WorldWideScience

Sample records for cetaceans

  1. The Cetaceans

    Verwey, J.

    1975-01-01

    In this paper observations are summarized, dealing with the occurrence, movements and part of the life-history of the Cetaceans Tursiops truncatus (the bottlenosed dolphin) and Phocoena phocoena (the harbour porpoise or common porpoise). The observations were made in the neighbourhood

  2. Intestinal volvulus in cetaceans.

    Begeman, L; St Leger, J A; Blyde, D J; Jauniaux, T P; Lair, S; Lovewell, G; Raverty, S; Seibel, H; Siebert, U; Staggs, S L; Martelli, P; Keesler, R I

    2013-07-01

    Intestinal volvulus was recognized as the cause of death in 18 cetaceans, including 8 species of toothed whales (suborder Odontoceti). Cases originated from 11 institutions from around the world and included both captive (n = 9) and free-ranging (n = 9) animals. When the clinical history was available (n = 9), animals consistently demonstrated acute dullness 1 to 5 days prior to death. In 3 of these animals (33%), there was a history of chronic gastrointestinal illness. The pathological findings were similar to those described in other animal species and humans, and consisted of intestinal volvulus and a well-demarcated segment of distended, congested, and edematous intestine with gas and bloody fluid contents. Associated lesions included congested and edematous mesentery and mesenteric lymph nodes, and often serofibrinous or hemorrhagic abdominal effusion. The volvulus involved the cranial part of the intestines in 85% (11 of 13). Potential predisposing causes were recognized in most cases (13 of 18, 72%) but were variable. Further studies investigating predisposing factors are necessary to help prevent occurrence and enhance early clinical diagnosis and management of the condition.

  3. Cetacean Abundance Survey (DE0410, EK500)

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

  4. Oligocene cetaceans from Baja California Sur, Mexico

    Hernández Cisneros, Atzcalli Ehécatl; González Barba, Gerardo; Fordyce, Robert Ewan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Baja California Sur has an important Cenozoic marine fossil record which includes diverse but poorly known Oligocene cetaceans from Mexico. Here we review the cetacean fossil record including new observations from materials that elucidate the evolution of the Neoceti in the Pacific basin. Fossils were collected from outcrops of the El Cien Formation (Oligocene-Early Miocene) and from San Gregorio Formation (Late Oligocene). The specimens belong to the paleontological collection of Mu...

  5. Biologically Important Areas for Cetaceans within U.S. Waters

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Cetacean Density and Distribution Mapping Working Group identified Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) for 24 cetacean species, stocks, or populations in seven...

  6. Identification of Novel Cetacean Poxviruses in Cetaceans Stranded in South West England.

    James Barnett

    Full Text Available Poxvirus infections in marine mammals have been mainly reported through their clinical lesions and electron microscopy (EM. Poxvirus particles in association with such lesions have been demonstrated by EM and were previously classified as two new viruses, cetacean poxvirus 1 (CePV-1 and cetacean poxvirus 2 (CePV-2. In this study, epidermal pox lesions in cetaceans stranded in South West England (Cornwall between 2008 and 2012 were investigated by electron microscopy and molecular analysis. PCR and sequencing of a highly conserved region within the viral DNA polymerase gene ruled out both parapox- and orthopoxviruses. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis of the PCR product clustered the sequences with those previously described as cetacean poxviruses. However, taking the close genetic distance of this gene fragment across the family of poxviridae into account, it is reasonable to postulate further, novel cetacean poxvirus species. The nucleotide similarity within each cluster (tentative species detected ranged from 98.6% to 100%, whilst the similarity between the clusters was no more than 95%. The detection of several species of poxvirus in different cetacean species confirms the likelihood of a heterogeneous cetacean poxvirus genus, comparable to the heterogeneity observed in other poxvirus genera.

  7. Modular organizations of novel cetacean papillomaviruses.

    Gottschling, Marc; Bravo, Ignacio G; Schulz, Eric; Bracho, Maria A; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul D; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Stockfleth, Eggert; Nindl, Ingo

    2011-04-01

    The phylogenetic position of cetacean papillomaviruses (PVs: Omikron-PVs and Upsilon-PVs) varies depending on the region of the genome analysed. They cluster together with Alpha-PVs when analysing early genes and with Xi-PVs and Phi-PVs when analysing late genes. We cloned and sequenced the complete genomes of five novel PVs, sampled from genital and oesophageal lesions of free-ranging cetaceans: Delphinus delphis (DdPV1), Lagenorhynchus acutus (TtPV3 variant), and Phocoena phocoena (PphPV1, PphPV2, and PphPV3). Using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian approaches, all cetacean PVs constituted a monophyletic group with Alpha-, Omega-, and Dyodelta-PVs as inferred from E1-E2 early genes analyses, thus matching the shared phenotype of mucosal tropism. However, cetacean PVs, with the exception of PphPV3, were the closest relatives of Xi-PVs and Phi-PVs in L2-L1 late genes analyses, isolated from cow and goat, thus reflecting the close relationship between Cetacea and Artiodactyla. Our results are compatible with a recombination between ancestral PVs infecting the Cetartiodactyla lineage. Our study supports a complex evolutionary scenario with multiple driving forces for PV diversification, possibly including recombination and also interspecies transmission. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Cetacean Morbillivirus: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

    Marie-Françoise Van Bressem

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We review the molecular and epidemiological characteristics of cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV and the diagnosis and pathogenesis of associated disease, with six different strains detected in cetaceans worldwide. CeMV has caused epidemics with high mortality in odontocetes in Europe, the USA and Australia. It represents a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus. Although most CeMV strains are phylogenetically closely related, recent data indicate that morbilliviruses recovered from Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus, from Western Australia, and a Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis, from Brazil, are divergent. The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM cell receptor for CeMV has been characterized in cetaceans. It shares higher amino acid identity with the ruminant SLAM than with the receptors of carnivores or humans, reflecting the evolutionary history of these mammalian taxa. In Delphinidae, three amino acid substitutions may result in a higher affinity for the virus. Infection is diagnosed by histology, immunohistochemistry, virus isolation, RT-PCR, and serology. Classical CeMV-associated lesions include bronchointerstitial pneumonia, encephalitis, syncytia, and lymphoid depletion associated with immunosuppression. Cetaceans that survive the acute disease may develop fatal secondary infections and chronic encephalitis. Endemically infected, gregarious odontocetes probably serve as reservoirs and vectors. Transmission likely occurs through the inhalation of aerosolized virus but mother to fetus transmission was also reported.

  9. Modeling the impacts of cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan: observations from cetacean watching boats: 2002-2005.

    Tseng, Yung-Ping; Huang, Yu-Chin; Kyle, Gerard T; Yang, Ming-Ching

    2011-01-01

    Cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan has grown rapidly since 1997. This development, measured in terms of both number of tour boats and visitors, has resulted in many resource management challenges stemming from the absence of regulation and scientific data. To fill this void in empirical evidence, we used 464 sighting records from 2002 to 2005 to model the impact of cetacean-focused tourism. Cox proportional hazard analysis indicated cetacean avoidance responses to cetacean watching boats were strongly associated with pod size, mother-calf pairs, and cetacean-vessel distances. Mother-calf pairs abandoned their avoidance tactic by 55% compared to noncalf groups when tour boats approached. Second, the hazard ratio of abundance was 0.996, suggesting that the odds of encountering avoidance responses by the cetaceans decreased by 42% for every 100-member increase in the cetacean pod size. Last, distances maintained by boats from the cetaceans was positively related to avoidance responses (i.e., less avoidance behavior with closer interaction). Based on our findings, we have the following recommendations: (a) limit vessels from approaching mothers with calves, (b) limit vessels from approaching small groups of cetaceans, (c) reduced avoidance behavior to boat traffic may be a red flag for potential long-term disturbance, and (d) apply the "precautionary principle" based on the best scientific information available in cetacean-based tourism in Taiwan. These recommendations will help contribute to the sustainable development of cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan.

  10. Modeling the Impacts of Cetacean-Focused Tourism in Taiwan: Observations from Cetacean Watching Boats: 2002-2005

    Tseng, Yung-Ping; Huang, Yu-Chin; Kyle, Gerard T.; Yang, Ming-Ching

    2011-01-01

    Cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan has grown rapidly since 1997. This development, measured in terms of both number of tour boats and visitors, has resulted in many resource management challenges stemming from the absence of regulation and scientific data. To fill this void in empirical evidence, we used 464 sighting records from 2002 to 2005 to model the impact of cetacean-focused tourism. Cox proportional hazard analysis indicated cetacean avoidance responses to cetacean watching boats were strongly associated with pod size, mother-calf pairs, and cetacean-vessel distances. Mother-calf pairs abandoned their avoidance tactic by 55% compared to noncalf groups when tour boats approached. Second, the hazard ratio of abundance was 0.996, suggesting that the odds of encountering avoidance responses by the cetaceans decreased by 42% for every 100-member increase in the cetacean pod size. Last, distances maintained by boats from the cetaceans was positively related to avoidance responses (i.e., less avoidance behavior with closer interaction). Based on our findings, we have the following recommendations: (a) limit vessels from approaching mothers with calves, (b) limit vessels from approaching small groups of cetaceans, (c) reduced avoidance behavior to boat traffic may be a red flag for potential long-term disturbance, and (d) apply the "precautionary principle" based on the best scientific information available in cetacean-based tourism in Taiwan. These recommendations will help contribute to the sustainable development of cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan.

  11. Cetaceans and Marine Debris: The Great Unknown

    Mark Peter Simmonds

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Plastics and other marine debris have been found in the gastrointestinal tracts of cetaceans, including instances where large quantities of material have been found that are likely to cause impairment to digestive processes and other examples, where other morbidity and even death have resulted. In some instances, debris may have been ingested as a result of the stranding process and, in others, it may have been ingested when feeding. Those species that are suction or “ram” feeders may be most at risk. There is also evidence of entanglement of cetaceans in marine debris. However, it is usually difficult to distinguish entanglement in active fishing gear from that in lost or discarded gear. The overall significance of the threat from ingested plastics and other debris remains unclear for any population or species of cetaceans, although there are concerns for some taxa, including at the population level, and marine debris in the oceans continues to grow. Further research including the compilation of unpublished material and the investigation of important habitat areas is strongly recommended.

  12. Cetacean strandings along the coast of Izmir Bay, Turkey

    Guclusoy, H.; Veryeri, N.; Cirik, S.

    2004-01-01

    The present paper provides information on the stranding of cetaceans in Izmir Bay, Aegean Sea, between 1992 and 2004. The data were collected opportunistically during sightings and stranding data collection for Monk Seals. A total of 12 cetaceans, namely Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

  13. Brown adipose tissue in cetacean blubber.

    Osamu Hashimoto

    Full Text Available Brown adipose tissue (BAT plays an important role in thermoregulation in species living in cold environments, given heat can be generated from its chemical energy reserves. Here we investigate the existence of BAT in blubber in four species of delphinoid cetacean, the Pacific white-sided and bottlenose dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens and Tursiops truncates, and Dall's and harbour porpoises, Phocoenoides dalli and Phocoena phocoena. Histology revealed adipocytes with small unilocular fat droplets and a large eosinophilic cytoplasm intermingled with connective tissue in the innermost layers of blubber. Chemistry revealed a brown adipocyte-specific mitochondrial protein, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1, within these same adipocytes, but not those distributed elsewhere throughout the blubber. Western blot analysis of extracts from the inner blubber layer confirmed that the immunohistochemical positive reaction was specific to UCP1 and that this adipose tissue was BAT. To better understand the distribution of BAT throughout the entire cetacean body, cadavers were subjected to computed tomography (CT scanning. Resulting imagery, coupled with histological corroboration of fine tissue structure, revealed adipocytes intermingled with connective tissue in the lowest layer of blubber were distributed within a thin, highly dense layer that extended the length of the body, with the exception of the rostrum, fin and fluke regions. As such, we describe BAT effectively enveloping the cetacean body. Our results suggest that delphinoid blubber could serve a role additional to those frequently attributed to it: simple insulation blanket, energy storage, hydrodynamic streamlining or contributor to positive buoyancy. We believe delphinoid BAT might also function like an electric blanket, enabling animals to frequent waters cooler than blubber as an insulator alone might otherwise allow an animal to withstand, or allow animals to maintain body temperature in cool

  14. Sexual selection targets cetacean pelvic bones

    Dines, J. P.; Otárola-Castillo, E.; Ralph, P.; Alas, J.; Daley, T.; Smith, A. D.; Dean, M. D.

    2014-01-01

    Male genitalia evolve rapidly, probably as a result of sexual selection. Whether this pattern extends to the internal infrastructure that influences genital movements remains unknown. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) offer a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis: since evolving from land-dwelling ancestors, they lost external hind limbs and evolved a highly reduced pelvis which seems to serve no other function except to anchor muscles that maneuver the penis. Here we create a novel morphometric pipeline to analyze the size and shape evolution of pelvic bones from 130 individuals (29 species) in the context of inferred mating system. We present two main findings: 1) males from species with relatively intense sexual selection (inferred by relative testes size) have evolved relatively large penises and pelvic bones compared to their body size, and 2) pelvic bone shape diverges more quickly in species pairs that have diverged in inferred mating system. Neither pattern was observed in the anterior-most pair of vertebral ribs, which served as a negative control. This study provides evidence that sexual selection can affect internal anatomy that controls male genitalia. These important functions may explain why cetacean pelvic bones have not been lost through evolutionary time. PMID:25186496

  15. Brucella ceti and Brucellosis in Cetaceans

    Guzmán-Verri, Caterina; González-Barrientos, Rocío; Hernández-Mora, Gabriela; Morales, Juan-Alberto; Baquero-Calvo, Elías; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Moreno, Edgardo

    2012-01-01

    Since the first case of brucellosis detected in a dolphin aborted fetus, an increasing number of Brucella ceti isolates has been reported in members of the two suborders of cetaceans: Mysticeti and Odontoceti. Serological surveys have shown that cetacean brucellosis may be distributed worldwide in the oceans. Although all B. ceti isolates have been included within the same species, three different groups have been recognized according to their preferred host, bacteriological properties, and distinct genetic traits: B. ceti dolphin type, B. ceti porpoise type, and B. ceti human type. It seems that B. ceti porpoise type is more closely related to B. ceti human isolates and B. pinnipedialis group, while B. ceti dolphin type seems ancestral to them. Based on comparative phylogenetic analysis, it is feasible that the B. ceti ancestor radiated in a terrestrial artiodactyl host close to the Raoellidae family about 58 million years ago. The more likely mode of transmission of B. ceti seems to be through sexual intercourse, maternal feeding, aborted fetuses, placental tissues, vertical transmission from mother to the fetus or through fish or helminth reservoirs. The B. ceti dolphin and porpoise types seem to display variable virulence in land animal models and low infectivity for humans. However, brucellosis in some dolphins and porpoises has been demonstrated to be a severe chronic disease, displaying significant clinical and pathological signs related to abortions, male infertility, neurobrucellosis, cardiopathies, bone and skin lesions, strandings, and death. PMID:22919595

  16. AFSC/NMML: Southeast Alaska Cetacean Vessel Surveys, 1991 - 2012

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 1991, NMML initiated cetacean studies with vessel coverage throughout inland waters of Southeast Alaska. Between 1991 and 1993, line-transect methodology was used...

  17. Structure of a toothed cetacean community around a tropical island ...

    ... cetacean community around a tropical island (Mayotte, Mozambique Channel) ... Patterns of spatial distribution underscore the existence of three main ... The outer slope of the barrier reef appears to be of primary importance in terms of ...

  18. Biologically Important Areas for Cetaceans within U.S. Waters

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Biologically important areas (BIAs) for cetaceans were defined by compiling the best available information from scientific literature (including books, peer-reviewed...

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

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

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

    Robert W Meredith

    2013-04-01

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

  1. Development and evolution of the unique cetacean dentition

    Brooke A. Armfield

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary success of mammals is rooted in their high metabolic rate. A high metabolic rate is sustainable thanks to efficient food processing and that in turn is facilitated by precise occlusion of the teeth and the acquisition of rhythmic mastication. These major evolutionary innovations characterize most members of the Class Mammalia. Cetaceans are one of the few groups of mammals in which precise occlusion has been secondarily lost. Most toothed whales have an increased number of simple crowned teeth that are similar along the tooth row. Evolution toward these specializations began immediately after the time cetaceans transitioned from terrestrial-to-marine environments. The fossil record documents the critical aspects of occlusal evolution of cetaceans, and allows us to pinpoint the evolutionary timing of the macroevolutionary events leading to their unusual dental morphology among mammals. The developmental controls of tooth differentiation and tooth number have been studied in a few mammalian clades, but nothing is known about how these controls differ between cetaceans and mammals that retain functional occlusion. Here we show that pigs, a cetacean relative with regionalized tooth morphology and complex tooth crowns, retain the typical mammalian gene expression patterns that control early tooth differentiation, expressing Bmp4 in the rostral (mesial, anterior domain of the jaw, and Fgf8 caudally (distal, posterior. By contrast, dolphins have lost these regional differences in dental morphology and the Bmp4 domain is extended into the caudal region of the developing jaw. We hypothesize that the functional constraints underlying mammalian occlusion have been released in cetaceans, facilitating changes in the genetic control of early dental development. Such major developmental changes drive morphological evolution and are correlated with major shifts in diet and food processing during cetacean evolution.

  2. Hearing in cetaceans: from natural history to experimental biology.

    Mooney, T Aran; Yamato, Maya; Branstetter, Brian K

    2012-01-01

    Sound is a primary sensory cue for most marine mammals, and this is especially true for cetaceans. To passively and actively acquire information about their environment, cetaceans have some of the most derived ears of all mammals, capable of sophisticated, sensitive hearing and auditory processing. These capabilities have developed for survival in an underwater world where sound travels five times faster than in air, and where light is quickly attenuated and often limited at depth, at night, and in murky waters. Cetacean auditory evolution has capitalized on the ubiquity of sound cues and the efficiency of underwater acoustic communication. The sense of hearing is central to cetacean sensory ecology, enabling vital behaviours such as locating prey, detecting predators, identifying conspecifics, and navigating. Increasing levels of anthropogenic ocean noise appears to influence many of these activities. Here, we describe the historical progress of investigations on cetacean hearing, with a particular focus on odontocetes and recent advancements. While this broad topic has been studied for several centuries, new technologies in the past two decades have been leveraged to improve our understanding of a wide range of taxa, including some of the most elusive species. This chapter addresses topics including how sounds are received, what sounds are detected, hearing mechanisms for complex acoustic scenes, recent anatomical and physiological studies, the potential impacts of noise, and mysticete hearing. We conclude by identifying emerging research topics and areas which require greater focus. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Cetacean morbillivirus in coastal Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, Western Australia.

    Stephens, Nahiid; Duignan, Pádraig J; Wang, Jianning; Bingham, John; Finn, Hugh; Bejder, Lars; Patterson, Anthony P; Holyoake, Carly

    2014-04-01

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) has caused several epizootics in multiple species of cetaceans globally and is an emerging disease among cetaceans in Australia. We detected CeMV in 2 stranded coastal Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Western Australia. Preliminary phylogenetic data suggest that this virus variant is divergent from known strains.

  4. Cetacean Morbillivirus in Coastal Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, Western Australia

    Stephens, Nahiid; Duignan, Pádraig J.; Wang, Jianning; Bingham, John; Finn, Hugh; Bejder, Lars; Patterson, Anthony P.; Holyoake, Carly

    2014-01-01

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) has caused several epizootics in multiple species of cetaceans globally and is an emerging disease among cetaceans in Australia. We detected CeMV in 2 stranded coastal Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Western Australia. Preliminary phylogenetic data suggest that this virus variant is divergent from known strains.

  5. Cetacean Morbillivirus in Coastal Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, Western Australia

    Duignan, Pádraig J.; Wang, Jianning; Bingham, John; Finn, Hugh; Bejder, Lars; Patterson, Anthony P.; Holyoake, Carly

    2014-01-01

    Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) has caused several epizootics in multiple species of cetaceans globally and is an emerging disease among cetaceans in Australia. We detected CeMV in 2 stranded coastal Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Western Australia. Preliminary phylogenetic data suggest that this virus variant is divergent from known strains. PMID:24656203

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Cetacean research in the southern African subregion: a review of ...

    Data are presented separately for large whales (those subject to commercial whaling) and smaller cetaceans, and are separated by era and ocean basin. ... the subregion, but include bycatch and directed hunts, oil and gas development, ecotourism activities, shifts in prey resources, and noise and chemical pollution.

  8. Cetaceans stranded in the Netherlands from 1998 to 2007

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Distribution and seasonality of cetaceans in tropical waters between ...

    The species richness, spatial distribution, seasonality and interspecific associations of cetaceans in tropical oceanic waters between the Gulf of Guinea and Angola were examined using 5 905.3 h of dedicated survey effort collected from 13 platforms of opportunity (geophysical vessels) between 2004 and 2009, and from ...

  10. Hepatic lesions in cetaceans stranded in the Canary Islands.

    Jaber, J R; Pérez, J; Arbelo, M; Andrada, M; Hidalgo, M; Gómez-Villamandos, J C; Van Den Ingh, T; Fernández, A

    2004-03-01

    This article describes the gross, histopathologic, and ultrastructural findings of the livers of cetaceans stranded on the coast of the Canary Islands between 1992 and 2000. A total of 135 cetaceans were included in the study, among which 25 were common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), 23 Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), 19 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), and 15 other species of dolphins and whales. The most common lesion observed in these animals was a nonspecific chronic reactive hepatitis (47/135), followed by hyaline intracytoplasmic inclusions in hepatocytes (33/135). Parasitic cholangitis was detected in 8/135 animals, whereas hepatic lipidosis was presented in 7/135 animals. The ultrastructure of hyaline hepatocytic cytoplasmic inclusions is described, and possible causes of these inclusions are discussed.

  11. PIXE analysis of trace elements in cetacean teeth

    Mitani, Yoko; Arai, Nobuaki; Sakamoto, Wataru; Yoshida, Koji

    1997-01-01

    PIXE was adopted for analysis of trace elements in teeth of two species of cetaceans, sperm whale (Physeter microcephalus) and pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata). The analyses were performed along with the growth layer of the teeth, which is formed annually, suitable for age determination. Mn, Fe, Cu, Zu and Sr were detected in the teeth of sperm whale and pantropical spotted dolphin. Among these trace elements, gradual increase was observed for Zn/Ca ratio in the sperm whale's teeth. (author)

  12. Positively selected sites in cetacean myoglobins contribute to protein stability

    Dasmeh, Pouria; Serohijos, Adrian W R; Kepp, Kasper P

    2013-01-01

    Since divergence ∼50 Ma ago from their terrestrial ancestors, cetaceans underwent a series of adaptations such as a ∼10-20 fold increase in myoglobin (Mb) concentration in skeletal muscle, critical for increasing oxygen storage capacity and prolonging dive time. Whereas the O2-binding affinity...... between Mb folding stability and protein abundance, suggesting that a selection pressure for stability acts proportionally to higher expression. We also identify a major divergence event leading to the common ancestor of whales, during which major stabilization occurred. Most of the positively selected...

  13. Cetacean occurrence near an offshore oil platform in southern Brazil

    Marta Jussara Cremer

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Information about cetaceans in offshore Brazilian waters is scarce, and oil-rigs could provide an important opportunity to obtain new data. The present work was conducted on the P-XIV oil-rig (Petrobrás (26o46’02.2”S; 46o47’02.15”W, located on the border of the continental slope, in an area of 200m depth. In the period between July 2000 and August 2002, 75 sightings of cetaceans were recorded during 38 days of effort. Among the species identified, Tursiops truncatus was the most common, corresponding to 53.3% of the records. Among the misticets, only Balaenoptera acutorostrata was identified with accuracy, with 4 records (5.3%. These were the only species that approached and stayed close to the oil-rig. Many records were made at night, when the gas burner illuminated the area around the oil-rig. We recorded an aggressive interaction involving T. truncatus and B. acutorostrata.

  14. Cetacean occurrence near an offshore oil platform in southern Brazil

    Marta Jussara Cremer

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2009v22n3p247 Information about cetaceans in offshore Brazilian waters is scarce, and oil-rigs could provide an important opportunity to obtain new data. The present work was conducted on the P-XIV oil-rig (Petrobrás (26o46’02.2”S; 46o47’02.15”W, located on the border of the continental slope, in an area of 200m depth. In the period between July 2000 and August 2002, 75 sightings of cetaceans were recorded during 38 days of effort. Among the species identified, Tursiops truncatus was the most common, corresponding to 53.3% of the records. Among the misticets, only Balaenoptera acutorostrata was identified with accuracy, with 4 records (5.3%. These were the only species that approached and stayed close to the oil-rig. Many records were made at night, when the gas burner illuminated the area around the oil-rig. We recorded an aggressive interaction involving T. truncatus and B. acutorostrata.

  15. First human-caused extinction of a cetacean species?

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pitman, Robert L; Taylor, Barbara L; Barlow, Jay; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Barrett, Leigh A; Zhao, Xiujiang; Reeves, Randall R; Stewart, Brent S; Wang, Kexiong; Wei, Zhuo; Zhang, Xianfeng; Pusser, L T; Richlen, Michael; Brandon, John R; Wang, Ding

    2007-10-22

    The Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer), an obligate freshwater odontocete known only from the middle-lower Yangtze River system and neighbouring Qiantang River in eastern China, has long been recognized as one of the world's rarest and most threatened mammal species. The status of the baiji has not been investigated since the late 1990s, when the surviving population was estimated to be as low as 13 individuals. An intensive six-week multi-vessel visual and acoustic survey carried out in November-December 2006, covering the entire historical range of the baiji in the main Yangtze channel, failed to find any evidence that the species survives. We are forced to conclude that the baiji is now likely to be extinct, probably due to unsustainable by-catch in local fisheries. This represents the first global extinction of a large vertebrate for over 50 years, only the fourth disappearance of an entire mammal family since AD 1500, and the first cetacean species to be driven to extinction by human activity. Immediate and extreme measures may be necessary to prevent the extinction of other endangered cetaceans, including the sympatric Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis).

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

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

  17. Cetacean Ecology Survey at North Western Hawaiian Islands (SE1303, EK60)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The goal of the cruise was to collect data on the abundance, distribution, stock structure, and habitat of cetaceans in the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National...

  18. GLOBEC NEP Northern California Current Cetacean Survey Data, NH0005, 2000-2000, 0007

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — GLOBEC (GLOBal Ocean ECosystems Dynamics) NEP (Northeast Pacific) Northern California Current Cetacean Survey Data from R/V New Horizon cruises NH0005 and 0007....

  19. SWFSC/MMTD/PI: Pacific Islands Cetacean Ecosystem Assessment Survey (PICEAS) 2005

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — PICEAS (Pacific Islands Cetacean Ecosystem Assessment Survey) 2005 was an ecosystem survey in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters of Palmyra and Johnston...

  20. SWFSC/MMTD/PI: Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey (HICEAS) 2002, 2010

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey, called HICEAS, is a marine mammal assessment survey of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Hawaiian...

  1. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean line-transect survey in the Gulf of Alaska, 2003

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Three marine mammal observers participated on a cetacean survey from 26 June to 15 July 2003, aboard the NOAA ship Miller Freeman as a piggyback project during a...

  2. Assessing the responses of coastal cetaceans to the construction of offshore wind turbines.

    Thompson, Paul M; Lusseau, David; Barton, Tim; Simmons, Dave; Rusin, Jan; Bailey, Helen

    2010-08-01

    The expansion of offshore renewables has raised concerns over potential disturbance to coastal cetaceans. In this study, we used passive acoustic monitoring to assess whether cetaceans responded to pile-driving noise during the installation of two 5MW offshore wind turbines off NE Scotland in 2006. Monitoring was carried out at both the turbine site and a control site in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Harbour porpoises occurred regularly around the turbine site in all years, but there was some evidence that porpoises did respond to disturbance from installation activities. We use these findings to highlight how uncertainty over cetacean distribution and the scale of disturbance effects constrains opportunities for B-A-C-I studies. We explore alternative approaches to assessing the impact of offshore wind farm upon cetaceans, and make recommendations for the research and monitoring that will be required to underpin future developments. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Evaluation of cetacean exposure to organotin compounds in Brazilian waters through hepatic total tin concentrations

    Dorneles, Paulo R.; Lailson-Brito, Jose; Fernandez, Marcos A.S.; Vidal, Lara G.; Barbosa, Lupercio A.; Azevedo, Alexandre F.; Fragoso, Ana B.L.; Torres, Joao P.M.; Malm, Olaf

    2008-01-01

    In Brazil, there is no restriction to the use of organotins (OTs). Previous investigations have shown that hepatic ΣSn in cetaceans is predominantly organic. Hepatic ΣSn concentrations were determined by GFAAS in 67 cetaceans (13 species) that stranded on Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Espirito Santo (ES) states. Concentrations (in ng/g wet wt.) of marine tucuxis (n = 20) from the highly contaminated Guanabara Bay (in RJ) varied from 1703 to 9638. Concentrations of three marine tucuxi foetuses and one newborn calf (all from Guanabara Bay) varied between 431 and 2107. Contrastingly, the maximum level among 19 oceanic dolphins was 346, and 15 out of these 19 specimens presented concentrations below detection limit. The levels of Sn in six marine tucuxis from a less contaminated area (ES) varied from below detection limit to 744. Comparing to the literature, coastal cetaceans from Brazil appear to be highly exposed to OTs. - Cetaceans from Brazil are highly exposed to organotin compounds

  4. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program Humpback Whale Catalog

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1980, the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has been collecting photos of humpback whales (Megaptera...

  5. Evaluation of cetacean exposure to organotin compounds in Brazilian waters through hepatic total tin concentrations

    Dorneles, Paulo R. [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: dornelespr@gmail.com; Lailson-Brito, Jose [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: lailson@uerj.br; Fernandez, Marcos A.S. [Laboratorio de Oceanografia Quimica, Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: hallfz@uerj.br; Vidal, Lara G. [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: vidallara@yahoo.com.br; Barbosa, Lupercio A. [Instituto ORCA, Vila Velha, ES (Brazil)], E-mail: lupercio@orca.org.br; Azevedo, Alexandre F. [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: alexandre.maqua@gmail.com; Fragoso, Ana B.L. [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: abfragoso@gmail.com; Torres, Joao P.M. [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: jptorres@biof.ufrj.br; Malm, Olaf [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: olaf@biof.ufrj.br

    2008-12-15

    In Brazil, there is no restriction to the use of organotins (OTs). Previous investigations have shown that hepatic {sigma}Sn in cetaceans is predominantly organic. Hepatic {sigma}Sn concentrations were determined by GFAAS in 67 cetaceans (13 species) that stranded on Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Espirito Santo (ES) states. Concentrations (in ng/g wet wt.) of marine tucuxis (n = 20) from the highly contaminated Guanabara Bay (in RJ) varied from 1703 to 9638. Concentrations of three marine tucuxi foetuses and one newborn calf (all from Guanabara Bay) varied between 431 and 2107. Contrastingly, the maximum level among 19 oceanic dolphins was 346, and 15 out of these 19 specimens presented concentrations below detection limit. The levels of Sn in six marine tucuxis from a less contaminated area (ES) varied from below detection limit to 744. Comparing to the literature, coastal cetaceans from Brazil appear to be highly exposed to OTs. - Cetaceans from Brazil are highly exposed to organotin compounds.

  6. Enamel ultrastructure in fossil cetaceans (Cetacea: Archaeoceti and Odontoceti.

    Carolina Loch

    Full Text Available The transition from terrestrial ancestry to a fully pelagic life profoundly altered the body systems of cetaceans, with extreme morphological changes in the skull and feeding apparatus. The Oligocene Epoch was a crucial time in the evolution of cetaceans when the ancestors of modern whales and dolphins (Neoceti underwent major diversification, but details of dental structure and evolution are poorly known for the archaeocete-neocete transition. We report the morphology of teeth and ultrastructure of enamel in archaeocetes, and fossil platanistoids and delphinoids, ranging from late Oligocene (Waitaki Valley, New Zealand to Pliocene (Caldera, Chile. Teeth were embedded in epoxy resin, sectioned in cross and longitudinal planes, polished, etched, and coated with gold palladium for scanning electron microscopy (SEM observation. SEM images showed that in archaeocetes, squalodontids and Prosqualodon (taxa with heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont teeth, the inner enamel was organized in Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB with an outer layer of radial enamel. This is a common pattern in most large-bodied mammals and it is regarded as a biomechanical adaptation related to food processing and crack resistance. Fossil Otekaikea sp. and delphinoids, which were polydont and homodont, showed a simpler structure, with inner radial and outer prismless enamel. Radial enamel is regarded as more wear-resistant and has been retained in several mammalian taxa in which opposing tooth surfaces slide over each other. These observations suggest that the transition from a heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont dentition in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to homodont and polydont teeth in crownward odontocetes, was also linked to a marked simplification in the enamel Schmelzmuster. These patterns probably reflect functional shifts in food processing from shear-and-mastication in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to pierce-and-grasp occlusion in crownward

  7. Enamel ultrastructure in fossil cetaceans (Cetacea: Archaeoceti and Odontoceti).

    Loch, Carolina; Kieser, Jules A; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The transition from terrestrial ancestry to a fully pelagic life profoundly altered the body systems of cetaceans, with extreme morphological changes in the skull and feeding apparatus. The Oligocene Epoch was a crucial time in the evolution of cetaceans when the ancestors of modern whales and dolphins (Neoceti) underwent major diversification, but details of dental structure and evolution are poorly known for the archaeocete-neocete transition. We report the morphology of teeth and ultrastructure of enamel in archaeocetes, and fossil platanistoids and delphinoids, ranging from late Oligocene (Waitaki Valley, New Zealand) to Pliocene (Caldera, Chile). Teeth were embedded in epoxy resin, sectioned in cross and longitudinal planes, polished, etched, and coated with gold palladium for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation. SEM images showed that in archaeocetes, squalodontids and Prosqualodon (taxa with heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont teeth), the inner enamel was organized in Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB) with an outer layer of radial enamel. This is a common pattern in most large-bodied mammals and it is regarded as a biomechanical adaptation related to food processing and crack resistance. Fossil Otekaikea sp. and delphinoids, which were polydont and homodont, showed a simpler structure, with inner radial and outer prismless enamel. Radial enamel is regarded as more wear-resistant and has been retained in several mammalian taxa in which opposing tooth surfaces slide over each other. These observations suggest that the transition from a heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont dentition in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to homodont and polydont teeth in crownward odontocetes, was also linked to a marked simplification in the enamel Schmelzmuster. These patterns probably reflect functional shifts in food processing from shear-and-mastication in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to pierce-and-grasp occlusion in crownward odontocetes, with

  8. Rapid immune colloidal gold strip for cetacean meat restraining illegal trade and consumption: implications for conservation and public health.

    Lo, Chieh; Chin, Li-Te; Chu, Chi-Shih; Wang, Yu-Ting; Chan, Kun-Wei; Yang, Wei-Cheng

    2013-01-01

    The consumption of cetacean meat is geographically common and often of undetermined sustainability. Besides, it can expose humans to contaminants and zoonotic pathogens. The illegality of possessing cetacean meat was likely under-reported in some countries due to lack of attention paid by the officials although DNA analysis of market products helped to show such practices. We developed two monoclonal antibodies against synthetic peptides of myoglobin (Mb) for constructing a rapid immune colloidal gold strip. Only cetacean Mb is capable of binding to both antibodies and presents positive signal while the Mb from other animals can bind only 1 of the antibodies and presents negative result. The strip for cetacean meat would be an applicable and cost-effective test for field inspectors and even the general public. It contributes to increase the reporting capacity and coverage of illegal cetacean meat possession, which has implications for global cetacean conservation and public health.

  9. River Cetaceans and Habitat Change: Generalist Resilience or Specialist Vulnerability?

    Brian D. Smith

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available River dolphins are among the world’s most threatened mammals, and indeed the baiji (Lipotes vexillifer, a species endemic to China's Yangtze River, is likely extinct. Exploitation for products such as meat, oil, and skins has been a lesser feature in the population histories of river dolphins compared to most large mammals. Habitat factors are therefore of particular interest and concern. In this paper we attempt to describe the population-level responses of river dolphins to habitat transformation. We find circumstantial but compelling evidence supporting the view that, at a local scale, river dolphins are opportunists (generalists capable of adapting to a wide range of habitat conditions while, at a river basin scale, they are more appropriately viewed as vulnerable specialists. The same evidence implies that the distributional responses of river dolphins to basinwide ecological change can be informative about their extinction risk, while their local behaviour patterns may provide important insights about critical ecological attributes. Empirical studies are needed on the ecology of river cetaceans, both to inform conservation efforts on behalf of these threatened animals and to help address broader concerns related to biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of human use in several of the world's largest river systems.

  10. Evidence of recombination and positive selection in cetacean papillomaviruses

    Robles-Sikisaka, Refugio; Rivera, Rebecca; Nollens, Hendrik H.; St Leger, Judy; Durden, Wendy N.; Stolen, Megan; Burchell, Jennifer; Wellehan, James F.X.

    2012-01-01

    Papillomaviruses (PVs) are small DNA viruses that have been associated with increased epithelial proliferation. Over one hundred PV types have been identified in humans; however, only three have been identified in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to date. Using rolling circle amplification and degenerate PCR, we identified four novel PV genomes of bottlenose dolphins. TtPV4, TtPV5 and TtPV6 were identified in genital lesions while TtPV7 was identified in normal genital mucosa. Bayesian analysis of the full-length L1 genes found that TtPV4 and TtPV7 group within the Upsilonpapillomavirus genus while TtPV5 and TtPV6 group with Omikronpapillomavirus. However, analysis of the E1 gene did not distinguish these genera, implying that these genes may not share a common history, consistent with recombination. Recombination analyses identified several probable events. Signals of positive selection were found mostly in the E1 and E2 genes. Recombination and diversifying selection pressures constitute important driving forces of cetacean PV evolution.

  11. Evidence of recombination and positive selection in cetacean papillomaviruses

    Robles-Sikisaka, Refugio, E-mail: refugio.robles1@gmail.com [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Rivera, Rebecca, E-mail: RRivera@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Nollens, Hendrik H., E-mail: Hendrik.Nollens@SeaWorld.com [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, PO Box 110885, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); SeaWorld San Diego, 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); St Leger, Judy, E-mail: Judy.St.Leger@SeaWorld.com [SeaWorld San Diego, 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Durden, Wendy N., E-mail: WNoke@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 3830 South Highway A1A 4-181, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951 (United States); Stolen, Megan, E-mail: MStolen@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 3830 South Highway A1A 4-181, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951 (United States); Burchell, Jennifer, E-mail: JBurchell@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Wellehan, James F.X., E-mail: WellehanJ@ufl.edu [College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, PO Box 110885, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2012-06-05

    Papillomaviruses (PVs) are small DNA viruses that have been associated with increased epithelial proliferation. Over one hundred PV types have been identified in humans; however, only three have been identified in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to date. Using rolling circle amplification and degenerate PCR, we identified four novel PV genomes of bottlenose dolphins. TtPV4, TtPV5 and TtPV6 were identified in genital lesions while TtPV7 was identified in normal genital mucosa. Bayesian analysis of the full-length L1 genes found that TtPV4 and TtPV7 group within the Upsilonpapillomavirus genus while TtPV5 and TtPV6 group with Omikronpapillomavirus. However, analysis of the E1 gene did not distinguish these genera, implying that these genes may not share a common history, consistent with recombination. Recombination analyses identified several probable events. Signals of positive selection were found mostly in the E1 and E2 genes. Recombination and diversifying selection pressures constitute important driving forces of cetacean PV evolution.

  12. Insight into the role of cetaceans in the life cycle of the tetraphyllideans (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    Aznar, F J; Agustí, C; Littlewood, D T J; Raga, J A; Olson, P D

    2007-02-01

    Four types of tetraphyllidean larvae infect cetaceans worldwide: two plerocercoids differing in size, 'small' (SP) and 'large' (LP), and two merocercoids referred to as Phyllobothrium delphini and Monorygma grimaldii. The latter merocercoid larvae parasitize marine mammals exclusively and exhibit a specialised cystic structure. Adult stages are unknown for any of the larvae and thus the role of cetaceans in the life cycle of these species has been a long-standing problem. The SP and LP forms are thought to be earlier stages of P. delphini and M. grimaldii that are presumed to infect large pelagic sharks that feed on cetaceans. A molecular analysis of the D2 variable region of the large subunit ribosomal DNA gene based on several individuals of each larval type collected from three Mediterranean species of cetaceans showed consistent and unique molecular signatures for each type regardless of host species or site of infection. The degree of divergence suggested that LP, P. delphini and M. grimaldii larvae may represent separate species, whereas SP may be conspecific with M. grimaldii. In all host species, individuals of SP accumulated in the gut areas in which the lymphoid tissue was especially developed. We suggest therefore that these larvae use the lymphatic system to migrate to the abdominal peritoneum and mesenteries where they develop into forms recognizable as M. grimaldii. The plerocercoid stage of P. delphini remains unknown. In a partial phylogenetic tree of the Tetraphyllidea, all larvae formed a clade that included a representative of the genus Clistobothrium, some species of which parasitize sharks such as the great white which is known to feed on cetaceans. A bibliographic examination of tetraphyllidean infections in marine mammals indicated that these larvae are acquired mostly offshore. In summary, the evidence suggests that cetaceans play a significant role in the life cycle of these larvae. In addition, it seems clear that cetaceans act as natural

  13. Cetacean behavioral responses to noise exposure generated by seismic surveys: how to mitigate better?

    Clara Monaco

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cetaceans use sound in many contexts, such as in social interactions, as well as to forage and to react in dangerous situations. Little information exists to describe how they respond physically and behaviorally to intense and long-term noise levels. Effects on cetaceans from seismic survey activities need to be understood in order to determine detailed acoustic exposure guidelines and to apply appropriated mitigation measures. This study examines direct behavioral responses of cetaceans in the southern Mediterranean Sea during seismic surveys with large airgun arrays (volume up to 5200 ci used in the TOMO-ETNA active seismic experiment of summer 2014. Wide Angle Seismic and Multi-Channel Seismic surveys had carried out with refraction and reflection seismic methods, producing about 25,800 air-gun shots. Visual monitoring undertaken in the 26 daylights of seismic exploration adopted the protocol of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Data recorded were analyzed to examine effects on cetaceans. Sighting rates, distance and orientation from the airguns were compared for different volume categories of the airgun arrays. Results show that cetaceans can be disturbed by seismic survey activities, especially during particularly events. Here we propose many integrated actions to further mitigate this exposure and implications for management.

  14. Effects of seismic survey sound on cetaceans in the Northwest Atlantic

    Moulton, Valerie D.; Holst, Meike [LGL Limited, Environmental Research Associates (Canada)

    2010-06-15

    Hydrocarbon exploration with marine seismic programs in the Canadian Beaufort Sea is expected to continue in the future. However the effect of those seismic surveys on cetaceans is a controversial subject, the sound emitted by airguns might result in hearing impairment or injury to marine mammals if they are at close range. The aim of this paper is to determine the behavior of cetaceans during seismic surveys. From 2003 to 2008, studies were conducted for 9180 hours over 8 seismic programs to observe the difference in number, sighting distance and behavior of marine mammals between seismic and non-seismic periods. Results showed that mysticetes and baleen whales tend to avoid the active airgun array while large toothed whales showed no difference in sighting rate and distances whether the airgun was active or not. This study showed that the effectiveness of ramping up the airgun to alert cetaceans of seismic operations depends on the species.

  15. Stomach contents of cetaceans incidentally caught along Mangalore and Chennai coasts of India

    Krishnan, Anoop A.; Yousuf, K. S.; Kumaran, P. L.; Harish, N.; Anoop, B.; Afsal, V. V.; Rajagopalan, M.; Vivekanandan, E.; Krishnakumar, P. K.; Jayasankar, P.

    2008-03-01

    The stomachs of 32 individuals of seven cetacean species incidentally caught in gill net and purseseine fisheries along Mangalore and Chennai coasts (India) between 2004 and 2006 were examined. The whole stomach (fore-gut, mid-gut and hind-gut) was examined in all cases. Prey remains (666 prey items comprising six species of teleosts, one crustacean and one squid species) were found in the stomachs of eight individuals (the remaining 24 stomachs were found to be empty). All cetaceans were found to feed mostly on teleosts with wide range of trophic levels. Based on an index that included frequency of occurrence, percentage by number and by weight, the oil sardine Sardinella longiceps was the main prey in the sample. Cetaceans appear to favour both pelagic as well as demersal prey, possibly indicating surface and benthic feeding habits.

  16. Assessing Disease and Mortality among Small Cetaceans Stranded at a World Heritage Site in Southern Brazil.

    Isabela G Domiciano

    Full Text Available Cetaceans are considered environmental sentinels and their health often reflects either anthropogenic or natural spatio-temporal disturbances. This study investigated the pathological findings and mortality of small cetaceans with the aim of detecting hazards and monitoring health trends in a high-biodiversity area. Between 2007 and 2012, 218 stranded cetaceans were recorded on the Paraná coast, southern Brazil. Fifty-seven (26.1% of these animals, including 50 Sotalia guianensis, 2 Pontoporia blainvillei, 2 Stenella frontalis, 1 Stenella longirostris, 1 Tursiops truncatus and 1 Globicephala melas were necropsied and samples were collected for histopathology. Causes of death were determined in 46 of the 57 (80.7% animals and most (30 or 65.2% were ascribed to anthropogenic activities, including fisheries bycatch (28/30 and trauma (2/30. The remaining 16 fatalities were considered natural, and attributed to pneumonia (10/16, emaciation (3/16, septicemia (1/16, neonatal pathology (1/16 and choking via food obstruction (1/16. Irrespective of the cause, bronchointerstitial pneumonia, associated with parasitism, lymphadenitis and membranous glomerulonephritis were common findings among all fatalities. These results suggest, that while anthropogenic activities are a leading cause of cetacean strandings in Paraná, underlying pre-existing diseases may contribute towards deaths. Although the studied area is considered a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, complex anthropogenic and natural interactions might be occurring, increasing cetacean susceptibility to hazards. This study may help facilitate developing an effective conservation plan for coastal cetaceans focusing on reducing fisheries interactions, habitat degradation and pollution as mechanisms for ultimately increasing species resilience.

  17. Evidence of Positive Selection of Aquaporins Genes from Pontoporia blainvillei during the Evolutionary Process of Cetaceans.

    Simone Lima São Pedro

    Full Text Available Marine mammals are well adapted to their hyperosmotic environment. Several morphological and physiological adaptations for water conservation and salt excretion are known to be present in cetaceans, being responsible for regulating salt balance. However, most previous studies have focused on the unique renal physiology of marine mammals, but the molecular bases of these mechanisms remain poorly explored. Many genes have been identified to be involved in osmotic regulation, including the aquaporins. Considering that aquaporin genes were potentially subject to strong selective pressure, the aim of this study was to analyze the molecular evolution of seven aquaporin genes (AQP1, AQP2, AQP3, AQP4, AQP6, AQP7, and AQP9 comparing the lineages of cetaceans and terrestrial mammals.Our results demonstrated strong positive selection in cetacean-specific lineages acting only in the gene for AQP2 (amino acids 23, 83, 107,179, 180, 181, 182, whereas no selection was observed in terrestrial mammalian lineages. We also analyzed the changes in the 3D structure of the aquaporin 2 protein. Signs of strong positive selection in AQP2 sites 179, 180, 181, and 182 were unexpectedly identified only in the baiji lineage, which was the only river dolphin examined in this study. Positive selection in aquaporins AQP1 (45, AQP4 (74, AQP7 (342, 343, 356 was detected in cetaceans and artiodactyls, suggesting that these events are not related to maintaining water and electrolyte homeostasis in seawater.Our results suggest that the AQP2 gene might reflect different selective pressures in maintaining water balance in cetaceans, contributing to the passage from the terrestrial environment to the aquatic. Further studies are necessary, especially those including other freshwater dolphins, who exhibit osmoregulatory mechanisms different from those of marine cetaceans for the same essential task of maintaining serum electrolyte balance.

  18. In vitro toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons to cetacean cells and tissues

    Carvan, M.J. III.

    1993-01-01

    Cetaceans bioaccumulate high aromatic hydrocarbon tissue residues, and elevated levels of PCB residues in tissues are proposed to have occurred concurrently with recent epizootic deaths of dolphins. The objectives of this study were: (1) to develop and characterize an epithelial cell line derived from dolphin tissues, (2) to investigate the effects of hydrocarbon pollutants on those cells, and (3) to analyze the toxicity of hydrocarbon pollutants on cetacean tissues in vitro. An epithelial cell line, Carvan dolphin kidney (CDK), isolated from a spontaneously aborted female bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, grew rapidly. These cells were neither transformed nor immortal. Velocity sedimentation analysis showed CDK cells contained nuclear aryl hydrocarbon receptor, suggestive of cytochrome P450 inducibility. BaP inhibited mitosis in CDK cells in a dose-dependent manner. Data indicate that CDK cells metabolize BaP, that BaP metabolites bind to cellular DNA initiating unscheduled DNA synthesis, and that the inhibition of cytochrome P450 metabolism decrease the BaP-associated inhibition of mitosis in dolphin cells. The data also suggest that TCDD acts synergistically to increase the levels of DNA damage by the procarcinogen BaP. Cetacean liver microsomes was isolated and evaluated for the presence of cytochrome P450 proteins by SDS-PAGE, apparent minimum molecular weight determination, and immunoblot analysis. P450 activity was induced in cetacean tissue samples and CDK cells by exposure in vitro to one of several cytochrome P450-inducing chemicals. The data suggest that cetacean tissues and cells can be utilized to study the in vitro induction of cytochrome P450, resultant metabolism of xenobiotic contaminants, and the subsequent cellular and molecular responses. However, the identity of specific P450 isozymes involved in this process will remain undetermined until monoclonal antibodies that recognize cetacean P450s can be generated.

  19. Stranding survey as a framework to investigate rare cetacean records of the north and north-eastern Brazilian coasts

    Alexandra Fernandes Costa

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Marine mammal stranding events are used as an important tool for understanding cetacean biology worldwide. Nonetheless, there are vast gaps of knowledge to be filled in for a wide range of species. Reputable information is required regarding species from large baleen whales to sperm and beaked whales, as well as pelagic dolphins. This paper describes new cetacean records from north and north-eastern Brazil, which are both the least surveyed areas regarding aquatic mammals. Regular beach surveys were conducted to recover cetacean carcasses along the coast of Pará beginning November 2005. At the coasts of the Maranhão and Piauí states, the surveys were conducted between 2003 and 2013. From 2003 to 2014, 34 strandings of cetaceans were registered. The study provides four additional species records’ in the area based on strandings (Balaenoptera borealis, Balaenoptera physalus, Peponocephala electra, and Pseudorca crassidens. A mass stranding of Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis, N = 12, the most common species for the region, was reported for the first time. The records presented herein are of special concern, since they expand the knowledge on cetaceans from the Brazilian coast. In addition, this study conducted an analysis to verify the similarity between cetacean compositions described for north and north-eastern Brazil and the southern Caribbean region. The results showed a high similarity between these regions, proving the connection with the Caribbean cetacean fauna.

  20. Biodiversity and Status of Cetaceans in Benin, West Africa: an Initial ...

    Small cetaceans were also taken intentionally in the absence of efficient controls of landings or other management measures. Although presently at subsistence scale, the threat of wider commercialization exists. In view of the limited number of validated species, voucher specimens and scarce biological baseline ...

  1. POSTMORTEM FINDINGS IN CETACEANS FOUND STRANDED IN THE PELAGOS SANCTUARY, ITALY, 2007-14.

    Giorda, Federica; Ballardini, Marco; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Pintore, Maria Domenica; Grattarola, Carla; Iulini, Barbara; Mignone, Walter; Goria, Maria; Serracca, Laura; Varello, Katia; Dondo, Alessandro; Acutis, Pier Luigi; Garibaldi, Fulvio; Scaglione, Frine Eleonora; Gustinelli, Andrea; Mazzariol, Sandro; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Tittarelli, Cristiana; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra

    2017-10-01

    Between 2007 and 2014, 83 cetaceans were found stranded along the Ligurian coast of Italy, in the Pelagos Sanctuary, the largest marine protected area in the Mediterranean basin. Forty-nine (59%) were submitted to complete or partial necropsy, depending on the conservation status of the carcass. Based on gross and histological pathology and ancillary testing, the cause of death was determined and categorized as anthropogenic or natural (i.e., nonanthropogenic) in origin for 33 animals (67%) and of undetermined origin in the remaining 16 (33%). Natural causes of death, accompanied by either poor or good nutritional status, were attributed to 29 animals (59%), whereas four (8%) were diagnosed with an anthropogenic cause of death, consisting of interaction with fishing activities. Infectious and noninfectious disease was the most common cause of death, involving 29 cetaceans (59%). These data are valuable for understanding health and mortality trends in cetacean populations and can provide information for establishing policies for cetacean conservation and management in such an important protected area of the Mediterranean basin.

  2. Cetacean noise criteria revisited in the light of proposed exposure limits for harbour porpoises

    Tougaard, Jakob; Wright, Andrew John; Madsen, Professor Peter Teglberg

    2015-01-01

    The impact of underwater noise on marine life calls for identification of exposure criteria to inform mitigation. Here we review recent experimental evidence with focus on the high-frequency cetaceans and discuss scientifically-based initial exposure criteria. A range of new TTS experiments sugge...

  3. How to Make a Dolphin: Molecular Signature of Positive Selection in Cetacean Genome.

    Mariana F Nery

    Full Text Available Cetaceans are unique in being the only mammals completely adapted to an aquatic environment. This adaptation has required complex changes and sometimes a complete restructuring of physiology, behavior and morphology. Identifying genes that have been subjected to selection pressure during cetacean evolution would greatly enhance our knowledge of the ways in which genetic variation in this mammalian order has been shaped by natural selection. Here, we performed a genome-wide scan for positive selection in the dolphin lineage. We employed models of codon substitution that account for variation of selective pressure over branches on the tree and across sites in a sequence. We analyzed 7,859 nuclear-coding ortholog genes and using a series of likelihood ratio tests (LRTs, we identified 376 genes (4.8% with molecular signatures of positive selection in the dolphin lineage. We used the cow as the sister group and compared estimates of selection in the cetacean genome to this using the same methods. This allowed us to define which genes have been exclusively under positive selection in the dolphin lineage. The enrichment analysis found that the identified positively selected genes are significantly over-represented for three exclusive functional categories only in the dolphin lineage: segment specification, mesoderm development and system development. Of particular interest for cetacean adaptation to an aquatic life are the following GeneOntology targets under positive selection: genes related to kidney, heart, lung, eye, ear and nervous system development.

  4. Characterization of hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes provides insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans.

    Chen, Zhuo; Wang, Zhengfei; Xu, Shixia; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2013-02-09

    Hair is one of the main distinguishing characteristics of mammals and it has many important biological functions. Cetaceans originated from terrestrial mammals and they have evolved a series of adaptations to aquatic environments, which are of evolutionary significance. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying their aquatic adaptations have not been well explored. This study provided insights into the evolution of hair loss during the transition from land to water by investigating and comparing two essential regulators of hair follicle development and hair follicle cycling, i.e., the Hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes, in representative cetaceans and their terrestrial relatives. The full open reading frame sequences of the Hr and FGF5 genes were characterized in seven cetaceans. The sequence characteristics and evolutionary analyses suggested the functional loss of the Hr gene in cetaceans, which supports the loss of hair during their full adaptation to aquatic habitats. By contrast, positive selection for the FGF5 gene was found in cetaceans where a series of positively selected amino acid residues were identified. This is the first study to investigate the molecular basis of the hair loss in cetaceans. Our investigation of Hr and FGF5, two indispensable regulators of the hair cycle, provide some new insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans. The results suggest that positive selection for the FGF5 gene might have promoted the termination of hair growth and early entry into the catagen stage of hair follicle cycling. Consequently, the hair follicle cycle was disrupted and the hair was lost completely due to the loss of the Hr gene function in cetaceans. This suggests that cetaceans have evolved an effective and complex mechanism for hair loss.

  5. Comparison of Dolphins' Body and Brain Measurements with Four Other Groups of Cetaceans Reveals Great Diversity.

    Ridgway, Sam H; Carlin, Kevin P; Van Alstyne, Kaitlin R; Hanson, Alicia C; Tarpley, Raymond J

    2016-01-01

    We compared mature dolphins with 4 other groupings of mature cetaceans. With a large data set, we found great brain diversity among 5 different taxonomic groupings. The dolphins in our data set ranged in body mass from about 40 to 6,750 kg and in brain mass from 0.4 to 9.3 kg. Dolphin body length ranged from 1.3 to 7.6 m. In our combined data set from the 4 other groups of cetaceans, body mass ranged from about 20 to 120,000 kg and brain mass from about 0.2 to 9.2 kg, while body length varied from 1.21 to 26.8 m. Not all cetaceans have large brains relative to their body size. A few dolphins near human body size have human-sized brains. On the other hand, the absolute brain mass of some other cetaceans is only one-sixth as large. We found that brain volume relative to body mass decreases from Delphinidae to a group of Phocoenidae and Monodontidae, to a group of other odontocetes, to Balaenopteroidea, and finally to Balaenidae. We also found the same general trend when we compared brain volume relative to body length, except that the Delphinidae and Phocoenidae-Monodontidae groups do not differ significantly. The Balaenidae have the smallest relative brain mass and the lowest cerebral cortex surface area. Brain parts also vary. Relative to body mass and to body length, dolphins also have the largest cerebellums. Cortex surface area is isometric with brain size when we exclude the Balaenidae. Our data show that the brains of Balaenidae are less convoluted than those of the other cetaceans measured. Large vascular networks inside the cranial vault may help to maintain brain temperature, and these nonbrain tissues increase in volume with body mass and with body length ranging from 8 to 65% of the endocranial volume. Because endocranial vascular networks and other adnexa, such as the tentorium cerebelli, vary so much in different species, brain size measures from endocasts of some extinct cetaceans may be overestimates. Our regression of body length on endocranial

  6. Extrapolating cetacean densities to quantitatively assess human impacts on populations in the high seas.

    Mannocci, Laura; Roberts, Jason J; Miller, David L; Halpin, Patrick N

    2017-06-01

    As human activities expand beyond national jurisdictions to the high seas, there is an increasing need to consider anthropogenic impacts to species inhabiting these waters. The current scarcity of scientific observations of cetaceans in the high seas impedes the assessment of population-level impacts of these activities. We developed plausible density estimates to facilitate a quantitative assessment of anthropogenic impacts on cetacean populations in these waters. Our study region extended from a well-surveyed region within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone into a large region of the western North Atlantic sparsely surveyed for cetaceans. We modeled densities of 15 cetacean taxa with available line transect survey data and habitat covariates and extrapolated predictions to sparsely surveyed regions. We formulated models to reduce the extent of extrapolation beyond covariate ranges, and constrained them to model simple and generalizable relationships. To evaluate confidence in the predictions, we mapped where predictions were made outside sampled covariate ranges, examined alternate models, and compared predicted densities with maps of sightings from sources that could not be integrated into our models. Confidence levels in model results depended on the taxon and geographic area and highlighted the need for additional surveying in environmentally distinct areas. With application of necessary caution, our density estimates can inform management needs in the high seas, such as the quantification of potential cetacean interactions with military training exercises, shipping, fisheries, and deep-sea mining and be used to delineate areas of special biological significance in international waters. Our approach is generally applicable to other marine taxa and geographic regions for which management will be implemented but data are sparse. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean line-transect survey in the eastern Bering Sea shelf; 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Visual surveys for cetaceans were conducted on the eastern Bering Sea shelf along transect lines, in association with the AFSC.s echo integration trawl surveys for...

  8. Improving Large Cetacean Implantable Satellite Tag Designs to Maximize Tag Robustness and Minimize Health Effects to Individual Animals

    2015-09-30

    to Maximize Tag Robustness and Minimize Health Effects to Individual Animals Alexandre N. Zerbini Cascadia Research Collective 218 ½ 4 th Ave W...penetrating devices (Moore et al. 2013) will be evaluated through experiments on cetacean carcasses . These experiments along with existing information on tag...Objective (1) during laboratory experiments and in cetacean carcasses ; 3) Examine structural tissue damage in the blubber, sub-dermal sheath and muscle

  9. Statistical Assessment of Cetacean Stranding Events in Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) area.

    Zellar, R.; Pulkkinen, A. A.; Moore, K.; Reeb, D.; Karakoylu, E.; Uritskaya, O.

    2017-12-01

    Cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) mass strandings are a longstanding mystery in the field of marine biology that continue to be recorded in coastal environments around the world. For each of these events, anywhere from a few to several hundred otherwise healthy animals strand in onshore environments, often for no apparent reason. While the causes of these events remain unclear, anthropogenic and naturogenic mechanisms have been suggested. We present results of an inter-disciplinary study that draws expertise from space weather, marine mammal biology and ecology, and marine mammal stranding response. This study assessed 16 years of cetacean stranding events in the Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) area concurrently with a large dataset of meteorological, geophysical, biological, oceanographic and space weather data to produce inferences about possible causes for these unexplained events.

  10. Cephalopods and cetaceans as indicators of offshore bioavailability of cadmium off Central South Brazil Bight

    Dorneles, Paulo Renato [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil) and Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos, Dept. Oceanografia, UERJ, 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: dorneles@biof.ufrj.br; Lailson-Brito, Jose [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil) and Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos, Dept. Oceanografia, UERJ, 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: lailson@uerj.br; Aguiar dos Santos, Roberta [Centro de Pesquisa e Gestao de Recursos Pesqueiros do Litoral Sudeste e Sul, IBAMA, 88301-700 Itajai, SC (Brazil)]. E-mail: gibteuthis@yahoo.com.br; Silva da Costa, Paulo Alberto [Laboratorio de Dinamica de Populacoes Marinhas, UNIRIO, 22290-240 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: pauloascosta@uol.com.br; Malm, Olaf [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: olaf@biof.ufrj.br; Azevedo, Alexandre Freitas [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos, Dept. Oceanografia, UERJ, 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: azevedo.alex@uol.com.br; Machado Torres, Joao Paulo [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: jptorres@biof.ufrj.br

    2007-07-15

    Regarding Brazilian coast, industrial and urban developments are concentrated along Central South Brazil Bight. Samples from inshore and offshore species from the concerned area were analyzed, comprising 24 cetaceans (9 species) and 32 squids (2 species). Cadmium was determined by GFAAS and our results were in agreement with certified values (DOLT-2, NRCC). Mean cadmium concentration (in {mu}g/g, wet weight) observed in the digestive gland of sexually mature Argentine short-finned squids (Illex argentinus) was 1002.9. To our knowledge this is the highest cadmium level ever reported for a cephalopod. Concerning cetaceans, our results include one of the highest renal cadmium concentrations described for striped dolphins (71.29 {mu}g/g, wet weight). Anthropogenic action, upwelling and cannibalism of Argentine short-finned squid on the studied area are possible reasons for such remarkable cadmium concentrations. - Cd levels in ommastrephid squids from Brazil are the highest ever reported for cephalopods.

  11. Cephalopods and cetaceans as indicators of offshore bioavailability of cadmium off Central South Brazil Bight

    Dorneles, Paulo Renato; Lailson-Brito, Jose; Aguiar dos Santos, Roberta; Silva da Costa, Paulo Alberto; Malm, Olaf; Azevedo, Alexandre Freitas; Machado Torres, Joao Paulo

    2007-01-01

    Regarding Brazilian coast, industrial and urban developments are concentrated along Central South Brazil Bight. Samples from inshore and offshore species from the concerned area were analyzed, comprising 24 cetaceans (9 species) and 32 squids (2 species). Cadmium was determined by GFAAS and our results were in agreement with certified values (DOLT-2, NRCC). Mean cadmium concentration (in μg/g, wet weight) observed in the digestive gland of sexually mature Argentine short-finned squids (Illex argentinus) was 1002.9. To our knowledge this is the highest cadmium level ever reported for a cephalopod. Concerning cetaceans, our results include one of the highest renal cadmium concentrations described for striped dolphins (71.29 μg/g, wet weight). Anthropogenic action, upwelling and cannibalism of Argentine short-finned squid on the studied area are possible reasons for such remarkable cadmium concentrations. - Cd levels in ommastrephid squids from Brazil are the highest ever reported for cephalopods

  12. Adaptation to the aquatic environment: from penguin heart rates to cetacean brain morphology

    Wright, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary process of adaptation to the aquatic environment has dramatically modified the anatomy and physiology of secondarily-aquatic, air-breathing seabirds and marine mammals to address oxygen constraints and unique sensorimotor conditions. As taxa that have arguably undergone significant evolutionary transformations, deep-diving sphenisciforms (penguins) and obligatorily aquatic cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) provide an excellent opportunity to study such physiological...

  13. Thar she blows! A novel method for DNA collection from cetacean blow.

    Céline H Frère

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Molecular tools are now widely used to address crucial management and conservation questions. To date, dart biopsying has been the most commonly used method for collecting genetic data from cetaceans; however, this method has some drawbacks. Dart biopsying is considered inappropriate for young animals and has recently come under scrutiny from ethical boards, conservationists, and the general public. Thus, identifying alternative genetic collection techniques for cetaceans remains a priority, especially for internationally protected species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we investigated whether blow-sampling, which involves collecting exhalations from the blowholes of cetaceans, could be developed as a new less invasive method for DNA collection. Our current methodology was developed using six bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, housed at the National Aquarium, Baltimore (USA, from which we were able to collect both blow and blood samples. For all six individuals, we found that their mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA profile taken from blow, matched their corresponding mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA profile collected from blood. This indicates that blow-sampling is a viable alternative method for DNA collection. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: In this study, we show that blow-sampling provides a viable and less invasive method for collection of genetic data, even for small cetaceans. In contrast to dart biopsying, the advantage of this method is that it capitalizes on the natural breathing behaviour of dolphins and can be applied to even very young dolphins. Both biopsy and blow-sampling require close proximity of the boat, but blow-sampling can be achieved when dolphins voluntarily bow-ride and involves no harmful contact.

  14. Genetic Evidence Highlights Potential Impacts of By-Catch to Cetaceans

    Mendez, Martin; Rosenbaum, Howard C.; Wells, Randall S.; Stamper, Andrew; Bordino, Pablo

    2010-01-01

    Incidental entanglement in fishing gear is arguably the most serious threat to many populations of small cetaceans, judging by the alarming number of captured animals. However, other aspects of this threat, such as the potential capture of mother-offspring pairs or reproductive pairs, could be equally or even more significant but have rarely been evaluated. Using a combination of demographic and genetic data we provide evidence that i) Franciscana dolphin pairs that are potentially reproductive and mother-offspring pairs form temporal bonds, and ii) are entangled simultaneously. Our results highlight potential demographic and genetic impacts of by-catch to cetacean populations: the joint entanglement of mother-offspring or reproductive pairs, compared to random individuals, might exacerbate the demographic consequences of by-catch, and the loss of groups of relatives means that significant components of genetic diversity could be lost together. Given the social nature of many odontocetes (toothed cetaceans), we suggest that these potential impacts could be rather general to the group and therefore by-catch could be more detrimental than previously considered. PMID:21179542

  15. Implementation of a method to visualize noise-induced hearing loss in mass stranded cetaceans

    Morell, Maria; Brownlow, Andrew; McGovern, Barry; Raverty, Stephen A.; Shadwick, Robert E.; André, Michel

    2017-02-01

    Assessment of the impact of noise over-exposure in stranded cetaceans is challenging, as the lesions that lead to hearing loss occur at the cellular level and inner ear cells are very sensitive to autolysis. Distinguishing ante-mortem pathology from post-mortem change has been a major constraint in diagnosing potential impact. Here, we outline a methodology applicable to the detection of noise-induced hearing loss in stranded cetaceans. Inner ears from two mass strandings of long-finned pilot whales in Scotland were processed for scanning electron microscopy observation. In one case, a juvenile animal, whose ears were fixed within 4 hours of death, revealed that many sensory cells at the apex of the cochlear spiral were missing. In this case, the absence of outer hair cells would be compatible with overexposure to underwater noise, affecting the region which transduces the lowest frequencies of the pilot whales hearing spectrum. Perfusion of cochlea with fixative greatly improved preservation and enabled diagnostic imaging of the organ of Corti, even 30 hours after death. This finding supports adopting a routine protocol to detect the pathological legacy of noise overexposure in mass stranded cetaceans as a key to understanding the complex processes and implications that lie behind such stranding events.

  16. Interspecific introgression in cetaceans: DNA markers reveal post-F1 status of a pilot whale.

    Laura Miralles

    Full Text Available Visual species identification of cetacean strandings is difficult, especially when dead specimens are degraded and/or species are morphologically similar. The two recognised pilot whale species (Globicephala melas and Globicephala macrorhynchus are sympatric in the North Atlantic Ocean. These species are very similar in external appearance and their morphometric characteristics partially overlap; thus visual identification is not always reliable. Genetic species identification ensures correct identification of specimens. Here we have employed one mitochondrial (D-Loop region and eight nuclear loci (microsatellites as genetic markers to identify six stranded pilot whales found in Galicia (Northwest Spain, one of them of ambiguous phenotype. DNA analyses yielded positive amplification of all loci and enabled species identification. Nuclear microsatellite DNA genotypes revealed mixed ancestry for one individual, identified as a post-F1 interspecific hybrid employing two different Bayesian methods. From the mitochondrial sequence the maternal species was Globicephala melas. This is the first hybrid documented between Globicephala melas and G. macrorhynchus, and the first post-F1 hybrid genetically identified between cetaceans, revealing interspecific genetic introgression in marine mammals. We propose to add nuclear loci to genetic databases for cetacean species identification in order to detect hybrid individuals.

  17. Shark-Cetacean trophic interaction, Duinefontein, Koeberg, (5 Ma, South Africa

    Romala Govender

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study forms part of a larger project to reconstruct the Mio-Pliocene marine palaeoenvironment along South Africa’s west coast. It documents the shark–cetacean trophic interaction during the Zanclean (5 Ma at Duinefontein (Koeberg. The damage described on the fragmentary cetacean bones was compared with similar damage observed on fossils from Langebaanweg, a Mio-Pliocene site on the west coast of South Africa, and data present in the literature. This comparison showed that the damage was the result of shark bites. The state of preservation makes it difficult to determine if the shark bite marks were the cause of death or as a result of scavenging. The presence of the bite marks on the bone would, however, indicate some degree of skeletonisation. Bite marks on some cranial fragments would suggest that the cetacean’s body was in an inverted position typical of a floating carcass. The preservation of the material suggests that the bones were exposed to wave action resulting in their fragmentation as well as abrasion, polishing and rolling. It also suggests that the cetacean skeletons were exposed for a long time prior to burial. The morphology of the bites suggests that the damage was inflicted by sharks with serrated and unserrated teeth. Shark teeth collected from the deposit include megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon, white (Carcharodon carcharias as well as mako (Isurus sp. and Cosmopolitodus hastalis sharks, making these sharks the most likely predators/scavengers.

  18. Habitat modeling for cetacean management: Spatial distribution in the southern Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea)

    Pennino, Maria Grazia; Mérigot, Bastien; Fonseca, Vinícius Prado; Monni, Virginia; Rotta, Andrea

    2017-07-01

    Effective management and conservation of wild populations requires knowledge of their habitats, especially by mean of quantitative analyses of their spatial distributions. The Pelagos Sanctuary is a dedicated marine protected area for Mediterranean marine mammals covering an area of 90,000 km2 in the north-western Mediterranean Sea between Italy, France and the Principate of Monaco. In the south of the Sanctuary, i.e. along the Sardinian coast, a range of diverse human activities (cities, industry, fishery, tourism) exerts several current ad potential threats to cetacean populations. In addition, marine mammals are recognized by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive as essential components of sustainable ecosystems. Yet, knowledge on the spatial distribution and ecology of cetaceans in this area is quite scarce. Here we modeled occurrence of the three most abundant species known in the Sanctuary, i.e. the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), using sighting data from scientific surveys collected from 2012 to 2014 during summer time. Bayesian site-occupancy models were used to model their spatial distribution in relation to habitat taking into account oceanographic (sea surface temperature, primary production, photosynthetically active radiation, chlorophyll-a concentration) and topographic (depth, slope, distance of the land) variables. Cetaceans responded differently to the habitat features, with higher occurrence predicted in the more productive areas on submarine canyons. These results provide ecological information useful to enhance management plans and establish baseline for future population trend studies.

  19. Distribution, abundance and habitat use of deep diving cetaceans in the North-East Atlantic

    Rogan, Emer; Cañadas, Ana; Macleod, Kelly; Santos, M. Begoña; Mikkelsen, Bjarni; Uriarte, Ainhize; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Vázquez, José Antonio; Hammond, Philip S.

    2017-07-01

    In spite of their oceanic habitat, deep diving cetacean species have been found to be affected by anthropogenic activities, with potential population impacts of high intensity sounds generated by naval research and oil prospecting receiving the most attention. Improving the knowledge of the distribution and abundance of this poorly known group is an essential prerequisite to inform mitigation strategies seeking to minimize their spatial and temporal overlap with human activities. We provide for the first time abundance estimates for five deep diving cetacean species (sperm whale, long-finned pilot whale, northern bottlenose whale, Cuvier's beaked whale and Sowerby's beaked whale) using data from three dedicated cetacean sighting surveys that covered the oceanic and shelf waters of the North-East Atlantic. Density surface modelling was used to obtain model-based estimates of abundance and to explore the physical and biological characteristics of the habitat used by these species. Distribution of all species was found to be significantly related to depth, distance from the 2000m depth contour, the contour index (a measure of variability in the seabed) and sea surface temperature. Predicted distribution maps also suggest that there is little spatial overlap between these species. Our results represent the best abundance estimates for deep-diving whales in the North-East Atlantic, predict areas of high density during summer and constitute important baseline information to guide future risk assessments of human activities on these species, evaluate potential spatial and temporal trends and inform EU Directives and future conservation efforts.

  20. Organochlorine pollutants in small cetaceans from the Pacific and south Atlantic Oceans, November 1968-June 1976

    O' Shea, T.J.; Brownell, R.L. Jr.; Clark, D.R. Jr.; Walker, W.A.; Gay, M.L.; Lamont, T.G.

    1980-09-01

    Organochlorine residues were analyzed in blubber, brain, or muscle tissues of 69 individuals representing 10 species of small cetaceans. Collections were made from November 1968 through June 1976 at localities in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and along the coasts of California, Hawaii, Japan, and Uruguay, Relations of residue concentrations between tissues are described for DDE and PCBs in two dolphin species. sigma DDT and PCB residues in blubber of most of the 19 individuals of the five southern California species sampled exceed concentrations that are associated with reproductive impairment in pinnipeds, although the nature of such associations is not well defined. The sigma DDT residue of 2,695 ppm in blubber of one California coastal Tursiops truncatus is one of the highest concentrations reported in tissues of members of any population of wild mammals. Except for one rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) from Maui, Hawaii, all individuals from all localities surveyed were contaminated with organochlorine compounds. Seventeen different organochlorines were detected; greatest diversity occurred near Japan and California. This is the first report of several of these compounds in tissues of any species of marine mammals. The o,p'-isomers and metabolites of DDT were detected unusually frequently. Ratios of p,p'-DDT to p,p'-DDE in blubber of cetaceans from waters off countries where use of this pesticide has been relatively recent and ongoing were at least an order of magnitude higher than in cetaceans from United States waters.

  1. A spatially explicit risk assessment approach: Cetaceans and marine traffic in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea.

    Maria Grazia Pennino

    Full Text Available Spatially explicit risk assessment is an essential component of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP, which provides a comprehensive framework for managing multiple uses of the marine environment, minimizing environmental impacts and conflicts among users. In this study, we assessed the risk of the exposure to high intensity vessel traffic areas for the three most abundant cetacean species (Stenella coeruleoalba, Tursiops truncatus and Balaenoptera physalus in the southern area of the Pelagos Sanctuary, which is the only pelagic Marine Protected Area (MPA for marine mammals in the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, we modeled the occurrence of the three cetacean species as a function of habitat variables in June by using hierarchical Bayesian spatial-temporal models. Similarly, we modelled the marine traffic intensity in order to find high risk areas and estimated the potential conflict due to the overlap with the cetacean home ranges. Results identified two main hot-spots of high intensity marine traffic in the area, which partially overlap with the area of presence of the studied species. Our findings emphasize the need for nationally relevant and transboundary planning and management measures for these marine species.

  2. Phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the brain-development gene microcephalin (MCPH1 in cetaceans

    Montgomery Stephen H

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Representatives of Cetacea have the greatest absolute brain size among animals, and the largest relative brain size aside from humans. Despite this, genes implicated in the evolution of large brain size in primates have yet to be surveyed in cetaceans. Results We sequenced ~1240 basepairs of the brain development gene microcephalin (MCPH1 in 38 cetacean species. Alignments of these data and a published complete sequence from Tursiops truncatus with primate MCPH1 were utilized in phylogenetic analyses and to estimate ω (rate of nonsynonymous substitution/rate of synonymous substitution using site and branch models of molecular evolution. We also tested the hypothesis that selection on MCPH1 was correlated with brain size in cetaceans using a continuous regression analysis that accounted for phylogenetic history. Our analyses revealed widespread signals of adaptive evolution in the MCPH1 of Cetacea and in other subclades of Mammalia, however, there was not a significant positive association between ω and brain size within Cetacea. Conclusion In conjunction with a recent study of Primates, we find no evidence to support an association between MCPH1 evolution and the evolution of brain size in highly encephalized mammalian species. Our finding of significant positive selection in MCPH1 may be linked to other functions of the gene.

  3. Diversity and Distribution Patterns of Cetaceans in the Subtropical Southwestern Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf and Slope

    Di Tullio, Juliana Couto; Gandra, Tiago B. R.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2016-01-01

    Temporal and spatial patterns of cetacean diversity and distribution were investigated through eight ship-based surveys carried out during spring and autumn between 2009 and 2014 on the outer continental shelf (~150m) and slope (1500m) off southeastern and southern Brazil (~23°S to ~34°S). The survey area was divided into southeast and south areas according to their oceanographic characteristics. Twenty-one species were observed in 503 sightings. The overall number of species was similar between the two areas, though it was higher in the spring in the south area. Five species were dominant and diversity varied more seasonally than spatially. ANOVA and kernel analyses showed that overall cetacean densities were higher in spring compared to autumn. Physeter macrocephalus, the most frequent species, concentrated throughout the south area at depths over 1000m in both seasons. Despite the overlapped occurrence at a broader scale, small delphinids presented latitudinal and in-offshore gradients as well as seasonal variation in distribution patterns, which could indicate habitat partitioning between some species. Delphinus delphis was only recorded in the south and its density decreased in areas where the presence of Stenella frontalis increased, mainly beyond the 250m isobath. Densities of S. longirostris and S. attenuata increased in lower latitudes and beyond the shelf break. The large delphinids Tursiops truncatus and Globicephala melas formed mixed groups in many occasions and were observed along the study area around depths of 500m. Grampus griseus was twice as frequent in the south area and densities increased in waters deeper than 600m. As expected, densities of both small and large migratory whales were higher during spring, over the continental slope, in the southeast area. The results presented here provided strong evidence on the importance of the outer continental shelf and slope to a diverse community of cetaceans occurring in the subtropical Southwestern

  4. Global coverage of cetacean line-transect surveys: status quo, data gaps and future challenges.

    Kristin Kaschner

    Full Text Available Knowledge of abundance, trends and distribution of cetacean populations is needed to inform marine conservation efforts, ecosystem models and spatial planning. We compiled a geo-spatial database of published data on cetacean abundance from dedicated visual line-transect surveys and encoded >1100 abundance estimates for 47 species from 430 surveys conducted worldwide from 1975-2005. Our subsequent analyses revealed large spatial, temporal and taxonomic variability and gaps in survey coverage. With the exception of Antarctic waters, survey coverage was biased toward the northern hemisphere, especially US and northern European waters. Overall, <25% of the world's ocean surface was surveyed and only 6% had been covered frequently enough (≥ 5 times to allow trend estimation. Almost half the global survey effort, defined as total area (km(2 covered by all survey study areas across time, was concentrated in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP. Neither the number of surveys conducted nor the survey effort had increased in recent years. Across species, an average of 10% of a species' predicted range had been covered by at least one survey, but there was considerable variation among species. With the exception of three delphinid species, <1% of all species' ranges had been covered frequently enough for trend analysis. Sperm whales emerged from our analyses as a relatively data-rich species. This is a notoriously difficult species to survey visually, and we use this as an example to illustrate the challenges of using available data from line-transect surveys for the detection of trends or for spatial planning. We propose field and analytical methods to fill in data gaps to improve cetacean conservation efforts.

  5. New-tools to assess the toxicological hazard of endocrine disruptor organoclorine contaminants in Mediterranean cetaceans

    M. Cristina Fossi; Marsili, L.; Casini, S. [Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Siena (Italy)

    2004-09-15

    The Mediterranean top predators, and particularly cetacean odontocetes, accumulate high concentrations of organochlorine contaminants (OCs), incurring high toxicological risk. Some organochlorine compounds, now with worldwide distribution, are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Four types of organochlorine endocrine disruptors are commonly found in Mediterranean cetaceans: (1) environmental estrogens, (2) environmental androgens, (3) anti-estrogens and (4) anti-androgens. Endocrine disruptors act by mimicking sex steroid hormones, both estrogens and androgens, by binding to hormone receptors or influencing cell pathways (environmental estrogens and androgens), or by blocking and altering hormone receptor binding (anti-estrogens, antiandrogens). Environmental estrogens are the most common and most widely studied EDCs. The relative estrogenic power of these chemicals, identified by in vitro and in vivo screening methods is rather weak (10{sup -3} or less) compared with the reference power of 17-estradiol or DES. However, the high levels of organochlorine compounds detected in marine mammals, particularly in pinnipeds and odontocetes, and consequently, the high levels of organochlorines with ED capacity, cannot be ignored. Here the hypothesis that some Mediterranean cetaceans (Stenella coeruleoalba, Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus and Balaenoptera physalus) are ''potentially at risk'' due to organochlorines with endocrine disrupting capacity is investigated using new non-lethal tools. As ''diagnostic'' tool we use benzo(a)pyrene monooxygenase (CYP1A1) activity in skin biopsies (non-lethal biomarker) as a potential indicator of exposure to organochlorines, with special reference to the compounds with endocrine disrupting capacity. As ''prognostic'' tool we propose the immunofluorescence technique in fibroblast cell cultures, for a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the target

  6. Molecular characterization of poxviruses associated with tattoo skin lesions in UK cetaceans.

    Barbara A Blacklaws

    Full Text Available There is increasing concern for the well-being of cetacean populations around the UK. Tattoo skin disease (characterised by irregular, grey, black or yellowish, stippled cutaneous lesions caused by poxvirus infection is a potential health indicatora potential health indicator for cetaceans. Limited sequence data indicates that cetacean poxviruses (CPVs belong to an unassigned genus of the Chordopoxvirinae. To obtain further insight into the phylogenetic relationships between CPV and other Chordopoxvirinae members we partially characterized viral DNA originating from tattoo lesions collected in Delphinidae and Phocoenidae stranded along the UK coastline in 1998-2008. We also evaluated the presence of CPV in skin lesions other than tattoos to examine specificity and sensitivity of visual diagnosis. After DNA extraction, regions of the DNA polymerase and DNA topoisomerase I genes were amplified by PCR, sequenced and compared with other isolates. The presence of CPV DNA was demonstrated in tattoos from one striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba, eight harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena and one short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis and in one 'dubious tattoo' lesion detected in one other porpoise. Seventeen of the 18 PCR positive skin lesions had been visually identified as tattoos and one as a dubious tattoo. None of the other skin lesions were PCR positive. Thus, visual identification had a 94.4% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The DNA polymerase PCR was most effective in detecting CPV DNA. Limited sequence phylogeny grouped the UK samples within the odontocete poxviruses (CPV group 1 and indicated that two different poxvirus lineages infect the Phocoenidae and the Delphinidae. The phylogenetic tree had three major branches: one with the UK Phocoenidae viruses, one with the Delphinidae isolates and one for the mysticete poxvirus (CPV group 2. This implies a radiation of poxviruses according to the host suborder and the families within

  7. Do Porpoises Choose Their Associates? A New Method for Analyzing Social Relationships among Cetaceans

    Sakai, Mai; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong; Li, Songhai; Akamatsu, Tomonari

    2011-01-01

    Background Observing and monitoring the underwater social interactions of cetaceans is challenging. Therefore, previous cetacean studies have monitored these interactions by surface observations. However, because cetaceans spend most of their time underwater, it is important that their underwater behavior is also continuously monitored to better understand their social relationships and social structure. The finless porpoise is small and has no dorsal fin. It is difficult to observe this species in the wild, and little is known of its sociality. Methodology/Principal Findings The swim depths of 6 free-ranging finless porpoises were simultaneously recorded using a time-synchronized bio-logging system. Synchronous diving was used as an index of association. Two pairs, #27 (an immature female estimated to be 3.5 years old) and #32 (an adult male), #28 (a juvenile male estimated to be 2 years old) and #29 (an adult male), tended to participate in long periods of synchronized diving more frequently than 13 other possible pairs, indicating that the 4 porpoises chose their social partners. The adult males (#32, #29) tended to follow the immature female (#27) and juvenile male (#28), respectively. However, during synchronized diving, the role of an initiator often changed within the pair, and their body movements appeared to be non-agonistic, e.g., rubbing of bodies against one another instead of that on one-side, as observed with chasing and escaping behaviors. Conclusions/Significance The present study employed a time-synchronized bio-logging method to observe the social relationships of free-ranging aquatic animals based on swimming depth. The results suggest that certain individuals form associations even if they are not a mother and calf pair. Long synchronized dives occurred when particular members were reunited, and this suggests that the synchronized dives were not a by-product of opportunistic aggregation. PMID:22216123

  8. Fishing activity in Northern Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil and its relation with small cetaceans

    Ana Paula Madeira Di Beneditto

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Research on fishing activity at Atafona village, in Northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (21°35'S, was carried out between 1987-96 for the purpose of relating it to the accidental capture of small cetaceans and of estimating the relationship between fishing activity and the diet of small cetaceans. Data on fishing operations were obtained at the cold storage plants management, from interviews with fishermen and personal observations. The most representative fishing resources were Xyphopenaeus kroyeri, Micropogonias furnieri, Carcharhinus plumbeus, C. acronotus,and Rhizoprionodon porosus. Gillnets are responsible for the accidental capture of small cetaceans in the region, mainly Pontoporia blainvillei and Sotalia fluviatilis (marine form. Four types of gillnets that are used on the region ("minjuada", "sarda", "caçoá" and "pescadinha" were dangerous to these species because they are placed in their preferred habitat. There is no competition between fishermen and small cetaceans due to the selection in the capture of commercialized fishesInvestigação sobre a atividade pesqueira na localidade de Atafona, Norte do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (21º25`S, foi conduzida entre 1987-96 com o objetivo de relacioná-la com a captura acidental e a dieta dos pequenos cetáceos. Dados sobre as operações pesqueiras foram obtidos na administração dos entrepostos de pesca, através de entrevistas com pescadores e observações pessoais. Os recursos pesqueiros mais representativos foram Xyphopenaeus kroyeri, Micropogonias furnieri, Carcharhinus plumbeus, C. acronotus, and Rhizoprionodon porosus. As redes de espera são responsáveis pela captura acidental de pequenos cetáceos na região, principalmente de Pontoporia blainvillei e Sotalia fluviatilis (forma marinha. Quatro tipos de redes de espera que são usadas na região ("minjuada", "sarda", "caçoá" and "pescadinha" foram mais perigosas para essas espécies pois são colocadas no seu hábitat preferencial

  9. The role of lantern fish (Myctophidae) in the life-cycle of cetacean parasites from western Mediterranean waters

    Mateu, Paula; Nardi, Valentina; Fraija-Fernández, Natalia; Mattiucci, Simonetta; Gil de Sola, Luis; Raga, Juan Antonio; Fernández, Mercedes; Aznar, Francisco Javier

    2015-01-01

    Myctophids (lantern fish) and cephalopods play a key role in trophic webs from the continental slope and oceanic waters linking the zooplankton to top predators. Many cetaceans feed on both lantern fish and cephalopods, and such prey would thus be expected to bridge the trophic gap in the life-cycles of helminths infecting cetaceans. However, information on the life-cycles of most of these helminths is extremely scanty. We examined the parasite fauna of myctophids and cephalopods in two areas from the western Mediterranean where at least 21 helminth taxa from cetaceans have been reported and both cetacean diversity and abundance is high. A total of 1012 individuals of 8 lantern fish species, namely, Ceratoscopelus maderensis, Lampanyctus crocodilus, Notoscopelus elongatus, Benthosema glaciale, Myctophum punctatum, Lobianchia dofleini, Diaphus holti and Hygophum benoiti, and 792 individuals of 2 cephalopod species, Alloteuthis media and Sepietta oweniana, were collected from the Gulf of Valencia and Alboran Sea (Spanish Mediterranean) during 2010-2012 and examined for larval helminths. All these species have been reported as prey for at least some cetacean species in the area. Only five helminth taxa were found. The nematodes Anisakis pegreffii and Anisakis physeteris were detected in N. elongatus and C. maderensis (overall prevalence for Anisakis: 8.1% and 0.5%, respectively). Their prevalence in N. elongatus was significantly higher than that from the other three myctophid species with n>50 individuals. A single individual of Hysterothylacium sp. was found in N. elongatus (prevalence: 0.5%) and Raphidascarididae gen. spp. in N. elongatus and L. crocodilus (prevalence: 20.3% and 0.7%, respectively). Juvenile didymozoid digeneans (Torticaecum type) were detected in N. elongatus and L. crocodilus (prevalence: 18.5% and 4.3%, respectively). Two unidentified cestode plerocercoids were collected from N. elongatus. Our study suggests, for the first time, that myctophids

  10. The use of diagnostic imaging for identifying abnormal gas accumulations in cetaceans and pinnipeds.

    Sophie eDennison

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent dogma suggested that marine mammals are not at risk of decompression sickness (DCS due to a number of evolutionary adaptations. Several proposed adaptations exist. Lung compression and alveolar collapse that terminate gas exchange before a depth is reached where supersaturation is significant and bradycardia with peripheral vasoconstriction affecting the distribution, and dynamics of blood and tissue nitrogen levels. Published accounts of gas and fat emboli and dysbaric osteonecrosis in marine mammals and theoretical modeling have challenged this view-point, suggesting that decompression-like symptoms may occur under certain circumstances, contrary to common belief. Diagnostic imaging modalities are invaluable tools for the non-invasive examination of animals for evidence of gas and have been used to demonstrate the presence of incidental decompression-related renal gas accumulations in some stranded cetaceans. Diagnostic imaging has also contributed to the recognition of clinically significant gas accumulations in live and dead cetaceans and pinnipeds. Understanding the appropriate application and limitations of the available imaging modalities is important for accurate interpretation of results. The presence of gas may be incidental and must be interpreted cautiously alongside all other available data including clinical examination, clinical laboratory testing, gas analysis, necropsy examination and histology results.

  11. A trade-off between precopulatory and postcopulatory trait investment in male cetaceans.

    Dines, James P; Mesnick, Sarah L; Ralls, Katherine; May-Collado, Laura; Agnarsson, Ingi; Dean, Matthew D

    2015-06-01

    Mating with multiple partners is common across species, and understanding how individual males secure fertilization in the face of competition remains a fundamental goal of evolutionary biology. Game theory stipulates that males have a fixed budget for reproduction that can lead to a trade-off between investment in precopulatory traits such as body size, armaments, and ornaments, and postcopulatory traits such as testis size and spermatogenic efficiency. Recent theoretical and empirical studies have shown that if males can monopolize access to multiple females, they will invest disproportionately in precopulatory traits and less in postcopulatory traits. Using phylogenetically controlled comparative methods, we demonstrate that across 58 cetacean species with the most prominent sexual dimorphism in size, shape, teeth, tusks, and singing invest significantly less in relative testes mass. In support of theoretical predictions, these species tend to show evidence of male contests, suggesting there is opportunity for winners to monopolize access to multiple females. Our approach provides a robust dataset with which to make predictions about male mating strategies for the many cetacean species for which adequate behavioral observations do not exist. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. Interactions between small cetaceans and the purse-seine fishery in western Portuguese waters

    Laura Wise

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Marine mammal interactions with Portuguese purse-seine fisheries operating in four different ports (Figueira da Foz, Sesimbra, Setúbal, Sines were studied (July-October 2003. Observers accompanied commercial fishing vessels and monitored 48 fishing trips. An interview survey of skippers was also carried out (n = 36. Three species of marine mammals were observed in 31 sightings during the commercials trips but only the species Delphinus delphis and the category Delphinidae were observed to interact with fishing activities. Small cetaceans were observed to sink, gather or disperse school fishes and damage gear. Mean CPUE and fishing effort values did not change significantly in the presence of dolphins (H = 0.06 and H = 0, both p>0.05. Results from Figueira da Foz indicate that cetaceans are attracted to fishing grounds with a high abundance of their prey-species. Fishermen reported three by-catch events off Figueira da Foz. Compared with other fisheries, purse-seine fishing does not seem to be among the most damaging to marine mammals.

  13. Species-specific accumulation of dioxin related compounds in cetaceans collected from Japanese coastal waters

    Kajiwara, N.; Watanabe, M.; Tanabe, S. [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime Univ. (Japan); Amano, M. [Ocean Research Inst., Univ. of Tokyo, Iwate (Japan); Yamada, T. [National Science Museum, Tokyo (Japan)

    2004-09-15

    Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are extremely hazardous and persistent chemicals identified as contaminants in chlorophenols, herbicides, fly ash and other incineration products. Dioxin-like PCBs including non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs are referred to as dioxin related compounds and are evaluated on par with PCDD/Fs in environmental risks since they have a high toxicity, similar to that of PCDD/Fs. These congeners have a range of physicochemical characteristics, which profoundly affect their persistence, environmental distribution, and bioaccumulation in aquatic food chains. Fish-eating wildlife such as marine mammals are particularly vulnerable to such contamination given their long lives, high trophic level, relative inability to metabolize many persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and the biomagnification of these contaminants in aquatic food chains. However, most studies dealing with PCDDs and PCDFs in marine mammals have been carried out on pinnipeds, and data on PCDD/Fs levels in cetaceans are scarce. The present study is aimed at understanding the recent pattern of contamination by dioxin related compounds including non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs and PCDD/Fs in three cetacean species collected from Japanese coastal waters during 1998-2001, and also to discuss the factors determining the accumulation.

  14. Seasonal and diel patterns in cetacean use and foraging at a potential marine renewable energy site.

    Nuuttila, Hanna K; Bertelli, Chiara M; Mendzil, Anouska; Dearle, Nessa

    2018-04-01

    Marine renewable energy (MRE) developments often coincide with sites frequented by small cetaceans. To understand habitat use and assess potential impact from development, echolocation clicks were recorded with acoustic click loggers (C-PODs) in Swansea Bay, Wales (UK). General Additive Models (GAMs) were applied to assess the effects of covariates including month, hour, tidal range and temperature. Analysis of inter-click intervals allowed the identification of potential foraging events as well as patterns of presence and absence. Data revealed year-round presence of porpoise, with distinct seasonal and diel patterns. Occasional acoustic encounters of dolphins were also recorded. This study provides further evidence of the need for assessing temporal trends in cetacean presence and habitat use in areas considered for development. These findings could assist MRE companies to monitor and mitigate against disturbance from construction, operation and decommissioning activities by avoiding times when porpoise presence and foraging activity is highest in the area. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Alveoli, teeth, and tooth loss: Understanding the homology of internal mandibular structures in mysticete cetaceans.

    Carlos Mauricio Peredo

    Full Text Available The evolution of filter feeding in baleen whales (Mysticeti facilitated a wide range of ecological diversity and extreme gigantism. The innovation of filter feeding evolved in a shift from a mineralized upper and lower dentition in stem mysticetes to keratinous baleen plates that hang only from the roof of the mouth in extant species, which are all edentulous as adults. While all extant mysticetes are born with a mandible lacking a specialized feeding structure (i.e., baleen, the bony surface retains small foramina with elongated sulci that often merge together in what has been termed the alveolar gutter. Because mysticete embryos develop tooth buds that resorb in utero, these foramina have been interpreted as homologous to tooth alveoli in other mammals. Here, we test this homology by creating 3D models of the internal mandibular morphology from terrestrial artiodactyls and fossil and extant cetaceans, including stem cetaceans, odontocetes and mysticetes. We demonstrate that dorsal foramina on the mandible communicate with the mandibular canal via smaller canals, which we explain within the context of known mechanical models of bone resorption. We suggest that these dorsal foramina represent distinct branches of the inferior alveolar nerve (or artery, rather than alveoli homologous with those of other mammals. As a functional explanation, we propose that these branches provide sensation to the dorsal margin of the mandible to facilitate placement and occlusion of the baleen plates during filer feeding.

  16. Concentration of mercury and selenium in tissues of five cetacean species from Croatian coastal waters

    Bilandžić Nina

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg and selenium (Se concentrations were measured in muscle, liver, kidney, spleen and lung tissues of five cetacean species, three dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba, Tursiops truncatus and Grampus griseus and two whale species (Balaenoptera physalus and Ziphius cavirostris, stranded along the Croatian coast during the period 1999-2002. Statistically significant differences in Hg concentrations in muscle, spleen and lung, and Se in liver and lung of the different dolphin species were observed. Mercury levels in liver and spleen and Se levels in liver differed between young and adult T. truncatus species. A significant positive correlation between different tissue types for Hg and Se concentrations was observed. In all tissues tested, the lowest Hg and Se concentrations were found in B. physalus. Mercury concentrations were positively correlated with Se in all tissues. The results present one of few studies related to lung and spleen tissues in these mammals, particularly in the Adriatic Sea. Since very little data are available, this research provides new data on concentrations of Hg and Se in five cetacean species from the Adriatic Sea basin.

  17. Inter-specific and seasonal comparison of the niches occupied by small cetaceans off north-west Iberia

    Fernandez Garcia, Rut; MacLeod, C. D.; Pierce, G. J.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of species' ecological niches can be used to assess ecological interactions between different taxa. Sixteen species of cetaceans have been recorded in Galician waters and niche partitioning is expected to occur among these species in order to allow them to co-exist. In this study, the n...

  18. Tracking evolution of myoglobin stability in cetaceans using experimentally calibrated computational methods that account for generic protein relaxation

    Holm, Jeppe; Dasmeh, Pouria; Kepp, Kasper Planeta

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) from land to water is one of the most spectacular events in mammal evolution. It has been suggested that selection for higher myoglobin stability (ΔG of folding) allowed whales to conquer the deep-diving niche. The stability of multi-si...

  19. Tissue concentrations of four Taiwanese toothed cetaceans indicating the silver and cadmium pollution in the western Pacific Ocean.

    Chen, Meng-Hsien; Zhuang, Ming-Feng; Chou, Lien-Siang; Liu, Jean-Yi; Shih, Chieh-Chih; Chen, Chiee-Young

    2017-11-30

    Muscle, lung, kidney and liver tissues of 45 bycatch and stranded cetaceans, including 14 Grampus griseus (Gg), 7 Kogia simus (Ks), 10 Lagenodelphis hosei (Lh), and 14 Stenella attenuata (Sa), were collected in the waters off Taiwan from 1994 to 1995, and from 2001 to 2012. Baseline concentrations (in μgg -1 dry weight) of the cetaceans were lung (<0.05)=muscle (<0.05)cetaceans are suggested. Marked high concentrations of Ag and Cd found in Gg and Lh are highly related to their squid-eating and deep diving habits. The highest ever recorded concentrations of liver-Ag and kidney-Cd were found in two Lh. These Taiwanese cetaceans indicate marked Ag and Cd pollution in the recent two decades in the western Pacific Ocean. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Review of Plastic-Associated Pressures: Cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Australian Shearwaters as Case Studies

    Maria Cristina Fossi

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Impacts of debris on marine fauna occur throughout the marine ecosystems, with adverse impacts documented on over 1,400 species; impacts can be divided into those arising from entanglement, and those from ingestion. Ingestion of, and entanglement in, debris has been documented in over 60% of all cetacean species. Seabirds are also impacted by debris predominately through entanglement and ingestion, with the number of species negatively impacted increasing from 138 to 174 over the past two decades. In the marine environment, cetaceans and seabirds are widely regarded as reliable sentinels due to their position near the top of the marine food web, conspicuous nature, and reliance on marine resources; for this reason, this paper is focused on seabirds and cetaceans as sentinels of ocean change. In particular, two case studies are considered in relation to different levels of environmental anthropogenic impact: the cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea and seabirds of eastern Australia. Here we describe two recent studies used to diagnose the toxicological stress related to debris-associated pressures in cetaceans and seabirds. These studies highlight the diversity and scale of impacts being felt by marine species and the role these organisms can play in our society as charismatic sentinels of ocean health. Seabirds and marine mammals are exposed, in these key areas, to a variety of adversities that potentially decrease their survival or reproductive success. These include weather, food shortages, predators, competitors, parasites, disease, and human-induced effects and plastic pollution. Each factor affects seabirds and marine mammals in a different way, but more importantly, factors can also interact and create impacts far greater than any one factor alone. The Australian and Mediterranean case studies presented here emphasize the need to consider multiple sources of mortality when developing management plans for the conservation of vulnerable

  1. Habitat-Based Density Models for Three Cetacean Species off Southern California Illustrate Pronounced Seasonal Differences

    Elizabeth A. Becker

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Managing marine species effectively requires spatially and temporally explicit knowledge of their density and distribution. Habitat-based density models, a type of species distribution model (SDM that uses habitat covariates to estimate species density and distribution patterns, are increasingly used for marine management and conservation because they provide a tool for assessing potential impacts (e.g., from fishery bycatch, ship strikes, anthropogenic sound over a variety of spatial and temporal scales. The abundance and distribution of many pelagic species exhibit substantial seasonal variability, highlighting the importance of predicting density specific to the season of interest. This is particularly true in dynamic regions like the California Current, where significant seasonal shifts in cetacean distribution have been documented at coarse scales. Finer scale (10 km habitat-based density models were previously developed for many cetacean species occurring in this region, but most models were limited to summer/fall. The objectives of our study were two-fold: (1 develop spatially-explicit density estimates for winter/spring to support management applications, and (2 compare model-predicted density and distribution patterns to previously developed summer/fall model results in the context of species ecology. We used a well-established Generalized Additive Modeling framework to develop cetacean SDMs based on 20 California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI shipboard surveys conducted during winter and spring between 2005 and 2015. Models were fit for short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis delphis, Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli, and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae. Model performance was evaluated based on a variety of established metrics, including the percentage of explained deviance, ratios of observed to predicted density, and visual inspection of predicted and observed distributions. Final models were

  2. Comparison of pinniped and cetacean prey tissue lipids with lipids of their elasmobranch predator.

    Davidson, Bruce; Cliff, Geremy

    2014-01-01

    The great white shark is known to include pinnipeds and cetaceans in its diet. Both groups of marine mammals deposit thick blubber layers around their bodies. Elasmobranchs do not produce adipose tissue, but rather store lipid in their livers, thus a great white predating on a marine mammal will deposit the lipids in its liver until required. Samples from great white liver and muscle, Cape fur seal, Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin and common dolphin liver, muscle and blubber were analyzed for their lipid and fatty acid profiles. The great white liver and marine mammal blubber samples showed a considerable degree of homogeneity, but there were significant differences when comparing between the muscle samples. Blubber from all three marine mammal species was calculated to provide greater than 95% of lipid intake for the great white shark from the tissues analyzed. Sampling of prey blubber may give a good indication of the lipids provided to the shark predator.

  3. Detection of pesticides unregistered in Japan, toxaphene and mirex, in the cetaceans from Japanese coastal waters

    Imanishi, K.; Kawakami, M.; Shimada, A.; Chikaishi, K. [Sumika Chemical Analysis Service, LTD., Niihama (Japan); Kimura, Y. [Sumika Chemical Analysis Service, LTD., Chiba (Japan); Kajiwara, N.; Tanabe, S. [Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime Univ., Matsuyama (Japan); Yamada, T. [National Science Museum, Tokyo (Japan)

    2004-09-15

    Toxaphene and mirex are the members of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) included in the International Treaty, the Stockholm Convention. POPs are characteristically transferred across borders and are accumulated in wildlife. Consequently, their global distribution and biological impacts are of great concern. However, there is very little information on contamination by toxaphene and mirex in the Asia-Pacific region. In Japan, scientific research focused on these two pesticides has not been conducted so far since they have never been registered there. In this study, toxaphene and mirex were determined in the blubber of cetaceans collected from various regions with a focus on Asian countries to evaluate the effects of their long-range atmospheric transport from regions where they were extensively used.

  4. Listening to the Deep: live monitoring of ocean noise and cetacean acoustic signals.

    André, M; van der Schaar, M; Zaugg, S; Houégnigan, L; Sánchez, A M; Castell, J V

    2011-01-01

    The development and broad use of passive acoustic monitoring techniques have the potential to help assessing the large-scale influence of artificial noise on marine organisms and ecosystems. Deep-sea observatories have the potential to play a key role in understanding these recent acoustic changes. LIDO (Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment) is an international project that is allowing the real-time long-term monitoring of marine ambient noise as well as marine mammal sounds at cabled and standalone observatories. Here, we present the overall development of the project and the use of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) techniques to provide the scientific community with real-time data at large spatial and temporal scales. Special attention is given to the extraction and identification of high frequency cetacean echolocation signals given the relevance of detecting target species, e.g. beaked whales, in mitigation processes, e.g. during military exercises. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. NCCOS Assessment: Predictive Mapping of Seabirds, Pinnipeds and Cetaceans off the Pacific Coast of Washington from 1995-07-21 to 2015-12-08 (NCEI Accession 0148762)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data collection comprises seasonal distribution maps and model outputs of selected seabird, pinniped and cetacean species off the Pacific coast of Washington....

  6. Prevalence of external injuries in small cetaceans in Aruban waters, southern Caribbean.

    Jolanda A Luksenburg

    Full Text Available Aruba, located close to the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, is one of the most densely populated islands in the Caribbean and supports a wide range of marine-related socio-economic activities. However, little is known about the impacts of human activities on the marine environment. Injuries in marine mammals can be used to examine interactions with human activities and identify potential threats to the survival of populations. The prevalence of external injuries and tooth rake marks were examined in Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis (n = 179, bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus (n = 76 and false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens (n = 71 in Aruban waters using photo identification techniques. Eleven injury categories were defined and linked to either human-related activities or natural causes. All injury categories were observed. In total, 18.7% of all individuals had at least one injury. Almost half (41.7% of the injuries could be attributed to human interactions, of which fishing gear was the most common cause (53.3% followed by propeller hits (13.3%. Major disfigurements were observed in all three species and could be attributed to interactions with fishing gear. The results of this study indicate that fishing gear and propeller hits may pose threats to small and medium-sized cetaceans in Aruban waters. Thus, long-term monitoring of population trends is warranted. Shark-inflicted bite wounds were observed in Atlantic spotted dolphin and bottlenose dolphin. Bite wounds of cookie cutter sharks (Isistius sp. were recorded in all three species, and include the first documented record of a cookie cutter shark bite in Atlantic spotted dolphin. This is one of the few studies which investigates the prevalence of injuries in cetaceans in the Caribbean. Further study is necessary to determine to which extent the injuries observed in Aruba affect the health and survival of local populations.

  7. Cetacean beachings correlate with geomagnetic disturbances in Earth's magnetosphere: an example of how astronomical changes impact the future of life

    Ferrari, Thomas E.

    2017-04-01

    The beaching and stranding of whales and dolphins around the world has been mystifying scientists for centuries. Although many theories have been proposed, few are substantiated by unequivocal statistical evidence. Advances in the field of animal magnetoreception have established that many organisms, including cetaceans, have an internal `compass,' which they use for orientation when traveling long distances. Astrobiology involves not only the origin and distribution of life in the universe, but also the scientific study of how extraterrestrial conditions affect evolution of life on planet Earth. The focus of this study is how cetacean life is influenced by disturbances in its environment that originate from an astrological phenomenon - in the present study that involves solar flares and cetacean beachings. Solar storms are caused by major coronal eruptions on the Sun. Upon reaching Earth, they cause disturbances in Earth's normally stable magnetosphere. Unable to follow an accurate magnetic bearing under such circumstances, cetaceans lose their compass reading while travelling and, depending on their juxtaposition and nearness to land, eventually beach themselves. (1) This hypothesis was supported by six separate, independent surveys of beachings: (A) in the Mediterranean Sea, (B) the northern Gulf of Mexico, (C) the east and (D) west coasts of the USA and two surveys (E and F) from around the world. When the six surveys were pooled (1614 strandings), a highly significant correlation (R 2 = 0.981) of when strandings occurred with when major geomagnetic disturbances in Earth's magnetosphere occurred was consistent with this hypothesis. (2) Whale and dolphin strandings in the northern Gulf of Mexico and the east coast of the USA were correlated (R 2 = 0.919, R 2 = 0.924) with the number of days before and after a geomagnetic storm. (3) Yearly strandings were correlated with annual geomagnetic storm days. (4) Annual beachings of cetaceans from 1998 to 2012 were

  8. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Cetacean and Sound Mapping Effort: Continuing Forward with an Integrated Ocean Noise Strategy.

    Harrison, Jolie; Ferguson, Megan; Gedamke, Jason; Hatch, Leila; Southall, Brandon; Van Parijs, Sofie

    2016-01-01

    To help manage chronic and cumulative impacts of human activities on marine mammals, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) convened two working groups, the Underwater Sound Field Mapping Working Group (SoundMap) and the Cetacean Density and Distribution Mapping Working Group (CetMap), with overarching effort of both groups referred to as CetSound, which (1) mapped the predicted contribution of human sound sources to ocean noise and (2) provided region/time/species-specific cetacean density and distribution maps. Mapping products were presented at a symposium where future priorities were identified, including institutionalization/integration of the CetSound effort within NOAA-wide goals and programs, creation of forums and mechanisms for external input and funding, and expanded outreach/education. NOAA is subsequently developing an ocean noise strategy to articulate noise conservation goals and further identify science and management actions needed to support them.

  9. Seasonal distribution and abundance of cetaceans within French waters- Part I: The North-Western Mediterranean, including the Pelagos sanctuary

    Laran, Sophie; Pettex, Emeline; Authier, Matthieu; Blanck, Aurélie; David, Léa; Dorémus, Ghislain; Falchetto, Hélène; Monestiez, Pascal; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Ridoux, Vincent

    2017-07-01

    The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea is undergoing important changes. Cetaceans, as top predators, are an important component of marine ecosystems. The seasonal distribution and abundance of several cetacean species were studied with a large aerial survey over the North-Western Mediterranean Sea, including the international Pelagos sanctuary, the largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) designed for marine mammals in the Mediterranean. A total of 8 distinct species of cetaceans were identified, and their occurrence within the sanctuary was investigated. Abundance estimates were obtained for three groups of species: the small delphinids (striped dolphins mainly), the bottlenose dolphin and the fin whale. There was a seasonal variation in striped dolphin abundance between winter (57,300 individuals, 95% CI: 34,500-102,000) and summer (130,000, 95% CI: 76,800-222,100). In contrast, bottlenose dolphin winter abundance was thrice that of summer. It was also the only species to exhibit any preference for the Pelagos sanctuary. Fin whale abundance had the reverse pattern with winter abundance (1000 individuals, 95% CI: 500-2500) and summer (2500 individuals, 95% CI: 1500-4300), without any preference for the sanctuary. Risso's dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales did not exhibit strong seasonal pattern in their abundance. These results provide baseline estimates which can be used to inform conservation policies and instruments such as the Habitats Directive or the recent European Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

  10. Floating macro-litter along the Mediterranean French coast: Composition, density, distribution and overlap with cetacean range.

    Di-Méglio, Nathalie; Campana, Ilaria

    2017-05-15

    This study investigated the composition, density and distribution of floating macro-litter along the Liguro-Provençal basin with respect to cetaceans presence. Survey transects were performed in summer between 2006 and 2015 from sailing vessels with simultaneous cetaceans observations. During 5171km travelled, 1993 floating items were recorded, widespread in the whole study area. Plastics was the predominant category, with bags/packaging always representing >45% of total items. Overall mean density (14.98 items/km 2 ) was stable with significant increase reported only in 2010-2011; monthly analysis showed lower litter densities in July-September, suggesting possible seasonal patterns. Kernel density estimation for plastics revealed ubiquitous distribution rather than high accumulation areas, mainly due to the circulation dynamics of this area. The presence range of cetaceans (259 sightings, 6 species) corresponded by ~50% with plastic distribution, indicating high potential of interaction, especially in the eastern part of the area, but effective risks for marine species might be underrepresented. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Trace elements in tissues of cetacean species rarely stranded along the Israeli Mediterranean coast.

    Shoham-Frider, Efrat; Kerem, Dan; Roditi-Elasar, Mia; Goffman, Oz; Morick, Danny; Yoffe, Olga; Kress, Nurit

    2014-06-15

    In this paper we present the concentrations of Hg, Cd, Se, Pb, Cu, Mn, Zn and Fe in organs of 6 non-common specimens of cetaceans that were stranded along the Israeli Mediterranean coast (IMC), during 2002-2010: two fin whales, one minke whale, one Cuvier's beaked whale, one rough-toothed dolphin, and one Risso's dolphin. Most of the specimens were calves stranded by accident. Concentrations of Hg and Cd were low in tissues of the baleen whales and higher in the toothed whales, with maximum concentrations of 1067 mg kg(-1) Hg in the liver of the Risso's dolphin and 29 mg kg(-1) Cd in the kidney of the Cuvier's beaked whale. As far as we are aware, this is the first report of trace elements in baleen whales in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the first report of trace elements in minke whale and rough-toothed dolphin in the Mediterranean. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Cetacean records along São Paulo state coast, Southeastern Brazil

    Marcos César de Oliveira Santos

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The São Paulo state (SP coast (23º18'S, 44º42'W; 25º14'S, 48º01'W is of approximately 600 km in length, bordering the Western Atlantic Ocean, in southeastern Brazil. Cetacean sightings and strandings have long been observed throughout this area. Scattered data from scientific publications, skeletal remains in museums, photographs and articles from newspaper files, universities and aquaria have been organised and updated since 1993. Field investigations on strandings and sightings have also been conducted. A total of 29 cetacean species have been recorded, including 7 baleen whales (Mysticeti and 22 toothed whales (Odontoceti, as follows: Balaenoptera physalus, B. borealis, B. edeni, B. acutorostrata, B. bonaerensis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eubalaena australis, Physeter macrocephalus, Kogia breviceps, K. sima, Berardius arnuxii, Mesoplodon europaeus, M. mirus, Ziphius cavirostris, Orcinus orca, Feresa attenuata, Globicephala melas, G. macrorhynchus, Pseudorca crassidens, Delphinus capensis, Lagenodelphis hosei, Steno bredanensis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella frontalis, S. longirostris, S. coeruleoalba, Lissodelphis peronii, Sotalia guianensis and Pontoporia blainvillei. Several species have been observed only once and include strays from their areas of common distribution, as well as species with known preferences for offshore distribution. Others, such as P. blainvillei and S. guianensis, are common coastal dwellers year-round. Z. cavirostris, P. crassidens and L. hosei are reported for the first time on the SP coast.A costa do Estado de São Paulo (SP (23º18'S, 44º42'O; 25º14'S, 48º01'O apresenta aproximadamente 600 km de extensão voltada para o Oceano Atlântico Ocidental no sudeste do Brasil. Registros de encalhes e de avistamentos de cetáceos vêm sendo realizados ao longo desse litoral. Desde 1993, dados obtidos em literatura científica, material osteológico encontrado em museus, fotografias e artigos de arquivos de jornais

  13. Estimating energetics in cetaceans from respiratory frequency: why we need to understand physiology

    A. Fahlman

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The accurate estimation of field metabolic rates (FMR in wild animals is a key component of bioenergetic models, and is important for understanding the routine limitations for survival as well as individual responses to disturbances or environmental changes. Several methods have been used to estimate FMR, including accelerometer-derived activity budgets, isotope dilution techniques, and proxies from heart rate. Counting the number of breaths is another method used to assess FMR in cetaceans, which is attractive in its simplicity and the ability to measure respiration frequency from visual cues or data loggers. This method hinges on the assumption that over time a constant tidal volume (VT and O2 exchange fraction (ΔO2 can be used to predict FMR. To test whether this method of estimating FMR is valid, we measured breath-by-breath tidal volumes and expired O2 levels of bottlenose dolphins, and computed the O2 consumption rate (V̇O2 before and after a pre-determined duration of exercise. The measured V̇O2 was compared with three methods to estimate FMR. Each method to estimate V̇O2 included variable VT and/or ΔO2. Two assumption-based methods overestimated V̇O2 by 216-501%. Once the temporal changes in cardio-respiratory physiology, such as variation in VT and ΔO2, were taken into account, pre-exercise resting V̇O2 was predicted to within 2%, and post-exercise V̇O2 was overestimated by 12%. Our data show that a better understanding of cardiorespiratory physiology significantly improves the ability to estimate metabolic rate from respiratory frequency, and further emphasizes the importance of eco-physiology for conservation management efforts.

  14. Cetacean mother-calf behavior observed from a small aircraft off Southern California. Animal Behavior and Cognition

    Mari A. Smultea

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available During early developmental stages, cetacean calves are dependent on their mothers for survival. Protection of young whales engaged in behaviors that are biologically important is critical for population recovery, so that appropriate management actions can be taken to minimize human disturbance. However, the occurrence and frequency of whale nursing and calves back-riding their mothers (both considered important to calf survival have rarely been observed nor adequately quantified or defined. Therefore, it may not always be clear when disruption is occurring. We used extended behavioral observations, still photography, and video camera footage obtained during aircraft surveys in the Southern California Bight in 2008 – 2013 to characterize cetacean mother-calf interactions. Based on observations of four mother/calf pairs (two gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, one fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus, and one blue whale, B. musculus and one killer whale presumed mother/yearling pair (Orcinus orca, we describe bouts of nursing and calves riding on the backs of their presumed mothers, including activity duration, frequency, and relative body positioning. We conclude with specific definitions useful to wildlife conservation agencies authorizing and establishing restrictions to certain human activities when they might constitute behavioral disruptions.

  15. Ethnoecology of small cetaceans: interactions between an artisanal fishery and dolphins in northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Ana Paula Madeira Di Beneditto

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Studies in northern Rio de Janeiro indicate there are interactions between fisheries and cetaceans, but there are no studies that focus on the knowledge fishermen have about these animals. This study describes the interactions between cetaceans and a fishery through the perception of fishermen from Atafona (RJ. Between February and March 2010, 20 fishermen were selected using the “snowball” technique. An ethnographic questionnaire was given to each fisherman. Each participant described more than one species of dolphin, which explains why the sample size of the responses (N=34 is greater than the number of respondents (N=20. Based on the reports, three species and one genus were identified: Sotalia guianensis (N=15; 75%, Pontoporia blainvillei (N=9; 45%, Steno bredanensis (N=6; 30% and Stenella (N=4; 20%. The answer “collision with artifacts” was the only one given for the question about the occurrence of accidents between the fishery and dolphins (N=24; 71%; gillnets are responsible for the entanglement of the animals. The carcasses of dolphins killed by accidental capture are discarded into the sea and/or the muscle and blubber is used as bait to fish for elasmobranchs. The dolphin species identified by the fishermen corresponded to the four main species reported in the literature for the area. All interviewees said that bycatch is caused by dolphins and affects fishing.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Shortlist masterplan wind. Ship-based monitoring of seabirds and cetaceans

    Van Bemmelen, R.; Geelhoed, S.; Leopold, M. [Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies IMARES, Wageningen UR, IJmuiden (Netherlands)

    2011-02-15

    offshore winds. These surveys have identified several issues that should be taken into account in future planning of wind farms. Divers, which are the highest ranked species in terms of sensitivity to wind farms, can be encountered migrating anywhere in offshore waters and sightings of White-billed Divers at the Dogger Bank suggest the existence of a small wintering population of this near-threatened species. In relation to this, potential effects of wind farms on offshore species, such as Northern Fulmars, Atlantic Puffins, Little Auks and cetaceans, are unknown as current wind farms are located near shore where these species do not occur in large numbers.

  18. Four Simple Questions: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Half-Day Community Workshops Designed to Increase Awareness of Coastal Cetacean Conservation Issues in Sarawak, Malaysia

    Minton, Gianna; Poh, Anna Norliza Zulkifli; Ngeian, Jenny; Peter, Cindy; Tuen, Andrew Alek

    2012-01-01

    Community workshops were held in coastal locations in Sarawak to raise awareness of cetacean conservation. Interviews were conducted up to 2 years later in four "workshop communities" as well as four villages where workshops were not conducted. Comparison of responses between respondents who had attended workshops (n = 127) versus those…

  19. Distribution of trace elements in organs of six species of cetaceans from the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean), and the relationship with stable carbon and nitrogen ratios

    Capelli, R. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy); Das, K. [MARE center, Laboratory for Oceanology, University of Liege, B6 Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Pellegrini, R. De; Drava, G. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy); Lepoint, G. [MARE center, Laboratory for Oceanology, University of Liege, B6 Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liege (Belgium); Miglio, C. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy); Minganti, V. [Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologie Farmaceutiche ed Alimentari - Universita degli Studi di Genova - Via Brigata Salerno, 13 I-16147 Genova (Italy)], E-mail: minganti@dictfa.unige.it; Poggi, R. [Museo Civico di Storia Naturale ' Giacomo Doria' - Via Brigata Liguria, 9 I-16121 Genova (Italy)

    2008-02-15

    Mercury (total and organic), cadmium, lead, copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc concentrations were measured in different organs of 6 different cetacean species stranded in an area of extraordinary ecological interest (Cetaceans' Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea) along the coast of the Ligurian Sea (North-West Mediterranean). Stable-isotopes ratios of carbon ({sup 13}C/{sup 12}C) and nitrogen ({sup 15}N/{sup 14}N) were also measured in the muscle. A significant relationship exists between {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N, mercury concentration and the trophic level. The distribution of essential and non-essential trace elements was studied on several organs, and a significant relationship between selenium and mercury, with a molar ratio close to 1, was found in the cetaceans' kidney, liver and spleen, regardless of their species. High selenium concentrations are generally associated with a low organic to total mercury ratio. While narrow ranges of concentrations were observed for essential elements in most organs, mercury and selenium concentrations are characterised by a wide range of variation. Bio-accumulation and bio-amplification processes in cetaceans can be better understood by comparing trace element concentrations with the stable-isotopes data.

  20. Summer Distribution, Relative Abundance and Encounter Rates of Cetaceans in the Mediterranean Waters off Southern Italy (Western Ionian Sea and Southern Tyrrhenian Sea

    R. SANTORO

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In summer 2010 and summer 2011, weekly cetacean surveys were undertaken in “passing mode”, using ferries as platform of opportunity, along the “fixed line transect” between Catania and Civitavecchia (Southern Italy. Of the 20 species of cetaceans confirmed for the Mediterranean sea, 8 were sighted within the survey period: 7 species represented by Mediterranean subpopulations (Balaenoptera physalus, Physeter macrocephalus, Stenella coeruleoalba, Delphinus delphis, Grampus griseus, Tursiops truncatus and Ziphius cavirostris and one considered visitor (Steno bredanensis. We had a total of 220 sightings during the 2010 and a total of 240 sightings in the 2011. The most frequent species was S. coeruleoalba. By the comparison of the data from the two sampling seasons, a significant increase of D. delphis sightings and a decrease of sightings of B. physalus and P. macrocephalus was observed from 2010 to 2011. While all the other species were observed in both sampling seasons, Z. cavirostris and Steno bredanensis were observed only during 2011. The presence of mixed groups of odontocetes was documented too: we sighted groups composed by S. coeruleoalba and D. delphis, by S. coeruleoalba and T. truncatus, and by S. coeruleoalba and G. griseus. The results of this research add useful information on cetacean species in a very poorly known area and highlight the need to standardize large scale and long term monitoring programs in order to detect variation in presence, abundance and distribution of cetaceans populations and understand the effect of anthropogenic factors.

  1. SWFSC/MMTD/CCE: Oregon, California, and Washington Line-transect Experiment (ORCAWALE) 1996, 2001, 2008 and CA Current Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey (CalCurCEAS) 2014

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The California Current Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey (CalCurCEAS) is a marine mammal assessment survey of the U.S. West Coast waters. Similar research in...

  2. Cetacean line-transect survey conducted in the eastern Bering Sea shelf by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from NOAA Ship Miller Freeman from 1999-07-07 to 2004-06-30 (NCEI Accession 0131862)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Visual surveys for cetaceans were conducted on the eastern Bering Sea shelf along transect lines, in association with the AFSC’s echo integration trawl surveys for...

  3. The Use of Carcasses for the Analysis of Cetacean Population Genetic Structure: A Comparative Study in Two Dolphin Species

    Bilgmann, Kerstin; Möller, Luciana M.; Harcourt, Robert G.; Kemper, Catherine M.; Beheregaray, Luciano B.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in molecular techniques have enabled the study of genetic diversity and population structure in many different contexts. Studies that assess the genetic structure of cetacean populations often use biopsy samples from free-ranging individuals and tissue samples from stranded animals or individuals that became entangled in fishery or aquaculture equipment. This leads to the question of how representative the location of a stranded or entangled animal is with respect to its natural range, and whether similar results would be obtained when comparing carcass samples with samples from free-ranging individuals in studies of population structure. Here we use tissue samples from carcasses of dolphins that stranded or died as a result of bycatch in South Australia to investigate spatial population structure in two species: coastal bottlenose (Tursiops sp.) and short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). We compare these results with those previously obtained from biopsy sampled free-ranging dolphins in the same area to test whether carcass samples yield similar patterns of genetic variability and population structure. Data from dolphin carcasses were gathered using seven microsatellite markers and a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region. Analyses based on carcass samples alone failed to detect genetic structure in Tursiops sp., a species previously shown to exhibit restricted dispersal and moderate genetic differentiation across a small spatial scale in this region. However, genetic structure was correctly inferred in D. delphis, a species previously shown to have reduced genetic structure over a similar geographic area. We propose that in the absence of corroborating data, and when population structure is assessed over relatively small spatial scales, the sole use of carcasses may lead to an underestimate of genetic differentiation. This can lead to a failure in identifying management units for conservation. Therefore, this risk should be carefully

  4. Making Marine Noise Pollution Impacts Heard: The Case of Cetaceans in the North Sea within Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    Heleen Middel

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Oceans represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and are among the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. However, human activities such as shipping and construction of marine infrastructure pose a threat to the quality of marine ecosystems. Due to the dependence of most marine animals on sound for their communication, foraging, protection, and ultimately their survival, the effects of noise pollution from human activities are of growing concern. Life cycle assessment (LCA can play a role in the understanding of how potential environmental impacts are related to industrial processes. However, noise pollution impacts on marine ecosystems have not yet been taken into account. This paper presents a first approach for the integration of noise impacts on marine ecosystems into the LCA framework by developing characterization factors (CF for the North Sea. Noise pollution triggers a large variety of impact pathways, but as a starting point and proof-of-concept we assessed impacts on the avoidance behaviour of cetaceans due to pile-driving during the construction of offshore windfarms in the North Sea. Our approach regards the impact of avoidance behaviour as a temporary loss of habitat, and assumes a temporary loss of all individuals within that habitat from the total regional population. This was verified with an existing model that assessed the population-level effect of noise pollution on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena in the North Sea. We expanded our CF to also include other cetacean species and tested it in a case study of the construction of an offshore windfarm (Prinses Amalia wind park. The total impact of noise pollution was in the same order of magnitude as impacts on other ecosystems from freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial acidification, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Although there are still many improvements to be made to this approach, it provides a basis for the implementation of noise

  5. Persistent organic pollutant concentrations in blubber of 16 species of cetaceans stranded in the Pacific Islands from 1997 through 2011.

    Bachman, Melannie J; Keller, Jennifer M; West, Kristi L; Jensen, Brenda A

    2014-08-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic man-made chemicals that bioaccumulate and biomagnify in food webs, making them a ubiquitous threat to the marine environment. Although many studies have determined concentrations of POPs in top predators, no studies have quantified POPs in stranded cetaceans within the last 30 years around the Hawaiian Islands. A suite of POPs was measured in the blubber of 16 cetacean species that stranded in the tropical Pacific, including Hawai'i from 1997 to 2011. The sample set includes odontocetes (n=39) and mysticetes (n=3). Median (range) contaminant concentrations in ng/g lipid for the most representative species category (delphinids excluding killer whales [n=27]) are: 9650 (44.4-99,100) for ∑DDTs, 6240 (40.8-50,200) for ∑PCBs, 1380 (6.73-9520) for ∑chlordanes, 1230 (13.4-5510) for ∑toxaphenes, 269 (1.99-10,100) for ∑PBDEs, 280 (2.14-4190) for mirex, 176 (5.43-857) for HCB, 48.1 (0.063), but sex/age class influences were evident with adult males exhibiting greater contaminant loads than adult females and juveniles for ∑DDT, ∑PCBs, ∑CHLs, and mirex (p≤0.036). POP concentrations were lower in mysticetes than odontocetes for many compound classes (p≤0.003). p,p'-DDE/∑DDTs ratios were greater than 0.6 for all species except humpback whales, suggesting exposure to an old DDT source. These POP levels are high enough to warrant concern and continued monitoring. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Seasonal distribution and abundance of cetaceans within French waters- Part II: The Bay of Biscay and the English Channel

    Laran, Sophie; Authier, Matthieu; Blanck, Aurélie; Doremus, Ghislain; Falchetto, Hélène; Monestiez, Pascal; Pettex, Emeline; Stephan, Eric; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Ridoux, Vincent

    2017-07-01

    From the Habitat Directive to the recent Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the conservation status of cetaceans in European water has been of concern for over two decades. In this study, a seasonal comparison of the abundance and distribution of cetaceans was carried out in two contrasted regions of the Eastern North Atlantic, the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. Estimates were obtained in the two sub-regions (375,000 km²) from large aerial surveys conducted in the winter (November 2011 to February 2012) and in the summer (May to August 2012). The most abundant species encountered in the Channel, the harbour porpoise, displayed strong seasonal variations in its distribution but a stable abundance (18,000 individuals, CV=30%). In the Bay of Biscay, abundance and distribution patterns of common / striped dolphins varied from 285,000 individuals (95% CI: 174,000-481,000) in the winter, preferentially distributed close to the shelf break, to 494,000 individuals (95% CI: 342,000-719,000) distributed beyond the shelf break in summer. Baleen whales also exhibited an increase of their density in summer. Seasonal abundances of bottlenose dolphins were quite stable, with a large number of 'pelagic' encounters offshore in winter. No significant seasonal difference was estimated for pilot whales and sperm whale. These surveys provided baseline estimates to inform policies to be developed, or for existing conservation instruments such as the Habitats Directive. In addition, our results supported the hypothesis of a shift in the summer distributions of some species such as harbour porpoise and minke whale in European waters.

  7. Climate-driven environmental changes around 8,200 years ago favoured increases in cetacean strandings and Mediterranean hunter-gatherers exploited them.

    Mannino, Marcello A; Talamo, Sahra; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Fiore, Ivana; Nehlich, Olaf; Piperno, Marcello; Tusa, Sebastiano; Collina, Carmine; Di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Richards, Michael P

    2015-11-17

    Cetacean mass strandings occur regularly worldwide, yet the compounded effects of natural and anthropogenic factors often complicate our understanding of these phenomena. Evidence of past stranding episodes may, thus, be essential to establish the potential influence of climate change. Investigations on bones from the site of Grotta dell'Uzzo in North West Sicily (Italy) show that the rapid climate change around 8,200 years ago coincided with increased strandings in the Mediterranean Sea. Stable isotope analyses on collagen from a large sample of remains recovered at this cave indicate that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers relied little on marine resources. A human and a red fox dating to the 8.2-kyr-BP climatic event, however, acquired at least one third of their protein from cetaceans. Numerous carcasses should have been available annually, for at least a decade, to obtain these proportions of meat. Our findings imply that climate-driven environmental changes, caused by global warming, may represent a serious threat to cetaceans in the near future.

  8. Linear Transect Surveys of Abundance and Density of Cetaceans in The Area Near the Dzharylgach Island in the North-Western Black Sea

    Gladilina E. V.

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The first assessment of cetacean density and abundance by linear transect survey was conducted in 2016 and 2017 in the shallowest coastal area of the Ukrainian sector of the north-western Black Sea, in the Dzharylgach Gulf and the northern Karkinit Gulf, total area up to 259 km2. Three cetacean species were found present in the area in summer, and the harbour porpoise was the most abundant species with the abundance of at least a few hundred animals (estimated as 175 individuals in the Dzharylgach Gulf, whereas the common dolphins (59 and bottlenose dolphins (31 were present in lesser numbers. Common and bottlenose dolphins showed the clearest patterns of habitat preferences, being restricted respectively to the Dzharylgach and the northern Karkinit Gulf; an unusual trait is the preference of the shallowest habitat by common dolphins. Recorded density of harbour porpoises in the Dzharylgach Gulf is among the highest in the whole Black Sea. Thus, the studied area may be an important summer habitat for cetaceans.

  9. Including cetaceans in multi-species assessment models using strandings data: why, how and what can we do about it?

    Camilo Saavedra

    2014-07-01

    questions. Most multispecies models include interactions between commercially exploited species, since those data are more readily available. However, information is needed on at least both the main preys and predators of a selected stock. In the case of European Hake, the species we have focus our research on, cetaceans are their main predator, particularly common and bottlenose dolphins, which have been estimated to remove annually in the Atlantic shelf waters of the Iberian Peninsula, an amount similar to that caught by Spanish and Portuguese fleets (Santos et al., 2013. The European hake is one of the main fishing species of the Spanish and Portuguese fleets operating in the area, and one where more research activity has been concentrated, hence there is plenty of available biological information on growth, reproduction and trophic interactions. As a result, a population model has been built which uses trophic interactions to investigate the relationships between hake and other species. The European hake population is currently divided into two stocks, north and south. The southern hake stock, distributed along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula, is annually assessed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO. For the assessment of this stock, “Gadget” a multi-specific modeling framework is used. Gadget allows the building of minimum realistic models that integrating the main trophic relationships among selected species considered to reflect the main processes in the system. Modeling cetacean populations can allow us to include complex trophic relationships in multispecies models. Furthermore, it will also be a tool to help cetaceans conservation by guiding possible management measures that ensure their viability or recovery. All cetacean species are protected by national and international legislation (e.g. Habitats Directive. However, modeling cetaceans dynamics has a number of problems

  10. Estimating cetacean density and abundance in the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea through aerial surveys: Implications for management

    Panigada, Simone; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Donovan, Greg; Pierantonio, Nino; Cañadas, Ana; Vázquez, José Antonio; Burt, Louise

    2017-07-01

    Systematic, effective monitoring of animal population parameters underpins successful conservation strategy and wildlife management, but it is often neglected in many regions, including much of the Mediterranean Sea. Nonetheless, a series of systematic multispecies aerial surveys was carried out in the seas around Italy to gather important baseline information on cetacean occurrence, distribution and abundance. The monitored areas included the Pelagos Sanctuary, the Tyrrhenian Sea, portions of the Seas of Corsica and Sardinia, the Ionian Seas as well as the Gulf of Taranto. Overall, approximately 48,000 km were flown in either spring, summer and winter between 2009-2014, covering an area of 444,621 km2. The most commonly observed species were the striped dolphin and the fin whale, with 975 and 83 recorded sightings, respectively. Other sighted cetacean species were the common bottlenose dolphin, the Risso's dolphin, the sperm whale, the pilot whale and the Cuvier's beaked whale. Uncorrected model- and design-based estimates of density and abundance for striped dolphins and fin whales were produced, resulting in a best estimate (model-based) of around 95,000 striped dolphins (CV=11.6%; 95% CI=92,900-120,300) occurring in the Pelagos Sanctuary, Central Tyrrhenian and Western Seas of Corsica and Sardinia combined area in summer 2010. Estimates were also obtained for each individual study region and year. An initial attempt to estimate perception bias for striped dolphins is also provided. The preferred summer 2010 uncorrected best estimate (design-based) for the same areas for fin whales was around 665 (CV=33.1%; 95% CI=350-1260). Estimates are also provided for the individual study regions and years. The results represent baseline data to develop efficient, long-term, systematic monitoring programmes, essential to evaluate trends, as required by a number of national and international frameworks, and stress the need to ensure that surveys are undertaken regularly and

  11. Early development and orientation of the acoustic funnel provides insight into the evolution of sound reception pathways in cetaceans.

    Maya Yamato

    Full Text Available Whales receive underwater sounds through a fundamentally different mechanism than their close terrestrial relatives. Instead of hearing through the ear canal, cetaceans hear through specialized fatty tissues leading to an evolutionarily novel feature: an acoustic funnel located anterior to the tympanic aperture. We traced the ontogenetic development of this feature in 56 fetal specimens from 10 different families of toothed (odontocete and baleen (mysticete whales, using X-ray computed tomography. We also charted ear ossification patterns through ontogeny to understand the impact of heterochronic developmental processes. We determined that the acoustic funnel arises from a prominent V-shaped structure established early in ontogeny, formed by the malleus and the goniale. In odontocetes, this V-formation develops into a cone-shaped funnel facing anteriorly, directly into intramandibular acoustic fats, which is likely functionally linked to the anterior orientation of sound reception in echolocation. In contrast, the acoustic funnel in balaenopterids rotates laterally, later in fetal development, consistent with a lateral sound reception pathway. Balaenids and several fossil mysticetes retain a somewhat anteriorly oriented acoustic funnel in the mature condition, indicating that a lateral sound reception pathway in balaenopterids may be a recent evolutionary innovation linked to specialized feeding modes, such as lunge-feeding.

  12. How much effort is enough? The power of citizen science to monitor trends in coastal cetacean species

    C.B. Embling

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Citizen scientists provide a cost-effective means of carrying out broad scale, long-term monitoring of the environment while fostering earth stewardship. In this study we investigate how much effort is required by citizen scientists to detect trends in the occurrence of a protected population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. We analyse the WDC citizen science shore-based data collected over nine years (2005–2013 between April to October from within and in the vicinity of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC for bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland. Watches comprised a continuous 10 minute scan of the survey area in an hour. During peak season, around 5 watches per day were required to detect annual or between-site trends of 50% in dolphin occurrence in locations where dolphins were sighted reliably (0.1 sightings per hour. Less effort was required at higher sightings rates, and it was not possible to statistically detect trends of <30%. This study highlights the importance of power analysis in designing citizen science programmes and demonstrates their effectiveness in carrying out long term shore-based monitoring of coastal cetacean species, providing a cost-effective early warning system for changes in the marine environment.

  13. From the track to the ocean: Using flow control to improve marine bio-logging tags for cetaceans.

    Giovani Fiore

    Full Text Available Bio-logging tags are an important tool for the study of cetaceans, but superficial tags inevitably increase hydrodynamic loading. Substantial forces can be generated by tags on fast-swimming animals, potentially affecting behavior and energetics or promoting early tag removal. Streamlined forms have been used to reduce loading, but these designs can accelerate flow over the top of the tag. This non-axisymmetric flow results in large lift forces (normal to the animal that become the dominant force component at high speeds. In order to reduce lift and minimize total hydrodynamic loading this work presents a new tag design (Model A that incorporates a hydrodynamic body, a channel to reduce fluid speed differences above and below the housing and wing to redirect flow to counter lift. Additionally, three derivatives of the Model A design were used to examine the contribution of individual flow control features to overall performance. Hydrodynamic loadings of four models were compared using computational fluid dynamics (CFD. The Model A design eliminated all lift force and generated up to ~30 N of downward force in simulated 6 m/s aligned flow. The simulations were validated using particle image velocimetry (PIV to experimentally characterize the flow around the tag design. The results of these experiments confirm the trends predicted by the simulations and demonstrate the potential benefit of flow control elements for the reduction of tag induced forces on the animal.

  14. Inferring cetacean population densities from the absolute dynamic topography of the ocean in a hierarchical Bayesian framework.

    Mario A Pardo

    Full Text Available We inferred the population densities of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus and short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis in the Northeast Pacific Ocean as functions of the water-column's physical structure by implementing hierarchical models in a Bayesian framework. This approach allowed us to propagate the uncertainty of the field observations into the inference of species-habitat relationships and to generate spatially explicit population density predictions with reduced effects of sampling heterogeneity. Our hypothesis was that the large-scale spatial distributions of these two cetacean species respond primarily to ecological processes resulting from shoaling and outcropping of the pycnocline in regions of wind-forced upwelling and eddy-like circulation. Physically, these processes affect the thermodynamic balance of the water column, decreasing its volume and thus the height of the absolute dynamic topography (ADT. Biologically, they lead to elevated primary productivity and persistent aggregation of low-trophic-level prey. Unlike other remotely sensed variables, ADT provides information about the structure of the entire water column and it is also routinely measured at high spatial-temporal resolution by satellite altimeters with uniform global coverage. Our models provide spatially explicit population density predictions for both species, even in areas where the pycnocline shoals but does not outcrop (e.g. the Costa Rica Dome and the North Equatorial Countercurrent thermocline ridge. Interannual variations in distribution during El Niño anomalies suggest that the population density of both species decreases dramatically in the Equatorial Cold Tongue and the Costa Rica Dome, and that their distributions retract to particular areas that remain productive, such as the more oceanic waters in the central California Current System, the northern Gulf of California, the North Equatorial Countercurrent thermocline ridge, and the more

  15. Investigation of trophic level and niche partitioning of 7 cetacean species by stable isotopes, and cadmium and arsenic tissue concentrations in the western Pacific Ocean

    Liu, J.-Y.; Chou, L.-S.; Chen, M.-H.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Muscular δ 13 C and δ 15 N data of cetaceans were used to identify their ecological niche • Inshore–offshore distribution pattern was found for four sympatric neritic odontocetes. • Horizontal and vertical movements found in sympatric odontocetes as they grow. • Taiwan’s Chinese white dolphins is an exclusive fish eater. • Prey-derived As- and Cd-induced health threats were found for some dolphins. - Abstract: A total of 24 stranded or bycatch cetaceans, including Balaenoptera omurai, Lagenodelphis hosei, Kogia sima, Stenella attenuata, Grampus griseus, Neophocaena phocaenoides, and Sousa chinensis, were collected from 2001 to 2011 in Taiwan. Using the muscular δ 13 C and δ 15 N data, three ecological groups were identified as the oceanic baleen whale, the neritic, and the coastal toothed whale groups, coinciding with their taxonomy, feeding habits and geographical distribution. A horizontal inshore to offshore distribution was found for the sympatric neritic toothed dolphins, G. griseus, K. sima, S. attenuata, and L. hosei in the outermost offshore waters, accompanying their growth. For the first time we identify Taiwan’s Chinese white dolphin, S. chinensis, as an exclusive fish eater. Cd and As bioaccumulated in the G. griseus, L. hosei and S. attenuata increase as they grow. Prey-derived As- and Cd-induced health threats were found in L. hosei, and G. griseus

  16. Concentration and subcellular distribution of trace elements in liver of small cetaceans incidentally caught along the Brazilian coast

    Kunito, Takashi; Nakamura, Shinji; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Rosas, Fernando C.W.; Fillmann, Gilberto; Readman, James W

    2004-10-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, T-Hg, Org-Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver samples of estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis; n=20), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei; n=23), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; n=2), common dolphin (Delphinus capensis; n=1) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba; n=1) incidentally caught along the coast of Sao Paulo State and Parana State, Brazil, from 1997 to 1999. The hepatic concentrations of trace elements in the Brazilian cetaceans were comparable to the data available in literature on marine mammals from Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of V, Se, Mo, Cd, T-Hg and Org-Hg increased with increasing age in liver of both estuarine and Franciscana dolphins. Very high concentrations of Cu (range, 262-1970 {mu}g/g dry wt.) and Zn (range, 242-369 {mu}g/g dry wt.) were observed in liver of sucklings of estuarine dolphin. Hepatic concentrations of V, Se, T-Hg, Org-Hg and Pb were significantly higher in estuarine dolphin, whereas Franciscana dolphin showed higher concentrations of Mn, Co, As and Rb. Ratio of Org-Hg to T-Hg in liver was significantly higher in Franciscana dolphin than estuarine dolphin, suggesting that demethylation ability of methyl Hg might be lower in liver of Franciscana than estuarine dolphins. High hepatic concentrations of Ag were found in some specimens of Franciscana dolphin (maximum, 20 {mu}g/g dry wt.), and 17% of Franciscana showed higher concentrations of Ag than Hg. These samples with high Ag concentration also exhibited elevated hepatic Se concentration, implying that Ag might be detoxified by Se in the liver. Higher correlation coefficient between (Hg + 0.5 Ag) and Se than between Hg and Se and the large distribution of Ag in non-soluble fraction in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction of the liver also suggests that Ag might be detoxified by Se via formation of Ag{sub 2}Se in the liver of Franciscana

  17. Capture-recapture abundance and survival estimates of three cetacean species in Icelandic coastal waters using trained scientist-volunteers

    Bertulli, Chiara G.; Guéry, Loreleï; McGinty, Niall; Suzuki, Ailie; Brannan, Naomi; Marques, Tania; Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Gimenez, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    Knowledge of abundance and survival of humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and minke whales are essential to manage and conserve these species in Icelandic coastal shelf waters. Our main goal was to test the feasibility of employing inexpensive research methods (data collected by trained-scientist volunteers onboard opportunistic vessels) to assess abundance and apparent survival. No previous studies in Iceland have investigated these two demographic parameters in these three cetacean species using open capture-recapture models accounting for imperfect and possibly heterogeneous detection. A transient effect was accounted for whenever required to estimate the population of resident individuals. Identification photographs were collected by scientist-trained volunteers for 7 years (2006-2013) from onboard commercial whale-watching vessels in the coastal waters of Faxaflói (southwest coast, 4400 km2) and Skjálfandi (northeast coast, 1100 km2), Iceland. We estimated an average abundance of 83 humpback whales (Mn; 95% confidence interval: 54-130) in Skjálfandi; 238 white-beaked dolphins (La; [163-321]) in Faxaflói; and 67 minke whales (Ba; [53-82]) in Faxaflói and 24 (14-31) in Skjálfandi. We also found that apparent survival was constant for all three species (Mn: 0.52 [0.41-0.63], La: 0.79 [0.64-0.88], Ba-Faxaflói: 0.80 [0.67-0.88], Ba-Skjálfandi: 0.96 [0.60-0.99]). Our results showed inter-annual variation in abundance estimates which were small for all species, and the presence of transience for minke whales. A significant increase in abundance during the study period was solely found in minke whale data from Skjálfandi. Humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins showed lower apparent survival rates compared to similar baleen whale and dolphin populations. Our results show data collected by trained-scientist volunteers can produce viable estimates of abundance and survival although bias in the methods we employed exist and need to be addressed. With the

  18. Concentration and subcellular distribution of trace elements in liver of small cetaceans incidentally caught along the Brazilian coast

    Kunito, Takashi; Nakamura, Shinji; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Rosas, Fernando C.W.; Fillmann, Gilberto; Readman, James W.

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, T-Hg, Org-Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver samples of estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis; n=20), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei; n=23), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; n=2), common dolphin (Delphinus capensis; n=1) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba; n=1) incidentally caught along the coast of Sao Paulo State and Parana State, Brazil, from 1997 to 1999. The hepatic concentrations of trace elements in the Brazilian cetaceans were comparable to the data available in literature on marine mammals from Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of V, Se, Mo, Cd, T-Hg and Org-Hg increased with increasing age in liver of both estuarine and Franciscana dolphins. Very high concentrations of Cu (range, 262-1970 μg/g dry wt.) and Zn (range, 242-369 μg/g dry wt.) were observed in liver of sucklings of estuarine dolphin. Hepatic concentrations of V, Se, T-Hg, Org-Hg and Pb were significantly higher in estuarine dolphin, whereas Franciscana dolphin showed higher concentrations of Mn, Co, As and Rb. Ratio of Org-Hg to T-Hg in liver was significantly higher in Franciscana dolphin than estuarine dolphin, suggesting that demethylation ability of methyl Hg might be lower in liver of Franciscana than estuarine dolphins. High hepatic concentrations of Ag were found in some specimens of Franciscana dolphin (maximum, 20 μg/g dry wt.), and 17% of Franciscana showed higher concentrations of Ag than Hg. These samples with high Ag concentration also exhibited elevated hepatic Se concentration, implying that Ag might be detoxified by Se in the liver. Higher correlation coefficient between (Hg + 0.5 Ag) and Se than between Hg and Se and the large distribution of Ag in non-soluble fraction in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction of the liver also suggests that Ag might be detoxified by Se via formation of Ag 2 Se in the liver of Franciscana dolphin

  19. Echolocation in small cetaceans

    Ladegaard, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Many animals exploit sound for navigational purposes, but only some produce signals dedicated to probe their environment actively through echolocation. Only in bats and toothed whales has echolocation evolved to serve as a primary sense informing not only navigation, but also foraging on highly...... a directional, short-range biosonar operated at very high update rates compared to marine toothed whales (Chapter 2). I further studied how these river dolphins adjust their biosonar as they close in on and intercept prey in the first study to measure on-axis source parameters on wild toothed whales during prey...

  20. Cetaceans and chelonians stranding coastal monitoring: fundamental tool to mitigate impacts of seismic survey activities; Projeto de monitoramento costeiro de encalhes de cetacoes e quelonios: ferramenta fundamental para mitigacao de impactos em atividades de pesquisa sismica

    Amaro, Thays P.C.; Carloni, Giuliano G.; Erber, Claudia; Sabino, Carla M. [Ecologus Engenharia Consultiva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Uller, George A. [CGGVeritas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this research is to highlight PMVE implementation as a basic tool to conservation of marine cetaceans and turtles. These organisms are threaten to extinction and are pointed out as the organisms potentially affected by the seismic survey. The monitoring of the seismic survey activity realized in blocks BM-C-26 e BM-C-27 lasted six months embracing 200 km of beaches, from Rio de Janeiro North up to the Espirito Santo South coasts. It was realized by thirty four monitors, who covered a beach section daily registering the founded animal. 159 chelonians occurrence registers were realized and fifteen registers of cetaceans. The results gotten in PMVE give additional information for the evaluation of possible impacts of seismic survey's activities in registered species. Besides, these information contribute to increase technical scientific knowledge related to effect of seismic survey activity in marine biot at Campos Basin. (author)

  1. Cetaceans occurrence visual monitoring during seismic survey in the North of Campos Basin; Monitoramento visual de ocorrencia de cetaceos durante o levantamento de dados sismicos no norte da Bacia de Campos

    Flor, Karina C.A.; Amaro, Thays P.C.; Carloni, Giuliano G. [Ecologus Engenharia Consultiva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Uller, George A. [CGGVeritas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this research is to present the results of the marine biota visual monitoring developed during the seismic survey in the north area of Campos Basin. The monitoring lasted five months, between 14 February and 14 July 2007, reaching, on average, eleven hours and fifty one minutes of sign effort per day. It was conducted by fourteen marine biota catch sign, three for each period of boarding, that took over during all period of the activity. Sixty two cetaceans were registered, eight belonging to suborder Odontoceti and four belonging to suborder Mysticeti. Tursiops truncatus was the predominant species in number of registers, followed by Megaptera novaeangliae. It's important to report that during all seismic activity period there wasn't any cetacean register presenting any behavior disturbance. (author)

  2. Cetaceans and chelonians stranding coastal monitoring: fundamental tool to mitigate impacts of seismic survey activities; Projeto de monitoramento costeiro de encalhes de cetacoes e quelonios: ferramenta fundamental para mitigacao de impactos em atividades de pesquisa sismica

    Amaro, Thays P.C.; Carloni, Giuliano G; Erber, Claudia; Sabino, Carla M [Ecologus Engenharia Consultiva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Uller, George A [CGGVeritas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this research is to highlight PMVE implementation as a basic tool to conservation of marine cetaceans and turtles. These organisms are threaten to extinction and are pointed out as the organisms potentially affected by the seismic survey. The monitoring of the seismic survey activity realized in blocks BM-C-26 e BM-C-27 lasted six months embracing 200 km of beaches, from Rio de Janeiro North up to the Espirito Santo South coasts. It was realized by thirty four monitors, who covered a beach section daily registering the founded animal. 159 chelonians occurrence registers were realized and fifteen registers of cetaceans. The results gotten in PMVE give additional information for the evaluation of possible impacts of seismic survey's activities in registered species. Besides, these information contribute to increase technical scientific knowledge related to effect of seismic survey activity in marine biot at Campos Basin. (author)

  3. Cetaceans trading monitoring during seismic survey in North Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro) and South Capixaba (Espirito Santo) coasts; Monitoramento de encalhe de cetaceos durante levantamento de dados sismicos na costa norte fluminense (Rio de Janeiro) e sul capixaba (Espirito Santo)

    Amaro, Thays P.C.; Carloni, Giuliano G.; Erber, Claudia; Sabino, Carla M. [Ecologus Engenharia Consultiva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Uller, George A. [CGGVeritas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this research is to present the results of the cetaceans stranding monitoring developed during and after the seismic survey in the north area of Rio de Janeiro and south of Espirito Santo. The monitoring lasted six months, reaching 200 km of beaches, from the Rio de Janeiro North up to the Espirito Santo South coasts. It was conducted by 34 monitors, who covered predefined beach sections daily, registering the stranded animals. At the end of the project, 15 cetaceans stranded were registered. The species Sotalia guianensis was prevailing in number and distribution. Megaptera novaeangliae was the second specie in geographic distribution and number of registers. The other species identified were Tursiops truncatus and Peponocephala electra. (author)

  4. Posible impacto en la salud pública del encallamiento de cetáceos en Costa Rica Potential public health impact of the stranding of cetaceans

    Olga Rivas-Solano

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available El encallamiento de cetáceos se presenta cuando estos mamíferos llegan a la playa sin poder regresar al mar por sus propios medios. En Costa Rica, la mayoría de los casos se han registrado en las costas del Pacífico. Entre las posibles causas de este fenómeno, están las enfermedades infecciosas como la brucelosis marina. Dicha enfermedad es provocada por bacterias del género Brucella, y se puede transmitir a los humanos. El contacto entre humanos y cetáceos ha venido en aumento debido a actividades recreativas y ocupacionales. Además, el varamiento usualmente llama la atención de turistas y locales, quienes tienden mantener un acercamiento estrecho con el animal encallado para tratar de regresarlo al mar. Lo anterior potencia el riesgo de transmisión de cepas patogénicas desde los mamíferos marinos hacia los humanos y otros animales. En Costa Rica se desarrolló, durante los años 2009 y 2011, un proyecto de investigación en cual participaron expertos de universidades estatales, de instituciones gubernamentales y de la Fundación Keto. Como parte del mismo, se organizaron talleres de capacitación a profesionales en salud, líderes comunales y autoridades locales de la costa pacífica, con el fin de concientizarlos sobre los protocolos a seguir para la atención integral de la problemática de los encallamientos de cetáceos, con miras a prevenir posibles situaciones de riesgo a la salud pública.Cetacean stranding occurs when those animals arrive to the beach without having the possibility to come back to the sea. In Costa Rica, most of the cases have been registered along the pacific coast.  Between the possible causes of the stranding, there are infectious diseases like marine brucellosis. This disease is caused by bacteria from the genus Brucella and it can be transmitted to humans. Contact between humans and cetaceans, has been increased because of touristic and working activities. Besides, stranding phenomenon usually calls

  5. Temporal patterns in habitat use by small cetaceans at an oceanographically dynamic marine renewable energy test site in the Celtic Sea

    Cox, S. L.; Witt, M. J.; Embling, C. B.; Godley, B. J.; Hosegood, P. J.; Miller, P. I.; Votier, S. C.; Ingram, S. N.

    2017-07-01

    Shelf-seas are highly dynamic and oceanographically complex environments, which likely influences the spatio-temporal distributions of marine megafauna such as marine mammals. As such, understanding natural patterns in habitat use by these animals is essential when attempting to ascertain and assess the impacts of anthropogenically induced disturbances, such as those associated with marine renewable energy installations (MREIs). This study uses a five year (2009-2013) passive acoustics (C-POD) dataset to examine the use of an oceanographically dynamic marine renewable energy test site by small cetaceans, dolphins (unspecified delphinids) and harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena, in the southern Celtic Sea. To examine how temporal patterns in habitat use across the site related to oceanographic changes occurring over broad seasonal scales as well as those driven by fine scale (bi-weekly) localised processes (that may be masked by seasonal trends), separate analyses were conducted using (1) all daily animal detection rates spanning the entire five year dataset and (2) daily animal detection rates taken only during the summer months (defined as mid-June to mid-October) of 2010 (when continuous monitoring was carried out at multiple discrete locations across the site). In both instances, generalised additive mixed effects models (GAMMs) were used to link detection rates to a suite of environmental variables representative of the oceanography of the region. We show that increased harbour porpoise detection rates in the late winter/early spring (January-March) are associated with low sea surface temperatures (SST), whilst peaks in dolphin detection rates in the summer (July-September) coincide with increased SSTs and the presence of a tidal-mixing front. Moreover, across the summer months of 2010, dolphin detection rates were found to respond to small scale changes in SST and position in the spring-neap cycle, possibly reflective of a preference for the stratified waters

  6. An Evaluation of Ad Hoc Presence-Only Data in Explaining Patterns of Distribution: Cetacean Sightings from Whale-Watching Vessels

    Louisa K. Higby

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of presence-only data is a problem in determining species distributions and accurately determining population sizes. The collection of such data is common from unequal or nonrandomised effort surveys, such as those surveys conducted by citizen scientists. However, causative regression-based methods have been less well examined using presence-only data. In this study, we examine a range of predictive factors which might influence Cetacean sightings (specifically minke whale sightings from whale-watching vessels in Faxaflói Bay in Iceland. In this case, environmental variables were collected regularly regardless of whether sightings were recorded. Including absences as well as presence in the analysis resulted in a multiple-generalised linear regression model with significantly more explanatory power than when data were presence only. However, by including extra information on the sightings of the whales, in this case, their observed behaviour when the sighting occurred resulted in a significantly improved model over the presence-only data model. While there are limitations of conducting nonrandomised surveys for the use of predictive models such as regression, presence-only data should not be considered as worthless, and the scope of collection of these data by citizen scientists using modern technology should not be underestimated.

  7. Cetacean Swimming with Prosthetic Limbs

    Bode-Oke, Ayodeji; Ren, Yan; Dong, Haibo; Fish, Frank

    2016-11-01

    During entanglement in fishing gear, dolphins can suffer abrasions and amputations of flukes and fins. As a result, if the dolphin survives the ordeal, swimming performance is altered. Current rehabilitation technques is the use of prosthesis to regain swimming ability. In this work, analyses are focused on two dolphins with locomotive impairment; Winter (currently living in Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida) and Fuji (lived in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan). Fuji lost about 75% of its fluke surface to necrosis (death of cells) and Winter lost its tail due to amputation. Both dolphins are aided by prosthetic tails that mimic the shape of a real dolphin tail. Using 3D surface reconstruction techniques and a high fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) flow solver, we were able to elucidate the kinematics and hydrodynamics and fluke deformation of these swimmers to clarify the effectiveness of prostheses in helping the dolphins regain their swimming ability. Associated with the performance, we identified distinct features in the wake structures that can explain this gap in the performance compared to a healthy dolphin. This work was supported by ONR MURI Grant Number N00014-14-1-0533.

  8. Strandings of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Alboran Sea and Strait of Gibraltar: a long–time glimpse of the north coast (Spain and the south coast (Morocco

    Rojo–Nieto, E.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A total of 13 species of cetaceans and three species of marine turtles were found in this study. Data were collected by eight independent and self-regulated stranding networks, providing information about 1,198 marine mammal (10 odontocetii, three mysticetii and one phocidae and 574 sea turtle stranding events between 1991 and 2008. Trends in the strandings were analysed in relation to species composition and abundance, and their geographic and seasonal distribution. The most abundant species recorded were the striped dolphin and the loggerhead turtle. Some of the strandings, such as the humpback whale, harbour porpoise, hooded seal and olive ridley turtle, were considered ‘rare’ because their distribution did not match the pattern of the study. When the north and south coasts in the study area were compared, pilot whales stranded more frequently in the north, while delphinid species stranded more in the south coast, and loggerhead turtles stranded more frequently in the north while leatherback turtles stranded more in south coast.

  9. Cetacean Social Behavioral Response to Sonar Exposure

    2015-09-30

    likely a social response which anticipates against potential loss of social cohesion, which may be induced by masking of their communication signals...Discrimination of fast click series produced by Risso’s dolphins for echolocation or communication . Wensveen P. et al (in review). The effectiveness of ramp...up of naval sonar to reduce sound levels received by marine mammals : experimental tests with humpback whales. Kvadsheim et al. (2015). The 3S2

  10. Small-boat Cetacean Surveys Database

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains multiple spreadsheets that hold data collected during each small-boat survey project conducted by the PIFSC CRP. This includes a summary of the...

  11. Preliminary Assessment of Cetacean Incidental Mortality in Artisanal ...

    Three dolphin species and humpback whales were reported accidentally caught in fishing gear meant to catch sharks. Dolphins were mostly reported as to be entangled in gillnets; conversely longlines were only described to incidentally catch humpback whales. Bottlenose and spinner dolphins were respectively 48.10% ...

  12. Short Communication A near mass stranding of cetaceans in St ...

    A group of 70 false killer whales Pseudorca crassidens and 124 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp., and a separate group of 13 Risso's dolphins Grampus griseus, assembled close inshore off a known mass-stranding site in St Helena Bay, South Africa, in October 2003. However, only a single Risso's dolphin attempted to ...

  13. Deep Diving Cetacean Behavioral Response Study MED 09

    2009-09-30

    distribution may be affected by anthropogenic noise. The role of the SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Pacific team was to intergrate the interdisiplinary...over 100 hours of data was collected on production sonobuoys for post test ambient noise data. CTD casts were taken at 56 sites, collecting

  14. Deep-ocean predation by a high Arctic cetacean

    Laidre, K.L.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Jørgensen, Ole A

    2004-01-01

    were correlated with predicted whale predation levels based on diving behavior. The difference in Greenland halibut biomass between an area with high predation and a comparable area without whales, approximately 19000 tonnes, corresponded well with the predicted biomass removed by the narwhal sub...

  15. GLOBEC Northeast Pacific Analyses: Linkages Between Cetaceans and Oceanographic Features

    Tynan, Cynthia

    2004-01-01

    ...., sea surface salinity, SST, thermocline depth, halocline depth, chlorophyll maximum, distance to the center of the equatorward jet, distance to the upwelling front, and acoustic backscatter at 38, 120, 200 and 420 kHz...

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

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

  17. Distribution and seasonal abundance of large cetaceans in the ...

    Killer whale Orcinus orca presence was coincident with that of offshore minke whales and the southward migrations of other baleen whales, whereas densities of animals deemed as bottlenose whale Hyperoodon planifrons suggest strong early and late summer seasonal abundance in the offshore region. Such extensive ...

  18. The Cetaceans of Ghana, a Validated Faunal Checklist | Van ...

    ... S. longirostris longirostris*, S. attenuata, S. frontalis, Delphinus capensis capensis*, Lagenodelphis hosei, Steno bredanensis, Grampus griseus, Peponocephala electra*, Feresa attenuata**, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Orcinus orca*, Pseudorca crassidens*, Kogia sima**, Physetermacrocephalus*, Ziphius cavirostris** ...

  19. Determining Baseline Stress-Related Hormone Values in Large Cetaceans

    2015-09-30

    levels will be transformative for our understanding of the extent of exposure and the potential effect on the health of these animals and offers...cerumen as well as blubber from the same animal . While blubber cortisol concentrations will be a reflection of an indistinguishable time frame from...of the samples collected thus far from both museum holdings as well as fresh carcass samples. It should be noted that as part of our collection we

  20. Quantifying the Effects of Propagation on Classification of Cetacean Vocalizations

    2015-09-30

    human audition . This would be particularly useful if expert listeners aren’t available –such as diagnosing heart murmurs in remote communities that...when the sheer volume of data makes human audition untenable – such as classifying ocean acoustic data for species population monitoring. Finally...Underwater Sound, 3rd ed., McGraw -Hill Book Company, 1983. [2] F. B. Jensen, W. A. Kuperman, M.B. Porter, and H. Schmidt, Computational Ocean Acoustics

  1. PNW cetacean muscle biochemistry - Muscle Myoglobin Content and Acid Buffering Capacity of Cetaceans from the Pacific Northwest to Assess Dive Capacity and the Development of Diving Capabilities

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project assesses the development of two important skeletal muscle adaptations for diving (enhanced myoglobin content and acid buffering capacities) in a range...

  2. Approaches for Assessing the Presence and Impact of Thyroid Hormone Disrupting Chemicals in Delphinid Cetaceans

    2006-09-01

    REFERENCES Achen MG, Harms PJ, Thomas T, Richardson SJ, Wettenhall REH, Schreiber G. 1992. Protein synthesis at the blood-brain barrier. The major...was cleaned with an antiseptic scrub and lidocaine was injected in an L-block configuration approximately 4 cm anterior to the biopsy region. For each...REFERENCES Achen MG, Harms PJ, Thomas T, Richardson SJ, Wettenhall REH, Schreiber G. 1992. Protein synthesis at the blood-brain barrier. The major

  3. Using Passive and Active Acoustics to Examine Relationships of Cetacean and Prey Densities

    2015-09-30

    target position can be used to classify individual targets. Frequency-dependent backscattering, allowing for dB differencing analysis , can be used to...Enright JT, Hamner WM (1967) Vertical Diurnal Migration and Endogenous Rhythmicity . Science 157:937-941 Greenlaw CF, Johnson RK (1983) Multiple

  4. Biodiversity and Status of Cetaceans in Benin, West Africa: an Initial ...

    User

    2001-09-17

    Sep 17, 2001 ... ... with Nigeria). Fig. 1. Coast of Benin as study area, situated in the northern Gulf of Guinea. ... Direction des Pêches,. Ministère de l'Agriculture, d'Elevage et de ..... between Conakry, Guinea and Cap Vert. Peninsula, Senegal ...

  5. AFSC/RACE/MACE: Association between large cetaceans and their prey: East Kodiak

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Analysis of two different surveys of acoustic and biological data from the Albatross Bank region of the Gulf of Alaska off eastern Kodiak Island indicates that...

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. Mobile computation offloading architecture for mobile augmented reality, case study: Visualization of cetacean skeleton

    Belen G. Rodriguez-Santana; Amilcar Meneses Viveros; Blanca Esther Carvajal-Gamez; Diana Carolina Trejo-Osorio

    2016-01-01

    Augmented Reality applications can serve as teach-ing tools in different contexts of use. Augmented reality appli-cation on mobile devices can help to provide tourist information on cities or to give information on visits to museums. For example, during visits to museums of natural history, applications of augmented reality on mobile devices can be used by some visitors to interact with the skeleton of a whale. However, making rendering heavy models can be computationally infeasible on device...

  10. Three recent ice entrapments of Arctic cetaceans in West Greenland and the eastern Canadian High Arctic

    MP Heide-Jørgensen

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Three ice entrapments of Monodontids have been reported in the western North Atlantic since 1993. Hunters in Disko Bay, West Greenland, discovered one in March 1994 that included about 150 narwhals (Monodon monoceros. The entrapment occurred during a sudden cold period which caused ice to form rapidly. The trapped whales were subject to hunting, but about 50 of the killed whales could not be retrieved in the ice. The whales were trapped in a small opening in the ice and because of that they would probably have succumbed even if not discovered by hunters. Two entrapments involving white whales or belugas (Delphinapterus leucas occurred in the eastern Canadian Arctic in May 1999; one in Lancaster Sound discovered by polar bear (Ursus maritimus researchers and one in Jones Sound discovered by hunters. The first included one bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus and about 40 belugas that were being preyed upon by polar bears. The second involved at least 170 belugas, of which about 100 were killed by polar bears and 17 were taken by hunters. The entrapments in Disko Bay and Jones Sound both occurred in areas where entrapments have previously been reported, whereas the one in Lancaster Sound was in a new area.

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

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

  12. Comparing Manned Aerial Surveys to Unmanned Aerial Surveys for Cetacean Monitoring in the Arctic: Field Report

    2015-01-01

    disadvantages of using UAS relative to manned aircraft to collect data for estimating marine mammal density. DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved...size, and detecting calves. Weatherproof UAS ( IFR capability, heated pitot tubes, wing/prop deicing capability) X X Would have been helpful for

  13. Cetacean Frustration: The Representation of Whales and Dolphins in Picture Books for Young Children

    Beaumont, Ellen S.; Mudd, Phillipa; Turner, Ian J.; Barnes, Kate

    2017-01-01

    To enable children to develop towards becoming part of the solution to environmental problems, it is essential that they are given the opportunity to become familiar with the natural world from early childhood. Familiarity is required to develop understanding of, care for and, ultimately, action in terms of protecting the natural world. As…

  14. Quantifying Stress in Marine Mammals: Measuring Biologically Active Cortisol in Cetaceans and Pinnipeds

    2015-09-30

    boonstra/ LONG-TERM GOALS This research will improve our ability to measure stress in marine mammals. Stress hormones ( glucocorticoids ...either cortisol or corticosterone) are easily measured in blood and are an important measure of stress. However, a large proportion of glucocorticoids ...are best estimated by measuring “free glucocorticoid ” levels (i.e. that hormone not bound by CBG). This project will improve the capacity of marine

  15. SWFSC/MMTD/ETP: Cetacean Acoustic Detection and Dive Interval Studies (CADDIS) 1995

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study was conducted in Mexico aboard the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research ship McArthur during two months in summer/fall...

  16. Odontocete Cetaceans: Quantifying Behavioral Ecology and Response to Predators Using a Multi-Species Approach

    2016-03-21

    Behaviour 144(11): 1315–1332. http://doi.org/10.1163/156853907782418213 Madsen, P.T., M. Wahlberg, J. Tougaard, and K. Lucke. 2006. Wind turbine ...individual in small 14 group (Stanford 2002). Increased vigilance and diluted predation risk is often cited as a factor promoting sociality in birds ...also be used to recruit conspecifics to engage in mobbing behavior in both mammals and birds (Curio et al. 1978; Tamura 1989). Actual predation

  17. Defining management units for cetaceans by combining genetics, morphlogy, acoustics and satellite tracking

    Sveegaard, Signe; Galatius, Anders; Dietz, Rune

    2015-01-01

    Managing animal units is essential in biological conservation and requires spatial and temporal identification of such units. Since even neighbouring populations often have different conservation status and face different levels of anthropogenic pressure, detailed knowledge of population structure......, seasonal range and overlap with animals from neighbouring populations is required to manage each unit separately. Previous studies on genetic structure and morphologic separation suggests three distinct populations of harbour porpoises with limited geographic overlap in the North Sea (NS), the Belt Sea (BS...... with the least overlap between populations and thus the least error when abundance and population status is estimated. Discriminant analysis of the satellite tracking data from the BS and NS populations showed that the best fit of the management unit border during the summer months was an east-west line from...

  18. Cetacean Distributions Relative to Ocean Processes in the Northern California Current System

    Tynan, Cynthia T; Ainley, David G; Barth, John A; Cowles, Timothy J

    2004-01-01

    ...., sea surface salinity, sea surface temperature, thermocline depth, halocline depth, chlorophyll maximum, distance to the center of the equatorward jet, distance to the shoreward edge of the upwelling...

  19. Improving Attachments of Non-Invasive (Type III) Electronic Data Loggers to Cetaceans

    2014-09-30

    electronics technology , and resulted in highly integrated mechatronics systems for the study of free ranging animals. In the next decade, these tags will...animal performance of engineered attachments and tags Objective: Develop the tag technology and algorithms required to produce quantitative metrics for

  20. Candidate gene molecular markers as tools for analyzing genetic susceptibility to morbillivirus infection in stranded Cetaceans

    Stejskalová, K.; Bayerova, Z.; Futas, J.; Hrazdilová, K.; Klumplerova, M.; Oppelt, J.; Šplíchalová, P.; Di Guardo, G.; Mazzariol, S.; Di Francesco, C. E.; Di Francesco, G.; Terracciano, G.; Paiu, R.M.; Ursache, T. D.; Modrý, David; Horin, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 90, č. 6 (2017), s. 343-353 ISSN 2059-2302 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Cetacea * haplotype * immunity * innate * mhc-dqb * Phocoena phocoena * polymorphism * single nucleotide * Stenella coeruleoalba Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biochemistry and molecular biology

  1. Long-term tag retention on two species of small cetaceans

    Heide-Jorgensen, Mads Peter; Nielsen, Nynne H.; Teilmann, Jonas

    2017-01-01

    transmitters. The transmitters were mounted by pins that were pushed through the fins of the porpoises or the backs of the narwhals. Overall body condition seemed unaffected by the instrumentations. Macroscopical examination revealed that umbilicalization of the tissue surrounding the pins was almost complete...

  2. Contamination level of mercury in red meat products from cetaceans available from South Korea markets

    Endo, Tetsuya [Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, 1757 Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293 (Japan)]. E-mail: endotty@hoku-iryo-u.ac.jp; Yong-Un, Ma [Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, 251 Nuha-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-806, Republic of Korea (Korea); Baker, C. Scott [School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland (New Zealand); Marine Mammal Program and Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Newport, OR 97365 (United States); Funahashi, Naoko [International Fund for Animal Welfare, 1-6-10-203, Saiwaicho, Higashikurume, Tokyo 203-0052 (Japan); Lavery, Shane [School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland (New Zealand); Dalebout, Merel L. [School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 (Australia); Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi [School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811 (Australia); Haraguchi, Koichi [Daiichi College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 22-1 Tamagawa-Cho, Minami-Ku, Fukuoka 815-8511 (Japan)

    2007-06-15

    Levels of total mercury (T-Hg) were surveyed in red meat (n = 73) and liver (n = 3) from toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises (odontocetes) sold for human consumption in the coastal cities of South Korea. High concentrations of T-Hg were found in the liver products of finless porpoises (18.7 and 156 {mu}g/wet g) and common dolphins (13.2 {mu}g/wet g). The T-Hg concentrations in red meat products were highest in the false killer whale (9.66 {+-} 12.3 {mu}g/wet g, n = 9), bottlenose dolphin (10.6 {+-} 12.6 {mu}g/wet g, n = 3) and killer whale (13.3 {mu}g/wet g, n = 1), and lowest in Cuvier's beaked whale and the harbour porpoise (0.4-0.5 {mu}g/wet g). Thus, most of the products that originated from odontocetes exceeded the safety limit of 0.5 {mu}g/wet g for T-Hg set by the South Korean health authorities for the fishery industry. Pregnant women and other vulnerable sectors of the population living in South Korea should therefore limit their consumption of odontocete products.

  3. Distribution and migrations of cetaceans in the Russian Arctic according to observations from aerial ice reconnaissance

    Stanislav E Belikov

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper is based on 748 observations of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas and 382 observations of baleen whales in the Russian Arctic, the majority of the data provided by aerial reconnaissance of sea ice (ARSI. Although the data are not suitable for the estimation of the number and density of the animals, they represent a multi-year (1958-1995 range of observations to update our knowledge on the seasonal distribution and migrations of the species. Belugas inhabit not only shelf waters but also the zone of the shelf slope and the abyssal zone of the Arctic Ocean, where the animals appear mostly in summer. In winter belugas were observed only in the Barents Sea. In June-August, the frequency of beluga observations was highest in the Laptev Sea, which has previously been believed to have considerably lower numbers of beluga than the Kara and Barents seas. Patterns of seasonal distribution and ice cover suggest the existence of a natural border preventing or reducing population exchange between belugas inhabiting the western and eastern parts of the Russian Arctic. A brief review of available data on distribution of the narwhal (Monodon monoceros in the Russian Arctic is also given. Two species of baleen whales were frequently seen in the Russian Arctic: the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus, and the grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus. The majority of such observations were made in the southeastern part of the East-Siberian Sea and the southern part of the Chukchi Sea. In the Bering Sea baleen whales were usually seen near the Chukotka Peninsula, in Anadyr Bay and southeast of it. Whales were usually seen in ice-free water: observations of whales among rarefied ice and near the ice edge were rare. There were considerable annual and seasonal variations in distribution and migrations of baleen whales in the region, probably caused mainly by the dynamics of ice conditions.

  4. Defining management units for cetaceans by combining genetics, morphology, acoustics and satellite tracking

    Signe Sveegaard

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Managing animal units is essential in biological conservation and requires spatial and temporal identification of such units. Since even neighbouring populations often have different conservation status and face different levels of anthropogenic pressure, detailed knowledge of population structure, seasonal range and overlap with animals from neighbouring populations is required to manage each unit separately. Previous studies on genetic structure and morphologic separation suggests three distinct populations of harbour porpoises with limited geographic overlap in the North Sea (NS, the Belt Sea (BS and the Baltic Proper (BP region. In this study, we aim to identify a management unit for the BS population of harbour porpoises. We use Argos satellite data and genetics from biopsies of tagged harbour porpoises as well as acoustic data from 40 passive acoustic data loggers to determine management areas with the least overlap between populations and thus the least error when abundance and population status is estimated. Discriminant analysis of the satellite tracking data from the BS and NS populations showed that the best fit of the management unit border during the summer months was an east–west line from Denmark to Sweden at latitude 56.95°N. For the border between BS and BP, satellite tracking data indicate a sharp decline in population density at 13.5°E, with 90% of the locations being west of this line. This was supported by the acoustic data with the average daily detection rate being 27.5 times higher west of 13.5°E as compared to east of 13.5°E. By using this novel multidisciplinary approach, we defined a management unit for the BS harbour porpoise population. We recommend that these boundaries are used for future monitoring efforts of this population under the EU directives. The boundaries may also be used for conservation efforts during the summer months, while seasonal movements of harbour porpoises should be considered during winter.

  5. Contamination level of mercury in red meat products from cetaceans available from South Korea markets

    Endo, Tetsuya; Yong-Un, Ma; Baker, C. Scott; Funahashi, Naoko; Lavery, Shane; Dalebout, Merel L.; Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2007-01-01

    Levels of total mercury (T-Hg) were surveyed in red meat (n = 73) and liver (n = 3) from toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises (odontocetes) sold for human consumption in the coastal cities of South Korea. High concentrations of T-Hg were found in the liver products of finless porpoises (18.7 and 156 μg/wet g) and common dolphins (13.2 μg/wet g). The T-Hg concentrations in red meat products were highest in the false killer whale (9.66 ± 12.3 μg/wet g, n = 9), bottlenose dolphin (10.6 ± 12.6 μg/wet g, n = 3) and killer whale (13.3 μg/wet g, n = 1), and lowest in Cuvier's beaked whale and the harbour porpoise (0.4-0.5 μg/wet g). Thus, most of the products that originated from odontocetes exceeded the safety limit of 0.5 μg/wet g for T-Hg set by the South Korean health authorities for the fishery industry. Pregnant women and other vulnerable sectors of the population living in South Korea should therefore limit their consumption of odontocete products

  6. 3S2: Behavioral Response Studies of Cetaceans to Navy Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters

    2015-09-30

    Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters Peter L. Tyack University of St Andrews School of Biology Scottish Oceans Institute East Sands St Andrews...with a tagged minke whale. Data in the top 4 panels were derived from observations from the trackboat (‘ MOB ’). Note the strong change in diving

  7. 3S2: Behavioral Response Studies of Cetaceans to Navy Sonar Signals in Norwegian Waters

    2015-09-30

    Andrews St. Andrews Fife, KY16 8LB UK phone: (+44) 1334-463554 fax: (+44) 1334-463443 email: pm29@st-and.ac.uk Award Number: N00014-10-1...Schorr GS, Falcone EA, Moretti DJ, Andrews RD (2014) First long-term behavioral records from Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) reveal

  8. Development of a New Delivery and Attachment System for Tagging Large Cetaceans

    Harvey, James

    1997-01-01

    .... We developed a new method of delivering tags for placement on large whales. Sea lions were trained to carry a harness and attached camera system along with carrying a suction-cup tag in a mouth piece...

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

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

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

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

  11. SWFSC/MMTD/CCE: Collaborative Survey of Cetacean Abundance and the Pelagic Ecosystem (CSCAPE) 2005

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The CSCAPE 2005 cruise was a collaboration between the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) Program to assess the...

  12. Cetacean diversity and distribution in the coast of Gipuzkoa and adjacent waters, southeastern Bay of Biscay

    MARCOS, E., SALAZAR, J.M., STHEPANIS, R. de

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Desde el año 2003, se ha realizado un seguimiento continuo a las poblaciones de cetáceos de la costa guipuzcoana, siguiendo los protocolos de muestreo de cetáceos en mar de la Sociedad Española de Cetáceos. Se ha estudiado la diversidad, la densidad, la distribución espacial y temporal de estas especies. Los resultados indican la presencia de 12 especies de cetáceos en el área, y la importancia de la misma para cinco de ellas, especialmente para el delfín mular (Tursiops truncatus. El delfín común (Delphinus delphis, el calderon de aleta larga (Globicephala melas, el delfín listado (Stenella coeruleoalba y el cifio de cuvier (Ziphius cavirostris son especies altamente representadas en el área. Se han definido las principales áreas de distribución de estas especies con el fin de dar los primeros pasos para la creación de un Área Marina Protegida en el área.

  13. Use of Quadratic Time-Frequency Representations to Analyze Cetacean Mammal Sounds

    Papandreou-Suppappola, Antonia

    2001-01-01

    .... Analysis of the group delay structure of the mammalian vocal communication signals was matched to the appropriate quadratic time-frequency class for proper signal processing with minimal skewing of the results...

  14. AFSC/NMML: Small cetacean aerial survey in Alaskan waters, 1997-1999

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial surveys were conducted to produce abundance estimates for the three Alaska stocks of harbor porpoise. Surveys occurred from May to July 1997 for the Southeast...

  15. Listening to the Deep: Live monitoring of ocean noise and cetacean acoustic signals

    André, Michel; Van der Schaar, Mike Connor Roger Malcolm; Zaugg, Serge Alain; Houégnigan, Ludwig; Sánchez, A.M.; Castell, Joan

    2011-01-01

    The development and broad use of passive acoustic monitoring techniques have the potential to help assessing the large-scale influence of artificial noise on marine organisms and ecosystems. Deep-sea observatories have the potential to play a key role in understanding these recent acoustic changes. LIDO(Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment) is an international project that is allowing the real-time longterm monitoring of marine ambient noise as well as marine mammal sounds at cabled and...

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

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

    2012-01-01

    In most areas, estimating the presence and distribution of cryptic marine mammal species, such as beaked whales, is extremely difficult using traditional observational techniques such as ship-based visual line transect surveys. Because acoustic methods permit detection of animals underwater, at night, and in poor weather conditions, passive acoustic observation has been used increasingly often over the last decade to study marine mammal distribution, abundance, and movements, as well as for mitigation of potentially harmful anthropogenic effects. However, there is demand for new, cost-effective tools that allow scientists to monitor areas of interest autonomously with high temporal and spatial resolution in near-real time. Here we describe an autonomous underwater vehicle – a glider – equipped with an acoustic sensor and onboard data processing capabilities to passively scan an area for marine mammals in near-real time. The glider was tested extensively off the west coast of the Island of Hawai'i, USA. The instrument covered approximately 390 km during three weeks at sea and collected a total of 194 h of acoustic data. Detections of beaked whales were successfully reported to shore in near-real time. Manual analysis of the recorded data revealed a high number of vocalizations of delphinids and sperm whales. Furthermore, the glider collected vocalizations of unknown origin very similar to those made by known species of beaked whales. The instrument developed here can be used to cost-effectively screen areas of interest for marine mammals for several months at a time. The near-real-time detection and reporting capabilities of the glider can help to protect marine mammals during potentially harmful anthropogenic activities such as seismic exploration for sub-sea fossil fuels or naval sonar exercises. Furthermore, the glider is capable of under-ice operation, allowing investigation of otherwise inaccessible polar environments that are critical habitats for many endangered marine mammal species. PMID:22629309

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

    Holger Klinck

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

  18. Hydrodynamic Performance of the Flippers of Large-bodied Cetaceans in Relation to Locomotor Ecology

    2014-04-01

    ankylosed cervical vertebrae would limit maneuverability for active pursuit of prey (Norris and Møhl 1983, Rice 1989). The flipper shape of the killer...radius of 0.11 body lengths by using the flippers in combination with peduncle, and flukes (Fish 2002). Mature male killer whales have...Jeff Jacobsen of the Vertebrate Museum of Humboldt State University, California, the United States Coast Guard, and the United States Army Corps of

  19. Social and Behavioural Factors in Cetacean Responses to Overexploitation: Are Odontocetes Less “Resilient” Than Mysticetes?

    Paul R. Wade

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many severely depleted populations of baleen whales (Mysticeti have exhibited clear signs of recovery whereas there are few examples in toothed whales (Odontoceti. We hypothesize that this difference is due, at least in part, to social and behavioural factors. Clearly, a part of the lack of resilience to exploitation is explained by odontocete life history. However, an additional factor may be the highly social nature of many odontocetes in which survival and reproductive success may depend on: (a social cohesion and organization, (b mutual defence against predators and possible alloparental care, (c inter-generational transfer of “knowledge”, and (d leadership by older individuals. We found little evidence of strong recovery in any of the depleted populations examined. Their relatively low potential rates of increase mean that odontocete populations can be over-exploited with take rates of only a few percent per year. Exploitation can have effects beyond the dynamics of individual removals. Four species showed evidence of a decrease in birth rates following exploitation; potential mechanisms include a deficit of adult females, a deficit of adult males, and disruption of mating systems. The evidence for a lack of strong recovery in heavily exploited odontocete populations indicates that management should be more precautionary.

  20. The olfactory receptor gene repertoires in secondary-adapted marine vertebrates: evidence for reduction of the functional proportions in cetaceans

    Kishida, Takushi; Kubota, Shin; Shirayama, Yoshihisa; Fukami, Hironobu

    2007-01-01

    An olfactory receptor (OR) multigene family is responsible for the well-developed sense of smell possessed by terrestrial tetrapods. Mammalian OR genes had diverged greatly in the terrestrial environment after the fish–tetrapod split, indicating their importance to land habitation. In this study, we analysed OR genes of marine tetrapods (minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, dwarf sperm whale Kogia sima, Dall's porpoise Phocoenoides dalli, Steller's sea lion Eumetopias jubatus and loggerhea...

  1. The Auditory System of the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera Acutorostrata): A Potential Fatty Sound Reception Pathway in a Mysticete Cetacean

    2012-09-01

    Rolland RM, Parks SE, Hunt KE, Castellote M, Corkeron PJ, Nowacek DP, Wasser SK, Kraus SD. 2012. Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right...In odontocetes, which receive sound under water , the air-filled ear canal has been replaced by multiple lobes of fatty tissues leading to the tympano...heads: comparison with odontocete acoustic fats. In: Sixth Triennial Conference on Secondary Adaptations of Tetrapods to Life in Water . San Diego, CA

  2. eDNA Barcoding: Using Next-Generation Sequencing of Environmental DNA for Detection and Identification of Cetacean Species

    2015-09-30

    September 2015. Photograph courtesy of Jeanne Hyde. 4 Figure 3: The location of (e)DNA serial sampling encounter from killer whales in the...experiment’ were very success, allowing us to collect serial samples, at a range of distances and times, after the passage of killer whales from a...the first year, we have conducted a series of (e)DNA sampling experiments in the vicinity of killer whales Orcinus orca near San Juan Island in Puget

  3. A Survey for Odontocete Cetaceans Off Kaua’i and Ni’ihau, Hawai’i, During October and November 2005: Evidence for Population Structure and Site Fidelity

    2006-01-17

    boat based survey for odontocetes was undertaken off the islands of Kauai & Niihau in October-November 2005 to photoidentify individuals and collect...short-finned pilot whales, 68 identifications) were compared to catalogs of these species from a survey off Kauai and Niihau in 2003, as well as from...identified off Kauai and Niihau , though no matches were found with individuals off any of the other islands. This suggests site fidelity to specific island

  4. Modeled prevalance of seabirds and relative abundance of cetaceans in NW Atlantic (limit-40 W) from 1980-04-01 to 1988-10-01 (NCEI Accession 0130025)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is a compilation of modeled seabird prevalence predictions for a selection of species including Razorbill (Alca torda), Greater Shearwater (Puffinus...

  5. Gene-Culture Coevolution in a Social Cetacean: Integrating Acoustic and Genetic Data to Understand Population Structure in the Short-Finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

    Van Cise, Amy

    The evolutionary ecology of a species is driven by a combination of random events, ecological and environmental mechanisms, and social behavior. Gene-culture coevolutionary theory attempts to understand the evolutionary trajectory of a species by examining the interactions between these potential drivers. Further, our choice of data type will affect the patterns we observe, therefore by integrating several types of data we achieve a holistic understanding of the various aspects of evolutionary ecology within a species. In order to understand population structure in short-finned pilot whales, I use a combination of genetic and acoustic data to examine structure on evolutionary (genetic) and cultural (acoustic) timescales. I first examine structure among geographic populations in the Pacific Ocean. Using genetic sequences from the mitochondrial control region, I show that two genetically and morphologically distinct types of short-finned pilot whale, described off the coast of Japan, have non-overlapping distributions throughout their range in the Pacific Ocean. Analysis of the acoustic features of their social calls indicates that they are acoustically differentiated, possibly due to limited communication between the two types. This evidence supports the hypothesis that the two types may be separate species or subspecies. Next, I examine structure among island communities and social groups within the Hawaiian Island population of short-finned pilot whales. Using a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, I showed that the hierarchical social structure in Hawaiian pilot whales is driven by genetic relatedness; individuals remain in groups with their immediate family members, and preferentially associate with relatives. Similarly, social structure affects genetic differentiation, likely by restricting access to mates. Acoustic differentiation among social groups indicates that social structure may also restrict the flow of cultural information, such as vocal repertoire or dialect. The qualitative correlation between social structure, cultural information transfer, and genetic structure suggest that gene-culture coevolution may be an important mechanism to the evolutionary ecology of short-finned pilot whales. Further research may reveal a similar structure in the transmission of ecological behaviors, such as diet preference, habitat use, or movements. The results of this research underscore the applicability of gene-culture coevolutionary theory to non-human taxa.

  6. Identification and characterization of a tandem repeat in exon III of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene in cetaceans

    Mogensen, Line; Kinze, Carl Christian; Werge, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    A large number of mammalian species harbor a tandem repeat in exon III of the gene encoding dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4), a receptor associated with cognitive functions. In this study, a DRD4 gene exon III tandem repeat from the order Cetacea was identified and characterized. Included in our study...

  7. Cetáceos del Pacífico de Guatemala: Cincuenta años de historia Guatemala's Pacific Cetaceans: Fifty Years of History

    Andrea A. Cabrera Arreola

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available En Guatemala el estudio de los cetáceos inició en la década de los sesenta con los primeros registros de varamiento y captura incidental. Sin embargo, pocos trabajos científicos con datos de cetáceos han sido publicados. Con el objetivo de centralizar la información de cetáceos y obtener conocimiento biológico para el desarrollo de planes de manejo y conservación, se realizó una revisión bibliográfica de cetáceos en Guatemala que recaba información de los últimos 50 años. Se obtuvo un total de 1,014 registros de avistamiento (1979-2011, 62 registros de captura incidental (1961/85 y 16 registros de varamientos (1975, 2007-2012, los cuales se analizaron en mapas batimétricos y en mapas de presiones antropogénicas. Se identificaron diecinueve especies pertenecientes a cinco familias de cetáceos, incluyendo Balaenopteridae, Delphinidae, Ziphiidae, Kogiidae y Physeteridae. El esfuerzo y área de muestreo varió durante 1961-2012. Se identificaron diferentes patrones de distribución especie-específicos. La mayoría de avistamientos se registraron cerca de zonas con topografía compleja. Aunque los eventos de captura incidental se registraron únicamente en alta mar, los resultados sugieren que especies de distribución costera se encuentran en zonas con mayor riesgo antropogénico. Se reportaron ocho especies de cetáceos varados, eventos ocurridos principalmente en el departamento de Escuintla desde el año 2007. Debido a la gran diversidad en los patrones de distribución, comportamiento y uso de hábitat de los cetáceos, combinado con los riesgos antropogénicos de la zona, es necesario que se considere un enfoque integral cuando se implementen planes de manejo y conservación marina en Guatemala.

  8. WATER TEMPERATURE, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, and others collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in main Hawaiian Islands from 2008-07-11 to 2008-07-29 (NCEI Accession 0155891)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — CTD data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID: SE 08-06). CTD casts...

  9. WATER TEMPERATURE and DEPTH collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and others from 2015-05-08 to 2015-06-06 (NCEI Accession 0155929)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — XBT data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 15-02). XBT casts...

  10. WATER TEMPERATURE, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, and others collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ, main Hawaiian Islands, and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from 2010-09-02 to 2010-10-26 (NCEI Accession 0156000)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — CTD data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID: SE 10-08). During legs...

  11. WATER TEMPERATURE, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, and others collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in main Hawaiian Islands and Hawaii EEZ from 2009-02-06 to 2009-02-25 (NCEI Accession 0156207)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — CTD data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 09-01). CTD casts...

  12. WATER TEMPERATURE, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, and others collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from 2013-05-08 to 2013-06-03 (NCEI Accession 0155997)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — CTD data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 13-03). CTD casts...

  13. WATER TEMPERATURE, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, and others collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ and Palmyra EEZ from 2011-10-20 to 2011-11-17 (NCEI Accession 0155949)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — CTD data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 11-08). CTD casts...

  14. WATER TEMPERATURE and DEPTH - SENSOR collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in main Hawaiian Islands and Hawaii EEZ from 2009-02-06 to 2009-02-25 (NCEI Accession 0155922)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — XBT data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 09-01). XBT casts...

  15. WATER TEMPERATURE and DEPTH - SENSOR collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from 2013-05-08 to 2013-06-03 (NCEI Accession 0156421)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — XBT data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 13-03). XBT casts...

  16. WATER TEMPERATURE and DEPTH - SENSOR collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in main Hawaiian Islands from 2008-07-11 to 2008-07-29 (NCEI Accession 0155892)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — XBT data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 08-06). XBT casts...

  17. WATER TEMPERATURE and DEPTH - SENSOR collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ, central North Pacific Ocean, and others from 2010-01-22 to 2010-02-06 (NCEI Accession 0155913)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — XBT data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 10-01). XBT casts...

  18. WATER TEMPERATURE and DEPTH - SENSOR collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ, central North Pacific Ocean, and others from 2010-04-20 to 2010-04-30 (NCEI Accession 0155915)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — XBT data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID: SE 10-04). XBT casts...

  19. WATER TEMPERATURE, DISSOLVED OXYGEN, and others collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ, central North Pacific Ocean, and others from 2010-04-20 to 2010-04-30 (NCEI Accession 0155996)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — CTD data were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID: SE 10-04). A total of 4...

  20. CHLOROPHYLL A CONCENTRATION collected from NOAA Ship OSCAR ELTON SETTE in Hawaii EEZ, Palmyra EEZ, and American Samoa EEZ from 2012-04-23 to 2012-05-15 (NCEI Accession 0155998)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Surface water samples were collected during a Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center's Cetacean Research Program's shipboard cetacean survey (Cruise ID SE 12-03)....

  1. 9 CFR 3.111 - Swim-with-the-dolphin programs.

    2010-01-01

    ... harassment of the cetaceans. (8) In cases where cetaceans used in an interactive session exhibit... sexual contact with humans, such cetaceans shall either be removed from the interactive area or the... incident and shall establish a plan of action for the prevention of further occurrences. 14 Telephone...

  2. Cetáceos del Pacífico de Guatemala: : Cincuenta años de historia

    Cabrera Arreola, Andrea; Ortíz Wolford, Jenniffer S.; Corona Figueroa, Mildred Fabiola; Gudiel Corona, Victor M.

    2014-01-01

    Cetaceans have been studied in Guatemala since 1960s, but only a few scientific works based on the collected cetacean data were published. We reviewed literatures about cetaceans in Guatemala for the past fifty years to gain the biological knowledge for conservation and management plans. A total of

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Small cetacean aerial survey conducted in Alaskan waters by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1997-05-08 to 1999-07-04 (NCEI Accession 0131991)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial surveys were conducted to produce abundance estimates for the three Alaska stocks of harbor porpoise. Surveys occurred from May to July 1997 for the Southeast...

  5. Visual surveys of cetaceans conducted in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 2010-08-25 to 2015-09-28 (NCEI Accession 0137906)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As part of several inter-agency agreements between the National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), visual surveys of...

  6. 77 FR 19645 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16111

    2012-04-02

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

  7. 78 FR 23538 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17312

    2013-04-19

    ... permit to study 35 cetacean species or stocks during vessel surveys in the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of..., track, and collect passive acoustic recordings to study cetacean diving behavior, calling behavior...-7221; fax (907)586-7249; Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802...

  8. Under pressure

    Boer, de Marijke N.; Saulino, James T.; Waerebeek, van Koen; Aarts, Geert

    2016-01-01

    Within the Gulf of Guinea high levels of fisheries-related cetacean mortality (bycatch and direct-capture) has been documented. For locally rare species such removals could potentially lead to significant population level effects. However, information on the cetacean abundance and distribution is

  9. The Effects of Attenuating Returning Echolocation Signals at the Lower Jaw of a Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus)

    1991-06-01

    echolocation signals are guided to the inner ear of odonto - relatively little loss of energy. The biochemical composition cete cetaceans via areas of fatty...pool, on the range of useful al. (1986), and others have provided evidence that odonto - energy in the emitted clicks. cete cetaceans emit echolocation

  10. Dolphins and Children: A Blueprint for Marine Environmental Education in Peru

    Van Bressem, Marie-Francoise; Alfaro-Shigueto, Joanna; Geysen, Karen; Onton, Karina; Vega, Diana; Chavez-Lisambart, Laura; Van Waerebeek, Koen

    2006-01-01

    To complement legislative measures protecting cetaceans and other marine animals, the Peruvian Centre for Cetacean Research in the period 1993-2000 implemented an environmental education program at the kindergartens, primary and high schools of several fishing towns and in Lima, Peru. This program included environmental classes based on selected…

  11. 76 FR 40338 - Marine Mammals; Photography Permit No. 16360

    2011-07-08

    ... Mammals; Photography Permit No. 16360 AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic... photography of cetaceans off Hawaii. ADDRESSES: The permit and related documents are available for review upon... photography on 12 cetacean species had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit has...

  12. Unique biochemical and mineral composition of whale ear bones.

    Kim, Sora L; Thewissen, J G M; Churchill, Morgan M; Suydam, Robert S; Ketten, Darlene R; Clementz, Mark T

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Cetaceans are obligate aquatic mammals derived from terrestrial artiodactyls. The defining characteristic of cetaceans is a thick and dense lip (pachyosteosclerotic involucrum) of an ear bone (the tympanic). This unique feature is absent in modern terrestrial artiodactyls and is suggested to be important in underwater hearing. Here, we investigate the mineralogical and biochemical properties of the involucrum, as these may hold clues to the aquatic adaptations of cetaceans. We compared bioapatites (enamel, dentine, cementum, and skeletal bone) of cetaceans with those of terrestrial artiodactyls and pachyosteosclerotic ribs of manatees (Sirenia). We investigated organic, carbonate, and mineral composition as well as crystal size and crystallinity index. In all studied variables, bioapatites of the cetacean involucrum were intermediate in composition and structure between those of tooth enamel on the one hand and those of dentine, cementum, and skeletal bone on the other. We also studied the amino acid composition of the cetacean involucrum relative to that of other skeletal bone. The central involucrum had low glycine and hydroxyproline concentrations but high concentrations of nonessential amino acids, unlike most bone samples but similar to the tympanic of hippos and the (pachyosteosclerotic) ribs of manatees. These amino acid results are evidence of rapid bone development. We hypothesize that the mineralogical and amino acid composition of cetacean bullae differs from that of other bone because of (1) functional modifications for underwater sound reception and (2) structural adaptations related to rapid ossification.

  13. AFSC/NMML: Killer Whale encounter data in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, and the western and central Gulf of Alaska from 2000 - 2010

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Comprises data from surveys focused on killer whales with opportunistic data from other cetacean species; includes data describing encounters for...

  14. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0107, EK500)

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

  15. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0306, EK500)

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

  16. Stranded Specimen Data

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Marine Mammal and Turtle Division collects data about individual cetaceans and sea turtles that come ashore, or strand on the beach. The date and location of...

  17. Turbidity, SOLAR RADIATION - ATMOSPHERIC and other data from GYRE from 1987-04-02 to 1995-08-30 (NODC Accession 9500157)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The accession contains archive of Texas A XBT; and distribution and abundance of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) data collected along the continental slope in the...

  18. 75 FR 64276 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Navy Training Conducted at the Silver...

    2010-10-19

    ... is to require shutdown or power-down of noise sources when a cetacean species is detected within the... sources and their paths) and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography) and is...

  19. Investigation of Immune Function in Naval Marine Mammals

    Romano, Tracy

    2000-01-01

    ... (dolphins, whales, and porpoises). This is due in part to obtaining access to animals and tissue samples as well as the lack of cetacean-specific reagents to carry out investigations of the immune system...

  20. POPs, Fatty acids, lipid and Stable Isotopes data - The behavioral ecology of deep-diving odontocetes in the Bahamas

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project will use a unique set of individual-based data to quantify and model the behavioral ecology of six Department of Defense priority cetacean species in...

  1. Central nervous system disease and genital disease in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are associated with different herpesviruses

    C.E. van Elk; M.W.G. van de Bildt (Marco); P.R.W.A. van Run (Peter); De Jong, A. (Anton); S. Getu (Sarah); G.M.G.M. Verjans (George); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); T. Kuiken (Thijs)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractHerpesvirus infection causes disease of variable severity in many species, including cetaceans. However, little is known about herpesvirus infection in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), despite being widespread in temperate coastal waters of the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, we

  2. HARP MHI- Cross Seamount

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — PIFSC and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) conducted passive acoustic monitoring for cetaceans at Cross Seamount in 2005 and 2006 using a High-Frequency...

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

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

    2015-01-01

    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,

  4. Organochlorine residues in some dolphin specimens stranded on Southern Adriatic Coasts (Italy)

    Storelli, M.M.; Giacominelli Stuffler, R.; Ceci, E.; Marcotrigiano, G.O.

    1999-01-01

    This paper reports the concentration of PCBs and organochlorine compounds and percentage composition of the different PCB congeners in various tissues from four different species of cetaceans stranded on the Adriatic coast of Italy in July-September 1995

  5. Energy Based Control System Designs for Underactuated Robot Fish Propulsion

    Roper, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In nature through millions of years of evolution fish and cetaceans have developed fast efficient and highly manoeuvrable methods of marine propulsion. A recent explosion in demand for sub sea robotics, for conducting tasks such as sub sea exploration and survey has left developers desiring to capture some of the novel mechanisms evolved by fish and cetaceans to increase the efficiency of speed and manoeuvrability of sub sea robots. Research has revealed that interactions with...

  6. Roentgenographic indicators of skeletal maturity in marine mammals (Cetacea)

    Ogden, J.A.; Conlogue, G.J.; Rhodin, A.G.J.; Yale Univ., New Haven, CT

    1981-01-01

    A new roentgenographic classification (grading) scheme is presented for utilization in studies of skeletal development and maturation in marine mammals, particularly cetaceans. This is based on adequate description of the extent of development and maturation of the various secondary ossification centers, their eventual patterns of fusion, and subsequent remodeling with the metaphysis. The six stages are illustrated schematically and roentgenographically. This scheme may be applied to any cetacean longitudinal bone developing proximal and distal epiphyseal ossification centers. (orig.)

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

    2011-01-18

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

  8. A Phylogenetic Synthesis for Oceanic Dolphins: Total Evidence, Cytonuclear Discordance, and Possible Introgressive Hybridization

    Haisten, David

    2016-01-01

    Introgressive hybridization is increasingly being detected in vertebrate taxa but was thought to be rare in mammals. Recent evidence suggests that this view might not correct and cetaceans may be pre-disposed for the capacity to hybridize. Numerous instances of cetacean (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) hybridization have been reported both in captivity and in the wild, many of which occurred in oceanic dolphins: family Delphinidae. The rapid radiation of Delphinidae commenced during the Mio...

  9. Comparative Analyses of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Structure, Function, and Evolution in Marine Mammals

    2007-02-01

    function in early vertebrates: inducibility of cytochrome P450 1A in agnathan and elasmobranch fish . Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol 120...J.Y., A.G. McArthur and J.J. Stegeman. 2005b. Characterization of a cetacean aromatase (CYP19) and the phylogeny and functional conservation of... phylogeny of cetaceans prompts revision of morphological transformations. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10:328-334. Nei, M., P. Xu and G. Glazko

  10. Immunotoxicity of Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPs) on the Leukocytes of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Li, Wen-Ta; Chang, Hui-Wen; Yang, Wei-Cheng; Lo, Chieh; Wang, Lei-Ya; Pang, Victor Fei; Chen, Meng-Hsien; Jeng, Chian-Ren

    2018-04-04

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been extensively used and are considered as an emerging contaminant in the ocean. The environmental contamination of AgNPs is expected to increase greatly over time, and cetaceans, as the top ocean predators, will suffer the negative impacts of AgNPs. In the present study, we investigate the immunotoxicity of AgNPs on the leukocytes of cetaceans using several methods, including cytomorphology, cytotoxicity, and functional activity assays. The results reveal that 20 nm Citrate-AgNPs (C-AgNP 20 ) induce different cytomorphological alterations and intracellular distributions in cetacean polymorphonuclear cells (cPMNs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (cPBMCs). At high concentrations of C-AgNP 20 (10 and 50 μg/ml), the time- and dose-dependent cytotoxicity in cPMNs and cPBMCs involving apoptosis is demonstrated. C-AgNP 20 at sub-lethal doses (0.1 and 1 μg/ml) negatively affect the functional activities of cPMNs (phagocytosis and respiratory burst) and cPBMCs (proliferative activity). The current study presents the first evidence of the cytotoxicity and immunotoxicity of AgNPs on the leukocytes of cetaceans and improves our understanding of environmental safety concerning AgNPs. The dose-response data of AgNPs on the leukocytes of cetaceans are invaluable for evaluating the adverse health effects in cetaceans and for proposing a conservation plan for marine mammals.

  11. Adaptive evolution of the Hox gene family for development in bats and dolphins.

    Lu Liang

    Full Text Available Bats and cetaceans (i.e., whales, dolphins, porpoises are two kinds of mammals with unique locomotive styles and occupy novel niches. Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight in the sky, while cetaceans have returned to the aquatic environment and are specialized for swimming. Associated with these novel adaptations to their environment, various development changes have occurred to their body plans and associated structures. Given the importance of Hox genes in many aspects of embryonic development, we conducted an analysis of the coding regions of all Hox gene family members from bats (represented by Pteropus vampyrus, Pteropus alecto, Myotis lucifugus and Myotis davidii and cetaceans (represented by Tursiops truncatus for adaptive evolution using the available draft genome sequences. Differences in the selective pressures acting on many Hox genes in bats and cetaceans were found compared to other mammals. Positive selection, however, was not found to act on any of the Hox genes in the common ancestor of bats and only upon Hoxb9 in cetaceans. PCR amplification data from additional bat and cetacean species, and application of the branch-site test 2, showed that the Hoxb2 gene within bats had significant evidence of positive selection. Thus, our study, with genomic and newly sequenced Hox genes, identifies two candidate Hox genes that may be closely linked with developmental changes in bats and cetaceans, such as those associated with the pancreatic, neuronal, thymus shape and forelimb. In addition, the difference in our results from the genome-wide scan and newly sequenced data reveals that great care must be taken in interpreting results from draft genome data from a limited number of species, and deep genetic sampling of a particular clade is a powerful tool for generating complementary data to address this limitation.

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

    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.

  13. The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean marine mammals: Marine Protected Area (MPA) or marine polluted area? The case study of the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Panti, Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Maltese, Silvia; Spinsanti, Giacomo; Casini, Silvia; Caliani, Ilaria; Gaspari, Stefania; Muñoz-Arnanz, Juan; Jimenez, Begoña; Finoia, Maria Grazia

    2013-05-15

    The concurrence of man-made pressures on cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea is potentially affecting population stability and marine biodiversity. This needs to be proven for the only pelagic marine protected area in the Mediterranean Sea: the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals. Here we applied a multidisciplinary tool, using diagnostic markers elaborated in a statistical model to rank toxicological stress in Mediterranean cetaceans. As a case study we analyzed persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals combined with a wide range of diagnostic markers of exposure to anthropogenic contaminants and genetic variation as marker of genetic erosion in striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) skin biopsies. Finally, a statistical model was applied to obtain a complete toxicological profile of the striped dolphin in the Pelagos Sanctuary and other Mediterranean areas (Ionian Sea and Strait of Gibraltar). Here we provide the first complete evidence of the toxicological stress in cetaceans living in Pelagos Sanctuary. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

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

  15. Dolphin Watching in the Southern Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, Philippines: Issues and Challenges

    Lemnuel V. Aragones

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Dolphin watching is a growing economic activity in the southern Tañon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS, the Philippines, an area that is also heavily exploited by fisheries. In order to examine the issues and challenges in this growing industry, we monitored relevant information regarding cetacean watching, conducted focus group discussions (FGDs and educational seminar-workshops for various local stakeholders from 2004 to 2006, and followed these up from 2008-2012. From 9 May to 16 August 2004, we conducted structured interviews to determine the perceptions of cetacean-watching tourists (CWTs and assess the level of local knowledge of f ishers and non-fishers (NFs regarding marine mammals and environmental management in this area. Ninety f ive (95 CWTs, 100 local fishers, and 64 NFs were interviewed. Sixty seven percent (n=64 of the CWTs believed that the overall quality of tours was impressive primarily because they were able to watch, at reasonable costs, large groups of dolphins in close proximity and in an almost pristine environment. The majority of CWTs (~91% felt that there is a need to develop a ‘Special Management Plan’ (SMP for the southern TSPS focusing on cetaceans and their habitats. The increasing number of dolphin watching boats, heavy exploitation of f ishing ground, misperception of local f ishers that cetaceans are competitors with f isheries, and lack of a SMP or a Management Plan per se for TSPS warranted the facilitation of a participatory management process to protect the cetaceans and their habitats.This study has shown that even with only preliminary results, survey interviews of key stakeholders in combination with FGDs and seminar-workshop could be critical in facilitating a participatory management process. In the case of the TSPS, this par ticipatory approach led to the formation of the Tañon Strait Association of Dolphin and Whale Watching Operators, Inc. (TaSADoWWI, and eventual development of cetacean

  16. The stranding anomaly as population indicator

    Peltier, Helene; Baagøe, Hans J.; Camphuysen, Kees C. J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological indicators for monitoring strategies are expected to combine three major characteristics: ecological significance, statistical credibility, and cost-effectiveness. Strategies based on stranding networks rank highly in cost-effectiveness, but their ecological significance and statistica...... surveys, mostly SCANS surveys (1994 and 2005). This new indicator could be applied to cetacean populations across the world and more widely to marine megafauna....... credibility are disputed. Our present goal is to improve the value of stranding data as population indicator as part of monitoring strategies by constructing the spatial and temporal null hypothesis for strandings. The null hypothesis is defined as: small cetacean distribution and mortality are uniform...

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. The origin and early evolution of whales: macroevolution ...

    Prakash

    2009-10-29

    Oct 29, 2009 ... in mammals: cetaceans nurse their young with milk and some have (sparse) hairs on ... accumulated, first from protein studies, later from nuclear ..... which the fat pad is, and which is used for hearing underwater. Note that the ...

  19. The stranding anomaly as population indicator: the case of harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in North-Western Europe.

    Helene Peltier

    Full Text Available Ecological indicators for monitoring strategies are expected to combine three major characteristics: ecological significance, statistical credibility, and cost-effectiveness. Strategies based on stranding networks rank highly in cost-effectiveness, but their ecological significance and statistical credibility are disputed. Our present goal is to improve the value of stranding data as population indicator as part of monitoring strategies by constructing the spatial and temporal null hypothesis for strandings. The null hypothesis is defined as: small cetacean distribution and mortality are uniform in space and constant in time. We used a drift model to map stranding probabilities and predict stranding patterns of cetacean carcasses under H0 across the North Sea, the Channel and the Bay of Biscay, for the period 1990-2009. As the most common cetacean occurring in this area, we chose the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena for our modelling. The difference between these strandings expected under H0 and observed strandings is defined as the stranding anomaly. It constituted the stranding data series corrected for drift conditions. Seasonal decomposition of stranding anomaly suggested that drift conditions did not explain observed seasonal variations of porpoise strandings. Long-term stranding anomalies increased first in the southern North Sea, the Channel and Bay of Biscay coasts, and finally the eastern North Sea. The hypothesis of changes in porpoise distribution was consistent with local visual surveys, mostly SCANS surveys (1994 and 2005. This new indicator could be applied to cetacean populations across the world and more widely to marine megafauna.

  20. Differences in the response of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and a harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) to an acoustic alarm

    Kastelein, R.A.; Jennings, N.; Verboom, W.C.; Haan, D.de; Schooneman, N.M.

    2006-01-01

    Small cetacean bycatch in gillnet fisheries may be reduced by deterring odontocetes from nets acoustically. However, different odontocete species may respond differently to acoustic signals from alarms. Therefore, in this study a striped dolphin and a harbour porpoise were subjected simultaneously

  1. Comparative genomics reveals conservation of filaggrin and loss of caspase-14 in dolphins.

    Strasser, Bettina; Mlitz, Veronika; Fischer, Heinz; Tschachler, Erwin; Eckhart, Leopold

    2015-05-01

    The expression of filaggrin and its stepwise proteolytic degradation are critical events in the terminal differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes and in the formation of the skin barrier to the environment. Here, we investigated whether the evolutionary transition from a terrestrial to a fully aquatic lifestyle of cetaceans, that is dolphins and whales, has been associated with changes in genes encoding filaggrin and proteins involved in the processing of filaggrin. We used comparative genomics, PCRs and re-sequencing of gene segments to screen for the presence and integrity of genes coding for filaggrin and proteases implicated in the maturation of (pro)filaggrin. Filaggrin has been conserved in dolphins (bottlenose dolphin, orca and baiji) but has been lost in whales (sperm whale and minke whale). All other S100 fused-type genes have been lost in cetaceans. Among filaggrin-processing proteases, aspartic peptidase retroviral-like 1 (ASPRV1), also known as saspase, has been conserved, whereas caspase-14 has been lost in all cetaceans investigated. In conclusion, our results suggest that filaggrin is dispensable for the acquisition of fully aquatic lifestyles of whales, whereas it appears to confer an evolutionary advantage to dolphins. The discordant evolution of filaggrin, saspase and caspase-14 in cetaceans indicates that the biological roles of these proteins are not strictly interdependent. © 2015 The Authors. Experimental Dermatology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    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 ...

  3. Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the Western North Atlantic: A Guide to Their Identification.

    Leatherwood, Stephen; And Others

    This field guide is designed to permit observers to identify the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) they see in western North Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the coastal waters of the United States and Canada. The animals described are not grouped by scientific relationships but by similarities in appearance…

  4. Differences in the response of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and a harbour popoise (Phocoena phocoena) to an acoustic alarm

    Kastelein, R.A.; Jennings, N.; Verboom, W.C.; Haan, de D.; Schooneman, N.M.

    2006-01-01

    Small cetacean bycatch in gillnet fisheries may be reduced by deterring odontocetes from nets acoustically. However, different odontocete species may respond differently to acoustic signals from alarms. Therefore, in this study a striped dolphin and a harbour porpoise were subjected simultaneously

  5. Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the Eastern North Pacific and Adjacent Arctic Waters: A Guide to Their Identification.

    Leatherwood, Stephen; And Others

    This field guide is designed to permit observers to identify the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) they see in the waters of the eastern North Pacific, including the Gulf of California, Hawaii, and the western Arctic of North America. The animals described are grouped not by scientific relationships but by similarities in appearance in…

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. The semi-enclosed tidal bay Eastern Scheldt in the Netherlands: porpoise heaven or porpoise prison?

    van Dam, Simone; Solé, L.; IJsseldijk, L.L.; Begeman, L.; Leopold, Mardik

    2017-01-01

    Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), the smallest of cetaceans, need to consume quantities of prey that amount to ca. 10% of their own body mass per day. They mostly feed on small fish, with the main prey species differing geographically. The δ¹³C muscle signature of harbour porpoises sampled in

  8. Prey consumed by Guiana dolphin Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea, Delphinidae and franciscana dolphin Pontoporia blainvillei (Cetacea, Pontoporiidae in an estuarine environment in southern Brazil

    Marta J. Cremer

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study provides information about the diet of sympatric populations of small cetaceans in the Babitonga Bay estuary. This is the first study on the diet of these species in direct sympatry. The stomach contents of seven Guiana dolphins Sotalia guianensis and eight franciscanas Pontoporia blainvillei were analyzed. The prey of both cetaceans was mostly teleost fishes, followed by cephalopods. We identified 13 teleost fishes as part of the diet of the franciscanas, and 20 as part of the diet of Guiana dolphins. Lolliguncula brevis was the only cephalopod recorded, and was the most important prey for both cetaceans. Stellifer rastrifer and Gobionellus oceanicus were also important for franciscana, so as Mugil curema and Micropogonias furnieri were important for Guiana dolphins. Stellifer rastrifer and Cetengraulis edentulus were the fishes with the highest frequency of occurrence for franciscana (50%, while Achirus lineatus, C. edentulus, S. brasiliensis, Cynoscion leiarchus, M. furnieri, M. curema, Diapterus rhombeus, Eugerres brasilianus and G. oceanicus showed 28.6% of frequency of occurrence for Guiana dolphins. Franciscanas captured greater cephalopods than the Guiana dolphins in both total length (z= -3.38; n= 40; p< 0.05 and biomass (z = -2.46; n = 40; p<0.05. All of the prey species identified occur inside the estuary, which represents a safe habitat against predators and food availability, reinforcing the importance of the Babitonga Bay for these cetacean populations.

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

    Jansen, O.E.

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 76 FR 78242 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14241

    2011-12-16

    ... the acoustic stimuli an animal hears and measures vocalization, behavior, and physiological parameters. Research also involves conducting sound playbacks in a carefully controlled manner and measuring animals... permit holder to conduct research on cetacean behavior, sound production, and responses to sound. The...

  11. Incidental catches of pelagic megafauna by the Dutch pelagic fleet in the Mauritanian Exclusive Economic Zone during the years 1999 - 2003

    Hofstede, ter R.; Zeeberg, J.J.; Haan, de D.; Couperus, A.S.; Mantingh, I.T.

    2004-01-01

    This report presents all registered catches of pelagic megafauna by the Dutch pelagic fleet in the Mauritanian Exclusive Economic Zone during the years 1999-2003. ‘By-catches’ incidentally include large species, notably cetaceans, sea turtles, sharks, rays, and some large pelagic fish such as

  12. The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 76 FR 30130 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a...

    2011-05-24

    ... the tops of the steel piles located directly beneath the structure in order to function as a load... sound pulses that might, in theory, cause hearing impairment. In addition, many cetaceans are likely to... such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and...

  14. A wideband connection to sperm whales: A fiber-optic, deep-sea hydrophone array

    Heerfordt, Anders; Møhl, Bertel; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2007-01-01

    A 10-element, 950 m long, vertical hydrophone array based on fiber-optic data transmission has been developed primarily for studying the beam pattern from deep diving cetaceans emitting sonar pulses. The array elements have a configurable sampling rate and resolution with a maximum signal bandwidth...

  15. 77 FR 41755 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Three Marine Geophysical Surveys in...

    2012-07-16

    ... modeling process of the calibration experiment in shallow, intermediate, and deep water. The conclusions in...]) are expected to be received from the airgun array operating in shallow, intermediate, and deep water... several species of deep-diving cetaceans are capable of remaining underwater for more than 30 minutes (e.g...

  16. Preliminary checklist of Cetacea in the Indonesian Archipelago and adjacent waters

    Rudolph, P.; Smeenk, C.; Leatherwood, S.

    1997-01-01

    Records of 29 species of cetaceans from the Indonesian Archipelago have been gleaned from published and unpublished sources, representing five families: Phocoenidae (1 species), Delphinidae (16), Ziphiidae (3), Physeteridae (3), and Balaenopteridae (6). The presence of 26 species could be confirmed

  17. Linking Deep-Waer Prey Fields with Odontocete Population Structure and Behavior

    2015-09-30

    potentially mitigate beaked whale responses to disturbance, providing direct input data to PCOD models for beaked whales • Leverage previous...principles of cetacean foraging ecology and responses to disturbance • Identify key prey metrics for future analyses and incorporation into PCOD

  18. Body contact and synchronous diving in long-finned pilot whales

    Aokia, K.; Sakai, M.; Miller, P.J.O.; Visser, F.; Sato, K.

    2013-01-01

    Synchronous behavior, as a form of social interaction, has been widely reported for odontocete cetaceans observed at the sea surface. However, few studies have quantified synchronous behavior underwater. Using data from an animal-borne data recorder and camera, we described how a pair of deep-diving

  19. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    Olsen, Morten T.; Robbins, Jooke; Bérubé, Martine; Rew, Mary Beth; Palsboll, Per

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), ranging from 0 to 26

  20. Whale-Watching

    Lande, Rivian

    1973-01-01

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

  1. Development and testing of species-specific ELISA assays to measure IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    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. Thou...

  2. Beautiful Minds—For How Long.

    Lori Marino

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Lori Marino reviews the new bookBeautiful Minds, which investigates the "parallel lives" of primates and cetaceans and argues that despite the evolutionary distance of these large-brained mammals, they nevertheless share a capacity for complex communication and social behavior, representing a striking example of convergence in intelligence.

  3. Placentation in dolphins from the Amazon River Basin

    da Silva, Vera M F; Carter, Anthony M; Ambrosio, Carlos E

    2007-01-01

    A recent reassessment of the phylogenetic affinities of cetaceans makes it timely to compare their placentation with that of the artiodactyls. We studied the placentae of two sympatric species of dolphin from the Amazon River Basin, representing two distinct families. The umbilical cord branched ...

  4. First record of a white rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) off West Africa including notes on rough-toothed dolphin surface behaviour

    Boer, de M.N.

    2010-01-01

    In June 2009, a white rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) calf was photographed in a group of at least 50 dolphins in the southern Gulf of Guinea, 95 nauticol miles off the Gabon coast (01°45'S 007°29'E), West Africa. Reports of unusually pigmented cetaceans are infrequent and this record

  5. The Ecological Rise of Whales Chronicled by the Fossil Record.

    Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2017-06-05

    The evolution of cetaceans is one of the best examples of macroevolution documented from the fossil record. While ecological transitions dominate each phase of cetacean history, this context is rarely stated explicitly. The first major ecological phase involves a transition from riverine and deltaic environments to marine ones, concomitant with dramatic evolutionary transformations documented in their early fossil record. The second major phase involves ecological shifts associated with evolutionary innovations: echolocation (facilitating hunting prey at depth) and filter-feeding (enhancing foraging efficiency on small prey). This latter phase involves body size shifts, attributable to changes in foraging depth and environmental forcing, as well as re-invasions of freshwater systems on continental basins by multiple lineages. Modern phenomena driving cetacean ecology, such as trophic dynamics and arms races, have an evolutionary basis that remains mostly unexamined. The fossil record of cetaceans provides an historical basis for understanding current ecological mechanisms and consequences, especially as global climate change rapidly alters ocean and river ecosystems at rates and scales comparable to those over geologic time. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Marine Mammals Ashore: A Field Guide for Strandings. Second Edition

    2005-01-01

    fatal encephalitis due to Toxoplasma gondii’" and serological evidence of exposure to cetacean morbilliviruses2 ’. One virus, consistent with a bovine ...Journal for Parasitology 17:407-414. 71. Geraci, J.R., M.D. Dailey and D.J. St. Aubin. 1978. Parasitic mastitis in the Atlantic white-sided dolphin

  7. 76 FR 75524 - Marine Mammals

    2011-12-02

    ..., 263 13th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701; phone (727) 824-5312; fax (727) 824-5309. FOR... (Globicephala melas), although other small cetacean species may also be studied. The locations for the field... of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed...

  8. 75 FR 29991 - Marine Mammals; receipt of application for permit amendment

    2010-05-28

    ...; phone (978)281-9300; fax (978)281-9333; and Southeast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, Saint... delphinids such as long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), although other small cetacean species may... expiration date of the permit. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C...

  9. Mercury and selenium biomagnification in a Brazilian coastal food web using nitrogen stable isotope analysis: A case study in an area under the influence of the Paraiba do Sul River plume

    Kehrig, Helena A.; Seixas, Tercia G.; Malm, Olaf; Di Beneditto, Ana Paula M.; Rezende, Carlos E.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Cetacean and voracious fish displayed similar δ 15 N values. • Cetacean displayed higher Hg and lower Se than voracious fish. • Hg showed an elevated biomagnification power over the entire tropical food web. • Se biomagnified in lower and intermediate trophic positions. • Five trophic positions were found in relation to primary consumer as baseline. -- Abstract: Mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and nitrogen (δ 15 N) stable isotope were assessed in a tropical food web of Rio de Janeiro’s north coast. Isotopic data on muscle suggest a difference related to this parameter along the food web; where top-predators (cetacean and voracious fish) displayed heavier δ 15 N over the entire food web. Both top-predators presented similar δ 15 N values. Cetacean displayed higher Hg and lower Se than voracious fish. Five trophic positions (TP) were found in relation to primary consumer as baseline, ranging from 2.0 to 4.0. Positive relationships were found between trace-element and δ 15 N. The slope of regression equations (0.11 for Se and 0.21 for Hg) and food web magnification factors (2.4 for Se and 5.4 for Hg) showed that Hg presented higher rate of increase over the food web. Simultaneous measurements of trace-elements and ecological tracers emphasize the importance of TP into the trophic structure and distribution of Hg and Se throughout the food web

  10. 76 FR 27307 - Marine Mammals; Photography Permit Application No. 16360

    2011-05-11

    ... Mammals; Photography Permit Application No. 16360 AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... commercial/educational photography of cetaceans off Hawaii. DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments... CFR part 216). Section 104(c)(6) provides for photography for educational or commercial purposes...

  11. 78 FR 19652 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Office of Naval Research Acoustic...

    2013-04-02

    ... provided additional information on March 7, 2013 and NMFS determined that the application was adequate and complete on March 7, 2013. ONR proposes to conduct ATE in one of nine provinces comprising the western... be a pathologic mechanism for the strandings and mortality of some deep- diving cetaceans exposed to...

  12. Correlates of Cytochrome P450 1A1 Expression in Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Integument Biopsies

    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

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

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. The distribution and diversity of whales and dolphins (Cetacea) in the southern North Sea: 1970-2005

    Meij, van der S.E.T.; Camphuysen, C.J.

    2006-01-01

    Between 1970 and 2005 sightings data of cetaceans in the southern North Sea were collected as part of the Marine Mammal Database of the Dutch Seabird Group. The data include incidental sightings and reports as well as results from systematic surveys and seawatching data. They are therefore difficult

  15. Records of Fraser\\'s dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser 1956 from ...

    Although Fraser's dolphins Lagenodelphis hosei are considered to inhabit deep tropical waters worldwide, their occurrence in the tropical eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Guinea southwards to Angola is only represented by two specimen records from Ghana. During cetacean surveys carried out concurrently with ...

  16. Biological significance of sperm whale responses to sonar: Comparison with anti-predator responses

    Curé, C.; Isojunno, S.; Visser, F.; Wensveen, P.J.; Sivle, L.D.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Lam, F.A.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2016-01-01

    A key issue when investigating effects of anthropogenic noise on cetacean behavior is to identify the biological significance of the responses. Predator presence can be considered a natural high-level disturbance stimulus to which prey animals have evolved adaptive response strategies to reduce

  17. Quantitative relationships in delphinid neocortex

    Mortensen, Heidi S.; Pakkenberg, Bente; Dam, Maria

    2014-01-01

    total number of brain cells in cetaceans, and even fewer have used unbiased counting methods. In this study, using stereological methods, we estimated the total number of cells in the neocortex of the long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) brain. For the first time, we show that a species...

  18. 78 FR 32624 - Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings

    2013-05-31

    ... Group B. Allocation C. Subsistence Fisheries Definition D. Cooperative Research Priorities E. National... Associated Cetacean Ecology Survey (PACES) C. Updates on Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal... Histories of Bottomfish: Hawaii and the Western Pacific D. Community Projects, Activities and Issues 1...

  19. 78 FR 23908 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14809

    2013-04-23

    ... and Southern Oceans. Methods to be used include suction cup tagging, acoustic playbacks, passive... macrocephalus), and southern right (Eubalaena australis) whales, as well as 31 cetacean species that are not... Scientific Advisors. Documents may be reviewed in the following locations: Permits and Conservation Division...

  20. Molecular analysis of dolphin morbillivirus: A new sensitive detection method based on nested RT-PCR.

    Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Zanetti, Rossella; Zappulli, Valentina; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Mazzariol, Sandro

    2016-09-01

    Cetacean Morbillivirus (CeMV) has been identified as the most pathogenic virus for cetaceans. Over the past three decades, this RNA virus has caused several outbreaks of lethal disease in odontocetes and mysticetes worldwide. Isolation and identification of CeMV RNA is very challenging in whales because of the poor preservation status frequently shown by tissues from stranded animals. Nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (nested RT-PCR) is used instead of conventional RT-PCR when it is necessary to increase the sensitivity and the specificity of the reaction. This study describes a new nested RT-PCR technique useful to amplify small amounts of the cDNA copy of Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) when it is present in scant quantity in whales' biological specimens. This technique was used to analyze different tissues (lung, brain, spleen and other lymphoid tissues) from one under human care seal and seven cetaceans stranded along the Italian coastline between October 2011 and September 2015. A well-characterized, 200 base pair (bp) fragment of the dolphin Morbillivirus (DMV) haemagglutinin (H) gene, obtained by nested RT-PCR, was sequenced and used to confirm DMV positivity in all the eight marine mammals under study. In conclusion, this nested RT-PCR protocol can represent a sensitive detection method to identify CeMV-positive, poorly preserved tissue samples. Furthermore, this is also a rather inexpensive molecular technique, relatively easy to apply. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Plan d'action pour la conservation des espèces d'oiseaux inscrites ...

    This List includes fifteen species of bird, and at the thirteenth Conference of the Parties in Catania, Sicily in November 2003, an Action Plan for the conservation of these species was adopted, following similar plans on monk seal, marine turtles, cetaceans and marine vegetation. The Action Plan for Birds notes initiatives ...

  2. 77 FR 59594 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16163

    2012-09-28

    ... that issuance of the permit amendment would not significantly impact the quality of the human... conduct research on cetacean species in U.S. and international waters in the Pacific Ocean, including... of the permitted activities on the human environment was prepared in compliance with the National...

  3. Report on ONR Conference on ’Dolphin Behavior and Cognition: Comparative and Ecological Aspects’, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, San Diego, California, 92109, July 6-9, 1983.

    1983-11-01

    Brookfield Zoo Brookfield, IL 60513 Robert Buhr Animal communication and cognition; Department of Linguistics neurolinguistics and neuropsychology Brown...Rockefeller University 1230 York Avenue New York, NY 10021 Henry Halff (observer) Personnel and Training Research Program .,,; Code 442 PT Arlington, VA 22212...observer) Physiology and Neurobiology Research Program Code 441 NP e., Office of Naval Research Arlington, VA 22217 Bernd Wursig Cetacean behavior

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

    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.

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

    Salvatore Siciliano

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Rafinesque's Sicilian whale, Balena gastrytis

    Woodman, Neal; Mead, James G.

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Constitutional basis of longevity in the cetacea: do the whales and the terrestrial mammals obey the same laws

    Sacher, G.A.

    1978-01-01

    The maximum lifespans in captivity for terrestrial mammalian species can be estimated by means of a multiple linear regression of logarithm of lifespan (L) on the logarithm of adult brain weight (E) and body weight (S). This paper describes the application of regression formulas based on data from terrestrial mammals to the estimation of odontocete and mysticete lifespans. The regression formulas predict cetacean lifespans that are in accord with the data on maximum cetacean lifespans obtained in recent years by objective age determination procedures. More remarkable is the correct prediction by the regression formulas that the odontocete species have nearly constant lifespans, almost independent of body weight over a 300:1 body weight range. This prediction is a consequence of the fact, remarkable in itself, that over this body weight range the Odontoceti have a brain:body allometric slope of 1/3, as compared to a slope of 2/3 for the Mammalia as a whole.

  8. Application of Density Estimation Methods to Datasets from a Glider

    2014-09-30

    humpback and sperm whales as well as different dolphin species. OBJECTIVES The objective of this research is to extend existing methods for cetacean...collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources...estimation from single sensor datasets. Required steps for a cue counting approach, where a cue has been defined as a clicking event (Küsel et al., 2011), to

  9. Factors explaining voluntary participation in PACE-Vaquita

    Sara Avila

    2011-01-01

    Vaquita marina, a small species of porpoise endemic to the Northern Gulf of California in Mexico, is the world’s most endangered cetacean species. With the purpose of preserving vaquita, the Mexican government launched PACE-Vaquita in 2008. This voluntary program offers an innovative schedule of compensations: as in a payment for conservation program, PACE-Vaquita compensates for temporary reductions in fishing reductions in fishing effort; as in a program to accelerate technology adoption,PA...

  10. Environmental characterization of seasonal trends and foraging habitat of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in northern Gulf of Mexico bays

    Miller, Cara E.; Baltz, Donald M.

    2010-01-01

    A description of the foraging habitat of a cetacean species is critical for conservation and effective management. We used a fine-scale microhabitat approach to examine patterns in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) foraging distribution in relation to dissolved oxygen, turbidity, salinity, water depth, water temperature, and distance from shore measurements in a highly turbid estuary on the northern Gulf of Mexico. In general, environmental variation in the Barataria Basin marine env...

  11. Thermal Imaging and Biometrical Thermography of Humpback Whales

    Travis W. Horton

    2017-12-01

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

  12. Department of the Navy Supporting Data for Fiscal Year 1983 Budget Estimates Descriptive Summaries Submitted to Congress February 1982. Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy. Book 1 of 3. Technology Base, Advanced Technology Development, Strategic Programs.

    1982-02-01

    of pinipeds (seals and sea lions ), cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and small whales) and elasmobranches (sharks, rays and skates) will be evaluated for...faor service use in Mlarch 1976. (U) An object r-covery system, Project QUICK FIND, using the California Sea Lion , was transferred to the Fleet In ’lay...will continue. Development of a greater depth capa- bility for the QUICKFIND Sea Lion object recovery system will be initiated. Development of thef

  13. An Outline of Biological Hazards to Swimmers in Tropical and Subtropical Waters,

    1965-08-01

    dispatch with which they attack sea lions , various cetaceans , and other magnificent swimmers leaves no doubt as to their potential dan ger. On some...shores one can encounter sea lions , which are normally cha rming and harmless. However , the old males have been known to L nip at divers duri ng the...most common where natives routinely relieve themselves in the water. All stages of the parasite in man can produce pathologic changes by the

  14. Distribution, abundance and feeding ecology of baleen whales in Icelandic waters: have recent environmental changes had an effect?

    Gísli Arnór Víkingsson

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The location of Iceland at the junction of submarine ridges in the North-East Atlantic where warm and cold water masses meet south of the Arctic Circle contributes to high productivity of the waters around the island. During the last two decades, substantial increases in sea temperature and salinity have been reported. Concurrently, pronounced changes have occurred in the distribution of several fish species and euphausiids. The distribution and abundance of cetaceans in the Central and Eastern North Atlantic have been monitored regularly since 1987. Significant changes in the distribution and abundance of several cetacean species have occurred in this time period. The abundance of Central North Atlantic humpback and fin whales has increased from 1,800 to 11,600 and 15,200 to 20,600, respectively, in the period 1987-2007. In contrast, the abundance of minke whales on the Icelandic continental shelf decreased from around 44,000 in 2001 to 20,000 in 2007 and 10,000 in 2009. The increase in fin whale abundance was accompanied by expansion of distribution into the deep waters of the Irminger Sea. The distribution of the endangered blue whale has shifted northwards in this period. The habitat selection of fin whales was analyzed with respect to physical variables (temperature, depth, salinity using a generalized additive model, and the results suggest that abundance was influenced by an interaction between the physical variables depth and distance to the 2000m isobaths, but also by sea surface temperature and sea surface height, However, environmental data generally act as proxies of other variables, to which the whales respond directly. Overall, these changes in cetacean distribution and abundance may be a functional feeding response of the cetacean species to physical and biological changes in the marine environment, including decreased abundance of euphausiids, a northward shift in summer distribution of capelin and a crash in the abundance of

  15. Design of a Multi-Week Sound and Motion Recording and Telemetry (SMRT) Tag for Behavioral Studies on Whales

    2015-09-30

    Computers to develop a medium-term attachment method for cetaceans involving a set of short barbed darts that anchor in the dermis. In the current project...configuration required for the SMRT tag. Ambient noise monitoring Work is advancing on a paper describing an in situ processing method, developed...in a previous ONR project, for estimating the ambient noise from tag sound samples. In this paper we show that a modified form of spectral analysis

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

    2014-09-30

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

  17. Population Parameters of Blainvilles and Cuviers Beaked Whales

    2015-09-30

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

  18. Megalodon, mako shark and planktonic foraminifera from the continental shelf off Portugal and their age

    ANTUNES, M.; LEGOINHA, P.; BALBINO, A.

    2015-01-01

    Turbidite fragments collected by a fishing net off the central Portuguese coast (Peniche) present some fossils. The matrix is phosphatized and iron-rich with small quantities of manganese, zinc and copper. The occurrence of Megaselachus megalodon most probably excludes an age older than Middle Miocene. Its very advanced evolution stage is consistent with a Pliocene age. Based on planktonic foraminifera in depressions of cetacean skulls recovered in the same way, from the same area...

  19. Population structure of humpback whales in the western and central South Pacific Ocean as determined by vocal exchange among populations

    Garland, E.C.; Goldizen, A.W.; Lilley, M.S.; Rekdahl, M.L.; Garrigue, Claire; Constantine, R.; Hauser, N.D.; Poole, M.M.; Robbins, J.; Noad, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    For cetaceans, population structure is traditionally determined by molecular genetics or photographically identified individuals. Acoustic data, however, has provided information on movement and population structure with less effort and cost than traditional methods in an array of taxa. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce a continually evolving vocal sexual display, or song, that is similar among all males in a population. The rapid cultural transmission (the transfer of inf...

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Visual laterality of calf-mother interactions in wild whales.

    Karina Karenina

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Behavioral laterality is known for a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Laterality in social interactions has been described for a wide range of species including humans. Although evidence and theoretical predictions indicate that in social species the degree of population level laterality is greater than in solitary ones, the origin of these unilateral biases is not fully understood. It is especially poorly studied in the wild animals. Little is known about the role, which laterality in social interactions plays in natural populations. A number of brain characteristics make cetaceans most suitable for investigation of lateralization in social contacts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Observations were made on wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas in the greatest breeding aggregation in the White Sea. Here we show that young calves (in 29 individually identified and in over a hundred of individually not recognized mother-calf pairs swim and rest significantly longer on a mother's right side. Further observations along with the data from other cetaceans indicate that found laterality is a result of the calves' preference to observe their mothers with the left eye, i.e., to analyze the information on a socially significant object in the right brain hemisphere. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Data from our and previous work on cetacean laterality suggest that basic brain lateralizations are expressed in the same way in cetaceans and other vertebrates. While the information on social partners and novel objects is analyzed in the right brain hemisphere, the control of feeding behavior is performed by the left brain hemisphere. Continuous unilateral visual contacts of calves to mothers with the left eye may influence social development of the young by activation of the contralateral (right brain hemisphere, indicating a possible mechanism on how behavioral lateralization may influence species life and welfare. This hypothesis is

  2. Elemental distribution patterns in the skins of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) from a mass stranding in South Africa, analysed using micro-PIXE

    Mouton, M., E-mail: marnel@sun.ac.za [Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7600 (South Africa); Botha, A., E-mail: abo@sun.ac.za [Department of Microbiology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7600 (South Africa); Thornton, M., E-mail: meredith@sharkwatchsa.com [Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria, c/o Iziko South African Museum, P.O. Box 61, Cape Town 8000 (South Africa); Mesjasz-Przybyłowicz, J., E-mail: mesjasz@tlabs.ac.za [iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, P.O. Box 722, Somerset West 7129 (South Africa); Przybyłowicz, W.J., E-mail: przybylowicz@tlabs.ac.za [iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, P.O. Box 722, Somerset West 7129 (South Africa); AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, Al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow (Poland)

    2015-11-15

    Several studies revealed that anthropogenic activities often cause toxic concentrations of some elements, such as mercury, which bio-accumulate through the marine food chain, impacting negatively on the health of animals in the top trophic levels, such as a variety of marine mammals. Moreover, analysis of cetacean skin has been reported to be a reliable, long-term and mostly non-invasive method to monitor bio-accumulation of chemicals in cetacean populations. Several elements, including trace elements, occur naturally in cetacean skin, although nothing is known about their distribution patterns and little about safe base line concentrations. In May 2009, 42 false killer whales (FKWs) beached and died at Kommetjie in the Western Cape of South Africa. Skin samples of these FKWs were collected and analysed to determine elemental distribution patterns. The concentrations and distribution patterns of the major, as well as detectable trace elements were determined in skin samples from ten randomly selected FKW individuals, using micro-PIXE (particle-induced X-ray emission) analysis. Results revealed differences between the distribution patterns of elements in the skin sections. Fe, for example, was found to be concentrated in the dermal papillae, whereas the highest Zn concentrations occurred in the epidermis and particularly in the epidermal papillae. Since these essential elements mediate factors such as host immunity, from skin integrity to humoral immunity, knowledge of their typical distribution patterns can be of great value in studies of bio-accumulation. This is the first report of micro-PIXE being employed to study elemental distribution in cetacean skin and the resulting elemental distribution maps can serve as reference in future environmental pollution studies.

  3. Organization of the sleep-related neural systems in the brain of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).

    Dell, Leigh-Anne; Patzke, Nina; Spocter, Muhammad A; Siegel, Jerome M; Manger, Paul R

    2016-07-01

    The present study provides the first systematic immunohistochemical neuroanatomical investigation of the systems involved in the control and regulation of sleep in an odontocete cetacean, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). The odontocete cetaceans show an unusual form of mammalian sleep, with unihemispheric slow waves, suppressed REM sleep, and continuous bodily movement. All the neural elements involved in sleep regulation and control found in bihemispheric sleeping mammals were present in the harbor porpoise, with no specific nuclei being absent, and no novel nuclei being present. This qualitative similarity of nuclear organization relates to the cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, and orexinergic systems and is extended to the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic elements involved with these nuclei. Quantitative analysis of the cholinergic and noradrenergic nuclei of the pontine region revealed that in comparison with other mammals, the numbers of pontine cholinergic (126,776) and noradrenergic (122,878) neurons are markedly higher than in other large-brained bihemispheric sleeping mammals. The diminutive telencephalic commissures (anterior commissure, corpus callosum, and hippocampal commissure) along with an enlarged posterior commissure and supernumerary pontine cholinergic and noradrenergic neurons indicate that the control of unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is likely to be a function of interpontine competition, facilitated through the posterior commissure, in response to unilateral telencephalic input related to the drive for sleep. In addition, an expanded peripheral division of the dorsal raphe nuclear complex appears likely to play a role in the suppression of REM sleep in odontocete cetaceans. Thus, the current study provides several clues to the understanding of the neural control of the unusual sleep phenomenology present in odontocete cetaceans. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1999-2017, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals

  4. Cellular Basis for Learning Impairment in Fragile X Syndrome

    2014-08-01

    advances in therapy for neurological conditions such as stroke and epilepsy. KEY WORDS: Arctic ground squirrel, Cetacean, Hypoxia, Naked mole-rat...including migration and hibernation. Oxygen levels also vary widely, with animals adapted to sea level, high-altitude, underground and aquatic habitats...adapted for life in specific ecological niches as well as inform advances in therapy for neurological conditions such as stroke and epilepsy. Down for

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

    2015-09-30

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

  6. Fine Scale Baleen Whale Behavior Observed Via Tagging Over Daily Time Scales

    2014-09-30

    system to do a comparison between the two. While at Wildlife Computers, I also asked for and they kindly provided a small change in how their MK10...cetacean behavior at intermediate daily time scales. Recent efforts to assess the impacts of sound on marine mammals and to estimate foraging ...efficiency have called for the need to measure daily activity budgets to quantify how much of each day an individual devotes to foraging , resting

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

    Ranil P. Nanayakkara

    2017-01-01

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

  8. PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters

    Jepson, Paul D.; Deaville, Rob; Barber, Jonathan L.; Aguilar, Àlex; Borrell, Asunción; Murphy, Sinéad; Barry, Jon; Brownlow, Andrew; Barnett, James; Berrow, Simon; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Davison, Nicholas J.; Ten Doeschate, Mariel; Esteban, Ruth; Ferreira, Marisa; Foote, Andrew D.; Genov, Tilen; Giménez, Joan; Loveridge, Jan; Llavona, Ángela; Martin, Vidal; Maxwell, David L.; Papachlimitzou, Alexandra; Penrose, Rod; Perkins, Matthew W.; Smith, Brian; de Stephanis, Renaud; Tregenza, Nick; Verborgh, Philippe; Fernandez, Antonio; Law, Robin J.

    2016-01-01

    Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well-established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PCB concentrations likely to cause population declines and suppress population recovery. In a large pan-European meta-analysis of stranded (n = 929) or biopsied (n = 152) cetaceans, three out of four species:- striped dolphins (SDs), bottlenose dolphins (BNDs) and killer whales (KWs) had mean PCB levels that markedly exceeded all known marine mammal PCB toxicity thresholds. Some locations (e.g. western Mediterranean Sea, south-west Iberian Peninsula) are global PCB “hotspots” for marine mammals. Blubber PCB concentrations initially declined following a mid-1980s EU ban, but have since stabilised in UK harbour porpoises and SDs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Some small or declining populations of BNDs and KWs in the NE Atlantic were associated with low recruitment, consistent with PCB-induced reproductive toxicity. Despite regulations and mitigation measures to reduce PCB pollution, their biomagnification in marine food webs continues to cause severe impacts among cetacean top predators in European seas.

  9. Payment for Environmental Services, fishers and cetaceans’ conservation

    Shirley Pacheco de Souza

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The interactions between fisheries and cetaceans have been widely discussed by several authors. Bycatch of small cetaceans is frequent around the world, threatening several species. In Brazil, in two critical areas– Soure(Marajó Island and São Sebastião - more than 70% of the local fishers (n= 40 and n=70, respectively interviewed in a previous study reported bycatch of Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis or Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei in gillnets. Other negative interaction involving fisheries and cetaceans is the entanglement of Southern right whales in fishing nets during their migration along the coast, as reported by 68% of the fishers interviewed in the South of Brazil (Pântano do Sul: n=25. On the other hand these interactions result in damage of the fishing gear and great economic losses to the fishers. To minimize these conflicts we suggest the adoption of strategies involving interested fishers in bycatch monitoring programs, where fishers could collect local data on the critical areas and frequency of dolphins’ accidental catches, consequently increasing their awareness of the problem and providing a better baseline to support educational and regulatory measures related to cetaceans’ bycatch. As a compensation for the time and energy spent in these programs, fishers could receive a “payment for environmental services” (PES, as an economic incentive to their participation, which would contribute to their economic stability as well as to cetaceans’ conservation.

  10. Metazoan parasites from odontocetes off New Zealand: new records.

    Lehnert, Kristina; Randhawa, Haseeb; Poulin, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Information about the parasite fauna of spectacled porpoises and cetaceans from New Zealand waters in general is scarce. This study takes advantage of material archived in collections of the Otago Museum in Dunedin and Massey University in Auckland, sampled from cetacean species found stranded along the New Zealand coastline between 2007 and 2014. Parasites from seven species of cetaceans (spectacled porpoise, Phocoena dioptrica (n = 2 individuals examined); pygmy sperm whale (n = 1); long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas (n = 1); Risso's dolphin, Grampus griseus (n = 1); short-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus delphis (n = 7); striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba (n = 3) and dusky dolphin, Lagenorhynchus obscurus (n = 2)) from the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract, cranial sinus, liver, urogenital and mammary tract, fascia and blubber were investigated. Ten parasite species were identified, belonging to the Nematoda (Stenurus minor, Stenurus globicephalae, Halocercus sp. (Pseudaliidae), Anisakis sp. (Anisakidae), Crassicauda sp. (Crassicaudidae)), Cestoda (Phyllobothrium delphini and Monorygma grimaldii (Phyllobothriidae)), Trematoda (Brachicladium palliata and Brachicladium delphini (Brachicladiidae)) and Crustacea (Scutocyamus antipodensis (Cyamidae)). Some of the parasite species encountered comprises new records for their host. Although the material was not sampled within a systematic parasitological survey, the findings contain valuable new information about the parasite fauna of rare, vagile and vulnerable marine wildlife from a remote oceanic environment.

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Anatomical evidence for low frequency sensitivity in an archaeocete whale: comparison of the inner ear of Zygorhiza kochii with that of crown Mysticeti.

    Ekdale, Eric G; Racicot, Rachel A

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of hearing in cetaceans is a matter of current interest given that odontocetes (toothed whales) are sensitive to high frequency sounds and mysticetes (baleen whales) are sensitive to low and potentially infrasonic noises. Earlier diverging stem cetaceans (archaeocetes) were hypothesized to have had either low or high frequency sensitivity. Through CT scanning, the morphology of the bony labyrinth of the basilosaurid archaeocete Zygorhiza kochii is described and compared to novel information from the inner ears of mysticetes, which are less known than the inner ears of odontocetes. Further comparisons are made with published information for other cetaceans. The anatomy of the cochlea of Zygorhiza is in line with mysticetes and supports the hypothesis that Zygorhiza was sensitive to low frequency noises. Morphological features that support the low frequency hypothesis and are shared by Zygorhiza and mysticetes include a long cochlear canal with a high number of turns, steeply graded curvature of the cochlear spiral in which the apical turn is coiled tighter than the basal turn, thin walls separating successive turns that overlap in vestibular view, and reduction of the secondary bony lamina. Additional morphology of the vestibular system indicates that Zygorhiza was more sensitive to head rotations than extant mysticetes are, which likely indicates higher agility in the ancestral taxon. © 2014 Anatomical Society.

  14. PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters.

    Jepson, Paul D; Deaville, Rob; Barber, Jonathan L; Aguilar, Àlex; Borrell, Asunción; Murphy, Sinéad; Barry, Jon; Brownlow, Andrew; Barnett, James; Berrow, Simon; Cunningham, Andrew A; Davison, Nicholas J; Ten Doeschate, Mariel; Esteban, Ruth; Ferreira, Marisa; Foote, Andrew D; Genov, Tilen; Giménez, Joan; Loveridge, Jan; Llavona, Ángela; Martin, Vidal; Maxwell, David L; Papachlimitzou, Alexandra; Penrose, Rod; Perkins, Matthew W; Smith, Brian; de Stephanis, Renaud; Tregenza, Nick; Verborgh, Philippe; Fernandez, Antonio; Law, Robin J

    2016-01-14

    Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well-established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PCB concentrations likely to cause population declines and suppress population recovery. In a large pan-European meta-analysis of stranded (n = 929) or biopsied (n = 152) cetaceans, three out of four species:- striped dolphins (SDs), bottlenose dolphins (BNDs) and killer whales (KWs) had mean PCB levels that markedly exceeded all known marine mammal PCB toxicity thresholds. Some locations (e.g. western Mediterranean Sea, south-west Iberian Peninsula) are global PCB "hotspots" for marine mammals. Blubber PCB concentrations initially declined following a mid-1980s EU ban, but have since stabilised in UK harbour porpoises and SDs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Some small or declining populations of BNDs and KWs in the NE Atlantic were associated with low recruitment, consistent with PCB-induced reproductive toxicity. Despite regulations and mitigation measures to reduce PCB pollution, their biomagnification in marine food webs continues to cause severe impacts among cetacean top predators in European seas.

  15. A hydrodynamically active flipper-stroke in humpback whales.

    Segre, Paolo S; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Findlay, Ken P; Goldbogen, Jeremy A

    2017-07-10

    A central paradigm of aquatic locomotion is that cetaceans use fluke strokes to power their swimming while relying on lift and torque generated by the flippers to perform maneuvers such as rolls, pitch changes and turns [1]. Compared to other cetaceans, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have disproportionately large flippers with added structural features to aid in hydrodynamic performance [2,3]. Humpbacks use acrobatic lunging maneuvers to attack dense aggregations of krill or small fish, and their large flippers are thought to increase their maneuverability and thus their ability to capture prey. Immediately before opening their mouths, humpbacks will often rapidly move their flippers, and it has been hypothesized that this movement is used to corral prey [4,5] or to generate an upward pitching moment to counteract the torque caused by rapid water engulfment [6]. Here, we demonstrate an additional function for the rapid flipper movement during lunge feeding: the flippers are flapped using a complex, hydrodynamically active stroke to generate lift and increase propulsive thrust. We estimate that humpback flipper-strokes are capable of producing large forward oriented forces, which may be used to enhance lunge feeding performance. This behavior is the first observation of a lift-generating flipper-stroke for propulsion cetaceans and provides an additional function for the uniquely shaped humpback whale flipper. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Habitat preferences among three top predators inhabiting a degraded ecosystem, the Black Sea

    Alicia Sánchez-Cabanes

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated whether there is evidence of widespread niche partitioning based on environmental factors in the Black Sea and tested the hypothesis that physiographic factors may be employed as predictors. It addresses poorly researched areas with good habitat potential for the only three cetacean subspecies living in this area: the Black Sea short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis spp. ponticus, the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus spp. ponticus and the Black Sea harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena spp. relicta. Generalized additive models (GAMs were used to analyse data collected from multiple sources. In total, 745 sightings of the three species between 1998 and 2010 throughout the Black Sea were included. The analysis found depth and sea surface temperature to be the most important variables for separating the occurrence of the three species. Common dolphins occurred mainly in deep waters and in areas where the sea surface temperature was low, bottlenose dolphins were distributed primarily in shallower and warmer waters than common dolphins, and harbour porpoises were distributed in shallower waters with lower sea surface temperature than bottlenose dolphins. This study suggests strong niche segregation among the three cetacean species. The study is also the first contribution to the basic information of cetacean species distribution and habitat preferences in the Black Sea as a whole. Knowledge of the distribution of the three dolphin species in the study area is essential to establish conservation measures for these populations.

  17. The sperm whale sonar: Monitoring and use in mitigation of anthropogenic noise effects in the marine environment

    Andre, Michel

    2009-01-01

    Noise pollution in the marine environment is an emerging but serious concern. Its implications are less well understood than other global threats and largely undetectable to everyone but the specialist. In addition, the assessment of the acoustic impact of artificial sounds in the sea is not a trivial task, certainly because there is a lack of information on how the marine organisms process and analyse sounds and how relevant these sounds are for the balance and development of the populations. Further, this possible acoustic impact not only concerns the hearing systems but may also affect other sensory or systemic levels and result equally lethal for the animal concerned. If we add that the negative consequences of a short or long term exposure to artificial sounds may not be immediately observed one can understood how challenging it is to obtain objective data allowing an efficient control of the introduction of anthropogenic sound in the sea. To answer some of these questions, the choice to investigate cetaceans and their adaptation to an aquatic environment is not fortuitous. Cetaceans, because of their optimum use of sound as an ad-hoc source of energy and their almost exclusive dependence on acoustic information, represent not only the best bio-indicator of the effects of noise pollution in the marine environment, but also a source of data to improve and develop human underwater acoustic technology. Here, we present how the characteristics and performance of the sperm whale mid-range biosonar can be used to develop a mitigation solution based on passive acoustics and ambient noise imaging to prevent negative interactions with human activities by monitoring cetacean movements in areas of interest, e.g. deep-sea observatories.

  18. Insights using a molecular approach into the life cycle of a tapeworm infecting great white sharks.

    Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2011-04-01

    The great white shark Carcharodon carcharias Linnaeus, 1758 is a versatile and fierce predator (and responsible for many shark attacks on humans). This apex predator feeds on a wide range of organisms including teleosts, other elasmobranchs, cephalopods, pinnipeds, and cetaceans. Although much is known about its diet, no trophic links have been empirically identified as being involved in the transmission of its tapeworm parasites. Recently, the use of molecular tools combined with phylogenetics has proven useful to identify larval and immature stages of marine tapeworms; utilization of the technique has been increasing rapidly. However, the usefulness of this approach remains limited by the availability of molecular data. Here, I employed gene sequence data from the D2 region of the large subunit of ribosomal DNA to link adults of the tapeworm Clistobothrium carcharodoni Dailey and Vogelbein, 1990 (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) to larvae for which sequence data for this gene are available. The sequences from the adult tapeworms were genetically identical (0% sequence divergence) to those available on GenBank for "SP" 'small' Scolex pleuronectis recovered from the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus). This study is the first to provide empirical evidence linking the trophic interaction between great white sharks and cetaceans as a definitive route for the successful transmission of a tetraphyllidean tapeworm. Using the intensity of infection data from this shark and from cetaceans as proxies for the extent of predation, I estimate that this individual shark would have consumed between 9 to 83 G. griseus , fresh, dead, or both, in its lifetime.

  19. Moving Towards Dynamic Ocean Management: How Well Do Modeled Ocean Products Predict Species Distributions?

    Elizabeth A. Becker

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Species distribution models are now widely used in conservation and management to predict suitable habitat for protected marine species. The primary sources of dynamic habitat data have been in situ and remotely sensed oceanic variables (both are considered “measured data”, but now ocean models can provide historical estimates and forecast predictions of relevant habitat variables such as temperature, salinity, and mixed layer depth. To assess the performance of modeled ocean data in species distribution models, we present a case study for cetaceans that compares models based on output from a data assimilative implementation of the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS to those based on measured data. Specifically, we used seven years of cetacean line-transect survey data collected between 1991 and 2009 to develop predictive habitat-based models of cetacean density for 11 species in the California Current Ecosystem. Two different generalized additive models were compared: one built with a full suite of ROMS output and another built with a full suite of measured data. Model performance was assessed using the percentage of explained deviance, root mean squared error (RMSE, observed to predicted density ratios, and visual inspection of predicted and observed distributions. Predicted distribution patterns were similar for models using ROMS output and measured data, and showed good concordance between observed sightings and model predictions. Quantitative measures of predictive ability were also similar between model types, and RMSE values were almost identical. The overall demonstrated success of the ROMS-based models opens new opportunities for dynamic species management and biodiversity monitoring because ROMS output is available in near real time and can be forecast.

  20. Collisions between Whales and Fast Ferries around Korean Waters

    Kyung-Jun Song

    2013-01-01

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

  1. PCB and PBDE levels in a highly threatened dolphin species from the Southeastern Brazilian coast

    Lavandier, Ricardo; Arêas, Jennifer; Quinete, Natalia; Moura, Jailson F. de; Taniguchi, Satie; Montone, Rosalinda; Siciliano, Salvatore; Moreira, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    In the Northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State is located the major urban centers of the oil and gas industry of Brazil. The intense urbanization in recent decades caused an increase in human use of the coastal areas, which is constantly impacted by agricultural, industrial and wastewater discharges. Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) is a small cetacean that inhabits coastal regions down to a 30 m depth. This species is considered the most threatened cetacean in the Western South Atlantic Ocean. This study investigated the levels of 52 PCB congeners and 9 PBDE congeners in liver of nine individuals found stranded or accidentally caught between 2011 and 2012 in the Northern coast of Rio de Janeiro. PCB mean levels ranged from 208 to 5543 ng g"−"1 lw and PBDEs mean concentrations varied between 13.84 and 36.94 ng g"−"1 lw. Contamination patterns suggest the previous use of Aroclor 1254, 1260 and penta-BDE mixtures in Brazil. While still few studies have assessed the organic contamination in cetaceans from the Southern Hemisphere, including Brazil, the levels found in this study could represent a health risk to these endangered species. - Highlights: • PCBs and PBDEs were measured in liver samples from Franciscana dolphins. • BDE 47, 99 and 100 were found in all individuals samples. • PCB-153, 138 and 180 were the major PCB congeners detected. • Results suggest the existence of PCBs and PBDEs contamination sources in Brazil. • PCBs and PDBEs levels could represent a risk to these endangered dolphin species. - PCB and PBDE concentrations found in Franciscana dolphins suggest the presence of contamination sources in Southeastern Brazil and could represent a high health risk to these endangered species.

  2. The sperm whale sonar: Monitoring and use in mitigation of anthropogenic noise effects in the marine environment

    Andre, Michel [Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona 08800 (Spain)], E-mail: michel.andre@upc.edu

    2009-04-11

    Noise pollution in the marine environment is an emerging but serious concern. Its implications are less well understood than other global threats and largely undetectable to everyone but the specialist. In addition, the assessment of the acoustic impact of artificial sounds in the sea is not a trivial task, certainly because there is a lack of information on how the marine organisms process and analyse sounds and how relevant these sounds are for the balance and development of the populations. Further, this possible acoustic impact not only concerns the hearing systems but may also affect other sensory or systemic levels and result equally lethal for the animal concerned. If we add that the negative consequences of a short or long term exposure to artificial sounds may not be immediately observed one can understood how challenging it is to obtain objective data allowing an efficient control of the introduction of anthropogenic sound in the sea. To answer some of these questions, the choice to investigate cetaceans and their adaptation to an aquatic environment is not fortuitous. Cetaceans, because of their optimum use of sound as an ad-hoc source of energy and their almost exclusive dependence on acoustic information, represent not only the best bio-indicator of the effects of noise pollution in the marine environment, but also a source of data to improve and develop human underwater acoustic technology. Here, we present how the characteristics and performance of the sperm whale mid-range biosonar can be used to develop a mitigation solution based on passive acoustics and ambient noise imaging to prevent negative interactions with human activities by monitoring cetacean movements in areas of interest, e.g. deep-sea observatories.

  3. Organization of the sleep-related neural systems in the brain of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata).

    Dell, Leigh-Anne; Karlsson, Karl Ae; Patzke, Nina; Spocter, Muhammad A; Siegel, Jerome M; Manger, Paul R

    2016-07-01

    The current study analyzed the nuclear organization of the neural systems related to the control and regulation of sleep and wake in the basal forebrain, diencephalon, midbrain, and pons of the minke whale, a mysticete cetacean. While odontocete cetaceans sleep in an unusual manner, with unihemispheric slow wave sleep (USWS) and suppressed REM sleep, it is unclear whether the mysticete whales show a similar sleep pattern. Previously, we detailed a range of features in the odontocete brain that appear to be related to odontocete-type sleep, and here present our analysis of these features in the minke whale brain. All neural elements involved in sleep regulation and control found in bihemispheric sleeping mammals and the harbor porpoise were present in the minke whale, with no specific nuclei being absent, and no novel nuclei being present. This qualitative similarity relates to the cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic and orexinergic systems, and the GABAergic elements of these nuclei. Quantitative analysis revealed that the numbers of pontine cholinergic (274,242) and noradrenergic (203,686) neurons, and hypothalamic orexinergic neurons (277,604), are markedly higher than other large-brained bihemispheric sleeping mammals. Small telencephalic commissures (anterior, corpus callosum, and hippocampal), an enlarged posterior commissure, supernumerary pontine cholinergic and noradrenergic cells, and an enlarged peripheral division of the dorsal raphe nuclear complex of the minke whale, all indicate that the suite of neural characteristics thought to be involved in the control of USWS and the suppression of REM in the odontocete cetaceans are present in the minke whale. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2018-2035, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Contextual imitation of intransitive body actions in a Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas): A “do as other does” study

    Hernández-Lloreda, Mª Victoria; Esteban, José-Antonio; Colmenares, Fernando; Aboitiz, Francisco; Call, Josep

    2017-01-01

    Cetaceans are remarkable for exhibiting group-specific behavioral traditions or cultures in several behavioral domains (e.g., calls, behavioral tactics), and the question of whether they can be acquired socially, for example through imitative processes, remains open. Here we used a “Do as other does” paradigm to experimentally study the ability of a beluga to imitate familiar intransitive (body-oriented) actions demonstrated by a conspecific. The participant was first trained to copy three familiar behaviors on command (training phase) and then was tested for her ability to generalize the learned “Do as the other does” command to a different set of three familiar behaviors (testing phase). We found that the beluga (1) was capable of learning the copy command signal “Do what-the-other-does”; (2) exhibited high matching accuracy for trained behaviors (mean = 84% of correct performance) after making the first successful copy on command; (3) copied successfully the new set of three familiar generalization behaviors that were untrained to the copy command (range of first copy = 12 to 35 trials); and (4) deployed a high level of matching accuracy (mean = 83%) after making the first copy of an untrained behavior on command. This is the first evidence of contextual imitation of intransitive (body-oriented) movements in the beluga and adds to the reported findings on production imitation of sounds in this species and production imitation of sounds and motor actions in several cetaceans, especially dolphins and killer whales. Collectively these findings highlight the notion that cetaceans have a natural propensity at skillfully and proficiently matching the sounds and body movements demonstrated by conspecifics, a fitness-enhancing propensity in the context of cooperative hunting and anti-predatory defense tactics, and of alliance formation strategies that have been documented in these species’ natural habitats. Future work should determine if the beluga can

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

    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

  6. Anomalous colour in Neotropical mammals: a review with new records for Didelphis sp. (Didelphidae, Didelphimorphia and Arctocephalus australis (Otariidae, Carnivora

    MSL. Abreu

    Full Text Available Anomalous colourations occur in many tropical vertebrates. However, they are considered rare in wild populations, with very few records for the majority of animal taxa. We report two new cases of anomalous colouration in mammals. Additionally, we compiled all published cases about anomalous pigmentation registered in Neotropical mammals, throughout a comprehensive review of peer reviewed articles between 1950 and 2010. Every record was classified as albinism, leucism, piebaldism or eventually as undetermined pigmentation. As results, we report the new record of a leucistic specimen of opossum (Didelphis sp. in southern Brazil, as well as a specimen of South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis with piebaldism in Uruguay. We also found 31 scientific articles resulting in 23 records of albinism, 12 of leucism, 71 of piebaldism and 92 records classified as undetermined pigmentation. Anomalous colouration is apparently rare in small terrestrial mammals, but it is much more common in cetaceans and michrochiropterans. Out of these 198 records, 149 occurred in cetaceans and 30 in bats. The results related to cetaceans suggest that males and females with anomolous pigmentation are reproductively successful and as a consequence their frequencies are becoming higher in natural populations. In bats, this result can be related to the fact these animals orient themselves primarily through echolocation, and their refuges provide protection against light and predation. It is possible that anomalous colouration occurs more frequently in other Neotropical mammal orders, which were not formally reported. Therefore, we encourage researchers to publish these events in order to better understand this phenomenon that has a significant influence on animal survival.

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

    Galatius, Anders

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Selection of reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR studies in striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba skin biopsies

    Casini Silvia

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Odontocete cetaceans occupy the top position of the marine food-web and are particularly sensitive to the bioaccumulation of lipophilic contaminants. The effects of environmental pollution on these species are highly debated and various ecotoxicological studies have addressed the impact of xenobiotic compounds on marine mammals, raising conservational concerns. Despite its sensitivity, quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR has never been used to quantify gene induction caused by exposure of cetaceans to contaminants. A limitation for the application of qRT-PCR is the need for appropriate reference genes which allow the correct quantification of gene expression. A systematic evaluation of potential reference genes in cetacean skin biopsies is presented, in order to validate future qRT-PCR studies aiming at using the expression of selected genes as non-lethal biomarkers. Results Ten commonly used housekeeping genes (HKGs were partially sequenced in the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba and, for each gene, PCR primer pairs were specifically designed and tested in qRT-PCR assays. The expression of these potential control genes was examined in 30 striped dolphin skin biopsy samples, obtained from specimens sampled in the north-western Mediterranean Sea. The stability of selected control genes was determined using three different specific VBA applets (geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper which produce highly comparable results. Glyceraldehyde-3P-dehydrogenase (GAPDH and tyrosine 3-monooxygenase (YWHAZ always rank as the two most stably expressed HKGs according to the analysis with geNorm and Normfinder, and are defined as optimal control genes by BestKepeer. Ribosomal protein L4 (RPL4 and S18 (RPS18 also exhibit a remarkable stability of their expression levels. On the other hand, transferrin receptor (TFRC, phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1, hypoxanthine ribosyltransferase (HPRT1 and β-2-microglobin (B2M show variable expression

  9. Propaganda and pretext.

    Holt, Sidney

    2006-04-01

    This Viewpoint describes and analyses the history and current features of the strategy of the Government of Japan, and the associated Institute for Cetacean Research in Tokyo, to regain control of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), to legitimise renewed unsustainable commercial whaling and to dismantle conservation measures taken by the IWC over the past three decades. A key element in that strategy now is to promote and nourish the false idea that the present crisis in world fisheries is significantly caused by the consumption of valuable fish by increasing whale populations.

  10. A supermatrix analysis of genomic, morphological, and paleontological data from crown Cetacea

    Yang Guang

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales is a clade of aquatic species that includes the most massive, deepest diving, and largest brained mammals. Understanding the temporal pattern of diversification in the group as well as the evolution of cetacean anatomy and behavior requires a robust and well-resolved phylogenetic hypothesis. Although a large body of molecular data has accumulated over the past 20 years, DNA sequences of cetaceans have not been directly integrated with the rich, cetacean fossil record to reconcile discrepancies among molecular and morphological characters. Results We combined new nuclear DNA sequences, including segments of six genes (~2800 basepairs from the functionally extinct Yangtze River dolphin, with an expanded morphological matrix and published genomic data. Diverse analyses of these data resolved the relationships of 74 taxa that represent all extant families and 11 extinct families of Cetacea. The resulting supermatrix (61,155 characters and its sub-partitions were analyzed using parsimony methods. Bayesian and maximum likelihood (ML searches were conducted on the molecular partition, and a molecular scaffold obtained from these searches was used to constrain a parsimony search of the morphological partition. Based on analysis of the supermatrix and model-based analyses of the molecular partition, we found overwhelming support for 15 extant clades. When extinct taxa are included, we recovered trees that are significantly correlated with the fossil record. These trees were used to reconstruct the timing of cetacean diversification and the evolution of characters shared by "river dolphins," a non-monophyletic set of species according to all of our phylogenetic analyses. Conclusions The parsimony analysis of the supermatrix and the analysis of morphology constrained to fit the ML/Bayesian molecular tree yielded broadly congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. In trees from both analyses, all Oligocene

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

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Aspartic acid racemization rate in narwhal (Monodon monoceros) eye lens nuclei estimated by counting of growth layers in tusks

    Garde, Eva; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Ditlevsen, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    Ages of marine mammals have traditionally been estimated by counting dentinal growth layers in teeth. However, this method is difficult to use on narwhals (Monodon monoceros) because of their special tooth structures. Alternative methods are therefore needed. The aspartic acid racemization (AAR......) technique has been used in age estimation studies of cetaceans, including narwhals. The purpose of this study was to estimate a species-specific racemization rate for narwhals by regressing aspartic acid D/L ratios in eye lens nuclei against growth layer groups in tusks (n=9). Two racemization rates were...

  13. A supermatrix analysis of genomic, morphological, and paleontological data from crown Cetacea

    2011-01-01

    Background Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales) is a clade of aquatic species that includes the most massive, deepest diving, and largest brained mammals. Understanding the temporal pattern of diversification in the group as well as the evolution of cetacean anatomy and behavior requires a robust and well-resolved phylogenetic hypothesis. Although a large body of molecular data has accumulated over the past 20 years, DNA sequences of cetaceans have not been directly integrated with the rich, cetacean fossil record to reconcile discrepancies among molecular and morphological characters. Results We combined new nuclear DNA sequences, including segments of six genes (~2800 basepairs) from the functionally extinct Yangtze River dolphin, with an expanded morphological matrix and published genomic data. Diverse analyses of these data resolved the relationships of 74 taxa that represent all extant families and 11 extinct families of Cetacea. The resulting supermatrix (61,155 characters) and its sub-partitions were analyzed using parsimony methods. Bayesian and maximum likelihood (ML) searches were conducted on the molecular partition, and a molecular scaffold obtained from these searches was used to constrain a parsimony search of the morphological partition. Based on analysis of the supermatrix and model-based analyses of the molecular partition, we found overwhelming support for 15 extant clades. When extinct taxa are included, we recovered trees that are significantly correlated with the fossil record. These trees were used to reconstruct the timing of cetacean diversification and the evolution of characters shared by "river dolphins," a non-monophyletic set of species according to all of our phylogenetic analyses. Conclusions The parsimony analysis of the supermatrix and the analysis of morphology constrained to fit the ML/Bayesian molecular tree yielded broadly congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. In trees from both analyses, all Oligocene taxa included in our

  14. Genetic Variation at Exon 2 of the MHC Class II DQB Locus in Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus from the Gulf of California.

    Diana D Moreno-Santillán

    Full Text Available The genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC play an important role in the vertebrate immune response and are among the most polymorphic genes known in vertebrates. In some marine mammals, MHC genes have been shown to be characterized by low levels of polymorphism compared to terrestrial taxa; this reduction in variation is often explained as a result of lower pathogen pressures in marine habitats. To determine if this same reduction in variation applies to the migratory population of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus that occurs in the Gulf of California, we genotyped a 172 bp fragment of exon 2 of the MHC Class II DQB locus for 80 members of this population. Twenty-two putatively functional DQB allotypes were identified, all of which were homologous with DQB sequences from other cetacean species. Up to 5 putative alleles per individual were identified, suggesting that gene duplication has occurred at this locus. Rates of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions (ω and maximum likelihood analyses of models of nucleotide variation provided potential evidence of ongoing positive selection at this exon. Phylogenetic analyses of DQB alleles from B. musculus and 16 other species of cetaceans revealed trans-specific conservation of MHC variants, suggesting that selection has acted on this locus over prolonged periods of time. Collectively our findings reveal that immunogenic variation in blue whales is comparable to that in terrestrial mammals, thereby providing no evidence that marine taxa are subject to reduced pathogen-induced selective pressures.

  15. Humpback Dolphins (Genus Sousa) in India: An Overview of Status and Conservation Issues.

    Sutaria, Dipani; Panicker, Divya; Jog, Ketki; Sule, Mihir; Muralidharan, Rahul; Bopardikar, Isha

    2015-01-01

    This chapter aims to collate recent work done by different research teams along the Indian coast and presents research plans for the conservation and management of the genus Sousa in Indian waters. Humpback dolphins are the most common nearshore cetaceans found along the Indian coast. The taxonomy is confused, but two or more species of humpback dolphins may be present in India. Dedicated research on humpback dolphins and other cetaceans has been initiated only in the past few years and vast gaps in the ecology and conservation of the genus from the region remain. Dedicated and opportunistic research indicates that humpback dolphin presence is continuous along the west coast of India, owing to the contiguous favourable habitat of shallow nearshore waters, while along the east coast humpback dolphins are apparently found in pockets. Humpback dolphins are also the most numerous in incidental catch records from the coast, owing to the large overlap in space use with nearshore fisheries like small gillnets, trawls, shore seines and purse seines. Along many coastal sites, humpback dolphins are known to cause damage and depredation of fish catch of certain fishing gears, making them unpopular. At the same time, many fishers along the west coast have developed local dolphin-watching programmes as an alternate source of livelihood, providing positive impetus for conservation. However, research on the long-term effects of dolphin watching and its management is required. Some recommendations for more effective management of this species are made. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

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

    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.

  17. Detection of Multiple Budding Yeast Cells and a Partial Sequence of 43-kDa Glycoprotein Coding Gene of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis from a Case of Lacaziosis in a Female Pacific White-Sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens).

    Minakawa, Tomoko; Ueda, Keiichi; Tanaka, Miyuu; Tanaka, Natsuki; Kuwamura, Mitsuru; Izawa, Takeshi; Konno, Toshihiro; Yamate, Jyoji; Itano, Eiko Nakagawa; Sano, Ayako; Wada, Shinpei

    2016-08-01

    Lacaziosis, formerly called as lobomycosis, is a zoonotic mycosis, caused by Lacazia loboi, found in humans and dolphins, and is endemic in the countries on the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean of Japanese coast. Susceptible Cetacean species include the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin (T. aduncus), and the estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis); however, no cases have been recorded in other Cetacean species. We diagnosed a case of Lacaziosis in a Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) nursing in an aquarium in Japan. The dolphin was a female estimated to be more than 14 years old at the end of June 2015 and was captured in a coast of Japan Sea in 2001. Multiple, lobose, and solid granulomatous lesions with or without ulcers appeared on her jaw, back, flipper and fluke skin, in July 2014. The granulomatous skin lesions from the present case were similar to those of our previous cases. Multiple budding and chains of round yeast cells were detected in the biopsied samples. The partial sequence of 43-kDa glycoprotein coding gene confirmed by a nested PCR and sequencing, which revealed a different genotype from both Amazonian and Japanese lacaziosis in bottlenose dolphins, and was 99 % identical to those derived from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis; a sister fungal species to L. loboi. This is the first case of lacaziosis in Pacific white-sided dolphin.

  18. Humpback Dolphins of Western Australia: A Review of Current Knowledge and Recommendations for Future Management.

    Hanf, Daniella M; Hunt, Tim; Parra, Guido J

    2016-01-01

    Among the many cetacean species that occupy Australian coastal waters, Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, are one of the most vulnerable to extirpation due to human activities. This review summarises the existing knowledge, presently occurring and planned research projects, and current conservation measures for humpback dolphins in Western Australia (WA). Rapid and wide-scale coastal development along the northern WA coastline has occurred despite a lack of baseline data for inshore dolphins and, therefore, without a precautionary approach to their conservation. The distribution, abundance, habitat use, and population structure of humpback dolphins remain poorly understood. Less than 1% of their inferred distribution has so far been studied to understand local population demography. The sparse data available suggest that WA humpback dolphins occur as localised populations in low numbers within a range of inshore habitats, including both clear and turbid coastal waters. Marine protected areas cover a third of their inferred distribution in WA, but the efficacy of these reserves in protecting local cetacean populations is unknown. There is a pressing need for coordination and collaboration among scientists, government agencies, industry bodies, Traditional Owners, and local community groups to fill in the gaps of information on humpback dolphins in WA. The recently developed strategies and sampling guidelines developed by state and federal governments should serve as a best practise standard for collection of data aimed at assessing the conservation status of humpback dolphins in WA and Australia. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Range extension for the common dolphin (Delphinus sp. to the Colombian Caribbean, with taxonomic implications from genetic barcoding and phylogenetic analyses.

    Nohelia Farías-Curtidor

    Full Text Available The nearest known population of common dolphins (Delphinus sp. to the Colombian Caribbean occurs in a fairly restricted range in eastern Venezuela. These dolphins have not been previously reported in the Colombian Caribbean, likely because of a lack of study of the local cetacean fauna. We collected cetacean observations in waters of the Guajira Department, northern Colombia (~11°N, 73°W during two separate efforts: (a a seismic vessel survey (December 2009-March 2010, and (b three coastal surveys from small boats (May-July 2012, May 2013, and May 2014. Here we document ten sightings of common dolphins collected during these surveys, which extend the known range of the species by ~1000 km into the southwestern Caribbean. We also collected nine skin biopsies in 2013 and 2014. In order to determine the taxonomic identity of the specimens, we conducted genetic barcoding and phylogenetic analyses using two mitochondrial markers, the Control Region (mtDNA and Cytochrome b (Cytb. Results indicate that these specimens are genetically closer to the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis even though morphologically they resemble a long-beaked form (Delphinus sp.. However, the specific taxonomic status of common dolphins in the Caribbean and in the Western Atlantic remains unresolved. It is also unclear whether the distribution of the species between northern Colombia and eastern Venezuela is continuous or disjoined, or whether they can be considered part of the same stock.

  20. Prion search and cellular prion protein expression in stranded dolphins.

    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.

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

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Behavioral laterality in Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis).

    Platto, Sara; Zhang, C; Pine, Matthew K; Feng, W K; Yang, L G; Irwin, A; Wang, D

    2017-07-01

    The Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis) is a critically endangered species with less than 1000 individuals expected to be left in the wild. While many studies have been conducted on laterality among several cetacean species, no studies investigating the Yangtze finless porpoise have been conducted. Using event sampling methods, several behaviors such as flipper-body touching, object touching, barrel-rolls, side swimming, and swimming direction were recorded from six captive porpoises (three males and three females). Analyses of 360 observations recorded over two months revealed that, at group level, porpoises showed laterality in swimming behaviors. Porpoises swam preferentially with their right pectoral fin upward and their left pectoral fin downward with a clockwise swimming direction and also displayed a consistent bias for a counterclockwise barrel-roll direction. No significant differences were reported for flipper use either during the interaction with conspecifics or with objects. The results from the current study provide novel insight into the cerebral asymmetry in a species previously ignored within the literature, thus improving our understanding on the extent of laterality in cetaceans and on the evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality for vertebrates in general. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Statement of Canadian practice with respect to the mitigation of seismic sound in the marine environment

    NONE

    2007-07-01

    This statement outlined mitigation requirements for marine seismic surveys conducted in all non-ice covered marine environments in Canada. During the planning phase, seismic surveys must use the minimum amount of energy and frequencies needed to achieve its objectives. Surveys must be planned to avoid impacts on individual marine mammals or species listed as endangered or threatened. Seismic surveys must also avoid displacing individual marine mammals or diverting migrating species listed as endangered or threatened. Surveys must also avoid dispersing aggregations of spawning fish or displacing groups of breeding, feeding, or nursing mammals or species. Safety zones must be established and monitored by qualified marine mammal observers for a minimum period of 30 minutes prior to the start-up of air source arrays. No cetaceans, sea turtles, endangered or threatened marine mammals must be observed in the safety zone for at least 30 minutes before the gradual ramp-up of air source arrays. Arrays must be shut down if marine mammals and species at risk are observed. Air source arrays must be shut down when seismic surveying ceases during line changes or maintenance procedures. Cetacean detection technology must be used prior to ramp-up when the full extent of the safety zone is not visible. Additional mitigation measures and modifications were presented for multiple air source arrays and surveys conducted in combination with other activities adverse to marine environmental quality.

  4. Isolation by environmental distance in mobile marine species: molecular ecology of franciscana dolphins at their southern range.

    Mendez, Martin; Rosenbaum, Howard C; Subramaniam, Ajit; Yackulic, Charles; Bordino, Pablo

    2010-06-01

    The assessment of population structure is a valuable tool for studying the ecology of endangered species and drafting conservation strategies. As we enhance our understanding about the structuring of natural populations, it becomes important that we also understand the processes behind these patterns. However, there are few rigorous assessments of the influence of environmental factors on genetic patterns in mobile marine species. Given their dispersal capabilities and localized habitat preferences, coastal cetaceans are adequate study species for evaluating environmental effects on marine population structure. The franciscana dolphin, a rare coastal cetacean endemic to the Western South Atlantic, was studied to examine these issues. We analysed genetic data from the mitochondrial DNA and 12 microsatellite markers for 275 franciscana samples utilizing frequency-based, maximum-likelihood and Bayesian algorithms to assess population structure and migration patterns. This information was combined with 10 years of remote sensing environmental data (chlorophyll concentration, water turbidity and surface temperature). Our analyses show the occurrence of genetically isolated populations within Argentina, in areas that are environmentally distinct. Combined evidence of genetic and environmental structure suggests that isolation by distance and a process here termed isolation by environmental distance can explain the observed correlations. Our approach elucidated important ecological and conservation aspects of franciscana dolphins, and has the potential to increase our understanding of ecological processes influencing genetic patterns in other marine species.

  5. Fatal Asphyxiation in Two Long-Finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas Caused by Common Soles (Solea solea.

    Lonneke L IJsseldijk

    Full Text Available Long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas are rare visitors to the southern North Sea, but recently two individual strandings occurred on the Dutch coast. Both animals shared the same, unusual cause of death: asphyxiation from a common sole (Solea solea stuck in their nasal cavity. This is a rare cause of death in cetaceans. Whilst asphyxiation has been reported in smaller odontocetes, there are no recent records of this occurring in Globicephala species. Here we report the stranding, necropsy and diet study results as well as discuss the unusual nature of this phenomenon. Flatfish are not a primary prey species for pilot whales and are rarely eaten by other cetaceans, such as harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena, in which there are several reports of asphyxiation due to airway obstruction by soles. This risk may be due to the fish's flexible bodies which can enter small cavities either actively in an attempt to escape or passively due to the whale 'coughing' or 'sneezing' to rid itself of the blockage of the trachea. It is also possible that the fish enter the airways whilst the whale is re-articulating the larynx after trying to ingest large, oddly shaped prey. It is unlikely that the soles entered the airways after the death of the whales and we believe therefore that they are responsible for the death of these animals.

  6. Increase in serum noradrenaline concentration by short dives with bradycardia in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus.

    Suzuki, Miwa; Tomoshige, Mika; Ito, Miki; Koga, Sotaro; Yanagisawa, Makio; Bungo, Takashi; Makiguchi, Yuya

    2017-07-01

    In cetaceans, diving behavior immediately induces a change in blood circulation to favor flow to the brain and heart; this is achieved by intense vasoconstriction of the blood vessels that serve other organs. This blood circulation response is allied to a decrease in heart rate in order to optimize oxygen usage during diving. Vasoconstrictors are present in all mammals and stimulate the contraction of the smooth muscle in the walls of blood vessels. The most important of these vasoconstrictors are the hormones adrenaline (A), noradrenaline (NA), and angiotensin II (ANG II). At present, the contribution of these hormones to vasoconstriction during diving in cetaceans is unclear. To elucidate their possible roles, changes in serum levels of A, NA and ANG II were monitored together with heart rate in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus during 90 and 180s dives. Both brief diving periods induced an increase in serum NA concentration and a decrease in heart rate; however, no changes were detected in serum levels of A or ANG II. These data indicate that NA may play a role in diving-induced vasoconstriction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Cost of living dictates what whales, dolphins and porpoises eat: the importance of prey quality on predator foraging strategies.

    Jérôme Spitz

    Full Text Available Understanding the mechanisms that drive prey selection is a major challenge in foraging ecology. Most studies of foraging strategies have focused on behavioural costs, and have generally failed to recognize that differences in the quality of prey may be as important to predators as the costs of acquisition. Here, we tested whether there is a relationship between the quality of diets (kJ · g(-1 consumed by cetaceans in the North Atlantic and their metabolic costs of living as estimated by indicators of muscle performance (mitochondrial density, n = 60, and lipid content, n = 37. We found that the cost of living of 11 cetacean species is tightly coupled with the quality of prey they consume. This relationship between diet quality and cost of living appears to be independent of phylogeny and body size, and runs counter to predictions that stem from the well-known scaling relationships between mass and metabolic rates. Our finding suggests that the quality of prey rather than the sheer quantity of food is a major determinant of foraging strategies employed by predators to meet their specific energy requirements. This predator-specific dependence on food quality appears to reflect the evolution of ecological strategies at a species level, and has implications for risk assessment associated with the consequences of changing the quality and quantities of prey available to top predators in marine ecosystems.

  8. The International Whaling Commission – Beyond Whaling

    Andrew John Wright

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Fetal and early post-natal mineralization of the tympanic bulla in fin whales may reveal a Hitherto undiscovered evolutionary trait.

    Bruno Cozzi

    Full Text Available The evolution of the cetacean skeleton followed a path that differentiated this group from other terrestrial mammals about 50 million years ago [1], and debate is still going on about the relationships between Cetacea and Artiodactyla [2], [3], [4]. Some skeletal traits of the basilosaurids (the more advanced forms of Archaeocetes, such as the expansion of the peribullary air sinuses, dental modification and vertebral size uniformity [5] are maintained and further emphasized also in contemporary odontocetes and mysticetes. Using Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry here we report that the deposition of bone mineral in fetal and newborn specimens of the fin whale Balaenoptera physalus is remarkably higher in the bulla tympanica than in the adjacent basal skull or in the rest of the skeleton. Ossification of the tympanic bulla in fetal Artiodactyla (bovine, hippopotamus is minimal, becomes sensible after birth and then progresses during growth, contrarily to the precocious mineralization that we observed in fin whales. Given the importance of the ear bones for the precise identification of phylogenetic relationship in therian evolution [6], this feature may indicate a specific evolutionary trait of fin whales and possibly other cetacean species or families. Early mineralization of the tympanic bulla allows immediate sound conduction in the aquatic medium and consequently holds potential importance for mother-calf relationship and postnatal survival.

  10. Potential toxicological hazard due to endocrine-disrupting chemicals on Mediterranean top predators: State of art, gender differences and methodological tools

    Fossi, M.C.; Casini, S.; Marsili, L.

    2007-01-01

    Man-made endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) range across all continents and oceans. Some geographic areas are potentially more threatened than others: one of these is the Mediterranean Sea. Levels of some xenobiotics are much higher here than in other seas and oceans. In this paper we review the final results of a project supported by the Italian Ministry of the Environment, in which the hypothesis that Mediterranean top predator species (such as large pelagic fish and marine mammals) are potentially at risk due to EDCs was investigated. We illustrate the need to develop and apply sensitive methodological tools, such as biomarkers (Vitellogenin, Zona Radiata proteins and CYP1A activities) for evaluation of toxicological risk in large pelagic fish top predators (Swordfish (Xiphias gladius), Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus thynnus)) and nondestructive biomarkers (CYP1A activities and fibroblast cell culture in skin biopsy), for the hazard assessment of threatened marine mammals species (Striped Dolphin, (Stenella coeruleoalba), Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus))exposed to EDCs. Differential gender susceptibility to EDCs is also explored both in large pelagic fish and in cetaceans. In cetaceans, male specimens showed higher cytochrome P450 induction (BPMO in skyn biopsies, CYP2B in fibroblasts cell cultures) by xenobiotics with respect to females

  11. A review of Brucella infection in marine mammals, with special emphasis on Brucella pinnipedialis in the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata)

    2011-01-01

    Brucella spp. were isolated from marine mammals for the first time in 1994. Two novel species were later included in the genus; Brucella ceti and Brucella pinnipedialis, with cetaceans and seals as their preferred hosts, respectively. Brucella spp. have since been isolated from a variety of marine mammals. Pathological changes, including lesions of the reproductive organs and associated abortions, have only been registered in cetaceans. The zoonotic potential differs among the marine mammal Brucella strains. Many techniques, both classical typing and molecular microbiology, have been utilised for characterisation of the marine mammal Brucella spp. and the change from the band-based approaches to the sequence-based approaches has greatly increased our knowledge about these strains. Several clusters have been identified within the B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis species, and multiple studies have shown that the hooded seal isolates differ from other pinniped isolates. We describe how different molecular methods have contributed to species identification and differentiation of B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis, with special emphasis on the hooded seal isolates. We further discuss the potential role of B. pinnipedialis for the declining Northwest Atlantic hooded seal population. PMID:21819589

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

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

    2012-06-01

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

  13. An evaluation of age estimation using teeth from South Asian River dolphins (Platanistidae

    Christina H Lockyer

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The South Asian river dolphins (Platanista gangetica minor and P. g. gangetica are endangered, geographically isolated, freshwater cetaceans. Accurate age estimation of individuals is an important aspect of population biology as it is used for calculating parameters such as age at maturity and reproduction, longevity, and growth and survival rates. However this has never been comprehensively studied for this endangered cetacean family. A sample of 41 teeth from 29 skulls stored in museum collections was available. We compared two different aging methods to select the most appropriate. This involved decalcification and freeze-sectioning of teeth at variable thicknesses (10–25 micron, and staining with 1 Toluidine Blue, or 2 Ehrlichs Acid Haematoxylin. Stains were then compared for readability of Growth Layer Groups (GLG. The optimum section was found at 20 micron using Erhlichs Acid Haematoxylin. Both dentinal and cemental GLG were readable and comparable, but cemental GLG were generally easier to interpret because they were better defined. Ages varied from newborn / young of year (with none or only a neonatal line present to a maximum age of 30 GLG. There is currently no validation available for GLG deposition rate, but it is likely annual because of the extreme seasonal changes in the river habitat.

  14. PFAS profiles in three North Sea top predators: metabolic differences among species?

    Galatius, Anders; Bossi, Rossana; Sonne, Christian; Rigét, Frank Farsø; Kinze, Carl Christian; Lockyer, Christina; Teilmann, Jonas; Dietz, Rune

    2013-11-01

    Profiles of seven compounds of perfluoro-alkyl substances (PFASs) were compared among three species of top predators from the Danish North Sea: the white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). The seals had higher total burdens (757.8 ng g(-1) ww) than the dolphins (439.9 ng g(-1) ww) and the porpoises (355.8 ng g(-1) ww), probably a reflection of feeding closer to the shore and thus contamination sources. The most striking difference among the species was the relative contribution of perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA) to the profiles; the seals (0.1%) had much lower levels than porpoises (8.3%) and dolphins (26.0%). In combination with the values obtained from the literature, this result indicates that Carnivora species including Pinnipedia have a much higher capacity of transforming PFOSA to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) than cetacean species. Another notable difference among the species was that the two smaller species (seals and porpoises) with supposedly higher metabolic rates had lower concentrations of the perfluorinated carboxylic acids, which are generally more easily excreted than perfluorinated sulfonamides. Species-specific characteristics should be recognized when PFAS contamination in marine mammals is investigated, for example, several previous studies of PFASs in cetaceans have not quantified PFOSA.

  15. Dental pathology in dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae) from the southern coast of Brazil.

    Loch, Carolina; Grando, Liliane J; Kieser, Jules A; Simões-Lopes, Paulo C

    2011-05-09

    Pathological processes observed in the stomatognathic systems of mammalian species are a useful source of information about the habits, evolution and general health of such animals. Studies of pathological conditions on teeth are common in humans and other primates, but rare in wild animals in general and marine mammals in particular. For cetaceans, previous studies provided scanty records of dental anomalies in a few species. This is the first broad and systematic inventory of dental pathology in dolphins. Specimens stored at scientific collections from the southern coast of Brazil were visually inspected under a stereoscopic microscope using a dental explorer. Diagnosis of lesions and anomalies followed literature descriptions. Abnormalities such as caries-like lesions, mineralized calculus deposits, dental erosion, enamel anomalies (hypoplasia and exogenous pigmentation), root resorption, germination and other shape anomalies, were diagnosed in the delphinids Sotalia guianensis, Delphinus capensis, Stenella frontalis, Stenella coeruleoalba, Lagenodelphis hosei, Pseudorca crassidens, Orcinus orca, Steno bredanensis and Tursiops truncatus. Endogenous causes may be related to the occurrence of certain conditions, but the aetiology of caries-like lesions and calculus accumulation is still unknown for cetaceans. The diagnosis of alveolar anomalies and other bone lesions in specimens with dental pathology lead us to believe these lesions modify the integrity of the periodontal ligament and bony tissues, adding to the burden of morbidity of affected animals.

  16. Transition to an Aquatic Habitat Permitted the Repeated Loss of the Pleiotropic KLK8 Gene in Mammals.

    Hecker, Nikolai; Sharma, Virag; Hiller, Michael

    2017-11-01

    Kallikrein related peptidase 8 (KLK8; also called neuropsin) is a serine protease that plays distinct roles in the skin and hippocampus. In the skin, KLK8 influences keratinocyte proliferation and desquamation, and activates antimicrobial peptides in sweat. In the hippocampus, KLK8 affects memory acquisition. Here, we examined the evolution of KLK8 in mammals and discovered that, out of 70 placental mammals, KLK8 is exclusively lost in three independent fully-aquatic lineages, comprising dolphin, killer whale, minke whale, and manatee. In addition, while the sperm whale has an intact KLK8 reading frame, the gene evolves neutrally in this species. We suggest that the distinct functions of KLK8 likely became obsolete in the aquatic environment, leading to the subsequent loss of KLK8 in several fully-aquatic mammalian lineages. First, the cetacean and manatee skin lacks sweat glands as an adaptation to the aquatic environment, which likely made the epidermal function of KLK8 obsolete. Second, cetaceans and manatees exhibit a proportionally small hippocampus, which may have rendered the hippocampal functions of KLK8 obsolete. Together, our results shed light on the genomic changes that correlate with skin and neuroanatomical differences of aquatic mammals, and show that even pleiotropic genes can be lost during evolution if an environmental change nullifies the need for the different functions of such genes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  17. Earliest Mysticete from the Late Eocene of Peru Sheds New Light on the Origin of Baleen Whales.

    Lambert, Olivier; Martínez-Cáceres, Manuel; Bianucci, Giovanni; Di Celma, Claudio; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Steurbaut, Etienne; Urbina, Mario; de Muizon, Christian

    2017-05-22

    Although combined molecular and morphological analyses point to a late middle Eocene (38-39 million years ago) origin for the clade Neoceti (Odontoceti, echolocating toothed whales plus Mysticeti, baleen whales, and relatives), the oldest known mysticete fossil dates from the latest Eocene (about 34 million years ago) of Antarctica [1, 2]. Considering that the latter is not the most stemward mysticete in recent phylogenies and that Oligocene toothed mysticetes display a broad morphological disparity most likely corresponding to contrasted ecological niches, the origin of mysticetes from a basilosaurid ancestor and its drivers are currently poorly understood [1, 3-8]. Based on an articulated cetacean skeleton from the early late Eocene (Priabonian, around 36.4 million years ago) of the Pisco Basin, Peru, we describe a new archaic tooth-bearing mysticete, Mystacodon selenensis gen. et sp. nov. Being the geologically oldest neocete (crown group cetacean) and the earliest mysticete to branch off described so far, the new taxon is interpreted as morphologically intermediate between basilosaurids and later toothed mysticetes, providing thus crucial information about the anatomy of the skull, forelimb, and innominate at these critical initial stages of mysticete evolution. Major changes in the morphology of the oral apparatus (including tooth wear) and flipper compared to basilosaurids suggest that suction and possibly benthic feeding represented key, early ecological traits accompanying the emergence of modern filter-feeding baleen whales' ancestors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. A review of Brucella infection in marine mammals, with special emphasis on Brucella pinnipedialis in the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata

    Nymo Ingebjørg H

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Brucella spp. were isolated from marine mammals for the first time in 1994. Two novel species were later included in the genus; Brucella ceti and Brucella pinnipedialis, with cetaceans and seals as their preferred hosts, respectively. Brucella spp. have since been isolated from a variety of marine mammals. Pathological changes, including lesions of the reproductive organs and associated abortions, have only been registered in cetaceans. The zoonotic potential differs among the marine mammal Brucella strains. Many techniques, both classical typing and molecular microbiology, have been utilised for characterisation of the marine mammal Brucella spp. and the change from the band-based approaches to the sequence-based approaches has greatly increased our knowledge about these strains. Several clusters have been identified within the B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis species, and multiple studies have shown that the hooded seal isolates differ from other pinniped isolates. We describe how different molecular methods have contributed to species identification and differentiation of B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis, with special emphasis on the hooded seal isolates. We further discuss the potential role of B. pinnipedialis for the declining Northwest Atlantic hooded seal population.

  19. Body Growth and Rapid Hematological Development Support Breath Hold of Baby Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) during Subice Transit.

    Noren, Shawn R; Poll, Caryn P; Edwards, Matthew S

    Body size and oxygen stores in the blood and muscle set breath-hold limits in marine mammals, yet these characteristics are understudied in immature cetaceans. We examined body mass and hematology from birth through adulthood in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). At birth, body mass was 8% and 6% of the maximum mass recorded for adult females and males, respectively. Body mass then increased rapidly, approaching an asymptote around 12 yr for females and 18 yr for males. Interestingly, red blood cell counts, hemoglobin content, and hematocrit levels decreased after birth; this neonatal anemia was reversed as levels increased after 2 mo postpartum. Mature levels were obtained at approximately 8, 9, and 11 mo postpartum, respectively. Neonatal mean corpuscular hemoglobin also increased with ontogeny; mature levels were achieved by approximately 13 mo after birth. In contrast, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration demonstrated a significant but subtle increase throughout ontogeny. Our results indicate that postnatal maturation was required and that maturation occurred far earlier than the age at weaning (i.e., 2-3 yr postpartum). This is atypical of marine mammals, which generally achieve mature hemoglobin levels at weaning. Hematological maturation before maternal independence undoubtedly supports the prolonged breath holds of young belugas transiting under sea ice. This assessment enhances our knowledge of cetacean physiology and provides important inputs for determining age-specific dive capacity, yielding insights into age-specific flexibility to alter underwater behaviors, as will be required for future regime shifts and disturbances.

  20. Brucellosis in mammals of Costa Rica: An epidemiological survey.

    Hernández-Mora, Gabriela; Bonilla-Montoya, Roberto; Barrantes-Granados, Osvaldo; Esquivel-Suárez, Andrea; Montero-Caballero, Danilo; González-Barrientos, Rocío; Fallas-Monge, Zeanne; Palacios-Alfaro, José David; Baldi, Mario; Campos, Elena; Chanto, Grettel; Barquero-Calvo, Elías; Chacón-Díaz, Carlos; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Guzmán Verri, Caterina; Romero-Zúñiga, Juan-José; Moreno, Edgardo

    2017-01-01

    Brucellosis has been an endemic disease of cattle and humans in Costa Rica since the beginning of XX century. However, brucellosis in sheep, goats, pigs, water buffaloes, horses and cetaceans, has not been reported in the country. We have performed a brucellosis survey in these host mammal species, from 1999-2016. In addition, we have documented the number of human brucellosis reported cases, from 2003-2016. The brucellosis seroprevalence in goat and sheep herds was 0.98% and 0.7% respectively, with no Brucella isolation. Antibodies against Brucella were not detected in feral or domestic pigs. Likewise, brucellosis seroprevalence in horse and water buffalo farms was estimated in 6.5% and 21.7%, respectively, with no Brucella isolation. Six cetacean species showed positive reactions against Brucella antigens, and B. ceti was isolated in 70% (n = 29) of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). A steady increase in the diagnosis of human brucellosis cases was observed. Taking into account the prevalence of brucellosis in the various host mammals of Costa Rica, different measures are recommended.

  1. Harbour porpoise distribution can vary at small spatiotemporal scales in energetic habitats

    Benjamins, Steven; van Geel, Nienke; Hastie, Gordon; Elliott, Jim; Wilson, Ben

    2017-07-01

    Marine habitat heterogeneity underpins species distribution and can be generated through interactions between physical and biological drivers at multiple spatiotemporal scales. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is used worldwide to study potential impacts of marine industrial activities on cetaceans, but understanding of animals' site use at small spatiotemporal scales (marine renewable energy development (MRED) sites was investigated by deploying dense arrays of C-POD passive acoustic detectors at a wave energy test site (the European Marine Energy Centre [Billia Croo, Orkney]) and by a minor tidal-stream site (Scarba [Inner Hebrides]). Respective arrays consisted of 7 and 11 moorings containing two C-PODs each and were deployed for up to 55 days. Minimum inter-mooring distances varied between 300-600 m. All C-POD data were analysed at a temporal resolution of whole minutes, with each minute classified as 1 or 0 on the basis of presence/absence of porpoise click trains (Porpoise-Positive Minutes/PPMs). Porpoise detection rates were analysed using Generalised Additive Models (GAMs) with Generalised Estimation Equations (GEEs). Although there were many porpoise detections (wave test site: N=3,432; tidal-stream site: N=17,366), daily detection rates varied significantly within both arrays. Within the wave site array (<1 km diameter), average daily detection rates varied from 4.3 to 14.8 PPMs/day. Within the tidal-stream array (<2 km diameter), average daily detection rates varied from 10.3 to 49.7 PPMs/day. GAM-GEE model results for individual moorings within both arrays indicated linkages between porpoise presence and small-scale heterogeneity among different environmental covariates (e.g., tidal phase, time of day). Porpoise detection rates varied considerably but with coherent patterns between moorings only several hundred metres apart and within hours. These patterns presumably have ecological relevance. These results indicate that, in energetically active and

  2. Organochlorine contaminant and retinoid levels in blubber of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) off northwestern Spain

    Tornero, Victoria; Borrell, Assumpcio; Aguilar, Alex; Forcada, Jaume; Lockyer, Christina

    2006-01-01

    The effect of age, sex, nutritive condition and organochlorine concentration on blubber retinoid concentrations was examined in 74 common dolphins incidentally caught off northwestern Spain. Age and blubber lipid content were strong determinants of the retinoid concentrations in males, while these variables did not account for the variation found in females. Retinoids were positively correlated with organochlorines in males and negatively in females. However, pollution levels were moderate and likely to be below threshold levels above that a toxicological response is to be expected. Thus, a cause-effect relationship between organochlorine and retinoid concentrations could not be properly established, and the observed correlation may be the result of an independent association of the two variables with age. Further research on the influence of the best predictor variables on retinoid dynamics is required to implement the use of retinoids as biomarkers of pollutant exposure in cetaceans. - Organochlorine contaminants and retinoids in common dolphins

  3. Zooarqueologia dos mamíferos aquáticos e semi-aquáticos da Ilha de Santa Catarina, sul do Brasil

    Pedro Volkmer de Castilho

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzes the use of aquatic mammals by prehistoric societies of Santa Catarina Island, Southern Brazil. Samples from two archaeological sites were examined: Rio do Meio (RM and Porto do Rio Vermelho (SCPRV. Nine aquatic mammal species were found: a pinnipeds: Arctocephalus australis (Zimmerman, 1783 and A. tropicalis (Gray, 1872, and b cetaceans: Eubalaena australis (Desmoulins, 1822, Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758, Stenella frontalis (Cuvier, 1829, Steno bredanensis (Lesson, 1828, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & d'Orbigny, 1844 and a non-identified rorqual from the genus Balaenoptera Lacépède, 1804. Three especies of semi-aquatic mammals were also recorded: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1758, Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758 and Lontra longicaudis (Olfers,1818. Both sites presented similar species diversity, although abundance was greater at the most recent site (RM. There were more samples from axial skeletons, but in genera the anatomical regions were homogeneously distributed among the identified taxa.

  4. Pulmonary and systemic fungal infections in an Atlantic spotted dolphin and a Bryde's whale, Brazil.

    Groch, Kátia R; Díaz-Delgado, Josué; Sacristán, Carlos; Oliveira, Denyiélim E; Souza, Gabriela; Sánchez-Sarmiento, Angélica M; Costa-Silva, Samira; Marigo, Juliana; Castilho, Pedro V; Cremer, Marta J; Rodrigues Hoffmann, Aline; Esperón, Fernando; Catão-Dias, José L

    2018-03-22

    We report the gross and microscopic findings and molecular identification of 2 cases of hyphate fungal infection in cetaceans from Brazil. The first case involved an adult male Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis with localized pulmonary disease characterized by pyogranulomatous and necrotizing bronchopneumonia with intralesional hyphae. The second case involved an adult male Bryde's whale Balaenoptera edeni with orchitis, periorchitis, mesenteric lymphadenitis and pyogranulomatous bronchopneumonia with intralesional hyphae. PCR analysis from the dolphin's lung yielded Aspergillus fumigatus, and the fungus from the whale's mesenteric lymph node showed the greatest identity to Nanniziopsis obscura and Stagonosporopsis cucurbitacearum These cases represent the first reports of pulmonary aspergillosis by A. fumigatus in an Atlantic spotted dolphin and systemic mycosis by a possibly novel Onygenales in marine mammals.

  5. Convergent evolution of complex brains and high intelligence.

    Roth, Gerhard

    2015-12-19

    Within the animal kingdom, complex brains and high intelligence have evolved several to many times independently, e.g. among ecdysozoans in some groups of insects (e.g. blattoid, dipteran, hymenopteran taxa), among lophotrochozoans in octopodid molluscs, among vertebrates in teleosts (e.g. cichlids), corvid and psittacid birds, and cetaceans, elephants and primates. High levels of intelligence are invariantly bound to multimodal centres such as the mushroom bodies in insects, the vertical lobe in octopodids, the pallium in birds and the cerebral cortex in primates, all of which contain highly ordered associative neuronal networks. The driving forces for high intelligence may vary among the mentioned taxa, e.g. needs for spatial learning and foraging strategies in insects and cephalopods, for social learning in cichlids, instrumental learning and spatial orientation in birds and social as well as instrumental learning in primates. © 2015 The Author(s).

  6. Marine mammal sightings around oil and gas installations in the central North Sea

    Delefosse, Matthieu; Rahbek, Malene Louise; Roesen, Lars

    2017-01-01

    288 animals were reported between May 2013 and May 2016. A total of seven marine mammal species were identified, five cetaceans: harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), killer whale (Orcinus orca), pilot whales......Relatively little is known about the distribution and diversity of marine mammals around offshore anthropogenic structures. Wepresentresultsobtainedfromincidentalsightings ofmarinemammalsaroundoilandgasinstallationslocated200 kmoff the Danish coast. A total of 131 sightings corresponding to about...... (Globicephala spp.) and two species of pinnipeds: harbour (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). The most sighted species were harbour porpoise (41%) and minke whale (31%). Relative counts and biodiversity of marine mammals observed around installations corresponded well with the expected...

  7. Modeling Distribution and Abundance of Antarctic Baleen Whales Using Ships of Opportunity

    Rob Williams

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Information on animal abundance and distribution is at the cornerstone of many wildlife and conservation strategies. However, these data can be difficult and costly to obtain for cetacean species. The expense of sufficient ship time to conduct design-unbiased line transect surveys may be simply out of reach for researchers in many countries, which nonetheless grapple with problems of conservation of endangered species, by-catch of small cetaceans in commercial fisheries, and progression toward ecosystem-based fisheries management. Recently developed spatial modeling techniques show promise for estimating wildlife abundance using non-randomized surveys, but have yet to receive much field-testing in areas where designed surveys have also been conducted. Effort and sightings data were collected along 9 650 km of transects aboard ships of opportunity in the Southern Ocean during the austral summers of 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. Generalized additive models with generalized cross-validation were used to express heterogeneity of cetacean sightings as functions of spatial covariates. Models were used to map predicted densities and to estimate abundance of humpback, minke, and fin whales in the Drake Passage and along the Antarctic Peninsula. All species' distribution maps showed strong density gradients, which were robust to jackknife resampling when each of 14 trips was removed sequentially with replacement. Looped animations of model predictions of whale density illustrate uncertainty in distribution estimates in a way that is informative to non-scientists. The best abundance estimate for humpback whales was 1 829 (95% CI: 978-3 422. Abundance of fin whales was 4 487 (95% CI: 1 326-15 179 and minke whales was 1,544 (95% CI: 1,221-1,953. These estimates agreed roughly with those reported from a designed survey conducted in the region during the previous austral summer. These estimates assumed that all animals on the trackline were detected, but

  8. Whose Line Sound is it Anyway? Identifying the Vocalizer on Underwater Video by Localizing with a Hydrophone Array

    Matthias Hoffmann-Kuhnt

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available A new device that combined high-resolution (1080p wide-angle video and three channels of high-frequency acoustic recordings (at 500 kHz per channel in a portable underwater housing was designed and tested with wild bottlenose and spotted dolphins in the Bahamas. It consisted of three hydrophones, a GoPro camera, a small Fit PC, a set of custom preamplifiers and a high-frequency data acquisition board. Recordings were obtained to identify individual vocalizing animals through time-delay-of-arrival localizing in post-processing. The calculated source positions were then overlaid onto the video – providing the ability to identify the vocalizing animal on the recorded video. The new tool allowed for much clearer analysis of the acoustic behavior of cetaceans than was possible before.

  9. The old and the new plankton: ecological replacement of associations of mollusc plankton and giant filter feeders after the Cretaceous?

    Amane Tajika

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Owing to their great diversity and abundance, ammonites and belemnites represented key elements in Mesozoic food webs. Because of their extreme ontogenetic size increase by up to three orders of magnitude, their position in the food webs likely changed during ontogeny. Here, we reconstruct the number of eggs laid by large adult females of these cephalopods and discuss developmental shifts in their ecologic roles. Based on similarities in conch morphology, size, habitat and abundance, we suggest that similar niches occupied in the Cretaceous by juvenile ammonites and belemnites were vacated during the extinction and later partially filled by holoplanktonic gastropods. As primary consumers, these extinct cephalopod groups were important constituents of the plankton and a principal food source for planktivorous organisms. As victims or, respectively, profiteers of this case of ecological replacement, filter feeding chondrichthyans and cetaceans likely filled the niches formerly occupied by large pachycormid fishes during the Jurassic and Cretaceous.

  10. Moderate evidence for a Lombard effect in a phylogenetically basal primate

    Christian Schopf

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available When exposed to enhanced background noise, humans avoid signal masking by increasing the amplitude of the voice, a phenomenon termed the Lombard effect. This auditory feedback-mediated voice control has also been found in monkeys, bats, cetaceans, fish and some frogs and birds. We studied the Lombard effect for the first time in a phylogenetically basal primate, the grey mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus. When background noise was increased, mouse lemurs were able to raise the amplitude of the voice, comparable to monkeys, but they did not show this effect consistently across context/individuals. The Lombard effect, even if representing a generic vocal communication system property of mammals, may thus be affected by more complex mechanisms. The present findings emphasize an effect of context, and individual, and the need for further standardized approaches to disentangle the multiple system properties of mammalian vocal communication, important for understanding the evolution of the unique human faculty of speech and language.

  11. Odobenocetops peruvianus: una remarcable convergencia de adaptación alimentaria entre morsa y delfín

    1993-01-01

    para extraer por succión, a semejanza de la morsa, las partes blandas de bivalvos y otros invertebrados bentónicos. ODOBENOCETOPS PERUVIANUS: A REMARKABLE CONVERGENCE OF FEEDING ADAPTATION BETWEEN WALRUS AND DOLPHIN. Odobenocetops peruvianus (early Pliocene, Southern Peru is a bizarre cetacean that is convergent in its skull, general aspect and presumably feeding habits with the modern walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. Cranial specializations that are unique among cetaceans, include the loss of elongated cetacean rostrum, the development of large premaxillary alveolar processes housing tusks, an inferred strong upper lip, the forward migration of the nares and dorsal binocular vision. The structure of face and basicranium indicates that it is a delphinoid cetacean probably related to the Monodontidae (beluga and narwhal. Like the walrus, O. peruvianus probably used its tongue and upper lip jointly in extracting, the soft parts of bivalves and other shallow water invertebrates by suction.

  12. Cooperation and the evolution of intelligence.

    McNally, Luke; Brown, Sam P; Jackson, Andrew L

    2012-08-07

    The high levels of intelligence seen in humans, other primates, certain cetaceans and birds remain a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists. It has long been held that social interactions provide the selection pressures necessary for the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities (the 'social intelligence hypothesis'), and in recent years decision-making in the context of cooperative social interactions has been conjectured to be of particular importance. Here we use an artificial neural network model to show that selection for efficient decision-making in cooperative dilemmas can give rise to selection pressures for greater cognitive abilities, and that intelligent strategies can themselves select for greater intelligence, leading to a Machiavellian arms race. Our results provide mechanistic support for the social intelligence hypothesis, highlight the potential importance of cooperative behaviour in the evolution of intelligence and may help us to explain the distribution of cooperation with intelligence across taxa.

  13. Sightings and behavioral observations of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765 along Chennai coast, Bay of Bengal

    R. Muralidharan

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Boat-based surveys were used to investigate the presence of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis along the coast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Notes were collected on behavior, group size, coloration patterns and group composition on sighting cetaceans during the surveys. Four groups of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins were sighted near-shore in the month of February 2011, between 10-25 m depth with an average group size of 20 individuals of which 10 individuals were photo-identifiable. Dominant group behavior was aerial display, feeding and traveling. This study gives a basic idea of presence, threats and habitat use of Humpback Dolphin areas along Chennai coast.

  14. Genomic and proteomic identification of Late Holocene remains

    Biard, Vincent; Gol'din, Pavel; Gladilina, Elena

    2017-01-01

    A critical challenge of the 21st century is to understand and minimise the effects of human activities on biodiversity. Cetaceans are a prime concern in biodiversity research, as many species still suffer from human impacts despite decades of management and conservation efforts. Zooarchaeology...... sequencing approach. In addition, shotgun sequencing produced several complete ancient odontocete mitogenomes and auxiliary nuclear genomic data for further exploration in a population genetic context. In contrast, both morphological identification and Sanger sequencing lacked taxonomic resolution and....../or resulted in misclassification of samples. We found that the combination of ZooMS and shotgun sequencing provides a powerful tool in zooarchaeology, and here allowed for a deeper understanding of past marine resource use and its implication for current management and conservation of Black Sea odontocetes....

  15. Estimates of the abundance of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata from Faroese and Icelandic NASS shipboard surveys

    Daniel G Pike

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available North Atlantic Sightings Surveys for cetaceans were carried out Northeast and Central Atlantic in 1987, 1989, 1995 and 2001. Here we provide estimates of density and abundance for minke whales from the Faroese and Icelandic ship surveys. The estimates are not corrected for availability or perception biases. Double platform data collected in 2001 indicates that perception bias is likely considerable for this species. However comparison of corrected estimates of densityfrom aerial surveys with a ship survey estimate from the same area suggests that ship surveys can be nearly unbiased under optimal survey conditions with high searching effort. There were some regional changes in density over the period but no overall changes in density and abundance. Given the recent catch history for minke whales in this area, we would not expect to see changes in abundance due to exploitation that would be detectable with these surveys.

  16. Complete mitochondrial genome phylogeographic analysis of killer whales (Orcinus orca) indicates multiple species

    Morin, Phillip A; Archer, Frederick I.; Foote, Andrew David

    2010-01-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) currently comprise a single, cosmopolitan species with a diverse diet. However, studies over the last 30 yr have revealed populations of sympatric "ecotypes" with discrete prey preferences, morphology, and behaviors. Although these ecotypes avoid social interactions...... and are not known to interbreed, genetic studies to date have found extremely low levels of diversity in the mitochondrial control region, and few clear phylogeographic patterns worldwide. This low level of diversity is likely due to low mitochondrial mutation rates that are common to cetaceans. Using killer whales...... as a case study, we have developed a method to readily sequence, assemble, and analyze complete mitochondrial genomes from large numbers of samples to more accurately assess phylogeography and estimate divergence times. This represents an important tool for wildlife management, not only for killer whales...

  17. Utility of telomere length measurements for age determination of humpback whales

    Morten Tange Olsen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, ranging from 0 to 26 years of age. The results suggested a significant correlation between telomere length and age in humpback whales. However, telomere length was highly variable among individuals of similar age, suggesting that telomere length measured by quantitative PCR is an imprecise determinant of age in humpback whales. The observed variation in individual telomere length was found to be a function of both experimental and biological variability, with the latter perhaps reflecting patterns of inheritance, resource allocation trade-offs, and stochasticity of the marine environment.

  18. A contribution to the knowledge of the cetological fauna in the waters of Western Sardinia

    Alexandre Gannier

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A 10 day survey was carried out off Western Sardinia during summer 1997. Conventional observation methods were used onboard a 12 meter motorsailer. A zig-zag sampling of 584 kilometers and 65 hours of observation were done, during which 21 groups of cetaceans were sighted. Five species were observed: the fin whale (3 sightings, the striped dolphin (10 sightings, the common dolphin (6 sightings, the bottlenose dolphin and the sperm whale (1 sighting each. High sighting frequencies were obtained for the striped dolphin in the pelagic area and for the common dolphin in the slope area, suggesting that each species favours a distinct habitat. This study is in reasonable concordance with the few results already published on the subject. However more research must be done in this area.

  19. An occurrence of the protocetid whale "Eocetus" wardii in the middle Eocene Piney Point Formation of Virginia

    Weems, R.E.; Edwards, L.E.; Osborne, J.E.; Alford, A.A.

    2011-01-01

    Two protocetid whale vertebrae, here referred to “Eocetus” wardii, have been recovered from the riverbed of the Pamunkey River in east-central Virginia. Neither bone was found in situ, but both were found with lumps of lithified matrix cemented to their surfaces. Most of this matrix was removed and processed for microfossils. Specimens of dinoflagellates were successfully recovered and this flora clearly demonstrates that both vertebrae came from the middle Eocene Piney Point Formation, which crops out above and below river level in the area where the bones were discovered. These vertebrae are the oldest whale remains reported from Virginia and are as old as any cetacean remains known from the western hemisphere.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. The underwater acoustic environment at SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area: Characterizing vessel traffic and associated noise using satellite AIS and acoustic datasets.

    Allen, Ainsley S; Yurk, Harald; Vagle, Svein; Pilkington, James; Canessa, Rosaline

    2018-03-01

    Vessel traffic is one of the most wide-spread anthropogenic contributors to ocean noise worldwide and has the potential to alter ecosystems upon which cetaceans and other acoustically sensitive marine organisms rely. Canada's SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area (SK-B MPA) is one such area whose productive ecosystem could benefit from greater monitoring of human induced threats in order to inform management. Despite earning official designation as a Marine Protected Area under the Oceans Act in 2008, little remains known about vessel traffic in the region and the associated potential impacts on vulnerable marine species. Therefore, to increase our understanding of vessel traffic and accompanying noise at SK-B MPA, satellite AIS and acoustic data were investigated. The results of this study suggest that variations in ambient sound levels in the region are driven by near and distant shipping events, thus having implications for future management of the MPA. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Isolation of Brucella pinnipedialis from Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Baltic Sea.

    Hirvelä-Koski, Varpu; Nylund, Minna; Skrzypczak, Teresa; Heikkinen, Petra; Kauhala, Kaarina; Jay, Maryne; Isomursu, Marja

    2017-10-01

    Brucella infection in seals was reported for the first time in 1994 around the coast of Scotland. Since then, marine mammal Brucella infections were found to be widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. Two Brucella species affect marine mammals: Brucella pinnipedialis in pinnipeds and Brucella ceti in cetaceans. We examined the livers of Baltic grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) from the Finnish coast (n=122) hunted, found dead, or killed as by-catch in fishing gear in 2013-15 as part of population health monitoring. We detected B. pinnipedialis in the livers of three grey seals. The bacterium was isolated from livers displaying parasitic cholangitis. We also detected Brucella DNA in liver flukes (Pseudamphistomum truncatum) obtained from a Brucella-infected grey seal, suggesting that flukes might be possible vectors of this pathogen in the marine environment.

  3. Morphology of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue in odontocetes.

    Silva, Fernanda M O; Guimarães, Juliana P; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Carvalho, Vitor L; Carolina, Ana; Meirelles, O; Marmontel, Miriam; Oliveira, Bruno S S P; Santos, Silvanise M; Becegato, Estella Z; Evangelista, Janaina S A M; Miglino, Maria Angelica

    2016-09-01

    This study describes the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) in odontocetes from the Brazilian coast and freshwater systems. Seven species were evaluated and tissue samples were analyzed by light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry. Laryngeal tonsil was a palpable oval mass located in the larynx, composed of a lymphoepithelial complex. Dense collections of lymphocytes were found in the skin of male fetus and calf. Clusters of lymphoid tissue were found in the uterine cervix of a reproductively active juvenile female and along the pulmonary artery of an adult female. Lymphoid tissues associated with the gastrointestinal tract were characterized by diffusely arranged or organized lymphocytes. The anal tonsil was composed of an aggregate of lymphoid tissue occurring exclusively in the anal canal, being composed of squamous epithelium branches. MALT was present in different tissues and organic systems of cetaceans, providing constant protection against mucosal pathogens present in their environment. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Integrating chemistry, biophysics and physiology in the evolution of mammalian Myoglobins

    Dasmeh, Pouria

    a general protein phenotype such as folding stability, that was shown as an example to be positively selected in cetacean Mbs in the iv third part of this thesis, affects the rate of protein evolution. Using a model that combines explicit evolution of Mb sequences, folding stability, and application...... of dN/dS ~ 1.5. Overall, this thesis provides one of the first examples in the study of evolution of function and thermodynamic stability in a mammalian protein with implications for fitness. We quantify and highlight the biological relevance for the selection of a higher concentration of Mb...... in the skeletal muscle of marine mammals and provide an explanation for the increase in folding stability of Mb. Moreover, this thesis provides number of theoretical findings directly testable with future experimental studies regarding the function, physiology and thermodynamic stability of mammalian Mbs....

  5. Cetáceos de las aguas costeras del Pacífico norte y sur de Costa Rica

    Damián Martínez-Fernández

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available De las 29 especies de cetáceos presentes en Costa Rica, se han realizado investigaciones exhaustivas solamente para tres especies. Lo anterior evidencia la poca información general existente sobre cetáceos, a pesar de que Costa Rica posee un notable crecimiento de actividades de avistamiento. Debido al uso que se está generando en las zonas costeras, cada vez se hace más necesario determinar la ocurrencia de cetáceos en zonas de alta actividad turística, con el fin de proponer medidas de conservación. En el presente estudio, se determinaron variables ambientales que estaban relacionadas con la presencia de especies registradas, a partir de 166 avistamientos entre el 2005 y 2006. Las especies con mayor proporción de avistamientos fueron Stenella attenuata (68%, seguida por Megaptera novaeangliae (13% y Tursiops truncatus (10%. La presencia del delfín manchado se relaciona con cambios de salinidad y trasparencia del agua, mientras que la de la ballena jorobada estuvo relacionada con el oleaje y la temperatura superficial del agua. Se confirma la presencia de 7 especies de cetáceos en dos zonas costeras del Pacífico de Costa Rica, de las cuales tres están presentes a lo largo del año. Se encontraron variables ambientales relacionadas con la presencia de al menos dos especies.Inshore cetaceans from the North and South Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Twenty nine cetacean species occur in Costa Rican waters but extensive research has been conducted only for three species. The latter shows there is a lack of general and local information about these mammals, even when the country, has shown a remarkable growth in whale watching activities. The increasing use of marine resources in coastal areas has also developed the need to determine the occurrence of cetaceans in areas showing high tourist presence, in order to propose sound conservation measures. In this study, environmental variables were determined and subsequently related to the

  6. Sequence Variation of MHC Class II DQB Gene in Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus from Taiwanese Waters

    Wei-Cheng Yang

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The major histocompatibility complex (MHC is a large multigene coding for glycoproteins that play a key role in the initiation of immune responses in vertebrates. For a better understanding of the immunologic diversity in thriving marine mammal species, the sequence variation of the exon 2 region of MHC DQB locus was analyzed in 42 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus collected from strandings and fishery bycatch in Taiwanese waters. The 172 bp sequences amplified showed no more than two alleles in each individual. The high proportion of non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions and the moderate amount of variation suggest positive selection pressure on this locus, arguing against a reduction in the marine environment selection pressure. The phylogenetic relationship among DQB exon 2 sequences of T. truncatus and other cetaceans did not coincide with taxonomic relationship, indicating a trans-species evolutionary pattern.

  7. A neurological comparative study of the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) brain

    Walløe, Solveig; Eriksen, Nina; Dabelsteen, Torben

    2010-01-01

    The cetacean brain is well studied. However, few comparisons have been done with other marine mammals. In this study, we compared the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) and the harbor porpoise brain (Phocoena phocoena). Stereological methods were applied to compare three areas of interest...... cells, whereas the harp seal have 6.1 × 10(9) neocortical neurons and 17.5 × 10(9) neocortical glial cells. The harbor porpoise have significantly more neurons and glial cells in the auditory cortex than in the visual cortex, whereas the pattern was opposite for the harp seal. These results...... are the first to provide estimates of the number of neurons and glial cells in the neocortex of the harp seal and harbor porpoise brain and offer new data to the comparative field of mammalian brain evolution....

  8. The Genome of the Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas

    Steven J. M. Jones

    2017-12-01

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

  9. The functionality of the gastrointestinal microbiome in non-human animals.

    Hanning, Irene; Diaz-Sanchez, Sandra

    2015-11-10

    Due to the significance of the microbiome on human health, much of the current data available regarding microbiome functionality is centered on human medicine. For agriculturally important taxa, the functionality of gastrointestinal bacteria has been studied with the primary goals of improving animal health and production performance. With respect to cattle, the digestive functions of bacteria in cattle are unarguably critical to digestion and positively impact production performance. Conversely, some research suggests that the gastrointestinal microbiome in chickens competes with the host for nutrients and produces toxins that can harm the host resulting in decreased growth efficiency. Concerning many other species including reptiles and cetaceans, some cataloging of fecal bacteria has been conducted, but the functionality within the host remains ambiguous. These taxa could provide interesting gastrointestinal insight into functionality and symbiosis considering the extreme feeding regimes (snakes), highly specialized diets (vampire bats), and living environments (polar bears), which warrants further exploration.

  10. Methods to examine reproductive biology in free-ranging, fully-marine mammals.

    Lanyon, Janet M; Burgess, Elizabeth A

    2014-01-01

    Historical overexploitation of marine mammals, combined with present-day pressures, has resulted in severely depleted populations, with many species listed as threatened or endangered. Understanding breeding patterns of threatened marine mammals is crucial to assessing population viability, potential recovery and conservation actions. However, determining reproductive parameters of wild fully-marine mammals (cetaceans and sirenians) is challenging due to their wide distributions, high mobility, inaccessible habitats, cryptic lifestyles and in many cases, large body size and intractability. Consequently, reproductive biologists employ an innovative suite of methods to collect useful information from these species. This chapter reviews historic, recent and state-of-the-art methods to examine diverse aspects of reproduction in fully-aquatic mammals.

  11. The comparative osteology of the petrotympanic complex (ear region of extant baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti.

    Eric G Ekdale

    Full Text Available Anatomical comparisons of the ear region of baleen whales (Mysticeti are provided through detailed osteological descriptions and high-resolution photographs of the petrotympanic complex (tympanic bulla and petrosal bone of all extant species of mysticete cetaceans. Salient morphological features are illustrated and identified, including overall shape of the bulla, size of the conical process of the bulla, morphology of the promontorium, and the size and shape of the anterior process of the petrosal. We place our comparative osteological observations into a phylogenetic context in order to initiate an exploration into petrotympanic evolution within Mysticeti.The morphology of the petrotympanic complex is diagnostic for individual species of baleen whale (e.g., sigmoid and conical processes positioned at midline of bulla in Balaenoptera musculus; confluence of fenestra cochleae and perilymphatic foramen in Eschrichtius robustus, and several mysticete clades are united by derived characteristics. Balaenids and neobalaenids share derived features of the bulla, such as a rhomboid shape and a reduced anterior lobe (swelling in ventral aspect, and eschrichtiids share derived morphologies of the petrosal with balaenopterids, including loss of a medial promontory groove and dorsomedial elongation of the promontorium. Monophyly of Balaenoidea (Balaenidae and Neobalaenidae and Balaenopteroidea (Balaenopteridae and Eschrichtiidae was recovered in phylogenetic analyses utilizing data exclusively from the petrotympanic complex.This study fills a major gap in our knowledge of the complex structures of the mysticete petrotympanic complex, which is an important anatomical region for the interpretation of the evolutionary history of mammals. In addition, we introduce a novel body of phylogenetically informative characters from the ear region of mysticetes. Our detailed anatomical descriptions, illustrations, and comparisons provide valuable data for current and

  12. Otters, Marine

    Estes, James A.; Bodkin, James L.; Ben-David, M.; Perrin, William F.; Würsing, Bernd; Thewissen, J.G.M.

    2009-01-01

    The otters (Mustelidae; Lutrinae) provide an exceptional perspective into the evolution of marine living by mammals. Most extant marine mammals (e.g. the cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians) have been so highly modified by long periods of selection for life in the sea that they bear little resemblance to their terrestrial ancestors. Marine otters, in contrast, are more recent expatriates from freshwater habitats and some species still live in both environments. Contrasts among species within the otters, and among the otters, terrestrial mammals, and the more highly adapted pinnipeds and cetaceans provide powerful insights into mammalian adaptations to life in the sea (Estes, 1989). Among the marine mammals, sea otters (Enhydra lutris, Fig. 1) provide the clearest understanding of consumer-induced effects on ecosystem function. This is due in part to opportunities provided by history and in part to the relative ease with which shallow coastal systems where sea otters live can be observed and studied. Although more difficult to study than sea otters, other otter species reveal the connectivity among the marine, freshwater, and terrestrial systems. These three qualities of the otters – their comparative biology, their role as predators, and their role as agents of ecosystem connectivity – are what make them interesting to marine mammalogy.The following account provides a broad overview of the comparative biology and ecology of the otters, with particular emphasis on those species or populations that live in the sea. Sea otters are features prominently, in part because they live exclusively in the sea whereas other otters have obligate associations with freshwater and terrestrial environments (Kenyon, 1969; Riedman and Estes, 1990).

  13. A probe-based qRT-PCR method to profile immunological gene expression in blood of captive beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas

    Ming-An Tsai

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Cytokines are fundamental for a functioning immune system, and thus potentially serve as important indicators of animal health. Quantitation of mRNA using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR is an established immunological technique. It is particularly suitable for detecting the expression of proteins against which monoclonal antibodies are not available. In this study, we developed a probe-based quantitative gene expression assay for immunological assessment of captive beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas that is one of the most common cetacean species on display in aquariums worldwide. Six immunologically relevant genes (IL-2Rα, -4, -10, -12, TNFα, and IFNγ were selected for analysis, and two validated housekeeping genes (PGK1 and RPL4 with stable expression were used as reference genes. Sixteen blood samples were obtained from four animals with different health conditions and stored in RNAlater™ solution. These samples were used for RNA extraction followed by qRT-PCR analysis. Analysis of gene transcripts was performed by relative quantitation using the comparative Cq method with the integration of amplification efficiency and two reference genes. The expression levels of each gene in the samples from clinically healthy animals were normally distributed. Transcript outliers for IL-2Rα, IL-4, IL-12, TNFα, and IFNγ were noticed in four samples collected from two clinically unhealthy animals. This assay has the potential to identify immune system deviation from normal state, which is caused by health problems. Furthermore, knowing the immune status of captive cetaceans could help both trainers and veterinarians in implementing preventive approaches prior to disease onset.

  14. Use of Micro-Computed Tomography for Dental Studies in Modern and Fossil Odontocetes: Potential Applications and Limitations

    Carolina Loch

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Teeth are important elements in studies of modern and fossil Cetacea (whales, dolphins, providing information on feeding habits, estimations of age and phylogenetic relationships. The growth layer groups (GLGs recorded in dentine have demonstrated application for aging studies, but also have the potential to elucidate life history phenomena such as metabolic or physiologic events. Micro-Computed Tomography (Micro-CT is a non-invasive and non-destructive technique that allows 3-dimensional study of mineralized tissues, such as human teeth, and their physical properties. Teeth from extant dolphins (Cetacea: Odontoceti and some fossil odontocetes were scanned in a Skyscan 1172 Micro-CT desktop system. X-rays were generated at 100 kV and 100 µA for extant samples, and at 80kV and 124 µA for fossils. 0.5 mm thick aluminum and copper filters were used in the beam. Reconstructed images were informative for most extant species, showing a good resolution of the enamel layer, dentine and pulp cavity. Greyscale changes in the dentinal layers were not resolved enough to show GLGs. Visualization of the internal structure in fossil cetacean teeth depended on the degree of diagenetic alteration in the specimen; undifferentiated enamel and dentine regions probably reflect secondary mineralization. However, internal details were finely resolved for one fossil specimen, showing the enamel, internal layers of dentine and the pulp cavity. Micro-CT has been proven to be a useful tool for resolving the internal morphology of fossil and extant teeth of cetaceans before they are sectioned for other morphological analyses; however some methodological refinements are still necessary to allow better resolution of dentine for potential application in non-destructive age determination studies.

  15. Characterization of the artisanal fishing communities in Nepal and potential implications for the conservation and management of Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica

    Shambhu Paudel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica (GRD is classified as one of the most endangered of all cetaceans in the world and the second scarcest freshwater cetacean. The population is estimated to be less than 2,000 individuals. In Nepal’s Narayani, Sapta Koshi, and Karnali river systems, survival of GRD continues to be threatened by various anthropogenic activities, such as dam construction and interactions with artisanal fisheries. A basic description of the geographic scope, economics, and types of gear used in these fisheries would help managers understand the fishery-dolphin interaction conflict and assist with developing potential solutions. The main goal was to provide new information on the artisanal fishing communities in Nepal. The specific objectives were to identify, compile, and investigate the demographics, economics, fishing characteristics, and perception of fishermen about GRD conservation in the Narayani, Sapta Koshi, and Karnali rivers so conservation managers can develop and implement a potential solution to the GRD-fishery interaction problem in Nepal. Based on 169 interviews, 79% of Nepalese fishermen indicated fishing was their primary form of income. Fishermen reported fishing effort was greater in summer than winter; greatest in the afternoon (14:30 hrs ± 0:27 and during low water level conditions; and gear was set 4.8 ± 0.2 days/week. Fishermen reported using eight different types of monofilament nets (gillnets and cast nets. Sixty percent used gillnets less than 10 m long, and nearly 30% preferred gillnets between 10 and 100 m long; a few used gillnets longer than 100 m. Most fishermen reported they believed education, awareness, and changing occupations were important for GRD conservation, but they indicated that alternative occupational options were currently limited in Nepal. Nepalese fishermen acknowledged that fisheries posed a risk to GRD, but they believed water pollution, and dam

  16. Characterization of the artisanal fishing communities in Nepal and potential implications for the conservation and management of Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica).

    Paudel, Shambhu; Levesque, Juan C; Saavedra, Camilo; Pita, Cristina; Pal, Prabhat

    2016-01-01

    The Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) (GRD) is classified as one of the most endangered of all cetaceans in the world and the second scarcest freshwater cetacean. The population is estimated to be less than 2,000 individuals. In Nepal's Narayani, Sapta Koshi, and Karnali river systems, survival of GRD continues to be threatened by various anthropogenic activities, such as dam construction and interactions with artisanal fisheries. A basic description of the geographic scope, economics, and types of gear used in these fisheries would help managers understand the fishery-dolphin interaction conflict and assist with developing potential solutions. The main goal was to provide new information on the artisanal fishing communities in Nepal. The specific objectives were to identify, compile, and investigate the demographics, economics, fishing characteristics, and perception of fishermen about GRD conservation in the Narayani, Sapta Koshi, and Karnali rivers so conservation managers can develop and implement a potential solution to the GRD-fishery interaction problem in Nepal. Based on 169 interviews, 79% of Nepalese fishermen indicated fishing was their primary form of income. Fishermen reported fishing effort was greater in summer than winter; greatest in the afternoon (14:30 hrs ± 0:27) and during low water level conditions; and gear was set 4.8 ± 0.2 days/week. Fishermen reported using eight different types of monofilament nets (gillnets and cast nets). Sixty percent used gillnets less than 10 m long, and nearly 30% preferred gillnets between 10 and 100 m long; a few used gillnets longer than 100 m. Most fishermen reported they believed education, awareness, and changing occupations were important for GRD conservation, but they indicated that alternative occupational options were currently limited in Nepal. Nepalese fishermen acknowledged that fisheries posed a risk to GRD, but they believed water pollution, and dam/irrigation developments were

  17. Whale phylogeny and rapid radiation events revealed using novel retroposed elements and their flanking sequences

    Zhou Kaiya

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A diversity of hypotheses have been proposed based on both morphological and molecular data to reveal phylogenetic relationships within the order Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales, and great progress has been made in the past two decades. However, there is still some controversy concerning relationships among certain cetacean taxa such as river dolphins and delphinoid species, which needs to be further addressed with more markers in an effort to address unresolved portions of the phylogeny. Results An analysis of additional SINE insertions and SINE-flanking sequences supported the monophyly of the order Cetacea as well as Odontocete, Delphinoidea (Delphinidae + Phocoenidae + Mondontidae, and Delphinidae. A sister relationship between Delphinidae and Phocoenidae + Mondontidae was supported, and members of classical river dolphins and the genera Tursiops and Stenella were found to be paraphyletic. Estimates of divergence times revealed rapid divergences of basal Odontocete lineages in the Oligocene and Early Miocene, and a recent rapid diversification of Delphinidae in the Middle-Late Miocene and Pliocene within a narrow time frame. Conclusions Several novel SINEs were found to differentiate Delphinidae from the other two families (Monodontidae and Phocoenidae, whereas the sister grouping of the latter two families with exclusion of Delphinidae was further revealed using the SINE-flanking sequences. Interestingly, some anomalous PCR amplification patterns of SINE insertions were detected, which can be explained as the result of potential ancestral SINE polymorphisms and incomplete lineage sorting. Although a few loci were potentially anomalous, this study demonstrated that the SINE-based approach is a powerful tool in phylogenetic studies. Identifying additional SINE elements that resolve the relationships in the superfamily Delphinoidea and family Delphinidae will be important steps forward in completely resolving

  18. Assessing the Underwater Acoustics of the World's Largest Vibration Hammer (OCTA-KONG) and Its Potential Effects on the Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin (Sousa chinensis)

    Wang, Zhitao; Wu, Yuping; Duan, Guoqin; Cao, Hanjiang; Liu, Jianchang; Wang, Kexiong; Wang, Ding

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic noise in aquatic environments is a worldwide concern due to its potential adverse effects on the environment and aquatic life. The Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is currently under construction in the Pearl River Estuary, a hot spot for the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in China. The OCTA-KONG, the world's largest vibration hammer, is being used during this construction project to drive or extract steel shell piles 22 m in diameter. This activity poses a substantial threat to marine mammals, and an environmental assessment is critically needed. The underwater acoustic properties of the OCTA-KONG were analyzed, and the potential impacts of the underwater acoustic energy on Sousa, including auditory masking and physiological impacts, were assessed. The fundamental frequency of the OCTA-KONG vibration ranged from 15 Hz to 16 Hz, and the noise increments were below 20 kHz, with a dominant frequency and energy below 10 kHz. The resulting sounds are most likely detectable by Sousa over distances of up to 3.5 km from the source. Although Sousa clicks do not appear to be adversely affected, Sousa whistles are susceptible to auditory masking, which may negatively impact this species' social life. Therefore, a safety zone with a radius of 500 m is proposed. Although the zero-to-peak source level (SL) of the OCTA-KONG was lower than the physiological damage level, the maximum root-mean-square SL exceeded the cetacean safety exposure level on several occasions. Moreover, the majority of the unweighted cumulative source sound exposure levels (SSELs) and the cetacean auditory weighted cumulative SSELs exceeded the acoustic threshold levels for the onset of temporary threshold shift, a type of potentially recoverable auditory damage resulting from prolonged sound exposure. These findings may aid in the identification and design of appropriate mitigation methods, such as the use of air bubble curtains, “soft start” and “power down

  19. Assessing the underwater acoustics of the world's largest vibration hammer (OCTA-KONG and its potential effects on the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis.

    Zhitao Wang

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic noise in aquatic environments is a worldwide concern due to its potential adverse effects on the environment and aquatic life. The Hongkong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is currently under construction in the Pearl River Estuary, a hot spot for the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis in China. The OCTA-KONG, the world's largest vibration hammer, is being used during this construction project to drive or extract steel shell piles 22 m in diameter. This activity poses a substantial threat to marine mammals, and an environmental assessment is critically needed. The underwater acoustic properties of the OCTA-KONG were analyzed, and the potential impacts of the underwater acoustic energy on Sousa, including auditory masking and physiological impacts, were assessed. The fundamental frequency of the OCTA-KONG vibration ranged from 15 Hz to 16 Hz, and the noise increments were below 20 kHz, with a dominant frequency and energy below 10 kHz. The resulting sounds are most likely detectable by Sousa over distances of up to 3.5 km from the source. Although Sousa clicks do not appear to be adversely affected, Sousa whistles are susceptible to auditory masking, which may negatively impact this species' social life. Therefore, a safety zone with a radius of 500 m is proposed. Although the zero-to-peak source level (SL of the OCTA-KONG was lower than the physiological damage level, the maximum root-mean-square SL exceeded the cetacean safety exposure level on several occasions. Moreover, the majority of the unweighted cumulative source sound exposure levels (SSELs and the cetacean auditory weighted cumulative SSELs exceeded the acoustic threshold levels for the onset of temporary threshold shift, a type of potentially recoverable auditory damage resulting from prolonged sound exposure. These findings may aid in the identification and design of appropriate mitigation methods, such as the use of air bubble curtains, "soft start" and "power down

  20. Stranding Events of Kogia Whales along the Brazilian Coast.

    Jailson F Moura

    Full Text Available The genus Kogia, which comprises only two extant species, Kogia sima and Kogia breviceps, represents one of the least known groups of cetaceans in the global ocean. In some coastal regions, however, stranding events of these species have been relatively common over the last decades. Stranding provides the opportunity to investigate the biology of these cetaceans and to explore the epidemiological aspects associated with the mortality of the organisms found on the beach. A number of disturbances (including pelagic fisheries, chemical pollution, boat strikes, and noise pollution have been confirmed to pose a particular threat to the Kogia species. However, no study has yet investigated potential relationships between environmental conditions and stranding events. Here we analyse how a collection of environmental, physical, and biological variables, such as wind, sea surface temperature (SST, water depth, and chlorophyll-a, correlate to Kogia stranding events along the Brazilian coast. The results of our statistical analyses suggest that K. sima is more likely found in warm tropical waters, which provide an explanation for the high frequency of stranding in northeastern Brazilian coast. In contrast, K. breviceps appears to have a preference for temperate and productive waters. Wind speed results to be also an important factor for predicting Kogia strandings in Brazilian coast. Additionally, literature information in combination with our own data and analyses of stomach contents confirms that oceanic cephalopods constitute the primary nutritional source of both Kogia species. By using the available information as a qualitative proxy for habitat preference and feeding ecology, our study provides a novel and comprehensive assessment of Kogia stranding data in relation to environmental conditions along the Brazilian coast.

  1. Whale phylogeny and rapid radiation events revealed using novel retroposed elements and their flanking sequences.

    Chen, Zhuo; Xu, Shixia; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2011-10-27

    A diversity of hypotheses have been proposed based on both morphological and molecular data to reveal phylogenetic relationships within the order Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales), and great progress has been made in the past two decades. However, there is still some controversy concerning relationships among certain cetacean taxa such as river dolphins and delphinoid species, which needs to be further addressed with more markers in an effort to address unresolved portions of the phylogeny. An analysis of additional SINE insertions and SINE-flanking sequences supported the monophyly of the order Cetacea as well as Odontocete, Delphinoidea (Delphinidae + Phocoenidae + Mondontidae), and Delphinidae. A sister relationship between Delphinidae and Phocoenidae + Mondontidae was supported, and members of classical river dolphins and the genera Tursiops and Stenella were found to be paraphyletic. Estimates of divergence times revealed rapid divergences of basal Odontocete lineages in the Oligocene and Early Miocene, and a recent rapid diversification of Delphinidae in the Middle-Late Miocene and Pliocene within a narrow time frame. Several novel SINEs were found to differentiate Delphinidae from the other two families (Monodontidae and Phocoenidae), whereas the sister grouping of the latter two families with exclusion of Delphinidae was further revealed using the SINE-flanking sequences. Interestingly, some anomalous PCR amplification patterns of SINE insertions were detected, which can be explained as the result of potential ancestral SINE polymorphisms and incomplete lineage sorting. Although a few loci were potentially anomalous, this study demonstrated that the SINE-based approach is a powerful tool in phylogenetic studies. Identifying additional SINE elements that resolve the relationships in the superfamily Delphinoidea and family Delphinidae will be important steps forward in completely resolving cetacean phylogenetic relationships in the future.

  2. ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF A NOVEL MARINE BRUCELLA FROM A SOUTHERN SEA OTTER (ENHYDRA LUTRIS NEREIS), CALIFORNIA, USA.

    Miller, Melissa A; Burgess, Tristan L; Dodd, Erin M; Rhyan, Jack C; Jang, Spencer S; Byrne, Barbara A; Gulland, Frances M D; Murray, Michael J; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Conrad, Patricia A; Field, Cara L; Sidor, Inga F; Smith, Woutrina A

    2017-04-01

    We characterize Brucella infection in a wild southern sea otter ( Enhydra lutris nereis) with osteolytic lesions similar to those reported in other marine mammals and humans. This otter stranded twice along the central California coast, US over a 1-yr period and was handled extensively at two wildlife rehabilitation facilities, undergoing multiple surgeries and months of postsurgical care. Ultimately the otter was euthanized due to severe, progressive neurologic disease. Necropsy and postmortem radiographs revealed chronic, severe osteoarthritis spanning the proximal interphalangeal joint of the left hind fifth digit. Numerous coccobacilli within the joint were strongly positive on Brucella immunohistochemical labelling, and Brucella sp. was isolated in pure culture from this lesion. Sparse Brucella-immunopositive bacteria were also observed in the cytoplasm of a pulmonary vascular monocyte, and multifocal granulomas were observed in the spinal cord and liver on histopathology. Findings from biochemical characterization, 16S ribosomal DNA, and bp26 gene sequencing of the bacterial isolate were identical to those from marine-origin brucellae isolated from cetaceans and phocids. Although omp2a gene sequencing revealed 100% homology with marine Brucella spp. infecting pinnipeds, whales, and humans, omp2b gene sequences were identical only to pinniped-origin isolates. Multilocus sequence typing classified the sea otter isolate as ST26, a sequence type previously associated only with cetaceans. Our data suggest that the sea otter Brucella strain represents a novel marine lineage that is distinct from both Brucella pinnipedialis and Brucella ceti. Prior reports document the zoonotic potential of the marine brucellae. Isolation of Brucella sp. from a stranded sea otter highlights the importance of wearing personal protective equipment when handling sea otters and other marine mammals as part of wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts.

  3. Organization of the sleep-related neural systems in the brain of the river hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius): A most unusual cetartiodactyl species.

    Dell, Leigh-Anne; Patzke, Nina; Spocter, Muhammad A; Bertelsen, Mads F; Siegel, Jerome M; Manger, Paul R

    2016-07-01

    This study provides the first systematic analysis of the nuclear organization of the neural systems related to sleep and wake in the basal forebrain, diencephalon, midbrain, and pons of the river hippopotamus, one of the closest extant terrestrial relatives of the cetaceans. All nuclei involved in sleep regulation and control found in other mammals, including cetaceans, were present in the river hippopotamus, with no specific nuclei being absent, but novel features of the cholinergic system, including novel nuclei, were present. This qualitative similarity relates to the cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, and orexinergic systems and is extended to the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic elements of these nuclei. Quantitative analysis reveals that the numbers of pontine cholinergic (259,578) and noradrenergic (127,752) neurons, and hypothalamic orexinergic neurons (68,398) are markedly higher than in other large-brained mammals. These features, along with novel cholinergic nuclei in the intralaminar nuclei of the dorsal thalamus and the ventral tegmental area of the midbrain, as well as a major expansion of the hypothalamic cholinergic nuclei and a large laterodorsal tegmental nucleus of the pons that has both parvocellular and magnocellular cholinergic neurons, indicates an unusual sleep phenomenology for the hippopotamus. Our observations indicate that the hippopotamus is likely to be a bihemispheric sleeper that expresses REM sleep. The novel features of the cholinergic system suggest the presence of an undescribed sleep state in the hippopotamus, as well as the possibility that this animal could, more rapidly than other mammals, switch cortical electroencephalographic activity from one state to another. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2036-2058, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Natural and anthropogenically-produced brominated compounds in endemic dolphins from Western South Atlantic: Another risk to a vulnerable species

    Alonso, Mariana B.; Eljarrat, Ethel; Gorga, Marina; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Bassoi, Manuela; Barbosa, Lupércio; Bertozzi, Carolina P.; Marigo, Juliana; Cremer, Marta; Domit, Camila; Azevedo, Alexandre F.; Dorneles, Paulo R.; Torres, João Paulo M.

    2012-01-01

    Liver samples from 53 Franciscana dolphins along the Brazilian coast were analyzed for organobrominated compounds. Target substances included the following anthropogenic pollutants: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), pentabromoethylbenzene (PBEB), hexabromobenzene (HBB), decabromodiphenylethane (DBDPE), as well as the naturally-generated methoxylated-PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs). PBDE concentrations ranged from 6 to 1797 ng/g lw (mean 166 ± 298 ng/g lw) and were similar to those observed in cetaceans from Northern Hemisphere. PBBs were found in all sampling locations (< LOQ to 57 ng/g lw). DBDPE was detected in 42% of the dolphins from the most industrialized Brazilian state and the concentrations ranging from < LOQ to 352 ng/g lw. Franciscana dolphins from the tropical Brazilian shore presented the highest MeO-PBDE concentrations ever reported for coastal cetaceans (up to 14 μg/g lw). Eight MeO-PBDE congeners were detected and the present investigation constituted the first record of occurrence of six of them in marine mammal livers. - Highlights: ► PBDE, emerging BFR and MeO-PBDE levels in Franciscana dolphin from Brazil were reported. ► Six MeO-PBDEs were detected for the first time in marine mammals. ► PBDE contamination was similar than those from other industrialized areas around the world. ► MeO-PBDEs presented the higher concentrations found in coastal biota worldwide. - Concentrations and accumulation profiles of PBDEs, MeO-PBDEs and emerging brominated compounds in livers of dolphins from South Atlantic.

  5. Summer distribution and ecological role of seabirds and marine mammals in the Norwegian and Greenland seas (June 1988)

    Joiris, Claude R.

    1992-03-01

    During the ARK V /2 expedition of RV Polarstern in the Norwegian and Greenland seas in June 1988, 380 half hour counts for marine vertebrates (seabirds, pinnipeds and cetaceans) were carried out. Results are presented as total numbers encountered and then converted into density and food intake. Mean food intake was 2.2 kg fresh weight per km 2 per day for seabirds, with a higher value in Atlantic water (2.5) lower values in polar water and the pack ice (1.7 and 1.9), and an intermediate value at the ice edge. The main species were the alcids (1.5, primarily Little Auk, Alle alle and Brünnich's Guillemot, Urea Iomvia) ,the Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis (0.5), and the Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla (0.2). The ecological role of cetaceans was clearly lower, with a mean value of 0.2 and a maximum of 0.7 in Atlantic water (rough evaluation, due to the low number of contacts). The food intake by pinnipeds was 0.55 kg/km 2 day at the ice edge and 0.4 in the pack ice; they were mainly harp, Phoca groenlandica and hooded seals, Cystophora cristata, in one main concentration each and ringed seals, Phoca hispida, scattered on the pack. Data for July 1988 show a great similarity with these results, except for a lower density of alcids, which probably reflects that Little Auk, Brünnich's Guillemot and Common Guillemot, Uria aalge already had started to leave the region.

  6. Seven new dolphin mitochondrial genomes and a time-calibrated phylogeny of whales

    Zhou Kaiya

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The phylogeny of Cetacea (whales is not fully resolved with substantial support. The ambiguous and conflicting results of multiple phylogenetic studies may be the result of the use of too little data, phylogenetic methods that do not adequately capture the complex nature of DNA evolution, or both. In addition, there is also evidence that the generic taxonomy of Delphinidae (dolphins underestimates its diversity. To remedy these problems, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of seven dolphins and analyzed these data with partitioned Bayesian analyses. Moreover, we incorporate a newly-developed "relaxed" molecular clock to model heterogenous rates of evolution among cetacean lineages. Results The "deep" phylogenetic relationships are well supported including the monophyly of Cetacea and Odontoceti. However, there is ambiguity in the phylogenetic affinities of two of the river dolphin clades Platanistidae (Indian River dolphins and Lipotidae (Yangtze River dolphins. The phylogenetic analyses support a sister relationship between Delphinidae and Monodontidae + Phocoenidae. Additionally, there is statistically significant support for the paraphyly of Tursiops (bottlenose dolphins and Stenella (spotted dolphins. Conclusion Our phylogenetic analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes using recently developed models of rate autocorrelation resolved the phylogenetic relationships of the major Cetacean lineages with a high degree of confidence. Our results indicate that a rapid radiation of lineages explains the lack of support the placement of Platanistidae and Lipotidae. Moreover, our estimation of molecular divergence dates indicates that these radiations occurred in the Middle to Late Oligocene and Middle Miocene, respectively. Furthermore, by collecting and analyzing seven new mitochondrial genomes, we provide strong evidence that the delphinid genera Tursiops and Stenella are not monophyletic, and the current taxonomy

  7. Sequence analysis of dolphin ferritin H and L subunits and possible iron-dependent translational control of dolphin ferritin gene

    Sasaki Yukako

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Iron-storage protein, ferritin plays a central role in iron metabolism. Ferritin has dual function to store iron and segregate iron for protection of iron-catalyzed reactive oxygen species. Tissue ferritin is composed of two kinds of subunits (H: heavy chain or heart-type subunit; L: light chain or liver-type subunit. Ferritin gene expression is controlled at translational level in iron-dependent manner or at transcriptional level in iron-independent manner. However, sequencing analysis of marine mammalian ferritin subunits has not yet been performed fully. The purpose of this study is to reveal cDNA-derived amino acid sequences of cetacean ferritin H and L subunits, and demonstrate the possibility of expression of these subunits, especially H subunit, by iron. Methods Sequence analyses of cetacean ferritin H and L subunits were performed by direct sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR fragments from cDNAs generated via reverse transcription-PCR of leukocyte total RNA prepared from blood samples of six different dolphin species (Pseudorca crassidens, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens, Grampus griseus, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Tursiops truncatus, and Delphinapterus leucas. The putative iron-responsive element sequence in the 5'-untranslated region of the six different dolphin species was revealed by direct sequencing of PCR fragments obtained using leukocyte genomic DNA. Results Dolphin H and L subunits consist of 182 and 174 amino acids, respectively, and amino acid sequence identities of ferritin subunits among these dolphins are highly conserved (H: 99–100%, (99→98 ; L: 98–100%. The conserved 28 bp IRE sequence was located -144 bp upstream from the initiation codon in the six different dolphin species. Conclusion These results indicate that six different dolphin species have conserved ferritin sequences, and suggest that these genes are iron-dependently expressed.

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

    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

  9. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Occurrence and Foraging Activity of Coastal Dolphins in Menai Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    Andrew J Temple

    Full Text Available Understanding temporal patterns in distribution, occurrence and behaviour is vital for the effective conservation of cetaceans. This study used cetacean click detectors (C-PODs to investigate spatial and temporal variation in occurrence and foraging activity of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus and Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea dolphins resident in the Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Occurrence was measured using detection positive minutes. Inter-click intervals were used to identify terminal buzz vocalisations, allowing for analysis of foraging activity. Data were analysed in relation to spatial (location and temporal (monsoon season, diel phase and tidal phase variables. Results showed significantly increased occurrence and foraging activity of dolphins in southern areas and during hours of darkness. Higher occurrence at night was not explained by diel variation in echolocation rate and so were considered representative of occurrence patterns. Both tidal phase and monsoon season influenced occurrence but results varied among sites, with no general patterns found. Foraging activity was greatest during hours of darkness, High water and Flood tidal phases. Comparisons of echolocation data among sites suggested differences in the broadband click spectra of MBCA dolphins, possibly indicative of species differences. These dolphin populations are threatened by unsustainable fisheries bycatch and tourism activities. The spatial and temporal patterns identified in this study have implications for future conservation and management actions with regards to these two threats. Further, the results indicate future potential for using passive acoustics to identify and monitor the occurrence of these two species in areas where they co-exist.

  10. Unihemispheric sleep and asymmetrical sleep: behavioral, neurophysiological, and functional perspectives.

    Mascetti, Gian Gastone

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is a behavior characterized by a typical body posture, both eyes' closure, raised sensory threshold, distinctive electrographic signs, and a marked decrease of motor activity. In addition, sleep is a periodically necessary behavior and therefore, in the majority of animals, it involves the whole brain and body. However, certain marine mammals and species of birds show a different sleep behavior, in which one cerebral hemisphere sleeps while the other is awake. In dolphins, eared seals, and manatees, unihemispheric sleep allows them to have the benefits of sleep, breathing, thermoregulation, and vigilance. In birds, antipredation vigilance is the main function of unihemispheric sleep, but in domestic chicks, it is also associated with brain lateralization or dominance in the control of behavior. Compared to bihemispheric sleep, unihemispheric sleep would mean a reduction of the time spent sleeping and of the associated recovery processes. However, the behavior and health of aquatic mammals and birds does not seem at all impaired by the reduction of sleep. The neural mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep are unknown, but assuming that the neural structures involved in sleep in cetaceans, seals, and birds are similar to those of terrestrial mammals, it is suggested that they involve the interaction of structures of the hypothalamus, basal forebrain, and brain stem. The neural mechanisms promoting wakefulness dominate one side of the brain, while those promoting sleep predominates the other side. For cetaceans, unihemispheric sleep is the only way to sleep, while in seals and birds, unihemispheric sleep events are intermingled with bihemispheric and rapid eye movement sleep events. Electroencephalogram hemispheric asymmetries are also reported during bihemispheric sleep, at awakening, and at sleep onset, as well as being associated with a use-dependent process (local sleep).

  11. Unihemispheric sleep and asymmetrical sleep: behavioral, neurophysiological, and functional perspectives

    Mascetti GG

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Gian Gastone Mascetti Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy Abstract: Sleep is a behavior characterized by a typical body posture, both eyes' closure, raised sensory threshold, distinctive electrographic signs, and a marked decrease of motor activity. In addition, sleep is a periodically necessary behavior and therefore, in the majority of animals, it involves the whole brain and body. However, certain marine mammals and species of birds show a different sleep behavior, in which one cerebral hemisphere sleeps while the other is awake. In dolphins, eared seals, and manatees, unihemispheric sleep allows them to have the benefits of sleep, breathing, thermoregulation, and vigilance. In birds, antipredation vigilance is the main function of unihemispheric sleep, but in domestic chicks, it is also associated with brain lateralization or dominance in the control of behavior. Compared to bihemispheric sleep, unihemispheric sleep would mean a reduction of the time spent sleeping and of the associated recovery processes. However, the behavior and health of aquatic mammals and birds does not seem at all impaired by the reduction of sleep. The neural mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep are unknown, but assuming that the neural structures involved in sleep in cetaceans, seals, and birds are similar to those of terrestrial mammals, it is suggested that they involve the interaction of structures of the hypothalamus, basal forebrain, and brain stem. The neural mechanisms promoting wakefulness dominate one side of the brain, while those promoting sleep predominates the other side. For cetaceans, unihemispheric sleep is the only way to sleep, while in seals and birds, unihemispheric sleep events are intermingled with bihemispheric and rapid eye movement sleep events. Electroencephalogram hemispheric asymmetries are also reported during bihemispheric sleep, at awakening, and at sleep onset, as well as being associated with a use

  12. Recovery trends in marine mammal populations.

    Anna M Magera

    Full Text Available Marine mammals have greatly benefitted from a shift from resource exploitation towards conservation. Often lauded as symbols of conservation success, some marine mammal populations have shown remarkable recoveries after severe depletions. Others have remained at low abundance levels, continued to decline, or become extinct or extirpated. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of (1 publicly available population-level abundance data for marine mammals worldwide, (2 abundance trends and recovery status, and (3 historic population decline and recent recovery. We compiled 182 population abundance time series for 47 species and identified major data gaps. In order to compare across the largest possible set of time series with varying data quality, quantity and frequency, we considered an increase in population abundance as evidence of recovery. Using robust log-linear regression over three generations, we were able to classify abundance trends for 92 spatially non-overlapping populations as Significantly Increasing (42%, Significantly Decreasing (10%, Non-Significant Change (28% and Unknown (20%. Our results were comparable to IUCN classifications for equivalent species. Among different groupings, pinnipeds and other marine mammals (sirenians, polar bears and otters showed the highest proportion of recovering populations, likely benefiting from relatively fast life histories and nearshore habitats that provided visibility and protective management measures. Recovery was less frequent among cetaceans, but more common in coastal than offshore populations. For marine mammals with available historical abundance estimates (n = 47, larger historical population declines were associated with low or variable recent recoveries so far. Overall, our results show that many formerly depleted marine mammal populations are recovering. However, data-deficient populations and those with decreasing and non-significant trends require attention. In particular

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

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

    2015-10-15

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Artur Andriolo

    2010-10-01

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

  16. What caused the UK's largest common dolphin (Delphinus delphis mass stranding event?

    Paul D Jepson

    Full Text Available On 9 June 2008, the UK's largest mass stranding event (MSE of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis occurred in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall. At least 26 dolphins died, and a similar number was refloated/herded back to sea. On necropsy, all dolphins were in good nutritive status with empty stomachs and no evidence of known infectious disease or acute physical injury. Auditory tissues were grossly normal (26/26 but had microscopic haemorrhages (5/5 and mild otitis media (1/5 in the freshest cases. Five lactating adult dolphins, one immature male, and one immature female tested were free of harmful algal toxins and had low chemical pollutant levels. Pathological evidence of mud/seawater inhalation (11/26, local tide cycle, and the relative lack of renal myoglobinuria (26/26 suggested MSE onset on a rising tide between 06:30 and 08∶21 hrs (9 June. Potential causes excluded or considered highly unlikely included infectious disease, gas/fat embolism, boat strike, by-catch, predator attack, foraging unusually close to shore, chemical or algal toxin exposure, abnormal weather/climatic conditions, and high-intensity acoustic inputs from seismic airgun arrays or natural sources (e.g., earthquakes. International naval exercises did occur in close proximity to the MSE with the most intense part of the exercises (including mid-frequency sonars occurring four days before the MSE and resuming with helicopter exercises on the morning of the MSE. The MSE may therefore have been a "two-stage process" where a group of normally pelagic dolphins entered Falmouth Bay and, after 3-4 days in/around the Bay, a second acoustic/disturbance event occurred causing them to strand en masse. This spatial and temporal association with the MSE, previous associations between naval activities and cetacean MSEs, and an absence of other identifiable factors known to cause cetacean MSEs, indicates naval activity to be the most probable cause of the Falmouth Bay MSE.

  17. Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants in arctic marine mammals.

    Norstrom, R J; Muir, D C

    1994-09-16

    By 1976, the presence of chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants (CHCs) had been demonstrated in fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), ringed seal (Phoca hispida), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata), bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus), walrus (Obdobenus rosmarus divergens), beluga (Delphinapterus leucas), porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in various parts of the Arctic. In spite of this early interest, very little subsequent research on contaminants in Arctic marine mammals was undertaken until the mid-1980s. Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest, resulting in a much expanded data base on contaminants in Arctic marine mammals. Except in the Russian Arctic, data have now been obtained on the temporospatial distribution of PCBs and other contaminants in ringed seal, beluga and polar bear. Contaminants in narwhal (Monodon monoceros) have also now been measured. On a fat weight basis, the sum of DDT-related compounds (S-DDT) and PCB levels are lowest in walrus (Polar bears have similar levels of PCBs as cetaceans (1-10 micrograms/g), but with a much simpler congener pattern. DDE levels are lowest in polar bear, indicating rapid metabolism. Effects of age and sex on residue levels are found for all species where this was measured. Among cetaceans and ringed seal, sexually mature females have lower levels than males due to lactation. Although PCB levels in adult male polar bears are about twice as high as females, there is only a trivial age effect in either sex apart from an initial decrease from birth to sexual maturity (age 0-5). Comparison of levels of S-DDT and PCBs in Arctic beluga and ringed seal with those in beluga in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and ringed seal in the Baltic Sea, indicate that overall contamination of the Arctic marine ecosystem is 10-50 times less than the most highly contaminated areas in the northern hemisphere temperate latitude marine environment. Geographic distribution of residue levels in polar bears

  18. Longitudinal evaluation of leukocyte transcripts in killer whales (Orcinus Orca)

    Sitt, Tatjana; Bowen, Lizabeth; Lee, Chia-Shan; Blanchard, Myra; McBain, James; Dold, Christopher; Stott, Jeffrey L.

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of illness and/or presence of environmental and/or social stressors in free-ranging and domestic cetaceans is a priority for marine mammal health care professionals. Incorporation of leukocyte gene transcript analysis into the diagnostic tool kit has the potential to augment classical diagnostics based upon ease of sample storage and shipment, inducible nature and well-defined roles of transcription and associated downstream actions. Development of biomarkers that could serve to identify “insults” and potentially differentiate disease etiology would be of great diagnostic value. To this end, a modest number of peripheral blood leukocyte gene transcripts were selected for application to a domestic killer whale population with a focus on broad representation of inducible immunologically relevant genes. Normalized leukocyte transcript values, longitudinally acquired from 232 blood samples derived from 26 clinically healthy whales, were not visibly influenced temporally nor by sex or the specific Park in which they resided. Stability in leukocyte transcript number during periods of health enhances their potential use in diagnostics through identification of outliers. Transcript levels of two cytokine genes, IL-4 and IL-17, were highly variable within the group as compared to the other transcripts. IL-4 transcripts were typically absent. Analysis of transcript levels on the other genes of interest, on an individual animal basis, identified more outliers than were visible when analyzed in the context of the entire population. The majority of outliers (9 samples) were low, though elevated transcripts were identified for IL-17 from 2 animals and one each for Cox-2 and IL-10. The low number of outliers was not unexpected as sample selection was intentionally directed towards animals that were clinically healthy at the time of collection. Outliers may reflect animals experiencing subclinical disease that is transient and self-limiting. The

  19. Is it possible to go whale watching off the coast of Peru?: A case study of humpback whales ¿Es posible hacer turismo de observación de ballenas en la costa de Perú?: Un caso de estudio con ballenas jorobadas

    Aldo S Pacheco

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Whale watching is the human activity of encountering cetaceans in their natural habitat for recreational and scientific purposes. Despite the high diversity of cetaceans in Peruvian waters, this activity has yet to be developed. Herein we present data regarding the distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae off northern Peru, evaluating the possibility of extending whale watching activities in this area. Data were obtained from surveys conducted from an ecotourism boat. Humpbacks were distributed in shallow waters, usually in pairs or trios throughout the study period between late July and late September. The presence of whales off northern Peru is due to winter migration for breeding and calving purposes. A high probability of encountering humpbacks within the study area could encourage the development of a whale watching industry. As this stage in the life cycle of this species is very delicate, we suggest the adoption of the precautionary principie in the management of the activity in order to minimize the risk of negative impacts on humpback populations. Whale watching in northern Peru is feasible and could be considered an alternative to fishing.La observación de ballenas es la actividad humana de observar estos cetáceos en su habitat natural con fines recreacionales y científicos. A pesar de la alta diversidad de cetáceos en aguas del Perú, esta actividad no ha sido desarrollada. En este estudio se presentan datos sobre la distribución de la ballena jorobada (Megaptera novaeangliae en un area de la costa norte del Perú, con el objetivo de evaluar la posibilidad de extender el turismo de observación de ballenas jorobadas. La información proviene de muéstreos realizados en un bote de ecoturismo. Las ballenas jorobadas se distribuyeron en aguas someras usualmente en pares o tríos y estuvieron presentes de manera permanente entre fines de julio y fines de septiembre. La presencia de esta especie en el area resulta de la

  20. La Spezia and the research network for outreach and education in marine sciences.

    Locritani, Marina; Furia, Stefania; Giacomazzi, Fabio; Merlino, Silvia; Mori, Anna; Nacini, Francesca; Nardi, Elisabetta; Stroobant, Mascha; Talamoni, Roberta; Zocco, Olivia

    2013-04-01

    La Spezia is a small town located in the southeastern corner of the Liguria Region (Italy). The close relationship with the sea conditioned the ancient and recent activities of the town that embraces the namesake gulf. The Gulf of La Spezia overlooks on the Liguria Sea which is characterized by a high biodiversity, due to the heritage of coastal habitats, where numerous interesting species to preserve live, often a priority for the EC Directives. Therefore, along the Liguria arc, five coastal Marine Protected Areas have been instituted, two of them insist in La Spezia Province: the Marine Protected Areas of Cinque Terre National Park and Porto Venere Regional Park, both included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moreover, the importance of the cetacean communities in the Ligurian Sea led to the establishment of the Cetacean Sanctuary. Resulting from a positive geographic coincidence, six Research Institutions are located in La Spezia: CMRE-NATO (Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, formerly NURC-NATO Undersea Research Centre), CNR (National Research Council), CSSN (Naval Experimentation and Support Centre - Navy), ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), INGV (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), Polo Universitario Marconi (University of Genoa - seat of La Spezia). These Institutions share a long time experience of work at sea and in coastal environments according to their different scientific interests (biology, engineering, geology, physic, and oceanography). Moreover, in 2009 the Liguria Region promoted the institution of the Liguria Cluster of Marine Technologies (Distretto Ligure delle Tecnologie Marine), whose core target is the regional development of marine technologies and science. This unique concentration of Research Institutes, Marine Protected Areas and sea activities (civil and military) brought to implement a collaborative network among the scientific and territorial

  1. An ecosystem services perspective for the oceanic eastern tropical Pacific: commercial fisheries, carbon storage, recreational fishing, and biodiversity

    Summer Lynn Martin

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The ocean provides ecosystem services (ES that support humanity. Traditional single-issue management largely failed to protect the full suite of ES. Ecosystem-based management (EBM promotes resilient social-ecological systems that provide ES. To implement EBM, an ES approach is useful: 1 characterize major ES provided (magnitude, geographic extent, monetary value, trends, and stakeholders, 2 identify trade-offs, 3 determine desired outcomes, and 4 manage anthropogenic activities accordingly. Here we apply the ES approach (steps 1-2 to an open ocean ecosystem, the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP, an area of 21 million km2 that includes waters of 12 nations and the oceanic commons, using 35 years (1975-2010 of fisheries and economic data, and 20 years (1986-2006 of ship-based survey data. We examined commercial fisheries, carbon storage, biodiversity, and recreational fishing as the major provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ES, respectively. Average catch value (using U.S. import prices for fish for the 10 most commercially fished species was $2.7 billion yr-1. The value of carbon export to the deep ocean was $12.9 billion yr-1 (using average European carbon market prices. For two fisheries-depleted dolphin populations, the potential value of rebuilding carbon stores was $1.6 million (cumulative; for exploited fish stocks it was also $1.6 million (an estimated reduction of 544,000 mt. Sport fishing expenditures totaled $1.2 billion yr-1, from studies of three popular destinations. These initial, conservative estimates do not represent a complete summary of ETP ES values. We produced species richness maps for cetaceans, seabirds, and ichthyoplankton, and a sightings density map for marine turtles. Over 1/3 of cetacean, seabird, and marine turtle species occur in the ETP, and diversity (or density hotspots are widespread. This study fills several gaps in the assessment of marine and coastal ES by focusing on an oceanic habitat

  2. A remarkable diversity of bone-eating worms (Osedax; Siboglinidae; Annelida

    Johnson Shannon B

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bone-eating Osedax worms have proved to be surprisingly diverse and widespread. Including the initial description of this genus in 2004, five species that live at depths between 25 and 3,000 m in the eastern and western Pacific and in the north Atlantic have been named to date. Here, we provide molecular and morphological evidence for 12 additional evolutionary lineages from Monterey Bay, California. To assess their phylogenetic relationships and possible status as new undescribed species, we examined DNA sequences from two mitochondrial (COI and 16S rRNA and three nuclear genes (H3, 18S and 28S rRNA. Results Phylogenetic analyses identified 17 distinct evolutionary lineages. Levels of sequence divergence among the undescribed lineages were similar to those found among the named species. The 17 lineages clustered into five well-supported clades that also differed for a number of key morphological traits. Attempts to determine the evolutionary age of Osedax depended on prior assumptions about nucleotide substitution rates. According to one scenario involving a molecular clock calibrated for shallow marine invertebrates, Osedax split from its siboglinid relatives about 45 million years ago when archeocete cetaceans first appeared and then diversified during the late Oligocene and early Miocene when toothed and baleen whales appeared. Alternatively, the use of a slower clock calibrated for deep-sea annelids suggested that Osedax split from its siboglinid relatives during the Cretaceous and began to diversify during the Early Paleocene, at least 20 million years before the origin of large marine mammals. Conclusion To help resolve uncertainties about the evolutionary age of Osedax, we suggest that the fossilized bones from Cretaceous marine reptiles and late Oligocene cetaceans be examined for possible trace fossils left by Osedax roots. Regardless of the outcome, the present molecular evidence for strong phylogenetic concordance

  3. What Caused the UK's Largest Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) Mass Stranding Event?

    Jepson, Paul D.; Deaville, Robert; Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Barnett, James; Brownlow, Andrew; Brownell Jr., Robert L.; Clare, Frances C.; Davison, Nick; Law, Robin J.; Loveridge, Jan; Macgregor, Shaheed K.; Morris, Steven; Murphy, Sinéad; Penrose, Rod; Perkins, Matthew W.; Pinn, Eunice; Seibel, Henrike; Siebert, Ursula; Sierra, Eva; Simpson, Victor; Tasker, Mark L.; Tregenza, Nick; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Fernández, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    On 9 June 2008, the UK's largest mass stranding event (MSE) of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) occurred in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall. At least 26 dolphins died, and a similar number was refloated/herded back to sea. On necropsy, all dolphins were in good nutritive status with empty stomachs and no evidence of known infectious disease or acute physical injury. Auditory tissues were grossly normal (26/26) but had microscopic haemorrhages (5/5) and mild otitis media (1/5) in the freshest cases. Five lactating adult dolphins, one immature male, and one immature female tested were free of harmful algal toxins and had low chemical pollutant levels. Pathological evidence of mud/seawater inhalation (11/26), local tide cycle, and the relative lack of renal myoglobinuria (26/26) suggested MSE onset on a rising tide between 06∶30 and 08∶21 hrs (9 June). Potential causes excluded or considered highly unlikely included infectious disease, gas/fat embolism, boat strike, by-catch, predator attack, foraging unusually close to shore, chemical or algal toxin exposure, abnormal weather/climatic conditions, and high-intensity acoustic inputs from seismic airgun arrays or natural sources (e.g., earthquakes). International naval exercises did occur in close proximity to the MSE with the most intense part of the exercises (including mid-frequency sonars) occurring four days before the MSE and resuming with helicopter exercises on the morning of the MSE. The MSE may therefore have been a “two-stage process” where a group of normally pelagic dolphins entered Falmouth Bay and, after 3–4 days in/around the Bay, a second acoustic/disturbance event occurred causing them to strand en masse. This spatial and temporal association with the MSE, previous associations between naval activities and cetacean MSEs, and an absence of other identifiable factors known to cause cetacean MSEs, indicates naval activity to be the most probable cause of the Falmouth Bay MSE. PMID

  4. Phylogenetic review of tonal sound production in whales in relation to sociality

    Agnarsson Ingi

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is widely held that in toothed whales, high frequency tonal sounds called 'whistles' evolved in association with 'sociality' because in delphinids they are used in a social context. Recently, whistles were hypothesized to be an evolutionary innovation of social dolphins (the 'dolphin hypothesis'. However, both 'whistles' and 'sociality' are broad concepts each representing a conglomerate of characters. Many non-delphinids, whether solitary or social, produce tonal sounds that share most of the acoustic characteristics of delphinid whistles. Furthermore, hypotheses of character correlation are best tested in a phylogenetic context, which has hitherto not been done. Here we summarize data from over 300 studies on cetacean tonal sounds and social structure and phylogenetically test existing hypotheses on their co-evolution. Results Whistles are 'complex' tonal sounds of toothed whales that demark a more inclusive clade than the social dolphins. Whistles are also used by some riverine species that live in simple societies, and have been lost twice within the social delphinoids, all observations that are inconsistent with the dolphin hypothesis as stated. However, cetacean tonal sounds and sociality are intertwined: (1 increased tonal sound modulation significantly correlates with group size and social structure; (2 changes in tonal sound complexity are significantly concentrated on social branches. Also, duration and minimum frequency correlate as do group size and mean minimum frequency. Conclusion Studying the evolutionary correlation of broad concepts, rather than that of their component characters, is fraught with difficulty, while limits of available data restrict the detail in which component character correlations can be analyzed in this case. Our results support the hypothesis that sociality influences the evolution of tonal sound complexity. The level of social and whistle complexity are correlated, suggesting that

  5. Accounting for subgroup structure in line-transect abundance estimates of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens in Hawaiian waters.

    Amanda L Bradford

    Full Text Available For biological populations that form aggregations (or clusters of individuals, cluster size is an important parameter in line-transect abundance estimation and should be accurately measured. Cluster size in cetaceans has traditionally been represented as the total number of individuals in a group, but group size may be underestimated if group members are spatially diffuse. Groups of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens can comprise numerous subgroups that are dispersed over tens of kilometers, leading to a spatial mismatch between a detected group and the theoretical framework of line-transect analysis. Three stocks of false killer whales are found within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone of the Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian EEZ: an insular main Hawaiian Islands stock, a pelagic stock, and a Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI stock. A ship-based line-transect survey of the Hawaiian EEZ was conducted in the summer and fall of 2010, resulting in six systematic-effort visual sightings of pelagic (n = 5 and NWHI (n = 1 false killer whale groups. The maximum number and spatial extent of subgroups per sighting was 18 subgroups and 35 km, respectively. These sightings were combined with data from similar previous surveys and analyzed within the conventional line-transect estimation framework. The detection function, mean cluster size, and encounter rate were estimated separately to appropriately incorporate data collected using different methods. Unlike previous line-transect analyses of cetaceans, subgroups were treated as the analytical cluster instead of groups because subgroups better conform to the specifications of line-transect theory. Bootstrap values (n = 5,000 of the line-transect parameters were randomly combined to estimate the variance of stock-specific abundance estimates. Hawai'i pelagic and NWHI false killer whales were estimated to number 1,552 (CV = 0.66; 95% CI = 479-5,030 and 552 (CV = 1.09; 95% CI = 97

  6. The stratigraphic distribution of large marine vertebrates and shell beds in the Pliocene of Tuscany

    Dominici, Stefano; Benvenuti, Marco; Danise, Silvia

    2015-04-01

    The record of 337 shark fossils, 142 cetaceans and 10 sea cows from the Pliocene of Tuscany, mostly from historical museum collections, is revised. The majority of these fossils are concentrated at a few geographic sites from separated hinterland basins, on the South-Western side of the Northern Apennines. To better understand the meaning of these concentrations, the sequence stratigraphic distribution of more recent findings of large marine vertebrates is reconstructed against a high-resolution framework based on sedimentary facies analysis. These remains are usually covered by, or included in mudstones deposited far from the coast (N=12), skeletons being usually articulated, slightly displaced, and often bioeroded. A minor part of better preserved articulated skeletons is associated with sandstones from deltaic paleonenvironments (N=2). Marine mammal and shark remains may be associated with laterally-continuous shell accumulations, a type of concentration occurring at maximum flooding surfaces, separating relatively coarse-grained facies from open marine mudstones. Shell beds were bulk-sampled at 66 locations from six basins, covering a wide range of sedimentary facies, and spanning a chronologic interval of about 2.5 million years. A dataset of 62,655 mollusc specimens belonging to 496 species formed the basis of a statistical study to reconstruct the structure of the benthic communities, and to estimate paleodepths from intertidal to upper bathyal settings. Mollusc associations closely mirror the distribution of sedimentary facies, allowing for a fine tuning of the sequence stratigraphic architecture. Merging paleogeographic, stratigraphic and paleoecologic data, we conclude that the more abundant and diverse accumulations of large vertebrates took place in settings under the influence of coastal upwelling. A modern analogue occurs today in the Ligurian Sea, on the Tuscan offshore, where abundant nutrients carried by deep-marine currents of Western origin

  7. Anatomy, feeding ecology, and ontogeny of a transitional baleen whale: a new genus and species of Eomysticetidae (Mammalia: Cetacea) from the Oligocene of New Zealand

    Fordyce, R. Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The Eocene history of cetacean evolution is now represented by the expansive fossil record of archaeocetes elucidating major morphofunctional shifts relating to the land to sea transition, but the change from archaeocetes to modern cetaceans is poorly established. New fossil material of the recently recognized family Eomysticetidae from the upper Oligocene Otekaike Limestone includes a new genus and species, Waharoa ruwhenua, represented by skulls and partial skeletons of an adult, juvenile, and a smaller juvenile. Ontogenetic status is confirmed by osteohistology of ribs. Waharoa ruwhenua is characterized by an elongate and narrow rostrum which retains vestigial alveoli and alveolar grooves. Palatal foramina and sulci are present only on the posterior half of the palate. The nasals are elongate, and the bony nares are positioned far anteriorly. Enormous temporal fossae are present adjacent to an elongate and narrow intertemporal region with a sharp sagittal crest. The earbones are characterized by retaining inner and outer posterior pedicles, lacking fused posterior processes, and retaining a separate accessory ossicle. Phylogenetic analysis supports inclusion of Waharoa ruwhenua within a monophyletic Eomysticetidae as the earliest diverging clade of toothless mysticetes. This eomysticetid clade also included Eomysticetus whitmorei, Micromysticetus rothauseni, Tohoraata raekohao, Tokarahia kauaeroa, Tokarahia lophocephalus, and Yamatocetus canaliculatus. Detailed study of ontogenetic change demonstrates postnatal elaboration of the sagittal and nuchal crests, elongation of the intertemporal region, inflation of the zygomatic processes, and an extreme proportional increase in rostral length. Tympanic bullae are nearly full sized during early postnatal ontogeny indicating precocial development of auditory structures, but do increase slightly in size. Positive allometry of the rostrum suggests an ontogenetic change in feeding ecology, from neonatal suckling to a more

  8. Extensive Core Microbiome in Drone-Captured Whale Blow Supports a Framework for Health Monitoring.

    Apprill, Amy; Miller, Carolyn A; Moore, Michael J; Durban, John W; Fearnbach, Holly; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G

    2017-01-01

    The pulmonary system is a common site for bacterial infections in cetaceans, but very little is known about their respiratory microbiome. We used a small, unmanned hexacopter to collect exhaled breath condensate (blow) from two geographically distinct populations of apparently healthy humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ), sampled in the Massachusetts coastal waters off Cape Cod ( n = 17) and coastal waters around Vancouver Island ( n = 9). Bacterial and archaeal small-subunit rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced from blow samples, including many of sparse volume, as well as seawater and other controls, to characterize the associated microbial community. The blow microbiomes were distinct from the seawater microbiomes and included 25 phylogenetically diverse bacteria common to all sampled whales. This core assemblage comprised on average 36% of the microbiome, making it one of the more consistent animal microbiomes studied to date. The closest phylogenetic relatives of 20 of these core microbes were previously detected in marine mammals, suggesting that this core microbiome assemblage is specialized for marine mammals and may indicate a healthy, noninfected pulmonary system. Pathogen screening was conducted on the microbiomes at the genus level, which showed that all blow and few seawater microbiomes contained relatives of bacterial pathogens; no known cetacean respiratory pathogens were detected in the blow. Overall, the discovery of a shared large core microbiome in humpback whales is an important advancement for health and disease monitoring of this species and of other large whales. IMPORTANCE The conservation and management of large whales rely in part upon health monitoring of individuals and populations, and methods generally necessitate invasive sampling. Here, we used a small, unmanned hexacopter drone to noninvasively fly above humpback whales from two populations, capture their exhaled breath (blow), and examine the associated microbiome. In the

  9. Marine mammal strandings and environmental changes: a 15-year study in the St. Lawrence ecosystem.

    Marie-Hélène Truchon

    Full Text Available Understanding the effects of climatic variability on marine mammals is challenging due to the complexity of ecological interactions. We used general linear models to analyze a 15-year database documenting marine mammal strandings (1994-2008; n = 1,193 and nine environmental parameters known to affect marine mammal survival, from regional (sea ice to continental scales (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO. Stranding events were more frequent during summer and fall than other seasons, and have increased since 1994. Poor ice conditions observed during the same period may have affected marine mammals either directly, by modulating the availability of habitat for feeding and breeding activities, or indirectly, through changes in water conditions and marine productivity (krill abundance. For most species (75%, n = 6 species, a low volume of ice was correlated with increasing frequency of stranding events (e.g. R(2adj = 0.59, hooded seal, Cystophora cristata. This likely led to an increase in seal mortality during the breeding period, but also to increase habitat availability for seasonal migratory cetaceans using ice-free areas during winter. We also detected a high frequency of stranding events for mysticete species (minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata and resident species (beluga, Delphinapterus leucas, correlated with low krill abundance since 1994. Positive NAO indices were positively correlated with high frequencies of stranding events for resident and seasonal migratory cetaceans, as well as rare species (R(2adj = 0.53, 0.81 and 0.34, respectively. This contrasts with seal mass stranding numbers, which were negatively correlated with a positive NAO index. In addition, an unusual multiple species mortality event (n = 114, 62% of total annual mortality in 2008 was caused by a harmful algal bloom. Our findings provide an empirical baseline in understanding marine mammal survival when faced with climatic variability. This is a

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

    Giovanni Bianucci

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Disentangling association patterns in fission-fusion societies using African buffalo as an example

    Cross, P.C.; Lloyd-Smith, James O.; Getz, W.M.

    2005-01-01

    A description of the social network of a population aids us in understanding dispersal, the spread of disease, and genetic structure in that population. Many animal populations can be classified as fission–fusion societies, whereby groups form and separate over time. Examples discussed in the literature include ungulates, primates and cetaceans (Lott and Minta, 1983, Whitehead et al., 1991, Henzi et al., 1997, Christal et al., 1998 and Chilvers and Corkeron, 2002). In this study, we use a heuristic simulation model to illustrate potential problems in applying traditional techniques of association analysis to fission–fusion societies and propose a new index of association: the fission decision index (FDI). We compare the conclusions resulting from traditional methods with those of the FDI using data from African buffalo, Syncerus caffer, in the Kruger National Park. The traditional approach suggested that the buffalo population was spatially and temporally structured into four different ‘herds’ with adult males only peripherally associated with mixed herds. Our FDI method indicated that association decisions of adult males appeared random, but those of other sex and age categories were nonrandom, particularly when we included the fission events associated with adult males. Furthermore, the amount of time that individuals spent together was only weakly correlated with their propensity to remain together during fission events. We conclude with a discussion of the applicability of the FDI to other studies.

  12. A Comprehensive Survey of Pelagic Megafauna: Their Distribution, Densities, and Taxonomic Richness in the Tropical Southwest Indian Ocean

    Sophie Laran

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and density of pelagic megafauna (marine mammals, seabirds, elasmobranches, and sea turtles are important indicators of marine biodiversity, reflecting the condition of the underlying ecosystems. A dedicated aerial survey was conducted in the tropical Southwest Indian Ocean to map their distribution, the taxonomic diversity, and to estimate their densities to serve as a baseline for the area. This large survey across three ecological sub-regions revealed contrasting spatial distributions: maps of taxonomic richness of marine mammals and seabirds revealed different “hotspots” in the area. Densities were estimated for eight cetacean taxa with small and large Delphininae, or small Globicephalinae dominating, and for seven seabird taxa, with terns and noddies dominating. At the community level, the Southwest Indian Ocean megafauna was structured by the marine environment with strong differences between the Mozambique Channel and the Mascarene Islands, or between shelf and slope/oceanic habitats. Our results illustrate how multi-taxa aerial surveys are relevant and cost-effective monitoring tools for marine megafauna, allowing a community-wide approach.

  13. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson's and Peale's Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters.

    Dellabianca, Natalia A; Pierce, Graham J; Raya Rey, Andrea; Scioscia, Gabriela; Miller, David L; Torres, Mónica A; Paso Viola, M Natalia; Goodall, R Natalie P; Schiavini, Adrián C M

    2016-01-01

    Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii) and Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals) of Commerson's dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals) of Peale's dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson's dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale's dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson's dolphins and 20,000 Peale's dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale's dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson's dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures.

  14. Total mercury, organic mercury and selenium in liver and kidney of a South American coastal dolphin

    Seixas, Tercia G.; Kehrig, Helena do A.; Costa, Monica; Fillmann, Gilberto; Di Beneditto, Ana Paula M.; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Souza, Cristina M.M.; Malm, Olaf; Moreira, Isabel

    2008-01-01

    Selenium and total and organic mercury were determined in the liver and kidney of franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) incidentally caught in fishing nets along two Brazilian coastal areas (southeast and south). Regional differences in the concentrations of these contaminants were observed in P. blainvillei. Liver showed the highest organic and total mercury. In general, samples of individuals collected at the southern of Brazil had the highest concentrations of selenium and total and organic mercury. No significant gender differences were observed. Growth stage influenced the accumulation of these contaminants in both organs, and hepatic concentrations increased with the body length, according to the sampling area. Molar mercury and selenium concentrations in liver were significantly correlated, with a Se:Hg ratio close to 4. The among-site differences we found may be related to differences in preferred prey, bioavailability in the marine environment, environmental conditions, or these individuals may belong to distinct populations. - This study presents some useful data on the bioaccumulation of Hg, organic Hg and Se, and their inter-element relationships in a Brazilian small cetacean

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

    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.

  16. The Maturation of Skulls in Postnatal Risso’s Dolphins (Grampus griseus from Taiwanese Waters

    Ing Chen

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The degree of fusion between bones is a useful indicator of skeletal and sexual maturity for cetacean specimens preserved in museum collections. The aim of this study was twofold: first, to examine the degree of fusion between bony elements in skulls of Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus Cuvier, 1812 from Taiwanese waters; and second, to analyze the relationship between skull maturity, body length, sexual maturity, and estimated age, with the aim of determining a useful skull predictor for maturity in Risso’s dolphins. The stage of fusion of 20 superficial sutures or joints between selected skull bones was examined on 33 clean, dry skulls, which were salvaged from stranded or bycaught dead Risso’s dolphins in Taiwanese waters during the years of 1994 – 2001. The bones of the caudoventral braincase fused early in development (basioccipital-exoccipital synchondrosis, supraoccipital- exoccipital suture, whereas fusion along the nuchal crest (fronto-interparietal and fronto-parietal sutures occurred later. Some sutures remained open in some adult specimens (lacrimal/maxilla-frontal, squamosal-parietal, squamosal-exoccipital sutures, and the intermandibular symphysis. Bilateral asymmetry of the fusion process was not detected. Advanced fusion occurred in the fronto-interparietal suture along the medial aspect of the nuchal crest, and in the rostral nasal-frontal and distal maxilla-incisive sutures at total body length > 250 cm, and may be useful skull indicators of sexual maturity.

  17. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson’s and Peale’s Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters

    Dellabianca, Natalia A.; Pierce, Graham J.; Raya Rey, Andrea; Scioscia, Gabriela; Miller, David L.; Torres, Mónica A.; Paso Viola, M. Natalia; Schiavini, Adrián C. M.

    2016-01-01

    Commerson’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii) and Peale’s dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals) of Commerson’s dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals) of Peale’s dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson’s dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale’s dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson’s dolphins and 20,000 Peale’s dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale’s dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson’s dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures. PMID:27783627

  18. On the Behaviour, abundance, habitat use and potential threats of the Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica in southern West Bengal, India

    Mahua Roy Chowdhury

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Ganga River Dolphin Platanista gangetica Roxburgh, 1801 is a globally endangered cetacean found in the River system of Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna in Bangladesh and India.  A survey and research were conducted from 2012–2014 to explore the behaviour, abundance, habitat use and potential threats of the Dolphin in the lower, middle and upper stretches of the river Ganga and its tributaries in southern West Bengal.  The study recorded different types of surfacing patterns with respect to their age class as well as on diurnal activity pattern of the individual. The adults and sub-adults were found to have different types of surfacing during different hours of the day.  The morning and afternoon were observed to be feeding hours of the Dolphin.  Multiple potential threats were encountered during the present study such as destructive fishing gears, dumping of solid and municipal waste, industrial effluents, agricultural run-off, construction of water structures, water extraction and reduction of river depth attributed to siltation.  These factors contributed to the present study of the river dolphins in the Ganga, which are localised at certain pockets in good number.  

  19. Ossification Pattern of Estuarine Dolphin (Sotalia guianensis Forelimbs, from the Coast of the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil.

    Anna Paula Martins de Carvalho

    Full Text Available The estuarine dolphin, Sotalia guianensis, is one of the most abundant cetacean species in Brazil. Determination of age and of aspects associated with the development of this species is significant new studies. Counts of growth layer groups in dentin are used to estimate age of these animals, though other ways to evaluate development are also adopted, like the measurement of total length (TL. This study presents a procedure to evaluate the development of the estuarine dolphin based on the ossification pattern of forelimbs. Thirty-seven estuarine dolphins found in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, were examined. Age was estimated, TL was measured and ossification of epiphyses was examined by radiography. We analyzed results using the Spearman correlation. Inspection of radiographs allowed evaluation of the significance of the correlation between age and development of the proximal (r = 0.9109 and distal (r = 0.9092 radial epiphyses, and of the distal ulnar epiphyses (r = 0.9055. Radiographic analysis of forelimbs proved to be an appropriate method to evaluate physical maturity, and may be a helpful tool to estimate age of these animals in ecological and population studies.

  20. The Rough-Toothed Dolphin, Steno bredanensis, in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: A Relict Population?

    Kerem, D; Goffman, O; Elasar, M; Hadar, N; Scheinin, A; Lewis, T

    Only recently included among the cetacean species thought to regularly occur in the Mediterranean, the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) is an obscure and enigmatic member of this ensemble. Preliminary genetic evidence strongly indicates an Atlantic origin, yet the Mediterranean distribution for this species is conspicuously detached from the Atlantic, with all authenticated records during the last three decades being east of the Sicilian Channel and most within the bounds of the Levantine Basin. These dolphins are apparently a small, relict population, probably the remnant of a larger one, contiguous with that in the Atlantic and nowadays entrapped in the easternmost and warmest province. Abundance data are lacking for the species in the Mediterranean. Configuring acoustic detection software to recognise the apparently idiosyncratic vocalisations of rough-toothed dolphins in past and future acoustic recordings may prove useful for potential acoustic monitoring. Evidence accumulated so far, though scant, points to seasonal occupation of shallow coastal waters. Vulnerability to entanglement in gill-nets, contaminants in the region, and the occurrence of mass strandings (possibly in response to anthropogenic noise), are major conservation concerns for the population in the Mediterranean Sea. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Humpback Dolphin (Genus Sousa) Behavioural Responses to Human Activities.

    Piwetz, Sarah; Lundquist, David; Würsig, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) use shallow, near-shore waters throughout their range. This coastal distribution makes them vulnerable to recreational and commercial disturbances, especially near heavily populated and industrialized areas. Most research focusing on Sousa and human activities has emphasized direct impacts and threats, involving injury and death, with relatively little focus on indirect effects on dolphins, such as changes in behaviour that may lead to deleterious effects. Understanding behaviour is important in resolving human-wildlife conflict and is an important component of conservation. This chapter gives an overview of animal behavioural responses to human activity with examples from diverse taxa; reviews the scientific literature on behavioural responses of humpback dolphins to human activity throughout their range, including marine vessel traffic, dolphin tourism, cetacean-fishery interactions, noise pollution, and habitat alteration; and highlights information and data gaps for future humpback dolphin research to better inform behaviour-based management decisions that contribute to conservation efforts. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  2. Pesti Des Petits ruminants virus infection in animals

    Chauhan H.C.

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available For centuries morbillivirus infections have had a huge impact on both human beings and animals. Morbilliviruses are highly contagious pathogens that cause some of the most devastating viral diseases of humans and animals world wide. They include measles virus (MV, canine distemper virus (CDV, rinderpest virus (RPV and peste des petits ruminants (PPRV virus. Furthermore, new emerging infectious diseases of morbilliviruses with significant ecological consequences of marine mammals have been discovered in the past decades. Phocid distemper virus (PDV in seals and the cetacean morbillivirus (CMV have been found in dolphins, whales and porpoises. Peste des petits ruminants (PPR is a highly contagious ,infectious , an acute or sub acute viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants characterized by fever, oculonasal discharges, stomatitis, conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. Goats are more severely affected than sheep. It is also known as pseudorinderpest of small ruminants, pest of small ruminants, pest of sheep and goats, kata, stomatitis- pneumoentritis syndrome, contagious pustular stomatitis and pneumoentritis complex. It is one of the major notifiable diseases of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE. [Vet. World 2009; 2(4.000: 150-155

  3. Estudos de cetáceos no Oceano Atlântico Sul Ocidental e a falta de uma política de conservação e manejo no Brasil

    Maria Cristina Pinedo

    1980-12-01

    Full Text Available Studies on cetaceans at Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil can be divided in three periods. During the first one (1861-1963, studies of the Argentines Burmeister, Gallardo, Lahille and Marelli were done on dolphin and porpoise osteology, occasionally on whales, these wire followed by those of Miranda Ribeiro and Carvalho in Brazil. The second period (1969-1976 begins with the studies of the North Américan Gilmore (1969 in Patagonia. From this year on, numerous forcing expeditions came to Argentina and Uruguay, to study the right whale, Eubalaena australis behavior in Patagonia and the La Plata river dolphin. Pontoporia blainvillei biology at Punta del Diablo, Uruguay. These expeditions have contributed to a better knowledge of whales and dolphins, not only in South if not also, abroad. During thin period studies on bekzvior, bioacustics, population dynamics and bio-ecological studies ; began. Simultaneously it is observed that Latin Americm researches, specially those of Uruguay and Brazil, become interested ind doing cetological research on systematic aspects. The third period (1976- it is characterized by an increased effort on this field and also by a better exchange of information between the three S. W. Atlantic countries. In Brazil, during the last two years, a gret interest on the minke whale conservation problem has developed, not only at the public opinion, but also at the government level.

  4. Total mercury, organic mercury and selenium in liver and kidney of a South American coastal dolphin

    Seixas, Tercia G. [Departamento de Quimica, PUC-Rio, 22453-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, IBCCF-UFRJ, 21949-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)], E-mail: tercia@rdc.puc-rio.br; Kehrig, Helena do A. [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, IBCCF-UFRJ, 21949-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Costa, Monica [Departamento de Oceanografia, CTG-UFPE, 50740-550 Recife, PE (Brazil); Fillmann, Gilberto [Departamento de Oceanografia, FURG, C.P. 474, 96201-900 Rio Grande, RS (Brazil); Di Beneditto, Ana Paula M. [Laboratorio de Ciencias Ambientais, CBB-UENF, 28013-602 Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ (Brazil); Secchi, Eduardo R. [Departamento de Oceanografia, FURG, C.P. 474, 96201-900 Rio Grande, RS (Brazil); Laboratorio de Tartarugas e Mamiferos Marinhos, Departamento de Oceanografia e Museu Oceanografico ' Prof. E.C. Rios' , FURG, 96201-900 Rio Grande, RS (Brazil); Souza, Cristina M.M. [Laboratorio de Ciencias Ambientais, CBB-UENF, 28013-602 Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ (Brazil); Malm, Olaf [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, IBCCF-UFRJ, 21949-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Moreira, Isabel [Departamento de Quimica, PUC-Rio, 22453-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-15

    Selenium and total and organic mercury were determined in the liver and kidney of franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) incidentally caught in fishing nets along two Brazilian coastal areas (southeast and south). Regional differences in the concentrations of these contaminants were observed in P. blainvillei. Liver showed the highest organic and total mercury. In general, samples of individuals collected at the southern of Brazil had the highest concentrations of selenium and total and organic mercury. No significant gender differences were observed. Growth stage influenced the accumulation of these contaminants in both organs, and hepatic concentrations increased with the body length, according to the sampling area. Molar mercury and selenium concentrations in liver were significantly correlated, with a Se:Hg ratio close to 4. The among-site differences we found may be related to differences in preferred prey, bioavailability in the marine environment, environmental conditions, or these individuals may belong to distinct populations. - This study presents some useful data on the bioaccumulation of Hg, organic Hg and Se, and their inter-element relationships in a Brazilian small cetacean.

  5. Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls.

    Danise, Silvia; Higgs, Nicholas D

    2015-04-01

    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic origin (approx. 50-100 Myr). © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Long range inland-coastal networks during the Late Magdalenian: evidence for individual acquisition of marine resources at Andernach-Martinsberg, German Central Rhineland.

    Langley, Michelle C; Street, Martin

    2013-05-01

    Recent re-examination of the osseous material assemblage from Andernach-Martinsberg, Central Rhineland, has resulted in the identification of an implement manufactured from cetacean bone (probably whale). Argued to be the proximal half of a foreshaft, this artefact is not only one of few such projectile elements to be identified in Magdalenian deposits in northern Europe, but also demonstrates that the exploitation of marine raw materials for use in manufacturing projectile elements is not restricted to southern France, instead extending to at least inland Germany. Additionally, in conjunction with the appearance of marine molluscs and engravings of seals at Andernach, it can now be forcefully argued that this region formed part of an inland-coastal network during the Late Magdalenian and allows us for the first time to suggest that we can identify the movements of individuals transporting valued marine sourced raw materials and their personal experiences across this vast region. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Network metrics reveal differences in social organization between two fission-fusion species, Grevy's zebra and onager.

    Sundaresan, Siva R; Fischhoff, Ilya R; Dushoff, Jonathan; Rubenstein, Daniel I

    2007-02-01

    For species in which group membership frequently changes, it has been a challenge to characterize variation in individual interactions and social structure. Quantifying this variation is necessary to test hypotheses about ecological determinants of social patterns and to make predictions about how group dynamics affect the development of cooperative relationships and transmission processes. Network models have recently become popular for analyzing individual contacts within a population context. We use network metrics to compare populations of Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) and onagers (Equus hemionus khur). These closely related equids, previously described as having the same social system, inhabit environments differing in the distribution of food, water, and predators. Grevy's zebra and onagers are one example of many sets of coarsely similar fission-fusion species and populations, observed elsewhere in other ungulates, primates, and cetaceans. Our analysis of the population association networks reveals contrasts consistent with their distinctive environments. Grevy's zebra individuals are more selective in their association choices. Grevy's zebra form stable cliques, while onager associations are more fluid. We find evidence that females associate assortatively by reproductive state in Grevy's zebra but not in onagers. The current approach demonstrates the utility of network metrics for identifying fine-grained variation among individuals and populations in association patterns. From our analysis, we can make testable predictions about behavioral mechanisms underlying social structure and its effects on transmission processes.

  8. Franciscana strandings on the north coast of Santa Catarina State and insights into birth period

    Marta Jussara Cremer

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2013v26n4p133 Franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei, is the most threatened small cetacean in the South Atlantic. Accidental captures in fishing nets is the main problem for this species throughout its distribution. Dead franciscanas found along the coast are an important source of information. This work aimed to analyze the records of dead franciscanas found on the northern coast of Santa Catarina, including Babitonga Bay. Between January 2001 and November 2012, 54 franciscana carcasses were recorded, with the highest number (8 individuals in 2011. Fifty-four percent (n=28 of the carcasses were recorded between August and October. Taking into account that this information was not obtained from a systematic effort, it was not possible to consider this as an estimation of mortality. The largest animal was a female, with a total length of 142 cm. Ten recovered animals (18.5% were smaller than 80 cm, and were considered fetuses or calves. These records indicate that the main birthing period for franciscanas in Santa Catarina is between October and January. The findings presented here contribute to our knowledge of franciscana ecology in the state of Santa Catarina.

  9. Franciscana strandings on the north coast of Santa Catarina State and insights into birth period

    Renan Lopes Paitach

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei, is the most threatened small cetacean in the South Atlantic. Accidental captures in fishing nets is the main problem for this species throughout its distribution. Dead franciscanas found along the coast are an important source of information. This work aimed to analyze the records of dead franciscanas found on the northern coast of Santa Catarina, including Babitonga Bay. Between January 2001 and November 2012, 54 franciscana carcasses were recorded, with the highest number (8 individuals in 2011. Fifty-two percent (n=28 of the carcasses were recorded between August and October. Taking into account that this information was not obtained from a systematic effort, it was not possible to consider this as an estimation of mortality. The largest animal was a female, with a total length of 142 cm. Ten recovered animals (18.5% were smaller than 80 cm, and were considered fetuses or calves. These records indicate that the main birthing period for franciscanas in Santa Catarina is between October and January. The findings presented here contribute to our knowledge of franciscana ecology in the state of Santa Catarina.

  10. Evolutionary characteristics of morbilliviruses during serial passages in vitro: Gradual attenuation of virus virulence.

    Liu, Fuxiao; Wu, Xiaodong; Li, Lin; Zou, Yanli; Liu, Shan; Wang, Zhiliang

    2016-08-01

    The genus Morbillivirus is classified into the family Paramyxoviridae, and is composed of 6 members, namely measles virus (MV), rinderpest virus (RPV), peste-des-petits-ruminants virus (PPRV), canine distemper virus (CDV), phocine distemper virus (PDV) and cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV). The MV, RPV, PPRV and CDV have been successfully attenuated through their serial passages in vitro for the production of live vaccines. It has been demonstrated that the morbilliviral virulence in animals was progressively attenuated with their consecutive passages in vitro. However, only a few reports were involved in explanation of an attenuation-related mechanism on them until many years after the establishment of a quasispecies theory. RNA virus quasispecies arise from rapid evolution of viruses with high mutation rate during genomic replication, and play an important role in gradual loss of viral virulence by serial passages. Here, we overviewed the development of live-attenuated vaccine strains against morbilliviruses by consecutive passages in vitro, and further discussed a related mechanism concerning the relationship between virulence attenuation and viral evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Extreme genetic structure in a social bird species despite high dispersal capacity.

    Morinha, Francisco; Dávila, José A; Bastos, Estela; Cabral, João A; Frías, Óscar; González, José L; Travassos, Paulo; Carvalho, Diogo; Milá, Borja; Blanco, Guillermo

    2017-05-01

    Social barriers have been shown to reduce gene flow and contribute to genetic structure among populations in species with high cognitive capacity and complex societies, such as cetaceans, apes and humans. In birds, high dispersal capacity is thought to prevent population divergence unless major geographical or habitat barriers induce isolation patterns by dispersal, colonization or adaptation limitation. We report that Iberian populations of the red-billed chough, a social, gregarious corvid with high dispersal capacity, show a striking degree of genetic structure composed of at least 15 distinct genetic units. Monitoring of marked individuals over 30 years revealed that long-distance movements over hundreds of kilometres are common, yet recruitment into breeding populations is infrequent and highly philopatric. Genetic differentiation is weakly related to geographical distance, and habitat types used are overall qualitatively similar among regions and regularly shared by individuals of different populations, so that genetic structure is unlikely to be due solely to isolation by distance or isolation by adaptation. Moreover, most population nuclei showed relatively high levels of genetic diversity, suggesting a limited role for genetic drift in significantly differentiating populations. We propose that social mechanisms may underlie this unprecedented level of genetic structure in birds through a pattern of isolation by social barriers not yet described, which may have driven this remarkable population divergence in the absence of geographical and environmental barriers. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Behavioural responses of spinner dolphins to human interactions.

    Fumagalli, Maddalena; Cesario, Amina; Costa, Marina; Harraway, John; Notarbartolo di Sciara, Giuseppe; Slooten, Elisabeth

    2018-04-01

    There is increasing evidence that whale and dolphin watching activities have detrimental effects on targeted cetacean populations. In Egypt, spinner dolphins regularly occur in the resting areas of Samadai, Satayah and Qubbat'Isa reefs. In-water human interactions with dolphins are regulated with a time-area closure system at Samadai, unregulated at Satayah and non-existent at Qubbat'Isa. This provided an ideal experimental setting to advance our understanding of the effects of tourism on a species highly sensitive to disturbances. Our study confirmed that the intensity and duration of interactions, and therefore, dolphin exposure to tourism, differed among the study sites. Compared with the Qubbat'Isa control site, behavioural reactions to boats and swimmers at the two tourism sites suggested that dolphin rest was disrupted, especially around the middle of the day and especially at Satayah, where dolphin tourism is unregulated. Our results indicate also that the dolphin protection measures at Samadai reduce the level of disturbance. We recommend that similar measures be implemented at other dolphin tourism locations, and that no new operations be initiated until the long-term impacts on dolphin populations are better understood. Our experience emphasizes the need to adopt precautionary approaches in research and management of whale and dolphin watching.

  13. Sound of Paddle Wheel on Sea Bass Growth

    Jafri Din

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research is sound effect for brackish water for Sea bass (Cynoscion nobilis. Breeding farm 25x100m, 2m of depth, and 6 paddle wheels which generate the sound are available for research. Sound profile has been measured to investigate the amplitude at various measurement points at various depths by using Cetacean hydrophone C304. The output of hydrophone has been analyzed by using SpectraPlus software. For the second measurement, two cages which size 3x3m have been used for life fish habitat. Then, fish put in the edge cage (20, center cage (20, and out of cage (12500. Sound profile has been measured for position-based (edge/center cage, time-based (morning/noon/evening, and point-based. Time series, spectrum frequency, and phase have been analysis. Fish growth progress has been monthly measured at every cage. Fish in the cage is growth as linearly, while fish growth for out of cage is exponentially. Size and weight of fish in the both cages is less than out of cage. This research concludes that sound have no significantly effect for fish growth. Limited mobility to look for food and stress are more influences to fish growth than sound effect.

  14. Plasticity and Convergence in the Evolution of Short-Necked Plesiosaurs.

    Fischer, Valentin; Benson, Roger B J; Zverkov, Nikolay G; Soul, Laura C; Arkhangelsky, Maxim S; Lambert, Olivier; Stenshin, Ilya M; Uspensky, Gleb N; Druckenmiller, Patrick S

    2017-06-05

    Plesiosaurs were the longest-surviving group of secondarily marine tetrapods, comparable in diversity to today's cetaceans. During their long evolutionary history, which spanned the Jurassic and the Cretaceous (201 to 66 Ma), plesiosaurs repeatedly evolved long- and short-necked body plans [1, 2]. Despite this postcranial plasticity, short-necked plesiosaur clades have traditionally been regarded as being highly constrained to persistent and clearly distinct ecological niches: advanced members of Pliosauridae (ranging from the Middle Jurassic to the early Late Cretaceous) have been characterized as apex predators [2-5], whereas members of the distantly related clade Polycotylidae (middle to Late Cretaceous) were thought to have been fast-swimming piscivores [1, 5-7]. We report a new, highly unusual pliosaurid from the Early Cretaceous of Russia that shows close convergence with the cranial structure of polycotylids: Luskhan itilensis gen. et sp. nov. Using novel cladistic and ecomorphological data, we show that pliosaurids iteratively evolved polycotylid-like cranial morphologies from the Early Jurassic until the Early Cretaceous. This underscores the ecological diversity of derived pliosaurids and reveals a more complex evolutionary history than their iconic representation as gigantic apex predators of Mesozoic marine ecosystems suggests. Collectively, these data demonstrate an even higher degree of morphological plasticity and convergence in the evolution of plesiosaurs than previously thought and suggest the existence of an optimal ecomorphology for short-necked piscivorous plesiosaurs through time and across phylogeny. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Caught in the Same Net? Small-Scale Fishermen's Perceptions of Fisheries Interactions with Sea Turtles and Other Protected Species

    Aliki Panagopoulou

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Small-scale fisheries are responsible for high numbers of animals caught as bycatch, such as turtles, cetaceans, and seals. Bycatch and its associated mortality is a major conservation challenge for these species and is considered undesirable by fishermen. To gain insights on the impact of bycatch on small-scale fishermen and put it in context with other financial and environmental challenges they face, we conducted questionnaire-based interviews on fishermen working on Crete, Greece. We investigated fishermen's perceptions of sea turtle and other protected species interactions, and the impacts of such interactions on their profession and livelihoods. Our results indicate a connection between declining fish stocks, related increased fishing effort, and reported increased frequency of interactions between fishermen and sea turtles. Respondents believed that their livelihoods were endangered by industrial fishing and environmental problems, but thought that combined interactions with turtles and other marine megafauna species were a larger problem. Responses suggested that extending compensation to fishermen may be a good conservation intervention. Small-scale fishermen hold a wealth of knowledge about the marine environment and its resources. This may be of help to researchers and policy makers as it could be used to achieve a better managed, sustainable fishery. Including small-scale fishermen in the process of developing regulations will both enhance those regulations and increase compliance with them.

  16. Radiocarbon as a Novel Tracer of Extra-Antarctic Feeding in Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whales.

    Eisenmann, Pascale; Fry, Brian; Mazumder, Debashish; Jacobsen, Geraldine; Holyoake, Carlysle Sian; Coughran, Douglas; Bengtson Nash, Susan

    2017-06-29

    Bulk stable isotope analysis provides information regarding food web interactions, and has been applied to several cetacean species for the study of migration ecology. One limitation in bulk stable isotope analysis arises when a species, such as Southern hemisphere humpback whales, utilises geographically distinct food webs with differing isotopic baselines. Migrations to areas with different baselines can result in isotopic changes that mimic changes in feeding relations, leading to ambiguous food web interpretations. Here, we demonstrate the novel application of radiocarbon measurement for the resolution of such ambiguities. Radiocarbon was measured in baleen plates from humpback whales stranded in Australia between 2007 and 2013, and in skin samples collected in Australia and Antarctica from stranded and free-ranging animals. Radiocarbon measurements showed lower values for Southern Ocean feeding than for extra-Antarctic feeding in Australian waters. While the whales mostly relied on Antarctic-derived energy stores during their annual migration, there was some evidence of feeding within temperate zone waters in some individuals. This work, to our knowledge, provides the first definitive biochemical evidence for supplementary feeding by southern hemisphere humpback whales within temperate waters during migration. Further, the work contributes a powerful new tool (radiocarbon) for tracing source regions and geographical feeding.

  17. Plastic Debris Occurrence, Convergence Areas and Fin Whales Feeding Ground in the Mediterranean Marine Protected Area Pelagos Sanctuary: A Modeling Approach

    Maria Cristina Fossi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea is greatly affected by marine litter. In this area, research on the impact of plastic debris (including microplastics on biota, particularly large filter-feeding species such as the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus, is still in its infancy. We investigated the possible overlap between microplastic, mesoplastic and macrolitter accumulation areas and the fin whale feeding grounds in in a pelagic Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI: the Pelagos Sanctuary. Models of ocean circulation and fin whale potential habitat were merged to compare marine litter accumulation with the presence of whales. Additionally, field data on microplastics, mesoplastics, and macrolitter abundance and cetacean presence were simultaneously collected. The resulting data were compared, as a multi-layer, with the simulated distribution of plastic concentration and the whale habitat model. These data showed a high occurrence of microplastics (mean: 0.082 items/m2, STD ± 0.079 items/m2 spatial distribution agreed with our modeling results. Areas with high microplastic density significantly overlapped with areas of high macroplastic density. The most abundant polymer detected in all the sampling sites was polyethylene (PE, suggesting fragmentation of larger packaging items as the primary source. To our knowledge, this is the first study in the Pelagos Sanctuary in which the simulated microplastic distribution has been confirmed by field observations. The overlap between the fin whale feeding habitat and the microplastic hot spots is an important contribution for risk assessment of fin whale exposure to microplastics.

  18. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence.

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard

    2016-01-05

    Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity--factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier, which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner. © 2015 The Author(s).

  19. Low Density of Top Predators (Seabirds and Marine Mammals in the High Arctic Pack Ice

    Claude R. Joiris

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross’s gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ, the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI, the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns.

  20. Eye retraction in the giant guitarfish, Rhynchobatus djiddensis (Elasmobranchii: Batoidea): a novel mechanism for eye protection in batoid fishes.

    Tomita, Taketeru; Murakumo, Kiyomi; Miyamoto, Kei; Sato, Keiichi; Oka, Shin-ichiro; Kamisako, Haruka; Toda, Minoru

    2016-02-01

    Eye retraction behavior has evolved independently in some vertebrate linages such as mudskippers (fish), frogs and salamanders (amphibians), and cetaceans (mammals). In this paper, we report the eye retraction behavior of the giant guitarfish (Rhynchobatus djiddensis) for the first time, and discuss its mechanism and function. The eye retraction distance was nearly the same as the diameter of the eyeball itself, indicating that eye retraction in the giant guitarfish is probably one of the largest among vertebrates. Eye retraction is achieved by unique arrangement of the eye muscle: one of the anterior eye muscles (the obliquus inferior) is directed ventrally from the eyeball and attaches to the ventral surface of the neurocranium. Due to such muscle arrangement, the obliquus inferior can pull the eyeball ventrally. This mechanism was also confirmed by electrical stimulation of the obliquus inferior. The eye retraction ability of the giant guitarfish likely represents a novel eye protection behavior of elasmobranch fishes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Broadband ship noise and its potential impacts on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins: Implications for conservation and management.

    Liu, Mingming; Dong, Lijun; Lin, Mingli; Li, Songhai

    2017-11-01

    Ship noise pollution has raised considerable concerns among regulatory agencies and cetacean researchers worldwide. There is an urgent need to quantify ship noise in coastal areas and assess its potential biological impacts. In this study, underwater broadband noise from commercial ships in a critical habitat of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins was recorded and analyzed. Data analysis indicated that the ship noise caused by the investigated commercial ships with an average length of 134 ± 81 m, traveling at 18.8 ± 2.5 km/h [mean ± standard deviation (SD), n = 21] comprises mid-to-high components with frequencies approaching and exceeding 100 kHz, and the ship noise could be sensed auditorily by Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins within most of their sensitive frequency range. The contributions of ship noise to ambient noise were highest in two third-octave bands with center frequencies of 8 and 50 kHz, which are within the sensitive hearing range of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and overlap the frequency of sounds that are biologically significant to the dolphins. It is estimated that ship noise in these third-octave bands can be auditorily sensed by and potentially affect the dolphins within 2290 ± 1172 m and 848 ± 358 m (mean ± SD, n = 21), respectively.

  2. Biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants in a deep-sea, temperate food web.

    Romero-Romero, Sonia; Herrero, Laura; Fernández, Mario; Gómara, Belén; Acuña, José Luis

    2017-12-15

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furans (PCDD/Fs) were measured in a temperate, deep-sea ecosystem, the Avilés submarine Canyon (AC; Cantabrian Sea, Southern Bay of Biscay). There was an increase of contaminant concentration with the trophic level of the organisms, as calculated from stable nitrogen isotope data (δ 15 N). Such biomagnification was only significant for the pelagic food web and its magnitude was highly dependent on the type of top predators included in the analysis. The trophic magnification factor (TMF) for PCB-153 in the pelagic food web (spanning four trophic levels) was 6.2 or 2.2, depending on whether homeotherm top predators (cetaceans and seabirds) were included or not in the analysis, respectively. Since body size is significantly correlated with δ 15 N, it can be used as a proxy to estimate trophic magnification, what can potentially lead to a simple and convenient method to calculate the TMF. In spite of their lower biomagnification, deep-sea fishes showed higher concentrations than their shallower counterparts, although those differences were not significant. In summary, the AC fauna exhibits contaminant levels comparable or lower than those reported in other systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. New records of the dolphin Albertocetus meffordorum (Odontoceti: Xenorophidae from the lower Oligocene of South Carolina: Encephalization, sensory anatomy, postcranial morphology, and ontogeny of early odontocetes.

    Robert W Boessenecker

    Full Text Available We report five new specimens of xenorophid dolphins from North and South Carolina. Four of the specimens represent the xenorophid Albertocetus meffordorum, previously only known from the holotype skull. The other is a fragmentary petrosal from the upper Oligocene Belgrade Formation that we refer to Echovenator sp, indicating at least two xenorophids from that unit. Two of the Albertocetus meffordorum specimens are from the lower Oligocene Ashley Formation: 1 a partial skeleton with neurocranium, fragmentary mandible, ribs, vertebrae, and chevrons, and 2 an isolated braincase. The partial vertebral column indicates that Albertocetus retained the ancestral morphology and locomotory capabilities of basilosaurid archaeocetes, toothed mysticetes, and physeteroids, and caudal vertebrae that are as wide as tall suggest that the caudal peduncle, which occurs in all extant Cetacea, was either wide or lacking. CT data from the isolated braincase were used to generate a digital endocast of the cranial cavity. The estimated EQ of this specimen is relatively high for an Oligocene odontocete, and other aspects of the brain, such as its anteroposterior length and relative size of the temporal lobe, are intermediate in morphology between those of extant cetaceans and terrestrial artiodactyls. Ethmoturbinals are also preserved, and are similar in morphology and number to those described for the Miocene odontocete Squalodon. These fossils extend the temporal range of Albertocetus meffordorum into the early Oligocene, its geographic range into South Carolina, and expand our paleobiological understanding of the Xenorophidae.

  4. Fine scale distribution constrains cadmium accumulation rates in two geographical groups of Franciscana dolphin from Argentina

    Polizzi, P.S.; Chiodi Boudet, L.N.; Romero, M.B.; Denuncio, P.E.; Rodríguez, D.H.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Fine scale distribution of two Argentine stocks constrains the Cd accumulation rates. • Cadmium levels and accumulation patterns were different between geographic groups. • Marine diet has a major influence than the impact degree of origin environment. • Engraulis anchoita is the main Cd vector species in Argentine shelf for Franciscana. • Information is valuable for the conservation of Franciscana, a vulnerable species. -- Abstract: Franciscana dolphin is an endemic cetacean in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean and is classified as Vulnerable A3d by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Cadmium accumulation was assessed in two geographic groups from Argentina; one inhabits the La Plata River estuary, a high anthropogenic impacted environment, and the other is distributed in marine coastal, with negligible pollution. Despite the environment, marine dolphins showed an increase of renal Cd concentrations since trophic independence; while in estuarine dolphins was from 6 years. This is associated with dietary Argentine anchovy which was absent in the diet of estuarine dolphins, being a trophic vector of cadmium in shelf waters of Argentina. Cluster analysis also showed high levels of cd in association with the presence of anchovy in the stomach. The difference in the fine scale distribution of species influences dietary exposure to Cd and, along with other data, indicates two stocks in Argentina

  5. Comparative assessment of amphibious hearing in pinnipeds.

    Reichmuth, Colleen; Holt, Marla M; Mulsow, Jason; Sills, Jillian M; Southall, Brandon L

    2013-06-01

    Auditory sensitivity in pinnipeds is influenced by the need to balance efficient sound detection in two vastly different physical environments. Previous comparisons between aerial and underwater hearing capabilities have considered media-dependent differences relative to auditory anatomy, acoustic communication, ecology, and amphibious life history. New data for several species, including recently published audiograms and previously unreported measurements obtained in quiet conditions, necessitate a re-evaluation of amphibious hearing in pinnipeds. Several findings related to underwater hearing are consistent with earlier assessments, including an expanded frequency range of best hearing in true seals that spans at least six octaves. The most notable new results indicate markedly better aerial sensitivity in two seals (Phoca vitulina and Mirounga angustirostris) and one sea lion (Zalophus californianus), likely attributable to improved ambient noise control in test enclosures. An updated comparative analysis alters conventional views and demonstrates that these amphibious pinnipeds have not necessarily sacrificed aerial hearing capabilities in favor of enhanced underwater sound reception. Despite possessing underwater hearing that is nearly as sensitive as fully aquatic cetaceans and sirenians, many seals and sea lions have retained acute aerial hearing capabilities rivaling those of terrestrial carnivores.

  6. Positive Interactions among Foraging Seabirds, Marine Mammals and Fishes and Implications for Their Conservation

    Richard R. Veit

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing recognition of the importance of “positive interactions” among species in structuring communities. For seabirds, an important kind of positive interaction is the use of birds of the same species, birds of other species, and other marine predators such as cetaceans, seals and fishes as cues to the presence of prey. The process by which a single bird uses, say, a feeding flock of birds as a cue to the presence of prey is called “local enhancement” or “facilitation.” There are subtly different uses of each of these terms, but the issue we address here is the ubiquity of positive interactions between seabirds and other marine predators when foraging at sea, and whether as a result of their associations the feeding success, and therefore presumably the fitness, of individual seabirds is increased. If this contention is true, then it implies that conservation of any one species of seabird must take into consideration the status and possible conservation of those species that the focal species uses as a cue while foraging. For example, conservation of great shearwaters (Ardenna gravis, which often feed over tuna (e.g., Thunnus schools, should take in to consideration conservation of tuna. Ecosystem management depends on understanding the importance of such processes; the loss of biodiversity, and the consequent threat to foraging success, may be a substantial threat to the stability of marine ecosystems.

  7. Bones as biofuel: a review of whale bone composition with implications for deep-sea biology and palaeoanthropology.

    Higgs, Nicholas D; Little, Crispin T S; Glover, Adrian G

    2011-01-07

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These 'biofuel' stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites.

  8. Description of the East Brazil Large Marine Ecosystem using a trophic model

    Kátia M.F. Freire

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to describe the marine ecosystem off northeastern Brazil. A trophic model was constructed for the 1970s using Ecopath with Ecosim. The impact of most of the forty-one functional groups was modest, probably due to the highly reticulated diet matrix. However, seagrass and macroalgae exerted a strong positive impact on manatee and herbivorous reef fishes, respectively. A high negative impact of omnivorous reef fishes on spiny lobsters and of sharks on swordfish was observed. Spiny lobsters and swordfish had the largest biomass changes for the simulation period (1978-2000; tunas, other large pelagics and sharks showed intermediate rates of biomass decline; and a slight increase in biomass was observed for toothed cetaceans, large carnivorous reef fishes, and dolphinfish. Recycling was an important feature of this ecosystem with low phytoplankton-originated primary production. The mean transfer efficiency between trophic levels was 11.4%. The gross efficiency of the fisheries was very low (0.00002, probably due to the low exploitation rate of most of the resources in the 1970s. Basic local information was missing for many groups. When information gaps are filled, this model may serve more credibly for the exploration of fishing policies for this area within an ecosystem approach.

  9. Effects of Enrichment Presentation and Other Factors on Behavioral Welfare of Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata).

    Perez, Barbara C; Mehrkam, Lindsay R; Foltz, Amanda R; Dorey, Nicole R

    2018-01-01

    Environmental enrichment is a crucial element of promoting welfare for animals in captivity. However, enrichment programs are not always formally evaluated for their efficacy. Furthermore, there is little empirical evidence of enrichment evaluation for species of small cetaceans in zoological settings. A wide range of variables may potentially influence enrichment efficacy and how it in turn affects behavior. The purpose of this study was to determine the most preferred environmental enrichment, and method of presentation, for a species that has not been well studied in captivity, the pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata). In order to determine which enrichment items and method of presentation were most effective at eliciting enrichment interaction, we systematically examined how several variables of enrichment influenced enrichment interaction. The results suggested that presenting enrichment after training sessions influenced interaction with the enrichment. The results also indicated preference for enrichment type and a specific enrichment device. Finally, factors that influenced interaction were also found to influence aberrant behavior. The results support the premise that enrichment be "redefined" for each species and each individual.

  10. Convergence of calls as animals form social bonds, active compensation for noisy communication channels, and the evolution of vocal learning in mammals.

    Tyack, Peter L

    2008-08-01

    The classic evidence for vocal production learning involves imitation of novel, often anthropogenic sounds. Among mammals, this has been reported for dolphins, elephants, harbor seals, and humans. A broader taxonomic distribution has been reported for vocal convergence, where the acoustic properties of calls from different individuals converge when they are housed together in captivity or form social bonds in the wild. Vocal convergence has been demonstrated for animals as diverse as songbirds, parakeets, hummingbirds, bats, elephants, cetaceans, and primates. For most species, call convergence is thought to reflect a group-distinctive identifier, with shared calls reflecting and strengthening social bonds. A ubiquitous function for vocal production learning that is starting to receive attention involves modifying signals to improve communication in a noisy channel. Pooling data on vocal imitation, vocal convergence, and compensation for noise suggests a wider taxonomic distribution of vocal production learning among mammals than has been generally appreciated. The wide taxonomic distribution of this evidence for vocal production learning suggests that perhaps more of the neural underpinnings for vocal production learning are in place in mammals than is usually recognized. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

  11. Role of Crassicauda sp. in natural mortality of pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata: a reassessment.

    Balbuena, Juan Antonio; Simpkin, Andrew

    2014-02-04

    Evaluating the effect of parasites on population size is essential for designing management and conservation plans of wild animal populations. Although knowledge in this area is scarce in cetaceans, current evidence suggests that species of the nematode genus Crassicauda may play an important regulatory role in some populations. In the present study, a semiparametric regression technique was applied to a previously published dataset to re-examine the role of Crassicauda sp. in natural mortality of pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata. The resulting model indicated parasite-induced mortality at ages between 6.5 and 9 yr and at roughly 12 yr. The maximum mortality estimates obtained could represent 2 to 4% of natural mortality in dolphins 6 to 8 yr old. This estimate is substantially smaller than previously published values, but in contrast with previous research, our model provides clear statistical evidence for parasite-induced mortality because the bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals of the estimated mortality rates excluded the 0 value. We also evaluated, through simulations, how potential sampling biases of infected dolphins could overestimate parasite-induced mortality. Small differences in sampling selectivity between infected and uninfected animals could substantially reduce the mortality estimates. However, the simulated models also supported the notion of statistically significant mortality in juvenile dolphins. Given that dolphins older than 16 yr were poorly represented in the dataset, further research is needed to establish whether Crassicauda sp. causes meaningful mortality for population dynamics among adult individuals.

  12. A novel Sarcocystis neurona genotype XIII is associated with severe encephalitis in an unexpectedly broad range of marine mammals from the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

    Barbosa, Lorraine; Johnson, Christine K; Lambourn, Dyanna M; Gibson, Amanda K; Haman, Katherine H; Huggins, Jessica L; Sweeny, Amy R; Sundar, Natarajan; Raverty, Stephen A; Grigg, Michael E

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of protozoal encephalitis among marine mammals in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. To characterise the genetic type of S. neurona in this region, samples from 227 stranded marine mammals, most with clinical or pathological evidence of protozoal disease, were tested for the presence of coccidian parasites using a nested PCR assay. The frequency of S. neurona infection was 60% (136/227) among pinnipeds and cetaceans, including seven marine mammal species not previously known to be susceptible to infection by this parasite. Eight S. neurona fetal infections identified this coccidian parasite as capable of being transmitted transplacentally. Thirty-seven S. neurona-positive samples were multilocus sequence genotyped using three genetic markers: SnSAG1-5-6, SnSAG3 and SnSAG4. A novel genotype, referred to as Type XIII within the S. neurona population genetic structure, has emerged recently in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and is significantly associated with an increased severity of protozoal encephalitis and mortality among multiple stranded marine mammal species. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Interspecific Hybridization in Pilot Whales and Asymmetric Genetic Introgression in Northern Globicephala melas under the Scenario of Global Warming.

    Miralles, Laura; Oremus, Marc; Silva, Mónica A; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Pilot whales are two cetacean species (Globicephala melas and G. macrorhynchus) whose distributions are correlated with water temperature and partially overlap in some areas like the North Atlantic Ocean. In the context of global warming, distribution range shifts are expected to occur in species affected by temperature. Consequently, a northward displacement of the tropical pilot whale G. macrorynchus is expected, eventually leading to increased secondary contact areas and opportunities for interspecific hybridization. Here, we describe genetic evidences of recurrent hybridization between pilot whales in northeast Atlantic Ocean. Based on mitochondrial DNA sequences and microsatellite loci, asymmetric introgression of G. macrorhynchus genes into G. melas was observed. For the latter species, a significant correlation was found between historical population growth rate estimates and paleotemperature oscillations. Introgressive hybridization, current temperature increases and lower genetic variation in G. melas suggest that this species could be at risk in its northern range. Under increasing environmental and human-mediated stressors in the North Atlantic Ocean, it seems recommendable to develop a conservation program for G. melas.

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

    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.

  16. The mascots of Sable Gully

    Langan, K.

    1999-01-01

    Characteristic features and behaviour of the bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus) of Nova Scotia's Sable Gully are discussed. The dolphin-like mammal shares the cold waters of the Sable Gully with up to 13 other species of cetaceans, as well as swordfish, sharks, tuna, seals and squid. The bottlenose whale has been very much in the news since 1996 when Sable Offshore Energy Inc announced its intention to drill for natural gas and petroleum on the Scotian Shelf, including areas that overlap the Sable Gully. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) with encouragement of the World Wildlife Federation evolved the 'Sable Gully Conservation Strategy' designed to protect the existing ecosystem. This article details the events that have taken place to date, actions taken by DFO and by the Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board to ensure that only limited exploration activity takes place within the Gully. Nevertheless, boundaries are nonexistent in the marine world and pollution migrates easily in aquatic environments. The Ecology Action Centre in Halifax and teams of ocean scientists are keeping a watchful eye on developments. What ocean scientists can learn about changes in the ecosystem as a result of hydrocarbon exploration activities in the area surrounding the Sable Gully will determine the ultimate survival of the bottlenose whale population in the area

  17. Cultural differences in ant-dipping tool length between neighbouring chimpanzee communities at Kalinzu, Uganda.

    Koops, Kathelijne; Schöning, Caspar; Isaji, Mina; Hashimoto, Chie

    2015-07-22

    Cultural variation has been identified in a growing number of animal species ranging from primates to cetaceans. The principal method used to establish the presence of culture in wild populations is the method of exclusion. This method is problematic, since it cannot rule out the influence of genetics and ecology in geographically distant populations. A new approach to the study of culture compares neighbouring groups belonging to the same population. We applied this new approach by comparing ant-dipping tool length between two neighbouring communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda. Ant-dipping tool length varies across chimpanzee study sites in relation to army ant species (Dorylus spp.) and dipping location (nest vs. trail). We compared the availability of army ant species and dipping tool length between the two communities. M-group tools were significantly longer than S-group tools, despite identical army ant target species availabilities. Moreover, tool length in S-group was shorter than at all other sites where chimpanzees prey on epigaeic ants at nests. Considering the lack of ecological differences between the two communities, the tool length difference appears to be cultural. Our findings highlight how cultural knowledge can generate small-scale cultural diversification in neighbouring chimpanzee communities.

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

    Bradley Tatar

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Spatiotemporal Trends of Heavy Metals in Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from the Western Pearl River Estuary, China.

    Gui, Duan; Yu, Ri-Qing; Karczmarski, Leszek; Ding, Yulong; Zhang, Haifei; Sun, Yong; Zhang, Mei; Wu, Yuping

    2017-02-07

    We assessed the spatiotemporal trends of the concentrations of 11 heavy metals (HMs) in the liver and kidney of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) from western Pearl River Estuary (PRE) during 2004-2015. The hepatic levels of Cr, As, and Cu in these dolphins were among the highest reported for cetaceans globally, and the levels of Zn, Cu, and Hg were sufficiently high to cause toxicological effects in some of the animals. Between same age-sex groups, dolphins from Lingdingyang were significantly more contaminated with Hg, Se, and V than those from the West-four region, while the opposite was true for Cd. Generalized additive mixed models showed that most metals had significant but dissimilar temporal trends over a 10-year period. The concentrations of Cu and Zn increased significantly in recent years, corresponding to the high input of these metals in the region. Body-length-adjusted Cd levels peaked in 2012, accompanied by the highest annual number of dolphin stranding events. In contrast to the significant decrease in HM levels in the dolphins in Hong Kong waters (the eastern reaches of the PRE), the elevated metal exposure in the western PRE raises serious concerns.

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

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24759862