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Sample records for pinnipeds

  1. Spatial auditory processing in pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Marla M.

    Given the biological importance of sound for a variety of activities, pinnipeds must be able to obtain spatial information about their surroundings thorough acoustic input in the absence of other sensory cues. The three chapters of this dissertation address spatial auditory processing capabilities of pinnipeds in air given that these amphibious animals use acoustic signals for reproduction and survival on land. Two chapters are comparative lab-based studies that utilized psychophysical approaches conducted in an acoustic chamber. Chapter 1 addressed the frequency-dependent sound localization abilities at azimuth of three pinniped species (the harbor seal, Phoca vitulina, the California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, and the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris). While performances of the sea lion and harbor seal were consistent with the duplex theory of sound localization, the elephant seal, a low-frequency hearing specialist, showed a decreased ability to localize the highest frequencies tested. In Chapter 2 spatial release from masking (SRM), which occurs when a signal and masker are spatially separated resulting in improvement in signal detectability relative to conditions in which they are co-located, was determined in a harbor seal and sea lion. Absolute and masked thresholds were measured at three frequencies and azimuths to determine the detection advantages afforded by this type of spatial auditory processing. Results showed that hearing sensitivity was enhanced by up to 19 and 12 dB in the harbor seal and sea lion, respectively, when the signal and masker were spatially separated. Chapter 3 was a field-based study that quantified both sender and receiver variables of the directional properties of male northern elephant seal calls produce within communication system that serves to delineate dominance status. This included measuring call directivity patterns, observing male-male vocally-mediated interactions, and an acoustic playback study

  2. Surgical procedures in pinniped and cetacean species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Jennifer L; Hendrickson, Dean A

    2013-12-01

    Significant advances in veterinary diagnostic and surgical techniques have been made over the past several decades. Many of these advances, however, have not reached the field of marine mammal medicine. A number of limitations exist: risks of anesthesia, anatomical challenges, difficulties with wound closure, environmental constraints, equipment limitations, and perceived risks. Despite these limitations, surgical treatments have been successfully utilized in marine mammals. While surgery is performed in pinnipeds more frequently than in cetaceans, studies conducted in the 1960s and 1970s on dolphin sleep and hearing demonstrated that general anesthesia can be successfully induced in cetaceans. Since this pioneering work, a small number of successful surgeries have been performed in dolphins under both general anesthesia and heavy sedation. While these surgical procedures in pinnipeds and cetaceans have typically been limited to wound management, dentistry, ophthalmic procedures, fracture repair, and superficial biopsy, a number of abdominal surgeries have also been performed. Recently there have been pioneering successes in the application of minimally invasive surgery in marine mammals. Many of the anatomical challenges that almost prohibit traditional laparotomies in cetacean species and present challenges in pinnipeds can be overcome through the use of laparoscopic techniques. Due to the limited number of pinnipeds and cetaceans in captivity and, thus, the limited case load for veterinarians serving marine mammal species, it is vital for knowledge of surgical procedures to be shared among those in the field. This paper reviews case reports of surgical procedures, both traditional and laparoscopic, in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Limitations to performing surgical procedures in marine mammals are discussed and surgical case reports analyzed in an effort to determine challenges that must be overcome in order to make surgery a more feasible diagnostic and treatment

  3. Giardiasis in pinnipeds from eastern Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Measures, L N; Olson, M

    1999-10-01

    Cysts of Giardia sp. were detected in feces from the rectum of 20 of 74 pinnipeds examined from the eastern coast of Canada in 1997 and 1998 using a monoclonal antibody technique. Infected pinnipeds included 15 adult harp seals (Phoca groenlandica), four adult grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), and one juvenile harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). Cysts were not detected in 15 seal pups St. Lawrence. The overall prevalence of Giardia sp. in grey and harbor seals, excluding pups, from the Gulf and St. Lawrence estuary was 23%. Feces from 11 beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) and one northern bottle-nosed whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) stranded in the St. Lawrence estuary were negative for Giardia sp. cysts. The significance of Giardia sp. in marine mammals, shown here for the first time in eastern coastal Canada, is unknown.

  4. Sound localization of aerial broadband noise in pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Marla M.; Schusterman, Ronald J.; Kastak, David; Southall, Brandon L.

    2003-04-01

    Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) emit broadband calls on land as part of their communication system in order to coordinate their reproductive activities. How well do they localize these types of signals? In this study, the aerial sound localization acuities of a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and a northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) were measured in the horizontal plane with a broadband white noise stimulus. Testing was conducted in a hemi-anechoic chamber using a left/right forced choice procedure to measure the minimum audible angle (MAA) for each subject. MAAs were defined as half the angular separation of two sound sources relative to a subject's midline that corresponded to 75% correct discrimination. MAAs were 3.6, 4.2, and 4.7 deg for the harbor seal, California sea lion, and northern elephant seal, respectively. These results demonstrate that these pinniped species had sound localization abilities comparable to the domestic cat and rhesus macaques. The acuity differences between our subjects were small, were not predicted by head size, and therefore likely reflect the relatively acute abilities of other pinniped species to localize aerial broadband signals.

  5. Do White Shark Bites on Surfers Reflect Their Attack Strategies on Pinnipeds?

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    Erich Ritter

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The theory of mistaken identity states that sharks, especially white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, mistake surfers for pinnipeds when looking at them from below and thus bite them erroneously. Photographs of surfer wounds and board damage were interpreted with special emphasis on shark size, wound severity, and extent of damage to a board. These were compared with the concurrent literature on attack strategies of white sharks on pinnipeds and their outcomes. The results show that the majority of damage to surfers and their boards is at best superficial-to-moderate in nature and does not reflect the level of damage needed to immobilize or stun a pinniped. It is further shown that the size distribution of sharks biting surfers differs from that in pinnipeds. The results presented show that the theory of mistaken identity, where white sharks erroneously mistake surfers for pinnipeds, does not hold true and should be rejected.

  6. Fused traditional and geometric morphometrics demonstrate pinniped whisker diversity.

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    Ginter, Carly C; DeWitt, Thomas J; Fish, Frank E; Marshall, Christopher D

    2012-01-01

    Vibrissae (whiskers) are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system, and primarily function as detectors of vibrotactile information from the environment. Pinnipeds possess the largest vibrissae among mammals and their vibrissal hair shafts demonstrate a diversity of shapes. The vibrissae of most phocid seals exhibit a beaded morphology with repeating sequences of crests and troughs along their length. However, there are few detailed analyses of pinniped vibrissal morphology, and these are limited to a few species. Therefore, we comparatively characterized differences in vibrissal hair shaft morphologies among phocid species with a beaded profile, phocid species with a smooth profile, and otariids with a smooth profile using traditional and geometric morphometric methods. Traditional morphometric measurements (peak-to-peak distance, crest width, trough width and total length) were collected using digital photographs. Elliptic Fourier analysis (geometric morphometrics) was used to quantify the outlines of whole vibrissae. The traditional and geometric morphometric datasets were subsequently combined by mathematically scaling each to true rank, followed by a single eigendecomposition. Quadratic discriminant function analysis demonstrated that 79.3, 97.8 and 100% of individuals could be correctly classified to their species based on vibrissal shape variables in the traditional, geometric and combined morphometric analyses, respectively. Phocids with beaded vibrissae, phocids with smooth vibrissae, and otariids each occupied distinct morphospace in the geometric morphometric and combined data analyses. Otariids split into two groups in the geometric morphometric analysis and gray seals appeared intermediate between beaded- and smooth-whiskered species in the traditional and combined analyses. Vibrissal hair shafts modulate the transduction of environmental stimuli to the mechanoreceptors in the follicle-sinus complex (F-SC), which results in

  7. Fused Traditional and Geometric Morphometrics Demonstrate Pinniped Whisker Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginter, Carly C.; DeWitt, Thomas J.; Fish, Frank E.; Marshall, Christopher D.

    2012-01-01

    Vibrissae (whiskers) are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system, and primarily function as detectors of vibrotactile information from the environment. Pinnipeds possess the largest vibrissae among mammals and their vibrissal hair shafts demonstrate a diversity of shapes. The vibrissae of most phocid seals exhibit a beaded morphology with repeating sequences of crests and troughs along their length. However, there are few detailed analyses of pinniped vibrissal morphology, and these are limited to a few species. Therefore, we comparatively characterized differences in vibrissal hair shaft morphologies among phocid species with a beaded profile, phocid species with a smooth profile, and otariids with a smooth profile using traditional and geometric morphometric methods. Traditional morphometric measurements (peak-to-peak distance, crest width, trough width and total length) were collected using digital photographs. Elliptic Fourier analysis (geometric morphometrics) was used to quantify the outlines of whole vibrissae. The traditional and geometric morphometric datasets were subsequently combined by mathematically scaling each to true rank, followed by a single eigendecomposition. Quadratic discriminant function analysis demonstrated that 79.3, 97.8 and 100% of individuals could be correctly classified to their species based on vibrissal shape variables in the traditional, geometric and combined morphometric analyses, respectively. Phocids with beaded vibrissae, phocids with smooth vibrissae, and otariids each occupied distinct morphospace in the geometric morphometric and combined data analyses. Otariids split into two groups in the geometric morphometric analysis and gray seals appeared intermediate between beaded- and smooth-whiskered species in the traditional and combined analyses. Vibrissal hair shafts modulate the transduction of environmental stimuli to the mechanoreceptors in the follicle-sinus complex (F-SC), which results in

  8. Fused traditional and geometric morphometrics demonstrate pinniped whisker diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly C Ginter

    Full Text Available Vibrissae (whiskers are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system, and primarily function as detectors of vibrotactile information from the environment. Pinnipeds possess the largest vibrissae among mammals and their vibrissal hair shafts demonstrate a diversity of shapes. The vibrissae of most phocid seals exhibit a beaded morphology with repeating sequences of crests and troughs along their length. However, there are few detailed analyses of pinniped vibrissal morphology, and these are limited to a few species. Therefore, we comparatively characterized differences in vibrissal hair shaft morphologies among phocid species with a beaded profile, phocid species with a smooth profile, and otariids with a smooth profile using traditional and geometric morphometric methods. Traditional morphometric measurements (peak-to-peak distance, crest width, trough width and total length were collected using digital photographs. Elliptic Fourier analysis (geometric morphometrics was used to quantify the outlines of whole vibrissae. The traditional and geometric morphometric datasets were subsequently combined by mathematically scaling each to true rank, followed by a single eigendecomposition. Quadratic discriminant function analysis demonstrated that 79.3, 97.8 and 100% of individuals could be correctly classified to their species based on vibrissal shape variables in the traditional, geometric and combined morphometric analyses, respectively. Phocids with beaded vibrissae, phocids with smooth vibrissae, and otariids each occupied distinct morphospace in the geometric morphometric and combined data analyses. Otariids split into two groups in the geometric morphometric analysis and gray seals appeared intermediate between beaded- and smooth-whiskered species in the traditional and combined analyses. Vibrissal hair shafts modulate the transduction of environmental stimuli to the mechanoreceptors in the follicle-sinus complex (F-SC, which

  9. Comparative Analysis of the Flexural Stiffness of Pinniped Vibrissae.

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    Carly C Ginter Summarell

    Full Text Available Vibrissae are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system and are used to detect vibrotactile stimuli in the environment. Pinnipeds have the largest and most highly innervated vibrissae among mammals, and the hair shafts function as a biomechanical filter spanning the environmental stimuli and the neural mechanoreceptors deep in the follicle-sinus complex. Therefore, the material properties of these structures are critical in transferring vibrotactile information to the peripheral nervous system. Vibrissae were tested as cantilever beams and their flexural stiffness (EI was measured to test the hypotheses that the shape of beaded vibrissae reduces EI and that vibrissae are anisotropic. EI was measured at two locations on each vibrissa, 25% and 50% of the overall length, and at two orientations to the point force. EI differed in orientations that were normal to each other, indicating a functional anisotropy. Since vibrissae taper from base to tip, the second moment of area (I was lower at 50% than 25% of total length. The anterior orientation exhibited greater EI values at both locations compared to the dorsal orientation for all species. Smooth vibrissae were generally stiffer than beaded vibrissae. The profiles of beaded vibrissae are known to decrease the amplitude of vibrations when protruded into a flow field. The lower EI values of beaded vibrissae, along with the reduced vibrations, may function to enhance the sensitivity of mechanoreceptors to detection of small changes in flow from swimming prey by increasing the signal to noise ratio. This study builds upon previous morphological and hydrodynamic analyses of vibrissae and is the first comparative study of the mechanical properties of pinniped vibrissae.

  10. San Francisco Littoral Cell CRSMP Pinniped Haul-Out Sites 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — NMFS does not have a GIS-based database for all of the pinniped haulout sites in California. Much of the information is known through word of mouth or in unpublished...

  11. San Francisco Littoral Cell CRSMP Pinniped Haul-Out Sites 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — NMFS does not have a GIS-based database for all of the pinniped haulout sites in California. Much of the information is known through word of mouth or in unpublished...

  12. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Food Habits of Pinnipeds at San Miguel Island, California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) collects fecal samples to examine the diet of pinnipeds, including...

  13. Do White Shark Bites on Surfers Reflect Their Attack Strategies on Pinnipeds?

    OpenAIRE

    Erich Ritter; Alexandra Quester

    2016-01-01

    The theory of mistaken identity states that sharks, especially white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, mistake surfers for pinnipeds when looking at them from below and thus bite them erroneously. Photographs of surfer wounds and board damage were interpreted with special emphasis on shark size, wound severity, and extent of damage to a board. These were compared with the concurrent literature on attack strategies of white sharks on pinnipeds and their outcomes. The results show that the majori...

  14. Re-Evaluation of Morphological Characters Questions Current Views of Pinniped Origins

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    Koretsky I. A.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The origin of pinnipeds has been a contentious issue, with opposite sides debating monophyly or diphyly. This review uses evidence from the fossil record, combined with comparative morphology, molecular and cytogenetic investigations to evaluate the evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships of living and fossil otarioid and phocoid pinnipeds. Molecular investigations support a monophyletic origin of pinnipeds, but disregard vital morphological data. Likewise, morphological studies support diphyly, but overlook molecular analyses. This review will demonstrate that a monophyletic origin of pinnipeds should not be completely accepted, as is the current ideology, and a diphyletic origin remains viable due to morphological and paleobiological analyses. Critical examination of certain characters, used by supporters of pinniped monophyly, reveals different polarities, variability, or simply convergence. The paleontological record and our morphological analysis of important characters supports a diphyletic origin of pinnipeds, with otarioids likely arising in the North Pacific from large, bear-like animals and phocids arising in the North Atlantic from smaller, otter-like ancestors. Although members of both groups are known by Late Oligocene time, each developed and invaded the aquatic environment separately from their much earlier, common arctoid ancestor. Therefore, we treat the superfamily Otarioidea as being monophyletic, including the families Enaliarctidae, Otariidae (fur seals/sea lions, Desmatophocidae, and Odobenidae (walruses and extinct relatives, and the superfamily Phocoidea as monophyletic, including only the family Phocidae, with four subfamilies (Devinophocinae, Phocinae, Monachinae, and Cystophorinae.

  15. Validation of a commercial canine assay kit to measure pinniped cytokines.

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    Levin, Milton; Romano, Tracy; Matassa, Keith; De Guise, Sylvain

    2014-07-15

    The present study was conducted to assess and validate the cross-reactivity of commercially available multiplex human and canine cytokine kits coupled with the Bio-Plex 200 platform to measure cytokines in three pinniped species, harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), gray seals (Halichoerus grypus), and harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus). Cytokines are important small proteins that help direct a proper immune response to pathogens. The human cytokine kit allowed the detection of cytokines in the supernatant of mitogen-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but not in the three pinniped species studied, with the exception of TNFα and GM-CSF. In contrast, the canine cytokine kit appeared to cross-react with the majority of cytokines in the three pinniped species tested, including the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, the Th1 cytokine INFγ, and the Th2 cytokine IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine. In addition, the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 were also measured in all pinniped species. Overall, the Bio-Plex 200 platform and the canine multiplex cytokine kit allowed the successful measurement of potentially clinically important pinniped cytokines. This additional tool may provide veterinarians with additional information to detect sub-clinical signs of inflammation or evidence for immune response, which may not be revealed during regular medical evaluation, e.g. physical examination, hematology, and serum chemistry.

  16. What Pinnipeds Have to Say about Human Speech, Music, and the Evolution of Rhythm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ravignani, Andrea; Fitch, W Tecumseh; Hanke, Frederike D; Heinrich, Tamara; Hurgitsch, Bettina; Kotz, Sonja A; Scharff, Constance; Stoeger, Angela S; de Boer, Bart

    2016-01-01

    Research on the evolution of human speech and music benefits from hypotheses and data generated in a number of disciplines. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the high relevance of pinniped research for the study of speech, musical rhythm, and their origins, bridging and complementing curr

  17. Characterization of phocid herpesvirus-1 and -2 as putative alpha- and gamma-herpesviruses of North American and European pinnipeds.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T.C. Harder (Timm); M. Harder; H. Vos; K. Kulonen; S. Kennedy-Stoskopf; B. Liess; M.J.G. Appel (Max); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)

    1996-01-01

    textabstractTo study the relationships between herpesvirus recently isolated from different pinniped species, antigenic and genetic analyses were performed. First, herpesviruses isolated from North American harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), a Californian sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and a Europea

  18. Archaeofaunal insights on pinniped-human interactions in the northeastern Pacific

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gifford-Gonzales, D; Newsome, S; Koch, P; Guilderson, T; Snodgrass, J; Burton, R

    2004-02-07

    Human exploitation of pinnipeds has considerable antiquity but shows increasing impacts on population numbers in the Holocene. Pinnipeds are a rich source of fat as well as protein. A few well-documented cases of regional extirpation of seals and sea lions by non-industrial peoples exist. The northeastern Pacific region, from southern California to Alaska, has yielded archaeological evidence for distributions and abundances of eared seals that differs markedly from historically documented biogeography. This is especially true of the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), among the most common pinnipeds in many archaeological sites from the Santa Barbara Channel area through to Kodiak Islands. This chapter reviews contemporary eared seal biogeography, evidence for the earlier timing and extent, of occurrence of northern fur seals along the northeastern Pacific coast, zooarchaeological and isotopic evidence for their foraging and probable maintenance of rookeries in lower latitudes, and for their disappearance from the southernmost part of their ancient distribution well before European contact. It also reviews ongoing debates over the behavioral ecology of ancient fur seals and over humans role in contributing to their disappearance.

  19. Morphology and biomechanics of the pinniped jaw: mandibular evolution without mastication.

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    Jones, Katrina E; Ruff, Christopher B; Goswami, Anjali

    2013-07-01

    Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) underwent a shift in jaw function away from typical carnivoran mastication to more novel marine behaviors during the terrestrial-aquatic transition. Here we test the effect of aquatic prey capture and male-male combat on the morphological evolution of a mammal jaw that does not masticate. Nine three-dimensional landmarks were taken along the mandible for 25 species (N = 83), and corpus and symphysis external and cortical breadths for a subset of five species (N = 33). Principal components analysis was performed on size-corrected landmark data to assess variation in overall jaw morphology across pinnipeds. Corpus breadths were input to a beam model to calculate strength properties and estimated bite force of specific species with contrasting behaviors (filter feeding, suction feeding, grip-and-tear feeding, and male-male combat). Results indicate that, although phylogenetic signal in jaw shape is strong, function is also important in determining morphology. Filter feeders display an elongate symphysis and a long toothrow that may play a role in filtering krill. Grip-and-tear feeders have a long jaw and large estimated bite force relative to non-biting species. However, the largest estimated bite forces were observed in males of male-male combative species, likely due to the high selection pressure associated with male success in highly polygynous species. The suction feeding jaw is weak in biting but has a different morphology in the two suction feeding taxa. In conclusion, familial patterns of pinniped jaw shape due to phylogenetic relatedness have been modified by adaptations to specialized behavior of individual taxa.

  20. Male contest competition and the coevolution of weaponry and testes in pinnipeds.

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    Fitzpatrick, John L; Almbro, Maria; Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas; Simmons, Leigh W

    2012-11-01

    Male reproductive success is influenced by competitive interactions during precopulatory and postcopulatory selective episodes. Consequently, males can gain reproductive advantages during precopulatory contest competition by investing in weaponry and during postcopulatory sperm competition by investing in ejaculates. However, recent theory predicts male expenditure on weaponry and ejaculates should be subject to a trade-off, and should vary under increasing risk and intensity of sperm competition. Here, we provide the first comparative analysis of the prediction that expenditure on weaponry should be negatively associated with expenditure on testes mass. Specifically, we assess how sexual selection influences the evolution of primary and secondary sexual traits among pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses). Using recently developed comparative methods, we demonstrate that sexual selection promotes rapid divergence in body mass, sexual size dimorphism (SSD), and genital morphology. We then show that genital length appears to be positively associated with the strength of postcopulatory sexual selection. However, subsequent analyses reveal that both genital length and testes mass are negatively associated with investment in precopulatory weaponry. Thus, our results are congruent with recent theoretical predictions of contest-based sperm competition models. We discuss the possible role of trade-offs and allometry in influencing patterns of reproductive trait evolution in pinnipeds. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. Inflation and deflation pressure-volume loops in anesthetized pinnipeds confirms compliant chest and lungs

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    Andreas eFahlman

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We examined structural properties of the marine mammal respiratory system, and tested Scholander’s hypothesis that the chest is highly compliant by measuring the mechanical properties of the respiratory system in five species of pinniped under anesthesia (Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina; northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris; northern fur seal Callorhinus ursinus; California sea lion, Zalophus californianus; and Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus. We found that the chest wall compliance (CCW of all five species was greater than lung compliance (airways and alveoli, CL as predicted by Scholander, which suggests that the chest provides little protection against alveolar collapse or lung squeeze. We also found that specific respiratory compliance was significantly greater in wild animals than in animals raised under human care. While differences in ages between the two groups may affect this incidental finding, it is also possible that lung conditioning in free-living animals may increase pulmonary compliance and reduce the risk of lung squeeze during diving. Overall, our data indicate that compliance of excised pinniped lungs provide a good estimate of total respiratory compliance.

  2. Phylogeny and divergence of the pinnipeds (Carnivora: Mammalia assessed using a multigene dataset

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    Beck Robin MD

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenetic comparative methods are often improved by complete phylogenies with meaningful branch lengths (e.g., divergence dates. This study presents a dated molecular supertree for all 34 world pinniped species derived from a weighted matrix representation with parsimony (MRP supertree analysis of 50 gene trees, each determined under a maximum likelihood (ML framework. Divergence times were determined by mapping the same sequence data (plus two additional genes on to the supertree topology and calibrating the ML branch lengths against a range of fossil calibrations. We assessed the sensitivity of our supertree topology in two ways: 1 a second supertree with all mtDNA genes combined into a single source tree, and 2 likelihood-based supermatrix analyses. Divergence dates were also calculated using a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock with rate autocorrelation to test the sensitivity of our supertree results further. Results The resulting phylogenies all agreed broadly with recent molecular studies, in particular supporting the monophyly of Phocidae, Otariidae, and the two phocid subfamilies, as well as an Odobenidae + Otariidae sister relationship; areas of disagreement were limited to four more poorly supported regions. Neither the supertree nor supermatrix analyses supported the monophyly of the two traditional otariid subfamilies, supporting suggestions for the need for taxonomic revision in this group. Phocid relationships were similar to other recent studies and deeper branches were generally well-resolved. Halichoerus grypus was nested within a paraphyletic Pusa, although relationships within Phocina tend to be poorly supported. Divergence date estimates for the supertree were in good agreement with other studies and the available fossil record; however, the Bayesian relaxed molecular clock divergence date estimates were significantly older. Conclusion Our results join other recent studies and highlight the need for a re

  3. Sexual selection uncouples the evolution of brain and body size in pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, J L; Almbro, M; Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Hamada, S; Pennington, C; Scanlan, J; Kolm, N

    2012-07-01

    The size of the vertebrate brain is shaped by a variety of selective forces. Although larger brains (correcting for body size) are thought to confer fitness advantages, energetic limitations of this costly organ may lead to trade-offs, for example as recently suggested between sexual traits and neural tissue. Here, we examine the patterns of selection on male and female brain size in pinnipeds, a group where the strength of sexual selection differs markedly among species and between the sexes. Relative brain size was negatively associated with the intensity of sexual selection in males but not females. However, analyses of the rates of body and brain size evolution showed that this apparent trade-off between sexual selection and brain mass is driven by selection for increasing body mass rather than by an actual reduction in male brain size. Our results suggest that sexual selection has important effects on the allometric relationships of neural development.

  4. Skin histology and its role in heat dissipation in three pinniped species

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    Khamas Wael A

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pinnipeds have a thick blubber layer and may have difficulty maintaining their body temperature during hot weather when on land. The skin is the main thermoregulatory conduit which emits excessive body heat. Methods Thorough evaluation of the skin histology in three pinniped species; the California sea lion-Zalophus californianus, the Pacific harbor seal-Phoca vitulina richardsi, and the Northern elephant seal-Mirounga angustirostris, was conducted to identify the presence, location and distribution of skin structures which contribute to thermoregulation. These structures included hair, adipose tissue, sweat glands, vasculature, and arteriovenous anastomoses (AVA. Thermal imaging was performed on live animals of the same species to correlate histological findings with thermal emission of the skin. Results The presence and distribution of skin structures directly relates to emissivity of the skin in all three species. Emissivity of skin in phocids (Pacific harbor and Northern elephant seals follows a different pattern than skin in otariids (California sea lions. The flipper skin in phocids tends to be the most emissive region during hot weather and least emissive during cold weather. On the contrary in otariids, skin of the entire body has a tendency to be emissive during both hot and cold weather. Conclusion Heat dissipation of the skin directly relates to the presence and distribution of skin structures in all three species. Different skin thermal dissipation patterns were observed in phocid versus otariid seals. Observed thermal patterns can be used for proper understanding of optimum thermal needs of seals housed in research facilities, rescue centers and zoo exhibits.

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

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

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

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    Sophie eDennison

    2012-06-01

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

  7. Congruent and synchronic patterns in biogeography and speciation among seabirds, pinnipeds, and cestodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoberg, E P

    1992-08-01

    Congruence in biogeographic patterns among diverse assemblages of taxa indicates uniformity in the historical determinants of biotic distributions. Comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies and the elucidation of distributional area relationships are requisite components of analyses in historical biogeography. Host-parasite associations with broad geographic ranges are often archaic and have been structured largely by coevolutionary processes. In contrast, the origins and radiation of the primary cestode faunas of some seabirds (Alcataenia spp./Alcidae) and pinnipeds (Anophryocephalus spp./Phocidae and Otariidae) are associated with colonization. These young colonizing faunas, in the Holarctic Region, were influenced by a common history during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. Periodic range contraction, with isolation in refugial centers, and subsequent expansion into postglacial habitats for hosts and parasites coincided with the cyclic pattern of stadials and interstadials. During the past 2-3 million years following colonization, these dramatic climatic fluctuations strongly influenced the continuity of ecological associations in marine habitats and appear to have been the determinants of congruent and synchronic patterns of speciation among these disparate taxa of marine homeotherms and eucestodes.

  8. Evaluating hair as a predictor of blood mercury: the influence of ontogenetic phase and life history in pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Sarah H.; McHuron, Elizabeth A.; Kennedy, Stephanie N.; Ackerman, Josh; Rea, Lorrie D.; Castellini, J. Margaret; O'Hara, Todd M.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) biomonitoring of pinnipeds increasingly utilizes nonlethally collected tissues such as hair and blood. The relationship between total Hg concentrations ([THg]) in these tissues is not well understood for marine mammals, but it can be important for interpretation of tissue concentrations with respect to ecotoxicology and biomonitoring. We examined [THg] in blood and hair in multiple age classes of four pinniped species. For each species, we used paired blood and hair samples to quantify the ability of [THg] in hair to predict [THg] in blood at the time of sampling and examined the influence of varying ontogenetic phases and life history of the sampled animals. Overall, we found that the relationship between [THg] in hair and blood was affected by factors including age class, weaning status, growth, and the time difference between hair growth and sample collection. Hair [THg] was moderately to strongly predictive of current blood [THg] for adult female Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), adult female California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and adult harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), whereas hair [THg] was poorly predictive or not predictive (different times of year) of blood [THg] for adult northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris). Within species, except for very young pups, hair [THg] was a weaker predictor of blood [THg] for prereproductive animals than for adults likely due to growth, variability in foraging behavior, and transitions between ontogenetic phases. Our results indicate that the relationship between hair [THg] and blood [THg] in pinnipeds is variable and that ontogenetic phase and life history should be considered when interpreting [THg] in these tissues.

  9. Serologic evidence of Brucella infection in pinnipeds along the coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost main island of Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Erika; Ohishi, Kazue; Ishinazaka, Tsuyoshi; Fujii, Kei; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2017-04-01

    Brucella infection in Hokkaido was serologically surveyed in four species of pinnipeds inhabiting Cape Erimo during 2008-2013 and the Shiretoko Peninsula in 1999 by ELISA using Brucella abortus and B. canis as antigens. Anti-Brucella positive sera showed higher absorbance to B. abortus than B. canis in almost all samples. Anti-B. abortus antibodies were detected in serum samples from 24% (n = 55) of Western Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina stejnegeri) in Cape Erimo and from 66% (n = 41) of spotted seals (P. largha), 15% (n = 20) of ribbon seals (Histriophoca fasciata) and 18% (n = 17) of Western Steller's sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus jubatus) in the Shiretoko Peninsula. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected at higher absorbance in 1- to 4-year-old harbor seals than in the pups and mature animals, suggesting either that Brucella infection mainly occurs after weaning or that it is maternally transmitted to pups with premature or suppressed immunity. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected in both immature and mature spotted seals and ribbon seals, with higher absorbance in the former. The antibodies were detected only in mature Western Steller's sea lions. Western blot analysis of the serum samples showed some differences in band appearances, namely discrete versus smeary, and in the number of bands, indicating that multiple different Brucella may be prevalent in pinnipeds in Hokkaido. Alternatively, the Brucella of pinnipeds may have some intra-species diversity. © 2017 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  10. On the Challenge of Interpreting Census Data: Insights from a Study of an Endangered Pinniped.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fritz Trillmich

    Full Text Available Population monitoring is vital for conservation and management. However, simple counts of animals can be misleading and this problem is exacerbated in seals (pinnipeds where individuals spend much time foraging away from colonies. We analyzed a 13-year-series of census data of Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki from the colony of Caamaño, an islet in the center of the Galapagos archipelago where a large proportion of animals was individually marked. Based on regular resighting efforts during the cold, reproductive (cold-R; August to January and the warm, non-reproductive (warm-nR; February to May season, we document changes in numbers for different sex and age classes. During the cold-R season the number of adults increased as the number of newborn pups increased. Numbers were larger in the morning and evening than around mid-day and not significantly influenced by tide levels. More adults frequented the colony during the warm-nR season than the cold-R season. Raw counts suggested a decline in numbers over the 13 years, but Lincoln-Petersen (LP- estimates (assuming a closed population did not support that conclusion. Raw counts and LP estimates were not significantly correlated, demonstrating the overwhelming importance of variability in attendance patterns of individuals. The probability of observing a given adult in the colony varied between 16% (mean for cold-R season and 23% (warm-nR season and may be much less for independent 2 to 4 year olds. Dependent juveniles (up to the age of about 2 years are observed much more frequently ashore (35% during the cold-R and 50% during the warm-nR seasons. Simple counts underestimate real population size by a factor of 4-6 and may lead to erroneous conclusions about trends in population size.

  11. Skin biopsy as a nondestructive tool for the toxicological assessment of endangered populations of pinnipeds: preliminary results on mixed function oxidase in Otaria flavescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, M C; Savelli, C; Marsili, L; Casini, S; Jimenez, B; Junin, M; Castello, H; Lorenzani, J A

    1997-10-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and validate a method for assessing the toxicological risk of endangered populations of pinnipeds based on a nondestructive biological tool, the skin biopsy specimen. Skin biopsies can be obtained from pinnipeds by anaesthetising the animals and taking a small amount of skin in the anterior flipper area, or by shooting a biopsy dart with a crossbow. Skin biopsy material is suitable for a wide range of chemical and biomarker analysis. Organochlorines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can be analysed in subcutaneous fat and MFO activity (BPMO), Cyt.P450 isoforms, and DNA damage can be detected in epidermis.

  12. Enamel ultrastructure of fossil and modern pinnipeds: evaluating hypotheses of feeding adaptations in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loch, Carolina; Boessenecker, Robert W.; Churchill, Morgan; Kieser, Jules

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to assess the enamel ultrastructure in modern otariid pinnipeds and in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos. Teeth of the New Zealand fur seal ( Arctocephalus forsteri), sea lion ( Phocarctos hookeri), and fossil walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi were embedded, sectioned, etched, and analyzed via scanning electron microscopy. The enamel of NZ otariids and Pelagiarctos was prismatic and moderately thick, measuring 150-450 μm on average. It consisted of transversely oriented Hunter-Schreger bands (HSBs) from the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) to near the outer surface, where it faded into prismless enamel less than 10 μm thick. The width of HSB was variable and averaged between 6 and 10 prisms, and they presented an undulating course both in longitudinal and cross sections. The overall organization of the enamel was similar in all teeth sampled; however, the enamel was thicker in canines and postcanines than in incisors. The crowns of all teeth sampled were uniformly covered by enamel; however, the grooved incisors lacked an enamel cover on the posterior side of the buccal face. Large tubules and tuft-like structures were seen at the EDJ. HSB enamel as well as tubules and tufts at the EDJ suggest increased occlusal loads during feeding, a biomechanical adaptation to avoid enamel cracking and failure. Despite overall simplification in tooth morphology and reduced mastication, the fossil and modern pinnipeds analyzed here retained the complex undulating HSB structure of other fossils and living Carnivora, while other marine mammals such as cetaceans developed simplified radial enamel.

  13. Accuracy of ARGOS locations of Pinnipeds at-sea estimated using Fastloc GPS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel P Costa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: ARGOS satellite telemetry is one of the most widely used methods to track the movements of free-ranging marine and terrestrial animals and is fundamental to studies of foraging ecology, migratory behavior and habitat-use. ARGOS location estimates do not include complete error estimations, and for many marine organisms, the most commonly acquired locations (Location Class 0, A, B, or Z are provided with no declared error estimate. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compared the accuracy of ARGOS Locations to those obtained using Fastloc GPS from the same electronic tags on five species of pinnipeds: 9 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus, 4 Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki, 6 Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, 3 Australian fur seals (A. p. doriferus and 5 northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris. These species encompass a range of marine habitats (highly pelagic vs coastal, diving behaviors (mean dive durations 2-21 min and range of latitudes (equator to temperate. A total of 7,318 ARGOS positions and 27,046 GPS positions were collected. Of these, 1,105 ARGOS positions were obtained within five minutes of a GPS position and were used for comparison. The 68(th percentile ARGOS location errors as measured in this study were LC-3 0.49 km, LC-2 1.01 km, LC-1 1.20 km, LC-0 4.18 km, LC-A 6.19 km, LC-B 10.28 km. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The ARGOS errors measured here are greater than those provided by ARGOS, but within the range of other studies. The error was non-normally distributed with each LC highly right-skewed. Locations of species that make short duration dives and spend extended periods on the surface (sea lions and fur seals had less error than species like elephant seals that spend more time underwater and have shorter surface intervals. Supplemental data (S1 are provided allowing the creation of density distributions that can be used in a variety of filtering algorithms to improve the

  14. Detection of Pathogenic Leptospira Bacteria in Pinniped Populations via PCR and Identification of a Source of Transmission for Zoonotic Leptospirosis in the Marine Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leptospirosis, caused by the spirochete bacterium Leptospira, is a geographically widespread disease that affects a broad range of mammals, including marine mammals. During 2004 an outbreak of leptospirosis occurred among select pinniped populations along the West Coast of North America, with cases...

  15. The Ancestral Carnivore Karyotype As Substantiated by Comparative Chromosome Painting of Three Pinnipeds, the Walrus, the Steller Sea Lion and the Baikal Seal (Pinnipedia, Carnivora.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Violetta R Beklemisheva

    Full Text Available Karyotype evolution in Carnivora is thoroughly studied by classical and molecular cytogenetics and supplemented by reconstructions of Ancestral Carnivora Karyotype (ACK. However chromosome painting information from two pinniped families (Odobenidae and Otariidae is noticeably missing. We report on the construction of the comparative chromosome map for species from each of the three pinniped families: the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus, Odobenidae-monotypic family, near threatened Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus, Otariidae and the endemic Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica, Phocidae using combination of human, domestic dog and stone marten whole-chromosome painting probes. The earliest karyological studies of Pinnipedia showed that pinnipeds were characterized by a pronounced karyological conservatism that is confirmed here with species from Phocidae, Otariidae and Odobenidae sharing same low number of conserved human autosomal segments (32. Chromosome painting in Pinnipedia and comparison with non-pinniped carnivore karyotypes provide strong support for refined structure of ACK with 2n = 38. Constructed comparative chromosome maps show that pinniped karyotype evolution was characterized by few tandem fusions, seemingly absent inversions and slow rate of genome rearrangements (less then one rearrangement per 10 million years. Integrative comparative analyses with published chromosome painting of Phoca vitulina revealed common cytogenetic signature for Phoca/Pusa branch and supports Phocidae and Otaroidea (Otariidae/Odobenidae as sister groups. We revealed rearrangements specific for walrus karyotype and found the chromosomal signature linking together families Otariidae and Odobenidae. The Steller sea lion karyotype is the most conserved among three studied species and differs from the ACK by single fusion. The study underlined the strikingly slow karyotype evolution of the Pinnipedia in general and the Otariidae in particular.

  16. Molecular systematics of pinniped hookworms (Nematoda: Uncinaria): species delimitation, host associations and host-induced morphometric variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadler, Steven A; Lyons, Eugene T; Pagan, Christopher; Hyman, Derek; Lewis, Edwin E; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Bell, Cameron M; Castinel, Aurelie; Delong, Robert L; Duignan, Padraig J; Farinpour, Cher; Huntington, Kathy Burek; Kuiken, Thijs; Morgades, Diana; Naem, Soraya; Norman, Richard; Parker, Corwin; Ramos, Paul; Spraker, Terry R; Berón-Vera, Bárbara

    2013-12-01

    Hookworms of the genus Uncinaria have been widely reported from juvenile pinnipeds, however investigations of their systematics has been limited, with only two species described, Uncinaria lucasi from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) and Uncinaria hamiltoni from South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens). Hookworms were sampled from these hosts and seven additional species including Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis), Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus), New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri), southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina), and the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). One hundred and thirteen individual hookworms, including an outgroup species, were sequenced for four genes representing two loci (nuclear ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA). Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences recovered seven independent evolutionary lineages or species, including the described species and five undescribed species. The molecular evidence shows that U. lucasi parasitises both C. ursinus and E. jubatus, whereas U. hamiltoni parasitises O. flavescens and A. australis. The five undescribed hookworm species were each associated with single host species (Z. californianus, A. pusillus, P. hookeri, M. leonina and M. monachus). For parasites of otarids, patterns of Uncinaria host-sharing and phylogenetic relationships had a strong biogeographic component with separate clades of parasites from northern versus southern hemisphere hosts. Comparison of phylogenies for these hookworms and their hosts suggests that the association of U. lucasi with northern fur seals results from a host-switch from Steller sea lions. Morphometric data for U. lucasi shows marked host-associated size differences for both sexes, with U. lucasi individuals from E. jubatus significantly larger. This result suggests that adult growth of U. lucasi is reduced within the

  17. Food habit studies of pinnipeds conducted at San Miguel Island, California by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1980-02-01 to 2014-01-31 (NCEI Accession 0145166)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) collects fecal samples to examine the diet of pinnipeds, including...

  18. Oil and gas exploration in the Southeastern Gulf of St. Lawrence: a review of information on pinnipeds and cetaceans in the area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammill, M.O.; Lesage, V.; Dube, Y.; Measures, L.N. [Maurice Lamontagne Inst., Mont-Joli, PQ (Canada)

    2001-07-01

    A summary of information concerning pinnipeds (seals) and cetaceans (whales) was summarized for the proposed region of oil and gas exploration, located in the southeastern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Marine mammals moving in and out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence utilize Cabot Strait as an important migratory route. A platform for pinnipeds reproduction is available with the seasonal ice cover. This ice cover provides a limit to access, during winter months, to marine mammals, especially cetaceans, to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Important foraging areas for cetaceans are located in the Cape Breton Trough in the vicinity of Cheticamp, as well as the large canyons in the Gulf. The four pinnipeds species most commonly found in the area are: harp, hooded, grey and harbour seals. Data on population abundance, whelping areas, distribution, and diet is generally available. Scientists require specific at sea distribution, relative abundance and local diet data for the area. On the east coast of Prince Edward Island, the seal-watching industry relies mostly on harbour seals. Of the fifteen whale species that transit through the Cabot Strait, six are regular visitors, namely: Fin, Minke, Humpback, Pilot whales, White-sided dolphins, and Harbour porpoise are seen in abundant numbers on a regular basis. Right whales pass through the area in small numbers. The whale-watching activity taking place on the western coast of Cape Breton relies mainly on Pilot Whales, for which this area has great importance. Additional data on species present, abundance, seasonal occupation, seasonal movements, and diet of whales is missing. Damage to hearing could result from seismic activity, leading to distribution changes, and increased strandings due to noise. 108 refs., 4 tabs., 3 figs.

  19. IDENTIFICATION OF RESPIRATORY AND GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF THREE SPECIES OF PINNIPEDS (ARCTOCEPHALUS AUSTRALIS, ARCTOCEPHALUS GAZELLA, AND OTARIA FLAVESCENS) IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobus, Kristy; Marigo, Juliana; Gastal, Silvia Bainy; Taniwaki, Sueli Akemi; Ruoppolo, Valeria; Catão-Dias, José Luiz; Tseng, Florina

    2016-03-01

    In order to improve understanding of parasitism in South American pinnipeds, respiratory and gastrointestinal samples were collected from 12 Arctocephalus australis (South American fur seal), one Arctocephalus gazella (Antarctic fur seal), and one Otaria flavescens (South American sea lion). Ova and larvae were microscopically identified from fecal samples and respiratory secretions collected from live A. australis undergoing rehabilitation at Centro de Recuperação de Animais Marinhos (CRAM-FURG) in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil during June-July 2012. Adult parasites were collected from the lungs and gastrointestinal tracts of animals that died while undergoing treatment or were found dead along the southern Brazil coast. Parasites were identified by polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing, microscopic examination, comparison with keys, and histologic examination of tissues. Lung parasites of the Parafilaroides genus (Metastrongyloidea, Filaroididae) were identified at necropsy in both A. australis and A. gazella and gastrointestinal parasites were found in all three species of pinniped studied. Gastrointestinal parasites identified in A. australis included the nematodes Contracaecum sp. and Pseudoterranova cattani, the cestodes Adenocephalus pacificus (previously Diphyllobothrium pacificum), one from the Tetrabothridae family and one undetermined, and the acanthocephalans Corynosoma sp. and Bolbosoma sp.; from A. gazella the nematode Contracaecum sp. and the acanthocephalan Corynosoma sp.; and from O. flavescens the acanthocephalan Corynosoma sp. Ova from fecal samples from A. australis represent ascarid nematodes, Parafilaroides sp., Adenocephalus pacificus, acanthocephalans, and an egg determined either to be a trematode or pseuophyllidean cestode. With limited information surrounding parasitism, these findings are an important contribution to knowledge of the health of Southern Hemisphere pinnipeds.

  20. Linking reproduction and survival can improve model estimates of vital rates derived from limited time-series counts of pinnipeds and other species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaile, Brian C; Trites, Andrew W

    2013-01-01

    We propose a method to model the physiological link between somatic survival and reproductive output that reduces the number of parameters that need to be estimated by models designed to determine combinations of birth and death rates that produce historic counts of animal populations. We applied our Reproduction and Somatic Survival Linked (RSSL) method to the population counts of three species of North Pacific pinnipeds (harbor seals, Phoca vitulina richardii (Gray, 1864); northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus (L., 1758); and Steller sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus (Schreber, 1776))--and found our model outperformed traditional models when fitting vital rates to common types of limited datasets, such as those from counts of pups and adults. However, our model did not perform as well when these basic counts of animals were augmented with additional observations of ratios of juveniles to total non-pups. In this case, the failure of the ratios to improve model performance may indicate that the relationship between survival and reproduction is redefined or disassociated as populations change over time or that the ratio of juveniles to total non-pups is not a meaningful index of vital rates. Overall, our RSSL models show advantages to linking survival and reproduction within models to estimate the vital rates of pinnipeds and other species that have limited time-series of counts.

  1. Linking reproduction and survival can improve model estimates of vital rates derived from limited time-series counts of pinnipeds and other species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian C Battaile

    Full Text Available We propose a method to model the physiological link between somatic survival and reproductive output that reduces the number of parameters that need to be estimated by models designed to determine combinations of birth and death rates that produce historic counts of animal populations. We applied our Reproduction and Somatic Survival Linked (RSSL method to the population counts of three species of North Pacific pinnipeds (harbor seals, Phoca vitulina richardii (Gray, 1864; northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus (L., 1758; and Steller sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus (Schreber, 1776--and found our model outperformed traditional models when fitting vital rates to common types of limited datasets, such as those from counts of pups and adults. However, our model did not perform as well when these basic counts of animals were augmented with additional observations of ratios of juveniles to total non-pups. In this case, the failure of the ratios to improve model performance may indicate that the relationship between survival and reproduction is redefined or disassociated as populations change over time or that the ratio of juveniles to total non-pups is not a meaningful index of vital rates. Overall, our RSSL models show advantages to linking survival and reproduction within models to estimate the vital rates of pinnipeds and other species that have limited time-series of counts.

  2. Novel morphological and molecular data for Corynosoma hannae Zdzitowiecki, 1984 (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) from teleosts, fish-eating birds and pinnipeds from New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Orts, Jesús S; Smales, Lesley R; Pinacho-Pinacho, Carlos D; García-Varela, Martín; Presswell, Bronwen

    2017-02-01

    The polymorphid acanthocephalan, Corynosoma hannae Zdzitowiecki, 1984 is characterised on the basis of newly collected material from a New Zealand sea lion, Phocarctos hookeri (Gray), and long-nosed fur seal, Arctophoca forsteri (Lesson) (definitive hosts), and from Stewart Island shags, Leucocarbo chalconotus (Gray), spotted shags, Phalacrocorax punctatus (Sparrman) and yellow-eyed penguins, Megadyptes antipodes (Hombron & Jacquinot) (non-definitive hosts) from New Zealand. Specimens are described in detail and scanning electron micrographs for C. hannae are provided. Additionally, cystacanths of C. hannae are reported and described for the first time from the body cavity and mesenteries of New Zealand brill, Colistium guntheri (Hutton) and from New Zealand sole, Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae Günther from Kaka Point, Otago in New Zealand. Partial sequence data for the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene (cox1) for adults, immature specimens and cystacanths of C. hannae were obtained. Phylogenetic analyses of the newly-generated sequences and for available cox1 sequences of Corynosoma spp. revealed a close relationship between C. hannae and C. australe Johnston, 1937, both species infecting pinnipeds in the Southern Hemisphere. However, a morphological comparison of the species suggests that C. hannae mostly closely resembles C. evae Zdzitowiecki, 1984 and C. semerme (Forssell, 1904), the latter of which occurs in pinnipeds in the Northern Hemisphere. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. New records of non-resident pinnipeds from the Gulf of California, Mexico Registros nuevos de pinnípedos no-residentes en el golfo de California, México

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Pablo Gallo-Reynoso; Martín Octavio Maravilla-Chávez; Navarro-Serment, Carlos J.

    2010-01-01

    Although the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is the only pinniped resident in the Gulf of California, there are occasional records of 3 additional species; here we report 4 recent records of the Guadalupe fur seal (Artocephalus townsendi), 6 of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and 2 of the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). Harbor seals have been observed mostly during the winter-spring months of El Niño years, before water temperature warms in the summer. It is po...

  4. Time-Dependent Salinity and Temperature Structure of the Columbia River Salt Wedge and River Plume: Analysis of Conductivity/Temperature/Depth Profiles from Sensors Attached to Pinnipeds and Diving Waterbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    Marine mammals and waterbirds have been used in the past to document water column properties in the ocean (Boehlert et al., 2001; Lydersen et al...Columbia River Salt Wedge and River Plume: Analysis of Conductivity/Temperature/Depth Profiles from Sensors Attached to Pinnipeds and Diving...2010; Padman et al., 2010). In this study, we utilize tagged marine animals in regions where water properties exhibit a high degree of variability

  5. Pinniped ecology in Santa Monica Bay, California%加州Santa Monica海湾鳍足类的生态学

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Maddalena BEARZI; Charles A.SAYLAN; Celia BARROSO

    2008-01-01

    研究了加州Santa Monica海湾鳍足类的生态学.从1997-2007年乘船调查了277次,发现海狮(Zalophus californianus)是最常见的动物(89%,见到的次数为1393次),其次是港海豹(Phoca vitulina richardsi,8%,n=131)和北象海豹(Mirounga angustirostris,1%,n=15).在29%的遇见次数(观察到瓶海豚205次)中,发现海狮(偶尔也发现港海豹)与瓶鼻海豚集群(Tursiops truncatus);短喙真海豚(Delphinus delphis)与长喙真海豚(D.capensis)在53% 的遇见次数(遇见真海豚次数n=155)中,发现短喙真海豚(Delphinus delphis)与长喙真海豚(D.capensis)集群;一般在沿岸水域(离岸边距离<500 m)见到海狮和港海豹,但在整个海湾也能见到,表现出这两个物种对海底峡谷的偏爱.北象海豹仅见于近海,主要在海底峡谷附近. 经常看到海狮、港海豹和北象海豹游动(50%,n=728)、进行热调节(14%,n=205)、以及取食(3.2%,n=47),但几乎见不到有社会性活动(0.21%,n=3).%We investigated pinniped ecology at sea in Santa Monica Bay, California. Animals were studied during 277 boat-based surveys conducted in 1997-2007 do cumenting that California sea lion Zalophus californianus was the most observed species (89%,n sightings=1393), followed by harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi; 8%,n sightings=131), and northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris; 1%,n sightings=15). Sea lions, and occasionally harbor seals, were found in aggregations with bottlenose dolphinsTursiops truncatus in 29% of the sightings (n bottlenose dolphin sightings=205), short-beaked common dolphinsDelphinus delphis and long-beaked common dolphinsD.capensis in 53% of the sightings (n common dolphins=155). Sea lions and harbor seals were regularly observed in coastal waters (<500 m from shore) but also in the entire bay, with both species showing a preference for submarine canyons. Northern elephant seals were only seen in offshore waters and mostly in proximity of the canyons. The three species were

  6. Campylobacter pinnipediorum sp. nov., isolated from pinnipeds, comprising Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum subsp. nov. and Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus subsp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Leger, Judy St; Chapman, Mary H; Timmerman, Arjen J; Duim, Birgitta; Foster, Geoffrey; Wagenaar, Jaap A

    2017-06-01

    During independent diagnostic screenings of otariid seals in California (USA) and phocid seals in Scotland (UK), Campylobacter-like isolates, which differed from the established taxa of the genus Campylobacter, were cultured from abscesses and internal organs of different seal species. A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of these six isolates. The isolates were characterized by 16S rRNA gene and AtpA sequence analysis and by conventional phenotypic testing. The whole-genome sequences were determined for all isolates, and the average nucleotide identity (ANI) was determined. The isolates formed a separate phylogenetic clade, divergent from all other taxa of the genus Campylobacter and most closely related to Campylobactermucosalis. Although all isolates showed 100 % 16S rRNA gene sequence homology, AtpA and ANI analyses indicated divergence between the otariid isolates from California and the phocid isolates from Scotland, which warrants subspecies status for each clade. The two subspecies could also be distinguished phenotypically on the basis of catalase activity. This study shows clearly that the isolates obtained from pinnipeds represent a novel species within the genus Campylobacter, for which the name Campylobacter pinnipediorum sp. nov. is proposed. Within this novel species, the Californian isolates represent a separate subspecies, for which the name C. pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum subsp. nov. is proposed. The type strain for both this novel species and subspecies is RM17260T (=LMG 29472T=CCUG 69570T). The Scottish isolates represent another subspecies, for which the name C. pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus subsp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of this subspecies is M302/10/6T (=LMG 29473T=CCUG 68650T).

  7. Cetaceans and pinnipeds, Alaskan waters

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A tentative checklist of those species known or likely to occur in the inside waters of Southeastern Alaska or Prince William Sound and adjacent Gulf of Alaska.

  8. Perros ferales en la isla de Cedros, Baja California, México: una posible amenaza para los pinnípedos Feral dogs at Isla de Cedros, Baja California, Mexico: a possible threat for pinnipeds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Concepción García-Aguilar

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available La presencia de perros ferales (Canis lupus familiaris en la isla de Cedros, Baja California, México, fue documentada hace más de 15 años. En el verano de 2009 e invierno 2009/2010, se realizaron 2 campañas de muestreo en la costa noreste de la isla para evaluar los hábitos alimentarios de los perros en las cercanías de las zonas de reproducción y descanso del lobo marino de California (Zalophus californianus y del elefante marino del norte (Mirounga angustirostris. Los mamíferos constituyeron el grupo consumido más importante en la alimentación de los perros (85.4%. Los resultados de este estudio muestran que en la costa noreste de la isla de Cedros los perros se alimentan de pinnípedos: el elefante marino fue la especie que más se consumió, con el mayor porcentaje en ambas temporadas (43.3% en verano y 51.9% en invierno; el lobo marino, fue la segunda durante el verano (23.3%, aunque su porcentaje disminuyó en el invierno (5.8%. Además del potencial impacto que el consumo por los perros pueda tener sobre las poblaciones de los pinnípedos, una amenaza adicional es la posible transmisión de los patógenos caninos, con serias consecuencias epizoóticas.The presence of feral dogs (Canis lupus familiaris in Isla de Cedros, Baja California, Mexico, has been documented for over 15 years. In the summer of2009 and the winter of 2009/2010, 2 sampling surveys were conducted in the northeast coastal portion of the island to assess the diet of feral dogs in the vicinity of hauled out California sea lions (Zalophus californianus and northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris. Mammals were the most important prey group in the diet of dogs (85.4%. Our results show that in the northeast coast of Isla de Cedros, feral dogs feed on pinnipeds: the elephant seal was the most important prey in both seasons (43.3% in summer and 51.9% in winter, followed by the sea lion as the second most important prey during the summer (23.3%, while its

  9. New records of non-resident pinnipeds from the Gulf of California, Mexico Registros nuevos de pinnípedos no-residentes en el golfo de California, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Pablo Gallo-Reynoso

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus is the only pinniped resident in the Gulf of California, there are occasional records of 3 additional species; here we report 4 recent records of the Guadalupe fur seal (Artocephalus townsendi, 6 of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris and 2 of the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina. Harbor seals have been observed mostly during the winter-spring months of El Niño years, before water temperature warms in the summer. It is possible that juveniles and subadult and adult males of A. townsendi and M. angustirostris are using the Gulf as an alternative feeding area during the season of intensive feeding as individuals disperse more and more widely as their populations grow.Aunque en el golfo de California, el único pinnípedo residente es el lobo marino de California (Zalophus californianus, existen registros ocasionales de otras 3 especies; en la presente nota se proporcionan 4 registros recientes de lobo fino de Guadalupe (Arctocephalus townsendi, 6 de elefante marino del norte (Mirounga angustirostris y 2 de foca común (Phoca vitulina. La foca común se ha observado principalmente durante los meses de invierno-primavera en años de El Niño, antes del calentamiento anual del agua en verano. Es posible que los juveniles y los machos sub-adultos y adultos tanto de A. townsendi como de M. angustirostris hagan uso del golfo como un sitio alternativo durante la temporada de alimentación intensiva como de su expansión geográfica debido a su incremento poblacional.

  10. Pinniped Hearing in Complex Acoustic Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    channels to aid in detection in noisy environments, consistent with similar findings in human and cetacean subjects (e.g. Hall et al. 1984...how signal structure and noise environments interact to constrain auditory performance, and develop weighting functions that can be used for species

  11. Application of Pinniped Vibrissae to Aeropropulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shyam, Vikram; Ameri, Ali; Poinsatte, Philip; Thurman, Douglas; Wroblewski, Adam; Snyder, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Vibrissae of Phoca Vitulina (Harbor Seal) and Mirounga Angustirostris (Elephant Seal) possessundulations along their length. Harbor Seal Vibrissae were shown to reduce vortex induced vibrations and reduce dragcompared to appropriately scaled cylinders and ellipses. Samples of Harbor Seal vibrissae, Elephant Seal vibrissae andCalifornia Sea Lion vibrissae were collected from the Marine Mammal Center in California. CT scanning, microscopy and3D scanning techniques were utilized to characterize the whiskers. Computational fluid dynamics simulations of thewhiskers were carried out to compare them to an ellipse and a cylinder. Leading edge parameters from the whiskerswere used to create a 3D profile based on a modern power turbine blade. The NASA SW-2 facility was used to performwind tunnel cascade testing on the 'Seal Blades'. Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations were used to studyincidence angles from -37 to +10 degrees on the aerodynamic performance of the Seal Blade. The tests and simulationswere conducted at a Reynolds number of 100,000. The Seal Blades showed consistent performance improvements overthe baseline configuration. It was determined that a fuel burn reduction of approximately 5 could be achieved for a fixedwing aircraft. Noise reduction potential is also explored

  12. p-i-n/n-i-p type planar hybrid structure of highly efficient perovskite solar cells towards improved air stability: synthetic strategies and the role of p-type hole transport layer (HTL) and n-type electron transport layer (ETL) metal oxides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mali, Sawanta S; Hong, Chang Kook

    2016-05-19

    There has been fast recent progress in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) towards low cost photovoltaic technology. Organometal mixed halide (MAPbX or FAPbX) perovskites are the most promising light absorbing material sandwiched between the electron transport layer (ETL) and hole transport layer (HTL). These two layers play a critical role in boosting the power conversion efficiency (PCE) and maintaining air stability. However, the device stability is a serious issue in regular as well as p-i-n inverted type perovskite solar cells. This mini-review briefly outlines the state-of-art of p-i-n/n-i-p type planar hybrid perovskite solar cells using MAPbX/FAPbX perovskite absorbing layers. Later, we will focus on recent trends, progress and further opportunities in exploring the air stable hybrid planar structure PSCs.

  13. p-i-n/n-i-p type planar hybrid structure of highly efficient perovskite solar cells towards improved air stability: synthetic strategies and the role of p-type hole transport layer (HTL) and n-type electron transport layer (ETL) metal oxides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mali, Sawanta S.; Hong, Chang Kook

    2016-05-01

    There has been fast recent progress in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) towards low cost photovoltaic technology. Organometal mixed halide (MAPbX or FAPbX) perovskites are the most promising light absorbing material sandwiched between the electron transport layer (ETL) and hole transport layer (HTL). These two layers play a critical role in boosting the power conversion efficiency (PCE) and maintaining air stability. However, the device stability is a serious issue in regular as well as p-i-n inverted type perovskite solar cells. This mini-review briefly outlines the state-of-art of p-i-n/n-i-p type planar hybrid perovskite solar cells using MAPbX/FAPbX perovskite absorbing layers. Later, we will focus on recent trends, progress and further opportunities in exploring the air stable hybrid planar structure PSCs.

  14. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Channel Islands Pinniped Census

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) initiated and maintains census programs for California sea lions (Zalophus...

  15. 76 FR 56167 - Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-12

    ... public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal... and the states seek authorization to manage predation as part of a larger comprehensive fish recovery.... Given its success at obtaining prey in the area and its resistance to non-lethal deterrence efforts...

  16. Individual foraging strategies reveal niche overlap between endangered galapagos pinnipeds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Villegas-Amtmann

    Full Text Available Most competition studies between species are conducted from a population-level approach. Few studies have examined inter-specific competition in conjunction with intra-specific competition, with an individual-based approach. To our knowledge, none has been conducted on marine top predators. Sympatric Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis and sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki share similar geographic habitats and potentially compete. We studied their foraging niche overlap at Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island from simultaneously collected dive and movement data to examine spatial and temporal inter- and intra-specific competition. Sea lions exhibited 3 foraging strategies (shallow, intermediate and deep indicating intra-specific competition. Fur seals exhibited one foraging strategy, diving predominantly at night, between 0-80 m depth and mostly at 19-22 h. Most sea lion dives also occurred at night (63%, between 0-40 m, within fur seals' diving depth range. 34% of sea lions night dives occurred at 19-22 h, when fur seals dived the most, but most of them occurred at dawn and dusk, when fur seals exhibited the least amount of dives. Fur seals and sea lions foraging behavior overlapped at 19 and 21 h between 0-30 m depths. Sea lions from the deep diving strategy exhibited the greatest foraging overlap with fur seals, in time (19 h, depth during overlapping time (21-24 m, and foraging range (37.7%. Fur seals foraging range was larger. Cabo Douglas northwest coastal area, region of highest diving density, is a foraging "hot spot" for both species. Fur seals and sea lions foraging niche overlap occurred, but segregation also occurred; fur seals primarily dived at night, while sea lions exhibited night and day diving. Both species exploited depths and areas exclusive to their species. Niche breadth generally increases with environmental uncertainty and decreased productivity. Potential competition between these species could be greater during warmer periods when prey availability is reduced.

  17. 78 FR 66686 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-06

    ... full species, separated from the Galapagos sea lion (Z. wollebaeki) and the extinct Japanese sea lion... permanent effects on the habitats used by the marine mammals in the proposed area, including the food...

  18. 77 FR 59377 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-27

    ... Japanese sea lion (Z. japonicus) (Brunner 2003, Wolf et al., 2007, Schramm et al., 2009). The estimated... the proposed area, including the food sources they use (i.e., fish and invertebrates). While it is...

  19. 76 FR 46724 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-03

    ... have the potential to cause California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca... the surrounding water or to cause a short-term behavioral disturbance for marine mammals in the areas... Wildlife Refuge. The islands are located near the edge of the continental shelf 28 miles (mi) (45.1 km...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Quantifying Stress in Marine Mammals : Measuring...boonstra/ LONG-TERM GOALS This research will improve our ability to measure stress in marine mammals . Stress hormones (glucocorticoids... mammal researchers to measure free glucocorticoid levels. OBJECTIVES This project has two main objectives, both related to improving our

  1. 77 FR 73989 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-12

    ... IHA (77 FR 59377, September 27, 2012), as behavioral modification. Mitigation In order to issue an... species may exhibit behavioral modifications, including temporarily vacating the area during the seabird... causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing,...

  2. Molecular Indicators of Chronic Stress in a Model Pinniped - The Northern Elephant Seal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    experienced recent acute stress, and chronically stressed animals can offer substantial information relevant to management and conservation of marine...Overview of Experimental Design The proposed work will be conducted in northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), a tractable marine mammal system...fall. This life- history stage represents a baseline state in this species with no additional confounding features such as breeding or molting. In

  3. 75 FR 8677 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

    ... required mitigation measures and monitoring are carried out (e.g., researchers speaking in hushed voices... must not be disturbed until the area is free of predators. (7) Keep voices hushed and bodies low in the...

  4. 76 FR 30311 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-25

    ... breed from late November to March. Females typically give birth to a single pup and attend the pup for... low numbers there currently (S. Allen, unpubl. data). Steller sea lions give birth in May through July.... The potential for incidental take related to the mark/recapture studies is very low as...

  5. Otariodibacter oris and Bisgaardia genomospecies 1 isolated from infections in pinnipeds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mie Johanne; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Delaney, Martha Ann;

    2013-01-01

    in pure culture from four abscesses, an affected lymph node, and a bone lesion consistent with osteomyelitis. Otariodibacter oris was also cultured with Arcanobacterium phocae and β-hemolytic streptococci. A pure culture of Bisgaardia genomospecies 1 was obtained from an abscess in a harbor seal....... This is the first time, to our knowledge, that O. oris has been associated with infection. Isolation of these bacteria in pure culture from abscesses and osteomyelitis strongly indicates a pathogenic potential of this organism. Likewise, the isolation of Bisgaardia genomospecies 1 in pure culture from an abscess...

  6. Occurrence of Can-SINEs and intron sequence evolution supports robust phylogeny of pinniped carnivores and their terrestrial relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Christiane; Bleidorn, Christoph; Hartmann, Stefanie; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2009-12-15

    Investigating the dog genome we found 178965 introns with a moderate length of 200-1000 bp. A screening of these sequences against 23 different repeat libraries to find insertions of short interspersed elements (SINEs) detected 45276 SINEs. Virtually all of these SINEs (98%) belong to the tRNA-derived Can-SINE family. Can-SINEs arose about 55 million years ago before Carnivora split into two basal groups, the Caniformia (dog-like carnivores) and the Feliformia (cat-like carnivores). Genome comparisons of dog and cat recovered 506 putatively informative SINE loci for caniformian phylogeny. In this study we show how to use such genome information of model organisms to research the phylogeny of related non-model species of interest. Investigating a dataset including representatives of all major caniformian lineages, we analysed 24 randomly chosen loci for 22 taxa. All loci were amplifiable and revealed 17 parsimony-informative SINE insertions. The screening for informative SINE insertions yields a large amount of sequence information, in particular of introns, which contain reliable phylogenetic information as well. A phylogenetic analysis of intron- and SINE sequence data provided a statistically robust phylogeny which is congruent with the absence/presence pattern of our SINE markers. This phylogeny strongly supports a sistergroup relationship of Musteloidea and Pinnipedia. Within Pinnipedia, we see strong support from bootstrapping and the presence of a SINE insertion for a sistergroup relationship of the walrus with the Otariidae.

  7. Comparative immunological characterization of type-specific and conserved B-cell epitopes of pinniped, felid and canid herpesviruses.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Lebich; T.C. Harder (Timm); H.R. Frey; I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); B. Liess

    1994-01-01

    textabstractMurine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were generated against phocid herpesviruses (PhHV 2557/Han88 and 7848/Han90) isolated from European harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), and against strains of both felid (FHV strain FVR 605) and canid herpesviruses (CHV isolate 5105/Han89). MAbs were chara

  8. Applicability of single-camera photogrammetry to determine body dimensions of pinnipeds: Galapagos sea lions as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meise, Kristine; Mueller, Birte; Zein, Beate; Trillmich, Fritz

    2014-01-01

    Morphological features correlate with many life history traits and are therefore of high interest to behavioral and evolutionary biologists. Photogrammetry provides a useful tool to collect morphological data from species for which measurements are otherwise difficult to obtain. This method reduces disturbance and avoids capture stress. Using the Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) as a model system, we tested the applicability of single-camera photogrammetry in combination with laser distance measurement to estimate morphological traits which may vary with an animal's body position. We assessed whether linear morphological traits estimated by photogrammetry can be used to estimate body length and mass. We show that accurate estimates of body length (males: ±2.0%, females: ±2.6%) and reliable estimates of body mass are possible (males: ±6.8%, females: 14.5%). Furthermore, we developed correction factors that allow the use of animal photos that diverge somewhat from a flat-out position. The product of estimated body length and girth produced sufficiently reliable estimates of mass to categorize individuals into 10 kg-classes of body mass. Data of individuals repeatedly photographed within one season suggested relatively low measurement errors (body length: 2.9%, body mass: 8.1%). In order to develop accurate sex- and age-specific correction factors, a sufficient number of individuals from both sexes and from all desired age classes have to be captured for baseline measurements. Given proper validation, this method provides an excellent opportunity to collect morphological data for large numbers of individuals with minimal disturbance.

  9. Applicability of single-camera photogrammetry to determine body dimensions of pinnipeds: Galapagos sea lions as an example.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine Meise

    Full Text Available Morphological features correlate with many life history traits and are therefore of high interest to behavioral and evolutionary biologists. Photogrammetry provides a useful tool to collect morphological data from species for which measurements are otherwise difficult to obtain. This method reduces disturbance and avoids capture stress. Using the Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki as a model system, we tested the applicability of single-camera photogrammetry in combination with laser distance measurement to estimate morphological traits which may vary with an animal's body position. We assessed whether linear morphological traits estimated by photogrammetry can be used to estimate body length and mass. We show that accurate estimates of body length (males: ±2.0%, females: ±2.6% and reliable estimates of body mass are possible (males: ±6.8%, females: 14.5%. Furthermore, we developed correction factors that allow the use of animal photos that diverge somewhat from a flat-out position. The product of estimated body length and girth produced sufficiently reliable estimates of mass to categorize individuals into 10 kg-classes of body mass. Data of individuals repeatedly photographed within one season suggested relatively low measurement errors (body length: 2.9%, body mass: 8.1%. In order to develop accurate sex- and age-specific correction factors, a sufficient number of individuals from both sexes and from all desired age classes have to be captured for baseline measurements. Given proper validation, this method provides an excellent opportunity to collect morphological data for large numbers of individuals with minimal disturbance.

  10. Otariodibacter oris gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of the family Pasteurellaceae isolated from the oral cavity of pinnipeds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mie Johanne; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Christensen, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    from existing genera of the Pasteurellaceae by the following tests: positive reactions for catalase, oxidase, Voges-Proskauer and indole; no X- or V-factor dependency; and acid production from L-arabinose (slow), L-fucose, maltose and trehalose, but not from dulcitol, D-mannitol, D-mannose or sucrose...

  11. Campylobacter pinnipediorum sp. nov., isolated from pinnipeds, comprising Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum subsp. nov. and Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus subsp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    During independent diagnostic screenings of otariid seals in California (US) and phocid seals in Scotland (UK), Campylobacter-like isolates, which differed from the established Campylobacter taxa, were cultured from abscesses and internal organs of different seal species. A polyphasic study was unde...

  12. Morphometric and molecular characterization of the species of Uncinaria Frölich, 1789 (Nematoda) parasitic in the Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus (Schreber), with notes on hookworms in three other pinniped hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Paul; Lynch, Michael; Hu, Min; Arnould, John P Y; Norman, Richard; Beveridge, Ian

    2013-05-01

    This study presents morphological and molecular data on hookworms from the Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus (Schreber) currently identified in Australian waters as Uncinaria hamiltoni Baylis, 1933. Additional specimens from the Australian sea lion Neophoca cinerea (Péron) and the New Zealand fur seal Arctocephalus forsteri (Lesson) from Australia, and the Southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina (Linnaeus) from Antarctica, were included. Using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS), hookworms from A. p. doriferus, N. cinerea and A. forsteri were found to be genetically similar but distinct from Uncinaria spp. found in M. leonina from Antarctica, as well as from Zalophus californianus (Lesson) and Callorhinus ursinus (Linnaeus) from California. Few morphological differences were detected between these taxa.

  13. Characterizing pinniped use of offshore oil and gas platforms as haulouts and foraging areas in waters off southern California from 2013-01-01 to 2015-01-31 (NCEI Accession 0138984)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) use offshore oil and gas platforms as resting and foraging areas. Both...

  14. Perros ferales en la isla de Cedros, Baja California, México: una posible amenaza para los pinnípedos Feral dogs at Isla de Cedros, Baja California, Mexico: a possible threat for pinnipeds

    OpenAIRE

    María Concepción García-Aguilar; Juan Pablo Gallo-Reynoso

    2012-01-01

    La presencia de perros ferales (Canis lupus familiaris) en la isla de Cedros, Baja California, México, fue documentada hace más de 15 años. En el verano de 2009 e invierno 2009/2010, se realizaron 2 campañas de muestreo en la costa noreste de la isla para evaluar los hábitos alimentarios de los perros en las cercanías de las zonas de reproducción y descanso del lobo marino de California (Zalophus californianus) y del elefante marino del norte (Mirounga angustirostris). Los mamíferos constituy...

  15. Structural characterisation of Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1) and Toll-like receptor 6 (TLR6) in elephant and harbor seals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woodman, Sally; Gibson, Amanda J.; Garcia, Ana Rubio; Contreras, Guillermo Sanchez; Rossen, John W.; Werling, Dirk; Offord, Victoria

    Pinnipeds are a diverse Glade of semi-aquatic mammals, which act as key indicators of ecosystem health. Their transition from land to marine environments provides a complex microbial milieu, making them vulnerable to both aquatic and terrestrial pathogens, thereby contributing to pinniped population

  16. Structural characterisation of Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1) and Toll-like receptor 6 (TLR6) in elephant and harbor seals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woodman, Sally; Gibson, Amanda J.; Garcia, Ana Rubio; Contreras, Guillermo Sanchez; Rossen, John W.; Werling, Dirk; Offord, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Pinnipeds are a diverse Glade of semi-aquatic mammals, which act as key indicators of ecosystem health. Their transition from land to marine environments provides a complex microbial milieu, making them vulnerable to both aquatic and terrestrial pathogens, thereby contributing to pinniped population

  17. Use of Electronic Tag Data and Associated Analytical Tools to Identify and Predict Habitat Utilization of Marine Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    bluefin and albacore), pinnipeds (northern elephant seals, California sea lions and northern fur seals), sharks (salmon, white, blue, common...Balaenoptera musculus), pinnipeds (Northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris; California sea lions , Zalophus californianus), seabirds (Laysan...seasonal significance for foraging, or reproduction . Figure 2. Predator density maps and residency patterns. a, Density of large marine predators

  18. 75 FR 58365 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Missile Launch...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-24

    .... Placement of the cameras would cause minimal disturbance to pinnipeds and would focus on a subgroup of... forward looking infrared (FLIR) HS-324 Command thermal imaging cameras for nighttime monitoring of pinnipeds before, during, and after each missile launch. Previously, no cameras were available for...

  19. 77 FR 72327 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-05

    ... of the activities are likely to result in the take of marine mammals: Presence of survey personnel near pinniped haulout sites and approach of survey personnel towards hauled out pinnipeds. Take, by...) during a negative low tide series. Due to the large number of research sites, scheduling constraints,...

  20. Annotated Bibliography of Publications from the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-11-01

    on potentially pathogenic microbiological agents recently isolated from pinnipeds. Jour. Wildlife Diseases 1.54-59. Leptospira may be one cause of...heterologous ( sheep ) transfused cells. The sheep cells were quickly removed from circulation. Sweeney. J. C. 1974 Common diseases of pinnipeds. Jour. Am

  1. A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybczynski, Natalia; Dawson, Mary R; Tedford, Richard H

    2009-04-23

    Modern pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and the walrus) are semi-aquatic, generally marine carnivores the limbs of which have been modified into flippers. Recent phylogenetic studies using morphological and molecular evidence support pinniped monophyly, and suggest a sister relationship with ursoids (for example bears) or musteloids (the clade that includes skunks, badgers, weasels and otters). Although the position of pinnipeds within modern carnivores appears moderately well resolved, fossil evidence of the morphological steps leading from a terrestrial ancestor to the modern marine forms has been weak or contentious. The earliest well-represented fossil pinniped is Enaliarctos, a marine form with flippers, which had appeared on the northwestern shores of North America by the early Miocene epoch. Here we report the discovery of a nearly complete skeleton of a new semi-aquatic carnivore from an early Miocene lake deposit in Nunavut, Canada, that represents a morphological link in early pinniped evolution. The new taxon retains a long tail and the proportions of its fore- and hindlimbs are more similar to those of modern terrestrial carnivores than to modern pinnipeds. Morphological traits indicative of semi-aquatic adaptation include a forelimb with a prominent deltopectoral ridge on the humerus, a posterodorsally expanded scapula, a pelvis with relatively short ilium, a shortened femur and flattened phalanges, suggestive of webbing. The new fossil shows evidence of pinniped affinities and similarities to the early Oligocene Amphicticeps from Asia and the late Oligocene and Miocene Potamotherium from Europe. The discovery suggests that the evolution of pinnipeds included a freshwater transitional phase, and may support the hypothesis that the Arctic was an early centre of pinniped evolution.

  2. 50 CFR 216.245 - Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ...) Location of sighting; (B) Species (if not possible—indication of whale/dolphin/pinniped); (C) Number of... AFAST annual report) a brief annual progress update on the status of the development of an effective...

  3. Mammals of the Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Presents information on sea mammals, including definitions and characteristics of cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians. Contains descriptions of the teaching activities "Whale Music,""Draw A Whale to Scale,""Adopt a Sea Mammal," and "Sea Mammal Sleuths." (TW)

  4. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: North Carolina: M_MAMMAL (Marine Mammal Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for whales, porpoises, dolphins, manatees, and pinnipeds in North Carolina. Vector polygons in this data...

  5. Walrus Haulout and In-water Activity Levels Relative to Sea Ice Availability in the Chukchi Sea: 2008-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — An animal’s energetic costs are dependent on the amount of time it allocates to various behavioral activities. For Arctic pinnipeds, the time allocated to active and...

  6. 78 FR 4127 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Basic Requirements for Special Exemption...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-18

    ...), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), sea turtles (in water), white abalone, black abalone, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish (imports only), shortnose sturgeon, and Atlantic sturgeon. The information collection may... also includes adding Atlantic sturgeon and largetooth sawfish. NMFS listed Atlantic sturgeon...

  7. US AMLR Program marine mammal dataset

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As upper trophic level predators, pinnipeds are a conspicuous component of the marine ecosystem around the South Shetland Islands. They respond to spatio-temporal...

  8. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Raw telemetry data for California sea lions and northern fur seals in waters off California, Oregon, and Washington during 2002-2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The purpose of this project was to obtain data that are pertinent to assessing aspects of the distribution and foraging ecology of pinnipeds inhabiting the...

  9. A manual for the identification of marine birds and mammals of the North American West Coast: Preliminary draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Dichotomous keys for birds and mammals that might be found in Alaska or along the pacific coast. Includes, birds, whales, porpoise, and pinnipeds.

  10. Mammals of the Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Presents information on sea mammals, including definitions and characteristics of cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians. Contains descriptions of the teaching activities "Whale Music,""Draw A Whale to Scale,""Adopt a Sea Mammal," and "Sea Mammal Sleuths." (TW)

  11. 78 FR 35851 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-14

    ... studies with large sample size, or observations from a separate monitoring vessel, or radio telemetry, it.... Corresponding proposed dual criteria for pinnipeds (at least harbor seals) are >=186 dB SEL and >=218 dB peak...

  12. 78 FR 35507 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-12

    ... telemetry, it is apparent that some phocid seals do show localized avoidance of operating airguns. The.... Corresponding proposed dual criteria for pinnipeds (at least harbor seals) are >=186 dB SEL and >= 218 dB peak...

  13. Early evolution of sexual dimorphism and polygyny in Pinnipedia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, Thomas M; Fraser, Danielle; Rybczynski, Natalia; Schröder-Adams, Claudia

    2014-05-01

    Sexual selection is one of the earliest areas of interest in evolutionary biology. And yet, the evolutionary history of sexually dimorphic traits remains poorly characterized for most vertebrate lineages. Here, we report on evidence for the early evolution of dimorphism within a model mammal group, the pinnipeds. Pinnipeds show a range of sexual dimorphism and mating systems that span the extremes of modern mammals, from monomorphic taxa with isolated and dispersed mating to extreme size dimorphism with highly ordered polygynous harem systems. In addition, the degree of dimorphism in pinnipeds is closely tied to mating system, with strongly dimorphic taxa always exhibiting a polygynous system, and more monomorphic taxa possessing weakly polygynous systems. We perform a comparative morphological description, and provide evidence of extreme sexual dimorphism (similar to sea lions), in the Miocene-aged basal pinniped taxon Enaliarctos emlongi. Using a geometric morphometric approach and combining both modern and fossil taxa we show a close correlation between mating system and sex-related cranial dimorphism, and also reconstruct the ancestral mating system of extant pinnipeds as highly polygynous. The results suggest that sexual dimorphism and extreme polygyny in pinnipeds arose by 27 Ma, in association with changing climatic conditions. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Fishing gear-related injury in California marine wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dau, Brynie Kaplan; Gilardi, Kirsten V K; Gulland, Frances M; Higgins, Ali; Holcomb, Jay B; Leger, Judy St; Ziccardi, Michael H

    2009-04-01

    We reviewed medical records from select wildlife rehabilitation facilities in California to determine the prevalence of injury in California Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), gulls (Larus spp.), and pinniped species (Zalophus californianus, Mirounga angustirostris, and Phoca vitulina) due to fishing gear entanglement and ingestion from 2001 to 2006. Of 9,668 Brown Pelican, gull, and pinniped cases described during the 6-yr study period (2001-06), 1,090 (11.3%) were fishing gear-related. Pelican injuries caused by fishing gear were most common in the Monterey Bay region, where 59.6% of the pelicans rescued in this area and admitted to a rehabilitation center were injured by fishing gear over the 6-yr period. The highest prevalence of fishing gear-related injury in gulls was documented in the Los Angeles/Orange County region (16.1%), whereas the highest prevalences in pinnipeds were seen in the San Diego region (3.7%). Despite these higher prevalences of gull and pinniped fishing gear-related injuries in these specific regions, there was no statistical significance in these trends. Juvenile gulls and pinnipeds were more commonly injured by fishing gear than adults (gulls: P = 0.03, odds ratio = 1.29; pinnipeds: P = 0.01, odds ratio = 2.07). Male pinnipeds were twice as likely to be injured by fishing gear as females (P gear-related injury cases that were successfully rehabilitated and released (percentage of cases successfully rehabilitated to the point of release out of the total number of fishing gear-related injury cases) was high in all three species groups (pelicans: 63%; gulls: 54%; pinnipeds: 70%). Fishing gear-related injuries in Brown Pelicans and gulls were highest in the fall, but there was only a significant difference between seasons for fishing gear-related injuries in pelicans. Fishing gear-related injuries in pinnipeds most commonly occurred in summer; however, a statistical difference was not detected between seasons for pinnipeds. Derelict

  15. Eotaria citrica, sp. nov., a new stem otariid from the “Topanga” formation of Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    A new taxon of stem otariid, Eotaria citrica sp. nov., is described from the upper Burdigalian to lower Langhian “Topanga” formation of Orange County, California. The new species is described from mandibular and dental remains that show a unique combination of plesiomorphic and derived characters. Specifically, it is characterized by having trenchant and prominent paraconid cusps in p3–m1, lingual cingula of p2–4 with faint crenulations, premolars and molars with vestigial metaconid, bilobed root of m2 and a genial tuberosity located under p3. Furthermore, additional material of the contemporaneous Eotaria crypta is described, providing new information on the morphology of this taxon. Both species of Eotaria represent the earliest stem otariids, reinforcing the hypothesis that the group originated in the north Eastern Pacific Region. At present, the “Topanga” Fm. pinniped fauna includes Eotaria citrica, Eotaria crypta, the desmatophocid Allodesmus sp., the odobenids Neotherium sp., Pelagiarctos sp. and includes the oldest records of crown pinnipeds in California. Overall this pinniped fauna is similar to the nearly contemporaneous Sharktooth Hill bonebed. However, unambiguous records of Eotaria are still missing from Sharktooth Hill. This absence may be due to taphonomic or paleoenvironmental factors. The new “Topanga” record presented here was integrated into an overview of the late Oligocene through early Pleistocene pinniped faunas of Southern California. The results show an overall increase in body size over time until the Pleistocene. Furthermore, desmatophocids were the largest pinnipeds during the middle Miocene, but were extinct by the beginning of the late Miocene. Odobenids diversified and became the dominant pinnipeds in late Miocene through Pleistocene assemblages, usually approaching or exceeding 3 m in body length, while otariids remained as the smallest taxa. This pattern contrasts with modern assemblages, in which the phocid Mirounga

  16. Eotaria citrica, sp. nov., a new stem otariid from the “Topanga” formation of Southern California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Velez-Juarbe

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available A new taxon of stem otariid, Eotaria citrica sp. nov., is described from the upper Burdigalian to lower Langhian “Topanga” formation of Orange County, California. The new species is described from mandibular and dental remains that show a unique combination of plesiomorphic and derived characters. Specifically, it is characterized by having trenchant and prominent paraconid cusps in p3–m1, lingual cingula of p2–4 with faint crenulations, premolars and molars with vestigial metaconid, bilobed root of m2 and a genial tuberosity located under p3. Furthermore, additional material of the contemporaneous Eotaria crypta is described, providing new information on the morphology of this taxon. Both species of Eotaria represent the earliest stem otariids, reinforcing the hypothesis that the group originated in the north Eastern Pacific Region. At present, the “Topanga” Fm. pinniped fauna includes Eotaria citrica, Eotaria crypta, the desmatophocid Allodesmus sp., the odobenids Neotherium sp., Pelagiarctos sp. and includes the oldest records of crown pinnipeds in California. Overall this pinniped fauna is similar to the nearly contemporaneous Sharktooth Hill bonebed. However, unambiguous records of Eotaria are still missing from Sharktooth Hill. This absence may be due to taphonomic or paleoenvironmental factors. The new “Topanga” record presented here was integrated into an overview of the late Oligocene through early Pleistocene pinniped faunas of Southern California. The results show an overall increase in body size over time until the Pleistocene. Furthermore, desmatophocids were the largest pinnipeds during the middle Miocene, but were extinct by the beginning of the late Miocene. Odobenids diversified and became the dominant pinnipeds in late Miocene through Pleistocene assemblages, usually approaching or exceeding 3 m in body length, while otariids remained as the smallest taxa. This pattern contrasts with modern assemblages, in which

  17. Characterisation of whisker control in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) during a complex, dynamic sensorimotor task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milne, Alyx O; Grant, Robyn A

    2014-10-01

    Studies in pinniped whisker use have shown that their whiskers are extremely sensitive to tactile and hydrodynamic signals. While pinnipeds position their whiskers on to objects and have some control over their whisker protractions, it has always been thought that head movements are more responsible for whisker positioning than the movement of the whiskers themselves. This study uses ball balancing, a dynamic sensorimotor skill that is often used in human and robotic coordination studies, to promote sea lion whisker movements during the task. For the first time, using tracked video footage, we show that sea lion whisker movements respond quickly (26.70 ms) and mirror the movement of the ball, much more so than the head. We show that whisker asymmetry and spread are both altered to help sense and control the ball during balancing. We believe that by designing more dynamic sensorimotor tasks we can start to characterise the active nature of this specialised sensory system in pinnipeds.

  18. 50 CFR 14.132 - Food and water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Food and water. 14.132 Section 14.132 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TAKING..., Sea Otters, Pinnipeds, and Polar Bears) § 14.132 Food and water. A marine mammal shall not...

  19. 77 FR 67797 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-14

    .... Observers will also monitor offshore areas for predators (e.g., white sharks) to avoid harassing pinnipeds... subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Endangered Species Act (ESA) The only marine mammal species listed as endangered under the ESA with confirmed or possible occurrence in the study...

  20. Brucella antibody seroprevalence in Antarctic seals (Arctocephalus gazella, Leptonychotes weddellii and Mirounga leonina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Silje-Kristin; Nymo, Ingebjørg Helena; Forcada, Jaume; Hall, Ailsa; Godfroid, Jacques

    2013-09-03

    Brucellosis is a worldwide infectious zoonotic disease caused by Gram-negative bacteria of the genus Brucella, and Brucella infections in marine mammals were first reported in 1994. A serosurvey investigating the presence of anti-Brucella antibodies in 3 Antarctic pinniped species was undertaken with a protein A/G indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) and the Rose Bengal test (RBT). Serum samples from 33 Weddell seals Leptonychotes weddelli were analysed, and antibodies were detected in 8 individuals (24.2%) with the iELISA and in 21 (65.6%) with the RBT. We tested 48 southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina sera and detected antibodies in 2 animals (4.7%) with both the iELISA and the RBT. None of the 21 Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella was found positive. This is the first report of anti-Brucella antibodies in southern elephant seals. The potential impact of Brucella infection in pinnipeds in Antarctica is not known, but Brucella spp. are known to cause abortion in terrestrial species and cetaceans. Our findings suggest that Brucella infection in pinnipeds is present in the Antarctic, but to date B. pinnipedialis has not been isolated from any Antarctic pinniped species, leaving the confirmation of infection pending.

  1. 77 FR 4014 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Physical Oceanographic Studies in the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-26

    ... occurred, would constitute injury, but temporary threshold shift (TTS) is not considered an injury but... on the physical structure of their sensory organs, marine invertebrates appear to be specialized to... Zones The Navy used the exposure threshold isopleths applicable to cetaceans and pinnipeds, as well as...

  2. 77 FR 50990 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-23

    ... the islands above the mean high tide mark is designated as the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge... housing availability, seabird breeding cycles, and at the discretion of Refuge management. Each visit will... intertidal habitat may cause incidental Level B (behavioral) harassment of pinnipeds through some unavoidable...

  3. Building Capacity and International Partnerships to Address Anthropogenic Impacts on Aquatic Animal Health: 44th Annual Conference of the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    Brucellosis , and the interpretation of gas bubbles in stranded cetaceans. Workshops provided training in oil spill preparedness, necropsy techniques to...ship strike diagnosis (M. Moore), oil spill preparedness (M. Ziccardi), pinniped sampling and handling (Gulland). IMPACT/APPLICATIONS The focus...and established collaborations for future research on this topic. Productive discussions on future directions in tag design for cetaceans, diagnosis

  4. 50 CFR 216.155 - Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ...) Systematic visual observations, by those individuals, described in paragraph (c) of this section, on pinniped... monitoring measures: (1) Visual Land-Based Monitoring. (i) Prior to each missile launch, an observer(s) will... subpart. (5) Both the 60-day and final reports will be subject to review and comment by the...

  5. Concentration-Dependant Changes of PCB Patterns in Fish-Eating Mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boon, J.P.; van der Meer, J.; Allchin, C.R.

    1997-01-01

    - and meta-positions and with one ortho-chlorine substituent generally increased in the order otter cetaceans (harbor porpoise, common dolphin) ... in the order cetaceans cetaceans, the pinnipeds, and the otter. Within-species CB patterns differed in a concentration-dependent manner...

  6. 75 FR 28587 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Missile Launch...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-21

    ... incidents (e.g., search-and-rescue, fire-fighting, adverse weather conditions), which may require... mission objectives; (2) the Navy must limit launch activities during other pinniped pupping seasons... launch trajectory necessary to meet mission objectives; (3) the Navy must not launch missiles from...

  7. Influence of a low intensity electric sea lion deterrence system on the migratory behavior of fishes in the upstream migrant tunnel (UMT) at Bonneville Dam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, Matthew G.; Dixon, Christopher J.

    2010-01-01

    Predation by pinnipeds, such as California sea lions (Zalophus alifornianus), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), and Stellar sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) on returning adult Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) in the Columbia River basin has become an increasing concern for fishery managers trying to conserve and restore threatened and endangered runs of

  8. 75 FR 8305 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-24

    ... was expanded to include determinations related to incidental taking from commercial fishing (50 CFR... indicated that the expanded fishery is not likely to lethally take more than one humpback whale per year... limits to the allowable human-caused mortality of cetaceans and pinnipeds. Mar. Mamm. Sci., 14(1): 1-37...

  9. Anomalias e patologias dentárias em Arctocephalus G. Saint-Hilaire & Cuvier (Pinnipedia, Otariidae da costa do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil Tooth anomalies and pathologies in Arctocephalus G. Saint-Hilaire & Cuvier (Pinnipedia, Otariidae of Rio Grande do Sul coast, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Jaeger Drehmer

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The studied species were Arctocephalus australis (Zimmermann, 1783 and Arctocephalus tropicalis (Gray, 1872, (five specimens of each one. Anomalies were discussed under the light of theories which relate the ancestry of pinnipeds with the Ursidae; as well as concerning the evolutionary trends supposed for the Otariidae. Pathologies were related to alimentary and reproductive habits.

  10. Annotated Bibliography of Publications from the US Navy’s Marine Mammal Program, Update. Revision A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-07-01

    microbiological agents recently isolated from pinnipeds. Jour. Wildlife Diseases 10:54-59. Leptospira may be one cause of reproductive failure (abortion) in...the longevity of homologous and heterologous ( sheep ) transfused cells. The sheep cells were quickly removed from circulation. Sweeney, J. C. 1974 Common

  11. Annotated Bibliography of Publications from the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program. Revision D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-05-01

    Diseases 10:54-59. Leptospira may be one cause of reproductive failure (abortion) in California sea lions and fur seals. Certain virus isolations...heterologous ( sheep ) transfused cells. The sheep cells were quickly removed from circulation. Sweeney, J. C. 1974. Common Diseases of Pinnipeds. Jour. Am

  12. 78 FR 66336 - Marine Mammals; File No. 17030

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-05

    ... marine mammals specimens for scientific research. DATES: Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be... species of cetaceans and pinnipeds, except walrus, for the purposes of scientific research. The proposed... takes of live animals is requested under this permit. Import and export are requested to include...

  13. Campylobacter insulaenigrae: first isolation report from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens, (Shaw, 1800

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario González

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Campylobacter insulaenigrae have been isolated from different pinnipeds but not from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens. The aim of this work is to report the first isolation of C. insulaenigrae from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens. The isolate, identified by its phenotypic and molecular characteristics, allow recognizing O. flavescens as a new host for C. insulaenigrae.

  14. Campylobacter Insulaenigrae: First Isolation Report from South American sea lion (Otaria Flavescens, (Shaw, 1800).

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Mario; Paz Villanueva, Maria; Debruyne, Lies; Vandamme, Peter; Fernández, Heriberto

    2011-01-01

    Campylobacter insulaenigrae have been isolated from different pinnipeds but not from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens).The aim of this work is to report the first isolation of C. insulaenigrae from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens).The isolate, identified by its phenotypic and molecular characteristics, allow recognizing O. flavescens as a new host for C. insulaenigrae.

  15. Campylobacter insulaenigrae: first isolation report from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens, (Shaw, 1800)

    OpenAIRE

    Mario González; Maria Paz Villanueva; Lies Debruyne; Peter Vandamme; Heriberto Fernández

    2011-01-01

    Campylobacter insulaenigrae have been isolated from different pinnipeds but not from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens). The aim of this work is to report the first isolation of C. insulaenigrae from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens). The isolate, identified by its phenotypic and molecular characteristics, allow recognizing O. flavescens as a new host for C. insulaenigrae.

  16. Campylobacter insulaenigrae: first isolation report from south american sea lion (Otaria flavescens, (Shaw, 1800)

    OpenAIRE

    González, M.; M. P. Villanueva; Debruyne, L.; Vandamme, P.; Fernández, H.

    2011-01-01

    Campylobacter insulaenigrae have been isolated from different pinnipeds but not from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens). The aim of this work is to report the first isolation of C. insulaenigrae from South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens). The isolate, identified by its phenotypic and molecular characteristics, allow recognizing O. flavescens as a new host for C. insulaenigrae.

  17. The effects of vessel approaches on the New Zealand fur seal (Arctocepahlus forsteri) in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cowling, M.; Kirkwood, R.J.; Boren, L.; Sutherland, D.; Scarpaci, C.

    2015-01-01

    Animals that establish new sites near the edge of the species' range may be vulnerable to disturbance as they are low in numbers and are not tied to the sites. Pinniped distributions world-wide are changing as many species are recolonizing areas of their former ranges and establishing new colonies.

  18. 45 CFR 670.19 - Designation of native mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of native mammals. 670.19 Section 670... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.19 Designation of native mammals. The following are designated native mammals: Pinnipeds: Crabeater seal—Lobodon...

  19. 76 FR 39705 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Operation of Offshore...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-06

    ... individuals of three cetacean and three pinniped species by Level B Harassment. They are: Bowhead, gray, and... installing a new layer of filter fabric. In 2008, BP installed large boulders at the NE corner of the barrier... island renewal construction that may take place during the requested time period, quantities of pipes...

  20. 76 FR 9250 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-17

    ..., 2010, explosion and fire on the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon MC252 approximately 50... whale, dolphin or pinniped); Number of individuals; Whether calves were observed; Initial detection... munitions type in use at time of marine mammal detection (e.g., were the 5-inch guns actually firing...

  1. What a jerk: prey engulfment revealed by high-rate, super-cranial accelerometry on a harbour seal (Phoca vitulina)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ydesen, Kristina S; Wisniewska, Danuta Maria; Hansen, Janni D

    2014-01-01

    A key component in understanding the ecological role of marine mammal predators is to identify how and where they capture prey in time and space. Satellite and archival tags on pinnipeds generally only provide diving and position information, and foraging is often inferred to take place in partic......A key component in understanding the ecological role of marine mammal predators is to identify how and where they capture prey in time and space. Satellite and archival tags on pinnipeds generally only provide diving and position information, and foraging is often inferred to take place...... to wear an OpenTag (sampling at 200 or 333 Hz with ±2 or ±16 g clipping) on its head while catching fish prey in front of four underwater digital high-speed video cameras. We show that both raptorial and suction feeding generate jerk (i.e. differential of acceleration) signatures with maximum peak values...

  2. Food consumption and growth of marine mammals.

    OpenAIRE

    Kastelein, R A

    1998-01-01

    This thesis contains 35 studies on food consumption and growth of captive marine marinmals. Seventeen studies concern food intake and growth records of 9 odontocete species (toothed whales), varying in body weight from 30 to 4500 kg: the killer whale, beluga, false killer whale, Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Amazon river dolphin, common dolphin, dusky dolphin, Commerson's dolphin, and the harbour porpoise (chapter 2). The other eighteen studies concern 8 pinniped species (true seals, sea lions...

  3. Predicting Trophic Interactions and Habitat Utilization in the California Current Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    assimilation (A. Moore), forage fish ecology (K. Rose ) and pinniped ecology (D. Costa). The team also includes a postdoctoral research associate (L...task (1) led to the submission of two manuscripts to Progress in Oceanography describing the fully coupled ecosystem model framework ( Rose et al., 2015...right: spatial patterns and percent variance explained. Center: normalized amplitudes (red squares = sea lion; blue triangles = sardine). Figure

  4. Gulf of Maine Seals - Populations, Problems and Priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    disease and pinnipeds) and the need of an epidemiologist in further discussions. The top diseases of concern were: (1) morbillivirus, (2) influenza ...epidemiologist. 5. Establish when animals should NOT be released back into wild, as in cases of morbillivirus, influenza , etc. 6. Establish baseline...parasites) Human Health zoonosis , (otitis media, Brucella,*rabies) NOAA to introduce epidemiologist as tool Top 10 diseases of Gulf of Maine

  5. 2006 progress report on acoustic and visual monitoring for cetaceans along the outer Washington Coast

    OpenAIRE

    Oleson, Erin M.; Hildebrand, John A.; Calambokidis, John; Schorr, Greg; Falcone, Erin

    2007-01-01

    An acoustic and visual monitoring effort for cetaceans was initiated within the boundaries of the proposed expansion area for the Quinault Underwater Tracking Range in July 2004. Acoustic data collection consisted of recordings at a site on the continental shelf to the west of Cape Elizabeth and another in deep water within Quinault Canyon. An analysis plan for acoustic data is included. Results for 32 visual surveys are presented as tables and charts for pinnipeds, dolphins, porpoises, an...

  6. Project COMBO: Review and Recommendations

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-07-01

    Azores. Peru, the Galapagos , and off Central California. Because of their ubiquity, high source level and common occui rence, sperm whale sounds are...block number) Bandwidth Large Whales Pinnipeds Source Levels Bioacoustics Low-Data Rate Signal-to-noise Ratio Sunmarine Communications Marine Mammals...Signal Synthesis Transducers Covert Measure Fonnat Small Whales Waterfall Display lACS ~"" Pilot Whale Sonogram Whistles 20. ABSTR"fT (Cont inue on

  7. Killer whales and marine mammal trends in the North Pacific - A re-examination of evidence for sequential megafauna collapse and the prey-switching hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, P.R.; Burkanov, V.N.; Dahlheim, M.E.; Friday, N.A.; Fritz, L.W.; Loughlin, Thomas R.; Mizroch, S.A.; Muto, M.M.; Rice, D.W.; Barrett-Lennard, L. G.; Black, N.A.; Burdin, A.M.; Calambokidis, J.; Cerchio, S.; Ford, J.K.B.; Jacobsen, J.K.; Matkin, C.O.; Matkin, D.R.; Mehta, A.V.; Small, R.J.; Straley, J.M.; McCluskey, S.M.; VanBlaricom, G.R.; Clapham, P.J.

    2007-01-01

    Springer et al. (2003) contend that sequential declines occurred in North Pacific populations of harbor and fur seals, Steller sea lions, and sea otters. They hypothesize that these were due to increased predation by killer whales, when industrial whaling's removal of large whales as a supposed primary food source precipitated a prey switch. Using a regional approach, we reexamined whale catch data, killer whale predation observations, and the current biomass and trends of potential prey, and found little support for the prey-switching hypothesis. Large whale biomass in the Bering Sea did not decline as much as suggested by Springer et al., and much of the reduction occurred 50-100 yr ago, well before the declines of pinnipeds and sea otters began; thus, the need to switch prey starting in the 1970s is doubtful. With the sole exception that the sea otter decline followed the decline of pinnipeds, the reported declines were not in fact sequential. Given this, it is unlikely that a sequential megafaunal collapse from whales to sea otters occurred. The spatial and temporal patterns of pinniped and sea otter population trends are more complex than Springer et al. suggest, and are often inconsistent with their hypothesis. Populations remained stable or increased in many areas, despite extensive historical whaling and high killer whale abundance. Furthermore, observed killer whale predation has largely involved pinnipeds and small cetaceans; there is little evidence that large whales were ever a major prey item in high latitudes. Small cetaceans (ignored by Springer et al.) were likely abundant throughout the period. Overall, we suggest that the Springer et al. hypothesis represents a misleading and simplistic view of events and trophic relationships within this complex marine ecosystem. ?? 2007 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  8. Anembryonic Gestation in Wild South American Sea Lion, Otaria flavescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandi, M F; Crespo, E A; Dans, S L

    2016-10-01

    We present the first record and description of an anembryonic gestation in a wild South America sea lion, Otaria flavescens (Carnivora, Pinniped). This is the first report of an anembryonic gestation in a wild marine mammal species. This description furthers the knowledge of general aspects of the reproduction of an otariid species, which presents the particularities of delayed implantation and polygynic breeding system, and adds information on a reproductive abnormality in marine mammals.

  9. Dividing up the pie : whales, fish, and humans as competitors

    OpenAIRE

    Ruzicka, J. J.; Steele, J.H.; Ballerini, Tosca; Gaichas, S. K.; Ainley, D.G.

    2013-01-01

    Similarly structured food web models of four coastal ecosystems (Northern California Current, Central Gulf of Alaska, Georges Bank, southwestern Antarctic Peninsula) were used to investigate competition among whales, fishes, pinnipeds, and humans. Two analysis strategies simulated the effects of historic baleen and odontocete whale abundances across all trophic levels: food web structure scenarios and time-dynamic scenarios. Direct competition between whales and commercial fisheries is small ...

  10. Intraperitoneal implantation of life-long telemetry transmitters in otariids

    OpenAIRE

    Haulena Martin; Horning Markus; Tuomi Pamela A; Mellish Jo-Ann E

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background Pinnipeds, including many endangered and declining species, are inaccessible and difficult to monitor for extended periods using externally attached telemetry devices that are shed during the annual molt. Archival satellite transmitters were implanted intraperitoneally into four rehabilitated California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and 15 wild juvenile Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) to determine the viability of this surgical technique for the deployment of l...

  11. Osmoregulation in marine mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, R. M.

    2001-01-01

    Osmoregulation in marine mammals has been investigated for over a century; however, a review of recent advances in our understanding of water and electrolyte balance and of renal function in marine mammals is warranted. The following topics are discussed: (i) kidney structure and urine concentrating ability, (ii) sources of water, (iii) the effects of feeding, fasting and diving, (iv) the renal responses to infusions of varying salinity and (v) hormonal regulation. The kidneys of pinnipeds and cetaceans are reniculate in structure, unlike those of terrestrial mammals (except bears), but this difference does not confer any greater concentrating ability. Pinnipeds, cetaceans, manatees and sea otters can concentrate their urine above the concentration of sea water, but only pinnipeds and otters have been shown to produce urine concentrations of Na+ and Cl- that are similar to those in sea water. This could afford them the capacity to drink sea water and not lose fresh water. However, with few exceptions, drinking is not a common behavior in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Water balance is maintained in these animals via metabolic and dietary water, while incidental ingestion and dietary salt may help maintain electrolyte homeostasis. Unlike most other aquatic mammals, sea otters commonly drink sea water and manatees frequently drink fresh water. Among the various taxonomic groups of marine mammals, the sensitivity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system appears to be influenced by the availability of Na+. The antidiuretic role of vasopressin remains inconclusive in marine mammals, while the natriuretic function of atrial natriuretic peptide has yet to be examined. Ideas on the direction of future studies are presented.

  12. Optic nerve, superior colliculus, visual thalamus, and primary visual cortex of the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Emily C; Sawyer, Eva K; Kaas, Jon H

    2017-02-11

    The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) are members of a diverse clade of carnivorous mammals known as pinnipeds. Pinnipeds are notable for their large, ape-sized brains, yet little is known about their central nervous system. Both the northern elephant seal and California sea lion spend most of their lives at sea, but each also spends time on land to breed and give birth. These unique coastal niches may be reflected in specific evolutionary adaptations to their sensory systems. Here, we report on components of the visual pathway in these two species. We found evidence for two classes of myelinated fibers within the pinniped optic nerve, those with thick myelin sheaths (elephant seal: 9%, sea lion: 7%) and thin myelin sheaths (elephant seal: 91%, sea lion: 93%). In order to investigate the architecture of the lateral geniculate nucleus, superior colliculus, and primary visual cortex, we processed brain sections from seal and sea lion pups for Nissl substance, cytochrome oxidase, and vesicular glutamate transporters. As in other carnivores, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus consisted of three main layers, A, A1, and C, while each superior colliculus similarly consisted of seven distinct layers. The sea lion visual cortex is located at the posterior side of cortex between the upper and lower banks of the postlateral sulcus, while the elephant seal visual cortex extends far more anteriorly along the dorsal surface and medial wall. These results are relevant to comparative studies related to the evolution of large brains.

  13. How seals divide up the world: environment, life history, and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Steven H; Higdon, Jeff W

    2006-11-01

    Pinnipeds display a remarkable variation in life history adaptations while successfully inhabiting almost every marine environment. We explore how they have done this by grouping the world's pinniped species according to their environmental conditions, mating systems, lactation strategies, and timing of life histories. Next, we tested whether any of these clusters provide information about risk of extinction (using the International Union for Nature and the Conservation of Natural Resources status ranks). Seals at risk were not characterized by differences in lactation pattern (22% short vs. 46% long), mating system (24% multi-male vs. 35% harems), or timing of life history events (23% fast vs. 42% slow) but did differ based on four environmental groupings. Grouping traits (rather than seals) described two clusters: one that included the environmental trait, primary productivity, and a second one that included all other environmental variables (seasonality, latitude, and temperature). Based on this result and theoretical considerations, we plotted seals according to energy (primary productivity) and variation (seasonality) and found a pattern analogous to that of the same four groups determined by cluster analysis of all environmental variables. Of the two pinniped groups representing low variation (equatorial and high productivity), ten of 21 seal species have been designated at risk, in contrast to none of the 13 seal species adapted to high variation. We conclude that seals appear to be best adapted to seasonal environments and thus, conservation efforts may benefit by concentrating on species inhabiting less variable environments.

  14. Interpretation of anatomical characters in phylogenetic analysis of Pinnipedia, with emphasis on Otariidae (Mammalia, Carnivora

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Sanfelice

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2013v26n2p185   The hypothesis that pinnipeds have a common origin gained support during the 1980s in discussions focused on the systematics of the group. However, the limited knowledge of the anatomy of several species and the frequent variation in several character states make it difficult to clarify the phylogenetic relationships of pinnipeds. Our purpose was to review the anatomical characters of the syncranium and dentition used in phylogenetic analyses by studying the otariids Otaria byronia (n=25 and Arctocephalus australis (n=48. Some interpretations of characters presented in the literature were found to be questionable, notably: (1 shape and position of the premaxillary tuberosity; (2 orientation of the maxillary postcanine alveoli; (3 naso-labialis fossa; (4 shape of the jugal contact with the zygomatic process of temporal; (5 relief and length of the tympanic bone; (6 relationship between the height of the condylar process in relation to the lower postcanine teeth alveoli; (7 individualization of the canal of the cochlear aqueduct and round window; (8 separation of the openings for the cranial nerves VII and VIII in the internal auditory meatus; (9 lingual cingulum on the third upper incisor; (10 development of the metaconid of the fifth upper postcanine tooth, and (11 number of roots in the second to fourth upper postcanine teeth and fifth lower postcanine tooth. These observations indicate the relevance and the need for detailed anatomical descriptions of pinnipeds for understanding their phylogenetic relationships and, consequently, their evolutionary relationships.

  15. The use of DNA barcoding to monitor the marine mammal biodiversity along the French Atlantic coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Alfonsi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In the last ten years, 14 species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds stranded along the Atlantic coast of Brittany in the North West of France. All species included, an average of 150 animals strand each year in this area. Based on reports from the stranding network operating along this coast, the most common stranding events comprise six cetacean species (Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella coeruleoalba, Globicephala melas, Grampus griseus, Phocoena phocoena and one pinniped species (Halichoerus grypus. Rare stranding events include deep-diving or exotic species, such as arctic seals. In this study, our aim was to determine the potential contribution of DNA barcoding to the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity as performed by the stranding network.We sequenced more than 500 bp of the 5’ end of the mitochondrial cox1 gene of 89 animals of 15 different species (12 cetaceans, and three pinnipeds. Except for members of the Delphininae, all species were unambiguously discriminated on the basis of their cox1 sequences. We then applied DNA barcoding to identify some “undetermined” samples. With again the exception of the Delphininae, this was successful using the BOLD identification engine. For samples of the Delphininae, we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial control region (MCR, and using a non-metric multidimentional scaling plot and posterior probability calculations we were able to determine putatively each species. We then showed, in the case of the harbour porpoise, that cox1 polymorphisms, although being lower than MCR ones, could also be used to assess intraspecific variability. All these results show that the use of DNA barcoding in conjunction with a stranding network could clearly increase the accuracy of the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Airborne Lidar Detection and Characterization of Internal Waves in a Shallow Fjord

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    West Sound, which is about half of that. The large bay on the east side of West Sound is White Beach Bay. surface is safe for humans and marine...within the internal waves is converted to turbulent energy at large scales through nonlinear interactions , and this energy cascades through smaller...34Laser safety thresholds for cetaceans and pinnipeds," Mar. Mammal Sei. 16(1), 186-200 (2000), http://dx.doi.Org/10.l 111/j. 1748- 7692.20O0

  18. Three-Terminal Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Cheng-Hung Tai; Chu-Hsuan Lin; Chih-Ming Wang; Chun-Chieh Lin

    2011-01-01

    Many defects exist within amorphous silicon since it is not crystalline. This provides recombination centers, thus reducing the efficiency of a typical a-Si solar cell. A new structure is presented in this paper: a three-terminal a-Si solar cell. The new back-to-back p-i-n/n-i-p structure increased the average electric field in a solar cell. A typical a-Si p-i-n solar cell was also simulated for comparison using the same thickness and material parameters. The 0.28 μm-thick three-terminal a-Si...

  19. Helicobacter cetorum infection in striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus), and short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphus) from the southwest coast of England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davison, Nicholas J; Barnett, James E F; Koylass, Mark; Whatmore, Adrian M; Perkins, Matthew W; Deaville, Robert C; Jepson, Paul D

    2014-07-01

    Helicobacter infection in cetaceans was first reported from the US in 2000 when the isolation of a novel Helicobacter species was described from two Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus). Since then, Helicobacter species have been demonstrated in cetaceans and pinnipeds from around the world. Since 1990, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Polwhele, Truro, has been involved in the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme to establish the cause of death of cetacean species stranded along the coast of Cornwall, England. We describe the isolation of Helicobacter cetorum in a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and evidence of H. cetorum infection in cetaceans from European waters.

  20. Corynosoma spp. (Acanthocephala, Polymorphidae) in Mirounga leonina (Pinnipedia, Phocidae) of South Shetlands Islands: a new host for Corynosoma cetaceum

    OpenAIRE

    Silveira, Tony Leandro Rezende da; Robaldo, Ricardo Berteaux; Pinto Colares, Elton; Bianchini,Adalto; Muelbert, Mônica Mathias Costa; Martínez, Pablo Elias; Pereira, Eliane Machado; Valente, Ana Luisa Schifino

    2014-01-01

    Corynosoma bullosum is a parasite of pinnipeds while Corynosoma cetaceum is considered a parasite of cetaceans. Until now, there were no records of parasitism by C. cetaceum in phocids. This study reports C. bullosum and the first record of C. cetaceum in Mirounga leonina from Antarctica Corynosoma bullosum é um parasito de pinípedes enquanto Corynosoma cetaceum se destaca pelo parasitismo em cetáceos. Até o momento, não haviam registros de C. cetaceum em focídeos. Este estudo relata a oco...

  1. STREPTOCOCCUS PHOCAE ISOLATED FROM A SPOTTED SEAL (PHOCA LARGHA) WITH PYOMETRA IN ALASKA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueffer, Karsten; Lieske, Camilla L.; McGilvary, Lisa M.; Hare, Rebekah F.; Miller, Debra L.; O’Hara, Todd M.

    2013-01-01

    A spotted seal harvested by subsistence hunters in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska (USA), showed a grossly enlarged uterus and associated lymph nodes. Streptococcus phocae was isolated from the purulent uterine discharge. Histopathologic examination revealed inflammation that was limited to the uterine mucosa. Lymph nodes draining the affected organ were reactive but no evidence of active infection was found in the lymph nodes. This report is the first Streptococcus phocae isolated from spotted seals as well as the first report of pyometra as the main pathologic finding associated with this pathogen. Isolation of this pathogen from Alaska expands the reported range to arctic pinnipeds. Zoonotic potential remains unknown. PMID:22946378

  2. Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis abundance in poorly known sites: a spatial expansion of colonies?

    OpenAIRE

    Diana Szteren

    2015-01-01

    AbstractThe establishment of new pinniped colonies is a consequence of complex dynamics in which some colonies may transform from haul-outs into breeding sites. The aim of this article was to estimate the abundance of Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis at two poorly known sites of Uruguay, the easternmost “Isla Verde-Islote Coronilla” (IV-IC) and the westernmost “Las Pipas” (LP). From June 2008 to June 2009 count from boats were conducted at LP, and aerial c...

  3. Marine mammal audibility of selected shallow-water survey sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGillivray, Alexander O; Racca, Roberto; Li, Zizheng

    2014-01-01

    Most attention about the acoustic effects of marine survey sound sources on marine mammals has focused on airgun arrays, with other common sources receiving less scrutiny. Sound levels above hearing threshold (sensation levels) were modeled for six marine mammal species and seven different survey sources in shallow water. The model indicated that odontocetes were most likely to hear sounds from mid-frequency sources (fishery, communication, and hydrographic systems), mysticetes from low-frequency sources (sub-bottom profiler and airguns), and pinnipeds from both mid- and low-frequency sources. High-frequency sources (side-scan and multibeam) generated the lowest estimated sensation levels for all marine mammal species groups.

  4. Dramatic increase in sea otter mortality from white sharks in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinker, M. Tim; Hatfield, Brian B.; Harris, Michael D.; Ames, Jack A.

    2016-01-01

    Although southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) are not considered prey for white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), sharks do nonetheless bite sea otters. We analyzed spatial and temporal trends in shark bites on sea otters in California, assessing the frequency of shark bite wounds in 1,870 carcasses collected since 1985. The proportion of stranded sea otters having shark bites has increased sharply since 2003, and white shark bites now account for >50% of recovered carcasses. The trend was most pronounced in the southern part of the range, from Estero Bay to Point Conception, where shark bite frequency has increased eightfold. Seasonal trends were also evident: most shark-bitten carcasses are recovered in late summer and fall; however, the period of elevated shark bite frequency has lengthened. The causes of these trends are unclear, but possible contributing factors include increased white shark abundance and/or changes in white shark behavior and distribution. In particular, the spatiotemporal patterns of shark-bitten sea otters match increases in pinniped populations, and the increased availability of marine mammal prey for white sharks may have led to more sharks spending more time in nearshore waters utilized by both sea otters and pinnipeds.

  5. Likely effects of construction of Scroby Sands offshore wind farm on a mixed population of harbour Phoca vitulina and grey Halichoerus grypus seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skeate, Eleanor R; Perrow, Martin R; Gilroy, James J

    2012-04-01

    Scroby Sands offshore wind farm was built close to a haul-out and breeding site for harbour seal, a species of conservation concern. An aerial survey programme conducted during a five-year period spanning wind farm construction, revealed a significant post-construction decline in haul-out counts. Multivariate model selection suggested that the decline was not related to the environmental factors considered, nor did it mirror wider population trends. Although cause and effect could not be unequivocally established, the theoretical basis of hearing in pinnipeds and previous studies suggested that extreme noise (to 257 dB re 1 μ Pa(pp) @ 1m) generated by pile-driving of turbine bases led to displacement of seals. A lack of full recovery of harbour seal during the study was also linked to their sensitivity to vessel activity and/or rapid colonisation of competing grey seal. Any impact of offshore wind farm development upon pinnipeds would be much reduced without pile-driving.

  6. Phocine Distemper Virus: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pádraig J. Duignan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Phocine distemper virus (PDV was first recognized in 1988 following a massive epidemic in harbor and grey seals in north-western Europe. Since then, the epidemiology of infection in North Atlantic and Arctic pinnipeds has been investigated. In the western North Atlantic endemic infection in harp and grey seals predates the European epidemic, with relatively small, localized mortality events occurring primarily in harbor seals. By contrast, PDV seems not to have become established in European harbor seals following the 1988 epidemic and a second event of similar magnitude and extent occurred in 2002. PDV is a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus with minor sequence variation between outbreaks over time. There is now mounting evidence of PDV-like viruses in the North Pacific/Western Arctic with serological and molecular evidence of infection in pinnipeds and sea otters. However, despite the absence of associated mortality in the region, there is concern that the virus may infect the large Pacific harbor seal and northern elephant seal populations or the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on PDV with particular focus on developments in diagnostics, pathogenesis, immune response, vaccine development, phylogenetics and modeling over the past 20 years.

  7. Fatal mass ingestion of gastric foreign bodies in juvenile hooded seals (Cystophora cristata stranded in north-western iberian peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep M. Alonso-Farré

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The hooded seal (Cystophora cristata is a subarctic and arctic pinniped species with its limit of distribution in southern Europe established west of the British Isles. Nevertheless, since 1970, strandings of juvenile individuals have been reported much further south than this limit. The special clinical and management considerations to take into account with these arctic seals have become a new challenge to veterinary clinicians of southern North-Atlantic stranding networks. We present here three clinical cases involving mass ingestion of foreign bodies, which seems to be a generalized finding in this species. Although the presence of gastroliths are considered to be normal in pinnipeds, the fast and ultimately lethal cases presented here highlights how an excessive presence of gastric foreign bodies could result in a gastrointestinal stasis syndrome, which has to be quickly resolved, medically or surgically. Portable ultrasound and X-ray equipments have demonstrated their value as gastric foreign bodies diagnostic procedures with nervous wildlife patients, such as the juvenile hooded seals. Finally, we conclude that it is extremely important to avoid the use of loose stones or sand over resting areas and to take extreme precautions with small items near the rehabilitation pools when dealing with this seal species.

  8. Phocine distemper virus: current knowledge and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duignan, Pádraig J; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Baker, Jason D; Barbieri, Michelle; Colegrove, Kathleen M; De Guise, Sylvain; de Swart, Rik L; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Dobson, Andrew; Duprex, W Paul; Early, Greg; Fauquier, Deborah; Goldstein, Tracey; Goodman, Simon J; Grenfell, Bryan; Groch, Kátia R; Gulland, Frances; Hall, Ailsa; Jensen, Brenda A; Lamy, Karina; Matassa, Keith; Mazzariol, Sandro; Morris, Sinead E; Nielsen, Ole; Rotstein, David; Rowles, Teresa K; Saliki, Jeremy T; Siebert, Ursula; Waltzek, Thomas; Wellehan, James F X

    2014-12-22

    Phocine distemper virus (PDV) was first recognized in 1988 following a massive epidemic in harbor and grey seals in north-western Europe. Since then, the epidemiology of infection in North Atlantic and Arctic pinnipeds has been investigated. In the western North Atlantic endemic infection in harp and grey seals predates the European epidemic, with relatively small, localized mortality events occurring primarily in harbor seals. By contrast, PDV seems not to have become established in European harbor seals following the 1988 epidemic and a second event of similar magnitude and extent occurred in 2002. PDV is a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus with minor sequence variation between outbreaks over time. There is now mounting evidence of PDV-like viruses in the North Pacific/Western Arctic with serological and molecular evidence of infection in pinnipeds and sea otters. However, despite the absence of associated mortality in the region, there is concern that the virus may infect the large Pacific harbor seal and northern elephant seal populations or the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on PDV with particular focus on developments in diagnostics, pathogenesis, immune response, vaccine development, phylogenetics and modeling over the past 20 years.

  9. Psychophysical and electrophysiological aerial audiograms of a Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulsow, Jason; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2010-04-01

    A within-subject comparison of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) and psychophysical measurements of aerial hearing sensitivity was conducted with an individual of the largest otariid species, the Steller sea lion. Psychophysical methods were used to obtain an unmasked aerial audiogram at 13 frequencies, spanning a range of 0.125-34 kHz. The subject had a hearing range (frequencies audible at 60 dB(rms) re 20 microPa) of about 0.250-30 kHz, and a region of best hearing sensitivity from 5-14.1 kHz. The psychophysical aerial audiogram of this Steller sea lion was remarkably similar to aerial audiograms previously obtained for California sea lions and northern fur seals, suggesting that the otariid pinnipeds form a functional hearing group. ASSR thresholds, measured at frequencies of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 32 kHz, were elevated relative to corresponding psychophysical thresholds, ranging from +1 dB at 20 kHz, to +31 dB at 1 kHz. The ASSR audiogram accurately predicted the subject's high-frequency cutoff, and provided a reasonable estimate of hearing sensitivity at frequencies above 2 kHz. In testing situations where psychophysical methods are not possible, ASSR methods may provide an objective and efficient estimate of behavioral hearing sensitivity in otariid pinnipeds.

  10. Phocine Distemper Virus: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duignan, Pádraig J.; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Baker, Jason D.; Barbieri, Michelle; Colegrove, Kathleen M.; De Guise, Sylvain; de Swart, Rik L.; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Dobson, Andrew; Duprex, W. Paul; Early, Greg; Fauquier, Deborah; Goldstein, Tracey; Goodman, Simon J.; Grenfell, Bryan; Groch, Kátia R.; Gulland, Frances; Hall, Ailsa; Jensen, Brenda A.; Lamy, Karina; Matassa, Keith; Mazzariol, Sandro; Morris, Sinead E.; Nielsen, Ole; Rotstein, David; Rowles, Teresa K.; Saliki, Jeremy T.; Siebert, Ursula; Waltzek, Thomas; Wellehan, James F.X.

    2014-01-01

    Phocine distemper virus (PDV) was first recognized in 1988 following a massive epidemic in harbor and grey seals in north-western Europe. Since then, the epidemiology of infection in North Atlantic and Arctic pinnipeds has been investigated. In the western North Atlantic endemic infection in harp and grey seals predates the European epidemic, with relatively small, localized mortality events occurring primarily in harbor seals. By contrast, PDV seems not to have become established in European harbor seals following the 1988 epidemic and a second event of similar magnitude and extent occurred in 2002. PDV is a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus with minor sequence variation between outbreaks over time. There is now mounting evidence of PDV-like viruses in the North Pacific/Western Arctic with serological and molecular evidence of infection in pinnipeds and sea otters. However, despite the absence of associated mortality in the region, there is concern that the virus may infect the large Pacific harbor seal and northern elephant seal populations or the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on PDV with particular focus on developments in diagnostics, pathogenesis, immune response, vaccine development, phylogenetics and modeling over the past 20 years. PMID:25533658

  11. Influence of a weak field of pulsed DC electricity on the behavior and incidence of injury in adult Steelhead and Pacific Lamprey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, Matthew G.; Copeland, Elizabeth S.

    2009-01-01

    Predation by pinnipeds, such as California sea lions Zalophus californianus, Pacific harbor seals Phoca vitulina, and Stellar sea lions Eumetopias jubatus on adult Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp in the lower Columbia River has become a serious concern for fishery managers trying to conserve and restore runs of threatened and endangered fish. As a result, Smith-Root, Incorporated (SRI; Vancouver, Washington), manufacturers of electrofishing and closely-related equipment, proposed a project to evaluate the potential of an electrical barrier to deter marine mammals and reduce the amount of predation on adult salmonids (SRI 2007). The objectives of their work were to develop, deploy, and evaluate a passive, integrated sonar and electric barrier that would selectively inhibit the upstream movements of marine mammals and reduce predation, but would not injure pinnipeds or impact anadromous fish migrations. However, before such a device could be deployed in the field, concerns by regional fishery managers about the potential effects of such a device on the migratory behavior of Pacific salmon, steelhead O. mykiss, Pacific lampreys Entoshpenus tridentata, and white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus, needed to be addressed. In this report, we describe the results of laboratory research designed to evaluate the effects of prototype electric barriers on adult steelhead and Pacific lampreys.

  12. THE MARINE MAMMAL FAUNA OF POTENTIAL OTEC SITES IN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND HAWAII

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.

    1979-05-01

    Twenty-seven marine mammal species have been recorded for the Gulf of Mexico, including 7 Mysticetes or baleen whales, 17 Odontocetes or toothed whales, 1 Sirenian (manatee), and 1 or 2 Pinnipeds or seals. The most common species in the Gulf is Tursiops truncatus, the bottlenosed dolphin, an inshore species. Offshore, Stenella plagiodon, the spotted dolphin, is fairly common. Most other species are recorded from very few sightings or strandings. None of the endangered species is common in potential OTEC sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-two marine mammals may occur in Hawaii; 2 Mystecetes, 19 Odonotocetes, and the endemic monk seal. The monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), an endangered species, lives in the extreme northwestern island chain away from potential OTEC sites. Among the most common cetaceans in Hawaii is the endangered humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Stenella longirostris, the spinner dolphin; and Tursiops sp., the bottlenosed dolphin are also fairly common. The baleen whales feed on zooplankton during the summer in polar waters, and are migratory, while the toothed whales feed mainly on fish and squid, and are found in temperate or tropical regions year-round. The manatee is vegetarian and the pinnipeds are fish- or squid-eaters. Environmental effects of OTEC which may affect mammals are: toxic effects of biocide release or ammonia spill, biostimulating effects of seawater redistribution, oil spills, or effects of the physical presence of OTEC plants.

  13. Marine mammal fauna of potential OTEC sites in the Gulf of Mexico and Hawaii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.

    1979-05-01

    Twenty-seven marine mammal species have been recorded for the Gulf of Mexico, including 7 Mysticetes or baleen whales, 17 Odontocetes or toothed whales, 1 Sirenian (manatee), and 1 or 2 Pinnipeds or seals. The most common species in the Gulf is the bottlenosed dolphin, an inshore species. Offshore, the spotted dolphin, is fairly common. Most other species are recorded from very few sightings or strandings. None of the endangered species is common in potential OTEC sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-two marine mammals may occur in Hawaii; 2 Mystecetes, 19 Odonotocetes, and the endemic monk seal. The monk seal, an endangered species, lives in the extreme northwestern island chain away from potential OTEC sites. Among the most common cetaceans in Hawaii is the endangered humpback whale. The spinner dolphin and the bottlenosed dolphin are also fairly common. The baleen whales feed on zooplankton during the summer in polar waters, and are migratory, while the toothed whales feed mainly on fish and squid, and are found in temperate or tropical regions year-round. The manatee is vegetarian and the pinnipeds are fish- or squid-eaters. Environmental effects of OTEC which may affect mammals are: toxic effects of biocide release or ammonia spill, biostimulating effects of seawater redistribution, oil spills, or effects of the physical presence of OTEC plants.

  14. Estimation of walrus populations on sea ice with infrared imagery and aerial photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udevitz, M.S.; Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    Population sizes of ice-associated pinnipeds have often been estimated with visual or photographic aerial surveys, but these methods require relatively slow speeds and low altitudes, limiting the area they can cover. Recent developments in infrared imagery and its integration with digital photography could allow substantially larger areas to be surveyed and more accurate enumeration of individuals, thereby solving major problems with previous survey methods. We conducted a trial survey in April 2003 to estimate the number of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) hauled out on sea ice around St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. The survey used high altitude infrared imagery to detect groups of walruses on strip transects. Low altitude digital photography was used to determine the number of walruses in a sample of detected groups and calibrate the infrared imagery for estimating the total number of walruses. We propose a survey design incorporating this approach with satellite radio telemetry to estimate the proportion of the population in the water and additional low-level flights to estimate the proportion of the hauled-out population in groups too small to be detected in the infrared imagery. We believe that this approach offers the potential for obtaining reliable population estimates for walruses and other ice-associated pinnipeds. ?? 2007 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  15. Characterization of the putatively introduced red alga Acrochaetium secundatum (Acrochaetiales, Rhodophyta) growing epizoically on the pelage of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentall, Gena B.; Rosen, Barry H.; Kunz, Jessica M.; Miller, Melissa A.; Saunders, Gary W.; LaRoche, Nicole L.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological associations between epibionts (organisms that live on the surface of another living organism) and vertebrates have been documented in both marine and terrestrial environments, and may be opportunistic, commensal, or symbiotic (Lewin et al. 1981, Holmes 1985, Allen et al. 1993, Bledsoe et al. 2006, Pfaller et al. 2008, Suutari et al. 2010). Although epibiont proliferation is frequently reported on slow-moving, sparsely haired organisms such as manatees and sloths, reports from densely furred, highly mobile mammals are much less common. There are reports of epizoic algae for several species of pinnipeds (Kenyon and Rice 1959, Scheffer 1962, Baldridge 1977, Allen et al. 1993), which rely to varying degrees on both pelage and blubber for thermoregulation, but the phenomenon has not been widely described. Scheffer (1962) noted that red algae was fairly common on the pelage of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), pinnipeds for which fur likely makes a comparatively high contribution to thermoregulation (Donohue et al. 2000). For species with pelage that plays a critical role of thermal insulation, it seems implausible that an epibiont would persist on healthy individuals that devote significant energy resources toward grooming and actively maintaining their coat. Biological characteristics of epibiont settlement and attachment, and physiological requirements of epizoic species play key roles in their successful colonization and potential host impacts. To investigate this relationship, we explore a novel discovery of an epizoic alga from southern sea otters, including describing algal development on sea otter hair and molecular identification of the algae.

  16. Immunohistochemical characterization of selected cell markers for the detection of hematopoietic cells in formalin-fixed, paraffin wax-embedded lymphoid tissues of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seibel, H; Stimmer, L; Siebert, U; Beineke, A

    2010-10-15

    To facilitate a detailed investigation of pinniped lymphoid organs, 30 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) as well as eight polyclonal antibodies (pAb) of different species specificities directed against cell antigens of the hematopoietic system were tested for immunohistochemical cross-reactivity on formalin-fixed, paraffin wax-embedded tissues of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) and a walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus). Six monoclonal and eight polyclonal antibodies showed specific immunoreactivities. Lymphocytes were immunolabeled by an anti-CD3 pAb, anti-Foxp3 mAb and anti-CD79 alpha mAb, while plasma cell subpopulations were recognized by anti-IgA pAb, anti-IgG pAb and anti-IgM pAb as well as by anti-kappa- and anti-lambda light chain pAb. Cells of the histiocytic lineage were recognized by lysozyme-, myeloid/histiocyte antigen-, and CD68-specific markers. Furthermore, dendritic cell-like cells were detected by an anti-S100 protein pAb. The MHC class II antigen was labeled on the majority of immune cells of the harbor seal and walrus using a bovine mAb. Mast cells were stained by an anti-mast cell tryptase mAb. Thus, using these antibodies from various species, it is now possible to determine phenotypical changes in lymphoid organs and detect different leukocyte subsets involved in inflammatory responses in archived tissue samples of these pinniped species.

  17. Axial allometry in a neutrally buoyant environment: effects of the terrestrial-aquatic transition on vertebral scaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, K E; Pierce, S E

    2016-03-01

    Ecological diversification into new environments presents new mechanical challenges for locomotion. An extreme example of this is the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic lifestyle. Here, we examine the implications of life in a neutrally buoyant environment on adaptations of the axial skeleton to evolutionary increases in body size. On land, mammals must use their thoracolumbar vertebral column for body support against gravity and thus exhibit increasing stabilization of the trunk as body size increases. Conversely, in water, the role of the axial skeleton in body support is reduced, and, in aquatic mammals, the vertebral column functions primarily in locomotion. Therefore, we hypothesize that the allometric stabilization associated with increasing body size in terrestrial mammals will be minimized in secondarily aquatic mammals. We test this by comparing the scaling exponent (slope) of vertebral measures from 57 terrestrial species (23 felids, 34 bovids) to 23 semi-aquatic species (pinnipeds), using phylogenetically corrected regressions. Terrestrial taxa meet predictions of allometric stabilization, with posterior vertebral column (lumbar region) shortening, increased vertebral height compared to width, and shorter, more disc-shaped centra. In contrast, pinniped vertebral proportions (e.g. length, width, height) scale with isometry, and in some cases, centra even become more spool-shaped with increasing size, suggesting increased flexibility. Our results demonstrate that evolution of a secondarily aquatic lifestyle has modified the mechanical constraints associated with evolutionary increases in body size, relative to terrestrial taxa.

  18. Diversity of MHC DQB and DRB Genes in the Endangered Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca cinerea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Quintin; Chow, Natalie; Gray, Rachael; Gongora, Jaime; Higgins, Damien P

    2015-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules have an important role in vertebrate adaptive immunity, being responsible for recognizing, binding, and presenting specific antigenic peptides to T lymphocytes. Here, we study the MHC class II DQB and DRB exon 2 genes of the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea), an endangered pinniped species that experiences high pup mortality. Following characterization of N. cinerea DQB and DRB by molecular cloning, and evaluation of diversity in pups across 2 colonies using variant screening (n = 47), 3 DQB alleles and 10 DRB variants (including 1 pseudogene allele) were identified. The higher diversity at DRB relative to DQB is consistent with other studies in marine mammals. Despite overall lower MHC class II allelic diversity relative to some other pinniped species, we observed similar levels of nucleotide diversity and selection in N. cinerea. In addition, we provide support for recent divergence of MHC class II alleles. The characterization of MHC class II diversity in the Australian sea lion establishes a baseline for further investigation of associations with disease, including endemic hookworm infection, and contributes to the conservation management of this species.

  19. Computed tomographic examination of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) with suspected Mycobacterium pinnipedii infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurczynski, K; Scharpegge, J; Ley-Zaporozhan, J; Ley, S; Cracknell, J; Lyashchenko, K; Greenwald, R; Schenk, J P

    2011-12-03

    Ten South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) were presented for clinical evaluation and diagnosis of tuberculosis following known exposure to Mycobacterium pinnipedii. CT was used to determine whether foci of calcification in mediastinal lymph nodes, typically associated with pinniped tuberculosis, could be detected and whether CT was a useful diagnostic modality, in conjunction with other tests, for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in this species. Blood was collected from the caudal gluteal vein of each animal for serological testing using commercially available serological tests (ElephantTB STAT-PAK and DPP Vet; Chembio Diagnostic Systems) and a multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), carried out at Chembio to verify the in-house kits. In four of nine animals that underwent CT scanning, lesions consistent with pinniped tuberculosis were apparent and these were confirmed at subsequent postmortem examination. The five remaining animals did not show any abnormalities on CT, with three being negative on serological tests, which were considered to be normal and potentially used as reference images for healthy sea lions. One animal could not be CT scanned due to its large size and weight (510 kg).

  20. Numerical anomalies in the dentition of southern fur seals and sea lions (Pinnipedia: Otariidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Loch

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Cases of dental agenesis, supernumerary teeth and dental losses are presented in three species of South American Otariids: Arctocephalus australis (Zimmermann, 1783, A. tropicalis (Gray, 1872 and Otaria flavescens (Shaw, 1800. For the first time, congenital and acquired dental anomalies were comparatively diagnosed in skull samples from southern Brazil and nearby areas. The skulls and mandibles were accessed in the scientific collection of mammals of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Agenesis was found only among maxillary post-canine teeth, especially the distal ones (PC/6, due to an evolutionary trend towards reduction of the number of post-canine teeth in this family. Maxillary and mandibular supernumerary teeth were found in A. australis and A. tropicalis, but their positioning is unrelated to cases regarding phylogenetic and evolutionary implications. Dental losses were found in all species and different stages of alveolar obliteration suggest that this process is common in Otariids and does not affect their survival. The investigation of congenital and acquired dental anomalies in pinnipeds can provide information on dental formula evolution in Pinnipeds and in the phylogenetic relationships among Carnivora.

  1. Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis abundance in poorly known sites: a spatial expansion of colonies?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Szteren

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available AbstractThe establishment of new pinniped colonies is a consequence of complex dynamics in which some colonies may transform from haul-outs into breeding sites. The aim of this article was to estimate the abundance of Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis at two poorly known sites of Uruguay, the easternmost “Isla Verde-Islote Coronilla” (IV-IC and the westernmost “Las Pipas” (LP. From June 2008 to June 2009 count from boats were conducted at LP, and aerial censuses at Isla Verde. At LP both pinniped species were recorded, and the abundance was maximum in July with a total of 202 animals.O. flavescens was present throughout the year, mainly adult males, while A. australis was only observed from June to October. LP is defined as a haul-out structure used as resting area, especially for O. flavescens. At IV-IC between 225 and 521 O. flavescens were recorded. The number of animals increased in Spring and Summer. Females were the most abundant category and pups were recorded in March. According to the age structure and the presence of pups, we propose it would have and incipient reproductive activity. This colony should be monitored in relation with its category as a marine protected area.

  2. Population differentiation in the context of Holocene climate change for a migratory marine species, the southern elephant seal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrigan, L J; Fabiani, A; Chauke, L F; McMahon, C R; de Bruyn, M; Bester, M N; Bastos, A; Campagna, C; Muelbert, M M C; Hoelzel, A R

    2016-09-01

    Understanding observed patterns of connectivity requires an understanding of the evolutionary processes that determine genetic structure among populations, with the most common models being associated with isolation by distance, allopatry or vicariance. Pinnipeds are annual breeders with the capacity for extensive range overlap during seasonal migrations, establishing the potential for the evolution of isolation by distance. Here, we assess the pattern of differentiation among six breeding colonies of the southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina, based on mtDNA and 15 neutral microsatellite DNA markers, and consider measures of their demography and connectivity. We show that all breeding colonies are genetically divergent and that connectivity in this highly mobile pinniped is not strongly associated with geographic distance, but more likely linked to Holocene climate change and demographic processes. Estimates of divergence times between populations were all after the last glacial maximum, and there was evidence for directional migration in a clockwise pattern (with the prevailing current) around the Antarctic. We discuss the mechanisms by which climate change may have contributed to the contemporary genetic structure of southern elephant seal populations and the broader implications.

  3. Innervation Patterns of Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris Mystacial Follicle-Sinus Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Douglas Marshall

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Sea otters (Enhydra lutris are the most recent group of mammals to return to the sea, and may exemplify divergent somatosensory tactile systems among mammals. Therefore, we quantified the mystacial vibrissal array of sea otters and histologically processed follicle-sinus complexes (F-SCs to test the hypotheses that the number of myelinated axons per F-SC is greater than that found for terrestrial mammalian vibrissae and that their organization and microstructure converge with those of pinniped vibrissae. A mean of 120.5 vibrissae were arranged rostrally on a broad, blunt muzzle in 7-8 rows and 9-13 columns. The F-SCs of sea otters are tripartite in their organization and similar in microstructure to pinnipeds rather than terrestrial species. Each F-SC was innervated by a mean 1339±408.3 axons. Innervation to the entire mystacial vibrissal array was estimated at 161,313 axons. Our data support the hypothesis that the disproportionate expansion of the coronal gyrus in somatosensory cortex of sea otters is related to the high innervation investment of the mystacial vibrissal array, and that quantifying innervation investment is a good proxy for tactile sensitivity. We predict that the tactile performance of sea otter mystacial vibrissae is comparable to that of harbor seals, sea lions and walruses¬.

  4. Comparative polyphasic characterization of Streptococcus phocae strains with different host origin and description of the subspecies Streptococcus phocae subsp. salmonis subsp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avendaño-Herrera, Ruben; Balboa, Sabela; Castro, Nuria; González-Contreras, Alberto; Magariños, Beatriz; Fernández, Jorge; Toranzo, Alicia E; Romalde, Jesús L

    2014-05-01

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to clarify the taxonomic position of Streptococcus phocae strains isolated from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) cage-farmed in Chile. Four salmon and three seal isolates showed minor differences in the SDS-PAGE protein analysis. Thus, a major protein band present in the salmon isolates, of approximately 22.4 kDa, was absent in the pinniped strains, regardless of the growth media employed. In addition, the pinniped strains showed protein bands with molecular masses of 71.5 and 14.2 kDa, when grown on trypticase soy agar supplemented with 1% NaCl, or 25.6 kDa, when grown on Columbia blood agar, not present in the Atlantic salmon strains. A high similarity in the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) MS spectra of the strains was observed, although some minor peaks were absent in the fish isolates. Fatty acid methyl esters from isolates with different host origin significantly (PStreptococcus phocae subsp. salmonis subsp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is C-4T (=CECT 7921T=DSM 24768T). The subspecies Streptococcus phocae subsp. phocae subsp. nov. is automatically created. An emended description of S. phocae is also provided.

  5. Influence of a Weak Field of Pulsed DC Electricity on the Behavior and Incidence of Injury in Adult Steelhead and Pacific Lamprey, Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mesa, Matthew

    2009-02-13

    Predation by pinnipeds, such as California sea lions Zalophus californianus, Pacific harbor seals Phoca vitulina, and Stellar sea lions Eumetopias jubatus on adult Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp in the lower Columbia River has become a serious concern for fishery managers trying to conserve and restore runs of threatened and endangered fish. As a result, Smith-Root, Incorporated (SRI; Vancouver, Washington), manufacturers of electrofishing and closely-related equipment, proposed a project to evaluate the potential of an electrical barrier to deter marine mammals and reduce the amount of predation on adult salmonids (SRI 2007). The objectives of their work were to develop, deploy, and evaluate a passive, integrated sonar and electric barrier that would selectively inhibit the upstream movements of marine mammals and reduce predation, but would not injure pinnipeds or impact anadromous fish migrations. However, before such a device could be deployed in the field, concerns by regional fishery managers about the potential effects of such a device on the migratory behavior of Pacific salmon, steelhead O. mykiss, Pacific lampreys Entoshpenus tridentata, and white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus, needed to be addressed. In this report, we describe the results of laboratory research designed to evaluate the effects of prototype electric barriers on adult steelhead and Pacific lampreys. The effects of electricity on fish have been widely studied and include injury or death (e.g., Sharber and Carothers 1988; Dwyer et al. 2001; Snyder 2003), physiological dysfunction (e.g., Schreck et al. 1976; Mesa and Schreck 1989), and altered behavior (Mesa and Schreck 1989). Much of this work was done to investigate the effects of electrofishing on fish in the wild. Because electrofishing operations would always use more severe electrical settings than those proposed for the pinniped barrier, results from these studies are probably not relevant to the work proposed by SRI. Field

  6. Skin biopsies for cell cultures from Mediterranean free-ranging cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsili, L; Fossi, M C; Neri, G; Casini, S; Gardi, C; Palmeri, S; Tarquini, E; Panigada, S

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a useful method for obtaining viable tissue samples for establishing cell cultures from skin biopsies of free-ranging cetaceans. The skin biopsies were performed by two methods: dart from an air gun and dart from a crossbow. The dart tip was modified to collect tissue. The tissue was kept in tissue culture medium at ambient temperature, then processed within 24 h. Many modifications in culture technique, with respect to conventional culture methods for human fibroblasts, were made. The cultures thus obtained can be used for many purposes, including genetic and toxicological studies. In toxicology they are an alternative in vitro system for studying threatened animals such as marine mammals. In particular, fibroblasts can be used to test the vulnerability of cetaceans and pinnipeds to different environmental contaminants such as organochlorine compounds, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

  7. In vitro susceptibility of sea lion poxvirus to cidofovir.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nollens, Hendrik H; Gulland, Frances M D; Jacobson, Elliott R; Hernandez, Jorge A; Klein, Paul A; Walsh, Michael T; Condit, Richard C

    2008-10-01

    Parapoxviruses of seals and sea lions are commonly encountered pathogens with zoonotic potential. The antiviral activity of the antiviral compounds isatin-beta-thiosemicarbazone, rifampicin, acyclovir, cidofovir and phosphonoacetic acid against a parapoxvirus (SLPV-1) isolated from a Californian sea lions (Zalophus californianus) was evaluated. Cidofovir was able to reduce virus-induced cytopathic effect of SLPV-1 in confluent monolayers when used in concentrations greater than 2microg/ml. A decreasing virus yield was observed in the presence of increasing concentrations of cidofovir, which confirmed the ability of cidofovir to inhibit SLPV-1 replication. The in vitro efficacy of cidofovir against SLPV-1 indicates the therapeutic potential of cidofovir for the treatment of infections of humans and pinnipeds with parapoxviruses of seals and sea lions. This study confirms the previously proposed therapeutic potential of cidofovir for the treatment of parapoxvirus infections.

  8. Zooarqueologia dos mamíferos aquáticos e semi-aquáticos da Ilha de Santa Catarina, sul do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Volkmer de Castilho

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzes the use of aquatic mammals by prehistoric societies of Santa Catarina Island, Southern Brazil. Samples from two archaeological sites were examined: Rio do Meio (RM and Porto do Rio Vermelho (SCPRV. Nine aquatic mammal species were found: a pinnipeds: Arctocephalus australis (Zimmerman, 1783 and A. tropicalis (Gray, 1872, and b cetaceans: Eubalaena australis (Desmoulins, 1822, Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758, Stenella frontalis (Cuvier, 1829, Steno bredanensis (Lesson, 1828, Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & d'Orbigny, 1844 and a non-identified rorqual from the genus Balaenoptera Lacépède, 1804. Three especies of semi-aquatic mammals were also recorded: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1758, Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758 and Lontra longicaudis (Olfers,1818. Both sites presented similar species diversity, although abundance was greater at the most recent site (RM. There were more samples from axial skeletons, but in genera the anatomical regions were homogeneously distributed among the identified taxa.

  9. Effects of anisakid nematodes Anisakis simplex (s.l.), Pseudoterranova decipiens (s.l.) and Contracaecum osculatum (s.l.) on fish and consumer Health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchmann, Kurt; Mehrdana, Foojan

    2016-01-01

    The anisakid nematodes Anisakis simplex (Rudolphi, 1809), Pseudoterranova decipiens (Krabbe, 1878) and Contracaecum osculatum (Rudolphi, 1802) occur as third-stage larvae in marine fish products and may infect consumers ingesting raw or under-cooked fish products. Clinical symptoms associated...... (fillet) and C. osculatum larvae reside predominantly in the liver, body cavity, mesenteries and pyloric caeca. Preventive measures, including mechanical removal of worms, heat treatment or freezing to kill worms, are needed in order to reduce the risk of human infections. The anisakid life cycle involves...... several hosts. A. simplex nematodes use cetaceans (whales) as final hosts whereas P. decipiens and C. osculatum have their adult stage in pinnipeds (seals). Eggs released by worms in these hosts pass with feces to seawater where free-living third-stage larvae hatch from the eggs. Various invertebrates...

  10. Three-Terminal Amorphous Silicon Solar Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Hung Tai

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Many defects exist within amorphous silicon since it is not crystalline. This provides recombination centers, thus reducing the efficiency of a typical a-Si solar cell. A new structure is presented in this paper: a three-terminal a-Si solar cell. The new back-to-back p-i-n/n-i-p structure increased the average electric field in a solar cell. A typical a-Si p-i-n solar cell was also simulated for comparison using the same thickness and material parameters. The 0.28 μm-thick three-terminal a-Si solar cell achieved an efficiency of 11.4%, while the efficiency of a typical a-Si p-i-n solar cell was 9.0%. Furthermore, an efficiency of 11.7% was achieved by thickness optimization of the three-terminal solar cell.

  11. Adhesive and invasive capacities of Edwarsiella tarda isolated from South American sea lion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Araceli; Villanueva, María Paz; González, Mario; Fernández, Fabiola; Latif, Fadua; Flores, Sandra Nonier; Fernández, Heriberto

    2014-01-01

    Edwarsiella tarda is a zoonotic bacterium that can be isolated from humans, animals and the environment. Although E. tarda is primarily considered a fish pathogen, it is the only species of its genus considered to be pathogenic for humans as well. A survey of zoonotic intestinal bacteria in fresh feces from South American sea lions (SASL) Otaria flavescens, reported E. tarda as the most frequently isolated species. In this study, we used HEp-2 cells to establish in vitro the adherence and invasive ability of 17 E. tarda strains isolated from SASL fecal material. All the strains were able to adhere and invade HEp-2 cells with adhesion and invasion percentages ranging from 56 to 100% and 21 to 74%, respectively. Despite the expression of these pathogenic factors, further investigation is needed to determine whether this bacterium could play a role as primary pathogen for this and other species of pinnipeds. PMID:25477948

  12. Adhesive and invasive capacities of Edwardsiella tarda isolated from South American sea lion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Araceli; Villanueva, María Paz; González, Mario; Fernández, Fabiola; Latif, Fadua; Flores, Sandra Nonier; Fernández, Heriberto

    2014-01-01

    Edwarsiella tarda is a zoonotic bacterium that can be isolated from humans, animals and the environment. Although E. tarda is primarily considered a fish pathogen, it is the only species of its genus considered to be pathogenic for humans as well. A survey of zoonotic intestinal bacteria in fresh feces from South American sea lions (SASL) Otaria flavescens, reported E. tarda as the most frequently isolated species. In this study, we used HEp-2 cells to establish in vitro the adherence and invasive ability of 17 E. tarda strains isolated from SASL fecal material. All the strains were able to adhere and invade HEp-2 cells with adhesion and invasion percentages ranging from 56 to 100% and 21 to 74%, respectively. Despite the expression of these pathogenic factors, further investigation is needed to determine whether this bacterium could play a role as primary pathogen for this and other species of pinnipeds.

  13. A new species of Ascocotyle (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) from the South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens, off Patagonia, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Orts, Jesús Servando; Montero, Francisco Esteban; Crespo, Enrique Alberto; García, Néstor Aníbal; Raga, Juan Antonio; Aznar, Francisco Javier

    2012-08-01

    We describe a new heterophyid species, Ascocotyle (Ascocotyle) patagoniensis n. sp., based on specimens collected from the intestines of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens from Patagonia (Argentina). Ascocotyle (A.) patagoniensis n. sp. is distinguished from the other species of the subgenus by the number of circumoral spines, which are arranged in 2 rows of 18 to 23. The new species also differs from the other species in having a gonotyl without papillae. The specimens exhibited the widest seminal receptacle described for a species of this subgenus. Species of the subgenus Ascocotyle usually infect fish-eating birds or mammals in freshwater or brackish habitats. Ascocotyle (A.) patagoniensis n. sp. is the first species of the subgenus described from a marine mammal. However, no metacercariae of Ascocotyle spp. were found in 542 marine teleosts from 20 species collected in the same locality. The life cycle of the marine species from the Ascocotyle -complex infecting pinnipeds remains elusive.

  14. Sexual harassment and female gregariousness in the South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappozzo, Humberto L.; Túnez, Juan I.; Cassini, Marcelo H.

    2008-07-01

    Most colonial pinnipeds form extreme clusters of breeding females that cannot be entirely explained by the distribution of sites for reproduction. Avoidance of male harassment has been postulated as an important determinant of reproductive aggregation in this group of mammals. Female gregariousness can reduce harassment by resident males by two mechanisms; directly by the ‘dilution effect’ or indirectly because resident males that defend large female groups are less harassing. In order to investigate the relationship between male harassment and female gregariousness in relation to the size of breeding groups, we analysed the behaviour of dominant males and their females in a breeding colony of Otaria flavescens. Females in large breeding groups received less harassment by resident males due to dilution effects and because males that defended a large group interacted less frequently with females than males with small groups.

  15. A practice method to evaluate ecotoxicological risks; Tecnica d`indagine per la valutazione del rischio tossicologico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossi, M. C.; Marsili, L.; Casini, S.; Savelli, C.

    1998-03-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and validate a multi trial diagnostic and prognostic approach, based on nondestructive bio markers and residue analyses, to evaluate eco toxicological risk to endangered species of southwest Atlantic pinnipeds. Two colonies of the sea lion Otaria flavescens, one located in a heavily polluted harbour (Mar del Plata, Argentina) and the other in a `remote area` (Punta Bermeja, Patagonia, Argentina) were the subject of this preliminary research. Samples of hair and excreta were collected in a completely non-invasive way from several specimens of each colony. Blood and skin samples were obtained from a few specimens in each colony after anaesthetising the animals. These preliminary results illustrate the potential of this approach for hazard assessment in endangered species.

  16. Adhesive and invasive capacities of Edwarsiella tarda isolated from South American sea lion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Araceli Fernández

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Edwarsiella tarda is a zoonotic bacterium that can be isolated from humans, animals and the environment. Although E. tarda is primarily considered a fish pathogen, it is the only species of its genus considered to be pathogenic for humans as well. A survey of zoonotic intestinal bacteria in fresh feces from South American sea lions (SASL Otaria flavescens, reported E. tarda as the most frequently isolated species. In this study, we used HEp-2 cells to establish in vitro the adherence and invasive ability of 17 E. tarda strains isolated from SASL fecal material. All the strains were able to adhere and invade HEp-2 cells with adhesion and invasion percentages ranging from 56 to 100% and 21 to 74%, respectively. Despite the expression of these pathogenic factors, further investigation is needed to determine whether this bacterium could play a role as primary pathogen for this and other species of pinnipeds.

  17. Gastric carcinoma in a South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Mutsumi; Koutaka, Mitsuru; Une, Yumi

    2016-08-01

    A 22-year-old captive male South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) developed an undifferentiated carcinoma originating in the cardiac region of the stomach. Clinical symptoms included vomiting, anorexia and weight loss. Ultrasonography and endoscopy showed gastric wall thickness. At necropsy, the gastric wall had significant thickening around the cardiac region, and metastases were found in some organs. Histologically, samples from the stomach wall and metastases showed the same tumor tissue. Immunohistochemistry was positive for epithelium markers. Ductal growth, keratinocytes or signet ring cells were absent. The tumor was classified as an undifferentiated carcinoma using the World Health Organization's (WHO) guide to international classification of tumors in domestic animals. This is the first report of a primary gastric carcinoma in a pinniped.

  18. Gastric carcinoma in a South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    YAMAZAKI, Mutsumi; KOUTAKA, Mitsuru; UNE, Yumi

    2016-01-01

    A 22-year-old captive male South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) developed an undifferentiated carcinoma originating in the cardiac region of the stomach. Clinical symptoms included vomiting, anorexia and weight loss. Ultrasonography and endoscopy showed gastric wall thickness. At necropsy, the gastric wall had significant thickening around the cardiac region, and metastases were found in some organs. Histologically, samples from the stomach wall and metastases showed the same tumor tissue. Immunohistochemistry was positive for epithelium markers. Ductal growth, keratinocytes or signet ring cells were absent. The tumor was classified as an undifferentiated carcinoma using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guide to international classification of tumors in domestic animals. This is the first report of a primary gastric carcinoma in a pinniped. PMID:27052463

  19. Current and future patterns of global marine mammal biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Kaschner

    Full Text Available Quantifying the spatial distribution of taxa is an important prerequisite for the preservation of biodiversity, and can provide a baseline against which to measure the impacts of climate change. Here we analyse patterns of marine mammal species richness based on predictions of global distributional ranges for 115 species, including all extant pinnipeds and cetaceans. We used an environmental suitability model specifically designed to address the paucity of distributional data for many marine mammal species. We generated richness patterns by overlaying predicted distributions for all species; these were then validated against sightings data from dedicated long-term surveys in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, the Northeast Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Model outputs correlated well with empirically observed patterns of biodiversity in all three survey regions. Marine mammal richness was predicted to be highest in temperate waters of both hemispheres with distinct hotspots around New Zealand, Japan, Baja California, the Galapagos Islands, the Southeast Pacific, and the Southern Ocean. We then applied our model to explore potential changes in biodiversity under future perturbations of environmental conditions. Forward projections of biodiversity using an intermediate Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC temperature scenario predicted that projected ocean warming and changes in sea ice cover until 2050 may have moderate effects on the spatial patterns of marine mammal richness. Increases in cetacean richness were predicted above 40° latitude in both hemispheres, while decreases in both pinniped and cetacean richness were expected at lower latitudes. Our results show how species distribution models can be applied to explore broad patterns of marine biodiversity worldwide for taxa for which limited distributional data are available.

  20. Current and future patterns of global marine mammal biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaschner, Kristin; Tittensor, Derek P; Ready, Jonathan; Gerrodette, Tim; Worm, Boris

    2011-01-01

    Quantifying the spatial distribution of taxa is an important prerequisite for the preservation of biodiversity, and can provide a baseline against which to measure the impacts of climate change. Here we analyse patterns of marine mammal species richness based on predictions of global distributional ranges for 115 species, including all extant pinnipeds and cetaceans. We used an environmental suitability model specifically designed to address the paucity of distributional data for many marine mammal species. We generated richness patterns by overlaying predicted distributions for all species; these were then validated against sightings data from dedicated long-term surveys in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, the Northeast Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Model outputs correlated well with empirically observed patterns of biodiversity in all three survey regions. Marine mammal richness was predicted to be highest in temperate waters of both hemispheres with distinct hotspots around New Zealand, Japan, Baja California, the Galapagos Islands, the Southeast Pacific, and the Southern Ocean. We then applied our model to explore potential changes in biodiversity under future perturbations of environmental conditions. Forward projections of biodiversity using an intermediate Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) temperature scenario predicted that projected ocean warming and changes in sea ice cover until 2050 may have moderate effects on the spatial patterns of marine mammal richness. Increases in cetacean richness were predicted above 40° latitude in both hemispheres, while decreases in both pinniped and cetacean richness were expected at lower latitudes. Our results show how species distribution models can be applied to explore broad patterns of marine biodiversity worldwide for taxa for which limited distributional data are available.

  1. SURVEY FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN THE SOUTH AMERICAN FUR SEAL (ARCTOCEPHALUS AUSTRALIS) POPULATION AT PUNTA SAN JUAN, PERU.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankowski, Gwen; Adkesson, Michael J; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Cárdenas-Alayza, Susana; Majluf, Patricia

    2015-06-01

    The Peruvian population of the South American fur seal ( Arctocephalus australis ) is a distinct evolutionarily significant unit that is endangered. One of the largest rookeries for this species in Peru is located within the Punta San Juan marine protected area (15°22'S, 75°12'W). To better understand the current health status of this population, exposure to 10 pinniped pathogens was evaluated in adult female fur seals (n=29) via serology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques in November 2010. The results suggest this population is naïve to canine and phocine distemper viruses (serum neutralization test), five Leptospira interrogans serovars (microscopic agglutination test), and Brucella canis (card test). Indirect fluorescent antibody testing for Toxoplasma gondii , Neospora caninum , and Sarcocystis neurona was also uniformly negative. PCR testing of nasal swabs using previously described Mycoplasma spp. primers was positive in 37.9% (11/29) of samples. One animal was positive via card test for Brucella abortus , whereas 53.7% (15/28) were positive or suspect using a marine Brucella competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibody to phocine herpesvirus-1 (PHV-1) was identified in 85.7% (24/28) of the sampled population by serum neutralization testing. Overall, exposure to Mycoplasma spp., Brucella spp., and PHV-1 was observed, but results demonstrated low to no exposure to many key pinniped pathogens. The expansion of human populations, agriculture, and industry along the Peruvian coast may lead to increased pathogen exposure from human, domestic, and wild animal sources. The naïve nature of this key population of South American fur seals raises concerns about potential risk for disease outbreaks.

  2. Cetacean brains: how aquatic are they?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Lori

    2007-06-01

    The adaptation of cetaceans to a fully aquatic lifestyle represents one of the most dramatic transformations in mammalian evolutionary history. Two of the most salient features of modern cetaceans are their fully aquatic lifestyle and their large brains. This review article will offer an overview of comparative neuroanatomical research on aquatic mammals, including analyses of odontocete cetacean, sirenian, pinniped, and fossil archaeocete brains. In particular, the question of whether a relationship exists between being fully aquatic and having a large brain is addressed. It has been hypothesized that the large, well-developed cetacean brain is a direct product of adaptation to a fully aquatic lifestyle. The current consensus is that the paleontological evidence on brain size evolution in cetaceans is not consistent with this hypothesis. Cetacean brain enlargement took place millions of years after adaptation to a fully aquatic existence. Neuroanatomical comparisons with sirenians and pinnipeds provide no evidence for the idea that the odontocete's large brain, high encephalization level, and extreme neocortical gyrification is an adaptation to a fully aquatic lifestyle. Although echolocation has been suggested as a reason for the high encephalization level in odontocetes, it should be noted that not all aquatic mammals echolocate and echolocating terrestrial mammals (e.g., bats) are not particularly highly encephalized. Echolocation is not a requirement of a fully aquatic lifestyle and, thus, cannot be considered a sole effect of aquaticism on brain enlargement. These results indicate that the high encephalization level of odontocetes is likely related to their socially complex lifestyle patterns that transcend the influence of an aquatic environment.

  3. Toxic effects of various pollutants in 11B7501 lymphoma B cell line from harbour seal (Phoca vitulina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frouin, Héloïse; Fortier, Marlène; Fournier, Michel

    2010-04-11

    Although, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been reported at high levels in marine mammals, little is known about the toxic effects of some of these contaminants. In this study, we assessed the immunotoxic and genotoxic effects of seven heavy metals (arsenic, vanadium, selenium, iron, zinc, silver and chromium) and one PAH (benzo[a]pyrene or B[a]P) on a lymphoma B cell line from harbour seal (Phoca vitulina). A significant reduction in lymphocyte proliferation was registered following an exposure to 0.05 microM of B[a]P, 5 microM of arsenic or selenium, 50 microM of vanadium, 100 microM of silver and 200 microM of iron. On the contrary, zinc increased the lymphoproliferative response at 200 microM. Decreased phagocytosis was observed at 20 microM of arsenic, 50 microM of B[a]P or selenium, 200 microM of zinc and 500 microM of vanadium. Micronuclei induction occurred with 0.2 microM of B[a]P, 100 microM of vanadium and with 200muM of arsenic or selenium. Exposure to 50muM of arsenic decreased G(2)/M phase of the cell cycle. Chromium did not induce any effects at the concentrations tested. Concentrations of heavy metals (except silver and vanadium) and B[a]P inducing an toxic effect are within the environmental ranges reported in the blood tissue of pinnipeds. The reduction of some functional activities of the harbour seal immune system may cause a significant weakness capable of altering host resistance to disease in free-ranging pinnipeds. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Life begins when the sea lion is ashore: microhabitat use by a louse living on a diving mammal host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, M S; Crespo, E A; Vales, D G; Feijoo, M; Raga, J A; Aznar, F J

    2012-08-01

    Among Anoplura, the family Echinophthiriidae includes species that infest pinnipeds and otters. Previous evidence obtained from pinnipeds infested by echinophthiriids, specifically from seals, indicates that flippers are the preferred infestation sites, while lice from fur seals select areas in the pelage. We studied habitat selection of Antarctophthirus microchir on South American sea lion pups (Otaria flavescens Shaw, 1800) from Patagonia, Argentina, during the austral summer of 2009. We found a clear pattern of habitat selection: eggs are laid on the dorsal surface; nymphs 1 hatch there and then migrate to the belly, where they develop into adults and copulate; and then ovigerous females return to the dorsal surface. On the one hand, nymphs 1 are characterised by their low locomotory ability; therefore, the fact that they migrate as soon as they hatch suggests a clear pressure leading to microhabitat restriction. On the other hand, the described pattern of microhabitat selection seems to respond to the physiological requirements of each stage, which vary according to the physiological process considered, e.g. oviposition, morphogenesis, hatching and development. Accordingly, it appears that A. microchir would prefer the host's ventral area for development and copulation and the dorsal area for oviposition. However, the causes of this pattern are not clear, and many factors could be involved. Considering that sea lion pups periodically soak at high tides, and that prolonged immersion and very high humidity are known to be lethal for lice eggs, selecting the dorsal area would be advantageous for oviposition because it dries much faster. Furthermore, because humidity should be retained for longer periods on the ventral surface of the pup, wetter conditions on the sea lion would prevent desiccation of the nymphs in the very arid environment where O. flavescens breeds.

  5. Longer and less overlapping food webs in anthropogenically disturbed marine ecosystems: confirmations from the past.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Saporiti

    Full Text Available The human exploitation of marine resources is characterised by the preferential removal of the largest species. Although this is expected to modify the structure of food webs, we have a relatively poor understanding of the potential consequences of such alteration. Here, we take advantage of a collection of ancient consumer tissues, using stable isotope analysis and SIBER to assess changes in the structure of coastal marine food webs in the South-western Atlantic through the second half of the Holocene as a result of the sequential exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherers, western sealers and modern fishermen. Samples were collected from shell middens and museums. Shells of both modern and archaeological intertidal herbivorous molluscs were used to reconstruct changes in the stable isotopic baseline, while modern and archaeological bones of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens, South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis and Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus were used to analyse changes in the structure of the community of top predators. We found that ancient food webs were shorter, more redundant and more overlapping than current ones, both in northern-central Patagonia and southern Patagonia. These surprising results may be best explained by the huge impact of western sealing on pinnipeds during the fur trade period, rather than the impact of fishing on fish populations. As a consequence, the populations of pinnipeds at the end of the sealing period were likely well below the ecosystem's carrying capacity, which resulted in a release of intraspecific competition and a shift towards larger and higher trophic level prey. This in turn led to longer and less overlapping food webs.

  6. Longer and less overlapping food webs in anthropogenically disturbed marine ecosystems: confirmations from the past.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saporiti, Fabiana; Bearhop, Stuart; Silva, Laura; Vales, Damián G; Zenteno, Lisette; Crespo, Enrique A; Aguilar, Alex; Cardona, Luis

    2014-01-01

    The human exploitation of marine resources is characterised by the preferential removal of the largest species. Although this is expected to modify the structure of food webs, we have a relatively poor understanding of the potential consequences of such alteration. Here, we take advantage of a collection of ancient consumer tissues, using stable isotope analysis and SIBER to assess changes in the structure of coastal marine food webs in the South-western Atlantic through the second half of the Holocene as a result of the sequential exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherers, western sealers and modern fishermen. Samples were collected from shell middens and museums. Shells of both modern and archaeological intertidal herbivorous molluscs were used to reconstruct changes in the stable isotopic baseline, while modern and archaeological bones of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens, South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis and Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus were used to analyse changes in the structure of the community of top predators. We found that ancient food webs were shorter, more redundant and more overlapping than current ones, both in northern-central Patagonia and southern Patagonia. These surprising results may be best explained by the huge impact of western sealing on pinnipeds during the fur trade period, rather than the impact of fishing on fish populations. As a consequence, the populations of pinnipeds at the end of the sealing period were likely well below the ecosystem's carrying capacity, which resulted in a release of intraspecific competition and a shift towards larger and higher trophic level prey. This in turn led to longer and less overlapping food webs.

  7. The use of non destructive biomarkers in the study of marine mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    M Cristina Fossi And Letizia Marsili

    1997-01-01

    Marine mammals have been subject to heavy anthropogenic pressure by direct killing and chemical pollution all over the world. Most studies of contamination and biomarker responses in marine mammals have been conducted using animals killed by hunting out of a total of 12 cetacean species studied, 45 of the specimens were obtained by sacrificing the animal; out of a total of eight pinniped species studied, 40 of the specimens were obtained by killing. The development of a series of non destructive techniques to evaluate biomarker responses and residue levels is recommended for the hazard assessment and conservation of endangered species of marine mammals. Here we review the current status of the non destructive biomarker approach in marine mammals, describing the biological materials available for non destructive tests in stranded brain, liver, blood, skin, subcutaneous blubber, muscle and fur and free ranging animals blood, skin biopsy, fur and faeces and the respective biomarker techniques mixed function oxidase activity and DNA damage in skin biopsy samples; porphyrins in faeces and fur; esterases, porphyrins, clinical biochemical parameter, vitamin A and micronuclei in blood samples. Residue analysis can be carried out in the various biological materials. We also report the results of applying this methodological approach to cetaceans minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, fin whale-- Balaenoptera physalus, beluga whale-- Delphinapterus leucas, short finned pilot whale-- Globicephala macrorhynchus, harbour porpoise -- Phocoena phocoena, Rissos dolphin-- Risso s Grampus griseus, Dall s porpoise-- Phocoenoides dalli dalli, melon headed whale-- Peponocephala electra, bottlenose dolphin -- Tursiops truncatus, striped dolphin-- Stenella coeruleoalba, spinner dolphin-- Stenella longirostris, killer whale-- Orcinus orca and pinnipeds northern fur seal- Callorhinus ursinus, hooded seal-- Cystophora cristata, grey seal-- Halichoerus grypus, harbour seal-- Phoca vitulina

  8. Otters, Marine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, James A.; Bodkin, James L.; Ben-David, M.; Perrin, William F.; Würsing, Bernd; Thewissen, J.G.M.

    2009-01-01

    The otters (Mustelidae; Lutrinae) provide an exceptional perspective into the evolution of marine living by mammals. Most extant marine mammals (e.g. the cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians) have been so highly modified by long periods of selection for life in the sea that they bear little resemblance to their terrestrial ancestors. Marine otters, in contrast, are more recent expatriates from freshwater habitats and some species still live in both environments. Contrasts among species within the otters, and among the otters, terrestrial mammals, and the more highly adapted pinnipeds and cetaceans provide powerful insights into mammalian adaptations to life in the sea (Estes, 1989). Among the marine mammals, sea otters (Enhydra lutris, Fig. 1) provide the clearest understanding of consumer-induced effects on ecosystem function. This is due in part to opportunities provided by history and in part to the relative ease with which shallow coastal systems where sea otters live can be observed and studied. Although more difficult to study than sea otters, other otter species reveal the connectivity among the marine, freshwater, and terrestrial systems. These three qualities of the otters – their comparative biology, their role as predators, and their role as agents of ecosystem connectivity – are what make them interesting to marine mammalogy.The following account provides a broad overview of the comparative biology and ecology of the otters, with particular emphasis on those species or populations that live in the sea. Sea otters are features prominently, in part because they live exclusively in the sea whereas other otters have obligate associations with freshwater and terrestrial environments (Kenyon, 1969; Riedman and Estes, 1990).

  9. Interactions of marine mammals and birds with offshore membrane enclosures for growing algae (OMEGA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephanie N; Tozzi, Sasha; Harris, Linden; Harmsen, Shawn; Young, Colleen; Rask, Jon; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Clark, Kit; Cruickshank, Marilyn; Fennie, Hamilton; Kuo, Julie; Trent, Jonathan D

    2014-01-01

    OMEGA is an integrated aquatic system to produce biofuels, treat and recycle wastewater, capture CO2, and expand aquaculture production. This system includes floating photobioreactors (PBRs) that will cover hundreds of hectares in marine bays. To assess the interactions of marine mammals and birds with PBRs, 9 × 1.3 m flat panel and 9.5 × 0.2 m tubular PBRs were deployed in a harbor and monitored day and night from October 10, 2011 to Janurary 22, 2012 using infrared video. To observe interactions with pinnipeds, two trained sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and one trained harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) were observed and directed to interact with PBRs in tanks. To determine the forces required to puncture PBR plastic and the effects of weathering, Instron measurements were made with a sea otter (Enhydra lutris) tooth and bird beaks. A total of 1,445 interactions of marine mammals and birds with PBRs were observed in the 2,424 hours of video recorded. The 95 marine mammal interactions, 94 by sea otters and one by a sea lion had average durations of three minutes (max 44 min) and represented about 1% of total recording time. The 1,350 bird interactions, primarily coots (Fulica americana) and gulls (Larus occidentalis and L. californicus) had average durations of six minutes (max. 170) and represented 5% of recording time. Interactive behaviors were characterized as passive (feeding, walking, resting, grooming, and social activity) or proactive (biting, pecking, investigating, and unspecified manipulating). Mammal interactions were predominantly proactive, whereas birds were passive. All interactions occurred primarily during the day. Ninety-six percent of otter interactions occurred in winter, whereas 73% of bird interactions in fall, correlating to their abundance in the harbor. Trained pinnipeds followed most commands to bite, drag, and haul-out onto PBRs, made no overt undirected interactions with the PBRs, but showed avoidance behavior to PBR

  10. Arctic marine mammals and climate change: impacts and resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sue E; Huntington, Henry P

    2008-03-01

    Evolutionary selection has refined the life histories of seven species (three cetacean [narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales], three pinniped [walrus, ringed, and bearded seals], and the polar bear) to spatial and temporal domains influenced by the seasonal extremes and variability of sea ice, temperature, and day length that define the Arctic. Recent changes in Arctic climate may challenge the adaptive capability of these species. Nine other species (five cetacean [fin, humpback, minke, gray, and killer whales] and four pinniped [harp, hooded, ribbon, and spotted seals]) seasonally occupy Arctic and subarctic habitats and may be poised to encroach into more northern latitudes and to remain there longer, thereby competing with extant Arctic species. A synthesis of the impacts of climate change on all these species hinges on sea ice, in its role as: (1) platform, (2) marine ecosystem foundation, and (3) barrier to non-ice-adapted marine mammals and human commercial activities. Therefore, impacts are categorized for: (1) ice-obligate species that rely on sea ice platforms, (2) ice-associated species that are adapted to sea ice-dominated ecosystems, and (3) seasonally migrant species for which sea ice can act as a barrier. An assessment of resilience is far more speculative, as any number of scenarios can be envisioned, most of them involving potential trophic cascades and anticipated human perturbations. Here we provide resilience scenarios for the three ice-related species categories relative to four regions defined by projections of sea ice reductions by 2050 and extant shelf oceanography. These resilience scenarios suggest that: (1) some populations of ice-obligate marine mammals will survive in two regions with sea ice refugia, while other stocks may adapt to ice-free coastal habitats, (2) ice-associated species may find suitable feeding opportunities within the two regions with sea ice refugia and, if capable of shifting among available prey, may benefit from

  11. Gross and microscopic visceral anatomy of the male Cape fur seal, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus (Pinnipedia: Otariidae), with reference to organ size and growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    STEWARDSON, CAROLYN L.; HEMSLEY, SUSAN; MEYER, MIKE A.; CANFIELD, PAUL J.; MAINDONALD, JOHN H.

    1999-01-01

    The gross and microscopic anatomy of the Cape fur seal heart, lung, liver, spleen, stomach, intestine and kidneys (n = 31 seals) is described. Absolute and relative size of organs from 30 male seals are presented, with histological examination conducted on 7 animals. The relationship between log body weight, log organ weight and age was investigated using linear regression. Twenty five animals were of known age, while 6 were aged from counts of incremental lines observed in the dentine of tooth sections. For the range of ages represented in this study, body weight changes were accurately described by the exponential growth equation, weight = wort, with body weight increasing by 23% per annum until at least 9–10 y of age. Organ weight increased at a rate of between 25% and 33% per annum until at least 9–10 y of age, with the exception of the intestines, where exponential increase appeared to have ceased by about 7 y. The relationship between body weight and organ weight was investigated using logarithmic transformations of the allometric equation, y = axb, where the exponent b is 1 if organ weight is proportional to body weight. Most organs increased in proportion to the body. However, the heart, liver and spleen had exponents b > 1, suggesting that these organs increased at a faster rate than the body. The basic anatomical features of the viscera were similar to those of other pinnipeds, with some exceptions, including the arrangement of the multilobed lung and liver. Apart from the large liver and kidneys, relative size of the organs did not differ greatly from similar sized terrestrial carnivores. The histological features of the organs were generally consistent with those previously described for this species and other otariids. The heart, as in other pinnipeds, was unlike that of cetacea in not having unusually thick endocardium or prominent Purkinje cells. Notable histological features of the lungs included prominent fibrous septa, prominent smooth muscle

  12. Phocid seals, seal lice and heartworms: a terrestrial host-parasite system conveyed to the marine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leidenberger, Sonja; Harding, Karin; Härkönen, Tero

    2007-10-15

    Adaptation of pinnipeds to the marine habitat imposed parallel evolutions in their parasites. Ancestral pinnipeds must have harboured sucking lice, which were ancestors of the seal louse Echinophthirius horridus. The seal louse is one of the few insects that successfully adjusted to the marine environment. Adaptations such as keeping an air reservoir and the ability to hold on to and move on the host were necessary, as well as an adjustment of their life cycle to fit the diving habits of their host. E. horridus are confined to the Northern Hemisphere and have been reported from 9 species of northern phocids belonging to 4 genera, including land-locked seal species. The transmission from seal to seal is only possible when animals are hauled-out on land or ice. Lice are rarely found on healthy adult seals, but frequently on weak and young animals. The seal louse is suggested to play an important role as an intermediate host transmitting the heartworm Acanthocheilonema spirocauda among seals. However, the evidence is restricted to a single study where the first 3 larval stages of the heartworm were shown to develop in the louse. The fourth-stage larvae develop in the blood system of seals and eventually transform into the adult stage that matures in the heart. Since all other studies failed to confirm the presence of heartworm larvae in seal lice, other unknown intermediate hosts could be involved in the transmission of the heartworm. Transplacental transmission of microfilariae in seals has been suggested as an additional possibility, but is not likely to be important since the occurrence of heartworms in adult seals is very rare compared with juveniles. Furthermore, there are no findings of the first 3 larval stages in seals. This review shows that the heartworm infects nearly the same species of seals as the seal louse, except for the grey seal Halichoerus grypus, where the heartworm is absent. Prevalence and intensity of infection differ among regions in the

  13. Systemic mycosis in a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) with detection of cystofilobasidiales DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Cara L; Tuttle, Allison D; Sidor, Inga F; Nyaoke, Akinyi; Deering, Kathleen M; Gilbert-Marcheterre, Kelly; Risatti, Guillermo; Spoon, Tracey; Meegan, Jenny; Romano, Tracy A; Frasca, Salvatore; Dunn, J Lawrence

    2012-03-01

    A 6-yr-old, intact male California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) with a systemic mycosis died after 5 wk of antifungal drug therapy. Antemortem clinical findings included hind flipper swelling, ring-lesions on skin of the flippers, and dermal nodules that increased in size and number spreading from the hind flippers and ventral abdomen to the foreflippers and muzzle. Lesions were accompanied by severe lymphadenopathy and development of systemic clinical signs despite therapy using itraconazole and later voriconazole. Histopathologic evaluation of biopsies revealed granulomatous dermatitis due to infection by fungus-producing yeast cells in tissue. Isolation attempts, using biopsied skin and tissue samples collected at necropsy, failed to yield growth of a fungus producing yeast cells like those in histologic section. Consensus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests of biopsied skin for fungal DNA produced an amplicon having significant sequence identity with a Cystofilobasidiales, a fungus belonging to a subclade that includes several Cryptococcus spp. Histopathologic evaluation of necropsy tissues revealed a systemic mycosis with yeast cells disseminated throughout subcutis, lymph nodes, and viscera. Hepatic necrosis was identified associated with acute liver failure, possibly from the voriconazole administration. This is the first report documenting the clinical presentation, treatment, and pathologic findings of infection associated with Cystofilobasidiales in a marine mammal and serves to expand the understanding of mycoses in pinnipeds.

  14. High-frequency hearing in seals and sea lions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Kane A; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2016-01-01

    Existing evidence suggests that some pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) can detect underwater sound at frequencies well above the traditional high-frequency hearing limits for their species. This phenomenon, however, is not well studied: Sensitivity patterns at frequencies beyond traditional high-frequency limits are poorly resolved, and the nature of the auditory mechanism mediating hearing at these frequencies is unknown. In the first portion of this study, auditory sensitivity patterns in the 50-180 kHz range were measured for one California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), one harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and one spotted seal (Phoca largha). Results show the presence of two distinct slope-regions at the high-frequency ends of the audiograms of all three subjects. The first region is characterized by a rapid decrease in sensitivity with increasing frequency-i.e. a steep slope-followed by a region of much less rapid sensitivity decrease-i.e. a shallower slope. In the second portion of this study, a masking experiment was conducted to investigate how the basilar membrane of a harbor seal subject responded to acoustic energy from a narrowband masking noise centered at 140 kHz. The measured masking pattern suggests that the initial, rapid decrease in sensitivity on the high-frequency end of the subject's audiogram is not due to cochlear constraints, as has been previously hypothesized, but rather to constraints on the conductive mechanism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. A novel Sarcocystis neurona genotype XIII is associated with severe encephalitis in an unexpectedly broad range of marine mammals from the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Lorraine; Johnson, Christine K; Lambourn, Dyanna M; Gibson, Amanda K; Haman, Katherine H; Huggins, Jessica L; Sweeny, Amy R; Sundar, Natarajan; Raverty, Stephen A; Grigg, Michael E

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of protozoal encephalitis among marine mammals in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. To characterise the genetic type of S. neurona in this region, samples from 227 stranded marine mammals, most with clinical or pathological evidence of protozoal disease, were tested for the presence of coccidian parasites using a nested PCR assay. The frequency of S. neurona infection was 60% (136/227) among pinnipeds and cetaceans, including seven marine mammal species not previously known to be susceptible to infection by this parasite. Eight S. neurona fetal infections identified this coccidian parasite as capable of being transmitted transplacentally. Thirty-seven S. neurona-positive samples were multilocus sequence genotyped using three genetic markers: SnSAG1-5-6, SnSAG3 and SnSAG4. A novel genotype, referred to as Type XIII within the S. neurona population genetic structure, has emerged recently in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and is significantly associated with an increased severity of protozoal encephalitis and mortality among multiple stranded marine mammal species. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Mercury in the ecosystem of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica: Occurrence and trophic distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cipro, Caio V Z; Montone, Rosalinda C; Bustamante, Paco

    2017-01-15

    Mercury (Hg) can reach the environment through natural and human-related sources, threatening ecosystems all over the planet due to its well known deleterious effects. Therefore, Antarctic trophic webs, despite being relatively isolated, are not exempt of its influence. To evaluate Hg concentrations in an Antarctic ecosystem, different tissues from 2 species of invertebrates, 2 of fish, 8 of birds, 4 of pinnipeds and at least 5 of vegetation were investigated (n=176). For animals, values ranged from 0.018 to 48.7μgg(-1) dw (whole Antarctic krill and Antarctic Fur Seal liver). They were generally correlated to trophic position (assessed by δ(15)N and δ(13)C) but also to cephalopods and myctophids consumption. For vegetation, values ranged from 0.014 to 0.227μgg(-1) dw (Colobanthus quitensis and an unidentified lichen), with lichens presenting significantly higher values than mosses, likely due to year-round exposure and absorption of animal derived organic matter, as hypothesized by literature.

  17. Fitting models of continuous trait evolution to incompletely sampled comparative data using approximate Bayesian computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Graham J; Harmon, Luke J; Wegmann, Daniel; Joyce, Paul; Revell, Liam J; Alfaro, Michael E

    2012-03-01

    In recent years, a suite of methods has been developed to fit multiple rate models to phylogenetic comparative data. However, most methods have limited utility at broad phylogenetic scales because they typically require complete sampling of both the tree and the associated phenotypic data. Here, we develop and implement a new, tree-based method called MECCA (Modeling Evolution of Continuous Characters using ABC) that uses a hybrid likelihood/approximate Bayesian computation (ABC)-Markov-Chain Monte Carlo approach to simultaneously infer rates of diversification and trait evolution from incompletely sampled phylogenies and trait data. We demonstrate via simulation that MECCA has considerable power to choose among single versus multiple evolutionary rate models, and thus can be used to test hypotheses about changes in the rate of trait evolution across an incomplete tree of life. We finally apply MECCA to an empirical example of body size evolution in carnivores, and show that there is no evidence for an elevated rate of body size evolution in the pinnipeds relative to terrestrial carnivores. ABC approaches can provide a useful alternative set of tools for future macroevolutionary studies where likelihood-dependent approaches are lacking.

  18. Diet induced differences in carbon isotope fractionation between sirenians and terrestrial ungulates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clementz, M.T.; Koch, P.L.; Beck, C.A.

    2007-01-01

    Carbon isotope differences (??13C) between bioapatite and diet, collagen and diet, and bioapatite and collagen were calculated for four species of sirenians, Dugong dugon (Mu??ller), Trichechus manatus (Linnaeus), Trichechus inunguis (Natterer), and the extinct Hydrodamalis gigas (Zimmerman). Bone and tooth samples were taken from archived materials collected from populations during the mid eighteenth century (H. gigas), between 1978 and 1984 (T. manatus, T. inunguis), and between 1997 and 1999 (D. dugon). Mean ??13C values were compared with those for terrestrial ungulates, carnivores, and six species of carnivorous marine mammals (cetaceans = 1; pinnipeds = 4; mustelids = 1). Significant differences in mean ??13C values among species for all tissue types were detected that separated species or populations foraging on freshwater plants or attached marine macroalgae (??13C values -4???; ??13Cbioapatite-diet ???11???). Likewise, ??13Cbioapatite-collagen values for freshwater and algal-foraging species (???7???) were greater than those for seagrass-foraging species (???5???). Variation in ??13C values calculated between tissues and between tissues and diet among species may relate to the nutritional composition of a species' diet and the extent and type of microbial fermentation that occurs during digestion of different types of plants. These results highlight the complications that can arise when making dietary interpretations without having first determined species-specific ??13Ctissue-diet values. ?? 2007 Springer-Verlag.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  20. Detection of canine distemper virus serum neutralizing antibodies in captive U.S. phocids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Meredith M; Gamble, Kathryn C; Travis, Dominic A

    2013-03-01

    Antibodies to morbilliviruses have been documented in free-ranging pinnipeds throughout populations in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, but not from the Pacific Ocean. As a symbolic geographic barrier between the exposed Atlantic and naive Pacific populations, the captive phocid population in North America had undocumented serologic status. In this study, canine distemper virus (CDV) serum neutralization assays were used to assess the prevalence of antibodies in this population with participation of 25 U.S. institutions from grey seals (Halichoerus grypus, n = 6) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina, n = 108). Historic and environmental risk factors associated with the epidemiology of distemper virus were collected by survey. Based on antibodies to canine distemper virus, the prevalence of exposure in this population was 25.5%, with 28 seals (grey, n = 2; harbor, n = 26) demonstrating antibody titers > or = 1:16, and positive titers ranged from 1:4 to 1:1,536. By survey analysis, strong associations with seropositive status were identified for captive origin (P = 0.013) and movement among institutions (P = 0.024). Size of population has positive correlation with likelihood of seropositive seals at an institution (P = 0.020). However, no major husbandry or enclosure-based risk factors were identified in institutions with seropositive seals, and no interaction between individual or institutional risk factors was identified. Previously undocumented prior to this study, CDV antibodies were measured in harbor seals (n = 2) recently stranded from the Pacific coast.

  1. Auditory detection of ultrasonic coded transmitters by seals and sea lions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Kane A; Hayes, Sean A; Michelle Wargo Rub, A; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2014-04-01

    Ultrasonic coded transmitters (UCTs) are high-frequency acoustic tags that are often used to conduct survivorship studies of vulnerable fish species. Recent observations of differential mortality in tag control studies suggest that fish instrumented with UCTs may be selectively targeted by marine mammal predators, thereby skewing valuable survivorship data. In order to better understand the ability of pinnipeds to detect UCT outputs, behavioral high-frequency hearing thresholds were obtained from a trained harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) and a trained California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Thresholds were measured for extended (500 ms) and brief (10 ms) 69 kHz narrowband stimuli, as well as for a stimulus recorded directly from a Vemco V16-3H UCT, which consisted of eight 10 ms, 69 kHz pure-tone pulses. Detection thresholds for the harbor seal were as expected based on existing audiometric data for this species, while the California sea lion was much more sensitive than predicted. Given measured detection thresholds of 113 dB re 1 μPa and 124 dB re 1 μPa, respectively, both species are likely able to detect acoustic outputs of the Vemco V16-3H under water from distances exceeding 200 m in typical natural conditions, suggesting that these species are capable of using UCTs to detect free-ranging fish.

  2. Sequential megafaunal collapse in the North Pacific Ocean: An ongoing legacy of industrial whaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, A.M.; Estes, J.A.; Van Vliet, G. B.; Williams, T.M.; Doak, D.F.; Danner, E.M.; Forney, K.A.; Pfister, B.

    2003-01-01

    Populations of seals, sea lions, and sea otters have sequentially collapsed over large areas of the northern North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea during the last several decades. A bottom-up nutritional limitation mechanism induced by physical oceanographic change or competition with fisheries was long thought to be largely responsible for these declines. The current weight of evidence is more consistent with top-down forcing. Increased predation by killer whales probably drove the sea otter collapse and may have been responsible for the earlier pinniped declines as well. We propose that decimation of the great whales by post-World War II industrial whaling caused the great whales' foremost natural predators, killer whales, to begin feeding more intensively on the smaller marine mammals, thus "fishing-down" this element of the marine food web. The timing of these events, information on the abundance, diet, and foraging behavior of both predators and prey, and feasibility analyses based on demographic and energetic modeling are all consistent with this hypothesis.

  3. Environment and feeding change the ability of heart rate to predict metabolism in resting Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Beth L; Rosen, David A S; Haulena, Martin; Hindle, Allyson G; Trites, Andrew W

    2011-01-01

    The ability to use heart rate (fh) to predict oxygen consumption rates ([Formula: see text]) in Steller sea lions and other pinnipeds has been investigated in fasting animals. However, it is unknown whether established fh:[Formula: see text] relationships hold under more complex physiological situations, such as when animals are feeding or digesting. We assessed whether fh could accurately predict [Formula: see text] in trained Steller sea lions while fasting and after being fed. Using linear mixed-effects models, we derived unique equations to describe the fh:[Formula: see text] relationship for fasted sea lions resting on land and in water. Feeding did not significantly change the fh:[Formula: see text] relationship on land. However, Steller sea lions in water displayed a different fh:[Formula: see text] relationship after consuming a 4-kg meal compared with the fasting condition. Incorporating comparable published fh:[Formula: see text] data from Steller sea lions showed a distinct effect of feeding after a 6-kg meal. Ultimately, our study illustrated that both feeding and physical environment are statistically relevant when deriving [Formula: see text] from telemetered fh, but that only environment affects the practical ability to predict metabolism from fh. Updating current bioenergetic models with data gathered using these predictive fh:[Formula: see text] equations will yield more accurate estimates of metabolic rates of free-ranging Steller sea lions under a variety of physiological, behavioral, and environmental states.

  4. Genital morphology of the male South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis and biological implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Sander D. Machado

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Male capacity for spreading genes to a great number of descendents and to determine population dynamics depend directly on the genital organs. Morphological studies in pinnipeds are scarce and the functional meaning of some characteristics has never been discussed. We hypothesized that Arctocephalus australis (A. australis shows morphophysiological adaptations in order to guarantee the perpetuation of the species in the unique annual mating season. Seven males, dead from natural causes, had their genital organs collected and fixed for morphological description. Some features differ from other described mammalian males and are closely related to the biology and reproductive cycle of this species, as the scrotal epidermis, absence of glandular portion in the ductus deferens and spermatogenic epithelium suggest a recrudescent testis period. The corona glandis exhibits a singular arrangement: its erectile border looks like a formation of petals and its association with the os penis gives a "lily-flower" form to this region. We propose the name margo petaliformis to this particular erectile border of the corona glandis because of its similarity to a flower corola. The male genital organs of A. australis show morphological features compatible with adaptation to environment requirements and reproductive efficiency.

  5. Ecology of Hawaiian marine mammals emphasizing the impact of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on endangered species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, S.F.; Hartwig, E.O.

    1982-06-01

    Twenty-two marine mammal species including 2 baleen whales, 20 toothed whales, and one pinniped occur in Hawaiian waters. Among these are two endangered species, the migratory humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) around the main islands, and the non-migratory Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) in the extreme northwestern island chain. The endangered species are among those most commonly sighted, while spinner dolphins (Stenella spp.), bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops sp.), and false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are sighted less frequently. Most Hawaiian cetacean species are Odontoceti, or toothed whales, and feed on fish and squid. The Mysteceti or baleen whales feed on plankton, however the endangered humpback whale, which migrates to Hawaii to breed and calve, presumably does not feed there. The endangered monk seal feeds on cephalopods and fish. The impact of OTEC on endangered and non-endangered marine mammals results from several direct and indirect effects and is discussed in the text. Careful siting of OTEC plants away from humpback breeding areas and monk seal breeding and feeding areas will avoid adverse effects on these populations.

  6. Geographic variation of persistent organic pollutant levels in humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding areas of the North Pacific and North Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elfes, Cristiane T; Vanblaricom, Glenn R; Boyd, Daryle; Calambokidis, John; Clapham, Phillip J; Pearce, Ronald W; Robbins, Jooke; Salinas, Juan Carlos; Straley, Janice M; Wade, Paul R; Krahn, Margaret M

    2010-04-01

    Seasonal feeding behavior and high fidelity to feeding areas allow humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to be used as biological indicators of regional contamination. Biopsy blubber samples from male individuals (n = 67) were collected through SPLASH, a multinational research project, in eight North Pacific feeding grounds. Additional male samples (n = 20) were collected from one North Atlantic feeding ground. Persistent organic pollutants were measured in the samples and used to assess contaminant distribution in the study areas. North Atlantic (Gulf of Maine) whales were more contaminated than North Pacific whales, showing the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and chlordanes. The highest dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) levels were detected in whales feeding off southern California, USA. High-latitude regions were characterized by elevated levels of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) but generally nondetectable concentrations of PBDEs. Age was shown to have a positive relationship with SigmaPCBs, SigmaDDTs, Sigmachlordanes, and total percent lipid. Contaminant levels in humpback whales were comparable to other mysticetes and lower than those found in odontocete cetaceans and pinnipeds. Although these concentrations likely do not represent a significant conservation threat, levels in the Gulf of Maine and southern California may warrant further study.

  7. Isolation by distance among California sea lion populations in Mexico: redefining management stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Suárez, M; Flatz, R; Aurioles-Gamboa, D; Hedrick, P W; Gerber, L R

    2009-03-01

    Understanding the spatial structure of a population is critical for effective assessment and management. However, direct observation of spatial dynamics is generally difficult, particularly for marine mammals. California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are polygynous pinnipeds distributed along the Pacific coast of North America. The species' range has been subdivided into three management stocks based on differences in mitochondrial DNA, but to date no studies have considered nuclear genetic variation, and thus we lack a comprehensive understanding of gene flow patterns among sea lion colonies. In light of recent population declines in the Gulf of California, Mexico, it is important to understand spatial structure to determine if declining sea lion colonies are genetically isolated from others. To define population subdivision and identify sex biases in gene flow, we analysed a 355-bp sequence of the mitochondrial DNA control region and 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci from 355 tissue samples collected from six colonies distributed along Mexican waters. Using a novel approach to estimate sex biases in gene flow, we found that male sea lions disperse on average 6.75 times more frequently than females. Analyses of population subdivision strongly suggest a pattern of isolation by distance among colonies and challenge current stock definitions. Based on these results, we propose an alternative classification that identifies three Mexican management units: Upper Gulf of California, Southern Baja Peninsula, and Upper Pacific Coast of Baja. This revised classification should be considered in future assessment and management of California sea lion populations in Mexican waters.

  8. Complex trophic interactions in kelp forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, J. A.; Danner, E.M.; Doak, D.F.; Konar, B.; Springer, A.M.; Steinberg, P.D.; Tinker, M. Tim; Williams, T.M.

    2004-01-01

    The distributions and abundances of species and populations change almost continuously. Understanding the processes responsible is perhaps ecology’s most fundamental challenge. Kelp-forest ecosystems in southwest Alaska have undergone several phase shifts between alga- and herbivore-dominated states in recent decades. Overhunting and recovery of sea otters caused the earlier shifts. Studies focusing on these changes demonstrate the importance of top-down forcing processes, a variety of indirect food-web interactions associated with the otter-urchin-kelp trophic cascade, and the role of food-chain length in the coevolution of defense and resistance in plants and their herbivores. This system unexpectedly shifted back to an herbivore-dominated state during the 1990s, because of a sea-otter population collapse that apparently was driven by increased predation by killer whales. Reasons for this change remain uncertain but seem to be linked to the whole-sale collapse of marine mammals in the North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea. We hypothesize that killer whales sequentially "fished down" pinniped and sea-otter populations after their earlier prey, the great whales, were decimated by commercial whaling. The dynamics of kelp forests in southwest Alaska thus appears to have been influenced by an ecological chain reaction that encompassed numerous species and large scales of space and time.

  9. Occurrence and genotypic analysis of Trichinella species in Alaska marine-associated mammals of the Bering and Chukchi seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, J; Horstmann-Dehn, L; Rosa, C; Lopez, J A

    2014-02-24

    The zoonotic parasite Trichinella is the causative agent of trichinellosis outbreaks in the circumpolar Arctic. Subsistence communities are particularly prone to trichinellosis due to traditional meat preparation methods and regional presence of a freeze-tolerant Trichinella species (Trichinella nativa). This study is the first application of a validated artificial digestion method in determining incidence of Trichinella sp. in Alaskan mammals. Infection incidence in pinniped species (Erignathus barbatus, Eumetopias jubatus, Odobenus rosmarus divergens, and Pusa hispida) was low, with only 1/57 ringed seals infected. Polymerase Chain Reaction assays indicate T. nativa as the only species present in northern Alaska. Analysis of an archived polar bear (Ursus maritimus) muscle sample shows freeze-tolerance and longevity for T. nativa to -20°C for 10 years and short-term freeze resistance to -80°C when morphology was used to determine presence of live larvae. However, larval motility suggests 0% survival. An approach that combines artificial digestion with PCR based species identification has excellent potential for Trichinella sp. detection and identification of archived tissues. Overall, Trichinella in Alaskan mammals, particularly marine mammals of subsistence importance, appears to be a minor problem. These modern diagnostic techniques provide accurate insight into the presence of Trichinella in the Alaskan marine environment.

  10. Low Density of Top Predators (Seabirds and Marine Mammals in the High Arctic Pack Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude R. Joiris

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross’s gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ, the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI, the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns.

  11. Macroscopic anatomy of the ringed seal [Pusa (Phoca) hispida] lower respiratory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smodlaka, H; Henry, R W; Reed, R B

    2009-06-01

    This investigation serves to document the normal anatomical features of the lower respiratory tract of the ringed seal [Pusa (phoca) hispida]. Evaluation of embalmed specimens and tracheobronchial casts showed that the right lung of this seal consists of four lobes while the left has only three lobes. The ventral margins of the lungs do not reach the sternum causing them to form the boundary of the broad recessus costomediastinalis. Lung lobation corresponds with bronchial tree division. Pulmonary venous drainage includes right and left common veins draining ipsilateral cranial and middle lung lobes, and one common caudal vein draining both caudal lobes and the accessory lobe. The right and left pulmonary arteries divide into cranial and caudal branches at the level of the principal bronchus. The ringed seal has three tracheobronchial lymph nodes. The trachea has an average of 87 cartilages that exhibit a pattern of random anastomoses between adjacent rings. The trachea exhibits to a small degree the dorsoventrally flattened pattern that is described in other pinnipeds. The tracheal diameter is smaller than that of the canine.

  12. Identification of Prey Captures in Australian Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus Using Head-Mounted Accelerometers: Field Validation with Animal-Borne Video Cameras.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth L Volpov

    Full Text Available This study investigated prey captures in free-ranging adult female Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus using head-mounted 3-axis accelerometers and animal-borne video cameras. Acceleration data was used to identify individual attempted prey captures (APC, and video data were used to independently verify APC and prey types. Results demonstrated that head-mounted accelerometers could detect individual APC but were unable to distinguish among prey types (fish, cephalopod, stingray or between successful captures and unsuccessful capture attempts. Mean detection rate (true positive rate on individual animals in the testing subset ranged from 67-100%, and mean detection on the testing subset averaged across 4 animals ranged from 82-97%. Mean False positive (FP rate ranged from 15-67% individually in the testing subset, and 26-59% averaged across 4 animals. Surge and sway had significantly greater detection rates, but also conversely greater FP rates compared to heave. Video data also indicated that some head movements recorded by the accelerometers were unrelated to APC and that a peak in acceleration variance did not always equate to an individual prey item. The results of the present study indicate that head-mounted accelerometers provide a complementary tool for investigating foraging behaviour in pinnipeds, but that detection and FP correction factors need to be applied for reliable field application.

  13. Gene discovery in the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) skin transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Joseph I

    2011-07-01

    Next-generation sequencing provides a powerful new approach for developing functional genomic tools for nonmodel species, helping to narrow the gap between studies of model organisms and those of natural populations. Consequently, massively parallel 454 sequencing was used to characterize a normalized cDNA library derived from skin biopsy samples of twelve Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) individuals. Over 412 Mb of sequence data were generated, comprising 1.4 million reads of average length 286 bp. De novo assembly using Newbler 2.3 yielded 156 contigs plus 22 869 isotigs, which in turn clustered into 18,576 isogroups. Almost half of the assembled transcript sequences showed significant similarity to the nr database, revealing a functionally diverse array of genes. Moreover, 97.9% of these mapped to the dog (Canis lupis familiaris) genome, with a strong positive relationship between the number of sequences locating to a given chromosome and the length of that chromosome in the dog indicating a broad genomic distribution. Average depth of coverage was also almost 20-fold, sufficient to detect several thousand putative microsatellite loci and single nucleotide polymorphisms. This study constitutes an important step towards developing genomic resources with which to address consequential questions in pinniped ecology and evolution. It also supports an earlier but smaller study showing that skin tissue can be a rich source of expressed genes, with important implications for studying the genomics not only of marine mammals, but also more generally of species that cannot be destructively sampled.

  14. Quantitative analysis of neocortical gyrencephaly in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and six species of cetaceans: comparison with other mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manger, Paul R; Prowse, Michelle; Haagensen, Mark; Hemingway, Jason

    2012-08-01

    This study provides quantitative data on the extent of gyrencephaly in the large-brained African elephant and several species of cetaceans (from smaller to larger brained) in comparison with other mammals. Across three mammalian orders (primates, carnivores, and artiodactyls), the species with the larger brains are more gyrencephalic with each order, exhibiting a specific negative allometry. The African elephant, with a 5-kg brain, has a gyrencephalic index (GI) of 3.89, which, though highly gyrencephalic, is not more so than would be predicted for a mammal with a 5-kg brain. The cetaceans had an average GI of 5.43, are the most gyrencephalic mammals studied to date, and are more gyrencephalic than one would predict based on comparison with other mammals. No relationship between brain mass and GI was evident in the cetaceans as seen in other mammals, with all cetaceans showing similar GIs irrespective of brain mass (range of GI 5.23-5.70, range of brain mass 577-5617 g). This is yet another parameter indicating cetaceans to be neuroanatomical outliers. Two species of pinnipeds studied had GIs that were well above those seen for terrestrial carnivores, and the aquatic manatee was close to lissencephalic. Thus, all three groups of marine mammals showed unusual extents of cortical gyrencephaly, indicating a morphological alteration of the telencephalon associated with the return to the marine environment. The analysis suggests that cortical thickness and neuronal density are important factors in determining the extent of gyrencephaly across mammalian species.

  15. Exercise at depth alters bradycardia and incidence of cardiac anomalies in deep-diving marine mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Terrie M; Fuiman, Lee A; Kendall, Traci; Berry, Patrick; Richter, Beau; Noren, Shawn R; Thometz, Nicole; Shattock, Michael J; Farrell, Edward; Stamper, Andy M; Davis, Randall W

    2015-01-16

    Unlike their terrestrial ancestors, marine mammals routinely confront extreme physiological and physical challenges while breath-holding and pursuing prey at depth. To determine how cetaceans and pinnipeds accomplish deep-sea chases, we deployed animal-borne instruments that recorded high-resolution electrocardiograms, behaviour and flipper accelerations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) diving from the surface to >200 m. Here we report that both exercise and depth alter the bradycardia associated with the dive response, with the greatest impacts at depths inducing lung collapse. Unexpectedly, cardiac arrhythmias occurred in >73% of deep, aerobic dives, which we attribute to the interplay between sympathetic and parasympathetic drivers for exercise and diving, respectively. Such marked cardiac variability alters the common view of a stereotypic 'dive reflex' in diving mammals. It also suggests the persistence of ancestral terrestrial traits in cardiac function that may help explain the unique sensitivity of some deep-diving marine mammals to anthropogenic disturbances.

  16. Breeding success of a marine central place forager in the context of climate change: A modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massardier-Galatà, Lauriane; Morinay, Jennifer; Bailleul, Frédéric; Wajnberg, Eric; Guinet, Christophe; Coquillard, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    In response to climate warming, a southward shift in productive frontal systems serving as the main foraging sites for many top predator species is likely to occur in Subantarctic areas. Central place foragers, such as seabirds and pinnipeds, are thus likely to cope with an increase in the distance between foraging locations and their land-based breeding colonies. Understanding how central place foragers should modify their foraging behavior in response to changes in prey accessibility appears crucial. A spatially explicit individual-based simulation model (Marine Central Place Forager Simulator (MarCPFS)), including bio-energetic components, was built to evaluate effects of possible changes in prey resources accessibility on individual performances and breeding success. The study was calibrated on a particular example: the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella), which alternates between oceanic areas in which females feed and the land-based colony in which they suckle their young over a 120 days rearing period. Our model shows the importance of the distance covered to feed and prey aggregation which appeared to be key factors to which animals are highly sensitive. Memorization and learning abilities also appear to be essential breeding success traits. Females were found to be most successful for intermediate levels of prey aggregation and short distance to the resource, resulting in optimal female body length. Increased distance to resources due to climate warming should hinder pups' growth and survival while female body length should increase.

  17. A review of Brucella infection in marine mammals, with special emphasis on Brucella pinnipedialis in the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Brucella spp. were isolated from marine mammals for the first time in 1994. Two novel species were later included in the genus; Brucella ceti and Brucella pinnipedialis, with cetaceans and seals as their preferred hosts, respectively. Brucella spp. have since been isolated from a variety of marine mammals. Pathological changes, including lesions of the reproductive organs and associated abortions, have only been registered in cetaceans. The zoonotic potential differs among the marine mammal Brucella strains. Many techniques, both classical typing and molecular microbiology, have been utilised for characterisation of the marine mammal Brucella spp. and the change from the band-based approaches to the sequence-based approaches has greatly increased our knowledge about these strains. Several clusters have been identified within the B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis species, and multiple studies have shown that the hooded seal isolates differ from other pinniped isolates. We describe how different molecular methods have contributed to species identification and differentiation of B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis, with special emphasis on the hooded seal isolates. We further discuss the potential role of B. pinnipedialis for the declining Northwest Atlantic hooded seal population. PMID:21819589

  18. 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.

  19. Colony-level assessment of Brucella and Leptospira in the Guadalupe fur seal, Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziehl-Quirós, E Carolina; García-Aguilar, María C; Mellink, Eric

    2017-01-24

    The relatively small population size and restricted distribution of the Guadalupe fur seal Arctocephalus townsendi could make it highly vulnerable to infectious diseases. We performed a colony-level assessment in this species of the prevalence and presence of Brucella spp. and Leptospira spp., pathogenic bacteria that have been reported in several pinniped species worldwide. Forty-six serum samples were collected in 2014 from pups at Isla Guadalupe, the only place where the species effectively reproduces. Samples were tested for Brucella using 3 consecutive serological tests, and for Leptospira using the microscopic agglutination test. For each bacterium, a Bayesian approach was used to estimate prevalence to exposure, and an epidemiological model was used to test the null hypothesis that the bacterium was present in the colony. No serum sample tested positive for Brucella, and the statistical analyses concluded that the colony was bacterium-free with a 96.3% confidence level. However, a Brucella surveillance program would be highly recommendable. Twelve samples were positive (titers 1:50) to 1 or more serovars of Leptospira. The prevalence was calculated at 27.1% (95% credible interval: 15.6-40.3%), and the posterior analyses indicated that the colony was not Leptospira-free with a 100% confidence level. Serovars Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, and Bratislava were detected, but only further research can unveil whether they affect the fur seal population.

  20. Prevalence of influenza A virus in live-captured North Atlantic gray seals: a possible wild reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puryear, Wendy Blay; Keogh, Mandy; Hill, Nichola; Moxley, Jerry; Josephson, Elizabeth; Davis, Kimberly Ryan; Bandoro, Chistopher; Lidgard, Damian; Bogomolni, Andrea; Levin, Milton; Lang, Shelley; Hammill, Michael; Bowen, Don; Johnston, David W; Romano, Tracy; Waring, Gordon; Runstadler, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Influenza A virus (IAV) has been associated with multiple unusual mortality events (UMEs) in North Atlantic pinnipeds, frequently attributed to spillover of virus from wild-bird reservoirs. To determine if endemic infection persists outside of UMEs, we undertook a multiyear investigation of IAV in healthy, live-captured Northwest Atlantic gray seals (Halichoerus grypus). From 2013 to 2015, we sampled 345 pups and 57 adults from Cape Cod, MA, USA and Nova Scotia, Canada consistently detecting IAV infection across all groups. There was an overall viral prevalence of 9.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 6.4%–12.5%) in weaned pups and 5.3% (CI: 1.2%–14.6%) in adults, with seroprevalences of 19.3% (CI: 15.0%–24.5%) and 50% (CI: 33.7%–66.4%), respectively. Positive sera showed a broad reactivity to diverse influenza subtypes. IAV status did not correlate with measures of animal health nor impact animal movement or foraging. This study demonstrated that Northwest Atlantic gray seals are both permissive to and tolerant of diverse IAV, possibly representing an endemically infected wild reservoir population. PMID:27485496

  1. Anatomical adaptations of aquatic mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reidenberg, Joy S

    2007-06-01

    This special issue of the Anatomical Record explores many of the anatomical adaptations exhibited by aquatic mammals that enable life in the water. Anatomical observations on a range of fossil and living marine and freshwater mammals are presented, including sirenians (manatees and dugongs), cetaceans (both baleen whales and toothed whales, including dolphins and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses), the sea otter, and the pygmy hippopotamus. A range of anatomical systems are covered in this issue, including the external form (integument, tail shape), nervous system (eye, ear, brain), musculoskeletal systems (cranium, mandible, hyoid, vertebral column, flipper/forelimb), digestive tract (teeth/tusks/baleen, tongue, stomach), and respiratory tract (larynx). Emphasis is placed on exploring anatomical function in the context of aquatic life. The following topics are addressed: evolution, sound production, sound reception, feeding, locomotion, buoyancy control, thermoregulation, cognition, and behavior. A variety of approaches and techniques are used to examine and characterize these adaptations, ranging from dissection, to histology, to electron microscopy, to two-dimensional (2D) and 3D computerized tomography, to experimental field tests of function. The articles in this issue are a blend of literature review and new, hypothesis-driven anatomical research, which highlight the special nature of anatomical form and function in aquatic mammals that enables their exquisite adaptation for life in such a challenging environment.

  2. Salmonellosis in the marine environment. A review and commentary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minette, H P

    1986-06-01

    Marine cetaceans (whales and dolphins), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), reptiles (turtles and crocodyles), fish and shellfish, and fish-eating birds have been found to harbor salmonellae. In some of these animals, clinical salmonellosis has been demonstrated, but in many cases, the isolated salmonellae may have been an opportunistic pathogen with the illness or death of the host due to other causes. On the basis of the few reports in the literature, marine reptiles (turtles and crocodyles), fish, and shellfish appear to be passive carriers of salmonellae and demonstrate no clinical disease. All of these animals constitute a potential source of salmonellosis in man and his domestic animals. The role of wild and domestic terrestrial animals and fresh water aquatic animals in the transmission of salmonellosis to man has been recognized for many years. The situation with regard to the marine (saltwater) animals has never been adequately investigated or reported. In the past, much reliance has been placed on the ability of saline waters to inhibit or destroy human pathogens, including the salmonellae. Whether this effect is chemical, physical or biological has been studied since the late nineteenth century, and the investigators have found a number of factors affecting both the inhibition and stimulation of growth of salmonellae in saline waters. Salmonellae have been isolated from or found to survive in seawater with salinities as high as 3.5 percent. Marine animals in many parts of the world have been found harboring salmonellae.

  3. Ontogenetic changes in tracheal structure facilitate deep dives and cold water foraging in adult leatherback sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, John; Fraher, John; Fitzgerald, Ed; McLaughlin, Patrick; Doyle, Tom; Harman, Luke; Cuffe, Tracy; Dockery, Peter

    2009-11-01

    Adult leatherbacks are large animals (300-500 kg), overlapping in size with marine pinniped and cetacean species. Unlike marine mammals, they start their aquatic life as 40-50 g hatchlings, so undergo a 10,000-fold increase in body mass during independent existence. Hatchlings are limited to the tropics and near-surface water. Adults, obligate predators on gelatinous plankton, encounter cold water at depth (<1280 m) or high latitude and are gigantotherms that maintain elevated core body temperatures in cold water. This study shows that there are great ontogenetic changes in tracheal structure related to diving and exposure to cold. Hatchling leatherbacks have a conventional reptilian tracheal structure with circular cartilaginous rings interspersed with extensive connective tissue. The adult trachea is an almost continuous ellipsoidal cartilaginous tube composed of interlocking plates, and will collapse easily in the upper part of the water column during dives, thus avoiding pressure-related structural and physiological problems. It is lined with an extensive, dense erectile vascular plexus that will warm and humidify cold inspired air and possibly retain heat on expiration. A sub-luminal lymphatic plexus is also present. Mammals and birds have independently evolved nasal turbinates to fulfil such a respiratory thermocontrol function; for them, turbinates are regarded as diagnostic of endothermy. This is the first demonstration of a turbinate equivalent in a living reptile.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-09-15

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

  5. Indicator Species Population Monitoring in Antarctica with Uav

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmarz, A.; Korczak-Abshire, M.; Storvold, R.; Rodzewicz, M.; Kędzierska, I.

    2015-08-01

    A program to monitor bird and pinniped species in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica, has been conducted over the past 38 years. Annual monitoring of these indicator species includes estimations of breeding population sizes of three Pygoscelis penguin species: Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap. Six penguin colonies situated on the western shores of two bays: Admiralty and King George are investigated. To study changes in penguin populations Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were used for the first time in the 2014/15 austral summer season. During photogrammetric flights the high-resolution images of eight penguin breeding colonies were taken. Obtained high resolution images were used for estimation of breeding population size and compared with the results of measurements taken at the same time from the ground. During this Antarctic expedition eight successful photogrammetry missions (total distance 1500 km) were performed. Images were taken with digital SLR Canon 700D, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5100 with a 35mm objective lens. Flights altitude at 350 - 400 AGL, allowed images to be taken with a resolution GSD (ground sample distance) less than 5 cm. The Image J software analysis method was tested to provide automatic population estimates from obtained images. The use of UAV for monitoring of indicator species, enabled data acquisition from areas inaccessible by ground methods.

  6. INDICATOR SPECIES POPULATION MONITORING IN ANTARCTICA WITH UAV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Zmarz

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A program to monitor bird and pinniped species in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica, has been conducted over the past 38 years. Annual monitoring of these indicator species includes estimations of breeding population sizes of three Pygoscelis penguin species: Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap. Six penguin colonies situated on the western shores of two bays: Admiralty and King George are investigated. To study changes in penguin populations Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were used for the first time in the 2014/15 austral summer season. During photogrammetric flights the high-resolution images of eight penguin breeding colonies were taken. Obtained high resolution images were used for estimation of breeding population size and compared with the results of measurements taken at the same time from the ground. During this Antarctic expedition eight successful photogrammetry missions (total distance 1500 km were performed. Images were taken with digital SLR Canon 700D, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5100 with a 35mm objective lens. Flights altitude at 350 – 400 AGL, allowed images to be taken with a resolution GSD (ground sample distance less than 5 cm. The Image J software analysis method was tested to provide automatic population estimates from obtained images. The use of UAV for monitoring of indicator species, enabled data acquisition from areas inaccessible by ground methods.

  7. A tribute to Van Holliday: Completing the circle from plankton to whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, William C.

    2001-05-01

    After the Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Texas and a Doctorate from the University of California, San Diego, Van Holliday hit the water with both feet moving as fast as possible, nary sinking a bit to this day. From the outset he has been a leader and innovator in methods of high-frequency sonar to identify and assess individual animals, populations, and biomasses from zooplankton to adult fishes. Although we'll revisit some of those highlights, my 35-year association with this distinguished scientist also included an opportunity to share comparatively little known acoustics research at the highest marine trophic level, the pinnipeds and whales. Van's scientific endeavors, together with extremely talented colleagues, remain tireless yet somehow he always finds wherewithal to unselfishly help others as testimony to the adage that whenever help is needed one had best seek out their busiest acquaintance. In recognition of his contributions to basic and applied marine science, the U.S. Navy recently bestowed upon Van its highest award for Science and Technology. It will be a pleasure and honor to tell you more of this valued friend and colleague, because you will never hear about it from the scientist, mentor, and gentleman himself.

  8. Evidence of injury caused by gas bubbles in a live marine mammal: barotrauma in a California sea lion Zalophus californianus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bonn, W; Montie, E; Dennison, S; Pussini, N; Cook, P; Greig, D; Barakos, J; Colegrove, K; Gulland, F

    2011-09-09

    A yearling male California sea lion Zalophus californianus with hypermetric ataxia and bilateral negative menace reflexes was brought to The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, California, U.S.A., in late 2009 for medical assessment and treatment. The clinical signs were due to multiple gas bubbles within the cerebellum. These lesions were intraparenchymal, multifocal to coalescing, spherical to ovoid, and varied from 0.5 to 2.4 cm diameter. The gas composed 21.3% of the total cerebellum volume. Three rib fractures were also noted during diagnostic evaluation and were presumed to be associated with the gas bubbles in the brain. The progression of clinical signs and lesion appearance were monitored with magnetic resonance imaging, cognitive function testing and computed tomography. Gas filled voids in the cerebellum were filled with fluid on follow up images. Clinical signs resolved and the sea lion was released with a satellite tag attached. Post release the animal travelled approximately 75 km north and 80 km south of the release site and the tag recorded dives of over 150 m depth. The animal re-stranded 25 d following release and died of a subacute bronchopneumonia and pleuritis. This is the first instance of clinical injury due to gas bubble formation described in a living pinniped and the first sea lion with quantifiable cerebellar damage to take part in spatial learning and memory testing.

  9. Analysis of phosphorus forms in sediment cores from ephemeral ponds on Ardley Island, West Antarctica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Lianjiao; QIN Xianyan; SUN Liguang; HUANG Tao; WANG Yuhong

    2015-01-01

    The guano of penguins, other seabirds, and pinnipeds is an important source of phosphorus in the ecosystems of Antarctica. To study the vertical distribution of phosphorus in sediments influenced by penguins, we measured phosphorus forms in two sediment cores (G1 and Q2) from ephemeral ponds on Ardley Island. We also investigated the correlations between these phosphorus forms and physicochemical characteristics. Inorganic phosphorus was the main form of phosphorus in both cores. The vertical distribution patterns of phosphorus forms in G1 and Q2 differed, indicating different sedimentary sources. The G1 sediment profile was more influenced by penguin guano than the Q2 profile, and as a result sediments in the G1 core had higher total phosphorus, non-apatite inorganic phosphorus, and apatite phosphorus content. The findings from two ephemeral ponds on Ardley Island indicate that the contribution of penguin guano to organic matter in G1 core has increased in recent times, while Q2 showed a relatively larger contribution from mosses in ancient times, evident from the lithology and the vertical trend in organic matter.

  10. [Current views on vision of mammals].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khokhlova, T V

    2012-01-01

    In the review, research data are presented on mammals' vision including visual pigments, color and contrast vision, and visual behaviour in different species. It is shown that in course of evolution mammals were gradually losing the elements of daylight cone vision system that are typical of other vertebrates. In monotremes, visual pigments SWS2 (cone blue-sensitive 2) and MWS/LWS (green/red-sensitive) are still present, as well as rod RH1. Theria, except some primates, also have two cone visual pigments: SWS1 (ultraviolet/violet or blue-sensitive 1) and MWS/LWS along with rod RH1. Humans and some other higher primates evolved the new visual pigment, MWS, and acquired trichromatic vision. Marine mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds) and some species of other orders have lost also the visual pigment SWS1, probably due to specificity of processing the information received by these cones. Current view on mammals' vision with two cone pigments and rods is presented. Data on maximum spectral sensitivity of visual pigments in different species and orders are given along with data on spatial contrast sensation. High visual acuity has been acquired by ungulates, artiodactyls, and primates, while the highest one--by humans with their specialized fovea.

  11. Variation in the mitochondrial control region in the Juan Fernández fur seal (Arctocephalus philippii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsworthy, S; Francis, J; Boness, D; Fleischer, R

    2000-01-01

    The Juan Fernandez fur seal (Arctocephalus philippii was allegedly extremely abundant, numbering as many as 4 million prior to sealing which continued from the late 17th to the late 19th century. By the end of the sealing era the species was thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered at Alejandro Selkirk Island in 1965. Historic records would suggest that the species underwent a substantial population bottleneck as a result of commercial sealing, and from population genetic theory we predicted that the genetic variability in the species would be low. We compared the mtDNA control region sequence from 28 Juan Fernandez fur seals from two islands in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago (Chile). Contrary to expectation, we found that variation in the Juan Fernandez fur seals is not greatly reduced in comparison to other pinniped taxa, especially given the apparent severity of the bottleneck they underwent. We also determined minor, but significantly different haplotype frequencies among the populations on the two islands (Alejandro Selkirk and Robinson Crusoe Islands), but no difference in their levels of variability. Such differences may have arisen stochastically via a recent founder event from Alejandro Selkirk to Robinson Crusoe Island or subsequent genetic drift.

  12. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, J I; Kowalski, G J; Klimova, A; Eberhart-Phillips, L J; Staniland, I J; Baylis, A M M

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the causes of population decline is crucial for conservation management. We therefore used genetic analysis both to provide baseline data on population structure and to evaluate hypotheses for the catastrophic decline of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) at the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. We genotyped 259 animals from 23 colonies across the Falklands at 281 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region and 22 microsatellites. A weak signature of population structure was detected, genetic diversity was moderately high in comparison with other pinniped species, and no evidence was found for the decline being associated with a strong demographic bottleneck. By combining our mitochondrial data with published sequences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, we also uncovered strong maternally directed population structure across the geographical range of the species. In particular, very few shared haplotypes were found between the Falklands and South America, and this was reflected in correspondingly low migration rate estimates. These findings do not support the prominent hypothesis that the decline was caused by migration to Argentina, where large-scale commercial harvesting operations claimed over half a million animals. Thus, our study not only provides baseline data for conservation management but also reveals the potential for genetic studies to shed light upon long-standing questions pertaining to the history and fate of natural populations.

  13. Environmental contamination and marine mammals in coastal waters from Argentina: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcovecchio, J E; Gerpe, M S; Bastida, R O; Rodríguez, D H; Morón, S G

    1994-09-16

    Environmental contamination become an increasing global problem. Different scientific strategies have been developed in order to assess the impact of pollutants on marine ecosystems. The distribution of toxic contaminants in tissues of different marine mammal species--both cetaceans and pinnipeds--has been studied in many ecosystems, as well as several related ecological processes, like pollutant accumulation or transfer through the food web. A research program directed towards evaluating the occurrence of pollutants in marine mammals from the coastal waters of Argentina (southwestern Atlantic Ocean) has been developed since 1985, and includes the study of heavy metal contents in stranded or incidentally caught animals. The marine mammal species studied during this period were: the seals Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis, and small cetaceans Tursiops gephyreus, Pontoporia blainvillei, Kogia breviceps and Ziphius cavirostris. In most of the cases, high contents of heavy metals (total mercury, cadmium, zinc, and copper) have been recorded. Moreover, liver showed the maximum capability for accumulation of heavy metals in all studied species. The biological and ecological characteristics of each species of the above-mentioned marine mammals (feeding habits, age, migratory pathways, or sex) contributed to the understanding of the metal sources. Considering the results as obtained during the study period it can be assumed that: (1) The global distribution of toxic contaminants also affects the southwestern Atlantic Ocean ecosystems, and (2) Marine mammals could be appropriate bioindicator species in order to assess this kind of environmental problem.

  14. Optimal marine mammal welfare under human care: Current efforts and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brando, Sabrina; Broom, Donald M; Acasuso-Rivero, Cristina; Clark, Fay

    2017-09-18

    Marine mammals include cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians, sea otters and polar bears, many of which are charismatic and popular species commonly kept under human care in zoos and aquaria. However, in comparison with their fully terrestrial counterparts their welfare has been less intensively studied, and their partial or full reliance on the aquatic environment leads to unique welfare challenges. In this paper we attempt to collate and review the research undertaken thus far on marine mammal welfare, and identify the most important gaps in knowledge. We use 'best practice case studies' to highlight examples of research promoting optimal welfare, include suggestions for future directions of research efforts, and make recommendations to strive for optimal welfare, where it is currently lacking, above and beyond minimum legislation and guidelines. Our review of the current literature shows that recently there have been positive forward strides in marine mammal welfare assessment, but fundamental research is still required to validate positive and negative indicators of welfare in marine mammals. Across all marine mammals, more research is required on the dimensions and complexity of pools and land areas necessary for optimal welfare, and the impact of staff absence for most of the 24-h day, as standard working hours are usually between 0900 and 1700. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Olfactory Enrichment in California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus): An Effective Tool for Captive Welfare?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuelson, Mystera M; Lauderdale, Lisa K; Pulis, Kelly; Solangi, Moby; Hoffland, Tim; Lyn, Heidi

    2017-01-01

    In the wild, California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are exposed to a wide variety of sensory information, which cannot be replicated in captive environments. Therefore, unique procedures are necessary for maintaining physiological and psychological health in nonhuman animals in captivity. The effects of introducing natural scents to captive enclosures have been investigated in a variety of species, yet they have not been examined in marine mammals. This project explored the behavioral effect of scent added to the environment, with the goal of improving the welfare of sea lions in captivity. Two scent types were introduced: (a) natural scents, found in their native environment, and (b) non-natural scents, not found in their native environment. This study examined not only scent enrichment but also the possible evolutionary underpinnings of pinniped olfaction. Scent enrichment was found to significantly impact sea lion behavior as demonstrated by a reduction in pattern swimming, an increase in habitat utilization, and a reduction in stereotypical behavior. However, there were no differences in behavior between natural and non-natural scent conditions.

  16. Intraperitoneal implantation of life-long telemetry transmitters in otariids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horning, Markus; Haulena, Martin; Tuomi, Pamela A; Mellish, Jo-Ann E

    2008-12-10

    Pinnipeds, including many endangered and declining species, are inaccessible and difficult to monitor for extended periods using externally attached telemetry devices that are shed during the annual molt. Archival satellite transmitters were implanted intraperitoneally into four rehabilitated California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and 15 wild juvenile Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) to determine the viability of this surgical technique for the deployment of long-term telemetry devices in otariids. The life history transmitters record information throughout the life of the host and transmit data to orbiting satellites after extrusion following death of the host. Surgeries were performed under isoflurane anesthesia and single (n = 4) or dual (n = 15) transmitters were inserted into the ventrocaudal abdominal cavity via an 8.5 to 12 cm incision along the ventral midline between the umbilicus and pubic symphysis or preputial opening. Surgeries lasted 90 minutes (SD = 8) for the 19 sea lions. All animals recovered well and were released into the wild after extended monitoring periods from 27 to 69 days at two captive animal facilities. Minimum post-implant survival was determined via post-release tracking using externally attached satellite transmitters or via opportunistic re-sighting for mean durations of 73.7 days (SE = 9.0, Z. californianus) and 223.6 days (SE = 71.5, E. jubatus). The low morbidity and zero mortality encountered during captive observation and post-release tracking periods confirm the viability of this surgical technique for the implantation of long-term telemetry devices in otariids.

  17. Ambient temperature does not affect the tactile sensitivity of mystacial vibrissae in harbour seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehnhardt, G; Mauck, B; Hyvärinen, H

    1998-11-01

    Vibrissae provide pinnipeds with tactile information primarily in the aquatic environment, which is characterized by its high thermal conductivity and large potential cooling power. Since studies of thermal effects on human tactile sensitivity have revealed that cooling below normal skin temperature impairs sensitivity, the present study investigates the tactile sensitivity of the vibrissal system of harbour seals at varying ambient temperatures. Using plates bearing gratings of alternating grooves and ridges, the texture difference thresholds of two adult seals were determined under water. We took advantage of the natural difference in ambient temperature between summer and winter. Mean water temperature was 1. 2 degreesC during the winter and 22 degreesC during the summer. During the cold season, the thermal status of both seals was examined using an infrared-sensitive camera system. The texture difference threshold of both seals remained the same (0.18 mm groove width difference) under both test conditions. The thermographic examination revealed that the skin areas of the head where the mystacial and supraorbital vibrissae are located show a substantially higher degree of thermal emission than do adjacent skin areas. This suggests that, in the vibrissal follicles of harbour seals, no vasoconstriction occurs during cold acclimation, so that the appropriate operating temperature for the mechanoreceptors is maintained.

  18. Population size and stopover duration estimation using mark–resight data and Bayesian analysis of a superpopulation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, James E.; Kendall, William; Royle, J. Andrew; Converse, Sarah J.; Andres, Brad A.; Buchanan, Joseph B.

    2016-01-01

    We present a novel formulation of a mark–recapture–resight model that allows estimation of population size, stopover duration, and arrival and departure schedules at migration areas. Estimation is based on encounter histories of uniquely marked individuals and relative counts of marked and unmarked animals. We use a Bayesian analysis of a state–space formulation of the Jolly–Seber mark–recapture model, integrated with a binomial model for counts of unmarked animals, to derive estimates of population size and arrival and departure probabilities. We also provide a novel estimator for stopover duration that is derived from the latent state variable representing the interim between arrival and departure in the state–space model. We conduct a simulation study of field sampling protocols to understand the impact of superpopulation size, proportion marked, and number of animals sampled on bias and precision of estimates. Simulation results indicate that relative bias of estimates of the proportion of the population with marks was low for all sampling scenarios and never exceeded 2%. Our approach does not require enumeration of all unmarked animals detected or direct knowledge of the number of marked animals in the population at the time of the study. This provides flexibility and potential application in a variety of sampling situations (e.g., migratory birds, breeding seabirds, sea turtles, fish, pinnipeds, etc.). Application of the methods is demonstrated with data from a study of migratory sandpipers.

  19. Molecular phylogeny of the carnivora (mammalia): assessing the impact of increased sampling on resolving enigmatic relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, John J; Finarelli, John A; Zehr, Sarah; Hsu, Johnny; Nedbal, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    This study analyzed 76 species of Carnivora using a concatenated sequence of 6243 bp from six genes (nuclear TR-i-I, TBG, and IRBP; mitochondrial ND2, CYTB, and 12S rRNA), representing the most comprehensive sampling yet undertaken for reconstructing the phylogeny of this clade. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods were remarkably congruent in topologies observed and in nodal support measures. We recovered all of the higher level carnivoran clades that had been robustly supported in previous analyses (by analyses of morphological and molecular data), including the monophyly of Caniformia, Feliformia, Arctoidea, Pinnipedia, Musteloidea, Procyonidae + Mustelidae sensu stricto, and a clade of (Hyaenidae + (Herpestidae + Malagasy carnivorans)). All of the traditional "families," with the exception of Viverridae and Mustelidae, were robustly supported as monophyletic groups. We further have determined the relative positions of the major lineages within the Caniformia, which previous studies could not resolve, including the first robust support for the phylogenetic position of marine carnivorans (Pinnipedia) within the Arctoidea (as the sister-group to musteloids [sensu lato], with ursids as their sister group). Within the pinnipeds, Odobenidae (walrus) was more closely allied with otariids (sea lions/fur seals) than with phocids ("true" seals). In addition, we recovered a monophyletic clade of skunks and stink badgers (Mephitidae) and resolved the topology of musteloid interrelationships as: Ailurus (Mephitidae (Procyonidae, Mustelidae [sensu stricto])). This pattern of interrelationships of living caniforms suggests a novel inference that large body size may have been the primitive condition for Arctoidea, with secondary size reduction evolving later in some musteloids. Within Mustelidae, Bayesian analyses are unambiguous in supporting otter monophyly (Lutrinae), and in both MP and Bayesian analyses Martes is paraphyletic with respect to Gulo and Eira, as has been

  20. Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) Reproductive Advertisement Behavior and the Effects of Vessel Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Leanna P.

    Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are a widely distributed pinniped species that mate underwater. Similar to other aquatically mating pinnipeds, male harbor seals produce vocalizations during the breeding season that function in male-male interactions and possibly as an attractant for females. I investigated multiple aspects of these reproductive advertisement displays in a population of harbor seals in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. First, I looked at vocal production as a function of environmental variables, including season, daylight, and tidal state. Vocalizations were highly seasonal and detection of these vocalizations peaked in June and July, which correspond with the estimated time of breeding. Vocalizations also varied with light, with the lowest probability of detection during the day and the highest probability of detection at night. The high probability of detection corresponded to when females are known to forage. These results are similar to the vocal behavior of previously studied populations. However, unlike previously studied populations, the detection of harbor seal breeding vocalizations did not vary with tidal state. This is likely due to the location of the hydrophone, as it was not near the haul out and depth was therefore not significantly influenced by changes in tidal height. I also investigated the source levels and call parameters of vocalizations, as well as call rate and territoriality. The average source level of harbor seal breeding vocalizations was 144 dB re 1 ?Pa at 1 m and measurements ranged from 129 to 149 dB re 1 ?Pa. Analysis of call parameters indicated that vocalizations of harbor seals in Glacier Bay were similar in duration to other populations, but were much lower in frequency. During the breeding season, there were two discrete calling areas that likely represent two individual males; the average call rate in these display areas was approximately 1 call per minute. The harbor seal breeding season also

  1. Climate change and control of the southeastern Bering Sea pelagic ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, George L., Jr.; Stabeno, Phyllis; Walters, Gary; Sinclair, Elizabeth; Brodeur, Richard D.; Napp, Jeffery M.; Bond, Nicholas A.

    2002-12-01

    We propose a new hypothesis, the Oscillating Control Hypothesis (OCH), which predicts that pelagic ecosystem function in the southeastern Bering Sea will alternate between primarily bottom-up control in cold regimes and primarily top-down control in warm regimes. The timing of spring primary production is determined predominately by the timing of ice retreat. Late ice retreat (late March or later) leads to an early, ice-associated bloom in cold water (e.g., 1995, 1997, 1999), whereas no ice, or early ice retreat before mid-March, leads to an open-water bloom in May or June in warm water (e.g., 1996, 1998, 2000). Zooplankton populations are not closely coupled to the spring bloom, but are sensitive to water temperature. In years when the spring bloom occurs in cold water, low temperatures limit the production of zooplankton, the survival of larval/juvenile fish, and their recruitment into the populations of species of large piscivorous fish, such as walleye pollock ( Theragra chalcogramma), Pacific cod ( Gadus macrocephalus) and arrowtooth flounder ( Atheresthes stomias). When continued over decadal scales, this will lead to bottom-up limitation and a decreased biomass of piscivorous fish. Alternatively, in periods when the bloom occurs in warm water, zooplankton populations should grow rapidly, providing plentiful prey for larval and juvenile fish. Abundant zooplankton will support strong recruitment of fish and will lead to abundant predatory fish that control forage fish, including, in the case of pollock, their own juveniles. Piscivorous marine birds and pinnipeds may achieve higher production of young and survival in cold regimes, when there is less competition from large piscivorous fish for cold-water forage fish such as capelin ( Mallotus villosus). Piscivorous seabirds and pinnipeds also may be expected to have high productivity in periods of transition from cold regimes to warm regimes, when young of large predatory species of fish are numerous enough to

  2. Preliminary Screening Analysis for the Environmental Risk Evaluation System: Task 2.1.1: Evaluating Effects of Stressors – Fiscal Year 2010 Progress Report: Environmental Effects of Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Richard M.; Copping, Andrea E.; Van Cleve, Frances B.

    2010-11-15

    Possible environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy development are not well understood, and yet regulatory agencies are required to make decisions in spite of substantial uncertainty about environmental impacts and their long-term effects. An understanding of risk associated with likely interactions between MHK installations and aquatic receptors, including animals, habitats, and ecosystems, can help reduce the level of uncertainty and focus regulatory actions and scientific studies on interactions of most concern. As a first step in developing the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Environmental Risk Evaluation System (ERES), PNNL scientists conducted a preliminary risk screening analysis on three initial MHK cases - a tidal project in Puget Sound using Open Hydro turbines, a wave project off the coast of Oregon using Ocean Power Technologies point attenuator buoys, and a riverine current project in the Mississippi River using Free Flow turbines. Through an iterative process, the screening analysis revealed that top-tier stressors in all three cases were the effects of the dynamic physical presence of the device (e.g., strike), accidents, and effects of the static physical presence of the device (e.g., habitat alteration). Receptor interactions with these stressors at the four highest tiers of risk were dominated by marine mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds) and birds (diving and non-diving); only the riverine case (Free Flow) included different receptors in the third tier (fish) and the fourth tier (benthic invertebrates). Although this screening analysis provides a preliminary analysis of vulnerability of environmental receptors to stressors associated with MHK installations, probability analysis, especially of risk associated with chemical toxicity and accidents such as oil spills or lost gear, will be necessary to further understand high-priority risks. Subject matter expert review of this process and results is required and is

  3. A fugacity model for source determination of the Lake Baikal region pollution with polychlorinated Biphenyls

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sofiev, M. [Finnish Meteorological Inst., Helsinki (Finland); Galperin, M.; Maslyaev, A. [Inst. of Program Systems, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy (Russian Federation); McLachlan, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden); Wania, F. [Toronto Univ. (Canada)

    2004-09-15

    PCBs were discovered in the Lake Baikal ecosystem by Malakhov et al. and Bobovnikova et al. A follow up to the initial study showed no decrease over 1981-1989 4, in contrast to what has been observed in other water bodies in the industrialised world. Further studies also showed the contamination in pinnipeds to be among the highest measured anywhere. Above studies and other data suggested a presence of a strong local PCB source (or several ones), which has had a widespread adverse effect for the whole region. To locate the source, Mamontov et al. collected samples from 34 sites over the region, the analysis of which showed a gradient of a factor of 1000, with the lowest concentrations at the north-east of Lake Baikal and the highest concentrations close to the city of Usolye Sibirskoye, a centre of the chemical industry in the Angara River valley. A continuous decrease in the soil contamination was observed along the path from Usolye Sibirskoye up the Angara River valley to Lake Baikal and from there north-eastward along the lake. These results indicate that there was (and perhaps still is) a major source of PCBs in the Usolye area, from where the PCBs are dispersed over the region. However, various obstacles prevent direct observations of potential sources. Therefore, a mathematical modelling approach was adopted in a currently ongoing INTAS project aiming to shed some more light on this problem. The model principles, setup and the results of the first experiments are presented in the current paper.

  4. Impacts of a North Pacific Predator on Nearshore Seawater Mercury Cycling via Top-Down Contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossaboon, J. M.; Ganguli, P. M.; Flegal, A. R., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Marine mammals are common sentinel species for studying marine pollution, however their potential role as vectors of contaminants to local ecosystems has rarely been addressed. Organic methylmercury, or MeHg, is a potent neurotoxin that biomagnifies approximately one to ten million-fold in aquatic carnivores such as the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), whose excreta and molted pelage, in turn, constitute a source of environmental MeHg contamination at the base of marine food chains. This recycling of MeHg was evidenced by comparing total mercury (HgT) and MeHg concentrations in seawater at the Año Nuevo State Reserve pinniped rookery to those of neighboring coastal sites in Central California. The observed 17-fold enrichment of MeHg in seawater at Año Nuevo during the M. angustirostris molting season (0.28—9.5 pM) was remarkable, and exceeded the range of surface water MeHg concentrations observed in the highly urbanized San Francisco Bay estuary (80% MeHg. This equates to an annual per-capita emission factor of 0.05 g MeHg per adult elephant seal. Based on this estimate, we calculate that approximately 0.2 kg of organic Hg entered the nearshore environment of Año Nuevo during that molting season. This elevated methylmercury (MeHg) in seawater adjacent to the rookery may become bioavailable to lower trophic levels, demonstrating that marine mammal colonization can substantially influence nearshore mercury cycling and potentially threaten ecosystem health.

  5. The better to eat you with: the comparative feeding morphology of phocid seals (Pinnipedia, Phocidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienle, Sarah S; Berta, Annalisa

    2016-03-01

    . These results provide a framework for understanding the evolution and adaptability of feeding strategies employed by extant phocid species, and these findings can be applied to other pinniped lineages and extinct taxa.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-09-15

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

  7. Nuevos resultados del estudio del sitio Ajej I: un aporte a la variabilidad de estrategias de los canoeros fueguinos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Luis Piana

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available El estudio del sitio Ajej I, ubicado cronológicamente entre 1300 y 1400 años AP, es resultado de una excavación de rescate realizada en la costa norte del Canal Beagle. La región fue ocupada desde el séptimo milenio AP por cazadores-recolectores litorales. Los análisis realizados permiten postular que el sitio se caracteriza por: a una baja recurrencia de ocupación; b la selectividad de caza de pinnípedos frente a otros recursos; c su representación diferencial de partes anatómicas y d una baja variabilidad actividades realizadas con el instrumental lítico. Asimismo, proveyó una fecha temprana para la presencia del arco y la flecha en la región austral. Los resultados permiten discutir sobre la diversidad de estrategias implementadas por los cazadores-recolectores canoeros.The study of the archaeological site Ajej I dated between 1300 and 1400 BP is the result of a rescue excavation carried out in the northern coast of the Beagle Channel, an area peopled by sea littoral hunter-gatherers since the seventh millennium BP. The analyses results pinpoint that the site is characterized by: a a low redundant occupation; b a selectivity of the pinnipeds as preys; c a differential distribution of their anatomical parts; and d a low diversity of activities carried with the lithic instruments. Besides, these studies provided an early date to the presence of bows and arrows in such an austral region. Results enable to discuss on the variability of the strategies carried on by those sea nomads.

  8. Comparative taphonomy, taphofacies, and bonebeds of the Mio-Pliocene Purisima Formation, central California: strong physical control on marine vertebrate preservation in shallow marine settings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Boessenecker

    Full Text Available Taphonomic study of marine vertebrate remains has traditionally focused on single skeletons, lagerstätten, or bonebed genesis with few attempts to document environmental gradients in preservation. As such, establishment of a concrete taphonomic model for shallow marine vertebrate assemblages is lacking. The Neogene Purisima Formation of Northern California, a richly fossiliferous unit recording nearshore to offshore depositional settings, offers a unique opportunity to examine preservational trends across these settings.Lithofacies analysis was conducted to place vertebrate fossils within a hydrodynamic and depositional environmental context. Taphonomic data including abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, articulation, polish, and biogenic bone modification were recorded for over 1000 vertebrate fossils of sharks, bony fish, birds, pinnipeds, odontocetes, mysticetes, sirenians, and land mammals. These data were used to compare both preservation of multiple taxa within a single lithofacies and preservation of individual taxa across lithofacies to document environmental gradients in preservation. Differential preservation between taxa indicates strong preservational bias within the Purisima Formation. Varying levels of abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, and articulation are strongly correlative with physical processes of sediment transport and sedimentation rate. Preservational characteristics were used to delineate four taphofacies corresponding to inner, middle, and outer shelf settings, and bonebeds. Application of sequence stratigraphic methods shows that bonebeds mark major stratigraphic discontinuities, while packages of rock between discontinuities consistently exhibit onshore-offshore changes in taphofacies.Changes in vertebrate preservation and bonebed character between lithofacies closely correspond to onshore-offshore changes in depositional setting, indicating that the dominant control of preservation is exerted by physical

  9. Effects of whaling on the structure of the Southern Ocean food web: insights on the "krill surplus" from ecosystem modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Surma

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to examine the ecological plausibility of the "krill surplus" hypothesis and the effects of whaling on the Southern Ocean food web using mass-balance ecosystem modelling. The depletion trajectory and unexploited biomass of each rorqual population in the Antarctic was reconstructed using yearly catch records and a set of species-specific surplus production models. The resulting estimates of the unexploited biomass of Antarctic rorquals were used to construct an Ecopath model of the Southern Ocean food web existing in 1900. The rorqual depletion trajectory was then used in an Ecosim scenario to drive rorqual biomasses and examine the "krill surplus" phenomenon and whaling effects on the food web in the years 1900-2008. An additional suite of Ecosim scenarios reflecting several hypothetical trends in Southern Ocean primary productivity were employed to examine the effect of bottom-up forcing on the documented krill biomass trend. The output of the Ecosim scenarios indicated that while the "krill surplus" hypothesis is a plausible explanation of the biomass trends observed in some penguin and pinniped species in the mid-20th century, the excess krill biomass was most likely eliminated by a rapid decline in primary productivity in the years 1975-1995. Our findings suggest that changes in physical conditions in the Southern Ocean during this time period could have eliminated the ecological effects of rorqual depletion, although the mechanism responsible is currently unknown. Furthermore, a decline in iron bioavailability due to rorqual depletion may have contributed to the rapid decline in overall Southern Ocean productivity during the last quarter of the 20th century. The results of this study underscore the need for further research on historical changes in the roles of top-down and bottom-up forcing in structuring the Southern Ocean food web.

  10. Impact of the 2015 El Nino-Southern Oscillation on the Abundance and Foraging Habits of Guadalupe Fur Seals and California Sea Lions from the San Benito Archipelago, Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando R Elorriaga-Verplancken

    Full Text Available The abundance of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus (CSLs and Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi (GFSs from the San Benito Archipelago (SBA was determined through nine monthly surveys in 2014-2015. Assessment of their foraging habits was examined based on the isotopic analysis of pups (maternal indicators (SIAR/SIBER-R. Environmental variability between 2014 and 2015 was also analyzed, in terms of sea surface temperature (SST and chlorophyll (Chl-a concentration. Both otariids reached their highest abundance in July of both years; however, relative to 2014, the 2015 survey showed a 59.7% decline in the total GFS abundance and a 42.9% decrease of GFS pups, while total CSL abundance decreased 52.0% and CSL pup presence decreased in 61.7%. All monthly surveys for both otariids showed a similar trend (>50% decrease in 2015. Compared to 2014, the 2015 GFSs isotopic niche was three times larger (2.0 in 2015, 0.6 in 2014 and the δ13C was significantly lower. CSLs also showed significantly lower δ13C and higher δ15N in 2015. Interannual segregation was greater for CSLs, and their pup body mass was also significantly lower during the 2015 breeding season (mean = 8.7 kg than in the same season of 2014 (mean = 9.9 kg. The decrease in δ13C for both otariids reflected a more oceanic foraging; most likely associated with the decline in primary productivity in surrounding areas to the SBA, related to a higher SST caused by the 2015 ENSO, with a subsequent increase in foraging effort. These would explain the fewer observed individuals on land, especially pups, which showed diminished body condition (CSLs. This study highlights the importance of marine mammals as sentinel species that respond dynamically to changes in environment, providing valuable information on the effect of ENSO on pinnipeds in Mexican waters.

  11. Marine mammal distribution and abundance in an offshore sub-region of the northeastern Chukchi Sea during the open-water season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Lisanne A. M.; McFarland, Alexandra E.; Watts, Bridget H.; Lomac-MacNair, Kate S.; Seiser, Pamela E.; Wisdom, Sheyna S.; Kirk, Alex V.; Schudel, Carissa A.

    2013-09-01

    This paper describes the distribution and abundance of marine mammals during the open-water season within and near three offshore oil and gas prospects in the northeastern Chukchi Sea, known as the Klondike, Burger, and Statoil study areas. We collected vessel-based marine mammal data during July-October 2008-2010 along line transects oriented in a north-south direction. Over this period, we surveyed ~18,600 km of on-transect effort in the three study areas. Sightings of cetaceans were rare. The bowhead whale was the primary cetacean species sighted and was mostly observed in October (33 of 35 animals). Pinnipeds were the most abundant marine mammals in the study area, with 980 seals and 367 walruses recorded on transect. Most seals were observed as solitary animals, while walruses were often observed in aggregations. We calculated seal and walrus densities using species-specific detection functions corrected for probability of detection. There was high interannual variability in the abundance of seals and walruses that for some species may be related to interannual differences in ice conditions. Notwithstanding this variation, the distribution data suggest that benthic-feeding bearded seals and walruses generally were more common in the Burger and Statoil study areas, which can be characterized as more benthic-dominated ecosystems. The distribution of ringed/spotted seals did not show any statistically significant differences among the study areas, although a slight preference for the Klondike and Statoil study areas was suggested. Both of these study areas are affected by Bering Sea Water from the Central Channel and have a stronger pelagic component than the Burger study area. Continued sampling of these areas will help establish whether the observed trends in marine mammal distribution and abundance are persistent.

  12. Impact of the 2015 El Niño-Southern Oscillation on the Abundance and Foraging Habits of Guadalupe Fur Seals and California Sea Lions from the San Benito Archipelago, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elorriaga-Verplancken, Fernando R; Sierra-Rodríguez, Gema E; Rosales-Nanduca, Hiram; Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Sandoval-Sierra, Julieta

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) (CSLs) and Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi) (GFSs) from the San Benito Archipelago (SBA) was determined through nine monthly surveys in 2014-2015. Assessment of their foraging habits was examined based on the isotopic analysis of pups (maternal indicators) (SIAR/SIBER-R). Environmental variability between 2014 and 2015 was also analyzed, in terms of sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll (Chl-a) concentration. Both otariids reached their highest abundance in July of both years; however, relative to 2014, the 2015 survey showed a 59.7% decline in the total GFS abundance and a 42.9% decrease of GFS pups, while total CSL abundance decreased 52.0% and CSL pup presence decreased in 61.7%. All monthly surveys for both otariids showed a similar trend (>50% decrease in 2015). Compared to 2014, the 2015 GFSs isotopic niche was three times larger (2.0 in 2015, 0.6 in 2014) and the δ13C was significantly lower. CSLs also showed significantly lower δ13C and higher δ15N in 2015. Interannual segregation was greater for CSLs, and their pup body mass was also significantly lower during the 2015 breeding season (mean = 8.7 kg) than in the same season of 2014 (mean = 9.9 kg). The decrease in δ13C for both otariids reflected a more oceanic foraging; most likely associated with the decline in primary productivity in surrounding areas to the SBA, related to a higher SST caused by the 2015 ENSO, with a subsequent increase in foraging effort. These would explain the fewer observed individuals on land, especially pups, which showed diminished body condition (CSLs). This study highlights the importance of marine mammals as sentinel species that respond dynamically to changes in environment, providing valuable information on the effect of ENSO on pinnipeds in Mexican waters.

  13. Adaptations of the cetacean hyolingual apparatus for aquatic feeding and thermoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werth, Alexander J

    2007-06-01

    Foraging methods vary considerably among semiaquatic and fully aquatic mammals. Semiaquatic animals often find food in water yet consume it on land, but as truly obligate aquatic mammals, cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) must acquire and ingest food underwater. It is hypothesized that differences in foraging methods are reflected in cetacean hyolingual apparatus anatomy. This study compares the musculoskeletal anatomy of the hyolingual apparatus in 91 cetacean specimens, including 8 mysticetes (baleen whales) in two species and 91 odontocetes (toothed whales) in 11 species. Results reveal specific adaptations for aquatic life. Intrinsic fibers are sparser and extrinsic musculature comprises a significantly greater proportion of the cetacean tongue relative to terrestrial mammals and other aquatic mammals such as pinnipeds and sirenians. Relative sizes and connections of cetacean tongue muscles to the hyoid apparatus relate to differences in feeding methods used by cetaceans, specifically filtering, suction, and raptorial prehension. In odontocetes and eschrichtiids (gray whales), increased tongue musculature and enlarged hyoids allow grasping and/or lingual depression to generate intraoral suction for prey ingestion. In balaenopterids (rorqual whales), loose and flaccid tongues enable great distention of the oral cavity for prey engulfing. In balaenids (right and bowhead whales), large but stiffer tongues direct intraoral water flow for continuous filtration feeding. Balaenid and eschrichtiid (and possibly balaenopterid) mysticete tongues possess vascular retial adaptations for thermoregulation and large amounts of submucosal adipose tissue for nutritional storage. All cetacean tongues also function in prey transport and swallowing. These hyolingual musculoskeletal differences are unique cetacean anatomical adaptations for foraging entirely in an aquatic environment. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Intraperitoneal implantation of life-long telemetry transmitters in three rehabilitated harbor seal pups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horning, Markus; Haulena, Martin; Rosenberg, Justin F; Nordstrom, Chad

    2017-05-25

    Pinnipeds, including many phocid species of concern, are inaccessible and difficult to monitor for extended periods using conventional, externally attached telemetry devices that are shed during the annual molt. Archival satellite transmitters were implanted intraperitoneally into three stranded Pacific harbor seal pups (Phoca vitulina richardii) that completed rehabilitation, to evaluate the viability of this surgical technique for the deployment of life long telemetry devices in phocids. The life history transmitters record information throughout the life of the host and transmit data to orbiting satellites after extrusion following death. Surgeries were performed under general anesthesia and a single transmitter was inserted into the ventrocaudal abdominal cavity via a 7-8 cm incision along the ventral midline between the umbilicus and pubic symphysis or preputial opening in each animal. Surgeries lasted from 45 to 51 min, and anesthesic times ranged from 55 to 79 min. All animals recovered well, were released into dry holding pens overnight, and were given access to water the following day. All three animals exhibited an expected inflammatory response, with acute phase responses lasting approximately three to four weeks. All three animals were tracked via externally attached satellite transmitters after release at 58 to 78 days following surgery, and minimum post-release survival was confirmed through continued movement data received over 278 to 289 days. The initial findings of low morbidity and zero mortality encountered during captive observation and post-release tracking periods support the viability of this surgical technique for the implantation of long-term telemetry devices in phocids.

  15. Impact of the 2015 El Niño-Southern Oscillation on the Abundance and Foraging Habits of Guadalupe Fur Seals and California Sea Lions from the San Benito Archipelago, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elorriaga-Verplancken, Fernando R.; Sierra-Rodríguez, Gema E.; Rosales-Nanduca, Hiram; Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Sandoval-Sierra, Julieta

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) (CSLs) and Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi) (GFSs) from the San Benito Archipelago (SBA) was determined through nine monthly surveys in 2014–2015. Assessment of their foraging habits was examined based on the isotopic analysis of pups (maternal indicators) (SIAR/SIBER-R). Environmental variability between 2014 and 2015 was also analyzed, in terms of sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll (Chl-a) concentration. Both otariids reached their highest abundance in July of both years; however, relative to 2014, the 2015 survey showed a 59.7% decline in the total GFS abundance and a 42.9% decrease of GFS pups, while total CSL abundance decreased 52.0% and CSL pup presence decreased in 61.7%. All monthly surveys for both otariids showed a similar trend (>50% decrease in 2015). Compared to 2014, the 2015 GFSs isotopic niche was three times larger (2.0 in 2015, 0.6 in 2014) and the δ13C was significantly lower. CSLs also showed significantly lower δ13C and higher δ15N in 2015. Interannual segregation was greater for CSLs, and their pup body mass was also significantly lower during the 2015 breeding season (mean = 8.7 kg) than in the same season of 2014 (mean = 9.9 kg). The decrease in δ13C for both otariids reflected a more oceanic foraging; most likely associated with the decline in primary productivity in surrounding areas to the SBA, related to a higher SST caused by the 2015 ENSO, with a subsequent increase in foraging effort. These would explain the fewer observed individuals on land, especially pups, which showed diminished body condition (CSLs). This study highlights the importance of marine mammals as sentinel species that respond dynamically to changes in environment, providing valuable information on the effect of ENSO on pinnipeds in Mexican waters. PMID:27171473

  16. Reproductive Tract Histology in South American Fur Seal Pups (Arctophoca australis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Helena; Johansson, Olle

    2017-03-01

    In the present study, a detailed histological description of the female reproductive tract of South American fur seal (Arctophoca australis) pups has been conducted. The uterine tube was covered by cuboidal to columnar epithelium; nerve fibers were present in the mesosalpinx and beneath the muscular layer. The uterus was bipartitus; the endometrial surface of the horns was lined by a simple cuboidal or columnar epithelium with deep tubular glands; caudally ("the transition area"), the epithelium changed to pseudostratified columnar, few tubular glands were present and the myometrium increased in width. A bistratified epithelium internally coated the uterine body, whereas it changed to cylindrical stratified epithelium with a highly vascularized lamina propria and a strong muscular layer in the cervix; no endometrial glands were observed in this region. From the transition area of the uterus to the vagina there were several nerve fibers and ganglia belonging to the uterovaginalis plexus. In the vestibule, hymenal folds were poorly developed; adnexa structures included the major vestibular glands and a neurovascular structure similar to the vestibular bulb. Minor vestibular glands were associated with the clitoris. The skin of the perineum was lined by a keratinized stratified epithelium, pigmented, with sebaceous glands, sweat glands and hair follicles. This is the first detailed histological description of the reproductive tract of South American fur seal pups, including the glandular adnexa and nerve structures. These results contribute to the reproductive biology in Pinniped species, and give a better understanding of the utero-placental perfusion mechanism during diving. Anat Rec, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Anat Rec, 300:600-613, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Beyond habitat requirements: individual fine-scale site fidelity in a colony of the Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) creates conditions for social structuring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Jochen B W; Trillmich, Fritz

    2007-06-01

    structure in colonial breeding pinnipeds.

  18. Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium occurrence in Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea exposed to varied levels of human interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany C. Delport

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Giardia and Cryptosporidium are amongst the most common protozoan parasites identified as causing enteric disease in pinnipeds. A number of Giardia assemblages and Cryptosporidium species and genotypes are common in humans and terrestrial mammals and have also been identified in marine mammals. To investigate the occurrence of these parasites in an endangered marine mammal, the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea, genomic DNA was extracted from faecal samples collected from wild populations (n = 271 in Southern and Western Australia and three Australian captive populations (n = 19. These were screened using PCR targeting the 18S rRNA of Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Giardia duodenalis was detected in 28 wild sea lions and in seven captive individuals. Successful sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene assigned 27 Giardia isolates to assemblage B and one to assemblage A, both assemblages commonly found in humans. Subsequent screening at the gdh and β-giardin loci resulted in amplification of only one of the 35 18S rRNA positive samples at the β-giardin locus. Sequencing at the β-giardin locus assigned the assemblage B 18S rRNA confirmed isolate to assemblage AI. The geographic distribution of sea lion populations sampled in relation to human settlements indicated that Giardia presence in sea lions was highest in populations less than 25 km from humans. Cryptosporidium was not detected by PCR screening in either wild colonies or captive sea lion populations. These data suggest that the presence of G. duodenalis in the endangered Australian sea lion is likely the result of dispersal from human sources. Multilocus molecular analyses are essential for the determination of G. duodenalis assemblages and subsequent inferences on transmission routes to endangered marine mammal populations.

  19. Diving into the analysis of time-depth recorder and behavioural data records: A workshop summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Womble, Jamie N.; Horning, Markus; Lea, Mary-Anne; Rehberg, Michael J.

    2013-04-01

    Directly observing the foraging behavior of animals in the marine environment can be extremely challenging, if not impossible, as such behavior often takes place beneath the surface of the ocean and in extremely remote areas. In lieu of directly observing foraging behavior, data from time-depth recorders and other types of behavioral data recording devices are commonly used to describe and quantify the behavior of fish, squid, seabirds, sea turtles, pinnipeds, and cetaceans. Often the definitions of actual behavioral units and analytical approaches may vary substantially which may influence results and limit our ability to compare behaviors of interest across taxonomic groups and geographic regions. A workshop was convened in association with the Fourth International Symposium on Bio-logging in Hobart, Tasmania on 8 March 2011, with the goal of providing a forum for the presentation, review, and discussion of various methods and approaches that are used to describe and analyze time-depth recorder and associated behavioral data records. The international meeting brought together 36 participants from 14 countries from a diversity of backgrounds including scientists from academia and government, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and developers of electronic tagging technology and analysis software. The specific objectives of the workshop were to host a series of invited presentations followed by discussion sessions focused on (1) identifying behavioral units and metrics that are suitable for empirical studies, (2) reviewing analytical approaches and techniques that can be used to objectively classify behavior, and (3) identifying cases when temporal autocorrelation structure is useful for identifying behaviors of interest. Outcomes of the workshop included highlighting the need to better define behavioral units and to devise more standardized processing and analytical techniques in order to ensure that results are comparable across studies and taxonomic groups.

  20. Neuroglobin of seals and whales: evidence for a divergent role in the diving brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneuer, M; Flachsbarth, S; Czech-Damal, N U; Folkow, L P; Siebert, U; Burmester, T

    2012-10-25

    Although many physiological adaptations of diving mammals have been reported, little is known about how their brains sustain the high demands for metabolic energy and thus O(2) when submerged. A recent study revealed in the deep-diving hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) a unique shift of the oxidative energy metabolism and neuroglobin, a respiratory protein that is involved in neuronal hypoxia tolerance, from neurons to astrocytes. Here we have investigated neuroglobin in another pinniped species, the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus), and in two cetaceans, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Neuroglobin sequences, expression levels and patterns were compared with those of terrestrial relatives, the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) and the cattle (Bos taurus), respectively. Neuroglobin sequences of whales and seals only differ in two or three amino acids from those of cattle and ferret, and are unlikely to confer functional differences, e.g. in O(2) affinity. Neuroglobin is expressed in the astrocytes also of P. groenlandicus, suggesting that the shift of neuroglobin and oxidative metabolism is a common adaptation in the brains of deep-diving phocid seals. In the cetacean brain neuroglobin resides in neurons, like in terrestrial mammals. However, neuroglobin mRNA expression levels were 4-15 times higher in the brains of harbor porpoises and minke whales than in terrestrial mammals or in seals. Thus neuroglobin appears to play a specific role in diving mammals, but seals and whales have evolved divergent strategies to cope with cerebral hypoxia. The specific function of neuroglobin that conveys hypoxia tolerance may either relate to oxygen supply or protection from reactive oxygen species. The different strategies in seals and whales resulted from a divergent evolution and an independent adaptation to diving. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Entrance and Survival of Brucella pinnipedialis Hooded Seal Strain in Human Macrophages and Epithelial Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briquemont, Benjamin; Sørensen, Karen K.; Godfroid, Jacques

    2013-01-01

    Marine mammal Brucella spp. have been isolated from pinnipeds (B. pinnipedialis) and cetaceans (B. ceti) from around the world. Although the zoonotic potential of marine mammal brucellae is largely unknown, reports of human disease exist. There are few studies of the mechanisms of bacterial intracellular invasion and multiplication involving the marine mammal Brucella spp. We examined the infective capacity of two genetically different B. pinnipedialis strains (reference strain; NTCT 12890 and a hooded seal isolate; B17) by measuring the ability of the bacteria to enter and replicate in cultured phagocytes and epithelial cells. Human macrophage-like cells (THP-1), two murine macrophage cell lines (RAW264.7 and J774A.1), and a human malignant epithelial cell line (HeLa S3) were challenged with bacteria in a gentamicin protection assay. Our results show that B. pinnipedialis is internalized, but is then gradually eliminated during the next 72 – 96 hours. Confocal microscopy revealed that intracellular B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain colocalized with lysosomal compartments at 1.5 and 24 hours after infection. Intracellular presence of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain was verified by transmission electron microscopy. By using a cholesterol-scavenging lipid inhibitor, entrance of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain in human macrophages was significantly reduced by 65.8 % (± 17.3), suggesting involvement of lipid-rafts in intracellular entry. Murine macrophages invaded by B. pinnipedialis do not release nitric oxide (NO) and intracellular bacterial presence does not induce cell death. In summary, B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain can enter human and murine macrophages, as well as human epithelial cells. Intracellular entry of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain involves, but seems not to be limited to, lipid-rafts in human macrophages. Brucella pinnipedialis does not multiply or survive for prolonged periods intracellulary. PMID:24376851

  2. Trends in Stranding and By-Catch Rates of Gray and Harbor Seals along the Northeastern Coast of the United States: Evidence of Divergence in the Abundance of Two Sympatric Phocid Species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, David W; Frungillo, Jaime; Smith, Ainsley; Moore, Katie; Sharp, Brian; Schuh, Janelle; Read, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Harbor seals and gray seals are sympatric phocid pinnipeds found in coastal waters of the temperate and sub-Arctic North Atlantic. In the Northwest Atlantic, both species were depleted through a combination of subsistence hunts and government supported bounties, and are now re-occupying substantial portions of their original ranges. While both species appear to have recovered during the past 2 decades, our understanding of their population dynamics in US waters is incomplete. Here we describe trends in stranding and bycatch rates of harbor and gray seals in the North East United States (NEUS) over the past 16 years through an exploratory curve-fitting exercise and structural break-point analysis. Variability in gray seal strandings in Southern New England and bycatch in the Northeast Sink Gillnet Fishery were best described by fitting positive exponential and linear models, and exhibited rates of increase as high as 22%. In contrast, neither linear nor exponential models fit the oscillation of harbor seal strandings and bycatch over the study period. However, a breakpoint Chow test revealed that harbor seal strandings in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts region and harbor seal bycatch in the Northeast Sink Gillnet Fishery increased in the 1990s and then started declining in the early to mid-2000s. Our analysis indicates that ongoing variation in natural and anthropogenic mortality rates of harbor and gray seals in the NEUS is not synchronous, and likely represents diverging trends in abundance of these species as they assume new roles in the marine ecosystems of the region.

  3. Trends in Stranding and By-Catch Rates of Gray and Harbor Seals along the Northeastern Coast of the United States: Evidence of Divergence in the Abundance of Two Sympatric Phocid Species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David W Johnston

    Full Text Available Harbor seals and gray seals are sympatric phocid pinnipeds found in coastal waters of the temperate and sub-Arctic North Atlantic. In the Northwest Atlantic, both species were depleted through a combination of subsistence hunts and government supported bounties, and are now re-occupying substantial portions of their original ranges. While both species appear to have recovered during the past 2 decades, our understanding of their population dynamics in US waters is incomplete. Here we describe trends in stranding and bycatch rates of harbor and gray seals in the North East United States (NEUS over the past 16 years through an exploratory curve-fitting exercise and structural break-point analysis. Variability in gray seal strandings in Southern New England and bycatch in the Northeast Sink Gillnet Fishery were best described by fitting positive exponential and linear models, and exhibited rates of increase as high as 22%. In contrast, neither linear nor exponential models fit the oscillation of harbor seal strandings and bycatch over the study period. However, a breakpoint Chow test revealed that harbor seal strandings in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts region and harbor seal bycatch in the Northeast Sink Gillnet Fishery increased in the 1990s and then started declining in the early to mid-2000s. Our analysis indicates that ongoing variation in natural and anthropogenic mortality rates of harbor and gray seals in the NEUS is not synchronous, and likely represents diverging trends in abundance of these species as they assume new roles in the marine ecosystems of the region.

  4. Foraging behaviour of juvenile female New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri in contrasting environments.

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    Elaine S Leung

    Full Text Available Foragers can show adaptive responses to changes within their environment through morphological and behavioural plasticity. We investigated the plasticity in body size, at sea movements and diving behaviour of juvenile female New Zealand (NZ sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri in two contrasting environments. The NZ sea lion is one of the rarest pinnipeds in the world. Most of the species is based at the subantarctic Auckland Islands (AI; considered to be marginal foraging habitat, with a recolonizing population on the Otago Peninsula, NZ mainland (considered to be more optimal habitat. We investigated how juvenile NZ sea lions adjust their foraging behaviour in contrasting environments by deploying satellite-linked platform transmitting terminals (PTTs and time-depth recorders (TDRs on 2-3 year-old females at AI (2007-2010 and Otago (2009-2010. Juvenile female NZ sea lions exhibited plasticity in body size and behaviour. Otago juveniles were significantly heavier than AI juveniles. Linear mixed effects models showed that study site had the most important effect on foraging behaviour, while mass and age had little influence. AI juveniles spent more time at sea, foraged over larger areas, and dove deeper and longer than Otago juveniles. It is difficult to attribute a specific cause to the observed contrasts in foraging behaviour because these differences may be driven by disparities in habitat/prey characteristics, conspecific density levels or interseasonal variation. Nevertheless, the smaller size and increased foraging effort of AI juveniles, combined with the lower productivity in this region, support the hypothesis that AI are less optimal habitat than Otago. It is more difficult for juveniles to forage in suboptimal habitats given their restricted foraging ability and lower tolerance for food limitation compared to adults. Thus, effective management measures should consider the impacts of low resource environments, along with changes that can

  5. MOLECULAR DETECTION OF ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANCE DETERMINANTS IN ESCHERICHIA COLI ISOLATED FROM THE ENDANGERED AUSTRALIAN SEA LION (NEOPHOCA CINEREA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delport, Tiffany C; Harcourt, Robert G; Beaumont, Linda J; Webster, Koa N; Power, Michelle L

    2015-07-01

    Greater interaction between humans and wildlife populations poses significant risks of anthropogenic impact to natural ecosystems, especially in the marine environment. Understanding the spread of microorganisms at the marine interface is therefore important if we are to mitigate adverse effects on marine wildlife. We investigated the establishment of Escherichia coli in the endangered Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) by comparing fecal isolation from wild and captive sea lion populations. Fecal samples were collected from wild colonies March 2009-September 2010 and from captive individuals March 2011-May 2013. Using molecular screening, we assigned a phylotype to E. coli isolates and determined the presence of integrons, mobile genetic elements that capture gene cassettes conferring resistance to antimicrobial agents common in fecal coliforms. Group B2 was the most abundant phylotype in all E. coli isolates (n = 37), with groups A, B1, and D also identified. Integrons were not observed in E. coli (n = 21) isolated from wild sea lions, but were identified in E. coli from captive animals (n = 16), from which class I integrases were detected in eight isolates. Sequencing of gene cassette arrays identified genes conferring resistance to streptomycin-spectinomycin (aadA1) and trimethoprim (dfrA17, dfrB4). Class II integrases were not detected in the E. coli isolates. The frequent detection in captive sea lions of E. coli with resistance genes commonly identified in human clinical cases suggests that conditions experienced in captivity may contribute to establishment. Identification of antibiotic resistance in the microbiota of Australian sea lions provides crucial information for disease management. Our data will inform conservation management strategies and provide a mechanism to monitor microorganism dissemination to sensitive pinniped populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2011-04-01

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

  7. A colostrum trypsin inhibitor gene expressed in the Cape fur seal mammary gland during lactation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pharo, Elizabeth A; Cane, Kylie N; McCoey, Julia; Buckle, Ashley M; Oosthuizen, W H; Guinet, Christophe; Arnould, John P Y

    2016-03-01

    The colostrum trypsin inhibitor (CTI) gene and transcript were cloned from the Cape fur seal mammary gland and CTI identified by in silico analysis of the Pacific walrus and polar bear genomes (Order Carnivora), and in marine and terrestrial mammals of the Orders Cetartiodactyla (yak, whales, camel) and Perissodactyla (white rhinoceros). Unexpectedly, Weddell seal CTI was predicted to be a pseudogene. Cape fur seal CTI was expressed in the mammary gland of a pregnant multiparous seal, but not in a seal in its first pregnancy. While bovine CTI is expressed for 24-48 h postpartum (pp) and secreted in colostrum only, Cape fur seal CTI was detected for at least 2-3 months pp while the mother was suckling its young on-shore. Furthermore, CTI was expressed in the mammary gland of only one of the lactating seals that was foraging at-sea. The expression of β-casein (CSN2) and β-lactoglobulin II (LGB2), but not CTI in the second lactating seal foraging at-sea suggested that CTI may be intermittently expressed during lactation. Cape fur seal and walrus CTI encode putative small, secreted, N-glycosylated proteins with a single Kunitz/bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI) domain indicative of serine protease inhibition. Mature Cape fur seal CTI shares 92% sequence identity with Pacific walrus CTI, but only 35% identity with BPTI. Structural homology modelling of Cape fur seal CTI and Pacific walrus trypsin based on the model of the second Kunitz domain of human tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) and porcine trypsin (Protein Data Bank: 1TFX) confirmed that CTI inhibits trypsin in a canonical fashion. Therefore, pinniped CTI may be critical for preventing the proteolytic degradation of immunoglobulins that are passively transferred from mother to young via colostrum and milk.

  8. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d−1 for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d−1 for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss.

  9. Comparative taphonomy, taphofacies, and bonebeds of the Mio-Pliocene Purisima Formation, central California: strong physical control on marine vertebrate preservation in shallow marine settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boessenecker, Robert W; Perry, Frank A; Schmitt, James G

    2014-01-01

    Taphonomic study of marine vertebrate remains has traditionally focused on single skeletons, lagerstätten, or bonebed genesis with few attempts to document environmental gradients in preservation. As such, establishment of a concrete taphonomic model for shallow marine vertebrate assemblages is lacking. The Neogene Purisima Formation of Northern California, a richly fossiliferous unit recording nearshore to offshore depositional settings, offers a unique opportunity to examine preservational trends across these settings. Lithofacies analysis was conducted to place vertebrate fossils within a hydrodynamic and depositional environmental context. Taphonomic data including abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, articulation, polish, and biogenic bone modification were recorded for over 1000 vertebrate fossils of sharks, bony fish, birds, pinnipeds, odontocetes, mysticetes, sirenians, and land mammals. These data were used to compare both preservation of multiple taxa within a single lithofacies and preservation of individual taxa across lithofacies to document environmental gradients in preservation. Differential preservation between taxa indicates strong preservational bias within the Purisima Formation. Varying levels of abrasion, fragmentation, phosphatization, and articulation are strongly correlative with physical processes of sediment transport and sedimentation rate. Preservational characteristics were used to delineate four taphofacies corresponding to inner, middle, and outer shelf settings, and bonebeds. Application of sequence stratigraphic methods shows that bonebeds mark major stratigraphic discontinuities, while packages of rock between discontinuities consistently exhibit onshore-offshore changes in taphofacies. Changes in vertebrate preservation and bonebed character between lithofacies closely correspond to onshore-offshore changes in depositional setting, indicating that the dominant control of preservation is exerted by physical processes. The

  10. Top predators in relation to bathymetry, ice and krill during austral winter in Marguerite Bay, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribic, C.A.; Chapman, E.; Fraser, William R.; Lawson, G.L.; Wiebe, P.H.

    2008-01-01

    A key hypothesis guiding the US Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (US SO GLOBEC) program is that deep across-shelf troughs facilitate the transport of warm and nutrient-rich waters onto the continental shelf of the Western Antarctic Peninsula, resulting in enhanced winter production and prey availability to top predators. We tested aspects of this hypothesis during austral winter by assessing the distribution of the resident pack-ice top predators in relation to these deep across-shelf troughs and by investigating associations between top predators and their prey. Surveys were conducted July-August 2001 and August-September 2002 in Marguerite Bay, Antarctica, with a focus on the main across-shelf trough in the bay, Marguerite Trough. The common pack-ice seabird species were snow petrel (Pagodroma nivea, 1.2 individuals km-2), Antarctic petrel (Thalassoica antarctica, 0.3 individuals km-2), and Ade??lie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae, 0.5 individuals km-2). The most common pack-ice pinniped was crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus). During both winters, snow and Antarctic petrels were associated with low sea-ice concentrations independent of Marguerite Trough, while Ade??lie penguins occurred in association with this trough. Krill concentrations, both shallow and deep, also were associated with Ade??lie penguin and snow petrel distributions. During both winters, crabeater seal occurrence was associated with deep krill concentrations and with regions of lower chlorophyll concentration. The area of lower chlorophyll concentrations occurred in an area with complex bathymetry close to land and heavy ice concentrations. Complex or unusual bathymetry via its influence on physical and biological processes appears to be one of the keys to understanding how top predators survive during the winter in this Antarctic region. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Dive characteristics can predict foraging success in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus as validated by animal-borne video

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth L. Volpov

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Dive characteristics and dive shape are often used to infer foraging success in pinnipeds. However, these inferences have not been directly validated in the field with video, and it remains unclear if this method can be applied to benthic foraging animals. This study assessed the ability of dive characteristics from time-depth recorders (TDR to predict attempted prey capture events (APC that were directly observed on animal-borne video in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus, n=11. The most parsimonious model predicting the probability of a dive with ≥1 APC on video included only descent rate as a predictor variable. The majority (94% of the 389 total APC were successful, and the majority of the dives (68% contained at least one successful APC. The best model predicting these successful dives included descent rate as a predictor. Comparisons of the TDR model predictions to video yielded a maximum accuracy of 77.5% in classifying dives as either APC or non-APC or 77.1% in classifying dives as successful verses unsuccessful. Foraging intensity, measured as either total APC per dive or total successful APC per dive, was best predicted by bottom duration and ascent rate. The accuracy in predicting total APC per dive varied based on the number of APC per dive with maximum accuracy occurring at 1 APC for both total (54% and only successful APC (52%. Results from this study linking verified foraging dives to dive characteristics potentially opens the door to decades of historical TDR datasets across several otariid species.

  12. Uncovering deep mysteries: the underwater life of an amphibious louse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Maria Soledad; Aznar, F Javier; Crespo, Enrique A; Lazzari, Claudio R

    2014-12-01

    Despite the incredible success of insects in colonizing almost every habitat, they remain virtually absent in one major environment--the open sea. A variety of hypotheses have been raised to explain why just a few insect species are present in the ocean, but none of them appears to be fully explanatory. Lice belonging to the family Echinophthiriidae are ectoparasites on different species of pinnipeds and river otters, i.e. they have amphibious hosts, who regularly perform long excursions into the open sea reaching depths of hundreds of meters (thousands of feets). Consequently, lice must be able to support not only changes in their surrounding media, but also extreme variations in hydrostatic pressure as well as breathing in a low oxygen atmosphere. In order to shed some light on the way lice can survive during the diving excursions of their hosts, we have performed a series of experiments to test the survival capability of different instars of Antarctophthirus microchir (Phthiraptera: Anoplura) from South American sea lions Otaria flavescens, when submerged into seawater. These experiments were aimed at analyzing: (a) immersion tolerance along the louse life; (b) lice's ability to obtain oxygen from seawater; (c) physiological responses and mechanisms involved in survival underwater. Our experiments showed that the forms present in non-diving pups--i.e. eggs and first-instar nymphs--were unable to tolerate immersion in water, while following instars and adults, all usually found in diving hosts, supported it very well. Furthermore, as long as the level of oxygen dissolved in water was higher, the lice survival capability underwater increased, and the recovery period after returning to air declined. These results are discussed in relation to host ecology, host exploitation and lice functional morphology.

  13. Respiratory Function in Voluntary Participating Patagonia Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens) in Sternal Recumbency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahlman, Andreas; Madigan, Johnny

    2016-01-01

    We measured esophageal pressures (n = 4), respiratory flow rates (n = 5), and expired O2 and CO2 (n = 4) in five adult Patagonia sea lions (Otaria flavescens, body mass range 94.3-286.0 kg) during voluntary breaths while laying down out of water. The data were used to estimate the dynamic specific lung compliance (sCL), the O2 consumption rate ([Formula: see text]O2) and CO2 production rates ([Formula: see text]CO2) during rest. Our results indicate that the resting tidal volume in Patagonia sea lions is approximately 47-73% of the estimated total lung capacity. The esophageal pressures indicated that expiration is passive during voluntary breaths. The average sCL of sea lions was 0.41 ± 0.11 cmH2O(-1), which is similar to those measured in anesthetized sea lions and awake cetaceans, and significantly higher as compared to humans (0.08 cmH2O(-1)). The average estimated [Formula: see text]O2 and [Formula: see text]CO2 using breath-by-breath respirometry were 1.023 ± 0.327 L O2 min(-1) (range: 0.695-1.514 L O2 min(-1)) and 0.777 ± 0.318 L CO2 min(-1), (range: 0.510-1.235 L CO2 min(-1)), respectively, which is similar to previously published metabolic measurements from California and Steller sea lions using conventional flow-through respirometry. Our data provide end-tidal gas composition and offer novel data for respiratory physiology in pinnipeds, which may be important for clinical medicine and conservation efforts.

  14. With the noose around the neck: Marine debris entangling otariid species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Drago, Massimiliano; Katz, Helena; Machín, Emanuel; Marín, Yamandú

    2017-01-01

    Plastic debris in marine environments and its impact on wildlife species is becoming a problem of increasing concern. In pinnipeds, entanglements commonly consist of loops around the neck of non-biodegradable materials from fishing gear or commercial packaging, known as "neck collars". These entanglements can cause injuries, death by suffocation and starvation, and therefore they may add to the overall decrease in population. Our objective was to describe the entanglement of two species of otariids (Arctocephalus australis and Otaria flavescens) in the South West Atlantic Ocean. These two species have widely different population sizes and contrasting trends, being the O. flavescens population one order of magnitude lower in abundance with a negative population trend. A total number of 47 entangled individuals and the ingestion of a fishing sinker were recorded (A. australis: n = 26; O. flavescens: n = 22). For A. australis about 40% of the objects came from industrial fishing with which this species overlap their foraging areas, although also its lost or discarded gear can travel long distances. In O. flavescens 48% of observed injuries were very severe, which might indicate that they had been entangled for a long time. More than 60% of the objects came from artisanal and recreational fishing that operates within 5 nautical miles off the coast, which is probably related to coastal foraging habits of this species. Due to the frequent interaction between artisanal fisheries and O. flavescens, it is possible that entangled nets could be active gears. An important contribution to mitigate entanglements can be the development of education programs setting the scenario for effective communication, and exchange with involved fishermen to collect and recycle old fishing nets. Returning to natural fibers or replacement of the current materials used in fishing gear for biodegradable materials can also be a recommended mitigation measure.

  15. Recovery trends in marine mammal populations.

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    Magera, Anna M; Mills Flemming, Joanna E; Kaschner, Kristin; Christensen, Line B; Lotze, Heike K

    2013-01-01

    Marine mammals have greatly benefitted from a shift from resource exploitation towards conservation. Often lauded as symbols of conservation success, some marine mammal populations have shown remarkable recoveries after severe depletions. Others have remained at low abundance levels, continued to decline, or become extinct or extirpated. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of (1) publicly available population-level abundance data for marine mammals worldwide, (2) abundance trends and recovery status, and (3) historic population decline and recent recovery. We compiled 182 population abundance time series for 47 species and identified major data gaps. In order to compare across the largest possible set of time series with varying data quality, quantity and frequency, we considered an increase in population abundance as evidence of recovery. Using robust log-linear regression over three generations, we were able to classify abundance trends for 92 spatially non-overlapping populations as Significantly Increasing (42%), Significantly Decreasing (10%), Non-Significant Change (28%) and Unknown (20%). Our results were comparable to IUCN classifications for equivalent species. Among different groupings, pinnipeds and other marine mammals (sirenians, polar bears and otters) showed the highest proportion of recovering populations, likely benefiting from relatively fast life histories and nearshore habitats that provided visibility and protective management measures. Recovery was less frequent among cetaceans, but more common in coastal than offshore populations. For marine mammals with available historical abundance estimates (n = 47), larger historical population declines were associated with low or variable recent recoveries so far. Overall, our results show that many formerly depleted marine mammal populations are recovering. However, data-deficient populations and those with decreasing and non-significant trends require attention. In particular, increased study of

  16. Recovery trends in marine mammal populations.

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    Anna M Magera

    Full Text Available Marine mammals have greatly benefitted from a shift from resource exploitation towards conservation. Often lauded as symbols of conservation success, some marine mammal populations have shown remarkable recoveries after severe depletions. Others have remained at low abundance levels, continued to decline, or become extinct or extirpated. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of (1 publicly available population-level abundance data for marine mammals worldwide, (2 abundance trends and recovery status, and (3 historic population decline and recent recovery. We compiled 182 population abundance time series for 47 species and identified major data gaps. In order to compare across the largest possible set of time series with varying data quality, quantity and frequency, we considered an increase in population abundance as evidence of recovery. Using robust log-linear regression over three generations, we were able to classify abundance trends for 92 spatially non-overlapping populations as Significantly Increasing (42%, Significantly Decreasing (10%, Non-Significant Change (28% and Unknown (20%. Our results were comparable to IUCN classifications for equivalent species. Among different groupings, pinnipeds and other marine mammals (sirenians, polar bears and otters showed the highest proportion of recovering populations, likely benefiting from relatively fast life histories and nearshore habitats that provided visibility and protective management measures. Recovery was less frequent among cetaceans, but more common in coastal than offshore populations. For marine mammals with available historical abundance estimates (n = 47, larger historical population declines were associated with low or variable recent recoveries so far. Overall, our results show that many formerly depleted marine mammal populations are recovering. However, data-deficient populations and those with decreasing and non-significant trends require attention. In particular

  17. Entrance and survival of Brucella pinnipedialis hooded seal strain in human macrophages and epithelial cells.

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    Anett K Larsen

    Full Text Available Marine mammal Brucella spp. have been isolated from pinnipeds (B. pinnipedialis and cetaceans (B. ceti from around the world. Although the zoonotic potential of marine mammal brucellae is largely unknown, reports of human disease exist. There are few studies of the mechanisms of bacterial intracellular invasion and multiplication involving the marine mammal Brucella spp. We examined the infective capacity of two genetically different B. pinnipedialis strains (reference strain; NTCT 12890 and a hooded seal isolate; B17 by measuring the ability of the bacteria to enter and replicate in cultured phagocytes and epithelial cells. Human macrophage-like cells (THP-1, two murine macrophage cell lines (RAW264.7 and J774A.1, and a human malignant epithelial cell line (HeLa S3 were challenged with bacteria in a gentamicin protection assay. Our results show that B. pinnipedialis is internalized, but is then gradually eliminated during the next 72-96 hours. Confocal microscopy revealed that intracellular B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain colocalized with lysosomal compartments at 1.5 and 24 hours after infection. Intracellular presence of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain was verified by transmission electron microscopy. By using a cholesterol-scavenging lipid inhibitor, entrance of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain in human macrophages was significantly reduced by 65.8 % (± 17.3, suggesting involvement of lipid-rafts in intracellular entry. Murine macrophages invaded by B. pinnipedialis do not release nitric oxide (NO and intracellular bacterial presence does not induce cell death. In summary, B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain can enter human and murine macrophages, as well as human epithelial cells. Intracellular entry of B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain involves, but seems not to be limited to, lipid-rafts in human macrophages. Brucella pinnipedialis does not multiply or survive for prolonged periods intracellulary.

  18. Intraperitoneal implantation of life-long telemetry transmitters in otariids

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    Haulena Martin

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pinnipeds, including many endangered and declining species, are inaccessible and difficult to monitor for extended periods using externally attached telemetry devices that are shed during the annual molt. Archival satellite transmitters were implanted intraperitoneally into four rehabilitated California sea lions (Zalophus californianus and 15 wild juvenile Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus to determine the viability of this surgical technique for the deployment of long-term telemetry devices in otariids. The life history transmitters record information throughout the life of the host and transmit data to orbiting satellites after extrusion following death of the host. Results Surgeries were performed under isoflurane anesthesia and single (n = 4 or dual (n = 15 transmitters were inserted into the ventrocaudal abdominal cavity via an 8.5 to 12 cm incision along the ventral midline between the umbilicus and pubic symphysis or preputial opening. Surgeries lasted 90 minutes (SD = 8 for the 19 sea lions. All animals recovered well and were released into the wild after extended monitoring periods from 27 to 69 days at two captive animal facilities. Minimum post-implant survival was determined via post-release tracking using externally attached satellite transmitters or via opportunistic re-sighting for mean durations of 73.7 days (SE = 9.0, Z. californianus and 223.6 days (SE = 71.5, E. jubatus. Conclusion The low morbidity and zero mortality encountered during captive observation and post-release tracking periods confirm the viability of this surgical technique for the implantation of long-term telemetry devices in otariids.

  19. Feeding behaviour of free-ranging walruses with notes on apparent dextrality of flipper use

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    Ehlme Göran

    2003-10-01

    four feeding behaviours observed are typical of walruses in general, although walruses in other parts of their range may have evolved other types of feeding behaviour. While based on small sample sizes both the underwater observations and skeletal measurements suggest lateralized limb use, which is the first time this has been reported in a pinniped.

  20. Utility of fur as a biomarker for persistent organic pollutants in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus).

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    Taylor, Shannon; Lynch, Michael; Terkildsen, Michael; Stevenson, Gavin; Yates, Alan; Piro, Nino; de Araujo, Jesuina; Gray, Rachael

    2017-08-25

    Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can cause toxic effects in many species which include endocrine dysfunction, immunotoxicity, developmental defects and neoplasia. Species dominating the upper trophic level are vulnerable to these effects due to bioaccumulation. In Bass Strait, the Australian fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) is an important top order predator and sentinel species for ecosystem health. An alopecia syndrome is seen at high prevalence in juvenile, female Australian fur seals at Lady Julia Percy Island, Victoria, Australia. Previous investigations suggest causality could be due to an endocrine-like toxicant. The alopecia syndrome has significance for thermoregulation and is a likely risk factor for mortality. Fur collected from case (alopecic) and control (unaffected) seals sampled at Lady Julia Percy Island were analysed for POPs. To investigate the utility of fur for monitoring POPs concentrations in pinnipeds, a comparison of POPs concentrations in the fur and blubber of Australian fur seals stranded along the Victorian coast was undertaken. The concentration of selected POPs including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorooctane sulfonate/perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOS/PFOA) were determined in fur using either High Resolution Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry or Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Results indicate detectable, and in some individuals, elevated levels of dl-PCBs, PCDD/Fs and PBDEs in juvenile fur seals sampled on Lady Julia Percy Island, with significantly higher levels of dl-PCBs in case compared to control seals. Elevated levels of dl-PCBs and PCDD/Fs were found in blubber samples collected from stranded fur seals with significant correlations between blubber and fur concentrations seen, particularly for dl-PCBs. This study discusses the significance of POPs concentrations in relation to

  1. Seasonal spatial patterns in seabird and marine mammal distribution in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas: Identifying biologically important pelagic areas

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    Kuletz, Kathy J.; Ferguson, Megan C.; Hurley, Brendan; Gall, Adrian E.; Labunski, Elizabeth A.; Morgan, Tawna C.

    2015-08-01

    The Chukchi and Beaufort seas are undergoing rapid climate change and increased human activity. Conservation efforts for upper trophic level predators such as seabirds and marine mammals require information on species' distributions and identification of important marine areas. Here we describe broad-scale distributions of seabirds and marine mammals. We examined spatial patterns of relative abundance of seabirds and marine mammals in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas during summer (15 June-31 August) and fall (1 September-20 November) from 2007 to 2012. We summarized 49,206 km of shipboard surveys for seabirds and 183,157 km of aerial surveys for marine mammals into a grid of 40-km × 40-km cells. We used Getis-Ord Gi∗ hotspot analysis to test for cells with higher relative abundance than expected when compared to all cells within the study area. We identified cells representing single species and taxonomic group hotspots, cells representing hotspots for multiple species, and cells representing hotspots for both seabirds and marine mammals. The locations of hotspots varied among species but often were located near underwater canyons or over continental shelf features and slopes. Hotspots for seabirds, walrus, and gray whales occurred primarily in the Chukchi Sea. Hotspots for bowhead whales and other pinnipeds (i.e., seals) occurred near Barrow Canyon and along the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope. Hotspots for belugas occurred in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. There were three hotspots shared by both seabirds and marine mammals in summer: off Wainwright in the eastern Chukchi Sea, south of Hanna Shoal, and at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. In fall, the only identified shared hotspot occurred at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. Shared hotspots are characterized by strong fronts caused by upwelling and currents, and these areas can have high densities of euphausiids in summer and fall. Due to the high relative abundance of animals and diversity of taxa

  2. MLVA-16 typing of 295 marine mammal Brucella isolates from different animal and geographic origins identifies 7 major groups within Brucella ceti and Brucella pinnipedialis

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    Jacques Isabelle

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since 1994, Brucella strains have been isolated from a wide range of marine mammals. They are currently recognized as two new Brucella species, B. pinnipedialis for the pinniped isolates and B. ceti for the cetacean isolates in agreement with host preference and specific phenotypic and molecular markers. In order to investigate the genetic relationships within the marine mammal Brucella isolates and with reference to terrestrial mammal Brucella isolates, we applied in this study the Multiple Loci VNTR (Variable Number of Tandem Repeats Analysis (MLVA approach. A previously published assay comprising 16 loci (MLVA-16 that has been shown to be highly relevant and efficient for typing and clustering Brucella strains from animal and human origin was used. Results 294 marine mammal Brucella strains collected in European waters from 173 animals and a human isolate from New Zealand presumably from marine origin were investigated by MLVA-16. Marine mammal Brucella isolates were shown to be different from the recognized terrestrial mammal Brucella species and biovars and corresponded to 3 major related groups, one specific of the B. ceti strains, one of the B. pinnipedialis strains and the last composed of the human isolate. In the B. ceti group, 3 subclusters were identified, distinguishing a cluster of dolphin, minke whale and porpoise isolates and two clusters mostly composed of dolphin isolates. These results were in accordance with published analyses using other phenotypic or molecular approaches, or different panels of VNTR loci. The B. pinnipedialis group could be similarly subdivided in 3 subclusters, one composed exclusively of isolates from hooded seals (Cystophora cristata and the two others comprising other seal species isolates. Conclusion The clustering analysis of a large collection of marine mammal Brucella isolates from European waters significantly strengthens the current view of the population structure of these two

  3. Trace element concentrations in the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

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    Formigaro, Costanza; Karamanlidis, Alexandros A; Dendrinos, Panagiotis; Marsili, Letizia; Silvi, Marina; Zaccaroni, Annalisa

    2017-01-15

    The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. The biggest sub-population of the species survives in Greece, where understanding the effects of pollution on the survival of the species has been identified as a national research and conservation priority. From 1990 to 2013 we collected tissue samples from 59 deceased monk seals in order to: (i) Define the concentration of trace elements (As, Pb, Cd, Hg, Se, Cr, Ni) in three different matrices (i.e., blubber, liver and kidney), (ii) Determine whether differences in trace element concentrations are age- or gender-related, (iii) Evaluate the potential effects of these pollutants. The study recorded differences in trace element concentrations among matrices, but in general, trace element exposure in Mediterranean monk seals in Greece was low and within the non-acutely toxic levels for Pinnipeds. Only arsenic concentrations were at the upper limit of the normal range observed in other marine mammals (0.69±0.55mg/kg w.w. in blubber, 0.79±0.62mg/kg w.w. in liver and 0.79±0.59mg/kg w.w. in kidney). We recorded also exceptionally high Hg concentrations in a single adult female (24.88mg/kg w.w.). Age- and gender-related differences were also recorded and were due to various biological, ecological and chemical factors. Based on the results of the study, potentially adverse effects on the immune and endocrine system of the Mediterranean monk seal from some pollutants (e.g., As, Cd, Se, Ni, Cr) cannot be ruled out, which may expose the Mediterranean seal population in Greece to epizootics and stochastic phenomena of mass mortality. It is therefore of utmost importance that pollutant monitoring becomes an integral component of the standard monitoring protocol of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal in the eastern Mediterranean. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Isolation of a Seawater Tolerant Leptospira spp. from a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis.

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    Sylvia Grune Loffler

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world. It is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira spp. and is maintained in nature through chronic renal infection of carrier animals. Rodents and other small mammals are the main reservoirs. Information on leptospirosis in marine mammals is scarce; however, cases of leptospirosis have been documented in pinniped populations from the Pacific coast of North America from southern California to British Columbia. We report the isolation of a Leptospira spp. strain, here named Manara, from a kidney sample obtained from a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis calf, which stranded dead in Playa Manara, Península Valdés, Argentina. This strain showed motility and morphology typical of the genus Leptospira spp. under dark-field microscopy; and grew in Ellinghausen-McCullough-Johnson-Harris (EMJH medium and Fletcher medium after 90 days of incubation at 28°C. Considering the source of this bacterium, we tested its ability to grow in Fletcher medium diluted with seawater at different percentages (1%, 3%, 5%, 7% and 10% v/v. Bacterial growth was detected 48 h after inoculation of Fletcher medium supplemented with 5% sea water, demonstrating the halophilic nature of the strain Manara. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences placed this novel strain within the radiation of the pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira spp., with sequence similarities within the range 97-100%, and closely related to L. interrogans. Two different PCR protocols targeting genus-specific pathogenic genes (G1-G2, B64I-B64II and LigB gave positive results, which indicates that the strain Manara is likely pathogenic. Further studies are needed to confirm this possibility as well as determine its serogroup. These results could modify our understanding of the epidemiology of this zoonosis. Until now, the resistance and ability to grow in seawater for long periods of time had been proven

  5. A Systematic Review of Changes in Marine Mammal Health in North America, 1972-2012: The Need for a Novel Integrated Approach.

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    Claire A Simeone

    Full Text Available Marine mammals are often cited as "sentinels of ocean health" yet accessible, synthesized data on their health changes that could effectively warn of ocean health changes are rare. The objectives of this study were to 1 perform a systematic review of published cases of marine mammal disease to determine spatial and temporal trends in disease from 1972-2012, including changes in regions and taxa affected and specific causes; and 2 compare numbers of published cases of neoplasia with known, hospital-based neoplasia records to explore the causes of discrepancy between numbers of published cases and true disease trends. Peer-reviewed literature was compiled, and data were collected from The Marine Mammal Center database in Sausalito, California for comparison of numbers of neoplasia cases. Toxicoses from harmful algal blooms appear to be increasing. Viral epidemics are most common along the Atlantic U.S. coastline, while bacterial epidemics, especially leptospirosis, are most common along the Pacific coast. Certain protozoal and fungal zoonoses appear to be emerging, such as Toxoplasma gondii in southern sea otters in California, and Cryptococcus gattii in cetaceans in the Pacific Northwest. Disease reports were most common from California where pinniped populations are large, but increased effort also occurs. Anthropogenic trauma remains a large threat to marine mammal health, through direct mortality and indirect chronic disease. Neoplasia cases were under-reported from 2003-2012 when compared to true number of cases, and over-reported in several years due to case duplication. Peer-reviewed literature greatly underestimates the true magnitude of disease in marine mammals as it focuses on novel findings, fails to reflect etiology of multifactorial diseases, rarely reports prevalence rather than simple numbers of cases, and is typically presented years after a disease first occurs. Thus literature cannot guide management actions adequately, nor

  6. Trophic modeling of the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem, Part I: Comparing trophic linkages under La Niña and El Niño conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Jorge; Taylor, Marc H.; Blaskovic, Verónica; Espinoza, Pepe; Michael Ballón, R.; Díaz, Erich; Wosnitza-Mendo, Claudia; Argüelles, Juan; Purca, Sara; Ayón, Patricia; Quipuzcoa, Luis; Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Goya, Elisa; Ochoa, Noemí; Wolff, Matthias

    2008-10-01

    The El Niño of 1997-98 was one of the strongest warming events of the past century; among many other effects, it impacted phytoplankton along the Peruvian coast by changing species composition and reducing biomass. While responses of the main fish resources to this natural perturbation are relatively well known, understanding the ecosystem response as a whole requires an ecotrophic multispecies approach. In this work, we construct trophic models of the Northern Humboldt Current Ecosystem (NHCE) and compare the La Niña (LN) years in 1995-96 with the El Niño (EN) years in 1997-98. The model area extends from 4°S-16°S and to 60 nm from the coast. The model consists of 32 functional groups of organisms and differs from previous trophic models of the Peruvian system through: (i) division of plankton into size classes to account for EN-associated changes and feeding preferences of small pelagic fish, (ii) increased division of demersal groups and separation of life history stages of hake, (iii) inclusion of mesopelagic fish, and (iv) incorporation of the jumbo squid ( Dosidicus gigas), which became abundant following EN. Results show that EN reduced the size and organization of energy flows of the NHCE, but the overall functioning (proportion of energy flows used for respiration, consumption by predators, detritus and export) of the ecosystem was maintained. The reduction of diatom biomass during EN forced omnivorous planktivorous fish to switch to a more zooplankton-dominated diet, raising their trophic level. Consequently, in the EN model the trophic level increased for several predatory groups (mackerel, other large pelagics, sea birds, pinnipeds) and for fishery catch. A high modeled biomass of macrozooplankton was needed to balance the consumption by planktivores, especially during EN condition when observed diatoms biomass diminished dramatically. Despite overall lower planktivorous fish catches, the higher primary production required-to-catch ratio implied a

  7. Marine mammal acoustic detections in the northeastern Chukchi Sea, September 2007-July 2011

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    Hannay, David E.; Delarue, Julien; Mouy, Xavier; Martin, Bruce S.; Leary, Del; Oswald, Julie N.; Vallarta, Jonathan

    2013-09-01

    Several cetacean and pinniped species use the northeastern Chukchi Sea as seasonal or year-round habitat. This area has experienced pronounced reduction in the extent of summer sea ice over the last decade, as well as increased anthropogenic activity, particularly in the form of oil and gas exploration. The effects of these changes on marine mammal species are presently unknown. Autonomous passive acoustic recorders were deployed over a wide area of the northeastern Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska from Cape Lisburne to Barrow, at distances from 8 km to 200 km from shore: up to 44 each summer and up to 8 each winter. Acoustic data were acquired at 16 kHz continuously during summer and on a duty cycle of 40 or 48 min within each 4-h period during winter. Recordings were analyzed manually and using automated detection and classification systems to identify calls. Bowhead (Balaena mysticetus) and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) whale calls were detected primarily from April through June and from September to December during their migrations between the Bering and Beaufort seas. Summer detections were rare and usually concentrated off Wainwright and Barrow, Alaska. Gray (Eschrichtius robustus) whale calls were detected between July and October, their occurrence decreasing with increasing distance from shore. Fin (Balaenoptera physalus), killer (Orcinus orca), minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) whales were detected sporadically in summer and early fall. Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) was the most commonly detected species between June and October, primarily occupying the southern edge of Hanna Shoal and haul-outs near coastal recording stations off Wainwright and Point Lay. Ringed (Pusa hispida) and bearded (Erignathus barbatus) seals occur year-round in the Chukchi Sea. Ringed seal acoustic detections occurred throughout the year but detection numbers were low, likely due to low vocalization rates. Bearded seal acoustic detections

  8. Progress in the evolution and taxonomy of Brucella%布鲁菌进化和分类学研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    钟志军; 杜昕颖; 彭广能; 黄克和; 陈泽良; 于爽; 徐杰; 王玉飞; 白耀霞; 陈燕芬; 付思美; 王同坤; 汪舟佳

    2011-01-01

    Brucellae are Gram-negative,facultative intracellular bacteria that can infect many species of animals and man.Six species are currently recognized within the genus Brucella:B.melitensis,B.abortus,B.suis,B.neotomae,B.ovis,and B.canis.This classification is mainly based on differences in pathogenicity and in host preferences.Although the six species can be differentiated by conventional phenotypic tests,these species display a high degree of DNA homology in DNA-DNA hybridization assays(90% identity).Therefore it has been proposed that the Brucella genus should comprise only one species i.e.B.melitensis and that the other species should be considered as biovars.However,several molecular genotyping methods have shown of significant DNA polymorphism Brucella species allowing the species to be correctly differentiated.This is also true for the recent marine mammal Brucella isolates,which two new species names have been proposed,i.e.B.pinnipediae and B.cetaceae,according to the classical criteria of host preferentialism(pinnipeds and cetaceans respectively) and specific molecular markers.This article reviews the evolution and taxonomy of Brucella.%布鲁菌属革兰氏阴性兼性胞内寄生菌,能感染多种宿主动物和人。该属可分为6个典型种,包括羊种、牛种、猪种、沙林鼠种、绵羊附睾种以及犬种布鲁菌等。此分类是基于其致病性以及宿主偏好性的差异划分。尽管6个种通过传统表型试验能区分,但布鲁菌种内采用DNA-DNA杂交证明DNA同源性高度一致(相似性大于90%)。因此有人提议布鲁菌由单一种组成,即布鲁菌属中只有羊种布鲁菌,其他种都是羊种菌的生物亚型之一。然而基于其他分子技术的基因分型表明其DNA多态性表现明显,说明目前对这个种的分型还是比较准确。而最近分离的海洋种布鲁氏

  9. Immobilization of free-ranging male pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) with carfentanil citrate and naltrexone hydrochloride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tuomi, P.A.; Garner, Gerald W.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2003-01-01

    The major challenges in immobilization of free-ranging walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are to produce a deep level of anesthesia very quickly (to avoid darted animals from entering the water and drowning), and to find a drug or drug combination that requires only a small volume to be delivered by dart, is safe, reversible, and that provides an adequate period of immobilization to permit attachment of instruments, phlebotomy, and measuring. Tiletamine-zolazepam is recommended for immobilization of pinnipeds, with inhalant anesthesia recommended for more extensive procedures requiring better analgesia (Gales 1989). Drugs that have been used on free-ranging walruses include ketamine (Hagenbeck et al. 1975), phencyclidine combined with acepromazine (DeMaster et al. 1981), etorphine (Born and Knutsen 1990, Hills 1992, Griffiths et al. 1993), tiletamine-zolazepam (Stirling and Sjare 1988, Griffiths et al. 1993), medetomidine and ketamine (Lydersen et al. 1992), and carfentanil (Hills 1992, Lanthier et al. 1999). Carfentanil but not etorphine is presently licensed and available in the United States.Forty-eight adult male walruses were immobilized with carfentanil citrate in the summers of 1995-1997 at Maggy Beach (58°57’N, 161°76’W), a land haul-out located at Cape Peirce within the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. The number of animals present during immobilizations ranged from three to several thousand. Criteria for choosing individual walruses included good body condition, the presence of two tusks of sufficient diameter for the attachment of radio transmitters, and presence of the animal at the edge of the herd. In addition, we chose animals that were resting quietly and which had not recently hauled out (as judged by skin color). Walruses were darted from ranges of approximately 10-15 m using a Cap-Chur rifle (Palmer Chemical and Equipment Co., Douglasville, Georgia, GA 30133). Carfentanil citrate (Wildlife Pharmaceuticals, Fort

  10. Social aggregation in the pelagic zone with special reference to fish and invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, David A; Hobday, Alistair J; Montgomery, John C; Ward, Ashley J W

    2011-01-01

    Aggregations of organisms, ranging from zooplankton to whales, are an extremely common phenomenon in the pelagic zone; perhaps the best known are fish schools. Social aggregation is a special category that refers to groups that self-organize and maintain cohesion to exploit benefits such as protection from predators, and location and capture of resources more effectively and with greater energy efficiency than could a solitary individual. In this review we explore general aggregation principles, with specific reference to pelagic organisms; describe a range of new technologies either designed for studying aggregations or that could potentially be exploited for this purpose; report on the insights gained from theoretical modelling; discuss the relationship between social aggregation and ocean management; and speculate on the impact of climate change. Examples of aggregation occur in all animal phyla. Among pelagic organisms, it is possible that repeated co-occurrence of stable pairs of individuals, which has been established for some schooling fish, is the likely precursor leading to networks of social interaction and more complex social behaviour. Social network analysis has added new insights into social behaviour and allows us to dissect aggregations and to examine how the constituent individuals interact with each other. This type of analysis is well advanced in pinnipeds and cetaceans, and work on fish is progressing. Detailed three-dimensional analysis of schools has proved to be difficult, especially at sea, but there has been some progress recently. The technological aids for studying social aggregation include video and acoustics, and have benefited from advances in digitization, miniaturization, motion analysis and computing power. New techniques permit three-dimensional tracking of thousands of individual animals within a single group which has allowed novel insights to within-group interactions. Approaches using theoretical modelling of aggregations have

  11. 中国海兽研究概述%Marine mammal researches in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郝玉江; 王克雄; 韩家波; 郑劲松; 先义杰; 姚志平; 鹿志创; 李海燕; 张先锋

    2011-01-01

    我国对海兽的研究已有80多年的历史.为了回顾我国海兽研究的历史,总结我国海兽研究的进展,并展望我国海兽研究的未来,借创刊30周年之际,作者查阅了大量历史文献,并结合我们的研究积累,从鲸类、鳍脚类和其他海兽三个类群分别综述了我国海兽研究的进展.本文重点总结了我国几种代表性海兽的生态学、饲养与繁殖生物学、保护遗传学、声学和保护生物学等研究进展.我们认为,我国在珍稀濒危淡水豚类的饲养与繁殖生物学、保护生物学和生物声学等方面处于国际前沿地位.对我国海洋沿岸的海兽还缺乏系统研究,对珍稀濒危海兽的保护实践有待突破.%Researchers in China have studied marine mammals for over 80 years. In recognition of Acta Theriologica Sinica ' s 30 year anniversary, we have reviewed the history of this research using an extensive published literature as well as our own research and experience, summarized its progress, and discuss future prospects. Marine mammals in this paper are divided into three groups: whales, pinnipeds, and other marine mammals. We have focused on research examining the ecology, rearing and breeding biology, conservation genetic, acoustics, and conservation biology for selected species. Two main points have been drawn from the review. First, Chinese research on marine mammals is at the forefront of some fields including research on rearing and breeding biology, conservation biology, and bio-acoustics of river dolphin or porpoise. The second point, unfortunately, is that there is a lack of systematics studies on marine mammals in Chinese coastal waters. Finally, we expect to see significant breakthroughs and real progress on the protection of endangered species in the near future.

  12. A Systematic Review of Changes in Marine Mammal Health in North America, 1972-2012: The Need for a Novel Integrated Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeone, Claire A; Gulland, Frances M D; Norris, Tenaya; Rowles, Teresa K

    2015-01-01

    Marine mammals are often cited as "sentinels of ocean health" yet accessible, synthesized data on their health changes that could effectively warn of ocean health changes are rare. The objectives of this study were to 1) perform a systematic review of published cases of marine mammal disease to determine spatial and temporal trends in disease from 1972-2012, including changes in regions and taxa affected and specific causes; and 2) compare numbers of published cases of neoplasia with known, hospital-based neoplasia records to explore the causes of discrepancy between numbers of published cases and true disease trends. Peer-reviewed literature was compiled, and data were collected from The Marine Mammal Center database in Sausalito, California for comparison of numbers of neoplasia cases. Toxicoses from harmful algal blooms appear to be increasing. Viral epidemics are most common along the Atlantic U.S. coastline, while bacterial epidemics, especially leptospirosis, are most common along the Pacific coast. Certain protozoal and fungal zoonoses appear to be emerging, such as Toxoplasma gondii in southern sea otters in California, and Cryptococcus gattii in cetaceans in the Pacific Northwest. Disease reports were most common from California where pinniped populations are large, but increased effort also occurs. Anthropogenic trauma remains a large threat to marine mammal health, through direct mortality and indirect chronic disease. Neoplasia cases were under-reported from 2003-2012 when compared to true number of cases, and over-reported in several years due to case duplication. Peer-reviewed literature greatly underestimates the true magnitude of disease in marine mammals as it focuses on novel findings, fails to reflect etiology of multifactorial diseases, rarely reports prevalence rather than simple numbers of cases, and is typically presented years after a disease first occurs. Thus literature cannot guide management actions adequately, nor inform indices of

  13. Morphological variability and molecular identification of Uncinaria spp. (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae) from grizzly and black bears: new species or phenotypic plasticity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catalano, Stefano; Lejeune, Manigandan; van Paridon, Bradley; Pagan, Christopher A; Wasmuth, James D; Tizzani, Paolo; Duignan, Pádraig J; Nadler, Steven A

    2015-04-01

    The hookworms Uncinaria rauschi Olsen, 1968 and Uncinaria yukonensis ( Wolfgang, 1956 ) were formally described from grizzly ( Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears ( Ursus americanus ) of North America. We analyzed the intestinal tracts of 4 grizzly and 9 black bears from Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and isolated Uncinaria specimens with anatomical traits never previously documented. We applied morphological and molecular techniques to investigate the taxonomy and phylogeny of these Uncinaria parasites. The morphological analysis supported polymorphism at the vulvar region for females of both U. rauschi and U. yukonensis. The hypothesis of morphological plasticity for U. rauschi and U. yukonensis was confirmed by genetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Two distinct genotypes were identified, differing at 5 fixed sites for ITS-1 (432 base pairs [bp]) and 7 for ITS-2 (274 bp). Morphometric data for U. rauschi revealed host-related size differences: adult U. rauschi were significantly larger in black bears than in grizzly bears. Interpretation of these results, considering the historical biogeography of North American bears, suggests a relatively recent host-switching event of U. rauschi from black bears to grizzly bears which likely occurred after the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. Phylogenetic maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) analyses of the concatenated ITS-1 and ITS-2 datasets strongly supported monophyly of U. rauschi and U. yukonensis and their close relationship with Uncinaria stenocephala (Railliet, 1884), the latter a parasite primarily of canids and felids. Relationships among species within this group, although resolved by ML, were unsupported by MP and bootstrap resampling. The clade of U. rauschi, U. yukonensis, and U. stenocephala was recovered as sister to the clade represented by Uncinaria spp. from otariid pinnipeds. These results support the absence of strict

  14. Genital morphology of the male South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis and biological implications Morfologia dos órgãos genitais do macho do Lobo marinho (Arctocephalus australis e implicações biológicas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Sander D. Machado

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Male capacity for spreading genes to a great number of descendents and to determine population dynamics depend directly on the genital organs. Morphological studies in pinnipeds are scarce and the functional meaning of some characteristics has never been discussed. We hypothesized that Arctocephalus australis (A. australis shows morphophysiological adaptations in order to guarantee the perpetuation of the species in the unique annual mating season. Seven males, dead from natural causes, had their genital organs collected and fixed for morphological description. Some features differ from other described mammalian males and are closely related to the biology and reproductive cycle of this species, as the scrotal epidermis, absence of glandular portion in the ductus deferens and spermatogenic epithelium suggest a recrudescent testis period. The corona glandis exhibits a singular arrangement: its erectile border looks like a formation of petals and its association with the os penis gives a "lily-flower" form to this region. We propose the name margo petaliformis to this particular erectile border of the corona glandis because of its similarity to a flower corola. The male genital organs of A. australis show morphological features compatible with adaptation to environment requirements and reproductive efficiency.A capacidade do macho de espalhar seus genes a um grande número de descendentes e determinar a dinâmica populacional depende diretamente dos seus órgãos genitais. Estudos morfológicos em pinípedes são escassos e o significado funcional de algumas de suas características ecológicas ainda foi pouco discutido. Nossa hipótese é que Arctocephalus australis (A. australis apresenta adaptações morfofisiológicas em seus órgãos genitais capazes de interagir com o meio e garantir a perpetuação da espécie que apresenta apenas uma época de acasalamento que ocorre uma vez a cada ano. Sete A. australis machos, mortos recentes por causas

  15. Marine predator surveys in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodkin, James L.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Coletti, Heather A.; Esslinger, George G.; Monson, Daniel H.; Ballachey, Brenda E.

    2002-01-01

    Since 1999, vessel based surveys to estimate species composition, distribution and relative abundance of marine birds and mammals have been conducted along coastal and pelagic (offshore) transects in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Surveys have been conducted during winter (November-March) and summer (June). This annual report presents the results of those surveys conducted in March and June of 2001. Following completion of surveys in 2002 we will provide a final report of the results of all surveys conducted between 1999 and 2002. Glacier Bay supports diverse and abundant assemblages of marine birds and mammals. In 2001 we identified 58 species of bird, 7 species of marine mammal, and 6 species of terrestrial mammal on transects sampled during winter and summer. Of course all species are not equally abundant. Among all taxa, in both seasons, sea ducks were the numerically dominant group. In their roles as consumers and because of their generally large size, marine mammals are also likely important in the consumption of energy produced in the Glacier Bay ecosystem. Most common and abundant marine birds and mammals can be placed in either a fish based (e.g. alcids and pinnipeds), or a benthic invertebrate (e.g. sea ducks and sea otters) based food web. Distinct differences in the species composition and abundance of marine birds were observed between winter and summer surveys. Winter marine bird assemblages were dominated numerically (> 11,000; 65% of all birds) by a relatively few species of sea ducks (scoters, goldeneye, Bufflehead, Harlequin and Long-tailed ducks). The sea ducks were distributed almost exclusively along near shore habitats. The prevalence of sea ducks during the March surveys indicates the importance of Glacier Bay as a wintering area for this poorly understood group of animals that occupy a high trophic position in a principally benthic invertebrate (mussel and clam) food web. Marine mammal assemblages were generally consistent between seasons, although

  16. Record of Carcharocles megalodon in the Eastern Guadalquivir Basin (Upper Miocene, South Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reolid, M.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Tortonian diatomites of the San Felix Quarry (Porcuna, in the Eastern Guadalquivir Basin, have given isolated marine vertebrate remains that include a large shark tooth (123.96 mm from apex to the baseline of the root. The large size of the crown height (92.2 mm, the triangular shape, the broad serrated crown, the convex lingual face and flat labial face, and the robust, thick angled root determine that this specimen corresponds to Carcharocles megalodon. The symmetry with low slant shows it to be an upper anterior tooth. The total length estimated from the tooth crown height is calculated by means of different methods, and comparison is made with Carcharodon carcharias. The final inferred total length of around 11 m classifies this specimen in the upper size range of the known C. megalodon specimens. The palaeogeography of the Guadalquivir Basin close to the North Betic Strait, which connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, favoured the interaction of the cold nutrient-rich Atlantic waters with warmer Mediterranean waters. The presence of diatomites indicates potential upwelling currents in this context, as well as high productivity favouring the presence of large vertebrates such as mysticetid whales, pinnipeds and small sharks (Isurus. These large vertebrates recorded in the Eastern Guadalquivir Basin were potential prey of C. megalodon.Las diatomitas tortonienses de la antigua Cantera de San Félix (Porcuna, Jaén, en el sector oriental de la Cuenca del Guadalquivir, han proporcionado restos aislados de vertebrados marinos entre los que destaca un gran diente de tiburón (123.96 mm desde el ápice hasta la línea basal de la raiz. La altura de la corona (92.2 mm, su forma triangular con bordes aserrados, la presencia de una cara lingual convexa y una labial plana, conjuntamente con la raíz angulosa y robusta, permiten determinar que este diente perteneció a un ejemplar de Carcharocles megalodon. La alta simetría de la pieza

  17. Foraging strategies of Southern sea lion females in the La Plata River Estuary (Argentina-Uruguay)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Diego H.; Dassis, Mariela; Ponce de León, Alberto; Barreiro, César; Farenga, Marcelo; Bastida, Ricardo O.; Davis, Randall W.

    2013-04-01

    The stocks of Southern sea lions (Otaria flavescens, SSL) and South American fur seals (SAFS) that breed on coastal islands of Uruguay constitute the most important focal concentration of pinnipeds in South America, with a significant increase in SAFS and a steady decrease of SSL over the past decades. Because females are a key element of population dynamics and no information exists on the post-breeding pup rearing period, we studied the foraging patterns of SSL females in the La Plata River Estuary (LPRE) during mid and late lactation (late austral autumn and winter), analyzing the foraging performance, geographic coverage and ontogenetic differences in foraging strategies for a period of 1-5 months. At-sea movements of 22 SSL females (6 subadults and 16 adults) from Isla de Lobos (IL, 35°01'28"S-54°52'59"W, Uruguay) were monitored using satellite transmitters (SPOT4, SPOT5 and STDR-S16, Wildlife Computers) in 2007 and 2010. An algorithm [McConnell, B.J., Chambers, C., Fedak, M.A., 1992. Foraging ecology of southern elephant seals in relation to the bathymetry and productivity of the Southern Ocean. Antarct. Sci. 4, 393-398.] with a maximum transit speed of 3 m s-1 was applied to the Argos information, resulting in a total of 2522 filtered locations. A daily mean of 3.5±1.74 filtered locations per animal was received. One hundred and eighty three foraging trips (FT) were recorded with no significant differences (p<0.05) between subadults and adults in the duration of FT (6.1±3.15 day), distance traveled per FT (237.2±105.25 km), mean distance from IL (57.2±25.90 km), maximum straight line (Spider) distance (100.2±41.40 km) and transit speed (1.1±1.04 m s-1). SSL showed directional fidelity to foraging sites, indicated by high mean vector (r) values (0.74±0.14) calculated from FT mean bearings. Kernel ranges for 50% and 95% of all FT locations were 5420 km2 and 36,222 km2, respectively, and the extension of the foraging areas appeared to be influenced by

  18. Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA): aerial seabird and marine mammal surveys off northern California, Oregon, and Washington, 2011-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Mason, John W.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    (-2) and similar during winter (37.4 ± 4.6 birds km-2) and summer (37.5 ± 6.4 birds km-2). Within the outer-shelf domain (100 – 200-m depth), average densities for all marine birds combined were greatest during winter (34.6 ± 4.2 birds km-2), lesser during fall (16.2 ± 1.7 birds km-2), and least during summer (6.9 ± 1.1 birds km-2). Within the farthest offshore waters over the continental slope domain (200 – 2000-m depth) average densities for all marine birds combined were greatest during fall (10.0 ± 2.2 birds km-2) and winter (9.3 ± 1.5 birds km-2), and lesser during summer (6.2 ± 1.4 birds km-2). We observed 16 cetacean species and five pinniped species. Among the Mysticeti (baleen whales), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were most frequently observed (114 sightings of 264 individuals) during summer and fall mostly over the outer-shelf and slope waters, however, individuals were also seen within the Siltcoos, Nehalem, Fort Bragg, and Eureka Focal Areas. We recorded 11 Odontoceti (toothed whale) species. Harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were the most frequently sighted (164 sightings of 270 individuals). Harbor porpoises were present year-round and most frequently sighted within the inner-shelf domain throughout the entire study area in all seasons. Harbor porpoises occurred in all six Focal Areas, with noteworthy aggregations within the Eureka, Siltcoos, and Grays Harbor Focal Areas. We recorded 246 sightings of 375 individual pinnipeds (5 species). California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) were the most frequently sighted and were present year-round with slightly more sightings recorded during the fall. California sea lions showed a decreasing frequency of sightings and relative abundance with distance from shore across the bathymetric domains surveyed, being most frequently observed over the inner-shelf. Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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