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Sample records for female bottlenose dolphins

  1. Individual specialization in the foraging habits of female bottlenose dolphins living in a trophically diverse and habitat rich estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossman, Sam; Ostrom, Peggy H; Stolen, Megan; Barros, Nélio B; Gandhi, Hasand; Stricker, Craig A; Wells, Randall S

    2015-06-01

    We examine individual specialization in foraging habits (foraging habitat and trophic level) of female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA, by analyzing time series of stable isotope (δ(15)N and δ(13)C) values in sequential growth layer groups within teeth. The isotope data provide a chronology of foraging habits over the lifetime of the individual and allowed us to show that female bottlenose dolphins exhibit a high degree of individual specialization in both foraging habitat and trophic level. The foraging habits used by adult females are similar to those they used as calves and may be passed down from mother to calf through social learning. We also characterized the foraging habits and home range of each individual by constructing standard ellipses from isotope values and dolphin sightings data (latitude and longitude), respectively. These data show that Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphins forage within a subset of the habitats in which they are observed. Moreover, females with similar observational standard ellipses often possessed different foraging specializations. Female bottlenose dolphins may demonstrate individual specialization in foraging habits because it reduces some of the cost of living in groups, such as competition for prey.

  2. Biscayne Bay Florida Bottlenose Dolphin Studies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Biscayne Bay, Florida, adjacent estuaries and nearshore...

  3. 77 FR 22759 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Bottlenose Dolphin...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-17

    ... Region Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation Outreach Survey AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... bottlenose dolphins, which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In particular, the surveys... regulations prohibiting feeding and harassment of bottlenose dolphins, and how they gained their knowledge...

  4. Observations of NC stop nets for bottlenose dolphin takes

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To observe the NC stop net fishery to document the entanglement of bottlenose dolphins and movement of dolphins around the nets.

  5. GoM Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-identification studies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Mississippi Sound and nearshore coastal waters. The...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-03

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Ann Fury

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

  8. ISOLATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. In previous serological surveys > 90% of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, and California had antib...

  9. 77 FR 45268 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-31

    ... Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan AGENCY: National Marine... Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP) and its implementing regulations by permanently continuing nighttime... November 1 through April 30. Members of the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Team (Team) recommended...

  10. Stable isotopes differentiate bottlenose dolphins off west-central Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Nélio B.; Ostrom, P. H.; Stricker, Craig A.; Wells, R.S.

    2010-01-01

    Distinguishing discrete population units among continuously distributed coastal small cetaceans is challenging and crucial to conservation. We evaluated the utility of stable isotopes in assessing group membership in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off west-central Florida by analyzing carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope values (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S) of tooth collagen from stranded dolphins. Individuals derived from three putative general population units: Sarasota Bay (SB), nearshore Gulf of Mexico (GULF), and offshore waters (OFF). Animals of known history (SB) served to ground truth the approach against animals of unknown history from the Gulf of Mexico (GULF, OFF). Dolphin groups differed significantly for each isotope. Average δ13C values from SB dolphins (−10.6‰) utilizing sea grass ecosystems differed from those of GULF (−11.9‰) and OFF (−11.9‰). Average δ15N values of GULF (12.7‰) and OFF (13.2‰) were higher than those of SB dolphins (11.9‰), consistent with differences in prey trophic levels. δ34S values showed definitive differences among SB (7.1‰), GULF (11.3‰), and OFF (16.5‰) dolphins. This is the first application of isotopes to population assignment of bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico and results suggest that isotopes may provide a powerful tool in the conservation of small cetaceans.

  11. Variation in external morphology of resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahia San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina.

    OpenAIRE

    Vermeulen, Els; Cammareri, Alejandro

    2010-01-01

    Two geographic variations of bottlenose dolphins were described in Argentina (Bastida & Rodriguez, 2003); bottlenose dolphins characterized by their triangular dorsal fin shape (coast of the province of Buenos Aires), and bottlenose dolphins characterized by their falcate dorsal fin shape (coast of the province of Chubut). It was stated that `their clear difference would indicate that both geographic forms are isolated¿ (Bastida & Rodriguez, 2003 p.137). A photo-identification study carrie...

  12. A Quantitative Analysis of Pulsed Signals Emitted by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Luís, Ana Rita; Couchinho, Miguel N; Dos Santos, Manuel E

    2016-01-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), produce a wide variety of vocal emissions for communication and echolocation, of which the pulsed repertoire has been the most difficult to categorize...

  13. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Struvite calculus in the vagina of a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFee, Wayne E; Carl A, Osborne

    2004-01-01

    On 27 January 2000, a struvite calculus was observed in the vagina during necropsy of a 138-cm-long female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) collected from the Stono River, South Carolina (USA). Vaginal calculi have been reported in other species of cetaceans but not in bottlenose dolphins. Urinary tract infection might have been an underlying cause of the calculus. While urinary tract inflammation was not detected by light microscopic evaluation of sections of the urinary tract, it is conceivable that sufficient time had lapsed following voiding of the calculus through the urethra for urinary tract infection to have resolved. To further define the prevalence and significance of urolithiasis, prosectors of dead stranded marine mammals are encouraged to closely observe their urinary and genital tracts for calculi and to submit them for quantitative analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-07-01

    TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) FOR ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) K. V. Keller, Jr. 1a. TYPE OF REPORT 13b. TIME COVERED 14. DATE OF REPORT IlYai. WMt...ATLANTIC BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (Tursiops truncatus) FOR ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION Karl V. Keller Naval Ocean Systems Center, Hawaii Laboratory Kailua, HI 96734...INTRODUCTION The Naval Ocean Systems Center, Hawaii Laboratory, for the past eight years has maintained an artificial insemination (AI) program for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  17. Pathogen surveillance in wild bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-16

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

  18. A kinematic study on (unintentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa eSartori

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of observing other’s movements on subsequent performance in bottlenose dolphins. The imitative ability of non-human animals has intrigued a number of researchers. So far, however, studies in dolphins have been confined to intentional imitation concerned with the explicit request to imitate other agents. In the absence of instruction to imitate, do dolphins (unintentionally replicate other’s movement features? To test this, dolphins were filmed while reaching and touching a stimulus before and after observing another dolphin (i.e., model performing the same action. All videos were reviewed and segmented in order to extract the relevant movements. A marker was inserted post-hoc via software on the videos upon the anatomical landmark of interest (i.e. rostrum and was tracked throughout the time course of the movement sequence. The movement was analyzed using an in-house software developed to perform two-dimensional (2D post-hoc kinematic analysis. The results indicate that dolphins’ kinematics is sensitive to other’s movement features. Movements performed for the ‘visuomotor priming’ condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern similar to that performed by the observed dolphin (i.e., model. Addressing the issue of spontaneous imitation in bottlenose dolphins might allow ascertaining whether the potential or impulse to produce an imitative action is generated, not just when they intend to imitate, but whenever they watch another conspecific’s behavior. In closing, this will clarify whether motor representational capacity is a by-product of factors specific to humans or whether more general characteristics such as processes of associative learning prompted by high level of encephalization could help to explain the evolution of this ability.

  19. A computational model of the bottlenose dolphin sonar: Feature-extracting method

    CERN Document Server

    Zorikov, T

    2009-01-01

    The data describing a process of echo-image formation in bottlenose dolphin sonar perception were accumulated in our experimental explorations. These data were formalized mathematically and used in the computational model, comparative testing of which in echo-discrimination tasks revealed no less capabilities then those of bottlenose dolphins.

  20. Successful treatment of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a bottlenose dolphin with high-dose posaconazole

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.E. Bunskoek (Paulien); S. Seyedmousavi (Seyedmojtaba); S. Gans (Steven); van Vierzen, P.B.J. (Peter B.J.); W.J. Melchers (Willem); C.E. van Elk; J.W. Mouton (Johan); P.E. Verweij (Paul)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractInvasive aspergillosis due to azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus is difficult to manage. We describe a case of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a female bottlenose dolphin, who failed to respond to voriconazole and posaconazole therapy. As intravenous therapy was precluded,

  1. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in blubber of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from two southeast Atlantic estuarine areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Mitchum, Gregory; Hulsey, Thomas C; Adams, Jeff; Zolman, Eric; McFee, Wayne; Wirth, Ed; Bossart, Gregory D

    2007-10-01

    Blubber tissue samples from bottlenose dolphins collected during the summers of 2003 and 2004 were screened for 13 (17, 28, 47, 66, 71, 85, 99, 100, 138, 154, 153, 183, 190) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from dolphin populations in the Indian River Lagoon, FL (n = 58) and the Charleston Harbor estuary, SC (n = 53). Within each population, we investigated contaminant levels of PBDEs and the effects of factors including age, sex, the interaction of age and sex, and location. Six PBDE congeners (28, 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154) were routinely detected in all samples using gas chromatography/mass spectometry methods. Significantly higher (p River Lagoon dolphins (X= 1,260 ng/g lipid; range = 195-3,790 ng/g lipid). PBDE 47 was the major congener representing approximately 61% of the SigmaPBDE in both dolphin populations, followed by BDE100, BDE154, BDE99, BDE153, and BDE28, respectively. Significantly higher (p River Lagoon and twelve-fold for Charleston. For Charleston dolphins, the juveniles in addition to the adult males also had significantly higher levels compared to pregnant and adult females. This study establishes baseline levels of PBDEs in bottlenose dolphins for these two areas and is the first assessment of PBDEs in free-ranging dolphins. The levels of PBDEs in Charleston dolphins represent some of the highest measured in marine mammals and warrants further investigation of these emerging, bioaccumulative chemicals and their potential deleterious effects.

  2. Reproductive outcome and survival of common bottlenose dolphins sampled in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Suzanne M; Smith, Cynthia R; Mitchell, Jason; Balmer, Brian C; Barry, Kevin P; McDonald, Trent; Mori, Chiharu S; Rosel, Patricia E; Rowles, Teresa K; Speakman, Todd R; Townsend, Forrest I; Tumlin, Mandy C; Wells, Randall S; Zolman, Eric S; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-11-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit bays, sounds and estuaries across the Gulf of Mexico. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, studies were initiated to assess potential effects on these ecologically important apex predators. A previous study reported disease conditions, including lung disease and impaired stress response, for 32 dolphins that were temporarily captured and given health assessments in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA. Ten of the sampled dolphins were determined to be pregnant, with expected due dates the following spring or summer. Here, we report findings after 47 months of follow-up monitoring of those sampled dolphins. Only 20% (95% CI: 2.50-55.6%) of the pregnant dolphins produced viable calves, as compared with a previously reported pregnancy success rate of 83% in a reference population. Fifty-seven per cent of pregnant females that did not successfully produce a calf had been previously diagnosed with moderate-severe lung disease. In addition, the estimated annual survival rate of the sampled cohort was low (86.8%, 95% CI: 80.0-92.7%) as compared with survival rates of 95.1% and 96.2% from two other previously studied bottlenose dolphin populations. Our findings confirm low reproductive success and high mortality in dolphins from a heavily oiled estuary when compared with other populations. Follow-up studies are needed to better understand the potential recovery of dolphins in Barataria Bay and, by extension, other Gulf coastal regions impacted by the spill.

  3. Cognitive adaptation of sonar gain control in the bottlenose dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloepper, Laura N; Smith, Adam B; Nachtigall, Paul E; Buck, John R; Simmons, James A; Pacini, Aude F

    2014-01-01

    Echolocating animals adjust the transmit intensity and receive sensitivity of their sonar in order to regulate the sensation level of their echoes; this process is often termed automatic gain control. Gain control is considered not to be under the animal's cognitive control, but previous investigations studied animals ensonifying targets or hydrophone arrays at predictable distances. To test whether animals maintain gain control at a fixed level in uncertain conditions, we measured changes in signal intensity for a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) detecting a target at three target distances (2.5, 4 and 7 m) in two types of sessions: predictable and unpredictable. Predictable sessions presented the target at a constant distance; unpredictable sessions moved the target randomly between the three target positions. In the predictable sessions the dolphin demonstrated intensity distance compensation, increasing the emitted click intensity as the target distance increased. Additionally, as trials within sessions progressed, the animal adjusted its click intensity even from the first click in a click train, which is consistent with the animal expecting a target at a certain range. In the unpredictable sessions there was no significant difference of intensity with target distance until after the 7th click in a click train. Together, these results demonstrate that the bottlenose dolphin uses learning and expectation for sonar gain control.

  4. Bottlenose dolphins exchange signature whistles when meeting at sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Nicola J; Janik, Vincent M

    2012-07-01

    The bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, is one of very few animals that, through vocal learning, can invent novel acoustic signals and copy whistles of conspecifics. Furthermore, receivers can extract identity information from the invented part of whistles. In captivity, dolphins use such signature whistles while separated from the rest of their group. However, little is known about how they use them at sea. If signature whistles are the main vehicle to transmit identity information, then dolphins should exchange these whistles in contexts where groups or individuals join. We used passive acoustic localization during focal boat follows to observe signature whistle use in the wild. We found that stereotypic whistle exchanges occurred primarily when groups of dolphins met and joined at sea. A sequence analysis verified that most of the whistles used during joins were signature whistles. Whistle matching or copying was not observed in any of the joins. The data show that signature whistle exchanges are a significant part of a greeting sequence that allows dolphins to identify conspecifics when encountering them in the wild.

  5. Learning from nature: bottlenose dolphin care and husbandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Randall S

    2009-11-01

    The world's longest-running study of a wild dolphin population, operated by the Chicago Zoological Society since 1989, has focused on the multi-generational resident community of about 160 bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, since 1970. Observational and capture-release research on the biology, behavior, life history, ecology, and health of individually identifiable bay residents of up to 59 years of age and spanning five generations has helped to inform collection managers at the Brookfield Zoo and partner institutions. Age, sex, and genetic compositions of colonies at cooperating institutions have been based on observations of social structure and genetic paternity testing in Sarasota Bay to optimize breeding success. Breeding success, including calf survivorship, is evaluated relative to individual wild dolphin reproductive histories, spanning as many as nine calves and four decades. Individual rearing patterns for wild dolphins provide guidance for determining how long to keep mothers and calves together, and help to define the next steps in the calves' social development. Health assessments provide data on expected ranges of blood, milk and urine values, morphometrics, and body condition relative to age, sex, and reproductive condition. Calf growth can be compared with wild values. Target weights and blubber thicknesses for specific age and sex classes in specified water temperatures are available for wild dolphins, and caloric intakes can be adjusted accordingly to meet the targets. A strength of the program is the ability to monitor individuals throughout their lives, and to be able to define individual ranges of variability through ontogenetic stages.

  6. Lacaziosis in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durden, Wendy Noke; St Leger, Judy; Stolen, Megan; Mazza, Teresa; Londono, Catalina

    2009-07-01

    The objective of this study was to document the presence of the fungal granulomatous skin disease lacaziosis in stranded Indian River Lagoon (IRL) bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). From 1 January 2007 through 31 December 2007, stranded dolphins from the northern part of the IRL were thoroughly examined, and appropriate tissue samples were collected. The intralesional fungal agent (Lacazia loboi) was identified histologically in three bottlenose dolphins. Histologically, lacaziosis has been previously documented in IRL dolphins inhabiting the southern portion of the lagoon. Our findings suggest that the disease occurs throughout the lagoon. Enhanced monitoring of the prevalence of lacaziosis in dolphins throughout the IRL is needed to assess changes in population health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Monitoring underwater explosions in the habitat of resident bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Manuel E; Couchinho, Miguel N; Rita Luís, Ana; Gonçalves, Emanuel J

    2010-12-01

    Maintenance work on the harbor of Setúbal, in Portugal, required the removal of a 14-m deep rocky outcrop at the ship maneuver area, using about 35 kg of Gelamonite, a nitroglycerin-based high-explosive. This important harbor is located in the Sado estuary, a biologically rich environment and an important feeding area for a resident community of bottlenose dolphins. Using different safe range calculation models, a mitigation and monitoring plan was developed that minimized the risks of these underwater explosions for the dolphins. At our monitoring station, at 2 km from the demolition site, acoustic pressure levels in excess of 170 dB re 1 μPa (root-mean-square) were measured. Samples of dead fish collected at the site were indicative of shock trauma from the blasts.

  9. Altrenogest and progesterone therapy during pregnancy in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with progesterone insufficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, Todd R; Gill, Claudia; Doescher, Bethany M; Sweeney, Jay; De Laender, Piet; Van Elk, Cornelis E; O'Brien, Justine K

    2012-06-01

    Progesterone production is essential for growth and development of the conceptus during pregnancy. Abnormal development of the corpus luteum (CL) after conception can result in early embryonic loss or fetal abortion. Routine monitoring of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) pregnancy after artificial insemination or natural conception with ultrasonography and serum progesterone determination has allowed for the establishment of expected fetal growth rates and hormone concentrations. Using these monitoring techniques, we revealed four pregnant dolphins (12-24 yr old) with abnormally low progesterone production indicative of luteal insufficiency. Once diagnosed, animals were placed on altrenogest (0.044-0.088 mg/kg once daily) alone or with oral progesterone (50-200 mg twice daily). Doses of hormone were increased or decreased in each animal based on how fetal skull biparietal and thoracic growth rates compared with published normal values. Hormones were withdrawn starting from day 358 of gestation in animals 1 and 2, with labor occurring 6 and 7 days after withdrawal and at 376 and 373 days of gestation, respectively. Both deliveries were dystocic, with each calf requiring manual extraction and fetotomy for calf 1. The fetuses in animals 3 and 4 died at 348 and 390 days of gestation, respectively. Induction of labor was attempted in both animals, after fetal death, by using a combination of rapid progesterone withdrawal and steroid and prostaglandin F2alpha administration. The calf of animal 4 had to be removed with manual cervical dilation and fetotomy All adult females survived the procedures. These data provide the first in vivo evidence that the CL is the primary source of progesterone throughout pregnancy in the bottlenose dolphin. Until further characterization of hormones required during pregnancy and at parturition has been accomplished, the exogenous progestagen supplementation protocol described here cannot be recommended for treatment of progesterone

  10. Shared Reproductive State Enhances Female Associations in Dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana M. Möller

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Female bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops usually associate at moderate level with other females within social clusters called bands or cliques. It has been suggested that reproductive state may play the predominant role in determining associations within female T. truncatus bands. Here, we test the hypothesis that reproductive state correlates with associations of female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (T. aduncus. We found that females in similar reproductive state, which included females from late pregnancy to the first year of their calves' life or females from early pregnancy to their calves' newborn period, had higher-association coefficients with each other than they did with females in different reproductive states (females with older calves or without calves. This was observed both within and across social clusters suggesting that reproductive state, at least for pregnant females and those with young calves, plays an important role in determining who to associate with. However, a female's most frequent associate was not always with another in similar reproductive state. We suggest that several factors, including reproductive state, may be of importance in determining associations of female bottlenose dolphins.

  11. Bottlenose dolphin age structure and growth in the Mississippi Sound region of the Gulf of Mexico

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Teeth were collected from bottlenose dolphins that stranded within the north-central Gulf of Mexico between 1986-2003. These teeth were sectioned and growth rings...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1991-06-12

    Jun 12, 1991 ... The feeding and growth of a captive-born bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus calf were studied for 30 .... Age determination through tooth sectioning indicated the ..... ineffectual, but is a prerequisite behaviour in later stages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. GoM Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-identification studies - NRDA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets include a compilation of small vessel based studies of bottlenose dolphins that reside within Barataria Bay, LA, Mississippi Sound, MS and nearshore...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    parameters extending our knowledge and application of such measures. PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS ABSTRACTS - Oral presentations accepted for 2013...Clinicopathologic findings from Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exhibiting cytologic evidence of gastric inflammation. Journal of Zoo and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cozzi, Bruno; Roncon, Giulia; Granato, Alberto; Giurisato, Maristella; Castagna, Maura; Peruffo, Antonella; Panin, Mattia; Ballarin, Cristina; Montelli, Stefano; Pirone, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    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 eight 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  3. Hematologic, biochemical, and cytologic findings from apparently healthy atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Juli D; Reese, Eric; Reif, John S; Varela, René A; McCulloch, Stephen D; Defran, R H; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D; Hansen, Larry

    2006-04-01

    The objective of this study was to establish reference baseline data for hematologic, biochemical, and cytologic findings in apparently healthy Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA. Sixty-two dolphins were captured, examined, and released during June 2003 and June 2004. Mean, standard deviation, and range were calculated for each parameter, and values for which published data were available, were close to or within the ranges previously reported for free-ranging bottlenose dolphins. No pathologic abnormalities were found in fecal and blowhole cytologic specimens. However, 24% (7/29) of the dolphins examined in 2003 had evidence of gastritis, which was graded as severe in 14% (4/29) of the cases. In 2004, only 4% (1/24) of dolphins sampled had evidence of mild or moderate gastritis; no severe inflammation was present. Dolphins with evidence of gastritis were 8 yr of age or older and predominantly male. Several statistically significant differences were found between males and females, between pregnant and nonpregnant animals, and between juveniles ( or =6 yr). However, the values remained within the established ranges for this species, and the differences were not likely to be of clinical significance.

  4. Genetic diversity of coastal bottlenose dolphins revealed by structurally and functionally diverse hemoglobins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, Nicole; Stevens, Robert D; Wells, Randall S; Holn, Aleta; Dhungana, Suraj; Taboy, Celine H; Crumbliss, Alvin L; Henkens, Robert; Bonaventura, Celia

    2007-08-15

    Studies of structure-function relationships in the respiratory proteins of marine mammals revealed unexpected variations in the number and types of hemoglobins (Hbs) present in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. We obtained blood samples from free-ranging coastal bottlenose dolphins as a component of capture-release studies. We found that the oxygen-binding functions of bottlenose dolphin blood are poised between effector-saturated and unsaturated levels, enabling exercise-dependent shifts in oxygen transfer functions. Isolated bottlenose dolphin Hbs showed elevated pH sensitivities (Bohr effects) and appreciably lower oxygen affinities than adult human Hb in the absence of allosteric effectors. These properties may be an adaptive modification that enhances oxygen delivery during diving episodes when oxygen tensions and effector levels are low. The Hbs of individual dolphins showed similar oxygen affinities, responses to effectors, and expression of heme-heme interaction in oxygen binding, but differed in their redox potentials and rates of autoxidation. The heterogeneity suggested by these functional variations in Hbs of individual dolphins was born out by variations in the molecular weights and numbers of their alpha and beta globin chains. Although coastal bottlenose dolphins were expected to have a single type of Hb, the mass differences observed revealed considerable genetic diversity. There were multiple Hb forms in some individuals and differences in Hb patterns among individuals within the same community.

  5. Laryngeal snaring by ingested fishing net in a common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) off the Israeli shoreline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Alon M; Brenner, Ori; Scheinin, Aviad; Morick, Dan; Ratner, Eliana; Goffman, Oz; Kerem, Dan

    2009-07-01

    We report an unusual snaring of the larynx in an adult, female common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphin was observed swimming and diving in Haifa Port, Israel, but was found dead the next day, 60 km south, on the coast. Postmortem examination revealed stranded-cordage, nylon filaments wrapped around the larynx, cutting through the soft tissue, and extending down into the forestomach, where a large mass of netting was found. The cachectic state of the dolphin and the subacute to chronic, hyper-plastic response of soft tissue surrounding the filaments lodged around the larynx, suggest a prolonged period of starvation, which led to the final weakness and wasting of the dolphin.

  6. Early social networks predict survival in wild bottlenose dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret A Stanton

    Full Text Available A fundamental question concerning group-living species is what factors influence the evolution of sociality. Although several studies link adult social bonds to fitness, social patterns and relationships are often formed early in life and are also likely to have fitness consequences, particularly in species with lengthy developmental periods, extensive social learning, and early social bond-formation. In a longitudinal study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp., calf social network structure, specifically the metric eigenvector centrality, predicted juvenile survival in males. Additionally, male calves that died post-weaning had stronger ties to juvenile males than surviving male calves, suggesting that juvenile males impose fitness costs on their younger counterparts. Our study indicates that selection is acting on social traits early in life and highlights the need to examine the costs and benefits of social bonds during formative life history stages.

  7. Examination of Naturally-Exposed Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for Microsporidia, Cryptosporidium, and Giarda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) live-captured in coastal South Carolina and Florida as well as dolphins stranded in coastal South Carolina were examined for the presence of Microsporidia, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia. DNA extracted from feces or rectal swabs was amplified by PCR using para...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-10

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

  9. Trace element concentrations in skin of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the southeast Atlantic coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavros, Hui-Chen W; Bossart, Gregory D; Hulsey, Thomas C; Fair, Patricia A

    2007-12-15

    Concentrations of trace elements (Al, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, Tl, U, V, Zn) and total mercury (THg) were determined in skin samples collected from free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations. Dolphins were captured in the estuarine waters of Charleston (CHS), South Carolina (n=74) and the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida (n=75) during 2003, 2004 and 2005. A subset of the skin tissue samples were used to determine methylmercury (MeHg) levels in CHS (n=17) and IRL (n=8) bottlenose dolphins. Distributions of trace element concentrations by age (adult vs. juvenile), gender (male vs. female) and study area (CHS vs. IRL) were examined. In general, higher elemental skin concentrations were found in CHS adult males than those of IRL adult males, except for THg and MeHg. For CHS dolphins, adult females showed significantly higher THg levels than juvenile females while higher Mn levels were found in juvenile females. For IRL dolphins, adult males showed significantly higher As concentrations than that in juvenile males and females while higher Co and V levels were found in juvenile males than adult males. Of all elements measured in this study, significantly higher levels of Fe, Se and Zn concentrations in skin tissue of both dolphin populations were similar to other studies reported previously. Percentage of MeHg/THg in skin tissue of CHS and IRL dolphin was about 72% and 73%, respectively. Dietary levels of trace elements may play an important role in contributing to concentration differences for As, Co, Mn, Sb, Se, THg and Tl between CHS and IRL dolphins. Total Hg concentrations were significantly correlated with the age of CHS dolphins, while an inverse relationship was detected for Cu, Mn, Pb, U and Zn. The only significant correlation found between trace element concentration and IRL dolphins' age was Mn. Geographic differences in several trace element concentrations (As, Co, Mn, Sb, Se, THg and Tl) in skin

  10. A wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin adopts a socially and genetically distant neonate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Mai; Kita, Yuki F; Kogi, Kazunobu; Shinohara, Masanori; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Shiina, Takashi; Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2016-04-06

    Alloparental behaviour and adoption have been reported in many mammals and birds. Such behaviours are energetically costly, and their causes and functions remain unclear. We observed the adoption behaviour of a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) near Mikura Island, Japan. A calf was seen with its mother on six observation days. Following the mother's death, the calf was observed with a sub-adult female on all 18 observation days from May to September 2012. On three days, the calf was observed swimming with this female in the suckling position and milk was seen leaking from the female's mammary slit. A five-year dataset revealed no significant social or kin relationships between the biological mother and allomother, indicating that kinship and social relationships did not play an important role in the observed adoption.

  11. Fine-scale analysis of synchronous breathing in wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Mai; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Kogi, Kazunobu; Hishii, Toru; Kohshima, Shiro

    2010-01-01

    We quantitatively analysed synchronous breathing for dyads in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins at Mikura Island, Tokyo, Japan. For most cases, we observed dyads swimming in the same direction (97%), in close proximity (i.e., less than 1.5m) and with their body axes parallel as they breathed synchronously. Moreover, the pairs engaged in identical behaviour before and after the synchronous breathing episodes. These results suggest that the dolphins synchronize their movements, and that synchronous breathing is a component of "pair-swimming", an affiliative social behaviour. Same sex pairs of the same age class frequently engaged in synchronous breathing for adults and subadults, as well as mother-calf and escort-calf pairs. The distance between individuals during synchronous breathing for mother-calf pairs was less than for other pairs. The distance observed between individuals for female pairs was less than for male pairs. The time differences between each exhale for each of the two dolphins involved in synchronous breathing episodes for female pairs were smaller than for male pairs, and time differences for adult pairs were smaller than subadult pairs. These results suggest that age and sex class influenced the characteristics of this behaviour.

  12. Relationship between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and ranging patterns in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from coastal Georgia, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balmer, Brian C; Schwacke, Lori H; Wells, Randall S; George, R Clay; Hoguet, Jennifer; Kucklick, John R; Lane, Suzanne M; Martinez, Anthony; McLellan, William A; Rosel, Patricia E; Rowles, Teri K; Sparks, Kate; Speakman, Todd; Zolman, Eric S; Pabst, D Ann

    2011-05-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are apex predators in coastal southeastern U.S. waters; as such they are indicators of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in coastal ecosystems. POP concentrations measured in a dolphin's blubber are influenced by a number of factors, including the animal's sex and ranging pattern in relation to POP point sources. This study examined POP concentrations measured in bottlenose dolphin blubber samples (n=102) from the Georgia, USA coast in relation to individual ranging patterns and specifically, distance of sightings from a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) point source near Brunswick, Georgia. Dolphin ranging patterns were determined based upon 5years of photo-identification data from two field sites approximately 40km apart: (1) the Brunswick field site, which included the Turtle/Brunswick River Estuary (TBRE), and (2) the Sapelo field site, which included the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR). Dolphins were categorized into one of three ranging patterns from photo-identification data. Individuals with sighting histories exclusively within one of the defined field sites were considered to have either Brunswick or Sapelo ranging patterns. Individuals sighted in both field sites were classified as having a Mixed ranging pattern. Brunswick males had the highest concentrations of PCBs reported for any marine mammal. The pattern of PCB congeners was consistent with Aroclor 1268, a highly chlorinated PCB mixture associated with a Superfund site in Brunswick. PCB levels in Sapelo males were lower than in Brunswick males, but comparable to the highest levels measured in other dolphin populations along the southeastern U.S. Female dolphins had higher Aroclor 1268 proportions than males, suggesting that the highly chlorinated congeners associated with Aroclor 1268 may not be offloaded through parturition and lactation, as easily as less halogenated POPs. Individuals sighted farther from the Superfund point

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Vocal copying of individually distinctive signature whistles in bottlenose dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephanie L.; Sayigh, Laela S.; Wells, Randall S.; Fellner, Wendi; Janik, Vincent M.

    2013-01-01

    Vocal learning is relatively common in birds but less so in mammals. Sexual selection and individual or group recognition have been identified as major forces in its evolution. While important in the development of vocal displays, vocal learning also allows signal copying in social interactions. Such copying can function in addressing or labelling selected conspecifics. Most examples of addressing in non-humans come from bird song, where matching occurs in an aggressive context. However, in other animals, addressing with learned signals is very much an affiliative signal. We studied the function of vocal copying in a mammal that shows vocal learning as well as complex cognitive and social behaviour, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Copying occurred almost exclusively between close associates such as mother–calf pairs and male alliances during separation and was not followed by aggression. All copies were clearly recognizable as such because copiers consistently modified some acoustic parameters of a signal when copying it. We found no evidence for the use of copying in aggression or deception. This use of vocal copying is similar to its use in human language, where the maintenance of social bonds appears to be more important than the immediate defence of resources. PMID:23427174

  16. The acoustic repertoire of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the southern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazua-Duran, Carmen

    2005-04-01

    Bottlenose dolphins live in a variety of habitats of the world's oceans using their acoustic repertoire to communicate and inspect their environment. This work investigates the acoustic repertoire of bottlenose dolphins that inhabit a coastal lagoon of the southern Gulf of Mexico, the Laguna de Terminos and how it may relate to the dolphins' general behavioral state and herd size, and to the general characteristics of the habitat, such as visibility, depth, and sea state. Preliminary results show that bottlenose dolphins produce by far more clicks than whistles in all behavioral states (feeding, resting, social, and travel) and herd sizes, which may correlate with the decreased visibility and shallow depth of the Laguna de Terminos. Additionally, silence was found during all behavioral states, but very seldom in herds of large size. These preliminary results suggest that bottlenose dolphins are choosing when and where to produce their phonations. Therefore, more detailed studies are needed to understand how these animals are using their acoustic sense to communicate and inspect their environment. [Work supported by CONACyT-Gobierno Edo. de Campeche and PAPIIT, UNAM.

  17. Assessment of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in plasma of bottlenose dolphins from two southeast US estuarine areas: relationship with age, sex and geographic locations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Houde, Magali; Hulsey, Thomas C; Bossart, Gregory D; Adams, Jeff; Balthis, Len; Muir, Derek C G

    2012-01-01

    Plasma PFCs were measured in 157 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) sampled from two US southeast Atlantic sites (Charleston (CHS), SC and Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL) during 2003-2005. ∑PFCs, perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (∑PFCAs), perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (∑PFSAs) and individual compounds were significantly higher in CHS dolphins for all age/sex categories compared to IRL dolphins. Highest ∑PFCs concentrations occurred in CHS juvenile dolphins (2340 ng/g w.w.); significantly higher than found in adults (1570 ng/g w.w. males; 1330 ng/g w.w. females). ∑PFCAs were much greater in CHS dolphins (≈ 21%) compared to IRL dolphins (≈ 7%); ∑PFSAs were 79% in CHS dolphins versus 93% in IRL dolphins. PFOS, the dominant compound, averaged 72% and 84%, respectively, in CHS and IRL dolphins. Decreasing PFC levels occurred with age on the bioaccumulation of PFCs in both sites. These observations suggest PFC accumulation in these two dolphin populations are influenced by site-specific exposures with significantly higher levels in CHS dolphins.

  18. Radioimmunoassay of serum follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone in the bottlenosed dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneyer, A; Castro, A; Odell, D

    1985-11-01

    Commercially available radioimmunoassay (RIA) kits for human follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) were adapted for quantitation of these hormones in serum from bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Serum samples from over 160 wild and 70 captive animals were assayed in order to determine basal concentrations of FSH and LH in these animals, as well as to detect possible differences between various groups. Mean FSH and LH levels for all animals were 0.22 +/- 0.08 and 0.37 +/- 0.18 ng/ml, respectively. Although wild animals had higher FSH and LH levels than captive ones, the differences were not statistically significant (P less than 0.07). However, both FSH and LH were significantly (P less than 0.01 and P less than 0.05, respectively) elevated in females when compared to males. Adults and peripubescent animals had significantly (P less than 0.01) higher LH levels than did juveniles. Among wild animals, serum concentrations of FSH and LH reflected seasonal differences. Samples obtained in early summer (Gulf of Mexico population) contained significantly (P less than 0.01) higher concentrations of FSH and LH than samples obtained in the fall (Indian River, Florida population). Both FSH and LH were significantly elevated in samples from confirmed pregnant animals as compared to the overall mean and to a sample from a confirmed nonpregnant female. Our observations indicate that these RIAs can reliably detect serum FSH and LH from bottlenosed dolphins and represent the first quantitation of these hormones in cetaceans.

  19. Influences of biological variables and geographic location on circulating concentrations of thyroid hormones in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Montie, Eric; Balthis, Len; Reif, John S; Bossart, Gregory D

    2011-11-01

    Thyroid hormones (TH) are key regulators of metabolism and development, yet our understanding of the variability in serum TH concentrations in free-ranging marine mammals is limited. Thus, we examined the interrelationships between TH and age, sex, reproductive status, geographic location, and ocean temperatures in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Circulating concentrations of TH (total thyroxine (tT(4)), free T(4) (fT(4)), and total triiodothyronine (tT(3))) were determined in a total of 195 dolphins; 80 from the coastal waters of Charleston, South Carolina (CHS) and 115 from the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (IRL). Age had the most influence on circulating TH concentrations in dolphins at both sites with decreasing concentrations (p<0.0001) observed with increasing age for all TH. No significant differences were found between males and non-reproductive females. Geographic location significantly influenced tT(4) and tT(3) concentrations; CHS dolphins had higher concentrations than IRL animals. These TH differences between CHS and IRL dolphins may be attributed to the colder year-round water temperature that CHS dolphins inhabit compared to IRL dolphins and could constitute an adaptive response to their colder environment. Results from this study highlight the importance of establishing reference values for dolphins in different geographic locations to support valid comparisons. This initial assessment provides a foundation of how biological and environmental variables could affect circulating TH in dolphins, which will help to elucidate the impacts of disease, pollution, and climate change on the thyroid hormone system of aquatic mammals.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Multiple single case reports of asphyxiation in dolphins caused by fish lodged in the esophagus exist. However, the significance of this cause of mortality in a single population has not been documented. We performed a retrospective evaluation of pathology records from stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon to evaluate the impact of this cause of death on this population. From 1997 to 2011, asphyxiation due to choking was identified as the cause of deat...

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

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    Michael J Twiner

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

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

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    Bruno Díaz LÓPEZ

    2009-08-01

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

  3. Treatment of ureteral calculus obstruction with laser lithotripsy in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Todd L; Sur, Roger L

    2012-03-01

    An adult female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presented with acute anorexia secondary to progressive azotemia (blood urea nitrogen = 213 mg/dl, creatinine [Cr] = 9.5 mg/dl) and electrolyte abnormalities (K = 7.4 mEq/L). It was later diagnosed with postrenal obstruction secondary to bilaterally obstructing ureteral calculi seen on ultrasound. Treatment of the obstruction required two endoscopic procedures, cystoscopy for ureteral stent placement and ureteroscopy to perform intracorporeal lithotripsy on the obstructing calculi. Before the first procedure, the dolphin's azotemia was stabilized with aggressive fluid therapy, peritoneal dialysis, and treatment for acidosis. Diuresis subsequent to the fluid therapy enabled passage of the right obstructing urolith. For both endoscopic procedures, the dolphin was placed in left lateral recumbency due to the peritoneal dialysis catheter in the right retroperitoneal region. For the first procedure, a 12-French (Fr) flexible cystoscope was inserted retrograde into the bladder via the urethra, whereupon a calculus was seen obstructing the left ureteral orifice. A 4.8-Fr, 26-cm double-pigtail ureteral stent was placed up the left ureter to relieve the postrenal obstruction. Inadvertent proximal migration of the left ureteral stent occurred during the procedure. However, renal parameters (serum Cr = 5.8, K = 5.4) improved significantly by the next day. For the second procedure, 28 hr later, ureteroscopy was performed to treat the calculus and replace the existing stent with a longer stent. The left ureteral calculus was pulverized into tiny fragments by using a holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser inserted through a 6.9-Fr semirigid ureteroscope. The migrated stent was visualized in the distal left ureter and replaced with a 90-cm single-pigtail ureteral stent that was sutured exterior to the urogenital slit and removed 3 days later. Renal function normalized over the next several days, and the dolphin recovered over

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

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    Cynthia Rowe Smith

    2013-10-01

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

  5. Life history as a source of variation for persistent organic pollutant (POP) patterns in a community of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident to Sarasota Bay, FL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yordy, Jennifer E; Wells, Randall S; Balmer, Brian C; Schwacke, Lori H; Rowles, Teri K; Kucklick, John R

    2010-04-01

    As apex predators within coastal ecosystems, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are prone to accumulate complex mixtures of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). While substantial variations in POP patterns have been previously observed in dolphin populations separated across regional- and fine-scale geographic ranges, less is known regarding the factors influencing contaminant patterns within localized populations. To assess the variation of POP mixtures that occurs among individuals of a population, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), organochlorine pesticide (OCP) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) concentrations were measured in blubber and milk of bottlenose dolphins resident to Sarasota Bay, FL, and principal components analysis (PCA) was used to explain mixture variations in relation to age, sex and reproductive maturity. PCA demonstrated significant variations in contaminant mixtures within the resident dolphin community. POP patterns in juvenile dolphins resembled patterns in milk, the primary diet source, and were dominated by lower-halogenated PCBs and PBDEs. A significant correlation between principal component 2 (PC2) and age in male dolphins indicated that juvenile contaminant patterns gradually shifted away from the milk-like pattern over time. Metabolically-refractory PCBs significantly increased with age in male dolphins, whereas PCBs subject to cytochrome p450 1A1 metabolism did not, suggesting that changes in male POP patterns likely resulted from the selective accumulation of persistent POP congeners. Changes to POP patterns were gradual for juvenile females, but changed dramatically at reproductive maturity and gradually shifted back towards pre-parturient profiles thereafter. Congener-specific blubber/milk partition coefficients indicated that lower-halogenated POPs were selectively offloaded into milk and changes in adult female contaminant profiles likely resulted from the offloading of these compounds during the first reproductive

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Lobomycosis in Man and Lobomycosis-like Disease in Bottlenose Dolphin, Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermudez, Luis; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Reyes-Jaimes, Oscar; Sayegh, Alejandro J.

    2009-01-01

    We report 1 case of lobomycosis caused by Lacazia loboi in a fisherman and 1 case of lobomycosis-like disease in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) along the coast of Venezuela. These findings suggest that the marine environment is a likely habitat for L. loboi and a reservoir for infection. PMID:19751598

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Ecological characteristics contribute to sponge distribution and tool use in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tyne, Julian A.; Loneragan, Neil R.; Kopps, Anna M.; Allen, Simon J.; Kruetzen, Michael; Bejder, Lars

    2012-01-01

    In Shark Bay, Western Australia, bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp. carry conical sponges Echinodictyum mesenterinum on their rostra in the only documented cetacean foraging behaviour using a tool ('sponging'). In this study, we examined the influence of various ecological factors on live sponge distr

  12. Ecological characteristics contribute to sponge distribution and tool use in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tyne, Julian A.; Loneragan, Neil R.; Kopps, Anna M.; Allen, Simon J.; Kruetzen, Michael; Bejder, Lars

    2012-01-01

    In Shark Bay, Western Australia, bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp. carry conical sponges Echinodictyum mesenterinum on their rostra in the only documented cetacean foraging behaviour using a tool ('sponging'). In this study, we examined the influence of various ecological factors on live sponge distr

  13. Auditory Effects of Multiple Impulses from a Seismic Air Gun on Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlundt, Carolyn E; Finneran, James J; Branstetter, Brian K; Trickey, Jennifer S; Bowman, Victoria; Jenkins, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Auditory thresholds were measured in three bottlenose dolphins before and after exposure to ten impulses from a seismic air gun. Thresholds were measured using behavioral and electrophysiological methods to determine the amount of temporary threshold shift induced. The results suggest that the potential for seismic surveys using air guns to cause auditory effects on dolphins may be lower than previously predicted; however, two of the three dolphins exhibited "anticipatory" behavioral changes at the highest exposure condition that suggested they were attempting to mitigate the effects of the exposures.

  14. Successful treatment of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a bottlenose dolphin with high-dose posaconazole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulien E. Bunskoek

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Invasive aspergillosis due to azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus is difficult to manage. We describe a case of azole-resistant invasive aspergillosis in a female bottlenose dolphin, who failed to respond to voriconazole and posaconazole therapy. As intravenous therapy was precluded, high dose posaconazole was initiated aimed at achieving trough levels exceeding 3 mg/l. Posaconazole serum levels of 3–9.5 mg/l were achieved without significant side-effects. Follow-up bronchoscopy and computed tomography showed complete resolution of the lesions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-04

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

  16. Clinicoimmunopathologic findings in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus with positive cetacean morbillivirus antibody titers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-06

    Sera from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida were tested for antibodies to cetacean morbilliviruses from 2003 to 2007 as part of a multidisciplinary study of individual and population health. A suite of clinicoimmunopathologic variables were evaluated in morbillivirus-seropositive dolphins (n = 14) and seronegative healthy dolphins (n = 49). Several important differences were found. Serum alkaline phosphatase, creatine phosphokinase, chloride, albumin and albumin/globulin ratios were significantly lower in seropositive dolphins. Innate immunity appeared to be upregulated with significant increases in lysozyme concentration and marginally significant increases in monocytic phagocytosis. Adaptive immunity was also impacted in dolphins with positive morbillivirus antibody titers. Mitogen-induced T lymphocyte proliferation responses were significantly reduced in dolphins with positive morbillivirus antibody titers, and marginally significant decreases were found for absolute numbers of CD4+ lymphocytes. The findings suggest impairment of cell-mediated adaptive immunity, similar to the immunologic pattern reported with acute morbillivirus infection in other species. In contrast, dolphins with positive morbillivirus antibody titers appeared to have at least a partially upregulated humoral immune response with significantly higher levels of gamma globulins than healthy dolphins, which may represent an antibody response to morbillivirus infection or other pathogens. These data suggest that subclinical dolphin morbillivirus infection in IRL dolphins may produce clinicoimmunopathologic perturbations that impact overall health.

  17. Evidence for Distinct Coastal and Offshore Communities of Bottlenose Dolphins in the North East Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphin stock structure in the northeast Atlantic remains poorly understood. However, fine scale photo-id data have shown that populations can comprise multiple overlapping social communities. These social communities form structural elements of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations, reflecting specific ecological and behavioural adaptations to local habitats. We investigated the social structure of bottlenose dolphins in the waters of northwest Ireland and present evidence for distinct inshore and offshore social communities. Individuals of the inshore community had a coastal distribution restricted to waters within 3 km from shore. These animals exhibited a cohesive, fission-fusion social organisation, with repeated resightings within the research area, within a larger coastal home range. The offshore community comprised one or more distinct groups, found significantly further offshore (>4 km) than the inshore animals. In addition, dorsal fin scarring patterns differed significantly between inshore and offshore communities with individuals of the offshore community having more distinctly marked dorsal fins. Specifically, almost half of the individuals in the offshore community (48%) had characteristic stereotyped damage to the tip of the dorsal fin, rarely recorded in the inshore community (7%). We propose that this characteristic is likely due to interactions with pelagic fisheries. Social segregation and scarring differences found here indicate that the distinct communities are likely to be spatially and behaviourally segregated. Together with recent genetic evidence of distinct offshore and coastal population structures, this provides evidence for bottlenose dolphin inshore/offshore community differentiation in the northeast Atlantic. We recommend that social communities should be considered as fundamental units for the management and conservation of bottlenose dolphins and their habitat specialisations. PMID:25853823

  18. Morbillivirus-associated unusual mortality event in South Australian bottlenose dolphins is largest reported for the Southern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomo, I.; Bingham, J.; Bastianello, S. S.; Wang, J.; Gibbs, S. E.; Woolford, L.; Dickason, C.; Kelly, D.

    2016-01-01

    Cases of morbillivirus have been recorded in the Southern Hemisphere but have not been linked to significant marine mammal mortality. Post-mortems were conducted on 58 carcasses (44 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, two common bottlenose dolphins, 12 short-beaked common dolphins) from South Australia during 2005–2013, including an unusual mortality event (UME) in St Vincent Gulf Bioregion (SVG) during 2013. Diagnostic pathology, circumstance of death, body condition, age and stomach contents were documented for Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. At least 50 dolphins died during the UME, 41 were Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and most were young. The UME lasted about seven months and had two peaks, the first being the largest. Effect on the population is unknown. Diagnostic testing for morbillivirus was conducted on 57 carcasses, with evidence for infection in all species during 2011–2013. All tested UME bottlenose dolphins were positive for cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV), and the pathology included interstitial pneumonia, lymphoid depletion and syncytia. Concurrent pathologies, including lung parasite and fungal infections, and severe cutaneous bruising were observed in many dolphins. The event coincided with elevated water temperatures, a diatom bloom and significant fish die-offs. We conclude that the cause for the UME was multifactorial and that CeMV was a major contributor. PMID:28083115

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-05

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

  20. Epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops spp. from South America and southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Bressem, M.F.; Simões-Lopes, P. C.; Félix, F.; Kiszka, J.; Daura-Jorge, F.G.; Avila, I.C.; Secchi, E.R.; Flach, L.; Fruet, P.F.; K. Du Toit; Ott, P.H.; Elwen, S.; Di Giacomo, A.B.; J. Wagner; Banks, A

    2015-01-01

    We report on the epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease (LLD), a cutaneous disorder evoking lobomycosis, in 658 common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from South America and 94 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins T. aduncus from southern Africa. Photographs and stranding records of 387 inshore residents, 60 inshore non-residents and 305 specimens of undetermined origin (inshore and offshore) were examined for the presence of LLD lesions from 2004 to 2015. Seventeen residents, 3 non-resi...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  2. Clinicopathologic findings from Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with cytologic evidence of gastric inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    As part of the Bottlenose Dolphin Health and Risk Assessment study, blood, gastric, fecal, and blowhole samples were collected from 114 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (IRL), and from 73 dolphins from the estuarine waters around Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), to assess the presence and degree of cytologic evidence of gastric inflammation from 2003 to 2007. The prevalence of moderate and severe gastric inflammation was 9.6% in the IRL and 11.0% at CHS. A case-control study of 19 dolphins with cytologic evidence of gastric inflammation and 82 with normal cytology from the combined populations was conducted. Blood parameters evaluated included hematology, serum chemistry, serum protein electrophoresis, and stress hormones. Few differences of clinical or statistical significance were found between affected and unaffected dolphins. Serum norepinephrine and cortisol were significantly higher in cases compared to the controls, and aldosterone was marginally higher (P = 0.06) based on eight cases. None of the hematologic, serum chemistry, or serum electrophoresis results were significantly different. Gastric fluid pH was not significantly different between cases and controls. There were no clinically significant aerobic-anaerobic or fungal culture results from gastric contents; bacteria cultured from both groups were considered to represent normal flora. The prevalence of inflammation did not differ by gender. Historically, cytologic evidence of gastric inflammation has constituted a marker of systemic illness in dolphins; however, there was little evidence to indicate systemic illness among affected animals. The data obtained from this study provide a basis for further investigation and evaluation of gastric cytology in wild and managed bottlenose dolphins.

  3. Decline in relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins exposed to long-term disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejder, Lars; Samuels, Amy; Whitehead, Hal; Gales, Nick; Mann, Janet; Connor, Richard; Heithaus, Mike; Watson-Capps, Jana; Flaherty, Cindy; Krützen, Michael

    2006-12-01

    Studies evaluating effects of human activity on wildlife typically emphasize short-term behavioral responses from which it is difficult to infer biological significance or formulate plans to mitigate harmful impacts. Based on decades of detailed behavioral records, we evaluated long-term impacts of vessel activity on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Australia. We compared dolphin abundance within adjacent 36-km2 tourism and control sites, over three consecutive 4.5-year periods wherein research activity was relatively constant but tourism levels increased from zero, to one, to two dolphin-watching operators. A nonlinear logistic model demonstrated that there was no difference in dolphin abundance between periods with no tourism and periods in which one operator offered tours. As the number of tour operators increased to two, there was a significant average decline in dolphin abundance (14.9%; 95% CI=-20.8 to -8.23), approximating a decline of one per seven individuals. Concurrently, within the control site, the average increase in dolphin abundance was not significant (8.5%; 95% CI=-4.0 to +16.7). Given the substantially greater presence and proximity of tour vessels to dolphins relative to research vessels, tour-vessel activity contributed more to declining dolphin numbers within the tourism site than research vessels. Although this trend may not jeopardize the large, genetically diverse dolphin population of Shark Bay, the decline is unlikely to be sustainable for local dolphin tourism. A similar decline would be devastating for small, closed, resident, or endangered cetacean populations. The substantial effect of tour vessels on dolphin abundance in a region of low-level tourism calls into question the presumption that dolphin-watching tourism is benign.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-24

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Twiner

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chisato Yamamoto

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Stolen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Analysis and Modeling of Echolocation Signals Emitted by Mediterranean Bottlenose Dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greco Maria

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the echolocation sounds emitted by Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins. We extracted the click trains by visual inspection of the data files recorded along the coast of the Tuscany with the collaboration of the CETUS Research Center. We modeled the extracted sonar clicks as Gaussian or exponential multicomponent signals, we estimated the characteristic parameters and compared the data with the reconstructed signals based on the estimates. Results about the estimation and the data fitting are largely shown in the paper.

  12. Distribution and home range of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off Veracruz, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    I Martínez-Serrano; Serrano, A.; Heckel, G; Y Schramm

    2011-01-01

    With the goal of gathering ecological data to develop future cetacean management and conservation plans, the distribution, home range, and residency of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were studied in the central-north Mexican Gulf of Mexico. Between July 2005 and June 2008, 59 boat surveys were carried out for a total of 313 h of effort at sea. During these surveys, 471 individuals were observed in 88 different groups. Photographs of naturally marked animals resulted in 275 different...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadamichi Morisaka

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

  15. Pregnancy is a drag: hydrodynamics, kinematics and performance in pre- and post-parturition bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noren, Shawn R; Redfern, Jessica V; Edwards, Elizabeth F

    2011-12-15

    Constraints on locomotion could be an important component of the cost of reproduction as carrying an increased load associated with eggs or developing fetuses may contribute to decreased locomotor performance for females across taxa and environments. Diminished performance could increase susceptibility to predation, yet the mechanism(s) by which gravidity and pregnancy affect locomotion remains largely unexplored. Here we demonstrate that morphology, hydrodynamics and kinematics were altered during pregnancy, providing a mechanism for diminished locomotor performance in two near-term pregnant (10 days pre-parturition) bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Near-term pregnancy resulted in a 56 ± 13% [corrected] increase in frontal surface area, coinciding with dramatic increases in drag forces while gliding. For example, pregnant females encountered 80 N of drag at 1.7 m s(-1) whereas that magnitude of drag was not encountered until speed doubled for females 18 months post-parturition. Indeed, drag coefficients based on frontal surface area were significantly greater during pregnancy (C(d,F)=0.22 ± 0.04) than at 18 months post-parturition (C(d,F)=0.09 ± 0.01). Pregnancy also induced a gait change as stroke amplitude and distance per stroke were reduced by 13 and 14%, respectively, compared with non-pregnant periods (1-24 months post-parturition). This was concomitant with a 62 and 44% reduction in mean and maximum swim speeds, respectively, during the pregnancy period. Interestingly, attack speeds of known predators of dolphins surpass maximum speeds for the pregnant dolphins in this study. Thus, pregnant dolphins may be more susceptible to predation. This study demonstrates unequivocally that changes in morphology, hydrodynamics and kinematics are associated with diminished performance during pregnancy in dolphins.

  16. Patterns of population structure for inshore bottlenose dolphins along the eastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Vincent P; Greig, Thomas W; Fair, Patricia A; McCulloch, Stephen D; Politz, Christine; Natoli, Ada; Driscoll, Carlos A; Hoelzel, A Rus; David, Victor; Bossart, Gregory D; Lopez, Jose V

    2013-01-01

    Globally distributed, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is found in a range of offshore and coastal habitats. Using 15 microsatellite loci and mtDNA control region sequences, we investigated patterns of genetic differentiation among putative populations along the eastern US shoreline (the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, and Charleston Harbor, South Carolina) (microsatellite analyses: n = 125, mtDNA analyses: n = 132). We further utilized the mtDNA to compare these populations with those from the Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Results showed strong differentiation among inshore, alongshore, and offshore habitats (ФST = 0.744). In addition, Bayesian clustering analyses revealed the presence of 2 genetic clusters (populations) within the 250 km Indian River Lagoon. Habitat heterogeneity is likely an important force diversifying bottlenose dolphin populations through its influence on social behavior and foraging strategy. We propose that the spatial pattern of genetic variation within the lagoon reflects both its steep longitudinal transition of climate and also its historical discontinuity and recent connection as part of Intracoastal Waterway development. These findings have important management implications as they emphasize the role of habitat and the consequence of its modification in shaping bottlenose dolphin population structure and highlight the possibility of multiple management units existing in discrete inshore habitats along the entire eastern US shoreline.

  17. Patterns of Population Structure for Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins along the Eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Globally distributed, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is found in a range of offshore and coastal habitats. Using 15 microsatellite loci and mtDNA control region sequences, we investigated patterns of genetic differentiation among putative populations along the eastern US shoreline (the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, and Charleston Harbor, South Carolina) (microsatellite analyses: n = 125, mtDNA analyses: n = 132). We further utilized the mtDNA to compare these populations with those from the Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Results showed strong differentiation among inshore, alongshore, and offshore habitats (ФST = 0.744). In addition, Bayesian clustering analyses revealed the presence of 2 genetic clusters (populations) within the 250 km Indian River Lagoon. Habitat heterogeneity is likely an important force diversifying bottlenose dolphin populations through its influence on social behavior and foraging strategy. We propose that the spatial pattern of genetic variation within the lagoon reflects both its steep longitudinal transition of climate and also its historical discontinuity and recent connection as part of Intracoastal Waterway development. These findings have important management implications as they emphasize the role of habitat and the consequence of its modification in shaping bottlenose dolphin population structure and highlight the possibility of multiple management units existing in discrete inshore habitats along the entire eastern US shoreline. PMID:24129993

  18. Anaemia, hypothyroidism and immune suppression associated with polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwacke, Lori H; Zolman, Eric S; Balmer, Brian C; De Guise, Sylvain; George, R Clay; Hoguet, Jennifer; Hohn, Aleta A; Kucklick, John R; Lamb, Steve; Levin, Milton; Litz, Jenny A; McFee, Wayne E; Place, Ned J; Townsend, Forrest I; Wells, Randall S; Rowles, Teresa K

    2012-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), persistent chemicals widely used for industrial purposes, have been banned in most parts of the world for decades. Owing to their bioaccumulative nature, PCBs are still found in high concentrations in marine mammals, particularly those that occupy upper trophic positions. While PCB-related health effects have been well-documented in some mammals, studies among dolphins and whales are limited. We conducted health evaluations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) near a site on the Georgia, United States coast heavily contaminated by Aroclor 1268, an uncommon PCB mixture primarily comprised of octa- through deca-chlorobiphenyl congeners. A high proportion (26%) of sampled dolphins suffered anaemia, a finding previously reported from primate laboratory studies using high doses of a more common PCB mixture, Aroclor 1254. In addition, the dolphins showed reduced thyroid hormone levels and total thyroxine, free thyroxine and triiodothyronine negatively correlated with PCB concentration measured in blubber (p = 0.039, dolphins when compared with previously sampled reference sites, and therefore probably did not contribute to the observed correlations. Our results clearly demonstrate that dolphins are vulnerable to PCB-related toxic effects, at least partially mediated through the endocrine system. The severity of the effects suggests that the PCB mixture to which the Georgia dolphins were exposed has substantial toxic potential and further studies are warranted to elucidate mechanisms and potential impacts on other top-level predators, including humans, who regularly consume fish from the same marine waters.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Rachel Marie; Kucklick, John R; Balmer, Brian C; Wells, Randall S; Chanton, Jeffrey P; Nowacek, Douglas P

    2012-05-15

    Differences in priority organic pollutants (POPs), analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and stable isotope ratios (δ(13)C, δ(34)S, and δ(15)N; analyzed by isotope ratio-mass spectrometry), divide 77 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Florida Gulf Coast into three distinct groups. POP levels reflect human population and historical contamination along the coast. In the least disturbed site, concentrations of ΣPOP in male dolphins were 18,000 ng g(-1)±6000 (95% confidence interval here and throughout); in the intermediate bay, males had ΣPOP concentrations of 19,000 ng g(-1)±10,000. St Andrews Bay was home to dolphins with the highest ΣPOP concentrations: 44,000 ng g(-1)±10,300. δ(34)S and δ(15)N, differed significantly between St. George Sound dolphins and those frequenting each of the other two bays, but not between St. Andrews and St. Joseph Bays. ΣPOP concentrations were statistically higher in dolphins frequenting St. Andrews Bay, but were not significantly different between dolphins occupying St. Joseph Bay and St. George Sound. Thus, using either POP or isotope values alone, we would only be able to identify two dolphin groups, but when POP and isotope data are viewed cumulatively, the results clearly define three distinct communities occupying this region. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-06-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-05-15

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

  2. Immune dysfunction in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with lobomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S; Peden-Adams, Margie M; Romano, Tracy A; Rice, Charles D; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D

    2009-03-01

    Lobomycosis (Lacaziosis) occurs only in humans and dolphins under natural conditions. We evaluated the immune status of eight dolphins with lobomycosis and 40 healthy dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida. Lobomycosis cases had multiple abnormalities in their immunologic parameters when compared to healthy dolphins. The absolute number of circulating lymphocytes and serum albumin concentration were reduced (P<0.05) while the segmented neutrophils, alpha 1, total beta, total gamma and total globulins were increased (P<0.05). Although innate immunity was relatively intact and phagocytosis and natural killer cell activity were not affected, the plasma lysozyme concentrations were elevated in dolphins with lobomycosis (P<0.05). Adaptive immunity was depressed with statistically significant decreases found in the absolute numbers of CD4(+) helper T cells and CD19(+) and CD21(+) B cells. The ratios of CD2(+) T cells to CD4(+) cells and CD2(+) to CD21(+) cells were increased (P=0.05 and P<0.05, respectively) and the numbers of lymphocytes expressing MHC class II molecules was decreased in dolphins with lobomycosis (P<0.05). Lymphocyte proliferation was reduced in response to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide and concanavalin A (P<0.05). Antibody titers to Erysipelas rhusiopathiae, a common marine micro-organism, were decreased (P<0.05). In summary, dolphins with lobomycosis exhibit significant impairment in adaptive immunity.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-20

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie B Hart

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

  6. Epidemiology of tattoo skin disease in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the Sado estuary, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Gaspar, Raquel; Aznar, F Javier

    2003-09-24

    We report on the epidemiology of tattoo disease in a community of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the Sado estuary, Portugal. The presence of tattoos (T++) and tattoo-like (T+) lesions was examined in 586 photographic records of 35 dolphins taken from 1994 to 1997. Images were rated into 3 categories: good (GI), average (AI) and poor (PI). Dolphins positive for T++ lesions were observed in 19 GI. Dolphins with T+ lesions were seen in 39 GI, 23 AI and 6 PI. For statistical analysis the dolphins were divided into 2 age classes (immature and adult) and the data grouped into 2 periods (1994-1995 and 1996-1997). Minimum prevalence of T++ lesions in 32 dolphins was 21.9% in 1994-1995 and 15.6% in 1996-1997. Variation in prevalence of tattoo disease between the 2 age classes was examined for each period, excluding animals with T+ lesions or considering them either positive or negative for tattoos. Prevalence of the disease was significantly higher in immature dolphins than in adults during both periods, except in the first one when T+ lesions were considered as true tattoos. Temporal variation in prevalence of tattoo disease was examined in 23 adults. Prevalence was significantly higher in 1994-1995 (39.1%) than in 1996-1997 (17.4%). Differences in the number and quality of pictures did not cause significant biases that could have favoured the detection of lesions between age classes or periods. Minimal persistence of the disease ranged between 3 and 45.5 mo. The lesions converted into light grey marks when healing, but may recur. The presence of very large lesions in 2 adult dolphins affected for years may be related to the contamination of the estuary. The high prevalence of the disease, its long persistence, as well as higher frequency in immature individuals, suggest that it is endemic in bottlenose dolphins from the Sado estuary. The contribution of tattoo disease to the decline of this community should be investigated. Three of the 5 dolphins that died

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  8. A novel mammalian social structure in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.): complex male alliances in an open social network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randić, Srđan; Connor, Richard C; Sherwin, William B; Krützen, Michael

    2012-08-01

    Terrestrial mammals with differentiated social relationships live in 'semi-closed groups' that occasionally accept new members emigrating from other groups. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Western Australia, exhibit a fission-fusion grouping pattern with strongly differentiated relationships, including nested male alliances. Previous studies failed to detect a group membership 'boundary', suggesting that the dolphins live in an open social network. However, two alternative hypotheses have not been excluded. The community defence model posits that the dolphins live in a large semi-closed 'chimpanzee-like' community defended by males and predicts that a dominant alliance(s) will range over the entire community range. The mating season defence model predicts that alliances will defend mating-season territories or sets of females. Here, both models are tested and rejected: no alliances ranged over the entire community range and alliances showed extensive overlap in mating season ranges and consorted females. The Shark Bay dolphins, therefore, present a combination of traits that is unique among mammals: complex male alliances in an open social network. The open social network of dolphins is linked to their relatively low costs of locomotion. This reveals a surprising and previously unrecognized convergence between adaptations reducing travel costs and complex intergroup-alliance relationships in dolphins, elephants and humans.

  9. A GIS analysis of coastal development and trends in bottlenose dolphin strandings in Charleston, SC: implications for coastal marine spatial planning

    OpenAIRE

    Green, Meredith A.; McFee, Wayne; Levine, Norm

    2010-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit estuarine waters near Charleston, South Carolina (SC) feeding, nursing and socializing. While in these waters, dolphins are exposed to multiple direct and indirect threats such as anthropogenic impacts (egs. harassment with boat traffic and entanglements in fishing gear) and environmental degradation. Bottlenose dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Over the years, the percentage of strandings in the estuari...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Pande

    2009-03-01

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

  11. Hearing sensation levels of emitted biosonar clicks in an echolocating Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songhai Li

    Full Text Available Emitted biosonar clicks and auditory evoked potential (AEP responses triggered by the clicks were synchronously recorded during echolocation in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus trained to wear suction-cup EEG electrodes and to detect targets by echolocation. Three targets with target strengths of -34, -28, and -22 dB were used at distances of 2 to 6.5 m for each target. The AEP responses were sorted according to the corresponding emitted click source levels in 5-dB bins and averaged within each bin to extract biosonar click-related AEPs from noise. The AEP amplitudes were measured peak-to-peak and plotted as a function of click source levels for each target type, distance, and target-present or target-absent condition. Hearing sensation levels of the biosonar clicks were evaluated by comparing the functions of the biosonar click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click source level to a function of external (in free field click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click sound pressure level. The results indicated that the dolphin's hearing sensation levels to her own biosonar clicks were equal to that of external clicks with sound pressure levels 16 to 36 dB lower than the biosonar click source levels, varying with target type, distance, and condition. These data may be assumed to indicate that the bottlenose dolphin possesses effective protection mechanisms to isolate the self-produced intense biosonar beam from the animal's ears during echolocation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-30

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

  13. Lacaziosis in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus along the coastal Atlantic Ocean, Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, M Elizabeth; Mazzoil, Marilyn; McCulloch, Stephen; Bechdel, Sarah; O'Corry-Crowe, Greg; Bossart, Gregory D; Reif, John S

    2010-10-26

    This study represents the first systematic study of lacaziosis (lobomycosis) in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Atlantic Ocean along the east-central coast of Florida, USA. Lacaziosis is a chronic infection of the skin caused by the fungus Lacazia loboi, which affects only dolphins and humans. Previous studies have shown a high prevalence (6.8 to 12.0%) of lacaziosis in resident dolphins from the adjacent Indian River Lagoon Estuary (IRL), where the disease is endemic. We examined the prevalence of lacaziosis in this coastal area using photo-identification data collected between 2002 and 2008 to determine the prevalence of lacaziosis in coastal dolphins using photographic methodology shown to have high sensitivity and specificity in prior research. The prevalence of skin lesions compatible with lacaziosis estimated from photographic data was 2.1% (6/284), approximately 3 times lower than that described for the estuarine population using similar methods. To exclude potential bias introduced by differences in study duration and survey effort among areas, an 18 mo period when effort was most equal (January 2006 to June 2007) was chosen for statistical comparison. The prevalence of lacaziosis estimated from photographic data was significantly lower (3.8%: n = 6/160) in the Atlantic Ocean compared to the IRL (12.0%: n = 20/167) (risk ratio = 3.19, 95% CI 1.32 to 7.75, p < 0.01 by chi-square analysis). The lower prevalence of lacaziosis in dolphins found in the Atlantic Ocean and the overall lack of movement of dolphins between these habitats suggests that environmental conditions within the estuary may favor viability of L. loboi, and/or that immune compromise in resident estuarine dolphins is a precursor to the disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    National Marine Mammal Foundation, USA), Dr. Bjarne Styrishave (Copenhagen University, Denmark), and Dr. Andrew J. Wright (George Mason University, USA...using skin samples collected from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphins will be sampled as part of an ongoing out-of water stress test ...and stress hormones study conducted by Dr. Dorian Houser in collaboration with the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (MMP) under ONR project

  15. Habitat use of a population of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus gephyreus, analyzed by means of Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) method

    OpenAIRE

    Cransveld, Alice; Denoël, Mathieu; Das, Krishna; Vermeulen, Els

    2014-01-01

    The San Antonio Bay (SAB), in Patagonia, Argentina, harbors a resident population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus gephyreus). It seems a privileged area to give birth and nurse calves. In the context of declining populations worldwide and more particularly in South America, preserving the SAB population takes a considerable significance. Yet the SAB is facing human population growth and touristic development, which represent potential threats for the dolphin population, especially ...

  16. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    analysis continued through May 2014 with subsequent post-trial calibration of the instruments and metabolic baseline. APPROACH The metabolic ... metabolism , relative to baseline, for each individual trial. The results of this analysis are depicted in Figs. 3B and 4B. For both dolphins, the...period is the mass-specific metabolic rate during the submerged click production bout in ml O2 min-1 kg-1 and cEFD is the cumulative energy flux

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Blubber morphology in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Southeastern United States: influence of geographic location, age class, and reproductive state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montie, Eric W; Garvin, Scott R; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D; Mitchum, Greg B; McFee, Wayne E; Speakman, Todd; Starczak, Victoria R; Hahn, Mark E

    2008-04-01

    This study investigated blubber morphology and correlations of histological measurements with ontogeny, geography, and reproductive state in live, wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the southeastern United States. Surgical skin-blubber biopsies (N=74) were collected from dolphins during capture-release studies conducted in two geographic locations: Charleston, SC (N=38) and Indian River Lagoon, FL (N=36). Histological analysis of blubber revealed stratification into superficial, middle, and deep layers. Adipocytes of the middle blubber were 1.6x larger in Charleston subadults than in Indian River Lagoon subadults (4,590+/-340 compared to 2,833+/-335 microm2 per cell). Charleston subadult dolphins contained higher levels of total blubber lipids than Charleston adult animals (49.3%+/-1.9% compared to 34.2%+/-1.7%), and this difference was manifested in more adipocytes in the middle blubber layer (19.2+/-0.9 compared to 14.9+/-0.5 cells per field). However, dolphins from Indian River Lagoon did not exhibit this pattern, and the adipocyte cell counts of subadults were approximately equal to those of the adults (16.0+/-1.4 compared to 13.4+/-0.8 cells per field). The colder year-round water temperatures in Charleston compared to Indian River Lagoon may explain these differences. Adipocytes in the deep blubber layer were significantly smaller in lactating and simultaneously pregnant and lactating animals compared to pregnant dolphins (840+/-179, 627+/-333, and 2,776+/-586 microm2 per cell, respectively). Total blubber lipid content and adipocyte size in the deep blubber of mothers with calves decreased linearly with calf length. Lactating females may utilize lipids from the deep blubber during periods of increased energetic demands associated with offspring care. This study demonstrates that ontogeny, geography, and reproductive state may influence morphological parameters such as structural fiber densities and adipocyte numbers and sizes, measured in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1972-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1972-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubero-Pardo, Priscilla

    2007-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  4. Prevalence of epidermal conditions in California coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Monterey Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldini, Daniela; Riggin, Jessica; Cecchetti, Arianna; Cotter, Mark P

    2010-11-01

    The prevalence of epidermal conditions in a small population of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Monterey Bay was evaluated between 2006 and 2008. Five different skin condition categories were considered, including Pox-Like Lesions, Discoloration, Orange Film, Polygon Lesions, and Miscellaneous Markings. Of 147 adults and 42 calves photographically examined, at least 90 and 71%, respectively, were affected by at least one or multiple conditions. Pox-Like Lesions were the most prevalent, affecting 80% of the population, including adults and calves. This condition warrants the most urgent investigation being possibly indicative of the widespread presence of poxvirus or a similar pathogen in the population. In view of the high number of individuals affected, standard monitoring of the health status of Monterey Bay bottlenose dolphins is considered imperative. Discoloration was strongly associated with Pox-Like lesions. Orange Films were likely an epifaunal infestation caused by diatoms, which have been documented in other cetacean species. Polygon Lesions, a newly described category, could be the result of infestation by barnacles of the genus Cryptolepas. Miscellaneous Markings were variable in appearance and may not have the same causative factor. Although none of the proposed etiologies can be confirmed without appropriate clinical tests, recognizing common visible characteristics of the conditions could aid in preliminary comparisons across populations and individuals.

  5. Evaluation of potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome in bottlenose dolphins:feeding and activity patterns of dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Randall S.; McHugh, Katherine A.; Douglas, David C.; Shippee, Steve; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Barros, Nélio B.; Phillips, Goldie T.

    2014-01-01

    Free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) living in Sarasota Bay, Florida appear to have a lower risk of developing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome compared to a group of dolphins managed under human care. Similar to humans, differences in diet and activity cycles between these groups may explain why Sarasota dolphins have lower insulin, glucose, and lipids. To identify potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome, existing and new data were incorporated to describe feeding and activity patterns of the Sarasota Bay wild dolphin community. Sarasota dolphins eat a wide variety of live fish and spend 10–20% of daylight hours foraging and feeding. Feeding occurs throughout the day, with the dolphins eating small proportions of their total daily intake in brief bouts. The natural pattern of wild dolphins is to feed as necessary and possible at any time of the day or night. Wild dolphins rarely eat dead fish or consume large amounts of prey in concentrated time periods. Wild dolphins are active throughout the day and night; they may engage in bouts of each key activity category at any time during daytime. Dive patterns of radio-tagged dolphins varied only slightly with time of day. Travel rates may be slightly lower at night, suggesting a diurnal rhythm, albeit not one involving complete, extended rest. In comparison, the managed dolphins are older; often fed a smaller variety of frozen-thawed fish types; fed fish species not in their natural diet; feedings and engaged activities are often during the day; and they are fed larger but fewer meals. In summary, potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome in dolphins may include young age, activity, and small meals fed throughout the day and night, and specific fish nutrients. These protective factors against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are similar to those reported in humans. Further studies may benefit humans and dolphins.

  6. How does Australia's largest dolphin-watching industry affect the behaviour of a small and resident population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckenreuter, Andre; Möller, Luciana; Harcourt, Robert

    2012-04-30

    The small, genetically distinct population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Port Stephens, New South Wales (NSW), is the target of the largest dolphin-watching industry in Australia and is located within the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park that was created in 2005. The effects of this industry have been identified as of significant management importance by the Marine Parks Authority NSW. Accordingly, the impact of commercial dolphin-watching boats was investigated from boat-based surveys from August 2008 to August 2009. Presence of dolphin-watching boats altered both the dolphins' behavioural states and activity budgets. Dolphins spent 66.5% less time feeding and 44.2% less time socialising, spent four times more milling, and were never observed to rest in the presence of dolphin-watching boats. Moreover, dolphin groups were more cohesive during dolphin-watching boat encounters and dolphins tended to avoid tour boats. These effects were exacerbated as the number of boats increased and the distance from boats decreased. The rate of approach was high with boats approaching each dolphin group three times per day in winter and six times in summer. Moreover, groups of dolphins with newborns were approached closer than state regulated minimum approach distances in nine out of ten encounters. Globally, dolphin-watching industries frequent small resident groups of coastal dolphins and effects are likely to be similar. We suggest that existing controls are inadequate and that these together with additional regulations be enforced by a regular presence of authorities. We suggest no more than one dolphin-watching boat within 50 m of a group of dolphins, or 100 m if calves are present. Operating times of dolphin-watching boats should be restricted in numbers after 1 pm, i.e., during preferred foraging times for dolphins. Additionally, exclusion zones should be considered to reduce pressure on dolphins undertaking critical activities such as

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Sperm DNA fragmentation is one of the major causes of infertility; the sperm chromatin dispersion test (SCDt) evaluates this parameter and offers the advantage of species-specific validated protocol and ease of use under field conditions. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics in both fresh and post-thaw bottlenose dolphin sperm using the SCDt following different cryopreservation protocols to gain new information about the post-thaw differential sperm DNA longevity in this species. Fresh and cryopreserved semen samples from five bottlenose dolphins were examined for sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics using the SCDt (Halomax(®)). Sperm DNA fragmentation was assessed immediately at collection and following cryopreservation (T0) and then after 0.5, 1, 4, 8, 24, 48 and 72 h incubation at 37°C. Serially collected ejaculates from four dolphins were frozen using different cryopreservation protocols in a TES-TRIS-fructose buffer (TTF), an egg-yolk-free vegetable lipid LP1 buffer (LP1) and human sperm preservation medium (HSPM). Fresh ejaculated spermatozoa initially showed low levels of DNA fragmentation for up to 48 h. Lower Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) was found in the second fresh ejaculate compared to the first when more than one sample was collected on the same day (p fragmentation after 24- and 48-h incubation than those frozen in TTF or HSPM. No correlation was found between any seminal characteristic and DNA fragmentation in either fresh and/or frozen-thawed samples. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie Burdett Hart

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

  9. Spatial analysis on the critical habitats of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica: Considerations for a marina construction project

    OpenAIRE

    Herra-Miranda, David; Pacheco-Polanco, Juan Diego; Oviedo, Lenin; Iñíguez, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Golfo Dulce harbors an important resident population of inshore bottlenose dolphins (T. truncatus) and migrating humpback whales (M. novaeangliae, Northern and Southern Pacific populations). The present study offers a detailed spatial analysis of the utilization distribution of bottlenose dolphins (2005-2014: n= 407) and humpback whales (2010-2014: n= 167), assessing the potential impacts due to coastal development by a marina project overlapping their critical habitats. Records yielding spat...

  10. The structure of a bottlenose dolphin society is coupled to a unique foraging cooperation with artisanal fishermen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daura-Jorge, F G; Cantor, M; Ingram, S N; Lusseau, D; Simões-Lopes, P C

    2012-10-23

    Diverse and localized foraging behaviours have been reported in isolated populations of many animal species around the world. In Laguna, southern Brazil, a subset of resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) uses a foraging tactic involving cooperative interactions with local, beach-casting fishermen. We used individual photo-identification data to assess whether cooperative and non-cooperative dolphins were socially segregated. The social structure of the population was found to be a fission-fusion system with few non-random associations, typical for this species. However, association values were greater among cooperative dolphins than among non-cooperative dolphins or between dolphins from different foraging classes. Furthermore, the dolphin social network was divided into three modules, clustering individuals that shared or lacked the cooperative foraging tactic. Space-use patterns were not sufficient to explain this partitioning, indicating a behavioural factor. The segregation of dolphins using different foraging tactics could result from foraging behaviour driving social structure, while the closer association between dolphins engaged in the cooperation could facilitate the transmission and learning of this behavioural trait from conspecifics. This unique case of a dolphin-human interaction represents a valuable opportunity to explore hypotheses on the role of social learning in wild cetaceans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Lee, Hing-Biu; Adams, Jeff; Darling, Colin; Pacepavicius, Grazina; Alaee, Mehran; Bossart, Gregory D; Henry, Natasha; Muir, Derek

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Complete amino acid sequence of the myoglobin from the Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B N; Vigna, R A; Dwulet, F E; Bogardt, R A; Lehman, L D; Gurd, F R

    1976-10-05

    The complete amino acid sequence of the major component myoglobin from the Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, was determined by specific cleavage of the protein to obtain large peptides that are readily degraded by the automatic sequencer. Three easily separable peptides were obtained by cleaving the protein with cyanogen bromide at the 2 methionine residues and 4 peptides were obtained by cleaving the methyl acetimidated protein with trypsin at the 3 arginine residues. By subjecting 4 of these peptides and the apomyoglobin to automatic Edman degradation, over 80% of the covalent structure of the protein was obtained. The remainder of the primary structure was determined by further digestion of the central cyanogen bromide peptide with trypsin and staphylococcal protease. This myoglobin differs from that of the sperm whale, Physter catodon, at 15 positions, from that of the California gray whale, Eschrichtius gibbosus, at 14 positions, from that of the common porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, at 6 positions, and from the myoglobin of the Black Sea dolphin, Delphinus delphis and the Amazon River dolphin, Inia goeffrensis, at 5 and 7 positions, respecitvely. All substitutions observed in this sequence fit easily into the tertiary structure of sperm whale myoglobin.

  13. Cytochrome P4501A1 expression, polychlorinated biphenyls and hydroxylated metabolites, and adipocyte size of bottlenose dolphins from the Southeast United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montie, Eric W; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D; Mitchum, Greg B; Houde, Magali; Muir, Derek C G; Letcher, Robert J; McFee, Wayne E; Starczak, Victoria R; Stegeman, John J; Hahn, Mark E

    2008-02-18

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) bioaccumulate in blubber of marine mammals. Therefore, it is important to understand the structure and dynamics of blubber layers and how they affect the accumulation of POPs and subsequent biochemical responses. We used established histological and immunohistochemical methods to document the structure of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) blubber and to assess the expression of cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1) in skin-blubber biopsies of dolphins sampled in the waters off Charleston, SC (CHS) (N=38), and Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) (N=36). CYP1A1 expression was strongest and most frequent in capillary endothelial cells and was stratified in blubber; the greatest CYP1A1 staining was in the deepest layer. CYP1A1 expression in deep blubber and 2,3,7,8-TCDD Toxic Equivalents measured in the entire blubber were significantly higher in dolphins from CHS as compared to those from IRL. Adipocyte size was associated with the extent of CYP1A1 expression. Male dolphins with smaller adipocytes from CHS and IRL had higher levels of CYP1A1 expression in deep blubber. In CHS females, CYP1A1 expression in vascular endothelial cells varied with reproductive status. CYP1A1 expression in the deep layer was highest in simultaneously pregnant-lactating dolphins, and these dolphins had the smallest adipocytes in deep blubber. In all dolphins, CYP1A1 expression in the deep blubber layer was positively related to concentrations of hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs) in plasma. In summary, redistribution of AHR agonists from blubber into the circulatory system may enhance PCB metabolism and production of OH-PCBs by induction of CYP1A1 in hepatocytes and, possibly, by induction of CYP1A1 in endothelial cells of the deep blubber. The OH-PCBs thus formed have the potential to interfere with thyroid hormone homeostasis.

  14. Passive acoustic monitoring of bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise, in Cardigan Bay, Wales, with implications for habitat use and partitioning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, Malene Juul; Nuuttila, Hanna; Reyes-Zamudio, Mercedes M

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge about harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin occurrence in Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Wales, is limited to daylight hours during summer, when conditions are suitable for traditional visual surveys. T-PODs are autonomous instruments programmed to log time-cues of s......Knowledge about harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin occurrence in Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Wales, is limited to daylight hours during summer, when conditions are suitable for traditional visual surveys. T-PODs are autonomous instruments programmed to log time......-cues of species-specific echolocation signals for long periods of time. Here we investigated bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise habitat use and partitioning by deploying ten calibrated T-PODs in Cardigan Bay SAC for one year. The T-PODs detected both species all year round with a peak of detections in April......-October for dolphins and in October-March for porpoise, revealing a previously unknown importance of the place to harbour porpoise during winter. Though the two species are sympatric, simultaneous detections of both species were rare and indication of temporal habitat partitioning between the two species in some parts...

  15. Population Structure of Island-Associated Dolphins: Evidence from Mitochondrial and Microsatellite Markers for Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Around the Main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    derived from killer whales (Orcinus orca ; Hoelzel et al. 1998a); loci D5 and D12 from beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas; Buchanan et al. 1996); and...M. Dahlheim and S. J. Stern. 1998a. Low genetic variation among killer whales (Orcinus orca ) in the eastern North Pacific and genetic...24 MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE, VOL. **, NO. **, 2011 Rooney, A. P., D. B.Merritt and J.N.Derr. 1999.Microsatellite diversity in captive bottlenose dolphins

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Marine mammals are exposed to ischemia/reperfusion and hypoxia/reoxygenation during diving. During oxygen deprivation, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breakdown implies purine metabolite accumulation, which in humans is associated with pathological conditions. Purine recycling in seals increases in response to prolonged fasting and ischemia. Concentrations of metabolites and activities of key enzymes in purine metabolism were examined in plasma and red blood cells from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humans. Hypoxanthine and inosine monophosphate concentrations were higher in plasma from dolphins than humans. Plasma hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT) activity in dolphins suggests an elevated purine recycling rate, and a mechanism for avoiding accumulation of non-recyclable purines (xanthine and uric acid). Red blood cell concentrations of hypoxanthine, adenosine diphosphate, ATP and guanosine triphosphate were lower in dolphins than in humans; adenosine monophosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide concentrations were higher in dolphins. HGPRT activity in red blood cells was higher in humans than in dolphins. The lower concentrations of purine catabolism and recycling by-products in plasma from dolphins could be beneficial in providing substrates for recovery of ATP depleted during diving or vigorous swimming. These results suggest that purine salvage in dolphins could be a mechanism for delivering nucleotide precursors to tissues with high ATP and guanosine triphosphate requirements.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Marine mammals are exposed to ischemia/reperfusion and hypoxia/reoxygenation during diving. During oxygen deprivation, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breakdown implies purine metabolite accumulation, which in humans is associated with pathological conditions. Purine recycling in seals increases in response to prolonged fasting and ischemia. Concentrations of metabolites and activities of key enzymes in purine metabolism were examined in plasma and red blood cells from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and humans. Hypoxanthine and inosine monophosphate concentrations were higher in plasma from dolphins than humans. Plasma hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT) activity in dolphins suggests an elevated purine recycling rate, and a mechanism for avoiding accumulation of non-recyclable purines (xanthine and uric acid). Red blood cell concentrations of hypoxanthine, adenosine diphosphate, ATP and guanosine triphosphate were lower in dolphins than in humans; adenosine monophosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide concentrations were higher in dolphins. HGPRT activity in red blood cells was higher in humans than in dolphins. The lower concentrations of purine catabolism and recycling by-products in plasma from dolphins could be beneficial in providing substrates for recovery of ATP depleted during diving or vigorous swimming. These results suggest that purine salvage in dolphins could be a mechanism for delivering nucleotide precursors to tissues with high ATP and guanosine triphosphate requirements. PMID:27375492

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-09-15

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

  20. A Quantitative Analysis of Pulsed Signals Emitted by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couchinho, Miguel N.; dos Santos, Manuel E.

    2016-01-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), produce a wide variety of vocal emissions for communication and echolocation, of which the pulsed repertoire has been the most difficult to categorize. Packets of high repetition, broadband pulses are still largely reported under a general designation of burst-pulses, and traditional attempts to classify these emissions rely mainly in their aural characteristics and in graphical aspects of spectrograms. Here, we present a quantitative analysis of pulsed signals emitted by wild bottlenose dolphins, in the Sado estuary, Portugal (2011–2014), and test the reliability of a traditional classification approach. Acoustic parameters (minimum frequency, maximum frequency, peak frequency, duration, repetition rate and inter-click-interval) were extracted from 930 pulsed signals, previously categorized using a traditional approach. Discriminant function analysis revealed a high reliability of the traditional classification approach (93.5% of pulsed signals were consistently assigned to their aurally based categories). According to the discriminant function analysis (Wilk’s Λ = 0.11, F3, 2.41 = 282.75, P < 0.001), repetition rate is the feature that best enables the discrimination of different pulsed signals (structure coefficient = 0.98). Classification using hierarchical cluster analysis led to a similar categorization pattern: two main signal types with distinct magnitudes of repetition rate were clustered into five groups. The pulsed signals, here described, present significant differences in their time-frequency features, especially repetition rate (P < 0.001), inter-click-interval (P < 0.001) and duration (P < 0.001). We document the occurrence of a distinct signal type–short burst-pulses, and highlight the existence of a diverse repertoire of pulsed vocalizations emitted in graded sequences. The use of quantitative analysis of pulsed signals is essential to improve classifications and to better assess the contexts

  1. A Quantitative Analysis of Pulsed Signals Emitted by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luís, Ana Rita; Couchinho, Miguel N; Dos Santos, Manuel E

    2016-01-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), produce a wide variety of vocal emissions for communication and echolocation, of which the pulsed repertoire has been the most difficult to categorize. Packets of high repetition, broadband pulses are still largely reported under a general designation of burst-pulses, and traditional attempts to classify these emissions rely mainly in their aural characteristics and in graphical aspects of spectrograms. Here, we present a quantitative analysis of pulsed signals emitted by wild bottlenose dolphins, in the Sado estuary, Portugal (2011-2014), and test the reliability of a traditional classification approach. Acoustic parameters (minimum frequency, maximum frequency, peak frequency, duration, repetition rate and inter-click-interval) were extracted from 930 pulsed signals, previously categorized using a traditional approach. Discriminant function analysis revealed a high reliability of the traditional classification approach (93.5% of pulsed signals were consistently assigned to their aurally based categories). According to the discriminant function analysis (Wilk's Λ = 0.11, F3, 2.41 = 282.75, P < 0.001), repetition rate is the feature that best enables the discrimination of different pulsed signals (structure coefficient = 0.98). Classification using hierarchical cluster analysis led to a similar categorization pattern: two main signal types with distinct magnitudes of repetition rate were clustered into five groups. The pulsed signals, here described, present significant differences in their time-frequency features, especially repetition rate (P < 0.001), inter-click-interval (P < 0.001) and duration (P < 0.001). We document the occurrence of a distinct signal type-short burst-pulses, and highlight the existence of a diverse repertoire of pulsed vocalizations emitted in graded sequences. The use of quantitative analysis of pulsed signals is essential to improve classifications and to better assess the contexts of

  2. A Quantitative Analysis of Pulsed Signals Emitted by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rita Luís

    Full Text Available Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, produce a wide variety of vocal emissions for communication and echolocation, of which the pulsed repertoire has been the most difficult to categorize. Packets of high repetition, broadband pulses are still largely reported under a general designation of burst-pulses, and traditional attempts to classify these emissions rely mainly in their aural characteristics and in graphical aspects of spectrograms. Here, we present a quantitative analysis of pulsed signals emitted by wild bottlenose dolphins, in the Sado estuary, Portugal (2011-2014, and test the reliability of a traditional classification approach. Acoustic parameters (minimum frequency, maximum frequency, peak frequency, duration, repetition rate and inter-click-interval were extracted from 930 pulsed signals, previously categorized using a traditional approach. Discriminant function analysis revealed a high reliability of the traditional classification approach (93.5% of pulsed signals were consistently assigned to their aurally based categories. According to the discriminant function analysis (Wilk's Λ = 0.11, F3, 2.41 = 282.75, P < 0.001, repetition rate is the feature that best enables the discrimination of different pulsed signals (structure coefficient = 0.98. Classification using hierarchical cluster analysis led to a similar categorization pattern: two main signal types with distinct magnitudes of repetition rate were clustered into five groups. The pulsed signals, here described, present significant differences in their time-frequency features, especially repetition rate (P < 0.001, inter-click-interval (P < 0.001 and duration (P < 0.001. We document the occurrence of a distinct signal type-short burst-pulses, and highlight the existence of a diverse repertoire of pulsed vocalizations emitted in graded sequences. The use of quantitative analysis of pulsed signals is essential to improve classifications and to better assess the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  5. Monitoring dolphins in an urban marine system: total and effective population size estimates of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina C Ansmann

    Full Text Available Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia is an area of high biodiversity and conservation value and home to two sympatric sub-populations of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus. These dolphins live in close proximity to major urban developments. Successful management requires information regarding their abundance. Here, we estimate total and effective population sizes of bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay using photo-identification and genetic data collected during boat-based surveys in 2008-2010. Abundance (N was estimated using open population mark-recapture models based on sighting histories of distinctive individuals. Effective population size (Ne was estimated using the linkage disequilibrium method based on nuclear genetic data at 20 microsatellite markers in skin samples, and corrected for bias caused by overlapping generations (Ne c. A total of 174 sightings of dolphin groups were recorded and 365 different individuals identified. Over the whole of Moreton Bay, a population size N of 554 ± 22.2 (SE (95% CI: 510-598 was estimated. The southern bay sub-population was small at an estimated N = 193 ± 6.4 (SE (95% CI: 181-207, while the North sub-population was more numerous, with 446 ± 56 (SE (95% CI: 336-556 individuals. The small estimated effective population size of the southern sub-population (Ne c = 56, 95% CI: 33-128 raises conservation concerns. A power analysis suggested that to reliably detect small (5% declines in size of this population would require substantial survey effort (>4 years of annual mark-recapture surveys at the precision levels achieved here. To ensure that ecological as well as genetic diversity within this population of bottlenose dolphins is preserved, we consider that North and South sub-populations should be treated as separate management units. Systematic surveys over smaller areas holding locally-adapted sub-populations are suggested as an alternative method for increasing ability to detect

  6. A case of stranded Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) with lobomycosis-like skin lesions in Kinko-wan, Kagoshima, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, Yuko; Sasaki, Kyoko; Kashiwagi, Nobuyuki; Yamada, Tadasu K

    2015-08-01

    Lobomycosis is a chronic fungal disease caused by the etiologic agent, Lacazia loboi, in the skin and subcutaneous tissues in humans and dolphins in tropical and transitional tropical climates. An Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) stranded in Kagoshima, Japan, had severe skin lesions characterized by granulomatous reactions and hyperkeratosis that were similar to those of the lobomycosis, but no fungal organism was observed in the skin lesion. In this paper, we report a stranded Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin with lobomycosis-like lesions based on pathological examinations in Japan.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Opportunistic pathogens related to degradation in water quality are of concern to both wildlife and public health. The objective of this study was to identify spatial, temporal, and environmental risk factors for E. coli colonization among Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL between 2003 and 2007. Age, gender, capture location, coastal human population density, proximity of sewage treatment plants, number of septic tanks, cumulative p...

  8. Two Cases of Bacterial Pneumonia in Bottle-nosed Dolphins (Tursiops Gillii at the Seoul Zoo, Korea

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    Kyung-Yeon Eo and Oh-Deog Kwon

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Two bacterial pneumonia cases of bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops gillii were found in Seoul Zoo. Firstly, severe fibrous pleuropneumonia was revealed in a 14-year-old male bottle-nosed dolphin on its necropsy. The clinical signs included anorexia, listing posture, and vertical submerging after the initial signs of low activity and avoiding trainers. White blood cell count increased up to 31.80 × 103/µl. Despite aggressive antibiotics therapy of intramuscular injection and nebulization it died two months later. At early time of illness Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus mirabilis were isolated. Lately Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated from the exhaled air culture and direct sample of lung parenchyma on necropsy. Secondly, a 6-year-old male bottle-nosed dolphin with anorexia and tendency to avoid trainers was completely recovered after prompt treatment with antibiotics and NSAIDs for six days prior to diagnosis. The diagnosis was based on history, clinical signs, blood cell count, and mucous culture from blowhole. The count of white blood cell dramatically decreased from 25.36 × 103/µl to 7.28 × 103/ µl after four days of antibiotics therapy. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from the culture.

  9. Lobomycosis in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon, Florida: estimation of prevalence, temporal trends, and spatial distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, M Elizabeth; Reif, John S; Mazzoil, Marilyn; McCulloch, Stephen D; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D

    2008-09-01

    Lobomycosis (lacaziosis) is a chronic fungal disease of the skin that affects only dolphins and humans. Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of lobomycosis in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (IRL). We studied the occurrence and distribution of lobomycosis in the IRL using photo-identification survey data collected between 1996 and 2006. Our objectives were to (1) determine the sensitivity and specificity of photo-identification for diagnosis of lobomycosis in free-ranging dolphins; (2) determine the spatial distribution of lobomycosis in the IRL; and (3) assess temporal patterns of occurrence. Photographs from 704 distinctly marked dolphins were reviewed for skin lesions compatible with lobomycosis. The presumptive diagnosis was validated by comparing the results of photographic analysis with physical examination and histologic examination of lesion biopsies in 102 dolphins captured and released during a health assessment and 3 stranded dolphins. Twelve of 16 confirmed cases were identified previously by photography, a sensitivity of 75%. Among 89 dolphins without disease, all 89 were considered negative, a specificity of 100%. The prevalence of lobomycosis estimated from photographic data was 6.8% (48/704). Spatial distribution was determined by dividing the IRL into six segments based on hydrodynamics and geographic features. The prevalence ranged from River. The incidence of the disease did not increase during the study period, indicating that the disease is endemic, rather than emerging. In summary, photo-identification is a useful tool to monitor the course of individual and population health for this enigmatic disease.

  10. Epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops spp. from South America and southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Simões-Lopes, Paulo C; Félix, Fernando; Kiszka, Jeremy J; Daura-Jorge, Fabio G; Avila, Isabel C; Secchi, Eduardo R; Flach, Leonardo; Fruet, Pedro F; du Toit, Kate; Ott, Paulo H; Elwen, Simon; Di Giacomo, Amanda B; Wagner, Jeanne; Banks, Aaron; Van Waerebeek, Koen

    2015-11-17

    We report on the epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease (LLD), a cutaneous disorder evoking lobomycosis, in 658 common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from South America and 94 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins T. aduncus from southern Africa. Photographs and stranding records of 387 inshore residents, 60 inshore non-residents and 305 specimens of undetermined origin (inshore and offshore) were examined for the presence of LLD lesions from 2004 to 2015. Seventeen residents, 3 non-residents and 1 inshore dolphin of unknown residence status were positive. LLD lesions appeared as single or multiple, light grey to whitish nodules and plaques that may ulcerate and increase in size over time. Among resident dolphins, prevalence varied significantly among 4 communities, being low in Posorja (2.35%, n = 85), Ecuador, and high in Salinas, Ecuador (16.7%, n = 18), and Laguna, Brazil (14.3%, n = 42). LLD prevalence increased in 36 T. truncatus from Laguna from 5.6% in 2007-2009 to 13.9% in 2013-2014, albeit not significantly. The disease has persisted for years in dolphins from Mayotte, Laguna, Salinas, the Sanquianga National Park and Bahía Málaga (Colombia) but vanished from the Tramandaí Estuary and the Mampituba River (Brazil). The geographical range of LLD has expanded in Brazil, South Africa and Ecuador, in areas that have been regularly surveyed for 10 to 35 yr. Two of the 21 LLD-affected dolphins were found dead with extensive lesions in southern Brazil, and 2 others disappeared, and presumably died, in Ecuador. These observations stress the need for targeted epidemiological, histological and molecular studies of LLD in dolphins, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

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

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    Pedro F Fruet

    2011-02-01

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

  12. Morbillivirus infection in free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Southeastern United States: seroepidemiologic and pathologic evidence of subclinical infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossart, Gregory D; Reif, John S; Schaefer, Adam M; Goldstein, Juli; Fair, Patricia A; Saliki, Jeremiah T

    2010-07-14

    From 2003 to 2007, sera (n=234) from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting two southeast Atlantic estuarine regions, the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL and Charleston, SC (CHS) were tested for antibodies to cetacean morbilliviruses as part of a multidisciplinary study of individual and population health. Positive morbillivirus titers were found on initial capture in 12 of 122 (9.8%) IRL dolphins in the absence of an epizootic. All CHS dolphins were seronegative. Positive fluctuating morbillivirus titers and seroconversion were found in IRL dolphins. Seropositivity was detected in dolphins 8-13 years of age as well as in dolphins that were alive during the 1987-1988 epizootic. During the study period, pathologic and immunohistochemical findings from stranded IRL dolphins (n=14) did not demonstrate typical morbillivirus-associated lesions or the presence of morbillivirus antigen. The findings suggest that morbillivirus infections are occurring in the absence of widespread mortality in IRL dolphins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  16. Assessing the potential health impacts of the 2003 and 2007 firestorms on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops trucatus) in San Diego Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Smith, Cynthia R; Jensen, Eric D; Rowles, Teri

    2013-08-01

    Firestorms negatively affected air quality throughout San Diego County during 2003 and 2007, including the San Diego Bay, which houses the Navy's bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). To assess the potential impact of the 2003 and 2007 fires on dolphin health. Hematology and serum chemistry values were evaluated retrospectively among Navy dolphins the year and month before; during; and the month after the 2003 and 2007 fires. Both 2003 and 2007 fires were associated with lower calcium either during or the month post-fire compared to the control periods. During and the month following the 2003 fire, dolphins had higher serum carbon dioxide compared to the control periods. Dolphins during and the month following the 2007 fire had lower absolute or percent neutrophils and higher chloride. The 2007 fire was also associated with increased percent eosinophils during the fire and higher percent monocytes and bilirubin the month following the fire compared to the control periods. Consistent with what has been previously reported in humans and other animals, this study supports that fire smoke inhalation may have mild effects on dolphin physiology, including calcium homeostasis, lung function and immune response.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth H Carmichael

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

  19. Sex-specific patterns in abundance, temporary emigration and survival of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus in coastal and estuarine waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate R Sprogis

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Inherent difficulties in determining the sex of free-ranging sexually monomorphic species often prevents a sex-specific focus on estimating abundance, movement patterns and survival rates. This study provides insights into sex-specific population parameters of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus. Systematic, boat-based photo-identification surveys (n = 417 were conducted year-round from 2007-2013 in coastal and estuarine waters off Bunbury, Western Australia. Pollock’s Robust Design was used to quantify population parameters for three datasets: i adults and juveniles combined, ii adult females and iii adult males. For all datasets, abundance estimates varied seasonally, with general highs during summer and/or autumn, and lows during winter. Dolphins had seasonally structured temporary emigration rates with similar trends between sexes. The derived return rate (1-γ’ of temporary emigrants into the study area was highest from winter to spring, indicating that dolphins had a high probability of return into the study area during spring. We suggest that the return of dolphins into the study area and increase in abundance is influenced by the breeding season (summer/autumn. Prey availability is likely a main driver responsible for the movement of dolphins out of the study area during winter. Seasonal apparent survival rates were constant and high (0.98-0.99 for all datasets. High apparent survival rates suggest there is no permanent emigration from the study area. Our sex-specific modeling approach offers a comprehensive interpretation of the population dynamics of a top predator in a coastal and estuarine environment and acts as a model for future sex-based population studies on sexually monomorphic species.

  20. Saksenaea vasiformis and Apophysomyces elegans zygomycotic infections in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), a killer whale (Orcinus orca), and pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robeck, T R; Dalton, L M

    2002-12-01

    During a 10-yr period, a killer whale (Orcinus orca), two Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), and two bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), all housed at SeaWorld of Texas from 1991 to 2001, were infected with fungi from the class Zygomycetes. In four out of five cases, the fungi were identified as either Saksenaea vasiformis or Apophysomyces elegans. All fungi in the class Zygomycetes aggressively invade the vascular system. Death occurred within 23 days after the initial clinical signs. The primary site of infection involved the s.c. tissue and skeletal musculature. In one case, infection originated in the placenta and uterus of a periparturient animal. All cases exhibited systemic spread of the organisms, including two to the central nervous system. The fifth and most recent case, a bottlenose dolphin, was treated with liposomal nystatin, an antifungal formulation with reduced nephrotoxicity. This animal initially responded to therapy; however, 14 days after cessation of therapy, fungal growth reoccurred. Thus, the animal was euthanatized 39 days after the initial clinical signs. This drug represents a promising treatment option if combined with early disease detection and aggressive tissue resection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-20

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

  2. Correlation and toxicological inference of trace elements in tissues from stranded and free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavros, Hui-Chen W; Stolen, Megan; Durden, Wendy Noke; McFee, Wayne; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A

    2011-03-01

    The significance of metal concentrations in marine mammals is not well understood and relating concentrations between stranded and free-ranging populations has been difficult. In order to predict liver concentrations in free-ranging dolphins, we examined concentrations of trace elements (Al, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, total Hg (THg), V, Zn) in skin and liver of stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the South Carolina (SC) coast and the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (FL) during 2000-2008. Significantly higher concentrations of Zn, Fe, Se, Al, Cu and THg were found in skin while liver exhibited significantly higher Cu, Fe, Mn and THg concentrations for both study sites. Mean skin concentrations of Cu and Mn were significantly higher in SC dolphins while higher concentrations of THg and V were found in FL dolphins. In addition, liver tissues in SC dolphins exhibited significantly higher As concentrations while higher Fe, Pb, Se, THg, and V levels were found in FL dolphins. Two elements (Cu and THg) showed significant age-related correlations with skin concentration while five elements (Cu, Se, THg, Zn and V) showed age-related correlations with liver concentrations. Geographic location influenced age-related accumulation of several trace elements and age-related accumulation of THg in hepatic tissue was observed for both sites to have the highest correlations (r² = 0.90SC; r² = 0.69FL). Mean THg concentration in liver was about 10 times higher in FL dolphins (330 μg g⁻¹ dw) than those samples from SC dolphins (34.3 μg g⁻¹ dw). The mean molar ratio of Hg to Se was 0.93 ± 0.32 and 1.08 ± 0.38 for SC and FL dolphins, respectively. However, the Hg:Se ratio varied with age as much lower ratios (0.2-0.4) were found in younger animals. Of the 18 measured elements, only THg was significantly correlated in skin and liver of stranded dolphins and skin of free-ranging dolphins from both sites suggesting that skin may be

  3. Population Structure of Island-Associated Dolphins: Evidence from Photo-Identification of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    white square = 0–200 m; black circle = 201–1,000 m; gray triangle = both < and >200 m; black diamond = >1,000 m). Completely symmetrical clusters are...of 765 dis- tinctive individuals in a 1.5-yr period in an area of approximately 250 km2; most individuals were sighted only once. Around Bermuda ...myctophids (Walker 1981). The maximum dive depth of bottlenose dolphins is not known, although animals tagged off Bermuda did regularly dive below 450 m

  4. Relative quantity judgments in the beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, José Z; Hernández-Lloreda, Victoria; Call, Josep; Colmenares, Fernando

    2013-06-01

    Numerous studies have documented the ability of many species to make relative quantity judgments using an analogue magnitude system. We investigated whether one beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, and three bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, were capable of selecting the larger of two sets of quantities, and analyzed if their performance matched predictions from the object file model versus the analog accumulator model. In Experiment 1, the two sets were presented simultaneously, under water, and they were visually (condition 1) or echoically (condition 2) available at the time of choice. In experiment 2, the two sets were presented above the water, successively (condition 1) or sequentially, item-by-item (condition 2), so that they were not visually available at the time of choice (condition 1) or at any time throughout the experiment (condition 2). We analyzed the effect of the ratio between quantities, the difference between quantities, and the total number of items presented on the subjects' choices. All subjects selected the larger of the two sets of quantities above chance levels in all conditions. However, unlike most previous studies, the subjects' choices did not match the predictions from the accumulator model. Whether these findings reflect interspecies differences in the mechanisms which underpin relative quantity judgments remains to be determined.

  5. Retrospective analysis of bottlenose dolphin foraging: a legacy of anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossman, Sam; Barros, Nélio B.; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Stricker, Craig A.; Hohn, Aleta A.; Gandhi, Hasand; Wells, Randall S.

    2013-01-01

    We used stable isotope analysis to investigate the foraging ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in relation to a series of anthropogenic disturbances. We first demonstrated that stable isotopes are a faithful indicator of habitat use by comparing muscle isotope values to behavioral foraging data from the same individuals. δ13C values increased, while δ34S and δ15N values decreased with the percentage of feeding observations in seagrass habitat. We then utilized stable isotope values of muscle to assess temporal variation in foraging habitat from 1991 to 2010 and collagen from tooth crown tips to assess the time period 1944 to 2007. From 1991 to 2010, δ13C values of muscle decreased while δ34S values increased indicating reduced utilization of seagrass habitat. From 1944 to 1989 δ13C values of the crown tip declined significantly, likely due to a reduction in the coverage of seagrass habitat and δ15N values significantly increased, a trend we attribute to nutrient loading from a rapidly increasing human population. Our results demonstrate the utility of using marine mammal foraging habits to retrospectively assess the extent to which anthropogenic disturbance impacts coastal food webs.

  6. Nitrergic neurons in the spinal cord of the bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombardi, Cristiano; Grandis, Annamaria; Gardini, Anna; Cozzi, Bruno

    2013-10-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a freely diffusible gaseous neurotransmitter generated by a selected population of neurons and acts as a paracrine molecule in the nervous system. NO is synthesized from l-arginine by means of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), an enzyme requiring nicotine adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) as cofactor. In this study, we used histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques to investigate the distribution of NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d) and nNOS in the spinal cord of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Cells with a fusiform-shaped somata were numerous in the laminae I and II. The intermediolateral horn showed darkly-stained cells with a multipolar morphology. Neurons with a multipolar or fusiform morphology were observed in the ventral horn. Multipolar and fusiform neurons were the most common cell types in lamina X. Nitrergic fibers were numerous especially in the dorsal and intermediolateral horns. The presence of nitrergic cells and fibers in different laminae of the spinal cord suggests that NO may be involved in spinal sensory and visceral circuitries, and potentially contribute to the regulation of the complex retia mirabilia.

  7. From genome-wide to candidate gene: an investigation of variation at the major histocompatibility complex in common bottlenose dolphins exposed to harmful algal blooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    The role the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays in response to exposure to environmental toxins is relatively poorly understood, particularly in comparison to its well-described role in pathogen immunity. We investigated associations between MHC diversity and resistance to brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A previous genome-wide association study investigating an apparent difference in harmful algal bloom (HAB) resistance among dolphin populations in the Gulf of Mexico identified genetic variation associated with survival in close genomic proximity to multiple MHC class II loci. Here, we characterized genetic variation at DQA, DQB, DRA, and DRB loci in dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle, including dolphins that died during HABs and dolphins presumed to have survived HAB exposure. We found that DRB and DQB exhibited patterns of genetic differentiation among geographic regions that differed from neutral microsatellite loci. In addition, genetic differentiation at DRB across multiple pairwise comparisons of live and dead dolphins was greater than differentiation observed at neutral loci. Our findings at these MHC loci did not approach the strength of association with survival previously described for a nearby genetic variant. However, the results provide evidence that selective pressures at the MHC vary among dolphin populations that differ in the frequency of HAB exposure and that the overall composition of DRB variants differs between dolphin survivors and non-survivors of HABs. These results may suggest a potential role of MHC diversity in variable survival of bottlenose dolphins exposed to HABs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-15

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

  9. Papillomaviruses and herpesviruses: who is who in genital tumor development of free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehtanz, Manuela; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A; Reif, John S; Ghim, Shin-je; Jenson, Alfred B

    2012-12-01

    The number of studies addressing neoplasia in marine mammals has recently increased, giving rise to concern whether such lesions could be reflective of an emerging infectious disease. Eight species-specific viruses, seven papillomaviruses (PVs) and two herpesviruses (HVs) have separately been shown to be associated with genital tumors in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Tt): TtPV1-6, as well as HVs provisionally assigned the names DeHV4 and -5 (Delphinid HVs). A definite causal role of these viruses in cell transformation remains to be demonstrated. Concurrent PV- and HV-infection has never been reported in marine mammals. DNA extractions from biopsies of genital tumors derived from 15 free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins were selected for molecular examination. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed the presence of DeHV4, while a serological screening using an antibody-based TtPV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) demonstrated previous and/or current infection of the HV-positive dolphins with at least one TtPV type. Therefore, care must be taken when drawing conclusions about viral causalities in tumor development, since the "hit and run" and other mechanisms have been described for types of both viral families. This study presents the first evidence of marine mammals having a history of PV- as well as HV-infection and discusses the disputed effects of viral co-infection.

  10. Geographic variation in polychorinated biphenyl and organochlorine pesticide concentrations in the blubber of bottlenose dolphins from the US Atlantic coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Larry J; Schwacke, Lori H; Mitchum, Greg B; Hohn, Aleta A; Wells, Randall S; Zolman, Eric S; Fair, Patricia A

    2004-02-05

    Concentrations of polychorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other organochlorine contaminants (OCs) were measured in blubber collected from live bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) at three sites along the United States Atlantic coast. Dolphins were sampled via surgical biopsy during capture-release studies near Charleston, South Carolina and Beaufort, North Carolina. Additional animals were sampled using remote biopsy techniques in estuarine waters near Charleston and from the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Overall concentrations of major contaminant groups were found to vary between sites and mean concentrations of most OCs from male dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon were less than half of those measured from Charleston and Beaufort males. Geometric mean total PCB concentrations were 30, 27 and 14 microg/g lipid for male dolphins sampled in Beaufort, Charleston and the Indian River Lagoon, respectively. Significant variation related to sex- and age-class, as well as geographic sampling location, was seen in the PCB congener profiles. The measured PCB concentrations, although lower than those reported for stranded animals from the 1987/1988 epizootic along the United States mid-Atlantic coast, are sufficiently high to warrant concern for the health of dolphins from the sampled populations, particularly the animals near Charleston and Beaufort.

  11. Cultural transmission of tool use combined with habitat specializations leads to fine-scale genetic structure in bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopps, Anna M; Ackermann, Corinne Y; Sherwin, William B; Allen, Simon J; Bejder, Lars; Krützen, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Socially learned behaviours leading to genetic population structure have rarely been described outside humans. Here, we provide evidence of fine-scale genetic structure that has probably arisen based on socially transmitted behaviours in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in western Shark Bay, Western Australia. We argue that vertical social transmission in different habitats has led to significant geographical genetic structure of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes. Dolphins with mtDNA haplotypes E or F are found predominantly in deep (more than 10 m) channel habitat, while dolphins with a third haplotype (H) are found predominantly in shallow habitat (less than 10 m), indicating a strong haplotype-habitat correlation. Some dolphins in the deep habitat engage in a foraging strategy using tools. These 'sponging' dolphins are members of one matriline, carrying haplotype E. This pattern is consistent with what had been demonstrated previously at another research site in Shark Bay, where vertical social transmission of sponging had been shown using multiple lines of evidence. Using an individual-based model, we found support that in western Shark Bay, socially transmitted specializations may have led to the observed genetic structure. The reported genetic structure appears to present an example of cultural hitchhiking of mtDNA haplotypes on socially transmitted foraging strategies, suggesting that, as in humans, genetic structure can be shaped through cultural transmission.

  12. Antibiotic-resistant organisms cultured from Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting estuarine waters of Charleston, SC and Indian River Lagoon, FL.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from estuarine waters of Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) and Charleston, SC (CHS) were cultured to screen for microorganism colonization and to assess antibiotic sensitivity. Swabs (n = 909) were collected from the blowhole, gastric fluid, and feces of 171 individual dolphins The most frequently cultured organisms were Plesiomonas shigelloides (n = 161), Aeromonas hydrophila (n = 144), Escherichia coli (n = 85), and Pseudomonas fluorescens (n = 82). In descending frequency, organisms demonstrated resistance to erythromycin, ampicillin, and cephalothin. Human and animal pathogens resistant to antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine were cultured. Escherichia coli (E. coli) more often was resistant in IRL dolphins. Three cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were found at CHS. Emergence of antibiotic resistance is not confined to humans. Bottlenose dolphins may serve as sentinels for transfer of resistance from humans and animals or indicate that antibiotics are reaching the marine environment and causing resistance to emerge through selective pressure and genetic adaptation.

  13. A Targeted Metabolomics Assay to Measure Eight Purines in the Diet of Common Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardente, A J; Garrett, T J; Wells, R S; Walsh, M; Smith, C R; Colee, J; Hill, R C

    2016-10-01

    Bottlenose dolphins managed under human care, human beings and Dalmatian dogs are prone to forming urate uroliths. Limiting dietary purine intake limits urate urolith formation in people and dogs because purines are metabolized to uric acid, which is excreted in urine. Managed dolphins develop ammonium urate nephroliths, whereas free-ranging dolphins do not. Free-ranging dolphins consume live fish, whereas managed dolphins consume different species that have been stored frozen and thawed. Differences in the purine content of fish consumed by dolphins under human care versus in the wild may be responsible for the difference in urolith prevalence. Commercially available purine assays measure only four purines, but reported changes in purines during frozen storage suggest that a wider range of metabolites should be measured when comparing fresh and stored fish. A method using high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry was developed to quantify eight purine metabolites in whole fish and squid commonly consumed by dolphins. The coefficient of variation within and among days was sometimes high for purines present in small amounts but was acceptable (≤ 25%) for guanine, hypoxanthine, and inosine, which were present in high concentrations. This expanded assay identified a total purine content up to 2.5 times greater than the total that would be quantified if only four purines were measured. Assuming additional purines are absorbed, these results suggest that additional purine metabolites should be measured to better understand the associated risk when fish or other purine-rich foods are consumed by people or animals prone to developing uroliths.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colegrove, Kathleen M; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2015-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Stephanie Venn-Watson; Kathleen M. Colegrove; Jenny Litz; Michael Kinsel; Karen Terio; Jeremiah Saliki; Spencer Fire; Ruth Carmichael; Connie Chevis; Wendy Hatchett; Jonathan Pitchford; Mandy Tumlin; Cara Field; Suzanne Smith; Ruth Ewing

    2015-01-01

    A northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) cetacean unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama began in February 2010 and continued into 2014. Overlapping in time and space with this UME was the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, which was proposed as a contributing cause of adrenal disease, lung disease, and poor health in live dolphins examined during 2011 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To assess potential contributin...

  16. Natural Variation in Stress Hormones, Comparisons Across Matrices, and Impacts Resulting from Induced Stress in the Bottlenose Dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, Dorian S; Champagne, Cory D; Crocker, Daniel E; Kellar, Nicholas M; Cockrem, John; Romano, Tracy; Booth, Rebecca K; Wasser, Samuel K

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge regarding stress hormones and how they vary in response to seasonality, gender, age, and reproductive status for any marine mammal is limited. Furthermore, stress hormones may be measured in more than one matrix (e.g., feces, blood, blubber), but the relationships between levels of a given hormone across these matrices are unknown, further complicating the interpretations of hormones measured in samples collected from wild animals. A study is underway to address these issues in a population of bottlenose dolphins trained for voluntary participation in sample collections from different matrices and across season and time of day.

  17. Evaluation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional ultrasound in the assessment of thyroid volume of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kot, Brian C W; Ying, Michael T C; Brook, Fiona M; Kinoshita, Reimi E

    2012-03-01

    The assessment of thyroid volume plays an indispensable role in the diagnosis and management of different thyroid diseases. The present study evaluates the accuracy of dolphin thyroid volume measurement as determined by four two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound methods (A-D), with a standard of reference using three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound. The measurement accuracy for different recognized thyroid configuration is also evaluated. Inter- and intraoperator variability of the measurement methods was determined. Thyroid ultrasound examinations were conducted in 16 apparently healthy Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) with 2D and 3D ultrasound under identical scanning conditions. All 2D ultrasound measurement methods yielded high accuracies (79.9-81.3%) when compared with the 3D ultrasound measurement, and had high measurement reproducibility (77.6-86.2%) and repeatability (78.1-99.7%). For 2D ultrasound measurements, Methods A and B were more accurate and reliable than Methods C and D, regardless of thyroid configuration. Ultrasound is useful in the measurement of thyroid volume in bottlenose dolphins. For the first time, a reliable ultrasound scanning protocol for measuring dolphin thyroid volume was developed, which provides a means to establish a normative reference for the diagnosis of thyroid pathologies and to monitor the thyroid volume during the course of treatment in living dolphins. Key words: 3D ultrasound, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, thyroid volume measurement, Tursiops aduncus.

  18. 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).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adimey, Nicole M; Hudak, Christine A; Powell, Jessica R; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Foley, Allen; Farmer, Nicholas A; White, Linda; Minch, Karrie

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (pstrandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-15

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

  1. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and their hydroxylated analogs in plasma of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the United States east coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houde, Magali; Pacepavicius, Grazina; Darling, Colin; Fair, Patricia A; Alaee, Mehran; Bossart, Gregory D; Solomon, Keith R; Letcher, Robert J; Bergman, Ake; Marsh, Göran; Muir, Derek C G

    2009-10-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hydroxylated PBDEs (OH-PBDEs) were determined in plasma of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Charleston (CHS), South Carolina, and the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, U.S.A. Significantly lower sums (sigma) of PBDE concentrations (sum of 12 congeners) were found in animals from the IRL (arithmetic mean, 5.45 +/- 4.63 ng/g wet wt) compared with those from CHS (30 +/- 40 ng/g wet wt). Brominated diphenyl ether (BDE)-47 was the predominant PBDE in dolphins from the IRL (50% of the sigma PBDEs) and CHS (58%). The sigma PBDE concentrations in plasma of dolphins were negatively correlated with age at both locations. Fifteen and sixteen individual OH-PBDE congeners could be quantified in plasma of dolphins from IRL and CHS, respectively. Similar to sigma PBDE, mean sigma OH-PBDE concentrations were significantly higher in plasma of dolphins at CHS (1150 +/- 708 pg/g wet wt) compared with those at IRL (624 +/- 393 pg/g wet wt). The predominant congener at both locations was 6-OH-PBDE-47 (IRL, 384 +/- 319 pg/g wet wt; CHS, 541 +/- 344 pg/g wet wt), representing 61.5% of total sigma OH-PBDE at IRL and 47.0% at CHS. Concentrations of sigma OH-PBDEs were weakly negatively correlated with age in dolphins from both locations (p < 0.05; IRL, r2 = 0.048; CHS, r2 = 0.021). In addition to the OH-PBDE congeners identified with technical standards, eight and four unidentified OH-PBDEs were detected and quantified, respectively, in animals from CHS (sum of unidentified OH-PBDEs = 1.35 +/- 0.90 pg/g wet wt) and IRL (0.73 +/- 0.40 pg/g wet wt). Results of the present study suggest that, unlike OH-PCBs, OH-PBDEs in bottlenose dolphins are minor products in plasma relative to sigma PBDEs and a significant proportion may be a consequence of the dietary uptake of naturally produced methoxylated- and OH-PBDEs.

  2. Establishing baseline levels of trace elements in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida: Implications for non-invasive monitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bryan, Colleen E. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29412 (United States); College of Charleston, Grice Marine Laboratory, 205 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29412 (United States)], E-mail: colleen.bryan@nist.gov; Christopher, Steven J. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29412 (United States); Balmer, Brian C.; Wells, Randall S. [Chicago Zoological Society c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34236 (United States)

    2007-12-15

    Several major unusual mortality events occurring in recent years have increased the level of concern for the health of bottlenose dolphin populations along the United States Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Trace element concentrations were examined in a population of free-ranging dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, in order to develop a benchmark for future comparisons within and between populations. Whole blood (n = 51) and skin (n = 40) samples were collected through capture and release health assessment events during 2002-2004. Samples were analyzed for Al, V, Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Cd, and Pb by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) and Hg via atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS). Trace element concentrations (wet mass) in skin were 2 to 45 times greater than blood, except Cu was approximately 1.5 times higher in blood. Statistically strong correlations (p < 0.05) were found for V, As, Se, Rb, Sr, and Hg between blood and skin demonstrating that these tissues can be used as effective non-lethal monitoring tools. The strongest correlation was established for Hg (r = 0.9689) and concentrations in both blood and skin were above the threshold at which detrimental effects are observed in other vertebrate species. Female dolphins had significantly greater Hg concentrations in blood and skin and Pb concentrations in skin, relative to males. Calves exhibited significantly lower V, As, and Hg concentrations in blood and V and Hg concentrations in skin, relative to other age classes. Rubidium and Cu concentrations in skin were greatest in subadults and calves, respectively. In blood, V, Zn, and As concentrations were significantly greater in winter, relative to summer, and the opposite trend was observed for Rb and Sr concentrations. In skin, Cu and Zn concentrations were significantly greater in winter, relative to summer, and the opposite trend was observed for Mn, Rb, Cd, and Pb concentrations. The baseline concentrations and trends

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Reif

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Polyfluoroalkyl compounds in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houde, Magali; Wells, Randall S; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Greg D; Hohn, Aleta A; Rowles, Teri K; Sweeney, Jay C; Solomon, Keith R; Muir, Derek C G

    2005-09-01

    Polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAs) have been used for decades in industrial and commercial products and are now detected worldwide. Concentrations of two major PFA groups, carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and sulfonic acids (PFSAs), were assessed in plasma of bottlenose dolphins from the Gulf of Mexico (Sarasota Bay, FL) and the Atlantic Ocean (Delaware Bay, NJ, Charleston, SC, Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL, and Bermuda). Eight PFAs were detected in the plasma of all dolphins. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the predominant compound at all locations (range from 49 ng/g wet weight (w.w.) in dolphins from Bermuda to 1171 ng/g w.w. in plasma of animals from Charleston). Sum of PFA concentrations were significantly higher in animals from Charleston compared to IRL, Sarasota Bay, and Bermuda. Concentrations of several PFAs were negatively associated with age in animals from IRL and Charleston. No differences between gender were observed for all compounds at all locations. An increase in PFA concentrations was associated with a decrease of blubber thickness in animals from Sarasota Bay and IRL. Fluorotelomer 8:2 and 10:2 unsaturated carboxylic acids (FTUCAs), known degradation products of fluorotelomer alcohols and suspected precursors to PFCAs, were detected for the first time at low concentrations in plasma of dolphins.

  5. A Permanent Automated Real-Time Passive Acoustic Monitoring System for Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Brunoldi

    Full Text Available Within the framework of the EU Life+ project named LIFE09 NAT/IT/000190 ARION, a permanent automated real-time passive acoustic monitoring system for the improvement of the conservation status of the transient and resident population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus has been implemented and installed in the Portofino Marine Protected Area (MPA, Ligurian Sea. The system is able to detect the simultaneous presence of dolphins and boats in the area and to give their position in real time. This information is used to prevent collisions by diffusing warning messages to all the categories involved (tourists, professional fishermen and so on. The system consists of two gps-synchronized acoustic units, based on a particular type of marine buoy (elastic beacon, deployed about 1 km off the Portofino headland. Each one is equipped with a four-hydrophone array and an onboard acquisition system which can record the typical social communication whistles emitted by the dolphins and the sound emitted by boat engines. Signals are pre-filtered, digitized and then broadcast to the ground station via wi-fi. The raw data are elaborated to get the direction of the acoustic target to each unit, and hence the position of dolphins and boats in real time by triangulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A. Marley

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  11. Effects of in vitro exposure to titanium dioxide on DNA integrity of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) fibroblasts and leukocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenzilli, Giada; Bernardeschi, Margherita; Guidi, Patrizia; Scarcelli, Vittoria; Lucchesi, Paolo; Marsili, Letizia; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Brunelli, Andrea; Pojana, Giulio; Marcomini, Antonio; Nigro, Marco

    2014-09-01

    In the present study, the genotoxic potential of nanosized TiO2 anatase and micro-sized rutile on bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) fibroblasts and leukocytes was investigated. Human and mouse cells were also studied in order to compare susceptibility to TiO2 in different mammalian species. Cell lines were exposed for 4, 24, and 48 h to different concentrations of TiO2 (20, 50, 100, 150 μg/ml) and DNA damage was investigated by single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet assay). Both anatase and rutile induced increased DNA damage, even though statistically significant effects were scattered according to species and cell lines. Bottlenose dolphin leukocytes and murine fibroblasts exhibited increased DNA damage after rutile exposure at some doses/times, while human fibroblasts showed a significant dose-response effect after a 4 h exposure to anatase. Human leukocytes were tolerant to both anatase and rutile. Ultrastructural investigation showed that TiO2 particles entered the cell and were compartmentalized within membrane-bound vesicles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel M. Wilson

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Venn-Watson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Díaz

    2009-01-01

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

  18. DNA strand breaks (comet assay) in blood lymphocytes from wild bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Richard F; Bulski, Karrie; Adams, Jeffrey D; Peden-Adams, Margie; Bossart, Gregory D; King, Lydia; Fair, Patricia A

    2013-12-15

    The comet assay was carried out on blood lymphocytes from a large number of wild dolphins (71 from Indian River Lagoon, FL, USA; 51 from Charleston Harbor, SC, USA) and provides a baseline study of DNA strand breaks in wild dolphin populations. There were no significant differences in the comet assay (% DNA in tail) results between the different age and sex categories. Significant difference in DNA strand breaks were found between Charleston Harbor dolphins (median--17.4% DNA in tail) and Indian River Lagoon dolphins (median--14.0% DNA in tail). A strong correlation found between T-cell proliferation and DNA strand breaks in dolphin lymphocytes suggests that dolphins with a high numbers of DNA strand breaks have a decreased ability to respond to infection. Higher concentrations of genotoxic agents in Charleston Harbor compared with Indian River lagoon may have been one of the causes of higher DNA strand breaks in these dolphins.

  19. Demographic Clusters Identified within the Northern Gulf of Mexico Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncates) Unusual Mortality Event: January 2010 - June 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Venn-Watson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Dolphin social intelligence: complex alliance relationships in bottlenose dolphins and a consideration of selective environments for extreme brain size evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Richard C

    2007-04-29

    Bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, live in a large, unbounded society with a fission-fusion grouping pattern. Potential cognitive demands include the need to develop social strategies involving the recognition of a large number of individuals and their relationships with others. Patterns of alliance affiliation among males may be more complex than are currently known for any non-human, with individuals participating in 2-3 levels of shifting alliances. Males mediate alliance relationships with gentle contact behaviours such as petting, but synchrony also plays an important role in affiliative interactions. In general, selection for social intelligence in the context of shifting alliances will depend on the extent to which there are strategic options and risk. Extreme brain size evolution may have occurred more than once in the toothed whales, reaching peaks in the dolphin family and the sperm whale. All three 'peaks' of large brain size evolution in mammals (odontocetes, humans and elephants) shared a common selective environment: extreme mutual dependence based on external threats from predators or conspecific groups. In this context, social competition, and consequently selection for greater cognitive abilities and large brain size, was intense.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frances M Van Dolah

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  5. Relaxin and progesterone during pregnancy and the post-partum period in association with live and stillborn calves in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergfelt, Don R; Steinetz, Bernard G; Lasano, Salamia; West, Kristi L; Campbell, Michelle; Adams, Gregg P

    2011-02-01

    The objectives of this study were to validate a relaxin and progesterone RIA for use in bottlenose dolphins, and quantify and characterize both hormones in extracts of placental tissue and serum collected during pregnancy and the post-partum period, and compare the results between dolphins with live and stillborn calves. In Experiment 1, validation of a heterologous relaxin and progesterone RIA involved specific displacement of antibody-bound radiolabeled human relaxin or progesterone in response to increasing volumes of pooled pregnant dolphin serum and amounts of respective hormone standards added to a fixed volume of serum. The displacement curves were considered parallel and additive relative to respective standard curves. In Experiment 2, immunoreactive relaxin and progesterone were detected in placental extracts and, in corresponding serum samples, concentrations of both hormones were higher during the pre-partum than post-partum periods. Circulatory concentrations of progesterone decreased (P interaction, P interaction, P = 0.17). Even though the interaction did not reach significance, mean relaxin concentrations were 42%, 29%, and 34% lower at early, mid-, and late pregnancy, respectively, in dolphins with stillbirths than in those with live births. In conclusion, the pregnancy-specific increase in serum concentrations of relaxin and lower concentrations of both relaxin and progesterone in association with stillbirths suggest the potential for relaxin to be used diagnostically to determine pregnancy status, and one or both hormones to be used to assess placental function, and, perhaps, fetal well-being in bottlenose dolphins and other cetaceans.

  6. A photo-identification catalogue of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Northeast Patagonia, Argentina: A tool for the conservation of the species

    OpenAIRE

    Vermeulen, Els; Cammareri, Alejandro; Failla, Mauricio

    2008-01-01

    A photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was performed in the northern Gulf of San Matías, Patagonia Argentina, during the period 2006-2008. In total, 199 surveys were conducted with an average observation effort of 4.2h (SD=1.5) per survey. These surveys resulted in a total observation effort of 824.7h of which 105.7h was spend with 158 dolphin groups. Over 12,500 pictures were analysed using the automatic identification systems FinEx and FinMatch ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa M. Lopes

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    a new method using pressurized fluid extraction ( PFE ) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) to liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC...of lipid extraction from tissue using PFE and GPC. The PFE is better able to extract total lipid from solid tissues than other extraction methods...analysis using bottlenose dolphin samples are merited. Cortisol concentrations in the blubber using the PFE -LC-MS/MS method are lower than would be

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    in the process of developing and validating a new method using pressurized fluid extraction ( PFE ) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) to liquid...contaminants in blubber has shown the effectiveness of lipid extraction from tissue using PFE and GPC. The PFE is better able to extract total lipid from...bottlenose dolphin samples are merited. Cortisol concentrations in the blubber using the PFE -LC-MS/MS method are lower than would be expected

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulster, Erin L; Maruya, Keith A

    2008-04-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-04-15

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

  12. Expression and immunohistochemical detection of leptin-like peptide in the gastrointestinal tract of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Finizia; Gatta, Claudia; De Girolamo, Paolo; Cozzi, Bruno; Giurisato, Maristella; Lucini, Carla; Varricchio, Ettore

    2012-09-01

    This study provides an immunohistochemical approach to the expression of leptin in the gastrointestinal tract of the monogastric South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens), and the poligastric bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The specific organization of the gastrointestinal tract is examined in relation to the neuroendocrine regulation of the gut exerted by leptin. In the South American sea lion some leptin-like-immunoreactive (ir) cells, and endocrine type cells, were found in the pit of gastric mucosal folds and in the epithelium of duodenum as well as numerous neurons were detected in the submucosal and myenteric plexuses of the stomach. In the bottlenose dolphin, many leptin-like-ir cells, and exocrine type cells, were identified in the mucosal layer of the main stomach as well as several neurons and nervous fibers were detected in nervous plexuses of main stomach, pyloric stomach, proximal, and middle intestine. Our data suggest that the distribution of leptin-like peptides is similar in the two species, notwithstanding the different anatomical organization of the gastrointestinal apparatus of South American sea lion and bottlenose dolphin. These findings "suggest" the presence of a basal plan in the regulation of food intake, body weight, energy balance and of the gastrointestinal functions in general also in marine mammals with different and specific feeding habits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Charlton, Kate

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Increased number of whistles of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, arising from interaction with people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akiyama, Junko; Ohta, Mitsuaki

    2007-02-01

    The acoustic mode is the most reasonable means for social animals such as dolphins to maintain contact in the underwater habitat, and has been developed since they moved to the sea. This study investigates variations in dolphin vocalizations under the following conditions in a captive environment: 1) before feeding (Pre-feeding), 2) during feeding (Feeding), 3) during free time without the presence of people (Free), 4) during interaction with people located upon a float (Float), 5) during interaction with people in the water (Water). During the experiments, a total of 2642 whistles were extracted from sonogram data using a spectrogram. About 44% of the total whistles were observed during Pre-feeding (1171/2642), and the number recorded during Free, when people were absent, was the smallest. The acoustic contours of dolphin whistles differed in different situations: convex, wave, and trill whistles were made repeatedly during Pre-feeding, thereby being more common at this time than at other times. The situation of Feeding saw an increased number of Upsweeps, which might be related to the use of echolocation. The lower frequencies were recorded during Pre-feeding, reflecting the emotion related to the dolphin's hunger. The results of this study indicate that dolphins increase their vocalization during interaction with people, suggesting that interactions with dolphins provide an effective treatment for human health problems, which is discussed with a reference article in this study. Vocal data obtained during contact with humans might serve as an important index for the dolphin-assisted therapy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-12

    program by evaluating relevant molecules and genes in liver, muscle, and adipose tissue . 3. Test the role of CREB-ZF in modulating hepatic... insulin resistance, and they appear to have a switch that turns a diabetes-like state on and off.1,2 While this metabolic state was initially thought to...be normal for dolphins, recent studies have discovered that dolphins are susceptible to a number of chronic conditions associated with insulin

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Chin Wing Kot

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Gene expression changes in bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, skin cells following exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mollenhauer, Meagan A.M. [Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States)], E-mail: willimea@musc.edu; Carter, Barbara J. [EcoArray, Inc., Gainesville, FL (United States); Peden-Adams, Margie M. [Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Science Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States); Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, Mystic, CT (United States); Bossart, Gregory D. [Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Fort Pierce, FL (United States); Fair, Patricia A. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Ocean Service/Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, Charleston, SC (United States)

    2009-01-18

    Methylmercury (MeHg) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) bioaccumulate and biomagnify in the environment and increasing concentrations of these pollutants have been found in wildlife and humans. Both chemicals are worldwide contaminants with wide ranging biological effects and have been identified in relatively high concentrations in apex level marine mammals such as bottlenose dolphins. The primary objective of this study was to determine if exposure to MeHg or PFOS would alter the gene expression in primary bottlenose dolphin epidermal cell cultures. Primary skin cells were isolated and cultured from skin samples collected from wild bottlenose dolphins. The cells were subsequently exposed to 13 ppm PFOS or 1 ppm MeHg and changes in gene expression were analyzed by suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) and quantitative real-time PCR (QPCR). 116 genes were positively identified in the dolphin skin cells by SSH. Of these, 16 total genes were analyzed by QPCR (9 and 11 genes following PFOS or MeHg exposure, respectively, with four overlapping genes). Results indicate MeHg significantly alters gene expression patterns following 24 h exposure, but has no measurable effect after only 1 h. PFOS exposure, however, caused significant alterations following both 1 and 25 h. Overall, the changes in gene expression observed indicate these concentrations of MeHg and PFOS significantly alter normal gene expression patterns. The changes in gene expression following exposure to these contaminants not only indicate a cellular stress response, but also decreased cell cycle progression and cellular proliferation and reduced protein translation. Alterations in normal cellular biology, like those observed, may lead to changes in health in marine mammals exposed to contaminants; however, this warrants further investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Risk factors for colonization of E. coli in Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M. Schaefer

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Opportunistic pathogens related to degradation in water quality are of concern to both wildlife and public health. The objective of this study was to identify spatial, temporal, and environmental risk factors for E. coli colonization among Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL between 2003 and 2007. Age, gender, capture location, coastal human population density, proximity of sewage treatment plants, number of septic tanks, cumulative precipitation 48 hrs and 30 days prior to capture, salinity, and water temperature were analyzed as potential risk factors. Highest E. coli colonization rates occurred in the northern segments of the IRL. The risk of E. coli colonization was the highest among the youngest individuals, in counties with the highest cumulative rainfall 48 hrs and in counties with the highest number of septic systems during the year of capture. The prevalence of colonization was the highest during 2004, a year during which multiple hurricanes hit the coast of Florida. Septic tanks, in combination with weather-related events suggest a possible pathway for introduction of fecal coliforms into estuarine ecosystems. The ability of E. coli and related bacteria to act as primary pathogens or cause opportunistic infections adds importance of these findings. PMID:21977048

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  7. Abundance and Summer Distribution of a Local Stock of Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Delphinidae, in Coastal Waters near Sudak (Ukraine, Crimea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladilina E. V.

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The first assessment of abundance of a local population of bottlenose dolphins in the Black Sea (near the Sudak coast in 2011–2012 has been conducted: the results of a mark-recapture study of photo identified animals were complemented by a vessel line transect survey. The overall abundance of a population was estimated at between 621 ± 198 and 715 ± 267 animals (Chapman and Petersen estimates, and the majority of members of the population were recorded in the surveyed area. The summer range covered the area of a few hundred square kilometers, similar to migrating coastal stocks in other world regions. The greatest density of distribution was observed in August in sea 45–60 m deep; in addition, frequent approaches to the coastline are usual for dolphins of this stock. These trends in distribution may be partly explained by distribution of prey. Interaction with sprat trawling fisheries can be a factor shaping the local population structure. Coastal waters of Sudak and adjoining sea areas are an important habitat for bottlenose dolphins in the northern Black Sea, significant for their conservation.

  8. A comparison of portable ultrasound and fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit in the thyroid size measurement of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian C W Kot

    Full Text Available Measurement of thyroid size and volume is a useful clinical parameter in both human and veterinary medicine, particularly for diagnosing thyroid diseases and guiding corrective therapy. Procuring a fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit (FCUS may be difficult in most veterinary settings. The present study evaluated the inter-equipment variability in dolphin thyroid ultrasound measurements between a portable ultrasound unit (PUS and a FCUS; for both units, repeatability was also assessed. Thyroid ultrasound examinations were performed on 15 apparently healthy bottlenose dolphins with both PUS and FCUS under identical scanning conditions. There was a high level of agreement between the two ultrasound units in dolphin thyroid measurements (ICC = 0.859-0.976. A high intra-operator repeatability in thyroid measurements was found (PUS: ICC = 0.854-0.984, FCUS: ICC = 0.709-0.954. As a conclusion, no substantial inter-equipment variability was found between PUS and FCUS in dolphin thyroid size measurements under identical scanning conditions, supporting further application of PUS for quantitative analyses of dolphin thyroid gland in both research and clinical practices at aquarium settings.

  9. A comparison of portable ultrasound and fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit in the thyroid size measurement of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kot, Brian C W; Ying, Michael T C; Brook, Fiona M

    2012-01-01

    Measurement of thyroid size and volume is a useful clinical parameter in both human and veterinary medicine, particularly for diagnosing thyroid diseases and guiding corrective therapy. Procuring a fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit (FCUS) may be difficult in most veterinary settings. The present study evaluated the inter-equipment variability in dolphin thyroid ultrasound measurements between a portable ultrasound unit (PUS) and a FCUS; for both units, repeatability was also assessed. Thyroid ultrasound examinations were performed on 15 apparently healthy bottlenose dolphins with both PUS and FCUS under identical scanning conditions. There was a high level of agreement between the two ultrasound units in dolphin thyroid measurements (ICC = 0.859-0.976). A high intra-operator repeatability in thyroid measurements was found (PUS: ICC = 0.854-0.984, FCUS: ICC = 0.709-0.954). As a conclusion, no substantial inter-equipment variability was found between PUS and FCUS in dolphin thyroid size measurements under identical scanning conditions, supporting further application of PUS for quantitative analyses of dolphin thyroid gland in both research and clinical practices at aquarium settings.

  10. Development of an indirect immunofluorescence technique for the evaluation of generated antibody titers against Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

    Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is the causative agent of erysipelas, a disease of many mammalian and avian species, mainly swine and turkeys. In cetaceans, erysipelas is considered to be the most common infection in juvenile individuals, which have not been vaccinated. Moreover, the disease manifest in both forms, the dermatologic and the acute septicemic forms, has been reported in various species of dolphins and whales. It is difficult to diagnose erysipelas by currently available approaches. Moreover, it is mainly based on culture methods and also PCR methods, which are currently being developed. At the present stage, prophylactic approaches are based on antibiotic therapy and vaccination mostly with porcine erysipelas vaccines. In the present study, an Indirect Immuno Fluorescence method for the detection of dolphin antibodies levels against E. rhusiopathiae was developed and applied in two different groups of captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Loro Parque (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain) and L'Oceanogràfic de Valencia (Valencia, Spain) in order to check the tittering levels of antibodies after application of porcine erysipelas vaccines in the studied dolphins.

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

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    Alex eCostidis

    2012-07-01

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

  12. Polychlorinated biphenyls and toxaphene in preferred prey fish of coastal southeastern U.S. bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulster, Erin L; Smalling, Kelly L; Maruya, Keith A

    2005-12-01

    Legacy organochlorine (OC) contaminants continue to pose a potential risk to ecological and human health in coastal aquatic ecosystems of the southeastern United States. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and toxaphene (TOX) were analyzed by gas chromatography with electron capture detection and negative chemical ionization mass spectrometry in 77 composites of four inshore fish species commonly preyed upon by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from estuaries near Savannah, Georgia (SAV), Brunswick, Georgia (BRN), and Jacksonville, Florida (JAX), USA. Whereas seasonal and species-specific differences were minimal, differences among mean total PCB concentrations (sigmaPCBs) by estuary (42.0 +/- 48.3, 1.59 +/- 1.24, and 0.281 +/- 0.075 microg/g lipid for BRN, JAX, and SAV, respectively) were highly significant. This estuary-specific trend also held true for mean total toxaphene concentrations (sigmaTOX): 49 +/- 100 (BRN), 1.2 +/- 0.52 (JAX), and 0.40 +/- 0.19 microg/g lipid (SAV). Congener profiles of PCBs also were found to be significantly different among estuaries, with BRN and (to a lesser extent) JAX samples enriched with highly chlorinated homologs associated with Aroclor 1268, a legacy OC linked to a historical point source in Brunswick. The observed spatial heterogeneity in OC concentrations and PCB congener profiles suggests that contaminated fish from Brunswick pose the greatest risk to ecological and human health via biomagnification and seafood consumption; highly chlorinated PCBs (and possibly toxaphene) are transported in a southerly, alongshore direction; and the uniqueness of Aroclor 1268 underscores its utility as a signature proxy in future regional ecotoxicological studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-31

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

  14. Contaminant blubber burdens in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from two southeastern US estuarine areas: concentrations and patterns of PCBs, pesticides, PBDEs, PFCs, and PAHs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Adams, Jeff; Mitchum, Gregory; Hulsey, Thomas C; Reif, John S; Houde, Magali; Muir, Derek; Wirth, Ed; Wetzel, Dana; Zolman, Eric; McFee, Wayne; Bossart, Gregory D

    2010-03-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides (i.e., dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites, chlordanes (CHLs), dieldrin, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and mirex), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in blubber biopsy samples collected from 139 wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) during 2003-2005 in Charleston (CHS), SC and the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL. Dolphins accumulated a similar suite of contaminants with summation operatorPCB dominating (CHS 64%, IRL 72%), followed by summation operatorDDT (CHS 20%, IRL 17%), summation operatorCHLs (CHS 7%; IRL 7%), summation operatorPBDE (CHS 4%, IRL 2%), PAH at 2%, and dieldrin, PFCs and mirex each 1% or less. Together summation operatorPCB and summation operatorDDT concentrations contributed approximately 87% of the total POCs measured in blubber of adult males. summation operatorPCBs in adult male dolphins exceed the established PCB threshold of 17mg/kg by a 5-fold order of magnitude with a 15-fold increase for many animals; 88% of the dolphins exceed this threshold. For male dolphins, CHS (93,980ng/g lipid) had a higher summation operatorPCBs geomean compared to the IRL (79,752ng/g lipid) although not statistically different. In adult males, the PBDE geometric mean concentration was significantly higher in CHS (5920ng/g lipid) than the IRL (1487ng/g). Blubber summation operatorPFCs concentrations were significantly higher in CHS dolphins. In addition to differences in concentration of PCB congeners, summation operatorPBDE, TEQ, summation operatorCHLs, mirex, dieldrin, and the ratios summation operatorDDE/ summation operatorDDT and trans-nonachlor/cis-nonachlor were the most informative for discriminating contaminant loads in these two dolphin populations. Collectively, the current summation operatorPCB, summation operatorDDT, and summation operatorPBDEs blubber concentrations found in CHS

  15. Persistent organochlorine pollutants and toxaphene congener profiles in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) frequenting the Turtle/Brunswick River Estuary (TBRE) in coastal Georgia, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulster, Erin L; Smalling, Kelly L; Zolman, Eric; Schwacke, Lori; Maruya, Keith A

    2009-07-01

    Although the Turtle/Brunswick River Estuary (TBRE) in coastal Georgia (USA) is severely contaminated by persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs), little information regarding POPs in higher-trophic-level biota in this system is available. In the present study, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs; including DDTs, chlordanes, and mirex), and chlorinated monoterpenes (toxaphene) were measured using gas chromatography with electron-capture detection and gas chromatography with electron-capture negative ion mass spectrometry (GC-ECNI-MS) in blubber of free-ranging and stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Mean total PCBs (78.6 +/- 32.4 microg/g lipid) and toxaphene (11.7 +/- 9.3 microg/g lipid) were significantly higher in dolphins sampled in the TBRE than in dolphins stranded near Savannah (GA, USA) 80 to 100 km to the north. Levels of OCPs were several-fold lower than levels of PCBs; moreover, PCBs comprised 81 and 67% of the total POP burden in TBRE and non-TBRE dolphins, respectively. Analyses with GC-ECNI-MS revealed that 2,2,5-endo,6-exo,8,8,9,10-octachlorobornane (P-42a), a major component in technical toxaphene and a major residue congener in local estuarine fish species, was the most abundant chlorobornane in both sets of blubber samples. Mean total POP concentrations (sum of PCBs, OCPs, and toxaphene) approached 100 microg/g lipid for the TBRE animals, well above published total PCB thresholds at which immunosuppresion and/or reproductive anomalies are thought to occur. These results indicate extended utilization of the highly contaminated TBRE as habitat for a group of coastal estuarine dolphins, and they further suggest that these animals may be at risk because of elevated POP concentrations.

  16. Associations between mercury and hepatic, renal, endocrine, and hematological parameters in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the eastern coast of Florida and South Carolina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Adam M; Stavros, Hui-Chen W; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A; Goldstein, Juli D; Reif, John S

    2011-11-01

    We evaluated associations between total mercury (Hg) concentrations in blood and skin and endocrine, hepatic, renal, and hematological parameters in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Dolphins in Indian River Lagoon, FL had higher concentrations of Hg in blood (0.67 μg/l wet wt) and skin (7.24 μg/g dry wt) compared with those from Charleston Harbor, SC (0.15 μg/l wet wt, 1.68 μg/g dry wt). An inverse relationship was observed between blood and skin Hg concentrations and total thyroxine, triiodothyronine, absolute numbers of lymphocytes, eosinophils, and platelets. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), blood urea nitrogen, and gamma-glutamyl transferase increased with increasing concentrations of Hg in blood and skin; lactate dehydrogenase and neutrophils increased with concentrations in skin only. Hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin increased with increasing concentrations of Hg in blood. Selenium was negatively associated with free T4, progesterone, and absolute numbers of monocytes, and positively correlated with absolute numbers of eosinophils and lymphocytes, and mean corpuscular volume. The results suggest the potential for a deleterious effect of Hg in highly exposed dolphins.

  17. Polychlorinated biphenyls and hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls in plasma of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houde, Magali; Pacepavicius, Grazina; Wells, Randall S; Fair, Patricia A; Letcher, Robert J; Alaee, Mehran; Bossart, Gregory D; Hohn, Aleta A; Sweeney, Jay; Solomon, Keith R; Muir, Derek C G

    2006-10-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hydroxylated metabolic products (OH-PCBs) were measured in plasma collected from live-captured and released bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from five different locations in the Western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico in 2003 and 2004. In 2004, the sum (sigma) of concentration of PCBs in plasma of dolphins sampled off Charleston, SC [geometric mean: 223 ng/g of wet weight (w.w.)] was significantly higher (pRiver Lagoon, FL (sigmaPCBs: 122 ng/g w.w.) and the Sarasota Bay, FL (sigmaPCBs: 111 ng/g w.w.). The PCB homolog profiles were similar among locations. Concentrations of OH-PCBs were significantly higher (p<0.05) in plasma of dolphins from Charleston, SC (sigmaOH-PCBs for 2003: 126 ng/g w.w.; 2004: 138 ng/g w.w.) than animals from Florida (sigmaOH-PCBs ranged from 6 to 47 ng/g w.w.) and Bermuda (8.3 ng/g w.w.); however, concentrations in the Charleston samples did not differ from animals captured in Delaware Bay, NJ (57 ng/g w.w.). The sigmaOH-PCBs constituted 2-68% of the total PCB concentrations in plasma. Dichloro- to nonachloro-OH-PCBs were quantified using high-resolution gas chromatography mass spectrometry, but only around 20% of OH-PCBs could be identified by comparison to authentic standards. Results from this study show that OH-PCB are important environmental contaminants in dolphins and suggest that PCBs, decades after their ban, may still constitute a threat to wildlife.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin A Neely

    2013-09-01

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

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

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    Laura Isabel Weber

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Real-time PCR assays for detection of Brucella spp. and the identification of genotype ST27 in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qingzhong; McFee, Wayne E; Goldstein, Tracey; Tiller, Rebekah V; Schwacke, Lori

    2014-05-01

    Rapid detection of Brucella spp. in marine mammals is challenging. Microbiologic culture is used for definitive diagnosis of brucellosis, but is time consuming, has low sensitivity and can be hazardous to laboratory personnel. Serological methods can aid in diagnosis, but may not differentiate prior exposure versus current active infection and may cross-react with unrelated Gram-negative bacteria. This study reports a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Brucella spp. and application to screen clinical samples from bottlenose dolphins stranded along the coast of South Carolina, USA. The assay was found to be 100% sensitive for the Brucella strains tested, and the limit of detection was 0.27fg of genomic DNA from Brucella ceti B1/94 per PCR volume. No amplification was detected for the non-Brucella pathogens tested. Brucella DNA was detected in 31% (55/178) of clinical samples tested. These studies indicate that the real-time PCR assay is highly sensitive and specific for the detection of Brucella spp. in bottlenose dolphins. We also developed a second real-time PCR assay for rapid identification of Brucella ST27, a genotype that is associated with human zoonotic infection. Positive results were obtained for Brucella strains which had been identified as ST27 by multilocus sequence typing. No amplification was found for other Brucella strains included in this study. ST27 was identified in 33% (18/54) of Brucella spp. DNA-positive clinical samples. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of a real-time PCR assay for identification of Brucella genotype ST27 in marine mammals.

  1. Home ranges of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida: environmental correlates and implications for management strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoil, Marilyn; Reif, John S; Youngbluth, Marsh; Murdoch, M Elizabeth; Bechdel, Sarah E; Howells, Elisabeth; McCulloch, Stephen D; Hansen, Larry J; Bossart, Gregory D

    2008-09-01

    Photo-identification surveys conducted between 2002 and 2005 were used to determine dolphin home ranges and site fidelity within the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida. The IRL was divided into six segments based on hydrodynamics and geographic features for purposes of characterization. Among the 615 dolphins with identifiable dorsal fins, 339 had > or =6 sightings and were used in segment and linear range analyses. The majority (98%) of dolphins were seen in River). However, the highest density of dolphins was found in segment 2 (North-Central Indian River). Re-sighting rates for dolphins with > or =6 sightings ranged from 2.8 to 8.7 times observed. The mean linear home range varied from 22 to 54 km. Distributional analyses indicated that at least three different dolphin communities exist within the IRL: Mosquito Lagoon, and the North and South Indian River. No statistically significant correlations were found between the total number or density per km(2 )of dolphins and surface water area, salinity, or contaminant loads within segments of the lagoon. These results suggest that dolphins do not selectively avoid areas with relatively unfavorable water quality. IRL dolphins should be studied on smaller spatial scales than currently practiced, and potential anthropogenic impacts should be evaluated based on geographic partitioning.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily P Lane

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

  3. Dolphins. LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

    The family Delphinidae is the largest family of toothed whales. It includes not only those mammals commonly referred to as dolphins, such as the bottlenosed dolphin often seen in captivity, but also the killer whale. This literature and resources guide is not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography on dolphins; the guide is designed--as the…

  4. Levels and profiles of POPs (organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and PAHs) in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins of the Canary Islands, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Alvarez, Natalia; Martín, Vidal; Fernández, Antonio; Almunia, Javier; Xuriach, Aina; Arbelo, Manuel; Tejedor, Marisa; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2014-09-15

    The effect of anthropogenic pollution in marine mammals worldwide has become an important issue due to the high concentrations found in many areas. The present study represents the first report of pollutants in free-ranging cetaceans from the Canary Islands, where there are 12 marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), because of the presence of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We selected this resident population of dolphins as a bioindicator to gain knowledge concerning the toxicological status of the cetaceans of this protected area. In 64 biopsy samples of live free-ranging animals sampled from 2003 to 2011, we determined the concentrations of 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 23 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We found high levels of many of these pollutants, and some of them were detectable in 100% of the samples. The median value for ∑OCPs was 57,104 ng g(-1) lipid weight (lw), and the dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) accounted for 70% of this amount. Among PCBs, congeners 180, 153 and 138 were predominant (82% of ∑PCBs; median = 30,783 ng g(-1) lw). Concerning the analyzed PAHs, the total median burden was 13,598 ng g(-1) lw, and phenanthrene was the compound measured at the highest concentration followed by pyrene and by naphthalene. Surprisingly, we have found that organohalogen pollutants exhibit an upward trend in recent years of sampling. Thus, according to the guidelines outlined in the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive, further monitoring studies in Canary Islands are required to contribute to the conservation of the resident populations of marine mammals in this region.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenin Oviedo

    2005-09-01

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

  6. Where's That Dolphin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Carolyn; Curran, Mary Carla; Cox, Tara

    2013-01-01

    In this article , the authors describe an activity in which students in Savannah, Georgia, use handheld GPS devices to record the sightings of bottlenose dolphins, examine spatial data from five pairs of dolphins in the study, and then form hypotheses about the spatial patterns they observe. In the process, they learn not only about the ecology of…

  7. Head sinuses, melon, and jaws of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, observed with computed tomography structural and single photon emission computed tomography functional imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James J.; Carder, Don; van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Hoh, Carl; Corbeil, Jacqueline; Mattrey, Robert

    2003-04-01

    The head sinuses, melon, and lower jaws of dolphins have been studied extensively with various methods including radiography, chemical analysis, and imaging of dead specimens. Here we report the first structural and functional imaging of live dolphins. Two animals were imaged, one male and one female. Computed tomography (CT) revealed extensive air cavities posterior and medial to the ear as well as between the ear and sound-producing nasal structures. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) employing 50 mCi of the intravenously injected ligand technetium [Tc-99m] biscisate (Neurolite) revealed extensive and uptake in the core of the melon as well as near the pan bone area of the lower jaw. Count density on SPECT images was four times greater in melon as in the surrounding tissue and blubber layer suggesting that the melon is an active rather than a passive tissue. Since the dolphin temporal bone is not attached to the skull except by fibrous suspensions, the air cavities medial and posterior to the ear as well as the abutment of the temporal bone, to the acoustic fat bodies of each lower jaw, should be considered in modeling the mechanism of sound transmission from the environment to the dolphin ear.

  8. Novel Atlantic bottlenose dolphin parainfluenza virus TtPIV-1 clusters with bovine PIV-3 genotype B strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberle, Kirsten C; Neill, John D; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; McGill, Jodi L; Sacco, Randy E

    2015-10-01

    Parainfluenza virus 3 (PIV-3) is a common viral infection not only in humans, but also in many other species. Serological evidence suggests that nearly 100 % of children in the United States have been infected with PIV-3 by 5 years of age. Similarly, in cattle, PIV-3 is commonly associated with bovine respiratory disease complex. A novel dolphin PIV-3 (TtPIV-1) was described by Nollens et al. in 2008 from a dolphin that was diagnosed with an unknown respiratory illness. At that time, TtPIV-1 was found to be most similar to, but distinct from, bovine PIV-3 (BPIV-3). In the present study, similar viral growth kinetics and pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, IL-6, and CXCL8) production were seen between BPIV-3 and TtPIV-1 in BEAS-2B, MDBK, and Vero cell lines. Initial nomenclature of TtPIV-1 was based on partial sequence of the fusion and RNA polymerase genes. Based on the similarities we saw with the in vitro work, it was important to examine the TtPIV-1 genome in more detail. Full genome sequencing and subsequent phylogenetic analysis revealed that all six viral genes of TtPIV-1 clustered within the recently described BPIV-3 genotype B strains, and it is proposed that TtPIV-1 be re-classified with BPIV-3 genotype B strains.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. LA MANNA

    2014-07-01

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

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

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    Michelle P. Valdes-Arellanes

    2011-03-01

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

  12. Platelet-Rich Plasma and Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine-Associated Treatments in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    OpenAIRE

    Griffeth, Richard J; Daniel García-Párraga; Maravillas Mellado-López; Jose Luis Crespo-Picazo; Mario Soriano-Navarro; Alicia Martinez-Romero; Victoria Moreno-Manzano

    2014-01-01

    Dolphins exhibit an extraordinary capacity to heal deep soft tissue injuries. Nevertheless, accelerated wound healing in wild or captive dolphins would minimize infection and other side effects associated with open wounds in marine animals. Here, we propose the use of a biological-based therapy for wound healing in dolphins by the application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Blood samples were collected from 9 different dolphins and a specific and simple protocol which concentrates platelets gr...

  13. Platelet-rich plasma and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine-associated treatments in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffeth, Richard J; García-Párraga, Daniel; Mellado-López, Maravillas; Crespo-Picazo, Jose Luis; Soriano-Navarro, Mario; Martinez-Romero, Alicia; Moreno-Manzano, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Dolphins exhibit an extraordinary capacity to heal deep soft tissue injuries. Nevertheless, accelerated wound healing in wild or captive dolphins would minimize infection and other side effects associated with open wounds in marine animals. Here, we propose the use of a biological-based therapy for wound healing in dolphins by the application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Blood samples were collected from 9 different dolphins and a specific and simple protocol which concentrates platelets greater than two times that of whole blood was developed. As opposed to a commonly employed human protocol for PRP preparation, a single centrifugation for 3 minutes at 900 rpm resulted in the best condition for the concentration of dolphin platelets. By FACS analysis, dolphin platelets showed reactivity to platelet cell-surface marker CD41. Analysis by electron microscopy revealed that dolphin platelets were larger in size than human platelets. These findings may explain the need to reduce the duration and speed of centrifugation of whole blood from dolphins to obtain a 2-fold increase and maintain proper morphology of the platelets. For the first time, levels of several growth factors from activated dolphin platelets were quantified. Compared to humans, concentrations of PDGF-BB were not different, while TGFβ and VEGF-A were significantly lower in dolphins. Additionally, adipose tissue was obtained from cadaveric dolphins found along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) were successfully isolated, amplified, and characterized. When dolphin ASCs were treated with 2.5 or 5% dolphin PRP they exhibited significant increased proliferation and improved phagocytotic activity, indicating that in culture, PRP may improve the regenerative capacity of ASCs. Taken together, we show an effective and well-defined protocol for efficient PRP isolation. This protocol alone or in combination with ASCs, may constitute the basis of a biological

  14. Platelet-rich plasma and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine-associated treatments in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Griffeth

    Full Text Available Dolphins exhibit an extraordinary capacity to heal deep soft tissue injuries. Nevertheless, accelerated wound healing in wild or captive dolphins would minimize infection and other side effects associated with open wounds in marine animals. Here, we propose the use of a biological-based therapy for wound healing in dolphins by the application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP. Blood samples were collected from 9 different dolphins and a specific and simple protocol which concentrates platelets greater than two times that of whole blood was developed. As opposed to a commonly employed human protocol for PRP preparation, a single centrifugation for 3 minutes at 900 rpm resulted in the best condition for the concentration of dolphin platelets. By FACS analysis, dolphin platelets showed reactivity to platelet cell-surface marker CD41. Analysis by electron microscopy revealed that dolphin platelets were larger in size than human platelets. These findings may explain the need to reduce the duration and speed of centrifugation of whole blood from dolphins to obtain a 2-fold increase and maintain proper morphology of the platelets. For the first time, levels of several growth factors from activated dolphin platelets were quantified. Compared to humans, concentrations of PDGF-BB were not different, while TGFβ and VEGF-A were significantly lower in dolphins. Additionally, adipose tissue was obtained from cadaveric dolphins found along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs were successfully isolated, amplified, and characterized. When dolphin ASCs were treated with 2.5 or 5% dolphin PRP they exhibited significant increased proliferation and improved phagocytotic activity, indicating that in culture, PRP may improve the regenerative capacity of ASCs. Taken together, we show an effective and well-defined protocol for efficient PRP isolation. This protocol alone or in combination with ASCs, may constitute the basis of a

  15. Preliminary construction for the ethogram of Southern bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus, in wave-resistance cage%抗风浪海水网箱中南瓶鼻海豚行为谱的初步构建

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴福星; 王先艳; 闫晨曦; 祝茜

    2012-01-01

    Behaviors of 4 Southern bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops aduncus, in a wave-resistance sea cage were observed and recorded by using "focal animal sampling" . Totally, 7 postures and 70 behaviors were eventually described and defined. According to the postures, acts, contexts and possible functions, the behaviors were assorted into 8 general categories, i.e. Surface locomotive behavior, aerial behavior, social behavior, begging food , sexual behavior, playing, resting, and miscellaneous, then the preliminary ethogram of Southern bottle-nose dolphin was conducted. Possible biological significance of some behaviors, i.e. Social behavior, was discussed as well.%采用目标取样法,对饲养于抗风浪网箱中的4只南瓶鼻海豚(Tursiops aduncus)的行为进行了观察和记录,最终定义了南瓶鼻海豚的7种姿势和70种行为.在此基础上,根据行为发生时的姿势、动作、环境以及可能具有的功能,将这些行为划分为水面运动行为、空中行为、社群行为、索食、性行为、玩耍、休息及杂类等8个行为模式,从而初步构建了南瓶鼻海豚的行为谱.还进一步对某些行为,如社会行为的生物学和生态学意义进行了探讨.

  16. Microarray applications to understand the impact of exposure to environmental contaminants in wild dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancia, Annalaura; Abelli, Luigi; Kucklick, John R; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S; Balmer, Brian C; Hohn, Aleta A; Baatz, John E; Ryan, James C

    2015-02-01

    It is increasingly common to monitor the marine environment and establish geographic trends of environmental contamination by measuring contaminant levels in animals from higher trophic levels. The health of an ecosystem is largely reflected in the health of its inhabitants. As an apex predator, the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) can reflect the health of near shore marine ecosystems, and reflect coastal threats that pose risk to human health, such as legacy contaminants or marine toxins, e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and brevetoxins. Major advances in the understanding of dolphin biology and the unique adaptations of these animals in response to the marine environment are being made as a result of the development of cell-lines for use in in vitro experiments, the production of monoclonal antibodies to recognize dolphin proteins, the development of dolphin DNA microarrays to measure global gene expression and the sequencing of the dolphin genome. These advances may play a central role in understanding the complex and specialized biology of the dolphin with regard to how this species responds to an array of environmental insults. This work presents the creation, characterization and application of a new molecular tool to better understand the complex and unique biology of the common bottlenose dolphin and its response to environmental stress and infection. A dolphin oligo microarray representing 24,418 unigene sequences was developed and used to analyze blood samples collected from 69 dolphins during capture-release health assessments at five geographic locations (Beaufort, NC, Sarasota Bay, FL, Saint Joseph Bay, FL, Sapelo Island, GA and Brunswick, GA). The microarray was validated and tested for its ability to: 1) distinguish male from female dolphins; 2) differentiate dolphins inhabiting different geographic locations (Atlantic coasts vs the Gulf of Mexico); and 3) study in detail dolphins resident in one site, the Georgia coast, known to

  17. Biscayne Bay Dolphin Photo ID System

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — It has been shown through a variety of photo-identification studies that populations of bottlenose dolphin inhabit the various embayments along the coast of Florida....

  18. Behavioral responses of captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)to a continuous 20 kHz pure tone%圈养瓶鼻海豚对20kHz连续声信号的行为响应研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    牛富强; 许肖梅; 杨燕明; 刘贞文; 文洪涛

    2012-01-01

    Two captive bottlenose dolphins housed in a float cage in a Bay were subjected to a continuous 20 kHz tonal signal. The behavioral responses of dolphins were judged by comparing the surface distances relative to the sound source, number of surfacings, and number of the echolocation clicks production of the dolphins, during test periods and baseline periods. The avoidance threshold sound pressure level (SPL) for a continuous 20 kHz tonal signal for the bottlenose dolphins was estimated to be 154 ±2 Db (re 1 /LtPa, rms). In addation, the comparison between the avoidance threshold SPL for harbor porpoises to a 50 kHz continuous signal and bottlenose dolphins to a 20 kHz continuous signal was also studied. The results showed that the dolphins moved away from the sound source and came to the surface more frequently during the test periods than the baseline periods, but they produced clicks significantly fewer. Therefore, a continuous 20 kHz tonal signal seems to deter bottlenose dolphins from an area.%将20 kHz连续声信号作为刺激信号,测试了厦门某海湾圈养的两只瓶鼻海豚对该信号的行为变化.通过对比信号发射期与间歇期海豚相对声源的水面距离、露出水面的次数以及水下发出的click定位声信号的数目等变化,判断发射信号对海豚行为的影响.给出了瓶鼻海豚对测试信号产生躲避行为的声压级门限(154±2 dB re 1μPa,rms),并与鼠海豚的躲避声压门限级进行了对比.结果表明:信号发射期,瓶鼻海豚移离了声源位置,增加了露出水面的次数,水下发出click声信号的次数明显减少.因此,瓶鼻海豚对20kHz连续信号产生了行为改变.

  19. Reproductive morphology of female Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becegato, Estella Z; Andrade, Janaina P; Guimarães, Juliana P; Vergara-Parente, Jociery E; Miglino, Maria Angelica; Silva, Fernanda M de Oliveira e

    2015-09-01

    The reproductive morphology of cetaceans is poorly studied and, despite the large number of strandings, reports on this subject are scarce due to access to carcasses mostly in an advanced state of decomposition. The present study aimed to describe histological characteristics of the female genital tract of Sotalia guianensis, in order to assist in future studies on the reproductive biology of these animals. Females of different ages, from stranding events on beaches in northeastern Brazil, were used. Fragments of all organs were collected and processed for light and scanning electron microscopy. Histological analyses showed that these structures were similar to those found in terrestrial mammals, with some peculiarities, such as the presence of differentiated cells in the vulvar subepidermal layer, not described in the literature on cetaceans. Reproductive studies with a morphological description of the female genital organs are extremely important, since they would enable a better understanding of the species reproductive physiology and assist in the development of new strategies for the species conservation.

  20. Reproductive morphology of female Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ESTELLA Z. BECEGATO

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The reproductive morphology of cetaceans is poorly studied and, despite the large number of strandings, reports on this subject are scarce due to access to carcasses mostly in an advanced state of decomposition. The present study aimed to describe histological characteristics of the female genital tract ofSotalia guianensis, in order to assist in future studies on the reproductive biology of these animals. Females of different ages, from stranding events on beaches in northeastern Brazil, were used. Fragments of all organs were collected and processed for light and scanning electron microscopy. Histological analyses showed that these structures were similar to those found in terrestrial mammals, with some peculiarities, such as the presence of differentiated cells in the vulvar subepidermal layer, not described in the literature on cetaceans. Reproductive studies with a morphological description of the female genital organs are extremely important, since they would enable a better understanding of the species reproductive physiology and assist in the development of new strategies for the species conservation.

  1. Where's That Dolphin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Carolyn; Curran, Mary Carla; Cox, Tara

    2013-01-01

    In this article , the authors describe an activity in which students in Savannah, Georgia, use handheld GPS devices to record the sightings of bottlenose dolphins, examine spatial data from five pairs of dolphins in the study, and then form hypotheses about the spatial patterns they observe. In the process, they learn not only about the ecology of…

  2. Dolphin changes in whistle structure with watercraft activity depends on their behavioral state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J; Quiñones-Lebrón, Shakira G

    2014-04-01

    Dolphins rely on whistles to identify each other and to receive and convey information about their environment. Although capable of adjusting these signals with changing environments, there is little information on how dolphins acoustically respond to different watercraft activities and if this response depends on dolphin behavioral state. Bottlenose dolphin whistles were recorded in the presence of research and dolphin-watching boats. Dolphins emitted lower frequency and longer whistles when interacting with dolphin-watching boats, particularly during foraging activities. This study suggests that dolphin-watching boat traffic significantly hinders dolphin communication during important behavioral states.

  3. Characterization of alpha-fetoprotein levels in three dolphin species: development of sensitive immunoassays for analysis of the pregnancy-associated variations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morita, Yuka; Hiramatsu, Naoshi; Fujita, Toshiaki; Amano, Haruna; Katsumata, Etsuko; Arai, Kazutoshi; Iwasaki, Toshihide; Todo, Takashi; Hara, Akihiko

    2013-01-01

    A single radial immunodiffusion (SRID) assay and a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) were initially developed for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) of the striped dolphin. Utilizing these developed assays, we investigated pregnancy-associated changes in the levels of AFP in the sera of fetuses and pregnant females of three dolphin species; samples were either collected from captive individuals or obtained as fishery by-products. The concentrations of AFP in the fetal serum ranged from 419.0 to 2026.3 μg/ml in the striped dolphin, 12.6 to 1218.7 μg/ml (for an AFP equivalent; eqAFP) in the common bottlenose dolphin and 770.6 to 3129.1 μg eqAFP/ml in the Risso's dolphin. AFP levels decreased with increased fetal size in fetuses over 20 cm in length. The concentrations of AFP in sera of pregnant females ranged from 7.18 to 8068.7 ng/ml in the striped dolphin, 6.6 to 1241.1 ng eqAFP/ml in the common bottlenose dolphin and 3.4 to 2868.7 ng eqAFP/ml in the Risso's dolphin. The levels in most pregnant females were equal to or lower than those found in males and nonpregnant individuals, although a few pregnant females exhibited extremely high levels (in the range of hundreds to thousands of nanograms per milliliter). Such high levels of AFP were not observed during pseudopregnancy. To our knowledge, this is the first report on basal profiles for serum AFP levels in small odontocetes. The profiles indicated that AFP may play a significant role during embryonic development, although maternal levels do not appear to be a diagnostic biomarker for monitoring pregnancy.

  4. Comparison of serum lipid compositions, lipid peroxide, alpha-tocopherol and lipoproteins in captive marine mammals (bottlenose dolphins, spotted seals and West Indian manatees) and terrestrial mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasamatsu, Masahiko; Kawauchi, Rieko; Tsunokawa, Masatoshi; Ueda, Keiichi; Uchida, Eiji; Oikawa, Shin; Higuchi, Hidetoshi; Kawajiri, Takaaki; Uchida, Senzo; Nagahata, Hajime

    2009-04-01

    Concentrations of serum lipid components, lipid peroxide (LPO) and alpha-tocopherol and electrophoretic patterns of lipoproteins in serum samples obtained from captive marine mammals and terrestrial mammals were compared. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, free fatty acid, and phospholipid in fish-eating animals were significantly higher than those in manatees and cows. Serum LPO and alpha-tocopherol concentrations in the fish-eating animals were also significantly higher than those in manatees, cows and dogs. Different patterns of densitometric scans of low density lipoprotein (LDL) and a significantly lower percentage of LDL were demonstrated in the dolphins compared with the seals, cow and dogs. The concentration of LPO was significantly correlated with triglyceride and phospholipid concentrations in serum from the dolphins. These results suggest that triglyceride and phospholipid are susceptible to oxidative reaction in fish-eating animals. Evaluation of serum lipids, LPO and alpha-tocopherol concentrations is needed for nutritional husbandry for fish-eating animals.

  5. Preparing the perfect cuttlefish meal: complex prey handling by dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Finn

    Full Text Available Dolphins are well known for their complex social and foraging behaviours. Direct underwater observations of wild dolphin feeding behaviour however are rare. At mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama in the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, a wild female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus was observed and recorded repeatedly catching, killing and preparing cuttlefish for consumption using a specific and ordered sequence of behaviours. Cuttlefish were herded to a sand substrate, pinned to the seafloor, killed by downward thrust, raised mid-water and beaten by the dolphin with its snout until the ink was released and drained. The deceased cuttlefish was then returned to the seafloor, inverted and forced along the sand substrate in order to strip the thin dorsal layer of skin off the mantle, thus releasing the buoyant calcareous cuttlebone. This stepped behavioural sequence significantly improves prey quality through 1 removal of the ink (with constituent melanin and tyrosine, and 2 the calcareous cuttlebone. Observations of foraging dolphin pods from above-water at this site (including the surfacing of intact clean cuttlebones suggest that some or all of this prey handling sequence may be used widely by dolphins in the region. Aspects of the unique mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish in this region of South Australia may have contributed to the evolution of this behaviour through both high abundances of spawning and weakened post-spawning cuttlefish in a small area (>10,000 animals on several kilometres of narrow rocky reef, as well as potential long-term and regular visitation by dolphin pods to this site.

  6. A community split among dolphins: the effect of social relationships on the membership of new communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishita, Miki; Shirakihara, Miki; Amano, Masao

    2015-11-26

    Little is known about community splitting among dolphins because such events are rare in dolphin populations. A case of a community split was confirmed in a population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Japan, where a group of approximately 30 dolphins moved to a new habitat some 60 km from the original habitat. We examined the associations among the dolphins before the community split to determine whether the new community members were already socially different before the split, using 7-year identification data. Before the split, the males in the same community after the split more often associated with each other than they did with those in different community. In contrast, the association patterns among females and between sexes showed no relationships with their post-split community membership. These results indicate that the males of new community were socially different from the other males for a long time before the split, but the females might not have been different. Our findings suggest that at time of the community split, the factors determining the memberships of the subsequent communities are sex-linked. The long-term social relationships among males could be maintained in the subsequent communities.

  7. Prion search and cellular prion protein expression in stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, G; Cocumelli, C; Meoli, R; Barbaro, K; Terracciano, G; Di Francesco, C E; Mazzariol, S; Eleni, C

    2012-01-01

    The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso s dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine.

  8. Body and self in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Louis M

    2012-03-01

    In keeping with recent views of consciousness of self as represented in the body in action, empirical studies are reviewed that demonstrate a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) conscious awareness of its own body and body parts, implying a representational "body image" system. Additional work reviewed demonstrates an advanced capability of dolphins for motor imitation of self-produced behaviors and of behaviors of others, including imitation of human actions, supporting hypotheses that dolphins have a sense of agency and ownership of their actions and may implicitly attribute those levels of self-awareness to others. Possibly, a mirror-neuron system, or its functional equivalent to that described in monkeys and humans, may mediate both self-awareness and awareness of others.

  9. Cutaneous Granulomas in Dolphins Caused by Novel Uncultivated Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilela, Raquel; Bossart, Gregory D.; St. Leger, Judy A.; Dalton, Leslie M.; Reif, John S.; Schaefer, Adam M.; McCarthy, Peter J.; Fair, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Cutaneous granulomas in dolphins were believed to be caused by Lacazia loboi, which also causes a similar disease in humans. This hypothesis was recently challenged by reports that fungal DNA sequences from dolphins grouped this pathogen with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. We conducted phylogenetic analysis of fungi from 6 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with cutaneous granulomas and chains of yeast cells in infected tissues. Kex gene sequences of P. brasiliensis from dolphins showed 100% homology with sequences from cultivated P. brasiliensis, 73% with those of L. loboi, and 93% with those of P. lutzii. Parsimony analysis placed DNA sequences from dolphins within a cluster with human P. brasiliensis strains. This cluster was the sister taxon to P. lutzii and L. loboi. Our molecular data support previous findings and suggest that a novel uncultivated strain of P. brasiliensis restricted to cutaneous lesions in dolphins is probably the cause of lacaziosis/lobomycosis, herein referred to as paracoccidioidomycosis ceti. PMID:27869614

  10. Variability of Hormonal Stress Markers Collected from a Managed Dolphin Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    the study was to compare immunological profiles of dolphins that were wild (coastal Charleston/Indian River ) and those that were semi- domestic living...REFERENCES Houser, D. S., Yeates, L. C., and Crocker, D. E. (2011). “Cold stress induces an adrenocortical response in bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops ... truncatus ),” J. Zoo Wild. Med. 42: 565-571. Tomasi, T. E. Utilization rates of thyroid hormones in mammals. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 100, 503- 516 (1991

  11. Variability of Hormonal Stress Markers Collected from a Managed Dolphin Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    in blubber potentially mean that increased plasma cortisol after administration of ACTH treatment may not elevate plasma cortisol for a sufficient...five bottlenose dolphins. Since abrupt cessation of cortisol treatment has been observed to cause side-effects, dolphin subjects will be weaned off...by stress, which can lead to conditions of both hypo- and hyperthyroidism . Persistent elevated or diminished levels of these hormones are known to

  12. Contrasted accumulation patterns of persistent organic pollutants and mercury in sympatric tropical dolphins from the south-western Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirtu, Alin C; Malarvannan, Govindan; Das, Krishna; Dulau-Drouot, Violaine; Kiszka, Jeremy J; Lepoint, Gilles; Mongin, Philippe; Covaci, Adrian

    2016-04-01

    Due to their high trophic position and long life span, small cetaceans are considered as suitable bioindicators to monitor the presence of contaminants in marine ecosystems. Here, we document the contamination with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and total mercury (T-Hg) of spinner (Stenella longirostris, n =21) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus, n=32) sampled from the coastal waters of La Réunion (south-western Indian Ocean). In addition, seven co-occurring teleost fish species were sampled and analyzed as well. Blubber samples from living dolphins and muscle from teleosts were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and metabolites (DDTs), chlordanes (CHLs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs), reported as having a natural origin, were also analyzed. T-Hg levels were measured in blubber and skin biopsies of the two dolphin species. Stable isotopes δ(13)C and δ(15)N values were determined in skin of the dolphins and in the muscle of teleosts. For PCBs, HCHs and T-Hg, concentrations were significantly higher in T. aduncus than in S. longirostris. For other POP levels, intra-species variability was high. MeO-PBDEs were the dominant compounds (55% of the total POPs) in S. longirostris, while PCBs dominated (50% contribution) in T. aduncus. Other contaminants showed similar profiles between the two species. Given the different patterns of POPs and T-Hg contamination and the δ(15)N values observed among analyzed teleosts, dietary and foraging habitat preferences most likely explain the contrasted contaminant profiles observed in the two dolphin species. Levels of each class of contaminants were significantly higher in males than females. Despite their spatial and temporal overlap in the waters of La Réunion, S. longirostris and T. aduncus are differently exposed to contaminant accumulation.

  13. Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in female common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from western European seas: Geographical trends, causal factors and effects on reproduction and mortality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pierce, G.J. [School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ (United Kingdom); Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia, Centro Oceanografico de Vigo, P.O. Box 1552, 36200, Vigo (Spain)], E-mail: g.j.pierce@abdn.ac.uk; Santos, M.B. [School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ (United Kingdom); Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia, Centro Oceanografico de Vigo, P.O. Box 1552, 36200, Vigo (Spain); Murphy, S. [AFDC, Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science, University College, National University of Ireland, Enterprise Centre, North Mall, Cork (Ireland); Sea Mammal Research Unit, Gatty Marine Laboratory, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 8LB (United Kingdom); Learmonth, J.A. [School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ (United Kingdom); Zuur, A.F. [Highland Statistics, 6 Laverock Road, Newburgh, Aberdeenshire AB41 6FN (United Kingdom); Rogan, E. [AFDC, Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science, University College, National University of Ireland, Enterprise Centre, North Mall, Cork (Ireland); Bustamante, P.; Caurant, F. [Centre de Recherche sur les Ecosystemes Littoraux Anthropises, UMR 6217 CNRS-IFREMER-Universite de la Rochelle, 22 avenue Michel Crepeau, 17042 La Rochelle (France); Lahaye, V. [School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ (United Kingdom); Centre de Recherche sur les Ecosystemes Littoraux Anthropises, UMR 6217 CNRS-IFREMER-Universite de la Rochelle, 22 avenue Michel Crepeau, 17042 La Rochelle (France); Ridoux, V. [Centre de Recherche sur les Ecosystemes Littoraux Anthropises, UMR 6217 CNRS-IFREMER-Universite de la Rochelle, 22 avenue Michel Crepeau, 17042 La Rochelle (France); Zegers, B.N.; Mets, A. [Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texel (Netherlands)] (and others)

    2008-05-15

    Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in blubber of female common dolphins and harbour porpoises from the Atlantic coast of Europe were frequently above the threshold at which effects on reproduction could be expected, in 40% and 47% of cases respectively. This rose to 74% for porpoises from the southern North Sea. PCB concentrations were also high in southern North Sea fish. The average pregnancy rate recorded in porpoises (42%) in the study area was lower than in the western Atlantic but that in common dolphins (25%) was similar to that of the western Atlantic population. Porpoises that died from disease or parasitic infection had higher concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than animals dying from other causes. Few of the common dolphins sampled had died from disease or parasitic infection. POP profiles in common dolphin blubber were related to individual feeding history while those in porpoises were more strongly related to condition. - High PCB levels were recorded in porpoises and common dolphins from European coasts.

  14. High frequency sonar components of normal and hearing impaired dolphins.

    OpenAIRE

    Dye, David C.

    2000-01-01

    Approved for public release, distribution is unlimited A data acquisition device was constructed and tested to obtain toothed whale (Bottlenose Dolphin and Beluga Whale) sonar signals and digitally store them to a PC hard drive. The device had the capability of capturing sonar signals by means of a two-hydrophone array, and a digital video camera in a submersible housing. Cooperation with marine biologists at SSC San Diego enabled the sampling of three animals performing echolocation tasks...

  15. Assessing Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior toward Charismatic Megafauna: The Case of Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barney, Erin C.; Mintzes, Joel J.; Yen, Chiung-Fen

    2005-01-01

    Using concept maps, a Kellert-type (S. R. Kellert, 1985) inventory, and self-report behavioral items, this cross-age study assessed public knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward bottlenose dolphins. Results suggest that this important megafaunal species is poorly understood by the public at large, and that negative "utilitarian" attitudes and…

  16. Consciousness in dolphins? A review of recent evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harley, Heidi E

    2013-06-01

    For millennia, dolphins have intrigued humans. Scientific study has confirmed that bottlenose dolphins are large-brained, highly social mammals with an extended developmental period, flexible cognitive capacities, and powerful acoustic abilities including a sophisticated echolocation system. These findings have led some to ask if dolphins experience aspects of consciousness. Recent investigations targeting self-recognition/self-awareness and metacognition, constructs tied to consciousness on some accounts, have analyzed the dolphin's ability to recognize itself in a mirror or on a video as well as to monitor its own knowledge in a perceptual categorization task. The current article reviews this work with dolphins and grapples with some of the challenges in designing, conducting, and interpreting these studies as well as with general issues related to studying consciousness in animals. The existing evidence does not provide a convincing case for consciousness in dolphins. For productive scientific work on consciousness in dolphins (and other animals including humans), we need clearer characterizations of consciousness, better methods for studying it, and appropriate paradigms for interpreting outcomes. A current focus on metamemory in animals offers promise for future discovery in this area.

  17. Culture in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendell, L; Whitehead, H

    2001-04-01

    Studies of animal culture have not normally included a consideration of cetaceans. However, with several long-term field studies now maturing, this situation should change. Animal culture is generally studied by either investigating transmission mechanisms experimentally, or observing patterns of behavioural variation in wild populations that cannot be explained by either genetic or environmental factors. Taking this second, ethnographic, approach, there is good evidence for cultural transmission in several cetacean species. However, only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops) has been shown experimentally to possess sophisticated social learning abilities, including vocal and motor imitation; other species have not been studied. There is observational evidence for imitation and teaching in killer whales. For cetaceans and other large, wide-ranging animals, excessive reliance on experimental data for evidence of culture is not productive; we favour the ethnographic approach. The complex and stable vocal and behavioural cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales (Orcinus orca) appear to have no parallel outside humans, and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties. The wide movements of cetaceans, the greater variability of the marine environment over large temporal scales relative to that on land, and the stable matrilineal social groups of some species are potentially important factors in the evolution of cetacean culture. There have been suggestions of gene-culture coevolution in cetaceans, and culture may be implicated in some unusual behavioural and life-history traits of whales and dolphins. We hope to stimulate discussion and research on culture in these animals.

  18. Patterns of dolphin bycatch in a north-western Australian trawl fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Simon J; Tyne, Julian A; Kobryn, Halina T; Bejder, Lars; Pollock, Kenneth H; Loneragan, Neil R

    2014-01-01

    The bycatch of small cetaceans in commercial fisheries is a global wildlife management problem. We used data from skippers' logbooks and independent observers to assess common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) bycatch patterns between 2003 and 2009 in the Pilbara Trawl Fishery, Western Australia. Both datasets indicated that dolphins were caught in all fishery areas, across all depths and throughout the year. Over the entire datasets, observer reported bycatch rates (n = 52 dolphins in 4,124 trawls, or 12.6 dolphins/1,000 trawls) were ca. double those reported by skippers (n = 180 dolphins in 27,904 trawls, or 6.5 dolphins/1,000 trawls). Generalised Linear Models based on observer data, which better explained the variation in dolphin bycatch, indicated that the most significant predictors of dolphin catch were: (1) vessel--one trawl vessel caught significantly more dolphins than three others assessed; (2) time of day--the lowest dolphin bycatch rates were between 00:00 and 05:59; and (3) whether nets included bycatch reduction devices (BRDs)--the rate was reduced by ca. 45%, from 18.8 to 10.3 dolphins/1,000 trawls, after their introduction. These results indicated that differences among vessels (or skippers' trawling techniques) and dolphin behavior (a diurnal pattern) influenced the rates of dolphin capture; and that spatial or seasonal adjustments to trawling effort would be unlikely to significantly reduce dolphin bycatch. Recent skipper's logbook data show that dolphin bycatch rates have not declined since those reported in 2006, when BRDs were introduced across the fishery. Modified BRDs, with top-opening escape hatches from which dolphins might escape to the surface, may be a more effective means of further reducing dolphin bycatch. The vulnerability of this dolphin population to trawling-related mortality cannot be assessed in the absence of an ongoing observer program and without information on trawler-associated dolphin community size

  19. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mann

    Full Text Available The causes of dolphin and whale stranding can often be difficult to determine. Because toothed whales rely on echolocation for orientation and feeding, hearing deficits could lead to stranding. We report on the results of auditory evoked potential measurements from eight species of odontocete cetaceans that were found stranded or severely entangled in fishing gear during the period 2004 through 2009. Approximately 57% of the bottlenose dolphins and 36% of the rough-toothed dolphins had significant hearing deficits with a reduction in sensitivity equivalent to severe (70-90 dB or profound (>90 dB hearing loss in humans. The only stranded short-finned pilot whale examined had profound hearing loss. No impairments were detected in seven Risso's dolphins from three different stranding events, two pygmy killer whales, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, one spinner dolphin, or a juvenile Gervais' beaked whale. Hearing impairment could play a significant role in some cetacean stranding events, and the hearing of all cetaceans in rehabilitation should be tested.

  20. Measurement of hydrodynamic force generation by swimming dolphins using bubble DPIV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Frank E; Legac, Paul; Williams, Terrie M; Wei, Timothy

    2014-01-15

    Attempts to measure the propulsive forces produced by swimming dolphins have been limited. Previous uses of computational hydrodynamic models and gliding experiments have provided estimates of thrust production by dolphins, but these were indirect tests that relied on various assumptions. The thrust produced by two actively swimming bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was directly measured using digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV). For dolphins swimming in a large outdoor pool, the DPIV method used illuminated microbubbles that were generated in a narrow sheet from a finely porous hose and a compressed air source. The movement of the bubbles was tracked with a high-speed video camera. Dolphins swam at speeds of 0.7 to 3.4 m s(-1) within the bubble sheet oriented along the midsagittal plane of the animal. The wake of the dolphin was visualized as the microbubbles were displaced because of the action of the propulsive flukes and jet flow. The oscillations of the dolphin flukes were shown to generate strong vortices in the wake. Thrust production was measured from the vortex strength through the Kutta-Joukowski theorem of aerodynamics. The dolphins generated up to 700 N during small amplitude swimming and up to 1468 N during large amplitude starts. The results of this study demonstrated that bubble DPIV can be used effectively to measure the thrust produced by large-bodied dolphins.

  1. A mini review of dolphin carbohydrate metabolism and suggestions for future research using exhaled air

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam eRidgway

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In the 1960s, I explored some aspects of carbohydrate metabolism in healthy bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. Their physiological picture resembled what had been described for hyperthyroid diabetics. Dolphins have elevated thyroid hormone turnover, and fasting dolphins maintain a relatively high level of plasma glucose. After dolphins ingest glucose, plasma levels remain high for many hours. Interestingly, plasma glucose must exceed 300 mg/dL (about twice as high as the human threshold before glucose appears in urine. Due to their diabetes-like states, trainability, and unique natural respiratory anatomy and physiology, dolphins may offer useful clues to metabolites in the breath that may be used to non-invasively monitor diabetes in humans. Dolphins take very rapid and deep breaths that are four or five times as deep as humans and other terrestrial mammals, making them ideal for physiological assessment using non-invasive exhaled air. Avenues for successfully identifying breath-based markers for metabolic disease and physiology in dolphins can be done with both modern technology and the evolutionarily advantageous canine nose. This review summarizes aspects of dolphin metabolism previously learned and offers new directions for diabetes research that may benefit both dolphin and human health.

  2. How dolphins see the world: a comparison with chimpanzees and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomonaga, Masaki; Uwano, Yuka; Saito, Toyoshi

    2014-01-16

    Bottlenose dolphins use auditory (or echoic) information to recognise their environments, and many studies have described their echolocation perception abilities. However, relatively few systematic studies have examined their visual perception. We tested dolphins on a visual-matching task using two-dimensional geometric forms including various features. Based on error patterns, we used multidimensional scaling to analyse perceptual similarities among stimuli. In addition to dolphins, we conducted comparable tests with terrestrial species: chimpanzees were tested on a computer-controlled matching task and humans were tested on a rating task. The overall perceptual similarities among stimuli in dolphins were similar to those in the two species of primates. These results clearly indicate that the visual world is perceived similarly by the three species of mammals, even though each has adapted to a different environment and has differing degrees of dependence on vision.

  3. Conditioning Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus Gilli) for Voluntary Diving Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-12-31

    heartrate (EKG) to validate "voluntary" nature of dive EXAMINE ACTIVE DIVING CONDITIONS (open Ocean Mewwmenr) dive profiles using TDR respiration... heartrate electrodes Open Ocean Experiments ’wear instrument package (TDR) perform voluntary dive up to 200 meters readily present tail flukes for

  4. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972), as depicted or noted on nautical charts published by the... is all tidal and marine waters within 6.5 nautical miles (12 km) of shore from the New York-New Jersey border southward to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and within 14.6 nautical miles (27 km) of...

  5. Bottlenose dolphin at-sea density off California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Office of National Marine Sanctuary Program (ONMS) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the...

  6. Experimental measurement of dolphin thrust generated during a tail stand using DPIV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Timothy; Fish, Frank; Williams, Terrie; Wu, Vicki; Sherman, Erica; Misfeldt, Mitchel; Ringenberg, Hunter; Rogers, Dylan

    2016-11-01

    The thrust generated by dolphins doing tail stands was measured using DPIV. The technique entailed measuring vortex strength associated with the tail motion and correlating it to above water video sequences showing the amount of the dolphin's body that was being lifted out of the water. The underlying drivers for this research included: i) understanding the physiology, hydrodynamics and efficiency of dolphin locomotion, ii) developing non-invasive measurement techniques for studying marine swimming and iii) quantifying the actual propulsive capabilities of these animals. Two different bottlenose dolphins at the Long Marine Lab at UC-Santa Cruz were used as test subjects. Application of the Kutta-Joukowski Theorem on measured vortex circulations yielded thrust values that were well correlated with estimates of dolphin body weight being supported above water. This demonstrates that the tail motion can be interpreted as a flapping hydrofoil that can generate a sustained thrust roughly equal to the dolphin's weight. Videos of DPIV measurements overlaid with the dolphins will be presented along with thrust/weight data.

  7. Forebrain neuroanatomy of the neonatal and juvenile dolphin (T. truncatus and S. coeruloalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parolisi, Roberta; Peruffo, Antonella; Messina, Silvia; Panin, Mattia; Montelli, Stefano; Giurisato, Maristella; Cozzi, Bruno; Bonfanti, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of dolphin functional neuroanatomy mostly derives from post-mortem studies and non-invasive approaches (i.e., magnetic resonance imaging), due to limitations in experimentation on cetaceans. As a consequence the availability of well-preserved tissues for histology is scarce, and detailed histological analyses are referred mainly to adults. Here we studied the neonatal/juvenile brain in two species of dolphins, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), with special reference to forebrain regions. We analyzed cell density in subcortical nuclei, white/gray matter ratio, and myelination in selected regions at different anterior-posterior levels of the whole dolphin brain at different ages, to better define forebrain neuroanatomy and the developmental stage of the dolphin brain around birth. The analyses were extended to the periventricular germinal layer and the cerebellum, whose delayed genesis of the granule cell layer is a hallmark of postnatal development in the mammalian nervous system. Our results establish an atlas of the young dolphin forebrain and, on the basis of occurrence/absence of delayed neurogenic layers, confirm the stage of advanced brain maturation in these animals with respect to most terrestrial mammals.

  8. Forebrain neuroanatomy of the neonatal and juvenile dolphin (T. truncatus and S. coeruloalba)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parolisi, Roberta; Peruffo, Antonella; Messina, Silvia; Panin, Mattia; Montelli, Stefano; Giurisato, Maristella; Cozzi, Bruno; Bonfanti, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of dolphin functional neuroanatomy mostly derives from post-mortem studies and non-invasive approaches (i.e., magnetic resonance imaging), due to limitations in experimentation on cetaceans. As a consequence the availability of well-preserved tissues for histology is scarce, and detailed histological analyses are referred mainly to adults. Here we studied the neonatal/juvenile brain in two species of dolphins, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), with special reference to forebrain regions. We analyzed cell density in subcortical nuclei, white/gray matter ratio, and myelination in selected regions at different anterior–posterior levels of the whole dolphin brain at different ages, to better define forebrain neuroanatomy and the developmental stage of the dolphin brain around birth. The analyses were extended to the periventricular germinal layer and the cerebellum, whose delayed genesis of the granule cell layer is a hallmark of postnatal development in the mammalian nervous system. Our results establish an atlas of the young dolphin forebrain and, on the basis of occurrence/absence of delayed neurogenic layers, confirm the stage of advanced brain maturation in these animals with respect to most terrestrial mammals. PMID:26594155

  9. Forebrain neuroanatomy of the neonatal and juvenile dolphin (T. truncatus & S. coeruloalba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta eParolisi

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of dolphin functional neuroanatomy mostly derives from post-mortem studies and non-invasive approaches (i.e. magnetic resonance imaging, due to limitations in experimentation on cetaceans. As a consequence the availability of well-preserved tissues for histology is scarce, and detailed histological analyses are referred mainly to adults. Here we studied the neonatal/juvenile brain in two species of dolphins, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus and the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba, with special reference to forebrain regions. We analyzed cell density in subcortical nuclei, white/grey matter ratio, and myelination in selected regions at different anterior-posterior levels of the whole dolphin brain at different ages, to better define forebrain neuroanatomy and the developmental stage of the dolphin brain around birth. The analysis were extended to the periventricular germinal layer and the cerebellum, whose delayed genesis of the granule cell layer is a hallmark of postnatal development in the mammalian nervous system. Our results establish an atlas of the young dolphin forebrain and, on the basis of occurrence/absence of delayed neurogenic layers, confirm the stage of advanced brain maturation in these animals with respect to most terrestrial mammals.

  10. Male alliance behaviour and mating access varies with habitat in a dolphin social network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Richard C; Cioffi, William R; Randić, Srđan; Allen, Simon J; Watson-Capps, Jana; Krützen, Michael

    2017-04-13

    Within-species variation in social structure has attracted interest recently because of the potential to explore phenotypic plasticity and, specifically, how demographic and ecological variation influence social structure. Populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) vary in male alliance formation, from no alliances to simple pairs to, in Shark Bay, Western Australia, the most complex nested alliances known outside of humans. Examination of ecological contributions to this variation is complicated by differences among populations in other potentially explanatory traits, such as phylogenetic distance, as well as female reproductive schedules, sexual size dimorphism, and body size. Here, we report our discovery of systematic spatial variation in alliance structure, seasonal movements and access to mates within a single continuous social network in the Shark Bay population. Participation in male trios (versus pairs), the sizes of seasonal range shifts and consortship rates all decrease from north to south along the 50 km length of the study area. The southern habitat, characterised by shallow banks and channels, may be marginal relative to the open northern habitat. The discovery of variation in alliance behaviour along a spatial axis within a single population is unprecedented and demonstrates that alliance complexity has an ecological component.

  11. Compliance with regulations by "swim-with-dolphins" operations in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarpaci, Carol; Dayanthi, Nugegoda; Corkeron, Peter J

    2003-03-01

    Managing the activities of commercial wildlife viewing tends to involve either restricting the number of industry participants and/or regulating the activities or industry participants. We report on operator compliance with regulations regarding humans swimming with free-ranging bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops sp.) in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. A total of 128 commercial dolphin-swim trips was studied between September 1998 and April 2000. Four permit conditions were investigated: approach type, swim time, time in proximity of dolphins, and presence of "fetal fold" calves. Results demonstrate noncompliance by operators to all of the four permit conditions studied. Compliance with temporal conditions was poorer than with other conditions. When conducting studies on the extent to which tourism affects cetaceans, investigators should consider whether tourist operations comply with existing regulations or guidelines.

  12. Fetal distress and in utero pneumonia in perinatal dolphins during the Northern Gulf of Mexico unusual mortality event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colegrove, Kathleen M; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Litz, Jenny; Kinsel, Michael J; Terio, Karen A; Fougeres, Erin; Ewing, Ruth; Pabst, D Ann; McLellan, William A; Raverty, Stephen; Saliki, Jeremiah; Fire, Spencer; Rappucci, Gina; Bowen-Stevens, Sabrina; Noble, Lauren; Costidis, Alex; Barbieri, Michelle; Field, Cara; Smith, Suzanne; Carmichael, Ruth H; Chevis, Connie; Hatchett, Wendy; Shannon, Delphine; Tumlin, Mandy; Lovewell, Gretchen; McFee, Wayne; Rowles, Teresa K

    2016-04-12

    An unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus of all size classes stranding along coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, USA, started in early 2010 and continued into 2014. During this northern Gulf of Mexico UME, a distinct cluster of perinatal dolphins (total body length <115 cm) stranded in Mississippi and Alabama during 2011. The proportion of annual dolphin strandings that were perinates between 2009 and 2013 were compared to baseline strandings (2000-2005). A case-reference study was conducted to compare demographics, histologic lesions, and Brucella sp. infection prevalence in 69 UME perinatal dolphins to findings from 26 reference perinates stranded in South Carolina and Florida outside of the UME area. Compared to reference perinates, UME perinates were more likely to have died in utero or very soon after birth (presence of atelectasis in 88 vs. 15%, p < 0.0001), have fetal distress (87 vs. 27%, p < 0.0001), and have pneumonia not associated with lungworm infection (65 vs. 19%, p = 0.0001). The percentage of perinates with Brucella sp. infections identified via lung PCR was higher among UME perinates stranding in Mississippi and Alabama compared to reference perinates (61 vs. 24%, p = 0.01), and multiple different Brucella omp genetic sequences were identified in UME perinates. These results support that from 2011 to 2013, during the northern Gulf of Mexico UME, bottlenose dolphins were particularly susceptible to late-term pregnancy failures and development of in utero infections including brucellosis.

  13. Douglas RD-2 Dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    1940-01-01

    Douglas RD-2 Dolphin: Originally purchased with the presumed use as a Presidential aircraft, this Douglas RD-2 was turned over to the NACA in December 1939 without ever fulfilling its intended role. The Dolphin was a type familiar to the NACA, who were testing a Army version of the Douglas amphibian, an OA-4V with a nosewheel.

  14. Why do Dolphins Play?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stan A. Kuczaj

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Play is an important aspect of dolphin life, perhaps even an essential one. Play provides opportunities for dolphin calves to practice and perfect locomotor skills, including those involved in foraging and mating strategies and behaviors. Play also allows dolphin calves to learn important social skills and acquire information about the characteristics and predispositions of members of their social group, particularly their peers. In addition to helping dolphin calves learn how to behave, play also provides valuable opportunities for them to learn how to think. The ability to create and control play contexts enables dolphins to create novel experiences for themselves and their playmates under relatively safe conditions. The behavioral variability and individual creativity that characterize dolphin play yield ample opportunities for individual cognitive development as well as social learning, and sometimes result in innovations that are reproduced by other members of the group. Although adults sometimes produce innovative play, calves are the primary source of such innovations. Calves are also more likely to imitate novel play behaviors than are adults, and so calves contribute significantly to both the creation and transmission of novel play behaviors within a group. Not unexpectedly, then, the complexity of dolphin play increases with the involvement of peers. As a result, the opportunity to observe and/or interact with other dolphin calves enhances the effects of play on the acquisition and maintenance of flexible problem solving skills, the emergence and strengthening of social and communicative competencies, and the establishment of social relationships. It seems that play may have evolved to help young dolphins learn to adapt to novel situations in both their physical and social worlds, the beneficial result being a set of abilities that increases the likelihood that an individual survives and reproduces.

  15. Habitat selection of two island-associated dolphin species from the south-west Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condet, Manon; Dulau-Drouot, Violaine

    2016-08-01

    Identifying suitable habitats of protected species is an essential question in ecology and conservation planning. Modelling approaches have been widely used to identify environmental features that contribute to a species' ecological requirements and distribution. On Reunion Island, a fast-growing French territory located in the south-western Indian Ocean, anthropogenic impacts are mainly concentrated along the coast, representing a potential threat for Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner (Stenella longirostris) dolphins, two resident coastal species. Beside coastal development, commercial and recreational dolphin-watching are growing, particularly along the west coast. To promote effective local management, habitat modelling was applied using presence-only data collected from 2008 to 2012 on the west coast of the island. Ecological Niche Factor Analyses were used to investigate the effect of physiographic variables on the distribution of these two dolphin species and delineate suitable habitats. It was found that the core habitat of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins was mainly restricted by depth and confined to coastal waters ranging from 4.7 to 75.8 m deep. The species preferentially used soft substrates (sand and mud) and tended to be ubiquitous in terms of substrate type/color used. Foraging activities were significantly related to soft substrates. The diurnal core habitat of spinner dolphins was confined to one discrete area, on the flat portion of the insular shelf, between 45.1 m and 70.7 m of depth. Suitable habitat was mainly related to soft and light-colored substrates, with a clear avoidance of dark-colored substrates. The core habitats of both species were very restrained spatially and therefore vulnerable to human activities. The fine scale habitat mapping achieved in this study represents baseline data to conduct ad hoc impact assessment and support conservation actions.

  16. Accumulation pattern of butyltin compounds in dolphin, tuna, and shark collected from Italian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannan, K; Corsolini, S; Focardi, S; Tanabe, S; Tatsukawa, R

    1996-07-01

    Tributyltin (TBT) and its breakdown products, mono-(MBT) and dibutyltin (DBT) were determined in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus thynnus) and blue shark (Prionace glauca) collected from the Italian coast of the Mediterranean Sea in 1992-1993. Concentrations of total butyltin (BTs) in the liver of dolphin (1,200-2,200 ng/g wet wt) were an order of magnitude higher than in the blubber (48-320 ng/g wet wt). TBT was the predominant butyltin species in the blubber while DBT accounted for an higher proportion in the liver of dolphins. Butyltin concentrations in bluefin tuna were lower than those in dolphins, with TBT highest in the muscle and DBT in the liver. Concentrations of BTs in blue sharks were lower than those in dolphin and tuna, with kidney having the highest concentrations. TBT was the predominant form of butyltin derivatives in all the tissues of shark. Accumulation of butyltin compounds in liver/kidney seems to be associated with the presence of proteins such as glutathione.

  17. A comparison of pectoral fin contact between two different wild dolphin populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudzinski, K.M.; Gregg, J.D.; Ribic, C.A.; Kuczaj, S.A.

    2009-01-01

    Contact behaviour involving the pectoral fin has been documented in a number of dolphin species, and various explanations about its function have been offered. Pectoral fin contact can take a variety of forms, and involves a number of body parts and movements, likely differing depending upon social or ecological context. For this study, we compare the pectoral fin contact behaviour of two species of wild dolphins: Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) from around Mikura Island, Japan, and Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) from The Bahamas. The two study populations exhibit surprising similarity in the ways in which pectoral fin contacts are used, despite differences in species and environmental conditions at the two sites. Differences in contact rates for calves between the two sites suggest that calf-focused aggression from adult dolphins is more prevalent at Mikura than in The Bahamas. Our results suggest that pectoral fin contact behaviour seems to be driven primarily by social pressures, and may be similar in function to allogrooming described in primates. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  18. Dolphin swarm algorithm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tian-qi WU; Min YAO; Jian-hua YANG

    2016-01-01

    By adopting the distributed problem-solving strategy, swarm intelligence algorithms have been successfully applied to many optimization problems that are difficult to deal with using traditional methods. At present, there are many well-implemented algorithms, such as particle swarm optimization, genetic algorithm, artificial bee colony algorithm, and ant colony optimization. These algorithms have already shown favorable performances. However, with the objects becoming increasingly complex, it is becoming gradually more difficult for these algorithms to meet human’s demand in terms of accuracy and time. Designing a new algorithm to seek better solutions for optimization problems is becoming increasingly essential. Dolphins have many noteworthy biological characteristics and living habits such as echolocation, information exchanges, cooperation, and division of labor. Combining these biological characteristics and living habits with swarm intelligence and bringing them into optimization prob-lems, we propose a brand new algorithm named the ‘dolphin swarm algorithm’ in this paper. We also provide the definitions of the algorithm and specific descriptions of the four pivotal phases in the algorithm, which are the search phase, call phase, reception phase, and predation phase. Ten benchmark functions with different properties are tested using the dolphin swarm algorithm, particle swarm optimization, genetic algorithm, and artificial bee colony algorithm. The convergence rates and benchmark func-tion results of these four algorithms are compared to testify the effect of the dolphin swarm algorithm. The results show that in most cases, the dolphin swarm algorithm performs better. The dolphin swarm algorithm possesses some great features, such as first-slow-then-fast convergence, periodic convergence, local-optimum-free, and no specific demand on benchmark functions. Moreover, the dolphin swarm algorithm is particularly appropriate to optimization problems, with more

  19. The impact of methylmercury on 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-induced transcriptomic responses in dolphin skin cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Blake C; Gattoni-Celli, Sebastiano; Kindy, Mark S

    2010-01-01

    The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin has been the focus of much attention owing to the considerable impact of environmental stress on its health and the associated implications for human health. Here, we used skin cells from the dolphin to investigate the protective role of the vitamin D pathway against environmental stressors. We previously reported that dolphin skin cells respond to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3), the bioactive metabolite of vitamin D3, by upregulation of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and expression of several genes. Methylmercury is a highly bioaccumulative environmental stressor of relevance to the dolphin. We currently report that in dolphin cells sublethal concentrations of methylmercury compromise the ability of 1,25D3 to upregulate VDR, to transactivate a vitamin D-sensitive promoter, and to express specific target genes. These results help elucidate the effects of vitamin D and methylmercury on innate immunity in dolphin skin and potentially in human skin as well, considering similarities in the vitamin D pathway between the two species.

  20. Seven new dolphin mitochondrial genomes and a time-calibrated phylogeny of whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Ye; Brandley, Matthew C; Xu, Shixia; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2009-01-01

    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 masks potentially

  1. Seven new dolphin mitochondrial genomes and a time-calibrated phylogeny of whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  2. CHARACTERIZATION OF ANTERIOR SEGMENT OPHTHALMOLOGIC LESIONS IDENTIFIED IN FREE-RANGING DOLPHINS AND THOSE UNDER HUMAN CARE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colitz, Carmen M H; Walsh, Michael T; McCulloch, Stephen D

    2016-03-01

    Cetaceans in the wild and under human care develop a variety of ocular lesions. Although they have echolocation, cetacean species have good sight, making ocular health an important part of overall health care. The cornea is the primary site of abnormalities in both populations. Typical lesions of cetaceans under human care are characterized in this retrospective review of cases. One hundred eighty animals (n = 360 eyes) were chosen from the author's ophthalmologic examination reports from different geographic areas; they included Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Pacific bottle nose dolphins (Tursiopstruncatus gilli), Indopacific bottlenose dolphins (Steno bredanensis), Indopacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis), and roughtooth dolphins (Steno bredanensis). These animals were examined at least once, although most were examined numerous times over many years; lesions were categorized and are described. Seventy-seven eyes from 47 animals were normal. Medial keratopathy was the most common lesion and identified in 180 eyes from 97 animals, with 83 affected bilaterally. Horizontal keratopathy was identified in 69 eyes from 41 animals, with 28 affected bilaterally. Axial keratopathy and nonspecific axial opacities were identified in 67 eyes from 44 animals, with 21 affected bilaterally. Seventy-eight eyes from 50 animals, with 28 affected bilaterally, had more than one type of corneal lesion. Cataracts were identified in 32 eyes from 19 animals, with 13 affected bilaterally. Traumatic injuries were also common and involved eyelids and cornea. Sixteen eyes from 11 animals were blind; five dolphins were blind bilaterally due to phthisis bulbi secondary to corneal perforation or severe trauma. None of the diseases had a sex predisposition; however, medial keratopathy was significantly more common as a bilateral presentation than as a unilateral presentation. Cetaceans under human care with impaired sight can use echolocation; however, ocular health

  3. How Dolphins Call

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马加芬

    2007-01-01

    <正>与人类一样,海豚能通过声音相互称呼"名字"。A high-pitched"wee-o-wee-o-wee-o-wee"whistle might not soundlike much to you,but it6s exactly how a dolphin might introduce itself.Because sight is limited in the ocean,dolphins create individual"name"calls to communicate their whereabouts to friends and families.But it6snot as simple as just recognizing a voice,

  4. Dolphin Morbillivirus in a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris), Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Palmisano, Giuseppe; Franzo, Giovanni; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Giorda, Federica; Di Nocera, Fabio; Iaccarino, Doriana; Santoro, Mario; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Mazzariol, Sandro

    2017-01-01

    Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) has caused several mortality events in Mediterranean striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins populations since 19; in the last 5 years, the virus was reported to infect new hosts in this basin, such as fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and even a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). Very recently, a calf Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) calf stranded on the Southern Italian coastline with mild pathological findings suggestive of morbilliviral infection, received the first confirmation of DMV infection in this species by biomolecular evidences on lung tissue. This new cross-species infection report, along with 19% of the cetaceans specimens examined by the Italian Stranding Network being found positive to DMV, support the hypothesis of an endemic circulation of this virus among Mediterranean cetaceans. PMID:28197145

  5. Resolving the trophic relations of cryptic species: an example using stable isotope analysis of dolphin teeth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kylie Owen

    Full Text Available Understanding the foraging ecology and diet of animals can play a crucial role in conservation of a species. This is particularly true where species are cryptic and coexist in environments where observing feeding behaviour directly is difficult. Here we present the first information on the foraging ecology of a recently identified species of dolphin (Southern Australian bottlenose dolphin (SABD and comparisons to the common bottlenose dolphin (CBD in Victoria, Australia, using stable isotope analysis of teeth. Stable isotope signatures differed significantly between SABD and CBD for both δ(13C (-14.4‰ vs. -15.5‰ respectively and δ(15N (15.9‰ vs. 15.0‰ respectively, suggesting that the two species forage in different areas and consume different prey. This finding supports genetic and morphological data indicating that SABD are distinct from CBD. In Victoria, the SABD is divided into two distinct populations, one in the large drowned river system of Port Phillip Bay and the other in a series of coastal lakes and lagoons called the Gippsland Lakes. Within the SABD species, population differences were apparent. The Port Phillip Bay population displayed a significantly higher δ(15N than the Gippsland Lakes population (17.0‰ vs. 15.5‰, suggesting that the Port Phillip Bay population may feed at a higher trophic level--a result which is supported by analysis of local food chains. Important future work is required to further understand the foraging ecology and diet of this newly described, endemic, and potentially endangered species of dolphin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Hearing abilities and sound reception of broadband sounds in an adult Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, T Aran; Yang, Wei-Cheng; Yu, Hsin-Yi; Ketten, Darlene R; Jen, I-Fan

    2015-08-01

    While odontocetes do not have an external pinna that guides sound to the middle ear, they are considered to receive sound through specialized regions of the head and lower jaw. Yet odontocetes differ in the shape of the lower jaw suggesting that hearing pathways may vary between species, potentially influencing hearing directionality and noise impacts. This work measured the audiogram and received sensitivity of a Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) in an effort to comparatively examine how this species receives sound. Jaw hearing thresholds were lowest (most sensitive) at two locations along the anterior, midline region of the lower jaw (the lower jaw tip and anterior part of the throat). Responses were similarly low along a more posterior region of the lower mandible, considered the area of best hearing in bottlenose dolphins. Left- and right-side differences were also noted suggesting possible left-right asymmetries in sound reception or differences in ear sensitivities. The results indicate best hearing pathways may vary between the Risso's dolphin and other odontocetes measured. This animal received sound well, supporting a proposed throat pathway. For Risso's dolphins in particular, good ventral hearing would support their acoustic ecology by facilitating echo-detection from their proposed downward oriented echolocation beam.

  8. Gene–culture coevolution in whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-01-01

    Whales and dolphins (Cetacea) have excellent social learning skills as well as a long and strong mother–calf bond. These features produce stable cultures, and, in some species, sympatric groups with different cultures. There is evidence and speculation that this cultural transmission of behavior has affected gene distributions. Culture seems to have driven killer whales into distinct ecotypes, which may be incipient species or subspecies. There are ecotype-specific signals of selection in functional genes that correspond to cultural foraging behavior and habitat use by the different ecotypes. The five species of whale with matrilineal social systems have remarkably low diversity of mtDNA. Cultural hitchhiking, the transmission of functionally neutral genes in parallel with selective cultural traits, is a plausible hypothesis for this low diversity, especially in sperm whales. In killer whales the ecotype divisions, together with founding bottlenecks, selection, and cultural hitchhiking, likely explain the low mtDNA diversity. Several cetacean species show habitat-specific distributions of mtDNA haplotypes, probably the result of mother–offspring cultural transmission of migration routes or destinations. In bottlenose dolphins, remarkable small-scale differences in haplotype distribution result from maternal cultural transmission of foraging methods, and large-scale redistributions of sperm whale cultural clans in the Pacific have likely changed mitochondrial genetic geography. With the acceleration of genomics new results should come fast, but understanding gene–culture coevolution will be hampered by the measured pace of research on the socio-cultural side of cetacean biology. PMID:28739936

  9. Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-07-24

    Whales and dolphins (Cetacea) have excellent social learning skills as well as a long and strong mother-calf bond. These features produce stable cultures, and, in some species, sympatric groups with different cultures. There is evidence and speculation that this cultural transmission of behavior has affected gene distributions. Culture seems to have driven killer whales into distinct ecotypes, which may be incipient species or subspecies. There are ecotype-specific signals of selection in functional genes that correspond to cultural foraging behavior and habitat use by the different ecotypes. The five species of whale with matrilineal social systems have remarkably low diversity of mtDNA. Cultural hitchhiking, the transmission of functionally neutral genes in parallel with selective cultural traits, is a plausible hypothesis for this low diversity, especially in sperm whales. In killer whales the ecotype divisions, together with founding bottlenecks, selection, and cultural hitchhiking, likely explain the low mtDNA diversity. Several cetacean species show habitat-specific distributions of mtDNA haplotypes, probably the result of mother-offspring cultural transmission of migration routes or destinations. In bottlenose dolphins, remarkable small-scale differences in haplotype distribution result from maternal cultural transmission of foraging methods, and large-scale redistributions of sperm whale cultural clans in the Pacific have likely changed mitochondrial genetic geography. With the acceleration of genomics new results should come fast, but understanding gene-culture coevolution will be hampered by the measured pace of research on the socio-cultural side of cetacean biology.

  10. The interplay between social networks and culture: theoretically and among whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-01-01

    Culture is increasingly being understood as a driver of mammalian phenotypes. Defined as group-specific behaviour transmitted by social learning, culture is shaped by social structure. However, culture can itself affect social structure if individuals preferentially interact with others whose behaviour is similar, or cultural symbols are used to mark groups. Using network formalism, this interplay can be depicted by the coevolution of nodes and edges together with the coevolution of network topology and transmission patterns. We review attempts to model the links between the spread, persistence and diversity of culture and the network topology of non-human societies. We illustrate these processes using cetaceans. The spread of socially learned begging behaviour within a population of bottlenose dolphins followed the topology of the social network, as did the evolution of the song of the humpback whale between breeding areas. In three bottlenose dolphin populations, individuals preferentially associated with animals using the same socially learned foraging behaviour. Homogeneous behaviour within the tight, nearly permanent social structures of the large matrilineal whales seems to result from transmission bias, with cultural symbols marking social structures. We recommend the integration of studies of culture and society in species for which social learning is an important determinant of behaviour. PMID:23569288

  11. The interplay between social networks and culture: theoretically and among whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-05-19

    Culture is increasingly being understood as a driver of mammalian phenotypes. Defined as group-specific behaviour transmitted by social learning, culture is shaped by social structure. However, culture can itself affect social structure if individuals preferentially interact with others whose behaviour is similar, or cultural symbols are used to mark groups. Using network formalism, this interplay can be depicted by the coevolution of nodes and edges together with the coevolution of network topology and transmission patterns. We review attempts to model the links between the spread, persistence and diversity of culture and the network topology of non-human societies. We illustrate these processes using cetaceans. The spread of socially learned begging behaviour within a population of bottlenose dolphins followed the topology of the social network, as did the evolution of the song of the humpback whale between breeding areas. In three bottlenose dolphin populations, individuals preferentially associated with animals using the same socially learned foraging behaviour. Homogeneous behaviour within the tight, nearly permanent social structures of the large matrilineal whales seems to result from transmission bias, with cultural symbols marking social structures. We recommend the integration of studies of culture and society in species for which social learning is an important determinant of behaviour.

  12. Site-specific assessments of the abundance of three inshore dolphin species to inform conservation and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Mark Brown

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the abundance of wildlife populations is essential to their effective conservation and management. Concerns have been raised over the vulnerability of tropical inshore dolphins in waters off northern Australia to anthropogenic impacts on local populations, yet a lack of abundance data precludes assessment of their conservation status and the management of threats. Using small vessels as cost-effective research platforms, photo-identification surveys and capture-recapture models were applied to provide the first quantitative abundance data for Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni, Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis, and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus at five sites in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia. The abundance of each species was highly variable between different sites, likely reflecting species-specific habitat preferences. Within the c. 130 km2 study sites, the estimated abundance of most species was ≤ 60 individuals (excluding calves, and fewer than 20 humpback dolphins were identified at each site in any one 3-5 week sampling period. However, larger estimates of c. 130 snubfin and c. 160 bottlenose dolphins were obtained at two different sites. Several local populations showed evidence of site fidelity, particularly snubfin dolphins. By implementing a standardized, multi-site approach, data on local populations were provided within a broader, regional context, and indicated that each species is patchily distributed in the region. This highlights the need for site-specific baseline data collection using appropriate survey techniques to quantitatively assess the potential impacts of threatening activities to local populations. These findings further illustrate the need to gain a greater understanding of known and potential threats to inshore dolphin populations, their relative impacts, and to mitigate where necessary. In particular, the level of interactions with inshore gillnet fisheries

  13. The Promise of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Alexis; Dustin, Dan; Wolff, Robert

    2001-01-01

    Describes how people with disabilities can benefit from working and playing in the water with dolphins, focusing on the many positive benefits of dolphin-assisted therapy and discussing several hypotheses about why dolphin-assisted therapy is so effective. The article describes two dolphin-assisted therapy programs and presents contact information…

  14. Can dolphins heal by ultrasound?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brensing, Karsten; Linke, Katrin; Todt, Dietmar

    2003-11-07

    In recent years, dolphin-assisted therapy has become very popular and an increasing number of facilities offer therapy programs with dolphins worldwide. To this date, there are no studies concerning the behavior of dolphins during these therapies. As a result of speculations that the echolocation of dolphins may play an important role for the success of the therapy and the high publicity of this in the media, people pay much more for dolphin-assisted than for other animal-assisted therapy programs. Based on publications in medicine, we will show that ultrasound emitted by dolphins could have an effect on biological tissue under some circumstances; such as sufficient intensity, repeated application over several days or weeks and a certain application duration per session. We recorded 83 sessions at the "Dolphins Plus", a fenced area with ocean water in the Florida Keys. Our observations demonstrate that only one out of five observed dolphins behave significantly differently towards patients compared to other humans and that the duration of the observed close contacts did not meet the requirements for common ultrasound therapies.

  15. Douglas OA-4A Dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    1938-01-01

    Douglas OA-4A Dolphin: This twin-engine Douglas OA-4A Dolphin was unusual in comparison with other OA-4s in that it employed a nose wheel instead of a tail wheel during its NACA testing at Langley. Here is is seen in the NACA hangar in September 1938.

  16. Cross-reactivity between immunoglobulin G antibodies of whales and dolphins correlates with evolutionary distance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nollens, Hendrik H; Ruiz, Carolina; Walsh, Michael T; Gulland, Frances M D; Bossart, Gregory; Jensen, Eric D; McBain, James F; Wellehan, James F X

    2008-10-01

    Growing morphological and molecular evidence indicates that the porpoises, dolphins, and whales evolved within the even-toed ungulates, formerly known as Artiodactyla. These animals are now grouped in the Cetartiodactyla. We evaluated the antigenic similarity of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules of 15 cetacean species and the domestic cow. The similarity was scored using three distinct antibodies raised against bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) IgG in a Western blot, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and a competitive ELISA format. A score was generated for the genetic distance between each species and T. truncatus using the cytochrome b sequence. Each antibody displayed a distinct pattern of reactivity with the IgG antibodies of the various species. The monoclonal antibody (MAb) specific for the gamma heavy chain of T. truncatus was reactive with all monodontids, delphinids, and phocoenids. The light-chain-specific MAb reacted with IgG of delphinoid and phocoenid species and one of the two mysticete species tested. The polyclonal antibody was broadly cross-reactive across all cetaceans and the domestic cow. Using the MAb specific for the gamma heavy chain, the degree of IgG cross-reactivity ranged from less than 17% for the mysticetes to 106% for killer whale Orcinus orca. The IgG in beaked whale and baleen whale sera was significantly less cross-reactive with bottlenose dolphin IgG than sera from other toothed whales. A strong negative correlation was demonstrated between antigenic cross-reactivity of IgG molecules and the genetic distance of their hosts. The data generated will be useful for the development of clinical serodiagnostics in diverse cetacean species.

  17. Using a binaural biomimetic array to identify bottom objects ensonified by echolocating dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiweg, D.A.; Moore, P.W.; Martin, S.W.; Dankiewicz, L.A.

    2006-01-01

    The development of a unique dolphin biomimetic sonar produced data that were used to study signal processing methods for object identification. Echoes from four metallic objects proud on the bottom, and a substrate-only condition, were generated by bottlenose dolphins trained to ensonify the targets in very shallow water. Using the two-element ('binaural') receive array, object echo spectra were collected and submitted for identification to four neural network architectures. Identification accuracy was evaluated over two receive array configurations, and five signal processing schemes. The four neural networks included backpropagation, learning vector quantization, genetic learning and probabilistic network architectures. The processing schemes included four methods that capitalized on the binaural data, plus a monaural benchmark process. All the schemes resulted in above-chance identification accuracy when applied to learning vector quantization and backpropagation. Beam-forming or concatenation of spectra from both receive elements outperformed the monaural benchmark, with higher sensitivity and lower bias. Ultimately, best object identification performance was achieved by the learning vector quantization network supplied with beam-formed data. The advantages of multi-element signal processing for object identification are clearly demonstrated in this development of a first-ever dolphin biomimetic sonar. ?? 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bruno D(I)AZ L(O)PEZ

    2009-01-01

    ing tactics according to the abundance of prey. When top predators display behavioral responses to activities not directed at them, the task of studying all possible effects of human activities can become even more challenging .

  19. An assessment of the effectiveness of high definition cameras as remote monitoring tools for dolphin ecology studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarães Paiva, Estênio; Salgado-Kent, Chandra; Gagnon, Marthe Monique; Parnum, Iain; McCauley, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Research involving marine mammals often requires costly field programs. This paper assessed whether the benefits of using cameras outweighs the implications of having personnel performing marine mammal detection in the field. The efficacy of video and still cameras to detect Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Fremantle Harbour (Western Australia) was evaluated, with consideration on how environmental conditions affect detectability. The cameras were set on a tower in the Fremantle Port channel and videos were perused at 1.75 times the normal speed. Images from the cameras were used to estimate position of dolphins at the water's surface. Dolphin detections ranged from 5.6 m to 463.3 m for the video camera, and from 10.8 m to 347.8 m for the still camera. Detection range showed to be satisfactory when compared to distances at which dolphins would be detected by field observers. The relative effect of environmental conditions on detectability was considered by fitting a Generalised Estimation Equations (GEEs) model with Beaufort, level of glare and their interactions as predictors and a temporal auto-correlation structure. The best fit model indicated level of glare had an effect, with more intense periods of glare corresponding to lower occurrences of observed dolphins. However this effect was not large (-0.264) and the parameter estimate was associated with a large standard error (0.113). The limited field of view was the main restraint in that cameras can be only applied to detections of animals observed rather than counts of individuals. However, the use of cameras was effective for long term monitoring of occurrence of dolphins, outweighing the costs and reducing the health and safety risks to field personal. This study showed that cameras could be effectively implemented onshore for research such as studying changes in habitat use in response to development and construction activities.

  20. Increased Dietary Intake of Saturated Fatty Acid Heptadecanoic Acid (C17:0) Associated with Decreasing Ferritin and Alleviated Metabolic Syndrome in Dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Parry, Celeste; Baird, Mark; Stevenson, Sacha; Carlin, Kevin; Daniels, Risa; Smith, Cynthia R; Jones, Richard; Wells, Randall S; Ridgway, Sam; Jensen, Eric D

    2015-01-01

    Similar to humans, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can develop metabolic syndrome and associated high ferritin. While fish and fish-based fatty acids may protect against metabolic syndrome in humans, findings have been inconsistent. To assess potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome related to fish diets, fatty acids were compared between two dolphin populations with higher (n = 30, Group A) and lower (n = 19, Group B) mean insulin (11 ± 12 and 2 ± 5 μIU/ml, respectively; P dolphins. Capelin, a common dietary fish for Group A, had no detectable C17:0, while pinfish and mullet, common in Group B's diet, had C17:0 (41 and 67 mg/100g, respectively). When a modified diet adding 25% pinfish and/or mullet was fed to six Group A dolphins over 24 weeks (increasing the average daily dietary C17:0 intake from 400 to 1700 mg), C17:0 serum levels increased, high ferritin decreased, and blood-based metabolic syndrome indices normalized toward reference levels. These effects were not found in four reference dolphins. Further, higher total serum C17:0 was an independent and linear predictor of lower ferritin in dolphins in Group B dolphins. Among off the shelf dairy products tested, butter had the highest C17:0 (423mg/100g); nonfat dairy products had no detectable C17:0. We hypothesize that humans' movement away from diets with potentially beneficial saturated fatty acid C17:0, including whole fat dairy products, could be a contributor to widespread low C17:0 levels, higher ferritin, and metabolic syndrome.

  1. Sonar-induced temporary hearing loss in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, T Aran; Nachtigall, Paul E; Vlachos, Stephanie

    2009-08-23

    There is increasing concern that human-produced ocean noise is adversely affecting marine mammals, as several recent cetacean mass strandings may have been caused by animals' interactions with naval 'mid-frequency' sonar. However, it has yet to be empirically demonstrated how sonar could induce these strandings or cause physiological effects. In controlled experimental studies, we show that mid-frequency sonar can induce temporary hearing loss in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Mild-behavioural alterations were also associated with the exposures. The auditory effects were induced only by repeated exposures to intense sonar pings with total sound exposure levels of 214 dB re: 1 microPa(2) s. Data support an increasing energy model to predict temporary noise-induced hearing loss and indicate that odontocete noise exposure effects bear trends similar to terrestrial mammals. Thus, sonar can induce physiological and behavioural effects in at least one species of odontocete; however, exposures must be of prolonged, high sound exposures levels to generate these effects.

  2. Dolphin Morbillivirus Associated with a Mass Stranding of Sperm Whales, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centelleghe, Cinzia; Di Provvido, Andrea; Di Renzo, Ludovica; Cardeti, Giusy; Cersini, Antonella; Fichi, Gianluca; Petrella, Antonio; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Mignone, Walter; Casalone, Cristina; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    In September 2014, seven sperm whales were stranded along Italy’s Adriatic coastline. Postmortem investigations on 3 female adult whales and 1 male fetus carried by the largest female revealed molecular and immunohistochemical evidence of dolphin morbillivirus infection. A possible role of the virus in the stranding event was considered. PMID:27983493

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1963-01-01

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

  4. Measuring and Validating Levels of Steroid Hormones in the Skin of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Björklund E & Styrishave B. Developing a new research tool for use in free-ranging cetaceans: recovering cortisol from harbor porpoise skin. Conservation Physiology, 3: doi:10.1093/conphys/cov016 ...relationship between serum and skin concentrations of aldosterone, c) how long it takes for aldosterone , corticosterone, and cortisol to be measurable in...project described here is complementary to another currently ongoing project: “Validating the novel method of measuring cortisol levels in cetacean

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilson, J.Y.; Wells, R.; Anguilar, A.; Borrell, A.; Tornero, V.; Reijnders, P.J.H.; Moore, M.

    2007-01-01

    Integument biopsy is a nondestructive method for sampling free-ranging cetaceans, which allows for the determination of both contaminant concentrations and biomarker responses. Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) expression is induced by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and planar halogenated aromatic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Bossart GD, Meisner R, Varela R, Mazzoil M, McCulloch S, Kilpatrick D, Friday R, Murdoch E, Mase B, Defran RH. 2003. Pathologic findings in stranded...Review of Stress in Marine Mammals. 2000. J Aquat Ecosyst Stress Recovery 7:335- 354. Fair, P.A., Hulsey, T., Varela , R.A., Goldstein, J., Adams...J.D., Murdoch, M.E.M., Varela R., Hansen L.,Townsend F., Kucklick J., Bryan C., Christopher S., Pugh R. and Bossart G.D. 2006b. Protocols for

  7. 77 FR 21946 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-12

    ... implemented a coastwide commercial quota that is specified annually and split into two seasonal fishing... quota regardless of where the fish are caught (i.e., state or Federal waters) (ASMFC 2002). Annually... spiny dogfish fishing mortality and spawning stock biomass. The 2006 estimate of fishing mortality...

  8. Development and Functions of Signature Whistles of Free-Ranging Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-09-01

    proficient at field work on the water. His advice, support and friendship is something I could not have done without. Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth...and encouragement over the years. As the most recent addition to my thesis committee, Andy Solow has provided invaluable help, not just in the form of...the end). This measure should account for all responses, since Solow et al. (in press) found that most responses of one mother to the whistles of her

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1963-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilson, J.Y.; Wells, R.; Anguilar, A.; Borrell, A.; Tornero, V.; Reijnders, P.J.H.; Moore, M.

    2007-01-01

    Integument biopsy is a nondestructive method for sampling free-ranging cetaceans, which allows for the determination of both contaminant concentrations and biomarker responses. Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) expression is induced by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and planar halogenated aromatic hydr

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2013-01-01

    .... Navy Marine Mammal Program, for potentially beneficial features. We focused our search on lactobacilli and evaluated their ability to modulate TNF secretion by host cells and inhibit growth of pathogens...

  12. Estimating the cumulative effects of the nature-based tourism in a coastal dolphin population from southern Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Jorge, Sergi; Louzao, Maite; Oro, Daniel; Pereira, Thalia; Corne, Chloe; Wijtten, Zeno; Gomes, Inês; Wambua, John; Christiansen, Fredrik

    2017-06-01

    Due to the growth of nature-based tourism worldwide, behavioural studies are needed to assess the impact of this industry on wildlife populations and understand their short-term effect. Tourism impact on dolphin populations remain poorly documented in developing countries. This study investigates the effects of nature-based tourism on the behaviour of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in southern Kenya. We used Markov chain models to estimate transition probabilities between behavioural states in the presence and absence of tourist boats, and assess the overall behavioural budgets. Based on these data and the tourism intensity in the area, we quantified the potential tourist boat disturbance over the period 2006-2013. Our results demonstrated that tourist boat interactions affected dolphins' behavioural budgets, with a significant decrease in the overall amount of time travelling and an increase in diving. The average duration of travelling and resting decreased significantly in the presence of boats. Although the cumulative tourism exposure was not significant for the dolphin population at their current levels, these impacts should be taken into consideration with the potential tourism growth in the area. This is particularly important if tourism reaches periods of high intensity, as we have shown that these periods could have a significant impact for the species, particularly where home-range and core areas are highly overlap by this activity. Understanding the effect of human disturbance variations from previous years may help to predict the consequences on dolphin populations, towards achieving a more ecological and economic sustainability of the activity.

  13. An Interview with a Dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, Kathy; Keilty, Jennifer

    1993-01-01

    A fabricated conversation between two humans and a dolphin at Marineland illustrates man's relationship to nature and the impact that human actions have on living creatures and the environment, and stresses developing a deeper understanding and value for the natural world and consideration of the universality of continued human error and…

  14. The hydrodynamics of dolphin drafting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weihs Daniel

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Drafting in cetaceans is defined as the transfer of forces between individuals without actual physical contact between them. This behavior has long been surmised to explain how young dolphin calves keep up with their rapidly moving mothers. It has recently been observed that a significant number of calves become permanently separated from their mothers during chases by tuna vessels. A study of the hydrodynamics of drafting, initiated in the hope of understanding the mechanisms causing the separation of mothers and calves during fishing-related activities, is reported here. Results Quantitative results are shown for the forces and moments around a pair of unequally sized dolphin-like slender bodies. These include two major effects. First, the so-called Bernoulli suction, which stems from the fact that the local pressure drops in areas of high speed, results in an attractive force between mother and calf. Second is the displacement effect, in which the motion of the mother causes the water in front to move forwards and radially outwards, and water behind the body to move forwards to replace the animal's mass. Thus, the calf can gain a 'free ride' in the forward-moving areas. Utilizing these effects, the neonate can gain up to 90% of the thrust needed to move alongside the mother at speeds of up to 2.4 m/sec. A comparison with observations of eastern spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris is presented, showing savings of up to 60% in the thrust that calves require if they are to keep up with their mothers. Conclusions A theoretical analysis, backed by observations of free-swimming dolphin schools, indicates that hydrodynamic interactions with mothers play an important role in enabling dolphin calves to keep up with rapidly moving adult school members.

  15. Chlorinated pesticides in the bodies of dolphins of the French Mediterranean coastal environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Wafo

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The concentrations of organochlorinated pesticides including lindane, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor-epoxide, endosulfan I, dieldrin,and endrin were determinated in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba (n = 26, and 2 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates (n = 2,stranded on the French Mediterranean coasts. Studies are carried out on the lung, the muscle, the kidney, the liver, and the blubber. The concentrationsof all the analysed compounds were detected to variable levels in each tissue and organ. In blubber, dieldrin is generally the mostabundant coumpound (215.3 ± 290.3 ng g-1 lw, followed by endrin (207.7 ± 217.5 ng g-1 lw, heptachlor-epoxid (106.6 ± 107.1 ng g-1 lw, endosulfanI (46.6 ± 32.8 ng g-1 lw, lindane (16.6 ± 12.1 ng g-1 lw, aldrin (11.9 ± 8.4 ng g-1 lw and heptachlor (6.7 ± 4.2 ng g-1 lw. These valuesare comparable to those previously obtained by other authors during the years 1990.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Distribution and development of the highly specialized lipids in the sound reception systems of dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahorodny Duggan, Zoey P; Koopman, Heather N; Budge, Suzanne M

    2009-08-01

    Fat bodies in the heads of toothed whales, which serve to transmit and receive sound, represent extraordinary examples of physiological specialization in adipose tissues among mammals, yet we know surprisingly little about their biochemical composition. We describe the spatial distributions and development of unusual endogenous lipids (branched-chain ["iso"] molecules and wax esters) in the mandibular fat bodies of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) using an ontogenetic series (fetus to adult; n = 10). Although concentrations of iso-acids, iso-alcohols and waxes were lower in younger dolphins than in adults, the same relative spatial arrangement was present in all age classes, implying a set "pattern" of acoustic lipid distribution that is established very early in life. In all age classes, a small region of blubber overlying the lateral region contained unusually high concentrations of iso-acids, exhibiting a tenfold increase over "normal" adjacent blubber. Being chemically more similar to the acoustic fat bodies, this region may serve as an entry point for sound into the head. Developmental accumulations of some iso-acids and iso-alcohols occurred more rapidly than others, implying that not only are the spatial distributions of branched-chain molecules under extremely fine-scale control, but the regulatory mechanisms controlling acoustic lipid synthesis are also highly complex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Fiksdal, Britta L.; Daniel Houlihan; Barnes, Aaron C.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders. Studies have been released claiming swimming with dolphins is therapeutic and beneficial for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, physical disabilities, and other psychological disorders. The majority of the studies conducted supporting the effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy have been found to have major methodo...

  20. A Study of a Mechanical Swimming Dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Lilly; Maass, Daniel; Leftwich, Megan; Smits, Alexander

    2007-11-01

    A one-third scale dolphin model was constructed to investigate dolphin swimming hydrodynamics. Design and construction of the model were achieved using body coordinate data from the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) to ensure geometric similarity. The front two-thirds of the model are rigid and stationary, while an external mechanism drives the rear third. This motion mimics the kinematics of dolphin swimming. Planar laser induced florescence (PLIF) and particle image velocimetry (PIV) are used to study the hydrodynamics of the wake and to develop a vortex skeleton model.

  1. The encoding of individual identity in dolphin signature whistles: how much information is needed?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arik Kershenbaum

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus produce many vocalisations, including whistles that are unique to the individual producing them. Such "signature whistles" play a role in individual recognition and maintaining group integrity. Previous work has shown that humans can successfully group the spectrographic representations of signature whistles according to the individual dolphins that produced them. However, attempts at using mathematical algorithms to perform a similar task have been less successful. A greater understanding of the encoding of identity information in signature whistles is important for assessing similarity of whistles and thus social influences on the development of these learned calls. We re-examined 400 signature whistles from 20 individual dolphins used in a previous study, and tested the performance of new mathematical algorithms. We compared the measure used in the original study (correlation matrix of evenly sampled frequency measurements to one used in several previous studies (similarity matrix of time-warped whistles, and to a new algorithm based on the Parsons code, used in music retrieval databases. The Parsons code records the direction of frequency change at each time step, and is effective at capturing human perception of music. We analysed similarity matrices from each of these three techniques, as well as a random control, by unsupervised clustering using three separate techniques: k-means clustering, hierarchical clustering, and an adaptive resonance theory neural network. For each of the three clustering techniques, a seven-level Parsons algorithm provided better clustering than the correlation and dynamic time warping algorithms, and was closer to the near-perfect visual categorisations of human judges. Thus, the Parsons code captures much of the individual identity information present in signature whistles, and may prove useful in studies requiring quantification of whistle similarity.

  2. Sexually Frustrated Dolphin Sparks Alert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    余采菊

    2002-01-01

    孔夫子的“饮食男女”一说,看来已经超出了人类的范畴。文章涉及的dolphin(海豚)简直令人难以置信!特别是以下一句: When dolphins get sexually excited,they try to isolate a swimmer,normallyfemale.They do this by circling around the individual and gradually move themaway from the beach,boat or crowd of people. 译文:当海豚处于性激动时,它们会孤立一个游泳者,通常是女性。它们围绕个别的游泳者打圈,慢慢地将这些人从海滩上、船上或是人群中引开去。

  3. 50 CFR 216.91 - Dolphin-safe labeling standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Dolphin-safe labeling standards. 216.91... MAMMALS Dolphin Safe Tuna Labeling § 216.91 Dolphin-safe labeling standards. (a) It is a violation of... include on the label of those products the term “dolphin-safe” or any other term or symbol that claims...

  4. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Occurrence and Foraging Activity of Coastal Dolphins in Menai Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temple, Andrew J; Tregenza, Nick; Amir, Omar A; Jiddawi, Narriman; Berggren, Per

    2016-01-01

    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.

  5. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Occurrence and Foraging Activity of Coastal Dolphins in Menai Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. The use of carcasses for the analysis of cetacean population genetic structure: a comparative study in two dolphin species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Morphological analysis of the flippers in the Franciscana dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei, applying X-ray technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo, Daniela Laura; Panebianco, María Victoria; Negri, María Fernanda; Cappozzo, Humberto Luis

    2014-07-01

    Pectoral flippers of cetaceans function to provide stability and maneuverability during locomotion. Directional asymmetry (DA) is a common feature among odontocete cetaceans, as well as sexual dimorphism (SD). For the first time DA, allometry, physical maturity, and SD of the flipper skeleton--by X-ray technique--of Pontoporia blainvillei were analyzed. The number of carpals, metacarpals, phalanges, and morphometric characters from the humerus, radius, ulna, and digit two were studied in franciscana dolphins from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The number of visible epiphyses and their degree of fusion at the proximal and distal ends of the humerus, radius, and ulna were also analyzed. The flipper skeleton was symmetrical, showing a negative allometric trend, with similar growth patterns in both sexes with the exception of the width of the radius (P ≤ 0.01). SD was found on the number of phalanges of digit two (P ≤ 0.01), ulna and digit two lengths. Females showed a higher relative ulna length and shorter relative digit two length, and the opposite occurred in males (P ≤ 0.01). Epiphyseal fusion pattern proved to be a tool to determine dolphin's age; franciscana dolphins with a mature flipper were, at least, four years old. This study indicates that the flippers of franciscana dolphins are symmetrical; both sexes show a negative allometric trend; SD is observed in radius, ulna, and digit two; and flipper skeleton allows determine the age class of the dolphins.

  8. Coexistence of fisheries with river dolphin conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelkar, Nachiket; Krishnaswamy, Jagdish; Choudhary, Sunil; Sutaria, Dipani

    2010-08-01

    Freshwater biodiversity conservation is generally perceived to conflict with human use and extraction (e.g., fisheries). Overexploited fisheries upset the balance between local economic needs and endangered species' conservation. We investigated resource competition between fisheries and Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica) in a human-dominated river system in India to assess the potential for their coexistence. We surveyed a 65-km stretch of the lower Ganga River to assess habitat use by dolphins (encounter rates) and fishing activity (habitat preferences of fishers, intensity of net and boat use). Dolphin abundance in the main channel increased from 179 (SE 7) (mid dry season) to 270 (SE 8) (peak dry season), probably as a result of immigration from upstream tributaries. Dolphins preferred river channels with muddy, rocky substrates, and deep midchannel waters. These areas overlapped considerably with fishing areas. Sites with 2-6 boats/km (moderately fished) were more preferred by dolphins than sites with 8-55 boats/km (heavily fished). Estimated spatial (85%) and prey-resource overlap (75%) between fisheries and dolphins (chiefly predators of small fish) suggests a high level of competition between the two groups. A decrease in abundance of larger fish, indicated by the fact that small fish comprised 74% of the total caught, may have intensified the present competition. Dolphins seem resilient to changes in fish community structure and may persist in overfished rivers. Regulated fishing in dolphin hotspots and maintenance of adequate dry season flows can sustain dolphins in tributaries and reduce competition in the main river. Fish-stock restoration and management, effective monitoring, curbing destructive fishing practices, secure tenure rights, and provision of alternative livelihoods for fishers may help reconcile conservation and local needs in overexploited river systems.

  9. Covert underwater acoustic communication using dolphin sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Songzuo; Qiao, Gang; Ismail, Asim

    2013-04-01

    In November 2012, an experiment demonstrating biological mimicry method for covert underwater acoustic communication (UAC) was conducted at Lianhua Lake in Heilongjiang China. Dolphin whistles were used for synchronization while dolphin clicks were used as information carrier. The time interval between dolphin clicks conveys the information bits. Channel estimates were obtained with matching pursuit (MP) algorithm, which is useful for sparse channel estimation. Adaptive RAKE Equalization was employed at the receiver. Bit error rates were less than 10(-4) with 37 bits per second data rate in the lake trial.

  10. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta L. Fiksdal

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders. Studies have been released claiming swimming with dolphins is therapeutic and beneficial for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, physical disabilities, and other psychological disorders. The majority of the studies conducted supporting the effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy have been found to have major methodological concerns making it impossible to draw valid conclusions. Readers will be informed of the history of, theory behind, and variations of dolphin-assisted therapy along with a review and critique of studies published which purportedly support its use.

  11. Bubbles in live-stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennison, S; Moore, M J; Fahlman, A; Moore, K; Sharp, S; Harry, C T; Hoppe, J; Niemeyer, M; Lentell, B; Wells, R S

    2012-04-07

    Bubbles in supersaturated tissues and blood occur in beaked whales stranded near sonar exercises, and post-mortem in dolphins bycaught at depth and then hauled to the surface. To evaluate live dolphins for bubbles, liver, kidneys, eyes and blubber-muscle interface of live-stranded and capture-release dolphins were scanned with B-mode ultrasound. Gas was identified in kidneys of 21 of 22 live-stranded dolphins and in the hepatic portal vasculature of 2 of 22. Nine then died or were euthanized and bubble presence corroborated by computer tomography and necropsy, 13 were released of which all but two did not re-strand. Bubbles were not detected in 20 live wild dolphins examined during health assessments in shallow water. Off-gassing of supersaturated blood and tissues was the most probable origin for the gas bubbles. In contrast to marine mammals repeatedly diving in the wild, stranded animals are unable to recompress by diving, and thus may retain bubbles. Since the majority of beached dolphins released did not re-strand it also suggests that minor bubble formation is tolerated and will not lead to clinically significant decompression sickness.

  12. Post-epizootic chronic dolphin morbillivirus infection in Mediterranean striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Sara; Alba, Ana; Ganges, Llilianne; Vidal, Enric; Raga, Juan Antonio; Alegre, Ferrán; González, Beatriz; Medina, Pascual; Zorrilla, Irene; Martínez, Jorge; Marco, Alberto; Pérez, Mónica; Pérez, Blanca; Pérez de Vargas Mesas, Ana; Martínez Valverde, Rosa; Domingo, Mariano

    2011-10-06

    Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) has caused 2 epizootics with high mortality rates on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, in 1990 and 2006-07, mainly affecting striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba. Following the first epizootic unusual DMV infections affecting only the central nervous system of striped dolphins were found, with histological features similar to subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and old dog encephalitis, the chronic latent localised infections caused by defective forms of measles virus and canine distemper virus, respectively. Between 2008 and 2010, monitoring by microscopic and immunohistochemical (IHC) studies of 118 striped dolphins stranded along Catalonia, the Valencia Region and Andalusia showed similar localised DMV nervous system infections in 25.0, 28.6 and 27.4% of cases, respectively, with no significant differences among regions or sex. The body length of DMV-infected dolphins was statistically greater than that of non-infected dolphins (196.5 vs. 160.5 cm; p dolphins with positive IHC-DMV had positive PCR results. All 6 cases were positive with the 78 bp RT-PCR. These findings contraindicate the use of the 429 bp RT-PCR protocol based on the P gene to detect this specific form of DMV. DMV localised nervous infection constitutes the most relevant single cause of stranding and death in Mediterranean striped dolphins in the years following a DMV epizootic, and it might even overwhelm the effects of the epizootic itself, at least in 2007.

  13. Increased Dietary Intake of Saturated Fatty Acid Heptadecanoic Acid (C17:0 Associated with Decreasing Ferritin and Alleviated Metabolic Syndrome in Dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie K Venn-Watson

    Full Text Available Similar to humans, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus can develop metabolic syndrome and associated high ferritin. While fish and fish-based fatty acids may protect against metabolic syndrome in humans, findings have been inconsistent. To assess potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome related to fish diets, fatty acids were compared between two dolphin populations with higher (n = 30, Group A and lower (n = 19, Group B mean insulin (11 ± 12 and 2 ± 5 μIU/ml, respectively; P < 0.0001 and their dietary fish. In addition to higher insulin, triglycerides, and ferritin, Group A had lower percent serum heptadecanoic acid (C17:0 compared to Group B (0.3 ± 0.1 and 1.3 ± 0.4%, respectively; P < 0.0001. Using multivariate stepwise regression, higher percent serum C17:0, a saturated fat found in dairy fat, rye, and some fish, was an independent predictor of lower insulin in dolphins. Capelin, a common dietary fish for Group A, had no detectable C17:0, while pinfish and mullet, common in Group B's diet, had C17:0 (41 and 67 mg/100g, respectively. When a modified diet adding 25% pinfish and/or mullet was fed to six Group A dolphins over 24 weeks (increasing the average daily dietary C17:0 intake from 400 to 1700 mg, C17:0 serum levels increased, high ferritin decreased, and blood-based metabolic syndrome indices normalized toward reference levels. These effects were not found in four reference dolphins. Further, higher total serum C17:0 was an independent and linear predictor of lower ferritin in dolphins in Group B dolphins. Among off the shelf dairy products tested, butter had the highest C17:0 (423mg/100g; nonfat dairy products had no detectable C17:0. We hypothesize that humans' movement away from diets with potentially beneficial saturated fatty acid C17:0, including whole fat dairy products, could be a contributor to widespread low C17:0 levels, higher ferritin, and metabolic syndrome.

  14. Dolphin Morbillivirus: a lethal but valuable infection model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Di Guardo, Giovanni; Mazzariol, Sandro

    2013-01-01

    Dolphin Morbillivirus (DMV), which has caused at least four epidemics in the Western Mediterranean during the last 20-25 years, may dramatically impact the health and conservation of striped dolphins...

  15. Dolphin morbillivirus infection in different parts of the Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.F. van Bressem; I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); R.L. de Swart (Rik); C. Örvell; L. Stanzani; E. Androukaki (Eugenia); K. Siakavara; A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractMorbillivirus were isolated from Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) dying along the coasts of Italy and Greece in 1991. They were antigenically identical to the morbilliviruses isolated from striped dolphins in Spain in 1990.

  16. Dolphin shows and interaction programs: benefits for conservation education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, L J; Zeigler-Hill, V; Mellen, J; Koeppel, J; Greer, T; Kuczaj, S

    2013-01-01

    Dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs are two types of education programs within zoological institutions used to educate visitors about dolphins and the marine environment. The current study examined the short- and long-term effects of these programs on visitors' conservation-related knowledge, attitude, and behavior. Participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs demonstrated a significant short-term increase in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Three months following the experience, participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs retained the knowledge learned during their experience and reported engaging in more conservation-related behaviors. Additionally, the number of dolphin shows attended in the past was a significant predictor of recent conservation-related behavior suggesting that repetition of these types of experiences may be important in inspiring people to conservation action. These results suggest that both dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs can be an important part of a conservation education program for visitors of zoological facilities.

  17. Neural network modeling of a dolphin's sonar discrimination capabilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars Nonboe; René Rasmussen, A; Au, WWL

    1994-01-01

    and frequency information were used to model the dolphin discrimination capabilities. Echoes from the same cylinders were digitized using a broadband simulated dolphin sonar signal with the transducer mounted on the dolphin's pen. The echoes were filtered by a bank of continuous constant-Q digital filters...

  18. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins in north-western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Alexander M; Kopps, Anna M; Allen, Simon J; Bejder, Lars; Littleford-Colquhoun, Bethan; Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Thiele, Deborah; Palmer, Carol; Frère, Celine H

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis) dolphins ('snubfin' and 'humpback dolphins', hereafter) of north-western Australia. While both species are listed as 'near threatened' by the IUCN, data deficiencies are impeding rigorous assessment of their conservation status across Australia. Understanding the genetic structure of populations, including levels of gene flow among populations, is important for the assessment of conservation status and the effective management of a species. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, we assessed population genetic diversity and differentiation between snubfin dolphins from Cygnet (n = 32) and Roebuck Bays (n = 25), and humpback dolphins from the Dampier Archipelago (n = 19) and the North West Cape (n = 18). All sampling locations were separated by geographic distances >200 km. For each species, we found significant genetic differentiation between sampling locations based on 12 (for snubfin dolphins) and 13 (for humpback dolphins) microsatellite loci (FST = 0.05-0.09; Pdolphins in Western Australia, providing valuable information towards the assessment of their conservation status in this rapidly developing region. Our results suggest that north-western Australian snubfin and humpback dolphins may exist as metapopulations of small, largely isolated population fragments, and should be managed accordingly. Management plans should seek to maintain effective population size and gene flow. Additionally, while interactions of a socio-sexual nature between these two species have been observed previously, here we provide strong evidence for the first documented case of hybridisation between a female snubfin dolphin and a male humpback dolphin.

  19. Assessing the impact of bycatch on dolphin populations: the case of the common dolphin in the eastern North Atlantic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mannocci

    Full Text Available Fisheries interactions have been implicated in the decline of many marine vertebrates worldwide. In the eastern North Atlantic, at least 1000 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis are bycaught each year, particularly in pelagic pair-trawls. We have assessed the resulting impact of bycatch on this population using a demographic modeling approach. We relied on a sample of females stranded along the French Atlantic and western Channel coasts. Strandings represent an extensive source of demographic information to monitor our study population. Necropsy analysis provided an estimate of individual age and reproductive state. Then we estimated effective survivorship (including natural and human-induced mortality, age at first reproduction and pregnancy rates. Reproductive parameters were consistent with literature, but effective survivorship was unexpectedly low. Demographic parameters were then used as inputs in two models. A constant parameter matrix proposed an effective growth rate of -5.5±0.5%, corresponding to the current situation (including bycatch mortality. Subsequently, deterministic projections suggested that the population would be reduced to 20% of its current size in 30 years and would be extinct in 100 years. The demographic invariant model suggested a maximum growth rate of +4.5±0.09%, corresponding to the optimal demographic situation. Then, a risk analysis incorporating Potential Biological Removal (PBR, based on two plausible scenarii for stock structure suggested that bycatch level was unsustainable for the neritic population of the Bay of Biscay under a two-stock scenario. In depth assessment of stock structure and improved observer programs to provide scientifically robust bycatch estimates are needed. Effective conservation measures would be reducing bycatch to less than 50% of the current level in the neritic stock to reach PBR. Our approach provided indicators of the status and trajectory of the common dolphin population in the

  20. Organochlorine contaminant and retinoid levels in blubber of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) off northwestern Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tornero, Victoria [Department of Animal Biology (Vertebrates), Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08071 Barcelona (Spain)]. E-mail: victoriatornero@ub.edu; Borrell, Assumpcio [Department of Animal Biology (Vertebrates), Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08071 Barcelona (Spain); Aguilar, Alex [Department of Animal Biology (Vertebrates), Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08071 Barcelona (Spain); Forcada, Jaume [Biological Sciences Division, NERC, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET (United Kingdom); Lockyer, Christina [Age Dynamics, Huldbergs Alle 42, DK-2800 Kongens, Lyngby (Denmark)

    2006-03-15

    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.

  1. Is Dolphin Morbillivirus Virulent for White-Beaked Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2014-01-01

    .... Therefore, the admission of 2 white-beaked dolphins with morbillivirus infection into a rehabilitation center provided a unique opportunity to investigate the virulence of morbillivirus in this species...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  3. 76 FR 51943 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; International Dolphin Conservation Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-19

    ...; International Dolphin Conservation Program AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA... (NOAA) collects information to implement the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (Act). The... ] nations in the International Dolphin Conservation Program that would otherwise be under embargo. The...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    SEP 2014 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Validating the Novel Method of Measuring Cortisol...hours, in addition to other manipulations (e.g. blubber biopsies ). This process has shown to significantly raise both cortisol and aldosterone above

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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,

  7. Novel Atlantic bottlenose dolphin parainfluenza virus TtPIV-1 clusters with bovine PIV-3 genotype B strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parainfluenza virus 3 (PIV-3) is a common viral infection not only in humans, but many other species. Serological evidence suggests that nearly 100% of children in the United States have been infected with PIV-3 by five years of age. Similarly, in cattle PIV-3 is commonly associated with bovine re...

  8. Location of an acoustic window in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, V V; Supin, A Y

    1990-01-15

    Auditory brainstem responses (ABR) to sound clicks from sources in different positions were recorded in dolphins Inia geoffrensis. The position of the acoustic window was determined by measurement of acoustic delays. The acoustic window was found to lie close to the auditory meatus and the bulla rather than on the lower jaw.

  9. Overfishing of small pelagic fishes increases trophic overlap between immature and mature striped dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Campos, Encarna; Borrell, Assumpció; Cardona, Luis; Forcada, Jaume; Aguilar, Alex

    2011-01-01

    The interactions among diet, ecology, physiology, and biochemistry affect N and C stable isotope signatures in animal tissues. Here, we examined if ecological segregation among animals in relation to sex and age existed by analyzing the signatures of δ(15)N and δ(13)C in the muscle of Western Mediterranean striped dolphins. Moreover, we used a Bayesian mixing model to study diet composition and investigated potential dietary changes over the last two decades in this population. For this, we compared isotope signatures in samples of stranded dolphins obtained during two epizootic events occurring in 1990 and 2007-2008. Mean δ(13)C values for females and males were not significantly different, but age-related variation indicated δ(13)C enrichment in both sexes, suggesting that females and males most likely fed in the same general areas, increasing their consumption of benthic prey with age. Enrichment of δ(15)N was only observed in females, suggesting a preference for larger or higher trophic level prey than males, which could reflect different nutritional requirements. δ(13)C values showed no temporal variation, although the mean δ(15)N signature decreased from 1990 to 2007-2008, which could indicate a dietary shift in the striped dolphin over the last two decades. The results of SIAR indicated that in 1990, hake and sardine together contributed to 60% on the diet of immature striped dolphins, and close to 90% for mature striped dolphins. Conversely, the diet of both groups in 2007-2008 was more diverse, as hake and sardine contributed to less than 40% of the entire diet. These results suggest a dietary change that was possibly related to changes in food availability, which is consistent with the depletion of sardine stocks by fishing.

  10. Overfishing of small pelagic fishes increases trophic overlap between immature and mature striped dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Encarna Gómez-Campos

    Full Text Available The interactions among diet, ecology, physiology, and biochemistry affect N and C stable isotope signatures in animal tissues. Here, we examined if ecological segregation among animals in relation to sex and age existed by analyzing the signatures of δ(15N and δ(13C in the muscle of Western Mediterranean striped dolphins. Moreover, we used a Bayesian mixing model to study diet composition and investigated potential dietary changes over the last two decades in this population. For this, we compared isotope signatures in samples of stranded dolphins obtained during two epizootic events occurring in 1990 and 2007-2008. Mean δ(13C values for females and males were not significantly different, but age-related variation indicated δ(13C enrichment in both sexes, suggesting that females and males most likely fed in the same general areas, increasing their consumption of benthic prey with age. Enrichment of δ(15N was only observed in females, suggesting a preference for larger or higher trophic level prey than males, which could reflect different nutritional requirements. δ(13C values showed no temporal variation, although the mean δ(15N signature decreased from 1990 to 2007-2008, which could indicate a dietary shift in the striped dolphin over the last two decades. The results of SIAR indicated that in 1990, hake and sardine together contributed to 60% on the diet of immature striped dolphins, and close to 90% for mature striped dolphins. Conversely, the diet of both groups in 2007-2008 was more diverse, as hake and sardine contributed to less than 40% of the entire diet. These results suggest a dietary change that was possibly related to changes in food availability, which is consistent with the depletion of sardine stocks by fishing.

  11. The dolphin cochlear nucleus: topography, histology and functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malkemper, E P; Oelschläger, H H A; Huggenberger, S

    2012-02-01

    Despite the outstanding auditory capabilities of dolphins, there is only limited information available on the cytology of the auditory brain stem nuclei in these animals. Here, we investigated the cochlear nuclei (CN) of five brains of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and La Plata dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) using cell and fiber stain microslide series representing the three main anatomical planes. In general, the CN in dolphins comprise the same set of subnuclei as in other mammals. However, the volume ratio of the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) in relation to the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) of dolphins represents a minimum among the mammals examined so far. Because, for example, in cats the DCN is necessary for reflexive orientation of the head and pinnae towards a sound source, the massive restrictions in head movability in dolphins and the absence of outer ears may be correlated with the reduction of the DCN. Moreover, the same set of main neuron types were found in the dolphin CN as in other mammals, including octopus and multipolar cells. Because the latter two types of neurons are thought to be involved in the recognition of complex sounds, including speech, we suggest that, in dolphins, they may be involved in the processing of their communication signals. Comparison of the toothed whale species studied here revealed that large spherical cells were present in the La Plata dolphin but absent in the common dolphin. These neurons are known to be engaged in the processing of low-frequency sounds in terrestrial mammals. Accordingly, in the common dolphin, the absence of large spherical cells seems to be correlated with a shift of its auditory spectrum into the high-frequency range above 20 kHz. The existence of large spherical cells in the VCN of the La Plata dolphin, however, is enigmatic asthis species uses frequencies around 130 kHz.

  12. An evaluation of marine traffic on the Chinese white dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C.

    2016-12-01

    The proposed third runway reclamation project of Hong Kong airport will soon impact the surrounding population of Chinese white dolphins. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the size of the reclamation will be 650 hectares of land located to the north of the current airport platform. All of the necessary works will be conducted via the surrounding marine areas. During the construction period the dredging and reclamation activities will increase the risk of dolphins colliding with this extra marine traffic especially since this construction site is less than one kilometre away from the dolphin marine park of Sha Chau & Lung Kwu Chau. Furthermore, after the construction of the third runway, there will be a re-routing of Skypier Ferries and other high speed boats through this area. The dolphins will undoubtedly be disturbed. The increase in vessel traffic during the construction project will also generate sounds that may interfere with echolocation systems that dolphins rely on to navigate and fish. This further impact can be measured using underwater hydrophones that can record the boat noise as well as the dolphin clicks. The latter determines the presence or absence of dolphins. From this the impact of noise on dolphin populations can be determined by simply determining if the dolphins stay around during periods of high levels of underwater noise. The data presented is the result of several years of collection. A clear understanding of the conjunction of noises from the dolphins and marine traffic patterns for different times of the day will help determine the impact and offer the chance to change marine traffic patterns thus minimizing the adverse impact on the iconic Hong Kong white dolphins.

  13. Biochemical and Anatomical Characteristics of Dolphin Muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    Nekooi, J. Durivage, and C. E. Blanco ) of the University of California, Los Angeles, for their excellent quantitative work in anatomical, biochemi...cal, and histochemical analyses of the dolphin’s musculo -tendonous system. J. E. Haun for providing constant support and guidance in areas of project...potential of these animals by examining the anatomical and biochemical characteristics of the musculo - tendonous systems involved with swimming. Strickler

  14. Population differentiation and hybridisation of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis dolphins in north-western Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M Brown

    the first documented case of hybridisation between a female snubfin dolphin and a male humpback dolphin.

  15. 50 CFR 216.95 - Official mark for “Dolphin-safe” tuna products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Official mark for âDolphin-safeâ tuna... AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Dolphin Safe Tuna Labeling § 216.95 Official mark for “Dolphin-safe... Department of Commerce that may be used to label tuna products that meet the “dolphin-safe” standards...

  16. Lobomycosis: risk of zoonotic transmission from dolphins to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    Lobomycosis, a fungal disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissues caused by Lacazia loboi, is sometimes referred to as a zoonotic disease because it affects only specific delphinidae and humans; however, the evidence that it can be transferred directly to humans from dolphins is weak. Dolphins have also been postulated to be responsible for an apparent geographic expansion of the disease in humans. Morphological and molecular differences between the human and dolphin organisms, differences in geographic distribution of the diseases between dolphins and humans, the existence of only a single documented case of presumed zoonotic transmission, and anecdotal evidence of lack of transmission to humans following accidental inoculation of tissue from infected dolphins do not support the hypothesis that dolphins infected with L. loboi represent a zoonotic hazard for humans. In addition, the lack of human cases in communities adjacent to coastal estuaries with a high prevalence of lobomycosis in dolphins, such as the Indian River Lagoon in Florida (IRL), suggests that direct or indirect transmission of L. loboi from dolphins to humans occurs rarely, if at all. Nonetheless, attention to personal hygiene and general principals of infection control are always appropriate when handling tissues from an animal with a presumptive diagnosis of a mycotic or fungal disease.

  17. Dolphin QiQi Is Gone, but Research Will Continue

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Haiyan

    2002-01-01

    @@ The world's only captive Yangtze River dolphin, QiQi,died on July 14 at the Wuhan-based Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). At age of about 25, well advanced in years for a freshwater dolphin, his death is considered as a natural one.

  18. Humpback Dolphin (Genus Sousa) Behavioural Responses to Human Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. A morphological and histological examination of the pan-tropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) and the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) adrenal gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, L S; Cowan, D F; Pfeiffer, D C

    2008-04-01

    The morphology and histology of the cetacean adrenal gland are poorly understood. Therefore, this study examined 32 pairs of adrenal glands from 18 pan-tropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) and 14 spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris). In both species, the cortex was pseudolobulated and contained a typical mammalian zonation. Medullary protrusions (0-3 per section) and a medullary band were identified in both species. For S. attenuata, no statistical differences were found in the cortex to medulla (CM) ratio or the percent cross-sectional area (PCA) of the adrenal glands compared with sex or sexual maturity. The mean CM ratio for S. attenuata was 2.34 and the PCA was 64.4% cortex, 29.4% medulla and 6.2%'other'. 'Other' indicates blood vessels, connective tissue and the gland capsule itself. For S. longirostris, there was no statistical difference in the CM ratio compared with sexual maturity. However, a statistical difference was found between the CM ratio and sex, suggesting sexual dimorphism (female CM ratio = 2.46 and males = 3.21). No statistical differences were found in the PCA of S. longirostris adrenal glands by sexual maturity. However, a statistical difference was found between the PCA by sex. Female S. longirostris adrenal glands consisted of 65.0% cortex, 27.3% medulla and 7.7% 'other', whereas male adrenal glands consisted of 71.7% cortex, 22.7% medulla and 5.6% 'other'.

  20. Genomic and expression analyses of Tursiops truncatus T cell receptor gamma (TRG) and alpha/delta (TRA/TRD) loci reveal a similar basic public γδ repertoire in dolphin and human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linguiti, Giovanna; Antonacci, Rachele; Tasco, Gianluca; Grande, Francesco; Casadio, Rita; Massari, Serafina; Castelli, Vito; Consiglio, Arianna; Lefranc, Marie-Paule; Ciccarese, Salvatrice

    2016-08-15

    The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a mammal that belongs to the Cetartiodactyla and have lived in marine ecosystems for nearly 60 millions years. Despite its popularity, our knowledge about its adaptive immunity and evolution is very limited. Furthermore, nothing is known about the genomics and evolution of dolphin antigen receptor immunity. Here we report a evolutionary and expression study of Tursiops truncatus T cell receptor gamma (TRG) and alpha/delta (TRA/TRD) genes. We have identified in silico the TRG and TRA/TRD genes and analyzed the relevant mature transcripts in blood and in skin from four subjects. The dolphin TRG locus is the smallest and simplest of all mammalian loci as yet studied. It shows a genomic organization comprising two variable (V1 and V2), three joining (J1, J2 and J3) and a single constant (C), genes. Despite the fragmented nature of the genome assemblies, we deduced the TRA/TRD locus organization, with the recent TRDV1 subgroup genes duplications, as it is expected in artiodactyls. Expression analysis from blood of a subject allowed us to assign unambiguously eight TRAV genes to those annotated in the genomic sequence and to twelve new genes, belonging to five different subgroups. All transcripts were productive and no relevant biases towards TRAV-J rearrangements are observed. Blood and skin from four unrelated subjects expression data provide evidence for an unusual ratio of productive/unproductive transcripts which arise from the TRG V-J gene rearrangement and for a "public" gamma delta TR repertoire. The productive cDNA sequences, shared both in the same and in different individuals, include biases of the TRGV1 and TRGJ2 genes. The high frequency of TRGV1-J2/TRDV1- D1-J4 productive rearrangements in dolphins may represent an interesting oligo-clonal population comparable to that found in human with the TRGV9- JP/TRDV2-D-J T cells and in primates. Although the features of the TRG and TRA/TRD loci organization reflect

  1. Reproduction of dusky dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obscurus, from coastal Peru

    OpenAIRE

    1994-01-01

    We examined the reproductive biology of 522 female and 330 male dusky dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obscurus, killed in Peruvian coastal fisheries between 1985 and 1990. Most births occurred in late winter (August, September, and October), although a few newborns were collected as late as February. Growth rate of fetuses was 0.261 cm/day; young were born at a mean length of 91 cm and mass of 9.6 kg. Gestation lasted for 12.9 months, followed by 12.0 months of lactation and a resting period of 3.7 ...

  2. What caused the UK's largest common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) mass stranding event?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jepson, Paul D; Deaville, Robert; Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Barnett, James; Brownlow, Andrew; Brownell, 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.

  3. What caused the UK's largest common dolphin (Delphinus delphis mass stranding event?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. The Dolphin in the Mirror - A Familiar Face?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dibble, Dianna Samuelson; Van Alstyne, Kaitlin Katie; Rohr, Jim; Ridgway, Sam

    2017-01-01

    We suggest how a basic physics problem becomes much richer when researchers of various disciplines converse. Our discussion explores Snell's window from the perspective of what a dolphin might see. An aperture, Snell's window, allows light to travel through the air-water interface. Outside this window, there is total reflection from under the water-air interface. Dolphins see through the aperture to follow our movements above the water's surface. When dolphins look outside the window, can they see their own reflections from under the water-air interface?

  5. Bayesian analysis of the Hector’s Dolphin data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    King, R.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years there have been increasing concerns for many wildlife populations, due to decreasing population trends. This has led to the introduction of management schemes to increase the survival rates and hence the population size of many species of animals. We concentrate on a particular dolphin population situated off the coast of New Zealand, and investigate whether the introduction of a fishing gill net ban was effective in decreasing dolphin mortality. We undertake a Bayesian analysis of the data, in which we quantitatively compare the different competing biological hypotheses, determining the effect of the sanctuary upon the dolphin population.

  6. Electroreception in the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czech-Damal, Nicole U; Liebschner, Alexander; Miersch, Lars; Klauer, Gertrud; Hanke, Frederike D; Marshall, Christopher; Dehnhardt, Guido; Hanke, Wolf

    2012-02-22

    Passive electroreception is a widespread sense in fishes and amphibians, but in mammals this sensory ability has previously only been shown in monotremes. While the electroreceptors in fish and amphibians evolved from mechanosensory lateral line organs, those of monotremes are based on cutaneous glands innervated by trigeminal nerves. Electroreceptors evolved from other structures or in other taxa were unknown to date. Here we show that the hairless vibrissal crypts on the rostrum of the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), structures originally associated with the mammalian whiskers, serve as electroreceptors. Histological investigations revealed that the vibrissal crypts possess a well-innervated ampullary structure reminiscent of ampullary electroreceptors in other species. Psychophysical experiments with a male Guiana dolphin determined a sensory detection threshold for weak electric fields of 4.6 µV cm(-1), which is comparable to the sensitivity of electroreceptors in platypuses. Our results show that electroreceptors can evolve from a mechanosensory organ that nearly all mammals possess and suggest the discovery of this kind of electroreception in more species, especially those with an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle.

  7. Reproductive aspects of male franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) off Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panebianco, María Victoria; Negri, María Fernanda; Cappozzo, Humberto Luis

    2012-03-01

    As the first study to investigate reproductive aspects of male franciscana dolphin -Pontoporia blainvillei - in Argentine waters, the aim of this paper was to assess sexual maturity by using histological and morphometric methods. P. blainvillei was labeled as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN in 2008. The specimens analyzed were either incidentally caught in artisanal fishing nets (n=47) or found stranded on the beach (n=3). Testis weight and testicular index of maturity were reliable indicators of sexual maturity, being their values: MTW: 1.14 ± 0.60-4.49 ± 1.94; IM: 0.03 ± 0.01-0.09 ± 0.03, for immature and mature specimens' respectively. It was found that the hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) might be appropriate for establishing sexual maturity stage, based on both the body morphometric measurements and age. The values for age, standard length and total weight at attainment sexual maturity were 2.92-3.54 years, 126.19-126.27 cm and 23.47-23.75 kg. Considering the extremely low relative testis weight, the reversed sexual length dimorphism, the absence of secondary sexual characteristics, and the lack of scars from intrasexual combats in males, the hypothesis that sperm competition does not occur in the species, and male combats for accessing female reproductive may be rare for P. blainvillei is reinforced. All these features fit the species within a serial monogamous mating system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Guyana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) from Costa Rica emit whistles that vary with surface behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J

    2013-10-01

    Guyana dolphins show remarkable intraspecific whistle variation. This variation has been largely explained in terms of distance among populations; however, other factors such as behavior may also be important. A broadband recording system recorded the whistles of Guyana dolphins under three behavioral states. A discriminant analysis found that during social and travel events, dolphins emit whistles with high delta and minimum frequency, respectively. Whistle duration was also important in discriminating behaviors. This study indicates that behavior is an important factor contributing to whistle variation of Guyana dolphins. Understanding how dolphin whistles vary with behavioral context will advance our understanding of dolphin communication and enable appropriate comparative studies.

  9. TOXOPLASMOSIS IN CAPTIVE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) AND WALRUS (ODOBENUS ROSMRUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a seaquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose ...

  10. Functional Imaging of Dolphin Brain Metabolism and Blood Flow

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keogh, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    This report documents the first use of magnetic resonance images (MRls) of living dolphins to register functional brain scans, allowing for the exploration of potential mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep...

  11. Functional imaging of dolphin brain metabolism and blood flow

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keogh, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    This report documents the first use of magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of living dolphins to register functional brain scans, allowing for the exploration of potential mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep...

  12. Blind river dolphin: first side-swimming cetacean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herald, E S; Brownell, R L; Frye, F L; Morris, E J; Evans, W E; Scott, A B

    1969-12-12

    The blind river dolphin (Platanista gangetica), first written about by Pliny the Elder in A.D. 72, was found (10 November 1968) to be the first known side-swimming cetacean. The rudimentary eye lacks the lens, but anatomical evidence suggests that the eye may serve as a light sensor. The underwater sound emissions of this species, although similar to those of the Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), appear to be produced constantly.

  13. Sound variation and function in captive Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Yayoi M; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Sakai, Mai; Iwasaki, Mari; Wakabayashi, Ikuo; Seko, Atsushi; Kasamatsu, Masahiko; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Kohshima, Shiro

    2014-10-01

    Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii), one of the smallest dolphin species, has been reported to produce only narrow-band high-frequency (NBHF) clicks and no whistles. To clarify their sound repertoire and examine the function of each type, we analysed the sounds and behaviour of captive Commerson's dolphins in Toba Aquarium, Japan. All recorded sounds were NBHF clicks with peak frequency >110kHz. The recorded click-trains were categorised into four types based on the changing pattern of their Inter-click intervals (ICI): Decreasing type, with continuously decreasing ICI during the last part of the train; Increasing type, with continuously increasing ICI during the last part; Fluctuating type, with fluctuating ICI; and Burst-pulse type, with very short and constant ICI. The frequency of the Decreasing type increased when approaching an object newly introduced to the tank, suggesting that the sound is used for echolocation on approach. The Burst-pulse type suddenly increased in front of the object and was often oriented towards it, suggesting that it was used for echolocation in close proximity to the object. In contrast, the Increasing type was rarely recorded during approach, but increased when a dolphin approached another dolphin. The Increasing and Burst-pulse types also increased when dolphins began social behaviours. These results suggest that some NBHF clicks have functions other than echolocation, such as communication.

  14. Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep in the Amazonian dolphin, Inia geoffrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhametov, L M

    1987-08-18

    An electroencephalographic study of sleep in Amazonian dolphins, Inia geoffrensis, revealed that unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is the dominant sleep type in this species, as in the other two dolphin species that were studied earlier.

  15. 78 FR 25530 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BLUE DOLPHIN; Invitation for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-01

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BLUE DOLPHIN... of the vessel BLUE DOLPHIN is: Intended Commercial Use Of Vessel: ``Skippered daysailing in...

  16. Swimming and diving energetics in dolphins: a stroke-by-stroke analysis for predicting the cost of flight responses in wild odontocetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Terrie M; Kendall, Traci L; Richter, Beau P; Ribeiro-French, Courtney R; John, Jason S; Odell, Kim L; Losch, Barbara A; Feuerbach, David A; Stamper, M Andrew

    2017-03-15

    Exponential increases in hydrodynamic drag and physical exertion occur when swimmers move quickly through water, and underlie the preference for relatively slow routine speeds by marine mammals regardless of body size. Because of this and the need to balance limited oxygen stores when submerged, flight (escape) responses may be especially challenging for this group. To examine this, we used open-flow respirometry to measure the energetic cost of producing a swimming stroke during different levels of exercise in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). These data were then used to model the energetic cost of high-speed escape responses by other odontocetes ranging in mass from 42 to 2738 kg. The total cost per stroke during routine swimming by dolphins, 3.31±0.20 J kg(-1) stroke(-1), was doubled during maximal aerobic performance. A comparative analysis of locomotor costs (LC; in J kg(-1) stroke(-1)), representing the cost of moving the flukes, revealed that LC during routine swimming increased with body mass (M) for odontocetes according to LC=1.46±0.0005M; a separate relationship described LC during high-speed stroking. Using these relationships, we found that continuous stroking coupled with reduced glide time in response to oceanic noise resulted in a 30.5% increase in metabolic rate in the beaked whale, a deep-diving odontocete considered especially sensitive to disturbance. By integrating energetics with swimming behavior and dive characteristics, this study demonstrates the physiological consequences of oceanic noise on diving mammals, and provides a powerful tool for predicting the biological significance of escape responses by cetaceans facing anthropogenic disturbances. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Cutaneous nodules in Irrawaddy dolphins: an emerging disease in vulnerable populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, Marie-Francoise; Minton, Gianna; Sutaria, Dipani; Kelkar, Nachiket; Peter, Cindy; Zulkarnaen, Mohammad; Mansur, Rubaiyat M; Porter, Lindsay; Vargas, Luz H; Rajamani, Leela

    2014-01-16

    The presence of cutaneous nodules is reported in vulnerable populations of Irrawaddy dolphins Orcaella brevirostris from Malaysia (Kuching, Bintulu-Similajau, Kinabatangan-Segama and Penang Island), India (Chilika Lagoon) and Bangladesh (Sundarbans). Approximately 5700 images taken for photo-identification studies in 2004 to 2013 were examined for skin disorders. Nodules were detected in 6 populations. They appeared as circumscribed elevations of the skin and varied in size from 2 to >30 mm, were sparse or numerous and occurred on all visible body areas. In 8 photo-identified (PI) dolphins from India and Malaysia, the lesions remained stable (N = 2) or progressed (N = 6) over months but did not regress. The 2 most severely affected individuals were seen in Kuching and the Chilika Lagoon. Their fate is unknown. Cutaneous nodules were sampled in a female that died in a gillnet in Kuching in 2012. Histologically, the lesions consisted of thick collagen bundles covered by a moderately hyperplasic epithelium and were diagnosed as fibropapillomas. Whether the nodules observed in the other O. brevirostris were also fibropapillomas remains to be investigated. Disease prevalence ranged from 2.2% (N = 46; Bintulu-Similajau) to 13.9% (N = 72; Chilika) in 4 populations from Malaysia and India. It was not significantly different in 3 study areas in eastern Malaysia. In Chilika, prevalence was significantly higher (p = 0.00078) in 2009 to 2011 (13.9%) than in 2004 to 2006 (2.8%) in 72 PI dolphins. The emergence of a novel disease in vulnerable O. brevirostris populations is of concern.

  18. How Studies of Wild and Captive Dolphins Contribute to our Understanding of Individual Differences and Personality

    OpenAIRE

    Highfill, Lauren E.; Kuczaj II, Stan A.

    2010-01-01

    The study of individual differences in animals and humans has flourished in recent years. This work has revealed personality traits in a wide range of species, including dolphins. However, there are few systematic studies of dolphin personality despite many reasons to assume that personality plays an important role in dolphin behavior. Dolphins live in complex societies and demonstrate a broad and diverse behavioral repertoire, which allows for the possibility of consistent individual differe...

  19. Soundscape Ecology of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin Resting Bays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heenehan, Heather Leigh

    Sound is a key sensory modality for Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Like many other marine animals, these dolphins rely on sound and their acoustic environment for many aspects of their daily lives, making it is essential to understand soundscape in areas that are critical to their survival. Hawaiian spinner dolphins rest during the day in shallow coastal areas and forage offshore at night. In my dissertation I focus on the soundscape of the bays where Hawaiian spinner dolphins rest taking a soundscape ecology approach. I primarily relied on passive acoustic monitoring using four DSG-Ocean acoustic loggers in four Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting bays on the Kona Coast of Hawai'i Island. 30-second recordings were made every four minutes in each of the bays for 20 to 27 months between January 8, 2011 and March 30, 2013. I also utilized concomitant vessel-based visual surveys in the four bays to provide context for these recordings. In my first chapter I used the contributions of the dolphins to the soundscape to monitor presence in the bays and found the degree of presence varied greatly from less than 40% to nearly 90% of days monitored with dolphins present. Having established these bays as important to the animals, in my second chapter I explored the many components of their resting bay soundscape and evaluated the influence of natural and human events on the soundscape. I characterized the overall soundscape in each of the four bays, used the tsunami event of March 2011 to approximate a natural soundscape and identified all loud daytime outliers. Overall, sound levels were consistently louder at night and quieter during the daytime due to the sounds from snapping shrimp. In fact, peak Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting time co-occurs with the quietest part of the day. However, I also found that humans drastically alter this daytime soundscape with sound from offshore aquaculture, vessel sound and military mid-frequency active sonar. During one recorded mid

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    registered 162 dives. The dolphin dove to a maximum depth of 45 m, which is about the depth of the bay in which the dolphin was swimming. Two basic types of dives were identified; U-shaped and V-shaped dives. The dolphin used more time in U-shaped dives, more clicks and sonar signals with shorter click...

  1. Dolphins can maintain vigilant behavior through echolocation for 15 days without interruption or cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Brian K; Finneran, James J; Fletcher, Elizabeth A; Weisman, Brian C; Ridgway, Sam H

    2012-01-01

    In dolphins, natural selection has developed unihemispheric sleep where alternating hemispheres of their brain stay awake. This allows dolphins to maintain consciousness in response to respiratory demands of the ocean. Unihemispheric sleep may also allow dolphins to maintain vigilant states over long periods of time. Because of the relatively poor visibility in the ocean, dolphins use echolocation to interrogate their environment. During echolocation, dolphin produce clicks and listen to returning echoes to determine the location and identity of objects. The extent to which individual dolphins are able to maintain continuous vigilance through this active sense is unknown. Here we show that dolphins may continuously echolocate and accurately report the presence of targets for at least 15 days without interruption. During a total of three sessions, each lasting five days, two dolphins maintained echolocation behaviors while successfully detecting and reporting targets. Overall performance was between 75 to 86% correct for one dolphin and 97 to 99% correct for a second dolphin. Both animals demonstrated diel patterns in echolocation behavior. A 15-day testing session with one dolphin resulted in near perfect performance with no significant decrement over time. Our results demonstrate that dolphins can continuously monitor their environment and maintain long-term vigilant behavior through echolocation.

  2. Dolphin Therapy: The Playful Way to Work toward the Next Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wermer, Maaike

    2008-01-01

    More than 400 children with a physical and/or mental challenge visit the Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) for dolphin-assisted therapy every year. Dolphin therapy appears to be the right approach for many children. With the help of these special and very social animals, it is easier to make contact with the children. It motivates…

  3. Dolphin Therapy: The Playful Way to Work toward the Next Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wermer, Maaike

    2008-01-01

    More than 400 children with a physical and/or mental challenge visit the Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) for dolphin-assisted therapy every year. Dolphin therapy appears to be the right approach for many children. With the help of these special and very social animals, it is easier to make contact with the children. It motivates…

  4. Dolphins can maintain vigilant behavior through echolocation for 15 days without interruption or cognitive impairment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian K Branstetter

    Full Text Available In dolphins, natural selection has developed unihemispheric sleep where alternating hemispheres of their brain stay awake. This allows dolphins to maintain consciousness in response to respiratory demands of the ocean. Unihemispheric sleep may also allow dolphins to maintain vigilant states over long periods of time. Because of the relatively poor visibility in the ocean, dolphins use echolocation to interrogate their environment. During echolocation, dolphin produce clicks and listen to returning echoes to determine the location and identity of objects. The extent to which individual dolphins are able to maintain continuous vigilance through this active sense is unknown. Here we show that dolphins may continuously echolocate and accurately report the presence of targets for at least 15 days without interruption. During a total of three sessions, each lasting five days, two dolphins maintained echolocation behaviors while successfully detecting and reporting targets. Overall performance was between 75 to 86% correct for one dolphin and 97 to 99% correct for a second dolphin. Both animals demonstrated diel patterns in echolocation behavior. A 15-day testing session with one dolphin resulted in near perfect performance with no significant decrement over time. Our results demonstrate that dolphins can continuously monitor their environment and maintain long-term vigilant behavior through echolocation.

  5. Cross-sectional anatomy, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the head of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Farré, J M; Gonzalo-Orden, M; Barreiro-Vázquez, J D; Barreiro-Lois, A; André, M; Morell, M; Llarena-Reino, M; Monreal-Pawlowsky, T; Degollada, E

    2015-02-01

    Computed tomography (CT) and low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used to scan seven by-caught dolphin cadavers, belonging to two species: four common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and three striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). CT and MRI were obtained with the animals in ventral recumbency. After the imaging procedures, six dolphins were frozen at -20°C and sliced in the same position they were examined. Not only CT and MRI scans, but also cross sections of the heads were obtained in three body planes: transverse (slices of 1 cm thickness) in three dolphins, sagittal (5 cm thickness) in two dolphins and dorsal (5 cm thickness) in two dolphins. Relevant anatomical structures were identified and labelled on each cross section, obtaining a comprehensive bi-dimensional topographical anatomy guide of the main features of the common and the striped dolphin head. Furthermore, the anatomical cross sections were compared with their corresponding CT and MRI images, allowing an imaging identification of most of the anatomical features. CT scans produced an excellent definition of the bony and air-filled structures, while MRI allowed us to successfully identify most of the soft tissue structures in the dolphin's head. This paper provides a detailed anatomical description of the head structures of common and striped dolphins and compares anatomical cross sections with CT and MRI scans, becoming a reference guide for the interpretation of imaging studies.

  6. Meningoencephalitis and Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella spp. coinfection in a dolphin in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grattarola, Carla; Giorda, Federica; Iulini, Barbara; Pintore, Maria Domenica; Pautasso, Alessandra; Zoppi, Simona; Goria, Maria; Romano, Angelo; Peletto, Simone; Varello, Katia; Garibaldi, Fulvio; Garofolo, Giuliano; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Marsili, Letizia; Bozzetta, Elena; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Dondo, Alessandro; Mignone, Walter; Casalone, Cristina

    2016-02-25

    Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella spp. can infect a wide range of species, including humans. In cetaceans, meningoencephalitis has been associated with T. gondii and Brucella spp. infection, whereas to our knowledge, L. monocytogenes infection has not previously been reported. Meningoencephalitis and L. monocytogenes, T. gondii and Brucella spp. were identified by means of both direct and indirect laboratory techniques in an adult female striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba found stranded in January 2015 on the Ligurian Sea coast, northwestern Italy. The animal was emaciated, and histopathology disclosed severe meningoencephalitis. The nature of the inflammatory response and intra-lesional protozoa were consistent with a mixed infection by L. monocytogenes, T. gondii and Brucella spp. We believe this is an unprecedented case of infection by 3 zoonotic pathogens and also the first bacteriologically confirmed case report of neurolisteriosis in cetaceans. Cerebral toxoplasmosis and neurobrucellosis may have led to the animal's disorientation and stranding, with L. monocytogenes having likely exacerbated the coinfection leading to the demise of this dolphin.

  7. Dolphin natures, human virtues: MacIntyre and ethical naturalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glackin, Shane Nicholas

    2008-09-01

    Can biological facts explain human morality? Aristotelian 'virtue' ethics has traditionally assumed so. In recent years Alasdair MacIntyre has reintroduced a form of Aristotle's 'metaphysical biology' into his ethics. He argues that the ethological study of dependence and rationality in other species--dolphins in particular--sheds light on how those same traits in the typical lives of humans give rise to the moral virtues. However, some goal-oriented dolphin behaviour appears both dependent and rational in the precise manner which impresses MacIntyre, yet anything but ethically 'virtuous'. More damningly, dolphin ethologists consistently refuse to evaluate such behaviour in the manner MacIntyre claims is appropriate to moral judgement. In light of this, I argue that virtues--insofar as they name a biological or ethological category--do not name a morally significant one.

  8. Bacterial infection in an Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jin Hai; Xia, Zhao Fei

    2013-03-01

    One pregnant captive Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), with a body length of 225 cm, was found dead on 8 June 2009. The dolphin was anorexic and circling at the bottom of the pool before death. Laboratory tests revealed an increased leukocyte count and decreased platelet count; increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate; and slightly decreased red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, and glucose were significantly decreased. Moreover, uric acid and alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were elevated. A 57-cm fetus was recovered. The respiratory system, intestinal mucosa, mesentery and mesenteric lymph nodes, and spleen were congested and hemorrhagic. The heart, liver, and kidney appeared normal. Klebsiella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus were identified in the amniotic fluid. This is the first case report of bacterial infection in an Irrawaddy dolphin.

  9. Humpback Dolphins: A Brief Introduction to the Genus Sousa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Thomas A; Curry, Barbara E

    2015-01-01

    The delphinid genus Sousa has recently undergone a major revision, and currently contains four species, the Atlantic humpback (Sousa teuszii), Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea), Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis), and Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis) dolphins. Recent molecular evidence suggests that humpback dolphins in the Bay of Bengal may comprise a fifth species. These moderate-sized dolphin species are found in shallow (dolphins feed mostly on small fishes, and sometimes shrimps; occur for the most part in small groups (mostly 12 or less); have limited nearshore movements; and in most parts of their range exhibit a fission/fusion type of social organization. Major threats that affect all the species are entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat degradation/destruction from various forms of coastal development. Impacts from vessel traffic (including behavioural disturbance and displacement, as well as mortality and morbidity from collisions with vessels) appear to be significant in most areas. Several other threats are apparently significant only in particular parts of the range of some species (e.g. high levels of organochlorine contaminants affecting Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong). Direct hunting only occurs in limited areas and primarily on a small scale. Conservation actions so far have been limited, with most populations receiving little study and almost no management attention. Much more work is needed on humpback dolphin population status, threats, and how the major threats can be reduced or eliminated. Extinction risks for the four species and some populations are preliminarily re-assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria in the current volume. The results suggest that all four species in the genus are threatened at some level (suggested Red List status ranges from Vulnerable for S. chinensis and S. sahulensis to Critically Endangered for S. teuszii).

  10. Acute Poisoning with Methadone (Dolphin (Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgy A. Livanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Most publications report on the use of methadone as a medication, however an increase of the illegal use of methadone has been demonstrated worldwide over the recent years, thus increasing the number of hospitalizations due to acute poisoning with this synthetic opioid. The aim of the present review was to summarize current data on the mechanisms of toxicity, selective toxicity, toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of methadone (Dolphin. The involvement of CNS, respiratory, cardiovascular and urinary systems in acute poisoning with methadone was dis- cussed. The practice of use of methadone in many countries as a medicine for the replacement therapy for opiate addicts was analyzed. In addition, it was suggested that the results of the use of naloxone antidote therapy in acute opioid poisoning do not always clearly demonstrate its sufficient efficacy. Ways to improve of the intensive therapy of severe acute poisoning by methadone were substantiated; in addition to general critical care methods, treatment with a complex metabolic antihypoxant cytoflavin should be considered. 

  11. Dolphin Research Makes Breakthrough in Hong Kong

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杜茂束

    2000-01-01

    海豚的人工繁殖是一个世界级的难题。困难在于:Dolphins in generalhave very irregular ovarian (卵巢)cycles,making artificial insemination verydifficult. 攻克此难题的重要意义在于: With AI,it can perhaps lead to the reduction of animals taken from the wildinto captive facilities to increase their genetic variance.So wild populations may not be interfered with. 这里的AI是artificial insemination(人工受孕)的首字母缩略。英语词汇的创新组合何等自由!AI己经是许多词组的缩略表达,且收入了词典,现在有冒出一个新含义!此外,本文反复出现了facilities,不能把它理解为“设备”等。facilities=供特定用处的场所。本文指海豚饲养中心。

  12. Why Dolphins are not Aquatic Apes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Barrett

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The Social Brain (or Social Intelligence hypothesis is a very influential theory that ties brain size and, by extension, cognitive ability to the demands of obligate and intense sociality. Initially developed to explain primate brain size evolution, the Social Brain hypothesis has since been applied to a diverse array of other social taxa, both mammalian and avian; its origins as a primate-based hypothesis (especially as articulated by Humphrey, 1976, however, mean that it retains a heavily anthropocentric tinge. This colors the way in which other species are viewed, and their cognitive abilities tested, despite fundamental differences in many aspects of bodily morphology, brain anatomy and behavior. The delphinids are a case in point and, in this review, we demonstrate how the anthropocentric origins of the Social Brain hypothesis have pushed us toward a view of the delphinids as a species of ‗aquatic ape‘. We suggest that a more ecological, embodied/embedded, view of dolphin behavior and psychology undercuts such a view, and will provide a more satisfactory assessment of the natural intelligence the delphinids display.

  13. Effects of tour boats on dolphin activity examined with sensitivity analysis of Markov chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dans, Silvana Laura; Degrati, Mariana; Pedraza, Susana Noemí; Crespo, Enrique Alberto

    2012-08-01

    In Patagonia, Argentina, watching dolphins, especially dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus), is a new tourist activity. Feeding time decreases and time to return to feeding after feeding is abandoned and time it takes a group of dolphins to feed increase in the presence of boats. Such effects on feeding behavior may exert energetic costs on dolphins and thus reduce an individual's survival and reproductive capacity or maybe associated with shifts in distribution. We sought to predict which behavioral changes modify the activity pattern of dolphins the most. We modeled behavioral sequences of dusky dolphins with Markov chains. We calculated transition probabilities from one activity to another and arranged them in a stochastic matrix model. The proportion of time dolphins dedicated to a given activity (activity budget) and the time it took a dolphin to resume that activity after it had been abandoned (recurrence time) were calculated. We used a sensitivity analysis of Markov chains to calculate the sensitivity of the time budget and the activity-resumption time to changes in behavioral transition probabilities. Feeding-time budget was most sensitive to changes in the probability of dolphins switching from traveling to feeding behavior and of maintaining feeding behavior. Thus, an increase in these probabilities would be associated with the largest reduction in the time dedicated to feeding. A reduction in the probability of changing from traveling to feeding would also be associated with the largest increases in the time it takes dolphins to resume feeding. To approach dolphins when they are traveling would not affect behavior less because presence of the boat may keep dolphins from returning to feeding. Our results may help operators of dolphin-watching vessels minimize negative effects on dolphins.

  14. Computational Modeling of the Dolphin Kick in Competitive Swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loebbeck, A.; Mark, R.; Bhanot, G.

    2005-11-01

    Numerical simulations are being used to study the fluid dynamics of the dolphin kick in competitive swimming. This stroke is performed underwater after starts and turns and involves an undulatory motion of the body. Highly detailed laser body scans of elite swimmers are used and the kinematics of the dolphin kick is recreated from videos of Olympic level swimmers. We employ a parallelized immersed boundary method to simulate the flow associated with this stroke in all its complexity. The simulations provide a first of its kind glimpse of the fluid and vortex dynamics associated with this stroke and hydrodynamic force computations allow us to gain a better understanding of the thrust producing mechanisms.

  15. STRATEGI KOMUNIKASI PEMASARAN EKOWISATA PADA DESTINASI WISATA DOLPHIN HUNTING LOVINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni Luh Putu Agustini Karta

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research is to find the right marketing communications strategy for Ecotourism’s Destinations, (Dolphin Hunting Lovina, to be sustainable. Design methodology used is a marketing communication approach by adopting the concept of basic elements of the theory of marketing communication, the shift towards integrated marketing approach marketing communications, and public organizational challenges in creating brand awareness. Qualitative research and in-depth interviews carried out to some competent resource. The findings generated that image creation and brand awareness of Dolphin Hunting Lovina is determined by the  organization’s marketing communications and internal audiences

  16. Learning in human-dolphin interactions at zoological facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, Diane L.

    This research aimed to better understand learning in zoological settings, particularly learning about marine mammals, by investigating the research question, what do people learn through interacting with dolphins in zoological facilities? Sociocultural situated learning theory, specifically a Community of Practice (CoP) model of learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991), was the theoretical framework. The CoP model allowed for diversity of knowledge, interest, motivations, and goals that existed among the community of animal enthusiasts at three commercial zoological facilities, and also for peripheral to more central types of participation. I collected data through interviews of spectators, visitors, and trainers (n=51), observations (n=16), and an online questionnaire of past-visitors (n=933). Data were coded, categorized, and analyzed based on the National Science Foundation's (Friedman, 2008) and the National Research Council's (2009) frameworks for informal science education. Five principal findings answered the research question. First, all participants gained new knowledge within three broad categories: (a) dolphin physiology and natural history, (b) care and training of dolphins, and (c) conservation. Second, all participants constructed personal meanings by connecting the activity to experiences, beliefs, and practices outside the interaction context. Almost all participants made associations with conservation. Third, most participants shifted their attitudes and gained a sense of personal agency about beginning or increasing stewardship actions. Fourth, visitors learned interspecies etiquette skills; trainers learned skills in dolphin training and management, people management, and teaching. Fifth, visitors had long-lasting memories of the experience that occurred eight months to 18 years in the past. Popular cultural ideas about dolphins and the ways the dolphins were represented influenced visitors' expectations and the types of learning. Potential physical

  17. Sequence analysis of dolphin ferritin H and L subunits and possible iron-dependent translational control of dolphin ferritin gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton-Robb, Kate; Gershwin, Lisa-ann; Thompson, Ross; Austin, Jeremy; Owen, Kylie; McKechnie, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic threats.

  19. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Charlton-Robb

    Full Text Available Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic

  20. First Record of the Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei in Korean Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyun Woo Kim

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The Fraser’s dolphin, Lagenodelphis hosei has a pantropical distribution. Only several stranding or catch data were available from Japan and Taiwan in the north-west Pacific region. An adult female L. hosei stranded in Jeju-do, Korea. The specimen was identified by external features and skull measurements. It showed the same external appearance ratio and range in the number of teeth with L. hosei former described. The cranial measurements also well corresponded to condylobasal length proportions given in the previous descriptions of the holotype. This is the first record of the species in Korean waters. We report the information on external and osteological characters of the specimen.

  1. Identification of a novel cetacean polyomavirus from a common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) with Tracheobronchitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Simon J; St Leger, Judy A; Navarrete-Macias, Isamara; Nilson, Erica; Sanchez-Leon, Maria; Liang, Eliza; Seimon, Tracie; Jain, Komal; Karesh, William; Daszak, Peter; Briese, Thomas; Lipkin, W Ian

    2013-01-01

    A female short-beaked common dolphin calf was found stranded in San Diego, California in October 2010, presenting with multifocal ulcerative lesions in the trachea and bronchi. Viral particles suggestive of polyomavirus were detected by EM, and subsequently confirmed by PCR and sequencing. Full genome sequencing (Ion Torrent) revealed a circular dsDNA genome of 5,159 bp that was shown to form a distinct lineage within the genus Polyomavirus based on phylogenetic analysis of the early and late transcriptomes. Viral infection and distribution in laryngeal mucosa was characterised using in-situ hybridisation, and apoptosis observed in the virus-infected region. These results demonstrate that polyomaviruses can be associated with respiratory disease in cetaceans, and expand our knowledge of their diversity and clinical significance in marine mammals.

  2. Identification of a novel cetacean polyomavirus from a common dolphin (Delphinus delphis with Tracheobronchitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J Anthony

    Full Text Available A female short-beaked common dolphin calf was found stranded in San Diego, California in October 2010, presenting with multifocal ulcerative lesions in the trachea and bronchi. Viral particles suggestive of polyomavirus were detected by EM, and subsequently confirmed by PCR and sequencing. Full genome sequencing (Ion Torrent revealed a circular dsDNA genome of 5,159 bp that was shown to form a distinct lineage within the genus Polyomavirus based on phylogenetic analysis of the early and late transcriptomes. Viral infection and distribution in laryngeal mucosa was characterised using in-situ hybridisation, and apoptosis observed in the virus-infected region. These results demonstrate that polyomaviruses can be associated with respiratory disease in cetaceans, and expand our knowledge of their diversity and clinical significance in marine mammals.

  3. Behavior of dusky dolphins foraging on the deep-scattering layer in Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly; Wursig, Bernd; McFadden, Cynthia

    2003-04-01

    Little is known of foraging habits of sound-scattering layer consumers. A 200-kHz echosounder was used to survey dusky dolphins and the sound-scattering layer in winter 2002, in Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand. Visual observations of dolphin surfacings occurred 84% of the time that dolphins were acoustically detected, confirming identifications from the acoustic data. Dusky dolphins were within the layer at 2000 h (about 1.5 h after dusk), within 125 m of the surface. As the layer rose to within 30 m of the surface at 0100 h, the observed depth of dolphins decreased presumably as the dolphins followed the vertical migration of their prey. The mean depth of dolphins was within the scattering layer except when the top of the layer was deeper than 125 m. Dusky dolphins often forage within large groups. Acoustically identified subgroups of coordinated animals ranged from 1 to 5 dolphins. Subgroup size varied with time of night, minimum depth of the scattering layer, and the variance of the food resource. The largest subgroups occurred when the scattering layer was closest to the surface, and when the layer was most heterogeneous. Time, depth of layer, and layer variance contributed significantly to predicting foraging dusky dolphin subgroup size.

  4. Trace elements, PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in New Zealand common dolphins (Delphinus sp.)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stockin, K.A. [Coastal-Marine Research Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Private Bag 102 904, North Shore MSC (New Zealand)], E-mail: k.a.stockin@massey.ac.nz; Law, R.J. [The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Cefas Burnham Laboratory, Remembrance Avenue, Burnham on Crouch, Essex CM0 8HA (United Kingdom); Duignan, P.J.; Jones, G.W. [New Zealand Wildlife Centre, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North (New Zealand); Porter, L. [AgriQuality Limited, PO Box 31 242, Lower Hutt (New Zealand); Mirimin, L. [University College Cork, Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science, North Mall, Distillery Fields, Cork (Ireland); Meynier, L. [New Zealand Wildlife Centre, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North (New Zealand); Orams, M.B. [Coastal-Marine Research Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Private Bag 102 904, North Shore MSC (New Zealand)

    2007-11-15

    Trace elements, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine (OC) pesticide levels were determined in tissues collected from stranded and bycaught common dolphins (Delphinus sp.) from New Zealand waters between 1999 and 2005. The concentrations of mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), chromium (Cr), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), tin (Sn), lead (Pb), arsenic (As) and silver (Ag) were determined in blubber, liver and kidney tissue. PCBs (45 congeners) and a range of OC pesticides including dieldrin, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites DDE and DDD were determined in blubber samples. Cr and Ni were not detected in any of the samples and concentrations of Co, Sn and Pb were generally low. Concentrations of Hg ranged from 0.17 to 110 mg/kg wet weight. Organochlorine pesticides dieldrin, HCB, o,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE were present at the highest concentrations. Sum DDT concentrations in the blubber ranged from 17 to 337 and 654 to 4430 {mu}g/kg wet weight in females and males, respectively. Similarly, {sigma}45CB concentrations ranged from 49 to 386 and 268 to 1634 {mu}g/kg wet weight in females and males, respectively. The mean transmission of {sigma}DDTs and ICES7CBs between a genetically determined mother-offspring pair was calculated at 46% and 42%, respectively. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides determined in the present study are within similar range to those reported for Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhyncus hectori) from inshore New Zealand waters.

  5. Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, C.

    2011-01-01

    "Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal t

  6. Assistive Technology and Dolphin Therapy: A Wonderful Combination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Eli; Thomasson, Gretchen

    2008-01-01

    Madison is a four-year-old child who was born with cerebral palsy and cortical vision impairment. As a result, she has limited use of her extremities and is just starting to walk with assistance. She is predominately non-verbal, with the exception of a few words. This article describes how Island Dolphin Care (IDC), a nonprofit agency in Key…

  7. Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, C.

    2011-01-01

    "Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal

  8. Identification and Expression Profiles of microRNA in Dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segawa, Takao; Kobayashi, Yuki; Inamoto, Satoko; Suzuki, Miwa; Endoh, Tomoko; Itou, Takuya

    2016-02-01

    Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) are focused on the role of biomarker because they are stable in serum and plasma, and some of them express in the specific organs and increase with the organ injury. Thus miRNAs may be very useful as biomarkers for monitoring the health and condition of dolphins and for detecting disorders in aquariums. Here, a small RNA library was made from dolphin lung, liver and spleen, and miRNA expression patterns were then determined for 15 different tissues. We identified 62 conserved miRNA homologs in the dolphin small RNA library and found high expression miRNAs in specific tissues: miR-125b and miR-221 were highly expressed in brain, miR-23b in heart, miR-199a and miR-223 in lung, and miR-122-5p in liver. Some of these tissue-enriched miRNAs may be useful as specific and sensitive diagnostic blood biomarkers for organ injury in dolphins.

  9. Placentation in dolphins from the Amazon River Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  10. Dolphins and African apes: comparisons of sympatric socio-ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bearzi, M.; Stanford, C.B.

    2007-01-01

    Dolphins and African apes are distantly related mammalian taxa that exhibit striking convergences in their socioecology. In both cetaceans and African apes, two or more closely related species sometimes occur in sympatry. However, detailed reviews of the ways in which sympatric associations of dolph

  11. Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, C.

    2011-01-01

    "Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal t

  12. Characterization of morbilliviruses isolated from dolphins and porpoises in Europe.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); M.F. van Bressem; R.L. de Swart (Rik); M.W.G. van de Bildt (Marco); H.W. Vos (Helma); R.W.J. van der Heijden (Roger); J.T. Saliki; C. Örvell; P. Kitching; T. Kuiken (Thijs); T. Barrett (Thomas)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractA previously unidentified morbillivirus was isolated from two harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) that had died in the Dutch Waddensea (North Sea) in 1990. This porpoise morbillivirus (PMV) and a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV), which had recently caused a heavy mortality in Mediterranean

  13. Characterization of morbilliviruses isolated from dolphins and porpoises in Europe.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); M.F. van Bressem; R.L. de Swart (Rik); M.W.G. van de Bildt (Marco); H.W. Vos (Helma); R.W.J. van der Heijden (Roger); J.T. Saliki; C. Örvell; P. Kitching; T. Kuiken (Thijs); T. Barrett (Thomas)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractA previously unidentified morbillivirus was isolated from two harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) that had died in the Dutch Waddensea (North Sea) in 1990. This porpoise morbillivirus (PMV) and a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV), which had recently caused a heavy mortality in Mediterranean

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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 repr

  16. Long-term responses of Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis to swim-with dolphin tourism in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia: A population at risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole E. Filby

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated Burrunan dolphin responses to dolphin-swim tour vessels across two time periods: 1998–2000 and 2011–2013. A total of 211 dolphin sightings were documented across 306 surveys. Sighting success rate and mean encounter time with dolphins decreased significantly by 12.8% and 8.2 min, respectively, between periods. Approaches that did not contravene regulations elicited highest approach responses by dolphins towards tour vessels, whereas dolphins’ responded to illegal approaches most frequently with avoidance. Small groups responded to tour vessels with avoidance significantly more than large groups. Initial dolphin behaviour had a strong effect on dolphin’s responses to tour vessels, with resting groups the most likely to exhibit avoidance. Calves were significantly more likely to be present during swims in 2011–2013. Dolphin’s responses to tour vessels changed across time, with effect responses (avoidance and approach increasing significantly as dolphins gained cumulative experience. These dolphins are forced to expend a greater level of time and energy avoiding or approaching boats, shifting from a non-effect response to an effect response. Consequences of this include possible decrease in biological fitness by detracting from core biological activities such as foraging and resting. Combined with a decrease in sighting success between periods, the results imply that this population of dolphins, which is endemic to Australia and listed as threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, may not be well suited to the dolphin-swim industry. The management implications of these results warrant a shift from passive to active management in Port Phillip Bay. The importance of long-term research is highlighted, given behavioural responses detected herein would be undetected in short-term studies.

  17. [Contact with dolphins as a method of rehabilitation of children with enuresis at health resorts].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukina, L N

    2001-01-01

    The system of non-drug correction of the functional status of children with enuresis was studied by using specially trained dolphins. Guidelines and the functional units of a health-promoting complex were elaborated. The use of dolphin therapy caused a positive clinical effect in the examinees, particularly in preschool children, the efficiency of whose rehabilitation was twice higher than that in children from other age groups. The findings strongly favour the specific nature of conditioning procedures involving dolphins.

  18. The Effect of Touching a Dolphin on the EEG Slow Waves hi Children

    OpenAIRE

    HOMMA Ayako:筆頭著者; Hara, Hideki; MATSUZAKI Kumiko; SASAKI Miki; MASAOKA Yuri; Homma, Ikuo

    2011-01-01

    Among animal-facilitated therapies, dolphin-facilitated therapy has been shown to beneficially affect human behavior, emotion and speech ability. We recently showed that touching a dolphin reduced the respiratory rate and state anxiety in healthy children. In this study, we collected electroencephalographic data (EEG), widely used for examining various brain functions, before and after touching dolphins. We examined the relationship between EEG power spectra and individual trait anxiety score...

  19. Pesca associada entre golfinhos e aves marinhas Feeding associations between dolphin and sea birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Along ten years of study of a common dolphin from the brazilian coast, Sotalia brasiliensis Van Beneden, 1874, I could see some occasions of feeding associations of this dolphin with five species of birds, Sula leucogaster (Boddaert, 1783, Fregata magnificens Mathews, 1914, Sterna hirundinacea Lesson, 1831, Larus dominicanus Lichtenstein, 1823 and Phalacrocorax olivaceus Humboldt, 1895. The commonest association observed was between the dolphin and S. leucogaster, and in all the associations was characterized the commensalism, with advantaged to the birds.

  20. 海豚Prion基因的克隆与序列分析%Cloning and sequence analysis of the prion gene of bottlenose dolphins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙艳明; 赵德明; 孟丽平; 崔亚利; 吴长德; 杨建民; 周向梅

    2007-01-01

    动物海绵状脑病是一种动物中枢神经系统发生的一系列致命性神经退行性变化的疾病,包括人的新型变异型克雅氏病(v-CJD)、库鲁病(Kuru)等,动物的羊痒病(Scrapie)、牛海绵状脑病(BSE)、鹿慢性消耗性疾病(CWD)等多种疾病。 Prusiner教授提出,该类疾病的感染因子是一种不含有核酸的淀粉样蛋白颗粒,并命名为Prions(Proteinaceous infectious particles)。目前的研究表明,朊蛋白疾病的传播是由于哺乳动物食用了含有Prion蛋白感染因子的饲料而导致发病,如牛食用了含有痒病因子的肉骨粉发生疯牛病。然而,痒病致病因子只能传染给牛,不能传染给人类;但是经过中间宿主牛以后,该致病因子便可以传染给人类。对于这种现象的产生目前还不明确,有专家指出可能与Prion蛋白不同株系基因序列的变化有关。因此对动物海绵状脑病种间屏障的研究具有重要的意义。

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    reproductive, and thyroid hormones, as well as indicators of functional immunity (e.g., lymphocyte proliferation, neutrophil and monocyte...characterization of stress and stressors, provides unique opportunities to address questions related to stress. Serum hormones (cortisol, aldosterone, thyroid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    Gompertz, and Von Bertalanffy structures. Deviance information criterion (DIC), a Bayesian analog to Akaike information criterion , was used to assess...0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing...instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information . Send

  3. Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    to provide more meaningful information for science and management; and (d) strategized about proposals for extending the research using an improved...Metabolomics Society, 1-4 July, Glasgow, Scotland, UK; and (b) 7th Journées Scientifiques du Réseau Français de Métabolomique et Fluxomique, 10-12 June, Amiens...ACCEPTED AS A POSTER PRESENTAION AT THE 7th JOURNÉES SCIENTIFIQUES DU RÉSEAU FRANÇAIS DE MÉTABOLOMIQUE ET FLUXOMIQUE, 10-12 JUNE, AMIENS, FRANCE

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Simulations of dolphin kick swimming using smoothed particle hydrodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Raymond C Z; Cleary, Paul W; Mason, Bruce R

    2012-06-01

    In competitive human swimming the submerged dolphin kick stroke (underwater undulatory swimming) is utilized after dives and turns. The optimal dolphin kick has a balance between minimizing drag and maximizing thrust while also minimizing the physical exertion required of the swimmer. In this study laser scans of athletes are used to provide realistic swimmer geometries in a single anatomical pose. These are rigged and animated to closely match side-on video footage. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) fluid simulations are performed to evaluate variants of this swimming stroke technique. This computational approach provides full temporal and spatial information about the flow moving around the deforming swimmer model. The effects of changes in ankle flexibility and stroke frequency are investigated through a parametric study. The results suggest that the net streamwise force on the swimmer is relatively insensitive to ankle flexibility but is strongly dependent on kick frequency.

  6. Propulsive efficiency of the underwater dolphin kick in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Loebbecke, Alfred; Mittal, Rajat; Fish, Frank; Mark, Russell

    2009-05-01

    Three-dimensional fully unsteady computational fluid dynamic simulations of five Olympic-level swimmers performing the underwater dolphin kick are used to estimate the swimmer's propulsive efficiencies. These estimates are compared with those of a cetacean performing the dolphin kick. The geometries of the swimmers and the cetacean are based on laser and CT scans, respectively, and the stroke kinematics is based on underwater video footage. The simulations indicate that the propulsive efficiency for human swimmers varies over a relatively wide range from about 11% to 29%. The efficiency of the cetacean is found to be about 56%, which is significantly higher than the human swimmers. The computed efficiency is found not to correlate with either the slender body theory or with the Strouhal number.

  7. Habitat use by a freshwater dolphin in the low-water season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braulik, Gill T.; Reichert, Albert P.; Ehsan, Tahir; Khan, Samiullah; Northridge, Simon P.; Alexander, Jason S.; Garstang, Richard

    2012-01-01

    1. Many river dolphin populations are most vulnerable during the low-water season when habitat is limited. Indus River dolphin habitat selection in the dry season was investigated using Generalized Linear Models of dolphin distribution and abundance in relation to physical features of river geomorphology and channel geometry in cross-section. 2. Dolphins selected locations in the river with significantly greater mean depth, maximum depth, cross-sectional area, and hydraulic radius, and significantly narrower river width and a lower degree of braiding than areas where dolphins were absent. They were also recorded with higher frequency at river constrictions and at confluences. 3. Channel cross-sectional area was the most important factor affecting dolphin presence and abundance, with the area of water below 1 m in depth exerting the greatest influence. Indus dolphins avoided channels with small cross-sectional area (2), presumably owing to the risk of entrapment and reduced foraging opportunities. 4. Channel geometry had a greater ability to explain dolphin distribution than river geomorphology; however, both analyses indicated similar types of habitat selection. The dolphin–habitat relationships identified in the river geomorphology analysis were scale-dependent, indicating that dolphin distribution is driven by the occurrence of discrete small-scale features, such as confluences and constrictions, as well as by broader-scale habitat complexes. 5. There are numerous plans to impound or extract more water from the Indus River system. If low-water season flows are allowed to decrease further, the amount of deeper habitat will decline, there may be insufficient patches of suitable habitat to support the dolphin population through the low-water season, and dolphins may become isolated within deeper river sections, unable or unwilling to traverse through shallows between favourable patches of habitat.

  8. Stomach Content of a Juvenile Bolivian River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis) from the Upper Madeira Basin, Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aliaga-Rossel, E.; Beerman, A.S.; Sarmiento, J.

    2010-01-01

    The article presents a study about the stomach content of a juvenile Bolivian river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis), an endemic subspecies of the Amazon River dolphin, found in the upper Madeira River basin in Bolivia. The study finds that the stomach of Bolivian river dolphin contained a mix

  9. Stomach Content of a Juvenile Bolivian River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis) from the Upper Madeira Basin, Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aliaga-Rossel, E.; Beerman, A.S.; Sarmiento, J.

    2010-01-01

    The article presents a study about the stomach content of a juvenile Bolivian river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis), an endemic subspecies of the Amazon River dolphin, found in the upper Madeira River basin in Bolivia. The study finds that the stomach of Bolivian river dolphin contained a

  10. First record of an anomalously colored franciscana dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARTA J. CREMER

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available On October 2011, a newborn franciscana dolphin with an anomalously coloration was sighted in Babitonga Bay, southern Brazil. The calf was totally white. Besides the potential mother and newborn, the group also had the presence of another adult, who always was swimming behind the pair. Both adults had the typical coloration of the species, with the back in grayish brown. The group, composed by the white franciscana calf, his pontential mother and one more adult, was reported in five occasions. The group was always in the same area where it was first recorded and showed the same position during swimming. Between first and last sighting of the white calf (113 days the color has not changed. This is the first case of a white franciscana dolphin. This coloration has never been reported despite the high number of dead franciscanas recovered each year along the distribution of the species, resulting from accidental capture in fishing nets. This fact leads us to believe that this is a very rare characteristic for this species. We considered the possibility that this franciscana could be an albino dolphin.

  11. Risso's dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, Fleur; Hartman, Karin L.; Rood, Ente J. J.; Hendriks, Arthur J. E.; Zult, Daan B.; Wolff, Wim J.; Huisman, Jef; Pierce, Graham J.

    2011-01-01

    P>Behavioral responses of Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a c

  12. Risso’s dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Visser; K.L. Hartman; E.J.J. Rood; A.J.E. Hendriks; D.B. Zult; W.J. Wolff; J. Huisman; G.J. Pierce

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral responses of Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a cle

  13. The spatial context of free-ranging Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) producing acoustic signals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammers, MO; Schotten, M; Au, WWL

    2006-01-01

    To improve our understanding of how dolphins use acoustic signals in the wild, a three-hydrophone towed array was used to investigate the spatial occurrence of Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) relative to each other as they produced whistles, burst pulses, and echolocation clicks. G

  14. Dolphin Morbillivirus in a Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in Denmark, 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jo, Wendy K.; Grilo, Miguel L.; Wohlsein, Peter

    2017-01-01

    We studied the etiology of encephalitis in a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that stranded in 2016 on the coast of Denmark. Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) was detected in the brain and other organs. Phylogenetics showed close relation to DMV isolated from a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba...

  15. First record of Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei for the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, R.H.; Buurt, van G.; Debrot, A.O.; Bermudez-Villapol, L.A.; Simal, F.

    2012-01-01

    A dead dolphin found on Bonaire in August 2011 is identified as adult Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei, a new species for the Dutch Caribbean. A first closer examination showed a collapsed lung, stomach parasite infection and abundant mouth ulceration as indications of its health status. The

  16. First record of Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei for the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, R.H.; Buurt, van G.; Debrot, A.O.; Bermudez-Villapol, L.A.; Simal, F.

    2012-01-01

    A dead dolphin found on Bonaire in August 2011 is identified as adult Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei, a new species for the Dutch Caribbean. A first closer examination showed a collapsed lung, stomach parasite infection and abundant mouth ulceration as indications of its health status. The ani

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    During 2011–2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006–2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales. PMID:26812485

  18. Dolphin underwater bait-balling behaviors in relation to group and prey ball sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn-Hirshorn, Robin L; Muzi, Elisa; Richardson, Jessica L; Fox, Gabriella J; Hansen, Lauren N; Salley, Alyce M; Dudzinski, Kathleen M; Würsig, Bernd

    2013-09-01

    We characterized dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) feeding behaviors recorded on underwater video, and related behaviors to variation in prey ball sizes, dolphin group sizes, and study site (Argentina versus New Zealand, NZ). Herding behaviors most often involved dolphins swimming around the side or under prey balls, but dolphins in Argentina more often swam under prey balls (48% of passes) than did dolphins in NZ (34% of passes). This result may have been due to differences in group sizes between sites, since groups are larger in Argentina. Additionally, in NZ, group size was positively correlated with proportion of passes that occurred under prey balls (pdolphins in Argentina more often swam through prey balls (8% of attempts) than did dolphins in NZ (4% of attempts). This result may have been due to differences in prey ball sizes between sites, since dolphins fed on larger prey balls in Argentina (>74m(2)) than in NZ (maximum 33m(2)). Additionally, in NZ, dolphins were more likely to swim through prey balls to capture fish when they fed on larger prey balls (p=0.025).

  19. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Lesley H; Johnston, David W; Urban, Dean L; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H; Deakos, Mark H; Mobley, Joseph R; Pack, Adam A; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.

  20. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley H Thorne

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.

  1. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy for Children with Special Needs: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilts, Rachel; Trompisch, Norbert; Bergquist, Timothy M.

    2011-01-01

    Dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT), as a part of animal-assisted therapy and complementary and alternative medicine, yields several positive results. This study intended to add to DAT effectiveness research while using a standardized assessment. In the Ukraine, a DAT program called DolphinSwim agreed to take part in research with 37 voluntary…

  2. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy as a Verbal Operant Condition for Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrasi, Renee Marie

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the effects of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy (DAT) as a reinforcer for verbal operant production in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Three children who attended a dolphin therapy program participated in this single subject research study. Baseline data was collected for each child via a video tape provided by parents and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  4. Molecular assessment of mating strategies in a population of Atlantic spotted dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L Green

    Full Text Available Similar to other small cetacean species, Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis have been the object of concentrated behavioral study. Although mating and courtship behaviors occur often and the social structure of the population is well-studied, the genetic mating system of the species is unknown. To assess the genetic mating system, we genotyped females and their progeny at ten microsatellite loci. Genotype analysis provided estimates of the minimum number of male sires necessary to account for the allelic diversity observed among the progeny. Using the estimates of male sires, we determined whether females mated with the same or different males during independent estrus events. Using Gerud2.0, a minimum of two males was necessary to account for the genetic variation seen among progeny arrays of all tested females. ML-Relate assigned the most likely relationship between offspring pairs; half or full sibling. Relationship analysis supported the conservative male estimates of Gerud2.0 but in some cases, half or full sibling relationships between offspring could not be fully resolved. Integrating the results from Gerud2.0, ML-Relate with previous observational and paternity data, we constructed two-, three-, and four-male pedigree models for each genotyped female. Because increased genetic diversity of offspring may explain multi-male mating, we assessed the internal genetic relatedness of each offspring's genotype to determine whether parent pairs of offspring were closely related. We found varying levels of internal relatedness ranging from unrelated to closely related (range -0.136-0.321. Because there are several hypothesized explanations for multi-male mating, we assessed our data to determine the most plausible explanation for multi-male mating in our study system. Our study indicated females may benefit from mating with multiple males by passing genes for long-term viability to their young.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Mother-Offspring Signature Whistle Similarity and Patterns of Association in Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara E. Bebus

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the degree of similarity between signature whistles of mother and offspring pairs in free-living Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis. As a means of qualitative evaluation, judges compared the time-frequency contour patterns of signature whistle spectrograms. We also evaluated quantitative measurements of whistle frequency and duration. All five female offspring produced signature whistles that were similar to their mothers’ whistles by a least one means of comparison, whereas two of the four male offspring produced signature whistles that were dissimilar from their mothers’ by both methods of comparison. However, statistically, male offspring were just as likely to produce signature whistles like their mothers’ as female offspring (p = 0.167. We compared whistle similarity between mothers and offspring to the degree of association for each pair. Offspring that most often associated with their mothers when they were four years of age had whistles that were more similar to their mothers’ whistles both qualitatively (r(4 = 0.92, p = 0.009 and quantitatively (r(4 = 0.92, p = 0.004. Because signature whistles are developed within a dolphin’s first year, our finding likely reflects the level of bond between mother and calf.

  8. Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis bycatch in New Zealand commercial trawl fisheries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finlay N Thompson

    Full Text Available Marine mammals are regularly reported as bycatch in commercial and artisanal fisheries, but data are often insufficient to allow assessment of these incidental mortalities. Observer coverage of the mackerel trawl fishery in New Zealand waters between 1995 and 2011 allowed evaluation of common dolphin Delphinus delphis bycatch on the North Island west coast, where this species is the most frequently caught cetacean. Observer data were used to develop a statistical model to estimate total captures and explore covariates related to captures. A two-stage Bayesian hurdle model was used, with a logistic generalised linear model predicting whether any common dolphin captures occurred on a given tow of the net, and a zero-truncated Poisson distribution to estimate the number of dolphin captures, given that there was a capture event. Over the 16-year study period, there were 119 common dolphin captures reported on 4299 observed tows. Capture events frequently involved more than one individual, with a maximum of nine common dolphin observed caught in a single tow. There was a peak of 141 estimated common dolphin captures (95% c.i.: 56 to 276; 6.27 captures per 100 tows in 2002-03, following the marked expansion in annual effort in this fishery to over 2000 tows. Subsequently, the number of captures fluctuated although fishing effort remained relatively high. Of the observed capture events, 60% were during trawls where the top of the net (headline was <40 m below the surface, and the model determined that this covariate best explained common dolphin captures. Increasing headline depth by 21 m would halve the probability of a dolphin capture event on a tow. While lack of abundance data prevents assessment of the impact of these mortalities on the local common dolphin population, a clear recommendation from this study is the increasing of headline depth to reduce common dolphin captures.

  9. Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) bycatch in New Zealand commercial trawl fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Finlay N; Abraham, Edward R; Berkenbusch, Katrin

    2013-01-01

    Marine mammals are regularly reported as bycatch in commercial and artisanal fisheries, but data are often insufficient to allow assessment of these incidental mortalities. Observer coverage of the mackerel trawl fishery in New Zealand waters between 1995 and 2011 allowed evaluation of common dolphin Delphinus delphis bycatch on the North Island west coast, where this species is the most frequently caught cetacean. Observer data were used to develop a statistical model to estimate total captures and explore covariates related to captures. A two-stage Bayesian hurdle model was used, with a logistic generalised linear model predicting whether any common dolphin captures occurred on a given tow of the net, and a zero-truncated Poisson distribution to estimate the number of dolphin captures, given that there was a capture event. Over the 16-year study period, there were 119 common dolphin captures reported on 4299 observed tows. Capture events frequently involved more than one individual, with a maximum of nine common dolphin observed caught in a single tow. There was a peak of 141 estimated common dolphin captures (95% c.i.: 56 to 276; 6.27 captures per 100 tows) in 2002-03, following the marked expansion in annual effort in this fishery to over 2000 tows. Subsequently, the number of captures fluctuated although fishing effort remained relatively high. Of the observed capture events, 60% were during trawls where the top of the net (headline) was dolphin captures. Increasing headline depth by 21 m would halve the probability of a dolphin capture event on a tow. While lack of abundance data prevents assessment of the impact of these mortalities on the local common dolphin population, a clear recommendation from this study is the increasing of headline depth to reduce common dolphin captures.

  10. Environmental Niche Overlap between Common and Dusky Dolphins in North Patagonia, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svendsen, Guillermo Martín; Romero, María Alejandra; Williams, Gabriela Noemí; Gagliardini, Domingo Antonio; Crespo, Enrique Alberto; Dans, Silvana Laura; González, Raúl Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Research on the ecology of sympatric dolphins has increased worldwide in recent decades. However, many dolphin associations such as that between common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) are poorly understood. The present study was conducted in the San Matías Gulf (SMG) ecosystem (North Patagonia, Argentina) where a high diet overlap among both species was found. The main objective of the present work was to explore the niche overlap of common and dusky dolphins in the habitat and temporal dimensions. The specific aims were (a) to evaluate the habitat use strategies of both species through a comparison of their group attributes (social composition, size and activity), and (b) to evaluate their habitat preferences and habitat overlap through Environmental Niche modeling considering two oceanographic seasons. To accomplish these aims, we used a historic database of opportunistic and systematic records collected from 1983 to 2011. Common and dusky dolphins exhibited similar patterns of group size (from less than 10 to more than 100 individuals), activity (both species use the area to feed, nurse, and copulate), and composition (adults, juveniles, and mothers with calves were observed for both species). Also, both species were observed travelling and feeding in mixed-species groups. Specific overlap indices were higher for common dolphins than for dusky dolphins, but all indices were low, suggesting that they are mainly segregated in the habitat dimension. In the case of common dolphins, the best habitats were located in the northwest of the gulf far from the coast. In the warm season they prefer areas with temperate sea surface and in the cold season they prefer areas with relatively high variability of sea surface temperature. Meanwhile, dusky dolphins prefer areas with steep slopes close to the coast in the southwestern sector of the gulf in both seasons. PMID:26091542

  11. Environmental Niche Overlap between Common and Dusky Dolphins in North Patagonia, Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Martín Svendsen

    Full Text Available Research on the ecology of sympatric dolphins has increased worldwide in recent decades. However, many dolphin associations such as that between common dolphins (Delphinus delphis and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus are poorly understood. The present study was conducted in the San Matías Gulf (SMG ecosystem (North Patagonia, Argentina where a high diet overlap among both species was found. The main objective of the present work was to explore the niche overlap of common and dusky dolphins in the habitat and temporal dimensions. The specific aims were (a to evaluate the habitat use strategies of both species through a comparison of their group attributes (social composition, size and activity, and (b to evaluate their habitat preferences and habitat overlap through Environmental Niche modeling considering two oceanographic seasons. To accomplish these aims, we used a historic database of opportunistic and systematic records collected from 1983 to 2011. Common and dusky dolphins exhibited similar patterns of group size (from less than 10 to more than 100 individuals, activity (both species use the area to feed, nurse, and copulate, and composition (adults, juveniles, and mothers with calves were observed for both species. Also, both species were observed travelling and feeding in mixed-species groups. Specific overlap indices were higher for common dolphins than for dusky dolphins, but all indices were low, suggesting that they are mainly segregated in the habitat dimension. In the case of common dolphins, the best habitats were located in the northwest of the gulf far from the coast. In the warm season they prefer areas with temperate sea surface and in the cold season they prefer areas with relatively high variability of sea surface temperature. Meanwhile, dusky dolphins prefer areas with steep slopes close to the coast in the southwestern sector of the gulf in both seasons.

  12. Organohalogen contaminants and metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and cerebellum gray matter in short-beaked common dolphins and Atlantic white-sided dolphins from the western North Atlantic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montie, Eric W., E-mail: emontie@marine.usf.ed [Departments of Biology (EWM and MEH) and Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (CMR), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States); Reddy, Christopher M. [Departments of Biology (EWM and MEH) and Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (CMR), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States); Gebbink, Wouter A. [Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OH3 (Canada); Touhey, Katie E. [Cape Cod Stranding Network, Buzzards Bay, MA 02542 (United States); Hahn, Mark E. [Departments of Biology (EWM and MEH) and Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (CMR), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States); Letcher, Robert J. [Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OH3 (Canada)

    2009-08-15

    Concentrations of several congeners and classes of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and/or their metabolites, namely organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hydroxylated-PCBs (OH-PCBs), methylsulfonyl-PCBs (MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants, and OH-PBDEs, were measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of short-beaked common dolphins (n = 2), Atlantic white-sided dolphins (n = 8), and gray seal (n = 1) from the western North Atlantic. In three Atlantic white-sided dolphins, cerebellum gray matter (GM) was also analyzed. The levels of OCs, PCBs, MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs, PBDEs, and OH-PBDEs in cerebellum GM were higher than the concentrations in CSF. 4-OH-2,3,3',4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (4-OH-CB107) was the only detectable OH-PCB congener present in CSF. The sum (SIGMA) OH-PCBs/SIGMA PCB concentration ratio in CSF was approximately two to three orders of magnitude greater than the ratio in cerebellum GM for dolphins. - Organohalogens and/or metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and cerebellum gray matter in short-beaked common dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins, and gray seal.

  13. Humpback Dolphins of Western Australia: A Review of Current Knowledge and Recommendations for Future Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. First record of Pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata in the Yellow Sea, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Fuxing; Wang, Xianyan; Zhang, Qiuxia; Miao, Xing; Zhang, Ting; Zhu, Qian

    2015-07-01

    On October 1, 2009, sixteen dolphins were obtained from fishermen by incidental catching in the Yellow Sea, China. As the dolphins' skin color was ambiguous, morphological parameters were measured, and mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene sequence was studied to identify the species. Morphological characteristics were consistent with Pantropical spotted dolphins, Stenella attenuata. Furthermore, a partial mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene sequence as long as 328-bp was studied by extracting genomic DNA from the skins, and six haplotypes were detected in the sixteen dolphins. By comparing homologous sequences available in GenBank (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), all the six haplotypes had maximal genetic similarity with Pantropical spotted dolphin. Eight species of cetacean (whales and dolphins) are now recognised in the Yellow Sea. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of Pantropical spotted dolphins from this region. Despite this species being listed as a Grade II National Key Protected Animal since 1988, little is known of its biology in Chinese waters. We recommend remedial research be undertaken to ensure appropriate management.

  15. Observations on Australian Humpback Dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) in Waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, Isabel; Jedensjö, Maria; Wijaya, Gede Mahendra; Anamiato, Jim; Kahn, Benjamin; Kreb, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    The Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis, has recently been described to occur in northern Australian coastal waters. However, its distribution in adjacent waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea remains largely unknown. Although there have been few studies conducted on inshore dolphins in these regions, the available information records humpback dolphins primarily from the Kikori Delta in Papua New Guinea, and Bird's Head Seascape in West Papua. Research in southern Papua New Guinea indicates that humpback dolphins are indeed S. sahulensis, based on cranial and external morphometrics, external colouration and the preliminary genetic analysis presented here. A similar situation exists for the Australian snubfin dolphin, Orcaella heinsohni, where it is assumed that the species also occurs along the Sahul Shelf coastal waters of northern Australia and New Guinea. There are anecdotal reports of direct catch of Australian humpback dolphins for use as shark bait, coastal development is increasing, and anthropogenic impacts will continue to escalate as human populations expand into previously uninhabited regions. Future research and management priorities for the Governments of the Pacific Islands and Indonesia will need to focus on inshore dolphins in known regional hotspots, as current bycatch levels appear unsustainable.

  16. Tidal and seasonal influences in dolphin habitat use in a southern Brazilian estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Lopes Paitach

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study we describe how franciscana and Guiana dolphin habitat use is influenced by tidal cycles and seasonality in Babitonga Bay. The franciscanas use a greater area in winter and a smaller area in summer, but the extent of the area used did not vary with the tide. Guiana dolphins did not change the extent of the area used within seasons or tides. Franciscanas remained closer to the mouth of the bay and the islands during ebb tide, moving to the inner bay areas and closer to the mainland coast during flood tide. Guiana dolphin used areas closer to the mainland coast during the flood tide. Guiana dolphin patterns of movement do not seem to be related to the tidal current. Franciscanas used sandier areas while Guiana dolphins preferred muddy areas, with some seasonal variation. We suggest that these dolphins modify their distributions based on habitat accessibility and prey availability. This study enhances our knowledge of critical habitat characteristics for franciscana and Guiana dolphins, and these factors should be considered when planning local human activities targeting species conservation.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-09

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern.

  19. Interaural intensity and latency difference in the dolphin's auditory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, V V; Supin AYa

    1991-12-09

    Binaural hearing mechanisms were measured in dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) by recording the auditory nerve evoked response from the body surface. The azimuthal position of a sound source at 10-15 degrees from the longitudinal axis elicited interaural intensity disparity up to 20 dB and interaural latency difference as large as 250 microseconds. The latter was many times greater than the acoustical interaural time delay. This latency difference seems to be caused by the intensity disparity. The latency difference seems to be an effective way of coding of intensity disparity.

  20. Organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in Irrawaddy dolphins from India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannan, K; Ramu, K; Kajiwara, N; Sinha, R K; Tanabe, S

    2005-10-01

    The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) is at risk of extinction throughout its range as a result of incidental catches, habitat degradation, and pollution. Populations of Irrawaddy dolphins are constrained by the species' narrow habitat requirement-lagoons, estuaries, rivers, and lakes-and are therefore particularly vulnerable to the effects of human activities. In this study, for the first time, concentrations of organochlorine (OC) pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were determined in tissues of Irrawaddy dolphins collected from Chilika Lake, India, to understand the status of contamination. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs) were the predominant contaminants found in Irrawaddy dolphins; the highest concentration found was 10,000 ng/g lipid weight in blubber. Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) were the second most prevalent contaminants in dolphin tissues. Concentrations of PCBs, chlordanes, hexachlorobenzene, tris(4-chlorophenyl)methane, and tris(4-chlorophenyl)methanol were in the ranges of few ng/g to few hundreds of ng/g on a lipid-weight basis. In general, concentrations of OC pesticides and PCBs in Irrawaddy dolphins were lower than the concentrations reported for coastal and riverine dolphins collected in Asia. PBDEs were detected in the blubber of Irrawaddy dolphins at concentrations ranging from 0.98 to 18 ng/g lipid weight. BDE congener 47 accounted for 60% to 75% of the total PBDE concentrations. Although these results establish the baseline levels of persistent organic pollutants in Irrawaddy dolphins, efforts should be made to decrease the sources of contamination by DDTs and HCHs in Chilika Lake.

  1. Pulmonary angiomatosis and hemangioma in common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) stranded in Canary Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Delgado, Josué; Arbelo, Manuel; Sacchini, Simona; Quesada-Canales, Óscar; Andrada, Marisa; Rivero, Miguel; Fernández, Antonio

    2012-08-01

    Vascular tumors and disorders, like angiomatosis, are rarely described in cetacean species. A retrospective histological study was carried out on lung samples from 35 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) stranded in the Canary Islands coasts looking for morphological vascular changes and likely related causes. Twenty-five out of thirty-five (71%) common dolphins showed focal or multifocal angiomatosis-like lesions. A high association between this type of vascular proliferation and parasitic infestation was observed. In addition, a single pulmonary cavernous hemangioma not previously reported in common dolphins is presented.

  2. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson’s and Peale’s Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. OpenDolphin: presentation models for compelling user interfaces

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva

    2014-01-01

    Shared applications run on the server. They still need a display, though, be it on the web or on the desktop. OpenDolphin introduces a shared presentation model to clearly differentiate between "what" to display and "how" to display. The "what" is managed on the server and is independent of the UI technology whereas