 1992 VV Gelfand and McCracken 1986 PO Turner et al. 1972 Squirrel monkey G,NS...for many other species (Buckley and Buckley 1972, Evans 1970). Group living bats (Balcombe 1990), reindeer (Espmark 1971), fur seals (Trillmich 1981

  19. Correlates of Cytochrome P450 1A1 Expression in Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Integument Biopsies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilson, J.Y.; Wells, R.; Anguilar, A.; Borrell, A.; Tornero, V.; Reijnders, P.J.H.; Moore, M.

    2007-01-01

    Integument biopsy is a nondestructive method for sampling free-ranging cetaceans, which allows for the determination of both contaminant concentrations and biomarker responses. Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) expression is induced by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and planar halogenated aromatic

  20. Measuring and Validating Levels of Steroid Hormones in the Skin of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Measuring and Validating Levels of Steroid Hormones in...Bechshøft, has recently shown that it is possible to extract and measure hormones in cetacean skin (Bechshoft et al. 2015). The goal of this project...is to expand on the developed method by extracting and quantifying the concentration of a wider range of steroid hormones in cetacean skin