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Sample records for sperm whale physeter

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Age determination of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) from the west coast of Jutland, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pagh, Sussie; Chriél, Mariann; Hedayat, Abdi

    Age determination of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) by counting growth layer groups (GLG´s) in the teeth is to some extent considered to be subjective and only relative, due to: 1) Limited validation of GLG counts to “known age” of the individual; 2) Variation in methods for preparation...... of teeth e.g. acid (pH) and duration of etching; 3) Difference in interpretations of GLG´s between readers1,2. Bearing in mind these challenges, the age of three sperm whales stranded in Denmark in 2012 and 2014 were determined by counts of GLG´s in the erupted teeth from the lower jaw and comparing...... these with the number of GLG´s obtained from rudimentary teeth in the upper jaw. Teeth were obtained from 3 adult male sperm whales; MCE 1642, stranded at Nr. Lyngby Strand, Denmark in 2012; and MCE 1644 and MCE 1645, who stranded at Henne Strand, Denmark in 2014. From each whale one non-erupted tooth from the maxilla...

  5. Crowdsourcing modern and historical data identifies sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus habitat offshore of south-western Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Michael Johnson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and use of pelagic habitat by sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus is poorly understood in the south-eastern Indian Ocean off Western Australia. However, a variety of data are available via online portals where records of historical expeditions, commercial whaling operations, and modern scientific research voyages can now be accessed. Crowdsourcing these online data allows collation of presence-only information of animals and provides a valuable tool to help augment areas of low research effort. Four data sources were examined, the primary one being the Voyage of the Odyssey expedition, a five-year global study of sperm whales and ocean pollution. From December 2001-May 2002, acoustic surveys were conducted along 5,200 nautical miles of transects off Western Australia including the Perth Canyon and historical whaling grounds off Albany; 60 tissue biopsy samples were also collected. To augment areas not surveyed by the RV Odyssey, historical Yankee whaling data (1712-1920, commercial whaling data (1904-1999, and citizen science reports of sperm whale sightings (1990-2003 were used. Using Maxent, a species distribution modeling tool, we found that the submarine canyons off Albany and Perth provide important habitat for sperm whales. Current technology, along with current understanding of sperm whale bioacoustics and habitat preferences, provides strong motivation for undertaking long-term passive acoustic studies that can monitor the sperm whale population within Australia’s EEZ waters (Perth and Albany canyons as a way of informing future marine management and policy decisions.

  6. Comparative Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Particulate and Soluble Hexavalent Chromium in Human and Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) Skin Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li Chen, Tânia; LaCerte, Carolyne; Wise, Sandra S.; Holmes, Amie; Martino, Julieta; Wise, John Pierce; Thompson, W. Douglas; Wise, John Pierce

    2014-01-01

    Chromium (Cr) is a global marine pollutant, present in marine mammal tissues. Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a known human carcinogen. In this study we compare the cytotoxic and clastogenic effects of Cr(VI) in human (Homo sapiens) and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) skin fibroblasts. Our data show that increasing concentrations of both particulate and soluble Cr(VI) induce increasing amounts of cytotoxicity and clastogenicity in human and sperm whale skin cells. Furthermore, the data show that sperm whale cells are resistant to these effects exhibiting less cytotoxicity and genotoxicity than the human cells. Differences in Cr uptake accounted for some but not all of the differences in particulate and soluble Cr(VI) genotoxicity, although it did explain the differences in particulate Cr(VI) cytotoxicity. Altogether the data indicate that Cr(VI) is a genotoxic threat to whales, but also suggest that whales have evolved cellular mechanisms to protect them against the genotoxicity of environmental agents such as Cr(VI). PMID:21466859

  7. Taxonomy Icon Data: sperm whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

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

  8. Global assessment of oceanic lead pollution using sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) as an indicator species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savery, Laura C; Wise, Sandra S; Falank, Carolyne; Wise, James; Gianios, Christy; Douglas Thompson, W; Perkins, Christopher; Zheng, Tongzhang; Zhu, Cairong; Wise, John Pierce

    2014-02-15

    Lead (Pb) is an oceanic pollutant of global concern. Anthropogenic activities are increasing oceanic levels, but to an unknown extent. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) has a global distribution and high trophic level. The aim of this study was to establish a global baseline of oceanic Pb concentrations using free-ranging sperm whales as an indicator species. Skin biopsies (n=337) were collected during the voyage of the Odyssey (2000-2005) from 17 regions considering gender and age. Pb was detectable in 315 samples with a global mean of 1.6 ug/gww ranging from 0.1 to 129.6 ug/gww. Papua New Guinea, Bahamas and Australia had the highest regional mean with 6.1, 3.4, and 3.1 ug/gww, respectively. Pb concentrations were not significantly different between sex and age in males. This is the first global toxicological dataset for Pb in a marine mammal and confirms Pb is widely distributed with hotspots in some regions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Coinfection and vertical transmission of Brucella and Morbillivirus in a neonatal sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Hawaii, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Kristi L; Levine, Gregg; Jacob, Jessica; Jensen, Brenda; Sanchez, Susan; Colegrove, Kathleen; Rotstein, David

    2015-01-01

    The viral genus Morbillivirus and the bacterial genus Brucella have emerged as important groups of pathogens that are known to affect cetacean health on a global scale, but neither pathogen has previously been reported from endangered sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). A female neonate sperm whale stranded alive and died near Laie on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, US, in May of 2011. Congestion of the cerebrum and enlarged lymph nodes were noted on the gross necropsy. Microscopic findings included lymphoid depletion, chronic meningitis, and pneumonia, suggesting an in utero infection. Cerebrum, lung, umbilicus, and select lymph nodes (tracheobronchial and mediastinal) were positive for Brucella by PCR. Brucella sp. was also cultured from the cerebrum and from mediastinal and tracheobronchial lymph nodes. Twelve different tissues were screened for Morbillivirus by reverse-transcriptase (RT)-PCR and select tissues by immunohistochemistry, but only the tracheobronchial lymph node and spleen were positive by RT-PCR. Pathologic findings observed were likely a result of Brucella, but Morbillivirus may have played a key role in immune suppression of the mother and calf. The in utero infection in this individual strongly supports vertical transmission of both pathogens.

  12. Sperm whale clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Pande

    2009-03-01

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

  14. Click rates and silences of sperm whales at Kaikoura, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Lesley A.; Dawson, Stephen M.; Jaquet, Nathalie

    2005-07-01

    Analysis of the usual click rates of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) at Kaikoura, New Zealand, confirms the potential for assessing abundance via ``click counting.'' Usual click rates over three dive cycles each of three photographically identified whales showed that 5 min averages of usual click rate did not differ significantly within dives, among dives of the same whale or among whales. Over the nine dives (n=13 728 clicks) mean usual click rate was 1.272 clicks s-1 (95% CI=0.151). On average, individual sperm whales at Kaikoura spent 60% of their time usual clicking in winter and in summer. There was no evidence that whale identity or stage of the dive recorded affects significantly the percentage of time spent usual clicking. Differences in vocal behavior among sperm whale populations worldwide indicate that estimates of abundance that are based on click rates need to based on data from the population of interest, rather than from another population or some global average.

  15. SWFSC/MMTD/CCE: Tagging and Tracking of Physeter (T-TOP/T-TOP2) 1997

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This research was devoted to studying sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) behavior. The principal study area for T-TOP and T-TOP2 was the Pioneer Seamount, 50...

  16. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies of amino acids and proteins. Side-chain mobility of methionine in the crystalline amonio acid and in crystallne sperm whale (Physeter catodon) myoglobin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keniry, M.A.; Rothgeb, T.M.; Smith, R.L.; Gutowsky, H.S.; Oldfield, E.

    1983-01-01

    Deuterium ( 2 H) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra and spin-lattice relaxation times (T 1 ) were obtained of L-[epsilon- 2 H 3 ]methionine, L-[epsilon- 2 H 3 ]methionine in a D,L lattice, and [S-methyl- 2 H 3 ]methionine in the crystalline solid state, as a function of temperature, in addition to obtaining 2 H T 1 and line-width results as a function of temperature on [epsilon- 2 H 3 ]methionine-labeled sperm whale (Physeter catodon) myoglobins by using the method of magnetic ordering. Also recorded were 13 C cross-polarization ''magic-angle'' sample-spinning NMR spectra of [epsilon- 13 C]methionine-labeled crystalline cyanoferrimyoglobin (at 37.7 MHz, corresponding to a magnetic field strength of 3.52 T) and of the same protein in aqueous solution

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-10-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. What influences the worldwide genetic structure of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Alana; Steel, Debbie; Hoekzema, Kendra; Mesnick, Sarah L; Engelhaupt, Daniel; Kerr, Iain; Payne, Roger; Baker, C Scott

    2016-06-01

    The interplay of natural selection and genetic drift, influenced by geographic isolation, mating systems and population size, determines patterns of genetic diversity within species. The sperm whale provides an interesting example of a long-lived species with few geographic barriers to dispersal. Worldwide mtDNA diversity is relatively low, but highly structured among geographic regions and social groups, attributed to female philopatry. However, it is unclear whether this female philopatry is due to geographic regions or social groups, or how this might vary on a worldwide scale. To answer these questions, we combined mtDNA information for 1091 previously published samples with 542 newly obtained DNA profiles (394-bp mtDNA, sex, 13 microsatellites) including the previously unsampled Indian Ocean, and social group information for 541 individuals. We found low mtDNA diversity (π = 0.430%) reflecting an expansion event worldwide population expansion followed by rapid assortment due to female social organization. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Fais

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  7. Gulf of Mexico sperm whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Panagiotopoulou

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Koristocetus pescei gen. et sp. nov., a diminutive sperm whale (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Kogiidae from the late Miocene of Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Collareta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Among odontocetes, members of the family Kogiidae (pygmy and dwarf sperm whales are known as small-sized and in many respects enigmatic relatives of the great sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus. Most of the still scanty fossil record of Kogiidae is represented by isolated skulls and ear bones from Neogene deposits of the Northern Hemisphere, with the significant exception of Scaphokogia, a highly autapomorphic genus from late Miocene deposits of the Pisco Formation exposed along the southern coast of Peru. Here we report on a new fossil kogiid from Aguada de Lomas, a site where the late Miocene beds of the Pisco Formation are exposed. This specimen consists of an almost complete cranium representing a new taxon of Kogiidae: Koristocetus pescei gen. et sp. nov. Koristocetus mainly differs from extant Kogia spp. by displaying a larger temporal fossa and well-individualized dental alveoli on the upper jaws. Coupled with a relatively elongated rostrum, these characters suggest that Koristocetus retained some degree of raptorial feeding abilities, contrasting with the strong suction feeding specialization seen in Recent kogiids. Our phylogenetic analysis recognizes Koristocetus as the earliest branching member of the subfamily Kogiinae. Interestingly, Koristocetus shared the southern coast of present-day Peru with members of the genus Scaphokogia, whose unique convex rostrum and unusual neurocranial morphology seemingly indicate a peculiar foraging specialization that has still to be understood. In conclusion, Koristocetus evokes a long history of high diversity, morphological disparity, and sympatric habits in fossil kogiids, thus suggesting that our comprehension of the evolutionary history of pygmy and dwarf sperm whales is still far from being exhaustive.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Peter B; Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; de Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-04-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status is still presently uncertain. The analysis of two years of continuous acoustic data provided by the ANTARES neutrino telescope revealed the year-round presence of sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea, probably associated with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems.

  14. Sperm whale long-range echolocation sounds revealed by ANTARES, a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, M.; Caballé, A.; van der Schaar, M.; Solsona, A.; Houégnigan, L.; Zaugg, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Castell, J. V.; Solé, M.; Vila, F.; Djokic, D.; Adrián-Martínez, S.; Albert, A.; Anghinolfi, M.; Anton, G.; Ardid, M.; Aubert, J.-J.; Avgitas, T.; Baret, B.; Barrios-Martí, J.; Basa, S.; Bertin, V.; Biagi, S.; Bormuth, R.; Bouwhuis, M. C.; Bruijn, R.; Brunner, J.; Busto, J.; Capone, A.; Caramete, L.; Carr, J.; Celli, S.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Coleiro, A.; Coniglione, R.; Costantini, H.; Coyle, P.; Creusot, A.; Deschamps, A.; De Bonis, G.; Distefano, C.; Di Palma, I.; Donzaud, C.; Dornic, D.; Drouhin, D.; Eberl, T.; El Bojaddaini, I.; Elsässer, D.; Enzenhöfer, A.; Fehn, K.; Felis, I.; Fusco, L. A.; Galatà, S.; Gay, P.; Geißelsöder, S.; Geyer, K.; Giordano, V.; Gleixner, A.; Glotin, H.; Gracia-Ruiz, R.; Graf, K.; Hallmann, S.; van Haren, H.; Heijboer, A. J.; Hello, Y.; Hernandez-Rey, J. J.; Hößl, J.; Hofestädt, J.; Hugon, C.; Illuminati, G.; James, C. W.; de Jong, M.; Jongen, M.; Kadler, M.; Kalekin, O.; Katz, U.; Kießling, D.; Kouchner, A.; Kreter, M.; Kreykenbohm, I.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Lachaud, C.; Lahmann, R.; Lefèvre, D.; Leonora, E.; Loucatos, S.; Marcelin, M.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martínez-Mora, J. A.; Mathieu, A.; Melis, K.; Michael, T.; Migliozzi, P.; Moussa, A.; Mueller, C.; Nezri, E.; Păvălaş, G. E.; Pellegrino, C.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Popa, V.; Pradier, T.; Racca, C.; Riccobene, G.; Roensch, K.; Saldaña, M.; Samtleben, D. F. E.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Schnabel, J.; Schüssler, F.; Seitz, T.; Sieger, C.; Spurio, M.; Stolarczyk, Th.; Sánchez-Losa, A.; Taiuti, M.; Trovato, A.; Tselengidou, M.; Turpin, D.; Tönnis, C.; Vallage, B.; Vallée, C.; Van Elewyck, V.; Vivolo, D.; Wagner, S.; Wilms, J.; Zornoza, J. D.; Zuñiga, J.

    2017-01-01

    Despite dedicated research has been carried out to adequately map the distribution of the sperm whale in the Mediterranean Sea, unlike other regions of the world, the species population status is still presently uncertain. The analysis of two years of continuous acoustic data provided by the ANTARES neutrino telescope revealed the year-round presence of sperm whales in the Ligurian Sea, probably associated with the availability of cephalopods in the region. The presence of the Ligurian Sea sperm whales was demonstrated through the real-time analysis of audio data streamed from a cabled-to-shore deep-sea observatory that allowed the hourly tracking of their long-range echolocation behaviour on the Internet. Interestingly, the same acoustic analysis indicated that the occurrence of surface shipping noise would apparently not condition the foraging behaviour of the sperm whale in the area, since shipping noise was almost always present when sperm whales were acoustically detected. The continuous presence of the sperm whale in the region confirms the ecological value of the Ligurian sea and the importance of ANTARES to help monitoring its ecosystems. PMID:28401960

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Photopoulou, Theoni

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 50 CFR 216.242 - Permissible methods of taking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... percent of the number of takes indicated below): (i) Mysticetes: (A) North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena...) Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)—48790 (an average of 9758 annually). (B) Pygmy or dwarf sperm...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Andriolo

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Shallow food for deep divers: Dynamic foraging behavior of male sperm whales in a high latitude habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teloni, Valeria; Johnson, M.P.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2008-01-01

    Groups of female and immature sperm whales live at low latitudes and show a stereotypical diving and foraging behavior with dives lasting about 45 min to depths of between 400 and 1200 m. In comparison, physically mature male sperm whales migrate to high latitudes where little is known about...... their foraging behavior and ecology. Here we use acoustic recording tags to study the diving and acoustic behavior of male sperm whales foraging off northern Norway. Sixty-five hours of tag data provide detailed information about the movements and sound repertoire of four male sperm whales performing 83 dives...... epipelagic prey, is consistent with the hypothesis that male sperm whales may migrate to high latitudes to access a productive, multi-layered foraging habitat....

  2. Directionality of sperm whale sonar clicks and its relation to piston radiation theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beedholm, K.; Møhl, Bertel

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the applicability to sperm whales of the theory of sound radiating from a piston. The theory is applied to a physical model and to a series of sperm whale clicks. Results show that wave forms of off-axis signals can be reproduced by convolving an on-axis signal...... with the spatial impulse response of a piston. The angle of a recorded click can be estimated as the angle producing the spatial impulse response that gives the best match with the observation when convolved with the on-axis wave form. It is concluded that piston theory applies to sperm whale sonar click emission....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-23

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

  4. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Spectral identification of sperm whales from Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center passive acoustic recordings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidorovskaia, Natalia A.; Richard, Blake; Ioup, George E.; Ioup, Juliette W.

    2005-09-01

    The Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center (LADC) made a series of passive broadband acoustic recordings in the Gulf of Mexico and Ligurian Sea to study noise and marine mammal phonations. The collected data contain a large amount of various types of sperm whale phonations, such as isolated clicks and communication codas. It was previously reported that the spectrograms of the extracted clicks and codas contain well-defined null patterns that seem to be unique for individuals. The null pattern is formed due to individual features of the sound production organs of an animal. These observations motivated the present studies of adapting human speech identification techniques for deep-diving marine mammal phonations. A three-state trained hidden Markov model (HMM) was used with the phonation spectra of sperm whales. The HHM-algorithm gave 75% accuracy in identifying individuals when it had been initially tested for the acoustic data set correlated with visual observations of sperm whales. A comparison of the identification accuracy based on null-pattern similarity analysis and the HMM-algorithm is presented. The results can establish the foundation for developing an acoustic identification database for sperm whales and possibly other deep-diving marine mammals that would be difficult to observe visually. [Research supported by ONR.

  7. Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fais, Andrea; Johnson, M.; Wilson, Maria

    2016-01-01

    The sperm whale carries a hypertrophied nose that generates powerful clicks for long-range echolocation. However, it remains a conundrum how this bizarrely shaped apex predator catches its prey. Several hypotheses have been advanced to propose both active and passive means to acquire prey......, including acoustic debilitation of prey with very powerful clicks. Here we test these hypotheses by using sound and movement recording tags in a fine-scale study of buzz sequences to relate the acoustic behaviour of sperm whales with changes in acceleration in their head region during prey capture attempts....... We show that in the terminal buzz phase, sperm whales reduce inter-click intervals and estimated source levels by 1-2 orders of magnitude. As a result, received levels at the prey are more than an order of magnitude below levels required for debilitation, precluding acoustic stunning to facilitate...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-15

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

  9. PIXE analysis of trace elements in cetacean teeth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Image collection: 182 [Togo Picture Gallery[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 182 Physeter_macrocephalus_NL.png マッコウクジラ Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus 9755 生物アイコン,脊索動物門,脊椎動物亜門,哺乳綱,獣亜綱,真獣下綱,クジラ目

  12. 77 FR 19645 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16111

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-02

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

  13. 76 FR 76950 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16473

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-09

    ... may be in the future. Research activities include aerial and vessel surveys to conduct counts, photo... physalus), 150 sperm (Physeter macrocephalus), 200 North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), 40 sei (B. borealis), 100 minke (B. acutorostrata), 100 dwarf and pygmy sperm (Kogia spp.), 100...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

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

  15. Helminths parasites of whales in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís C. Muniz-Pereira

    1999-01-01

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

  16. Individual, unit and vocal clan level identity cues in sperm whale codas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gero, Shane; Whitehead, Hal; Rendell, Luke

    2016-01-01

    The ‘social complexity hypothesis’ suggests that complex social structure is a driver of diversity in animal communication systems. Sperm whales have a hierarchically structured society in which the largest affiliative structures, the vocal clans, are marked on ocean-basin scales by culturally...

  17. Analysis of Sperm Whale Acoustic Signals in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thode, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    The objectives of the program was to develop and demonstrate an automated procedure for passively tracking sperm whales in three-dimensions, using natural vocalizations recorded on two towed arrays...

  18. 75 FR 81584 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sperm Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-28

    ..., and monitor habitat essential to sperm whale populations; (6) investigate causes of and reduce the... extinction in 100 years) and the global population has at least 1,500 mature, reproductive individuals... factors or circumstances that are thought to substantially contribute to a real risk of extinction that...

  19. A three year study of metal levels in skin biopsies of whales in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, John Pierce; Wise, James T F; Wise, Catherine F; Wise, Sandra S; Gianios, Christy; Xie, Hong; Walter, Ron; Boswell, Mikki; Zhu, Cairong; Zheng, Tongzhang; Perkins, Christopher; Wise, John Pierce

    2018-02-01

    In response to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and the massive release of oil that followed, we conducted three annual research voyages to investigate how the oil spill would impact the marine offshore environment. Most investigations into the ecological and toxicological impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil crisis have mainly focused on the fate of the oil and dispersants, but few have considered the release of metals into the environment. From studies of previous oil spills, other marine oil industries, and analyses of oil compositions, it is evident that metals are frequently encountered. Several metals have been reported in the MC252 oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including the nonessential metals aluminum, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and lead; genotoxic metals, such as these are able to damage DNA and can bioaccumulate in organisms resulting in persistent exposure. In the Gulf of Mexico, whales are the apex species; hence we collected skin biopsies from sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera edeni). The results from our three-year study of monitoring metal levels in whale skin show (1) genotoxic metals at concentrations higher than global averages previously reported and (2) patterns for MC252-relevant metal concentrations decreasing with time from the oil spill. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Analysis of Acoustic Data Under Response of Sperm Whales to Air Gun Sounds in the Gulf of Mexico

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thode, Aaron

    2004-01-01

    To field-test an automated procedure for passively tracking sperm whales in three-dimensions, using natural vocalizations recorded on two towed arrays, deployed either alone or in conjunction with dive tags...

  1. Using at-sea experiments to study the effects of airguns on the foraging behavior of sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miller, P.J.O.; Johnson, M.P.; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2009-01-01

    in buzz rates and the small numbers of whales, this effect was not statistically significant (P=0.141). Though additional studies are strongly recommended, these initial results indicate that sperm whales in the highly exposed Gulf of Mexico habitat do not exhibit avoidance reactions to airguns...

  2. Using Long-Term Passive Acoustic Observations to Identify Ecological Stresses: A Gulf of Mexico Sperm Whale Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidorovskaia, N.; Li, K.; Drouant, G. J.; Ioup, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    The Gulf of Mexico marine mammal habitat is strongly impacted by anthropogenic industrial activities. By analyzing unique acoustic signals produced by different species of marine mammals, scientists can identify long-term population changes and their underlying causes. This study presents the results of the analysis of sperm whale acoustic clicks collected in the vicinity of the Deep Water Horizon accident site collected before and after the spill since 2001. The processing approach to regional acoustic data is two-leveled. First, sperm whale acoustic activity is analyzed from the standpoint of deriving annual abundance data using statistical methodology to compare with trends reported from NOAA visual surveys. Second, the features of individual clicks are extracted and analyzed to determine population structure: the animal's size, gender, and age group when possible. Proposed two-level processing workflow may provide useful data input for population forecasting models and may inform mitigation and recovery efforts not only for whales themselves but also for associated food-web constitutes. [This research was made possible in part by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.

  3. The use of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schuhmacher, Thomas X.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Scientific analysis were undertaken within a research project concerning ivory objects from the Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age of the Iberian Peninsula. In several of the analyses of objects from Portuguese Estremadura, especially V-perforated buttons, we could detect for the first time the presence of sperm whale ivory. This highlights the advantage and necessity of scientific analysis of ivory. It also clearly demonstrates that not all ivory used was ivory from African or Asian elephants, but we also did find ivory from the extinct Elephas antiquus, the hippopotamus and in this case sperm-whale. Thus, already in the Chalcolithic the raw material provenience was highly diverse, which in the absence of scientific analysis might lead to an erroneous interpretation of prehistoric exchange networks. Different methods, including optical microscopy, measurement of hardness and specific gravity, Micro-Raman Spectroscopy, elemental analysis and Isotopic Ratio Mass Spectrometry have been applied. In this paper we present these methods and the results, and we discuss about the implications of these results for the reconstruction of prehistoric economy and life in this region. Finally, taking into account the natural conditions as well as prehistoric and historic data of whale hunting and scavenging of beached animals, we conclude that the most plausible explanation for the presence of sperm whale ivory in Chalcolithic Portugal is the use of the teeth obtained from stranded animals. This interpretation is possible because of the human populations using this ivory are those living close to the sea and exploiting – among others– marine resources.En el marco de un proyecto de investigación sobre objetos de marfil del Calcolítico al Bronce Antiguo en la Península Ibérica efectuamos análisis científicos. En varios de los objetos de la Estremadura portuguesa, en especial en los botones con perforación en V, detectamos por primera vez la presencia

  4. Underwater behavior of sperm whales off Kaikoura, New Zealand, as revealed by a three-dimensional hydrophone array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian; Dawson, Stephen; Vennell, Ross

    2013-10-01

    Observations are presented of the vocal behavior and three dimensional (3D) underwater movements of sperm whales measured with a passive acoustic array off the coast of Kaikoura, New Zealand. Visual observations and vocal behaviors of whales were used to divide dive tracks into different phases, and depths and movements of whales are reported for each of these phases. Diving depths and movement information from 75 3D tracks of whales in Kaikoura are compared to one and two dimensional tracks of whales studied in other oceans. While diving, whales in Kaikoura had a mean swimming speed of 1.57 m/s, and, on average, dived to a depth of 427 m (SD = 117 m), spending most of their time at depths between 300 and 600 m. Creak vocalizations, assumed to be the prey capture phase of echolocation, occurred throughout the water column from sea surface to sea floor, but most occurred at depths of 400-550 m. Three dimensional measurement of tracking revealed several different "foraging" strategies, including active chasing of prey, lining up slow-moving or unsuspecting prey, and foraging on demersal or benthic prey. These movements provide the first 3D descriptions underwater behavior of whales at Kaikoura.

  5. Application of Density Estimation Methods to Datasets Collected From a Glider

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    2832. PUBLICATIONS Küsel, E.T., Siderius, M., and Mellinger, D.K., “Single-sensor, cue- counting population density estimation: Average ...contained echolocation clicks of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). This species is also known to occur in the Gulf of Mexico where data is...Because such approach considers the entire click bandwidth, the average probability of detection of thousands of click realizations, and hence the

  6. 78 FR 19176 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; 90-day Finding on a Petition to List Sperm Whales in the Gulf...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-29

    ... Deepwater Horizon spill, destruction of coastal habitats, water pollution including the Gulf's ``dead zone... Petition to List Sperm Whales in the Gulf of Mexico as a Distinct Population Segment Under the Endangered... or threatened distinct population segment (DPS) in the Gulf of Mexico. We find that the petition...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Effect of Broadband Nature of Marine Mammal Echolocation Clicks on Click-Based Population Density Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing...will be applied also to other species such as sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) (whose high source level assures long range detection and amplifies...improve the accuracy of marine mammal density estimation based on counting echolocation clicks, and will be applicable to density estimates obtained

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGillivary, P. A.; Tougher, B.

    2010-12-01

    hydrophone arrays. We here discuss the possibility of using Ambient Noise Imaging (ANI) systems initially developed for location of non-calling sperm whales along high speed ferry routes in the Canary Islands. A ‘hybrid’ ANI system has also been developed which uses sound from calling whales to ‘illuminate’ non-calling whales. Such systems designed for sperm whales would require modification for Blue and fin whales along California shipping lanes, and Bowhead whales in Alaska. We discuss how ANI whale detection systems could be developed for California and Alaska by combining bottom moorings with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) as part of ocean observing systems. The mechanisms, challenges, and potential solutions for use of ANI whale detection systems along critical shipping lanes along the California and Alaska coast to reduce whale-ship collisions are discussed as a means that permit science to assist in development of integrated state and federal ocean management policies. The combination of new scientific technology with ocean policy decisions can improve coastal ocean management, improve the safety and reduce the cost of shipping, while at the same time protecting endangered whale species.

  10. Bones as biofuel: a review of whale bone composition with implications for deep-sea biology and palaeoanthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Nicholas D; Little, Crispin T S; Glover, Adrian G

    2011-01-07

    Whales are unique among vertebrates because of the enormous oil reserves held in their soft tissue and bone. These 'biofuel' stores have been used by humans from prehistoric times to more recent industrial-scale whaling. Deep-sea biologists have now discovered that the oily bones of dead whales on the seabed are also used by specialist and generalist scavenging communities, including many unique organisms recently described as new to science. In the context of both cetacean and deep-sea invertebrate biology, we review scientific knowledge on the oil content of bone from several of the great whale species: Balaenoptera musculus, Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eschrichtius robustus, Physeter macrocephalus and the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba. We show that data collected by scientists over 50 years ago during the heyday of industrial whaling explain several interesting phenomena with regard to the decay of whale remains. Variations in the lipid content of bones from different parts of a whale correspond closely with recently observed differences in the taphonomy of deep-sea whale carcasses and observed biases in the frequency of whale bones at archaeological sites.

  11. The Short-Term Power Load Forecasting Based on Sperm Whale Algorithm and Wavelet Least Square Support Vector Machine with DWT-IR for Feature Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-peng Liu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Short-term power load forecasting is an important basis for the operation of integrated energy system, and the accuracy of load forecasting directly affects the economy of system operation. To improve the forecasting accuracy, this paper proposes a load forecasting system based on wavelet least square support vector machine and sperm whale algorithm. Firstly, the methods of discrete wavelet transform and inconsistency rate model (DWT-IR are used to select the optimal features, which aims to reduce the redundancy of input vectors. Secondly, the kernel function of least square support vector machine LSSVM is replaced by wavelet kernel function for improving the nonlinear mapping ability of LSSVM. Lastly, the parameters of W-LSSVM are optimized by sperm whale algorithm, and the short-term load forecasting method of W-LSSVM-SWA is established. Additionally, the example verification results show that the proposed model outperforms other alternative methods and has a strong effectiveness and feasibility in short-term power load forecasting.

  12. A large-aperture low-cost hydrophone array for tracking whales from small boats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, B; Dawson, S

    2009-11-01

    A passive sonar array designed for tracking diving sperm whales in three dimensions from a single small vessel is presented, and the advantages and limitations of operating this array from a 6 m boat are described. The system consists of four free floating buoys, each with a hydrophone, built-in recorder, and global positioning system receiver (GPS), and one vertical stereo hydrophone array deployed from the boat. Array recordings are post-processed onshore to obtain diving profiles of vocalizing sperm whales. Recordings are synchronized using a GPS timing pulse recorded onto each track. Sensitivity analysis based on hyperbolic localization methods is used to obtain probability distributions for the whale's three-dimensional location for vocalizations received by at least four hydrophones. These localizations are compared to those obtained via isodiachronic sequential bound estimation. Results from deployment of the system around a sperm whale in the Kaikoura Canyon in New Zealand are shown.

  13. Environmental impact assessment. Investigation of marine mammals in relation to the establishment of a marine wind farm on Horns Reef

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-02-15

    Elsamproject has decided to carry out an environmental impact assessment with the aim to investigate whether the establishment of a marine wind farm on Horns Reef may impact on breeding and non-breeding marine mammals, particularly harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena and common seal Phoca vitulina. The marine mammals of the northern part of the German Bight can be characterised by a regular occurrence of harbour porpoise and common seal throughout the year, an irregular occurrence of grey seal Halichoerus grypus and white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and rare occurrences of white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus, minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas and killer whale Orcinus orca. The environment impact assessment therefore focuses on the evaluation of the possible effects on harbour porpoise and common seal. The investigation constitutes the first phase of a before-after-control-impact (BACI) analysis of the occurrence of harbour porpoise before, during and after the construction of the wind farm. (au)

  14. Demography or selection on linked cultural traits or genes? Investigating the driver of low mtDNA diversity in the sperm whale using complementary mitochondrial and nuclear genome analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Phillip A; Foote, Andrew D; Baker, C Scott; Hancock-Hanser, Brittany L; Kaschner, Kristin; Mate, Bruce R; Mesnick, Sarah L; Pease, Victoria L; Rosel, Patricia E; Alexander, Alana

    2018-04-19

    Mitochondrial DNA has been heavily utilized in phylogeography studies for several decades. However, underlying patterns of demography and phylogeography may be misrepresented due to coalescence stochasticity, selection, variation in mutation rates, and cultural hitchhiking (linkage of genetic variation to culturally transmitted traits affecting fitness). Cultural hitchhiking has been suggested as an explanation for low genetic diversity in species with strong social structures, counteracting even high mobility, abundance and limited barriers to dispersal. One such species is the sperm whale, which shows very limited phylogeographic structure and low mtDNA diversity despite a worldwide distribution and large population. Here, we use analyses of 175 globally distributed mitogenomes and three nuclear genomes to evaluate hypotheses of a population bottleneck/expansion versus a selective sweep due to cultural-hitchhiking or selection on mtDNA as the mechanism contributing to low worldwide mitochondrial diversity in sperm whales. In contrast to mtDNA control region (CR) data, mitogenome haplotypes are largely ocean-specific, with only one of 80 shared between the Atlantic and Pacific. Demographic analyses of nuclear genomes suggest low mtDNA diversity is consistent with a global reduction in population size that ended approximately 125,000 years ago, correlated with the Eemian interglacial. Phylogeographic analysis suggests that extant sperm whales descend from maternal lineages endemic to the Pacific during the period of reduced abundance, and have subsequently colonized the Atlantic several times. Results highlight the apparent impact of past climate change, and suggest selection and hitchhiking are not the sole processes responsible for low mtDNA diversity in this highly social species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  15. The impact of predation by marine mammals on patagonian toothfish longline fisheries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Söffker

    Full Text Available Predatory interaction of marine mammals with longline fisheries is observed globally, leading to partial or complete loss of the catch and in some parts of the world to considerable financial loss. Depredation can also create additional unrecorded fishing mortality of a stock and has the potential to introduce bias to stock assessments. Here we aim to characterise depredation in the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides fishery around South Georgia focusing on the spatio-temporal component of these interactions. Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus, and orcas (Orcinus orca frequently feed on fish hooked on longlines around South Georgia. A third of longlines encounter sperm whales, but loss of catch due to sperm whales is insignificant when compared to that due to orcas, which interact with only 5% of longlines but can take more than half of the catch in some cases. Orca depredation around South Georgia is spatially limited and focused in areas of putative migration routes, and the impact is compounded as a result of the fishery also concentrating in those areas at those times. Understanding the seasonal behaviour of orcas and the spatial and temporal distribution of "depredation hot spots" can reduce marine mammal interactions, will improve assessment and management of the stock and contribute to increased operational efficiency of the fishery. Such information is valuable in the effort to resolve the human-mammal conflict for resources.

  16. Assignment of hyperfine shifted haem methyl carbon resonances in paramagnetic low-spin met-cyano complex of sperm whale myoglobin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamamoto, Yasuhiko

    1987-09-28

    The hyperfine shifted resonances arising from all four individual haem carbons of the paramagnetic low-spin met-cyano complex of sperm whale myoglobin have been clearly identified and assigned for the first time with the aid of /sup 1/H-/sup 13/C heteronuclear chemical shift correlated spectroscopy. Alteration of the in-plane symmetry of the electronic structure of haem induced by the ligation of proximal histidyl imidazole spreads the haem carbon resonances to 32 ppm at 22/sup 0/C, indicating the sensitivity of those resonances to the haem electronic/molecular structure. Those resonances are potentially powerful probes in characterizing the nature of haem electronic structure. 25 refs.; 2 figs.; 1 table.

  17. High-level expression and deuteration of sperm whale myoglobin: A study of its solvent structure by X-ray and neutron diffraction methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shu, F. [State Univ. of New York, Stony Brook, NY (United States); Ramakrishnan, V. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (United States); Schoenborn, B.P. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Neutron diffraction has become one of the best ways to study light atoms, such as hydrogens. Hydrogen however has a negative coherent scattering factor, and a large incoherent scattering factor, while deuterium has virtually no incoherent scattering, but a large positive coherent scattering factor. Beside causing high background due to its incoherent scattering, the negative coherent scattering of hydrogen tends to cancel out the positive contribution from other atoms in a neutron density map. Therefore a fully deuterated sample will yield better diffraction data with stronger density in the hydrogen position. On this basis, a sperm whale myoglobin gene modified to include part of the A cII protein gene has been cloned into the T7 expression system. Milligram amounts of fully deuterated holo-myoglobin have been obtained and used for crystallization. The synthetic sperm whale myoglobin crystallized in P2{sub 1} space group isomorphous with the native protein crystal. A complete X-ray diffraction dataset at 1.5{Angstrom} has been collected. This X-ray dataset, and a neutron data set collected previously on a protonated carbon-monoxymyoglobin crystal have been used for solvent structure studies. Both X-ray and neutron data have shown that there are ordered hydration layers around the protein surface. Solvent shell analysis on the neutron data further has shown that the first hydration layer behaves differently around polar and apolar regions of the protein surface. Finally, the structure of per-deuterated myoglobin has been refined using all reflections to a R factor of 17%.

  18. High-level expression and deuteration of sperm whale myoglobin: A study of its solvent structure by X-ray and neutron diffraction methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shu, F.; Ramakrishnan, V.; Schoenborn, B.P.

    1994-01-01

    Neutron diffraction has become one of the best ways to study light atoms, such as hydrogens. Hydrogen however has a negative coherent scattering factor, and a large incoherent scattering factor, while deuterium has virtually no incoherent scattering, but a large positive coherent scattering factor. Beside causing high background due to its incoherent scattering, the negative coherent scattering of hydrogen tends to cancel out the positive contribution from other atoms in a neutron density map. Therefore a fully deuterated sample will yield better diffraction data with stronger density in the hydrogen position. On this basis, a sperm whale myoglobin gene modified to include part of the A cII protein gene has been cloned into the T7 expression system. Milligram amounts of fully deuterated holo-myoglobin have been obtained and used for crystallization. The synthetic sperm whale myoglobin crystallized in P2 1 space group isomorphous with the native protein crystal. A complete X-ray diffraction dataset at 1.5 Angstrom has been collected. This X-ray dataset, and a neutron data set collected previously on a protonated carbon-monoxymyoglobin crystal have been used for solvent structure studies. Both X-ray and neutron data have shown that there are ordered hydration layers around the protein surface. Solvent shell analysis on the neutron data further has shown that the first hydration layer behaves differently around polar and apolar regions of the protein surface. Finally, the structure of per-deuterated myoglobin has been refined using all reflections to a R factor of 17%

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete

    2014-10-01

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

  20. Chemically dispersed oil is cytotoxic and genotoxic to sperm whale skin cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Catherine F; Wise, James T F; Wise, Sandra S; Wise, John Pierce

    2018-06-01

    Two major oil crises in United States history, the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, drew attention to the need for toxicological experiments on oil and chemically dispersed oil. We are still learning the effects these spills had on wildlife. However, little data is known about the toxicity of these substances in marine mammals. The objective of this study is to determine the toxicity of Alaskan oil, as well as chemically dispersed oil. Oil experiments were performed using the water accommodated fraction of Alaskan oil (WAF) and the chemically enhanced water accommodated fraction of Alaskan oil (CEWAF). The Alaskan WAF is not cytotoxic to sperm whale skin cells though it did induce chromosome damage; S9-mediated metabolism did not affect the cytotoxicity of WAF but did increase the levels of chromosome damage. Alaskan CEWAF is more cytotoxic and genotoxic than the WAF; S9 mediated metabolism increased both cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of CEWAF. Analysis of the PAH content of Alaskan WAF and CEWAF revealed a forty-fold increase in the total levels of PAHs in CEWAF compared to WAF. These findings show that chemically dispersed oil leads to higher levels of PAH exposure which are more toxic and likely to lead to longer and more persistent health effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Schelhas

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Gulf of Mexico Sperm Whale Acoustic Prey Study

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Large vessel surveys were conducted during the summer of 2009 and the winter of 2010 in the north-central Gulf of Mexico to examine the spatial distribution of sperm...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Meredith

    2013-04-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. Marine mammal tracks from two-hydrophone acoustic recordings made with a glider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küsel, Elizabeth T.; Munoz, Tessa; Siderius, Martin; Mellinger, David K.; Heimlich, Sara

    2017-04-01

    A multinational oceanographic and acoustic sea experiment was carried out in the summer of 2014 off the western coast of the island of Sardinia, Mediterranean Sea. During this experiment, an underwater glider fitted with two hydrophones was evaluated as a potential tool for marine mammal population density estimation studies. An acoustic recording system was also tested, comprising an inexpensive, off-the-shelf digital recorder installed inside the glider. Detection and classification of sounds produced by whales and dolphins, and sometimes tracking and localization, are inherent components of population density estimation from passive acoustics recordings. In this work we discuss the equipment used as well as analysis of the data obtained, including detection and estimation of bearing angles. A human analyst identified the presence of sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) regular clicks as well as dolphin clicks and whistles. Cross-correlating clicks recorded on both data channels allowed for the estimation of the direction (bearing) of clicks, and realization of animal tracks. Insights from this bearing tracking analysis can aid in population density estimation studies by providing further information (bearings), which can improve estimates.

  6. Estimating the impact of whaling on global whale watching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 77 FR 33443 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16473

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-06

    ... (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), sperm (Physeter macrocephalus), North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis), sei (B. borealis), minke (B. acutorostrata), dwarf and pygmy sperm (Kogia spp... counts, photo-identification, and behavioral observations and is valid for five years from the date of...

  8. SEM study of Anisakis brevispiculata Dollfus, 1966 and Pseudoterranova ceticola (Deardoff and Overstreet, 1981 (Nematoda: Anisakidae, parasites of the pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvira Abollo

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM was used to study different topo-morphological characteristics of the architecture (cuticle, excretory pore, lips and adjacent structures, number and distribution patterns of caudal papillae and papillae-like structures of the anisakid nematodes Anisakis brevispiculata and Pseudoterranova ceticola, parasites in the stomach of the pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps. SEM micrographs herein help to accurately define the above surface topographical features by adding a more adequate 3-D picture to the original descriptions of both parasitic species. In A. brevispiculata the entire body cuticle structure, well-differentiated paracloacal papillae and the wrinkle cuticle of the papillae are clear examples that enhance the above differentiation of structures as seen by LM or SEM. Similarly, in P. ceticola the cuticle striations, bulky cloacal lips, rectangular distribution pattern of distal papillae and the absence of a groove separating paracloacal papillae which are obliquely arranged are all different to those features previously described.

  9. The influence of air-filled structures on wave propagation and beam formation of a pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) in horizontal and vertical planes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhongchang; Zhang, Yu; Thornton, Steven W; Li, Songhai; Dong, Jianchen

    2017-10-01

    The wave propagation, sound field, and transmission beam pattern of a pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) were investigated in both the horizontal and vertical planes. Results suggested that the signals obtained at both planes were similarly characterized with a high peak frequency and a relatively narrow bandwidth, close to the ones recorded from live animals. The sound beam measured outside the head in the vertical plane was narrower than that of the horizontal one. Cases with different combinations of air-filled structures in both planes were used to study the respective roles in controlling wave propagation and beam formation. The wave propagations and beam patterns in the horizontal and vertical planes elucidated the important reflection effect of the spermaceti and vocal chambers on sound waves, which was highly significant in forming intensive forward sound beams. The air-filled structures, the forehead soft tissues and skull structures formed wave guides in these two planes for emitted sounds to propagate forward.

  10. 50 CFR 216.241 - Effective dates and definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranil P. Nanayakkara

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eskesen, Ida; Wahlberg, Magnus; Simon, Malene

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangel, Marc

    2016-12-20

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

  18. Données récentes sur le comportement du grand cachalot (Physeter macrocephalus)

    OpenAIRE

    Goddard, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Le grand cachalot (Physeter macrocephalus) présente de nombreux comportements caractéristiques. Ces cétacés vivent les ¾ du temps en profondeur et peu de comportements sont directement visibles depuis la surface. Cette thèse bibliographique dresse un bilan sur ce qui est connu du comportement de cette espèce depuis les années 2000. Après avoir présenté les comportements généraux, les différents mouvements des cachalots sont analysés. Les différentes vocalisations, qui sont uniques aux cachalo...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andre, Michel

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-04-11

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

  1. Sperm competition, sperm numbers and sperm quality in muroid rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez Montoto, Laura; Magaña, Concepción; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Martín-Coello, Juan; Crespo, Cristina; Luque-Larena, Juan José; Gomendio, Montserrat; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2011-03-25

    Sperm competition favors increases in relative testes mass and production efficiency, and changes in sperm phenotype that result in faster swimming speeds. However, little is known about its effects on traits that contribute to determine the quality of a whole ejaculate (i.e., proportion of motile, viable, morphologically normal and acrosome intact sperm) and that are key determinants of fertilization success. Two competing hypotheses lead to alternative predictions: (a) sperm quantity and quality traits co-evolve under sperm competition because they play complementary roles in determining ejaculate's competitive ability, or (b) energetic constraints force trade-offs between traits depending on their relevance in providing a competitive advantage. We examined relationships between sperm competition levels, sperm quantity, and traits that determine ejaculate quality, in a comparative study of 18 rodent species using phylogenetically controlled analyses. Total sperm numbers were positively correlated to proportions of normal sperm, acrosome integrity and motile sperm; the latter three were also significantly related among themselves, suggesting no trade-offs between traits. In addition, testes mass corrected for body mass (i.e., relative testes mass), showed a strong association with sperm numbers, and positive significant associations with all sperm traits that determine ejaculate quality with the exception of live sperm. An "overall sperm quality" parameter obtained by principal component analysis (which explained 85% of the variance) was more strongly associated with relative testes mass than any individual quality trait. Overall sperm quality was as strongly associated with relative testes mass as sperm numbers. Thus, sperm quality traits improve under sperm competition in an integrated manner suggesting that a combination of all traits is what makes ejaculates more competitive. In evolutionary terms this implies that a complex network of genetic and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Whale Teaching Unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peninsula Humane Society, San Mateo, CA.

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

  4. The International Whaling Commission – Beyond Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew John Wright

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Smith

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 77 FR 21540 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-10

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

  8. War of the Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura González

    2014-06-01

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

  10. 76 FR 16388 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-23

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

  11. 75 FR 10223 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-06

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

  13. 78 FR 13028 - Whaling Provisions; Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Quotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-26

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

  14. Rafinesque's Sicilian whale, Balena gastrytis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, Neal; Mead, James G.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holger Klinck

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

  17. Discovery and widespread occurrence of polyhalogenated 1,1'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyrroles (PDBPs) in marine biota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hauler, Carolin; Martin, René; Knölker, Hans-Joachim; Gaus, Caroline; Mueller, Jochen F.; Vetter, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Polyhalogenated 1,1′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyrroles (PDBPs) are halogenated natural products (HNPs) previously shown to bioaccumulate in marine mammals and birds. Since their discovery in 1999, six hexahalogenated and a few lesser halogenated congeners have been identified in diverse marine mammal samples. Here we report the identification of 17 additional hexahalogenated PDBPs in the blubber extract of a humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) from Queensland, Australia. Thirteen of these new PDBPs were also detected in an Australian sea cucumber (Holothuria sp.). Additional samples were also tested positive on several new PDBPs, including an Australian venus tuskfish (Choerodon venustus) as well as a white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) and a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) from the Northern Hemisphere. GC/ECNI-MS-SIM quantification of the molecular ions was carried out with the help of synthesized standards. The sum concentration of PDBPs was 1.1 mg/kg lipid in the humpback dolphin and 0.48 mg/kg lipid in the sea cucumber. -- Highlights: •Polyhalogenated 1,1′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyrroles (PDBPs) are natural products. •17 New hexahalogenated PDBPs were identified in marine biota from Australia. •A humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) contained 1.1 mg/kg lipid PDBPs. •New PDBPs were also detected in marine mammals from the Northern Hemisphere. -- Detection of new polyhalogenated 1,1′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyrroles indicates a higher toxic risk of these halogenated natural products in the marine environment than previously known

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

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

  19. Japanese Small Type Coastal Whaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Fisher

    2016-07-01

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

  20. A whale of an opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma L Carroll

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

  2. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography as tools for the investigation of sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) teeth and eye

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrup, Aage Kristian Olsen; Munk, Ole Lajord; Jensen, Trine Hammer

    2017-01-01

    Background: Scanning techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are useful tools in veterinary and human medicine. Here we demonstrate the usefulness of these techniques in the study of the anatomy of wild marine mammals as part of a necropsy. MRI and CT scan...

  3. Sperm Production Rate, Gonadal and Extragonadal Sperm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Five healthy West African Dwarf (WAD) rams, 1.5 to 2.5 years of age and weighing between 15 kg to 20 kg were used to determine daily sperm production, gonadal and exragonadal sperm reserves. Gonadal and extragonadal sperm reserves were estimated by the haemocytometric method, while the daily sperm production ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Elizabeth Alter

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-03-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes from top predator amino acids reveal rapidly shifting ocean biochemistry in the outer California Current.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocio I Ruiz-Cooley

    Full Text Available Climatic variation alters biochemical and ecological processes, but it is difficult both to quantify the magnitude of such changes, and to differentiate long-term shifts from inter-annual variability. Here, we simultaneously quantify decade-scale isotopic variability at the lowest and highest trophic positions in the offshore California Current System (CCS by measuring δ15N and δ13C values of amino acids in a top predator, the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus. Using a time series of skin tissue samples as a biological archive, isotopic records from individual amino acids (AAs can reveal the proximate factors driving a temporal decline we observed in bulk isotope values (a decline of ≥1 ‰ by decoupling changes in primary producer isotope values from those linked to the trophic position of this toothed whale. A continuous decline in baseline (i.e., primary producer δ15N and δ13C values was observed from 1993 to 2005 (a decrease of ∼4‰ for δ15N source-AAs and 3‰ for δ13C essential-AAs, while the trophic position of whales was variable over time and it did not exhibit directional trends. The baseline δ15N and δ13C shifts suggest rapid ongoing changes in the carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycling in the offshore CCS, potentially occurring at faster rates than long-term shifts observed elsewhere in the Pacific. While the mechanisms forcing these biogeochemical shifts remain to be determined, our data suggest possible links to natural climate variability, and also corresponding shifts in surface nutrient availability. Our study demonstrates that isotopic analysis of individual amino acids from a top marine mammal predator can be a powerful new approach to reconstructing temporal variation in both biochemical cycling and trophic structure.

  10. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes from top predator amino acids reveal rapidly shifting ocean biochemistry in the outer California Current.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Cooley, Rocio I; Koch, Paul L; Fiedler, Paul C; McCarthy, Matthew D

    2014-01-01

    Climatic variation alters biochemical and ecological processes, but it is difficult both to quantify the magnitude of such changes, and to differentiate long-term shifts from inter-annual variability. Here, we simultaneously quantify decade-scale isotopic variability at the lowest and highest trophic positions in the offshore California Current System (CCS) by measuring δ15N and δ13C values of amino acids in a top predator, the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Using a time series of skin tissue samples as a biological archive, isotopic records from individual amino acids (AAs) can reveal the proximate factors driving a temporal decline we observed in bulk isotope values (a decline of ≥1 ‰) by decoupling changes in primary producer isotope values from those linked to the trophic position of this toothed whale. A continuous decline in baseline (i.e., primary producer) δ15N and δ13C values was observed from 1993 to 2005 (a decrease of ∼4‰ for δ15N source-AAs and 3‰ for δ13C essential-AAs), while the trophic position of whales was variable over time and it did not exhibit directional trends. The baseline δ15N and δ13C shifts suggest rapid ongoing changes in the carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycling in the offshore CCS, potentially occurring at faster rates than long-term shifts observed elsewhere in the Pacific. While the mechanisms forcing these biogeochemical shifts remain to be determined, our data suggest possible links to natural climate variability, and also corresponding shifts in surface nutrient availability. Our study demonstrates that isotopic analysis of individual amino acids from a top marine mammal predator can be a powerful new approach to reconstructing temporal variation in both biochemical cycling and trophic structure.

  11. The Gray whale: Eschrichtius robustus

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1984-01-01

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

  12. Acoustic Ecology of Minke Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Costa, Daniel

    1998-01-01

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

  13. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana L Melcón

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Individual adjustment of sperm expenditure accords with sperm competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilastro, Andrea; Scaggiante, Marta; Rasotto, Maria B

    2002-07-23

    Sperm competition theory predicts that males should strategically allocate their sperm reserves according to the level of sperm competition, defined as the probability that the sperm of two males compete for fertilizing a given set of ova. Substantial evidence from numerous animal taxa suggests that, at the individual level, sperm expenditure increases when the risk of sperm competition is greater. In contrast, according to the "intensity model" of sperm competition [Parker, G. A., Ball, M. A., Stockley, P. & Gage, M. J. G. (1996) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 263, 1291-1297], when more than two ejaculates compete during a given mating event, sperm expenditure should decrease as the number of competing males increases. Empirical evidence supporting this prediction, however, is still lacking. Here we measured sperm expenditure in two gobiid fishes, the grass (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) and black goby (Gobius niger), in which up to six sneakers can congregate around the nest of territorial males and release their sperm when females spawn. We show that, in accordance with theory, sneaker males of both species release fewer sperm as the number of competitors increases.

  16. Sperm head's birefringence: a new criterion for sperm selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianaroli, Luca; Magli, M Cristina; Collodel, Giulia; Moretti, Elena; Ferraretti, Anna P; Baccetti, Baccio

    2008-07-01

    To investigate the characteristics of birefringence in human sperm heads and apply polarization microscopy for sperm selection at intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Prospective randomized study. Reproductive Medicine Unit, Società Italiana Studi Medicina della Riproduzione, Bologna, Italy. A total of 112 male patients had birefringent sperm selected for ICSI (study group). The clinical outcome was compared with that obtained in 119 couples who underwent a conventional ICSI cycle (control group). The proportion of birefringent spermatozoa was evaluated before and after treatment in relation to the sperm sample quality. Embryo development and clinical outcome in the study group were compared with those in the controls. Proportion of birefringent sperm heads, rates of fertilization, cleavage, pregnancy, implantation, and ongoing implantation. The proportion of birefringent spermatozoa was significantly higher in normospermic samples when compared with oligoasthenoteratospermic samples with no progressive motility and testicular sperm extraction samples. Although fertilization and cleavage rates did not differ between the study and control groups, in the most severe male factor condition (oligoasthenoteratospermic with no progressive motility and testicular sperm extraction), the rates of clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and implantation were significantly higher in the study group versus the controls. The analysis of birefringence in the sperm head could represent both a diagnostic tool and a novel method for sperm selection.

  17. Sperm competition selects for sperm quantity and quality in the Australian Maluridae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Melissah; Pruett-Jones, Stephen

    2011-01-25

    When ejaculates from rival males compete for fertilization, there is strong selection for sperm traits that enhance fertilization success. Sperm quantity is one such trait, and numerous studies have demonstrated a positive association between sperm competition and both testes size and the number of sperm available for copulations. Sperm competition is also thought to favor increases in sperm quality and changes in testicular morphology that lead to increased sperm production. However, in contrast to sperm quantity, these hypotheses have received considerably less empirical support and remain somewhat controversial. In a comparative study using the Australian Maluridae (fairy-wrens, emu-wrens, grasswrens), we tested whether increasing levels of sperm competition were associated with increases in both sperm quantity and quality, as well as an increase in the relative amount of seminiferous tubule tissue contained within the testes. After controlling for phylogeny, we found positive associations between sperm competition and sperm numbers, both in sperm reserves and in ejaculate samples. Additionally, as sperm competition level increased, the proportion of testicular spermatogenic tissue also increased, suggesting that sperm competition selects for greater sperm production per unit of testicular tissue. Finally, we also found that sperm competition level was positively associated with multiple sperm quality traits, including the proportion of motile sperm in ejaculates and the proportion of both viable and morphologically normal sperm in sperm reserves. These results suggest multiple ejaculate traits, as well as aspects of testicular morphology, have evolved in response to sperm competition in the Australian Maluridae. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the importance of post-copulatory sexual selection as an evolutionary force shaping macroevolutionary differences in sperm phenotype.

  18. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Sperm competition promotes diversity of sperm bundles in Ohomopterus ground beetles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takami, Yasuoki; Sota, Teiji

    2007-07-01

    Diversification of sperm morphology has been investigated in the context of sperm competition, but the adaptive significance of sperm bundles is still unclear. In analyzing 10 taxa of the genus Carabus subgenus Ohomopterus and one related Carabus ground beetles, we found that dimorphic sperm bundles occurred in most species with varied degrees of bimodality, whereas sperm were generally monomorphic. Comparative analyses with phylogenetically independent contrasts revealed that the sizes of large and small sperm bundles evolved more rapidly than, and were not correlated with, the length of sperm, suggesting more intense selection on sperm bundle sizes and their independent responses to different evolutionary forces. The size of large sperm bundles was positively correlated with male genital morphology (pertinent to displacement of rival spermatophores) and postcopulatory guarding duration as well as male body length, suggesting that larger sperm bundles have been favored when the risk of spermatophore displacement is high. Larger sperm bundles may be advantageous because of their ability to migrate more rapidly into the spermatheca. In contrast, no clear association was detected between the small sperm bundle size and mating traits despite its rapid diversification. The present study provides the first record of heteromorphic sperm bundles, the diversity of which may be promoted by sperm competition.

  20. Hyaluronic acid binding ability of human sperm reflects cellular maturity and fertilizing potential: selection of sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huszar, Gabor; Ozkavukcu, Sinan; Jakab, Attila; Celik-Ozenci, Ciler; Sati, G Leyla; Cayli, Sevil

    2006-06-01

    The current concepts of sperm biochemical markers and the central role of the HspA2 chaperone protein, a measure of sperm cellular maturity and fertilizing potential, are reviewed. Because HspA2 is a component of the synaptonemal complex, low HspA2 levels and increased frequency of chromosomal aneuploidies are related in diminished maturity sperm. We also suggest a relationship between HspA2 expression in elongating spermatids and events of late spermiogenesis, such as cytoplasmic extrusion and plasma membrane remodeling that aid the formation of the zona pellucida binding and hyaluronic acid binding sites. The presence of hyaluronic acid receptor on the plasma membrane of mature sperm, coupled with hyaluronic acid coated glass or plastic surfaces, facilitates testing of sperm function and selection of single mature sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The frequencies of sperm with chromosomal disomy are reduced approximately fourfold to fivefold in hyaluronic acid selected sperm compared with semen sperm, comparable to the increase in such abnormalities in intracytoplasmic sperm injection offspring. Hyaluronic acid binding also excludes immature sperm with cytoplasmic extrusion, persistent histones, and DNA chain breaks. Hyaluronic acid mediated sperm selection is a novel technique that is comparable to sperm zona pellucida binding. Hyaluronic acid selected sperm will also alleviate the risks related to intracytoplasmic sperm injection fertilization with sperm of diminished maturity that currently cause worldwide concern.

  1. Bioeconomic factors of natural resource transitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaiser, Brooks

    to petroleum as a stochastic dynamic process in which there is uncertainty over the parameters of the fishery and the timing of available substitutes for sperm oil in order to determine the effect on the whale population. Using new biological analysis of the sperm whale fishery (Whitehead, 2002) and insights...

  2. 36 CFR 13.1174 - Whale water restrictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  3. Detection and Classification of Whale Acoustic Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xian, Yin

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

  4. Detection and Identification of Marine Mammals in Passive Acoustic Recordings from SCORE using a Visual Processing Approach Established for HARP Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-01

    ship noise was to listen to the file. Sperm whale pulses sound like a metronome , very methodical, whereas ship noise in these frequencies sounds...by listening to the file. In both HARP and SCORE sperm whale clicks sound like a metronome . 34 We did not use the waveform as a way of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Sperm competition and reproductive mode influence sperm dimensions and structure among snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourmente, Maximiliano; Gomendio, Montserrat; Roldan, Eduardo R S; Giojalas, Laura C; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

    2009-10-01

    The role of sperm competition in increasing sperm length is a controversial issue, because findings from different taxa seem contradictory. We present a comparative study of 25 species of snakes with different levels of sperm competition to test whether it influences the size and structure of different sperm components. We show that, as levels of sperm competition increase, so does sperm length, and that this elongation is largely explained by increases in midpiece length. In snakes, the midpiece is comparatively large and it contains structures, which in other taxa are present in the rest of the flagellum, suggesting that it may integrate some of its functions. Thus, increases in sperm midpiece size would result in more energy as well as greater propulsion force. Sperm competition also increases the area occupied by the fibrous sheath and outer dense fibers within the sperm midpiece, revealing for the first time an effect upon structural elements within the sperm. Finally, differences in male-male encounter rates between oviparous and viviparous species seem to lead to differences in levels of sperm competition. We conclude that the influence of sperm competition upon different sperm components varies between taxa, because their structure and function is different.

  8. Association of sperm apoptosis and DNA ploidy with sperm chromatin quality in human spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahfouz, Reda Z; Sharma, Rakesh K; Said, Tamer M; Erenpreiss, Juris; Agarwal, Ashok

    2009-04-01

    To examine the relationship among sperm apoptosis, sperm chromatin status, and DNA ploidy in different sperm fractions. Prospective study. Reproductive research center in a tertiary care hospital. Sperm prepared by density gradient were evaluated for sperm count, motility, apoptosis, and sperm chromatin assessment. Sperm count, sperm motility, toluidine blue (TB) results, DNA fragmentation index (%DFI), high DNA stainability, DNA cytometry, and early and late apoptosis. Sperm motility was related to late apoptotic and subhaploid apoptotic sperm (r = -0.56 and -0.53, respectively). The sperm %DFI showed significant correlation with late apoptotic and subhaploid sperm (r = 0.62 and 0.68). TB-stained sperm were significantly correlated with late apoptotic sperm (r = 0.51). Significantly higher proportions of haploid sperm and light blue TB-stained sperm were seen in mature compared with immature fractions. Even in semen samples with low %DFI, semen processing results in a lower incidence of nuclear immaturity and subhaploidy, but the incidence of late apoptotic sperm remains unchanged. Therefore, simultaneous evaluation of apoptosis and sperm chromatin status is important for processing sperm in assisted reproductive procedures.

  9. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Subversive practices of sperm donation - globalizing Danish sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    as the use of donated sperm continuously has been debated as an ethical issue, and increasingly been regulated. In this presentation I will discuss how Denmark became a destination for fertility travelling (sperm donation) as a result of various subversive strategies of family making. The article inquires......-sited ethnography drawing on ethnographic research including observations and interviews from fertility clinics and sperm banks in Denmark during 2002/2003 and 2011- 2013, legislative documents and websites of fertility clinics and sperm banks. The presentation is methodologically inspired by Adele Clarke...

  11. Night-life of Bryde's whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Siciliano

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekmans, Bas

    2017-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  16. What use is an infertile sperm? A comparative study of sperm-heteromorphic Drosophila

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Freckleton, Robert P; Snook, Rhonda R

    2007-01-01

    Sperm size and number are important determinants of male reproductive success. The genus Drosophila exhibits a remarkable diversity of sperm production strategies, including the production of multiple sperm morphs by individual males, a phenomenon called sperm heteromorphism. Sperm-heteromorphic ......Sperm size and number are important determinants of male reproductive success. The genus Drosophila exhibits a remarkable diversity of sperm production strategies, including the production of multiple sperm morphs by individual males, a phenomenon called sperm heteromorphism. Sperm......-heteromorphic Drosophila species in the obscura group produce large numbers of infertile "parasperm" in addition to fertile eusperm. Parasperm have been hypothesized to perform a number of roles in place of fertilization, predominantly focused on their potential function in postcopulatory sexual selection. However...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hazevoet, Cornelis J.; Wenzel, Frederick W.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 75 FR 81972 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-29

    ..., and Steller sea lions (Western U.S. stock and Eastern U.S. stock) incidental to the fisheries... fin whales, NP sperm whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and the threatened Eastern U.S... Pacific (CNP) humpback whales, Western North Pacific (WNP) stock of humpback whales, Northeast Pacific...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  2. Satellite Tracking of Humpback Whales in West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  3. Juvenile morphology in baleen whale phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2014-09-01

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

  4. 75 FR 28779 - Prince of Whales Resource Advisory Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-24

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Pirotta

    2017-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramassamy, Benjamin Fernand Guy

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

  7. Sex determination of baleen whale artefacts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Yoko; Shaw, Paul; Fujiwara, Eiji; Shiba, Kogiku; Kakiuchi, Yasutaka; Hirohashi, Noritaka

    2011-08-10

    Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm). Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm) sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm) sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external), whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size.

  9. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiba Kogiku

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm. Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Results Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Conclusions Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external, whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size.

  10. Multiple origins of gigantism in stem baleen whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Cheng-Hsiu; Kohno, Naoki

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Relationship between sperm parameters and intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahla Chaichian

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: With the adventure of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI technique, great progresses have developed in the treatment of infertility. Concentration on the properties of male’s gamete has been encouraged by the increasing concerns about the causes of ICSI failure. We hence conducted this study to investigate the probable association of sperm parameters with ISCI outcome. Methods: A total of 523 couples referred to Isfahan Fertility and Sterility Center from January 2007 to June 2008 for ICSI. Semen analysis was performed before ICSI procedure according to the WHO criteria. Patients were assigned into successful ICSI (case and failed ICSI (control groups. Sperm parameters were then compared between the 2 groups. Results: One hundred and six patients (20% had successful ICSI results (case group compared with 417 couples (80% with undesirable ICSI outcomes (control group. Among evaluated factors, sperm agglutination (p = 0.007, sperm concentration (p = 0.043, leukocytospermia (p = 0.026 and head abnormality of sperm (p = 0.019 showed statistically significant differences between two groups with differing ICSI results. None of the other semen parameters revealed significant differences between these two groups. Conclusion: Our study showed that some sperm parameters are associated with desirable ICSI outcome. However, it is unclear whether these associations are causal.

  12. Killer whale (Orcinus orca) behavioral audiograms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  13. Relationship between Porcine Sperm Motility and Sperm Enzymatic Activity using Paper-based Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Koji; Huang, Han-Wei; Chen, Ming-Cheng; Chen, Yu; Cheng, Chao-Min

    2017-04-01

    Mammalian sperm motility has traditionally been analyzed to determine fertility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems. To develop low-cost and robust male fertility diagnostics, we created a paper-based MTT assay and used it to estimate motile sperm concentration. When porcine sperm motility was inhibited using sperm enzyme inhibitors for sperm enzymes related to mitochondrial activity and glycolysis, we simultaneously recorded sperm motility and enzymatic reactivity using a portable motility analysis system (iSperm) and a paper-based MTT assay, respectively. When using our paper-based MTT-assay, we calculated the area mean value signal intensity (AMV) to evaluate enzymatic reactivity. Both sperm motility and AMV decreased following treatment with iodoacetamide (IODO) and 3-bromopyruvic acid (3BP), both of which are inhibitors of glycolytic enzymes including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). We found a correlation between recorded motility using iSperm and AMV from our paper-based assay (P Based on this inhibitor study, sperm motility can be estimated using our paper-based MTT-assay.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eFahlman

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  16. Sperm length, sperm storage and mating system characteristics in bumblebees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Høeg, Jens Thorvald

    2003-01-01

    -term storage of sperm, using three bumblebee species with different mating systems as models. We show that individual males produce only one size-class of sperm, but that sperm length is highly variable among brothers, among unrelated conspecific males, and among males of different species. Males of Bombus...

  17. Improving sperm banking efficiency in endangered species through the use of a sperm selection method in brown bear (Ursus arctos) thawed sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anel-Lopez, L; Ortega-Ferrusola, C; Álvarez, M; Borragán, S; Chamorro, C; Peña, F J; Morrell, J; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2017-06-26

    Sperm selection methods such as Single Layer Centrifugation (SLC) have been demonstrated to be a useful tool to improve the quality of sperm samples and therefore to increase the efficiency of other artificial reproductive techniques in several species. This procedure could help to improve the quality of genetic resource banks, which is essential for endangered species. In contrast, these sperm selection methods are optimized and focused on farm animals, where the recovery task is not as important as in endangered species because of their higher sperm availability. The aim of this study was to evaluate two centrifugation methods (300 x g/20 min and 600 x g/10 min) and three concentrations of SLC media (Androcoll-Bear -80, 65 and 50%) to optimise the procedure in order to recover as many sperm with the highest quality as possible. Sperm morphology could be important in the hydrodynamic relationship between the cell and centrifugation medium and thus the effect of sperm head morphometry on sperm yield and its hydrodynamic relationship were studied. The samples selected with Androcoll-Bear 65% showed a very good yield (53.1 ± 2.9) although the yield from Androcoll-Bear 80% was lower (19.3 ± 3.3). The latter showed higher values of motility than the control immediately after post-thawing selection. However, both concentrations of colloid (65 and 80%) showed higher values of viable sperm and viable sperm with intact acrosome than the control. After an incubation of 2 h at 37 °C, the samples from Androcoll-Bear 80% had higher kinematics and proportion of viable sperm with intact acrosome. In the morphometric analysis, the sperm selected by the Androcoll-Bear 80% showed a head with a bigger area which was more elongated than the sperm from other treatments. We conclude that sperm selection with Androcoll-Bear at either 65% or 80% is a suitable technique that allows a sperm population with better quality than the initial sample to be obtained. We recommend the

  18. Analysis of limited fertility in intracytoplasmic sperm injection of sperm obtained by electroejaculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoshihiro; Kitamura, Masaya; Nishimura, Kenji; Tsujimura, Akira; Takeyama, Masami; Kondoh, Nobuyuki; Miyazaki, Kazunori; Okuyama, Akihiko

    2004-01-01

    Background and Aims:  We correlated findings in semen from patients with ejaculatory dysfunction with results of in vitro fertilization using their electroejaculated sperm. Methods and Results:  Electroejaculation was carried out in six patients with the above‐mentioned criteria for a total of eight times. Sperm was obtained in six attempts. Intracytoplasmic injection of these sperm was performed in 156 eggs. Sixty‐seven eggs were fertilized; most of these were injected with motile sperm. Two women became pregnant, both after injection with motile sperm. As previously reported, electroejaculated sperm showed low motility and a low fertilization rate, but even motile sperm had a low fertilization rate. Conclusion:  The results of the present study suggest the importance in fertilization of undetermined factors in addition to sperm motility. (Reprod Med Biol 2004; 3: 9–12) PMID:29662380

  19. Whale Watching in the Gulf of Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carkin, Clayton A.

    1985-01-01

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

  20. No evidence of trade-offs in the evolution of sperm numbers and sperm size in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourmente, M; Delbarco Trillo, J; Roldan, E R S

    2015-10-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection, in the form sperm competition, has influenced the evolution of several male reproductive traits. However, theory predicts that sperm competition would lead to trade-offs between numbers and size of spermatozoa because increased costs per cell would result in a reduction of sperm number if both traits share the same energetic budget. Theoretical models have proposed that, in large animals, increased sperm size would have minimal fitness advantage compared with increased sperm numbers. Thus, sperm numbers would evolve more rapidly than sperm size under sperm competition pressure. We tested in mammals whether sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers and size, and whether there is a trade-off between these traits. Our results showed that sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers in eutherian and metatherian mammals. There was no evidence of a trade-off between sperm numbers and sperm size in any of the two mammalian clades as we did not observe any significant relationship between sperm numbers and sperm size once the effect of sperm competition was taken into account. Maximization of both numbers and size in mammals may occur because each trait is crucial at different stages in sperm's life; for example size-determined sperm velocity is a key determinant of fertilization success. In addition, numbers and size may also be influenced by diverse energetic budgets required at different stages of sperm formation. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Daily Sperm Production, Gonadal and Extra-Gonadal Sperm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SH

    animals fed diets 2 and 3 were similar to the control animals but they were significantly (P<0.05) lower than those fed ... Keywords: Prebiotics, probiotics, rabbits, sperm reserves, sperm production. ... Materials and methods .... In: Handbook of.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. Baleen whales and their prey in a coastal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet L. Neilson

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The stochastic dance of circling sperm cells: sperm chemotaxis in the plane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedrich, B M; Juelicher, F [Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Noethnitzer Strasse 38, 01187 Dresden (Germany)], E-mail: ben@pks.mpg.de, E-mail: julicher@pks.mpg.de

    2008-12-15

    Biological systems such as single cells must function in the presence of fluctuations. It has been shown in a two-dimensional experimental setup that sea urchin sperm cells move toward a source of chemoattractant along planar trochoidal swimming paths, i.e. drifting circles. In these experiments, a pronounced variability of the swimming paths is observed. We present a theoretical description of sperm chemotaxis in two dimensions which takes fluctuations into account. We derive a coarse-grained theory of stochastic sperm swimming paths in a concentration field of chemoattractant. Fluctuations enter as multiplicative noise in the equations for the sperm swimming path. We discuss the stochastic properties of sperm swimming and predict a concentration-dependence of the effective diffusion constant of sperm swimming which could be tested in experiments.

  7. The stochastic dance of circling sperm cells: sperm chemotaxis in the plane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedrich, B M; Juelicher, F

    2008-01-01

    Biological systems such as single cells must function in the presence of fluctuations. It has been shown in a two-dimensional experimental setup that sea urchin sperm cells move toward a source of chemoattractant along planar trochoidal swimming paths, i.e. drifting circles. In these experiments, a pronounced variability of the swimming paths is observed. We present a theoretical description of sperm chemotaxis in two dimensions which takes fluctuations into account. We derive a coarse-grained theory of stochastic sperm swimming paths in a concentration field of chemoattractant. Fluctuations enter as multiplicative noise in the equations for the sperm swimming path. We discuss the stochastic properties of sperm swimming and predict a concentration-dependence of the effective diffusion constant of sperm swimming which could be tested in experiments.

  8. Use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection in men with high sperm DNA fragmentation: a SWOT analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteves, Sandro C; Roque, Matheus; Garrido, Nicolás

    2018-01-01

    Spermatozoa retrieved from the testis of men with high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in the neat semen tend to have better DNA quality. Given the negative impact of SDF on the outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), an increased interest has emerged about the use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Testi-ICSI). In this article, we used a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to summarize the advantages and drawbacks of this intervention. The rationale of Testi-ICSI is bypass posttesticular DNA fragmentation caused by oxidative stress during sperm transit through the epididymis. Hence, oocyte fertilization by genomically intact testicular spermatozoa may be optimized, thus increasing the chances of creating a normal embryonic genome and the likelihood of achieving a live birth, as recently demonstrated in men with high SDF. However, there is still limited evidence as regards the clinical efficacy of Testi-ICSI, thus creating opportunities for further confirmatory clinical research as well as investigation of Testi-ICSI in clinical scenarios other than high SDF. Furthermore, Testi-ICSI can be compared to other laboratory preparation methods for deselecting sperm with damaged DNA. At present, the available literature supports the use of testicular sperm when performing ICSI in infertile couples whose male partners have posttesticular SDF. Due to inherent risks of sperm retrieval, Testi-ICSI should be offered when less invasive treatments for alleviating DNA damage have failed. A call for continuous monitoring is nonetheless required concerning the health of generated offspring and the potential complications of sperm retrieval.

  9. Sperm competition leads to functional adaptations in avian testes to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüpold, Stefan; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; Rivers, James W; Birkhead, Tim R

    2011-05-01

    The outcome of sperm competition (i.e. competition for fertilization between ejaculates from different males) is primarily determined by the relative number and quality of rival sperm. Therefore, the testes are under strong selection to maximize both sperm number and quality, which are likely to result in trade-offs in the process of spermatogenesis (e.g. between the rate of spermatogenesis and sperm length or sperm energetics). Comparative studies have shown positive associations between the level of sperm competition and both relative testis size and the proportion of seminiferous (sperm-producing) tissue within the testes. However, it is unknown how the seminiferous tissue itself or the process of spermatogenesis might evolve in response to sperm competition. Therefore, we quantified the different germ cell types and Sertoli cells (SC) in testes to assess the efficiency of sperm production and its associations with sperm length and mating system across 10 species of New World Blackbirds (Icteridae) that show marked variation in sperm length and sperm competition level. We found that species under strong sperm competition generate more round spermatids (RS)/spermatogonium and have SC that support a greater number of germ cells, both of which are likely to increase the maximum sperm output. However, fewer of the RS appeared to elongate to mature spermatozoa in these species, which might be the result of selection for discarding spermatids with undesirable characteristics as they develop. Our results suggest that, in addition to overall size and gross morphology, testes have also evolved functional adaptations to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

  10. Large Whale Biology Survey (DE9908, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, N; Lien, J

    1989-07-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Pershing

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

  13. On the relative effect of spawning asynchrony, sperm quantity and sperm quality on paternity under sperm competition in an external fertilizer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torvald Blikra Egeland

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available How much of a fitness benefit is obtained by dominant males of external fertilizers from releasing ejaculates in synchrony with female egg-release when engaging in sperm competition, and what is the most important sperm trait for paternity in these situations? The Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus is an external fertilizer experiencing intense male-male competition over reproductive opportunities including sperm competition. To compensate for their disadvantage the sneaker males, which often spawn out of synchrony with the female, produce more and faster sperm than the guarding males. We used controlled in vitro fertilization trials with experimentally produced dominant and subordinate, sneaker males to test what effect relative synchrony in gamete release, sperm quality (i.e., motility and velocity and sperm quantity have on a male’s fertilization success in pair-wise sperm competitions. When the sneaker males released ejaculates after the guarding male there was no overall difference in fertilization success. The quality (i.e., motility and velocity of a male’s sperm relative to that of the competing male was the best predictor of male fertilization success regardless of their mating tactic and spawning synchrony. The relative number of sperm cells also had an effect on fertilization success, but mainly when the dominant and sneaker male ejaculated synchronously. Our close imitation of natural sperm competition in charr shows that the sneaker males of external fertilizing species may fully compensate for their disadvantaged mating role by producing ejaculates of higher quality - an adjustment strangely not met by dominants.

  14. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0107, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Northern Right Whale Survey (DE0306, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Effect of an isotonic lubricant on sperm collection and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Ashok; Malvezzi, Helena; Sharma, Rakesh

    2013-05-01

    To assess the influence of an isotonic lubricant used during sperm sample collection on [1] ease of collection and [2] resultant sperm quality. Paired randomized cross-over design. Tertiary hospital. Healthy men over 18 years old with normal semen analysis as per World Health Organization 2010 guidelines. Collection of semen sample from 22 subjects by masturbation with or without the use of Pre-Seed personal lubricant. Qualitative survey results and quantitative sperm function outcomes were measured to determine resultant sperm quality and collection experience with and without Pre-Seed lubricant. The qualitative questionnaire results showed that 73% of donors prefer the semen collection process with the isotonic lubricant and 55% recommended the use of lubricant in their everyday collection. The motility, viability, membrane integrity, levels of reactive oxygen species, total antioxidant capacity, and percentage of DNA damage in collected semen samples were not affected by the use of the lubricant. More donors prefer, and find it easier, to collect semen samples with the use of the lubricant. The isotonic lubricant Pre-Seed did not compromise sperm quality as evaluated in an array of sperm assays, suggesting its safe use in fertility patients as required during sperm collection. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  18. Whale-Watching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lande, Rivian

    1973-01-01

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

  19. Thermal Imaging and Biometrical Thermography of Humpback Whales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Travis W. Horton

    2017-12-01

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

  20. Different computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems highly influence sperm motility parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boryshpolets, S; Kowalski, R K; Dietrich, G J; Dzyuba, B; Ciereszko, A

    2013-10-15

    In this study, we examined different computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems (CRISMAS, Hobson Sperm Tracker, and Image J CASA) on the exact same video recordings to evaluate the differences in sperm motility parameters related to the specific CASA used. To cover a wide range of sperm motility parameters, we chose 12-second video recordings at 25 and 50 Hz frame rates after sperm motility activation using three taxonomically distinct fish species (sterlet: Acipenser ruthenus L.; common carp: Cyprinus carpio L.; and rainbow trout: Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum) that are characterized by essential differences in sperm behavior during motility. Systematically higher values of velocity and beat cross frequency (BCF) were observed in video recordings obtained at 50 Hz frame frequency compared with 25 Hz for all three systems. Motility parameters were affected by the CASA and species used for analyses. Image J and CRISMAS calculated higher curvilinear velocity (VCL) values for rainbow trout and common carp at 25 Hz frequency compared with the Hobson Sperm Tracker, whereas at 50 Hz, a significant difference was observed only for rainbow trout sperm recordings. No significant difference was observed between the CASA systems for sterlet sperm motility at 25 and 50 Hz. Additional analysis of 1-second segments taken at three time points (1, 6, and 12 seconds of the recording) revealed a dramatic decrease in common carp and rainbow trout sperm speed. The motility parameters of sterlet spermatozoa did not change significantly during the 12-second motility period and should be considered as a suitable model for longer motility analyses. Our results indicated that the CASA used can affect motility results even when the same motility recordings are used. These results could be critically altered by the recording quality, time of analysis, and frame rate of camera, and could result in erroneous conclusions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Killer whale (Orcinus orca photo-identification in the eastern Canadian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent G. Young

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We identified individual killer whales (Orcinus orca using recent (2004–09 photographs to obtain a minimum count of whales that use eastern Canadian Arctic waters. Fifty-three individuals were identified from nine different sightings; 11 individuals from western Hudson Bay sightings and 42 from the areas around northern and eastern Baffin Island. One whale was re-sighted: an adult female or large juvenile photographed 17 days and 375 km apart at Churchill, Manitoba, and off-shore of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, in August 2007. With only one individual re-sighted, the number of individuals that use this area is likely much larger. No re-sightings occurred between Arctic killer whales and individuals photographed off the coast of Newfoundland. Our results represent the minimum number of killer whales sighted in eastern Canadian Arctic waters and provide the foundation for further killer whale research. Little is known about Arctic killer whales and, as a top predator, it is unclear what effect they have on Arctic marine ecosystems.

  2. Passive acoustic detection of deep-diving beaked whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  3. The Effect of Glyphosate on Human Sperm Motility and Sperm DNA Fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Anifandis

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Glyphosate is the active ingredient of Roundup®, which is one of the most popular herbicides worldwide. Although many studies have focused on the reproductive toxicity of glyphosate or glyphosate-based herbicides, the majority of them have concluded that the effect of the specific herbicide is negligible, while only a few studies indicate the male reproductive toxicity of glyphosate alone. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 0.36 mg/L glyphosate on sperm motility and sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF. Thirty healthy men volunteered to undergo semen analysis for the purpose of the study. Sperm motility was calculated according to WHO 2010 guidelines at collection time (zero time and 1 h post-treatment with glyphosate. Sperm DNA fragmentation was evaluated with Halosperm® G2 kit for both the control and glyphosate-treated sperm samples. Sperm progressive motility of glyphosate-treated samples was significantly reduced after 1 h post-treatment in comparison to the respective controls, in contrast to the SDF of glyphosate-treated samples, which was comparable to the respective controls. Conclusively, under these in vitro conditions, at high concentrations that greatly exceed environmental exposures, glyphosate exerts toxic effects on sperm progressive motility but not on sperm DNA integrity, meaning that the toxic effect is limited only to motility, at least in the first hour.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flore Samaran

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Whale Heart

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Roman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbo, Signe; Fago, Angela

    2012-10-01

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

  10. Factors influencing boar sperm cryosurvival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca, J; Hernández, M; Carvajal, G; Vázquez, J M; Martínez, E A

    2006-10-01

    Optimal sperm cryopreservation is a prerequisite for the sustainable commercial application of frozen-thawed boar semen for AI. Three experiments were performed to identify factors influencing variability of postthaw sperm survival among 464 boar ejaculates. Sperm-rich ejaculate fractions were cryopre-served using a standard freezing-thawing procedure for 0.5-mL plastic straws and computer-controlled freezing equipment. Postthaw sperm motility (assessed with a computer-assisted semen analysis system) and viability (simultaneously probed by flow cytometry analysis after triple-fluorescent stain), evaluated 30 and 150 min postthaw, were used to estimate the success of cryopreservation. In the first experiment, 168 unselected ejaculates (1 ejaculate/boar), from boars of 6 breeds with a wide age range (8 to 48 mo), were cryopreserved over a 12-mo period to evaluate the predictive value of boar (breed and age), semen collection, transport variables (season of ejaculate collection, interval between collections, and ejaculate temperature exposure), initial semen traits, and sperm quality before freezing on sperm survival after freezing-thawing. In Exp. 2, 4 ejaculates from each of 29 boars, preselected according to their initial semen traits and sperm quality before freezing, were collected and frozen over a 6-mo period to evaluate the influence of interboar and intraboar ejaculate variability in the survival of sperm after cryopreservation. In Exp. 3, 12 ejaculates preselected as for Exp. 2, from each of 15 boars with known good sperm cryosurvival, were collected and frozen over a 12-mo period to estimate the sustainability of sperm cryosurvival between ejaculates over time. Boar and semen collection and transport variables were not predictive of sperm cryosurvival among ejaculates. Initial semen traits and sperm quality variables observed before freezing explained 23.2 and 10.9%, respectively, of the variation in postthaw sperm motility and viability. However, more that

  11. Ascidian Sperm Lysin System

    OpenAIRE

    Hitoshi, Sawada; Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University

    2002-01-01

    Fertilization is a precisely controlled process involving many gamete molecules in sperm binding to and penetration through the extracellular matrix of the egg. After sperm bind to the extracellular matrix (vitelline coat), they undergo the acrosome reaction which exposes and partially releases a lytic agent called "lysin" to digest the vitelline coat for the sperm penetration. The vitelline coat sperm lysin is generally a protease in deuterostomes. The molecular mechanism of the actual degra...

  12. Seasonal changes in reproductive activity, sperm variables and sperm freezability in Blanca Andaluza bucks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Gallego-Calvo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Interest in the preservation of endangered breeds such as the Blanca Andaluza goat, has increased and some steps should be therefore taken to ensure it. The study was designed to determine the seasonal reproductive pattern of Blanca Andaluza bucks, and whether this affects the quality of their semen and its freezability over the year. Seven bucks were used and their body weight, testicular weight, plasma testosterone concentration and fresh sperm quality determined every week. The collected sperm was cryopreserved and stored; it was then thawed and the same sperm quality variables measured every fortnight. High plasma testosterone concentrations were recorded during the summer and autumn, and low concentrations were recorded during winter and spring (p<0.001. No differences were seen between seasons in terms of the percentage of bucks ejaculating, the percentage of active bucks, or ejaculate volume. However, the sperm concentration, the total number of sperm per ejaculate, and the values for most fresh sperm variables were lower during the winter period (at least p<0.05. After freezing-thawing, the quality of winter-collected sperm was better, in some respects, than that of summer-collected sperm (at least p<0.05. These results reveal that Blanca Andaluza bucks show seasonal reproductive activity in terms of their plasma testosterone concentration, but no clear change in their sexual behaviour between seasons was observed. The values of fresh sperm variables also vary over the year, reaching their lowest during winter. However, after freezing-thawing, winter-collected sperm is of overall better quality than sperm collected during the summer.

  13. Seasonal changes in reproductive activity, sperm variables and sperm freezability in Blanca Andaluza bucks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallego-Calvo, L.; Gatica, M.C.; Santiago-Moreno, J.; Guzmán, J.L.; Zarazaga, L.

    2015-07-01

    Interest in the preservation of endangered breeds such as the Blanca Andaluza goat, has increased and some steps should be therefore taken to ensure it. The study was designed to determine the seasonal reproductive pattern of Blanca Andaluza bucks, and whether this affects the quality of their semen and its freezability over the year. Seven bucks were used and their body weight, testicular weight, plasma testosterone concentration and fresh sperm quality determined every week. The collected sperm was cryopreserved and stored; it was then thawed and the same sperm quality variables measured every fortnight. High plasma testosterone concentrations were recorded during the summer and autumn, and low concentrations were recorded during winter and spring (p<0.001). No differences were seen between seasons in terms of the percentage of bucks ejaculating, the percentage of active bucks, or ejaculate volume. However, the sperm concentration, the total number of sperm per ejaculate, and the values for most fresh sperm variables were lower during the winter period (at least p<0.05). After freezing-thawing, the quality of winter-collected sperm was better, in some respects, than that of summer-collected sperm (at least p<0.05). These results reveal that Blanca Andaluza bucks show seasonal reproductive activity in terms of their plasma testosterone concentration, but no clear change in their sexual behaviour between seasons was observed. The values of fresh sperm variables also vary over the year, reaching their lowest during winter. However, after freezing-thawing, winter-collected sperm is of overall better quality than sperm collected during the summer. (Author)

  14. Evolutionary of history of North Pacific Humpback Whales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  15. Phenotypic plasticity in sperm traits in scorpionflies (Mecoptera : Panorpidae): Consequences of larval history and seasonality on sperm length and sperm transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, Andreas; Engels, Sierk; Engqvist, Leif; Sauer, Klaus Peter

    2009-01-01

    We examined effects of seasonality, larval food availability and larval rearing density on sperm length, sperm transfer rates and body size in the bivoltine scorpionfly Panorpa vulgaris. Males of the first annual generation were larger and had larger sperm. Comparing individuals of two summer

  16. Sperm preparation for fertilization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gadella, B.M.

    2014-01-01

    Description This book contains 19 chapters that discuss theoretical and applied andrology for domestic, zoo and wild animals. Topics include semen and its constituents; sperm production and harvest; determinants of sperm morphology; sperm preparation for fertilization; practical aspects of semen

  17. Sperm fractions obtained following density gradient centrifugation in human ejaculates show differences in sperm DNA longevity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Gosálvez

    2014-06-01

    Conclusion: 1 Unnecessary incubation of spermatozoa prior to artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, should be avoided, since sperm DNA longevity is significantly reduced after ex vivo sperm handling and 2 Although sperm selection by DCG significantly reduces the baseline levels of SDF of sperm in Fraction 3, sperm DNA longevity in this fraction was ultimately lower following 24 h incubation when compared to sperm recovered from non-centrifuged NSS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. Influence of Post-Mortem Sperm Recovery Method and Extender on Unstored and Refrigerated Rooster Sperm Variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villaverde-Morcillo, S; Esteso, M C; Castaño, C; Santiago-Moreno, J

    2016-02-01

    Many post-mortem sperm collection techniques have been described for mammalian species, but their use in birds is scarce. This paper compares the efficacy of two post-mortem sperm retrieval techniques - the flushing and float-out methods - in the collection of rooster sperm, in conjunction with the use of two extenders, i.e., L&R-84 medium and Lake 7.1 medium. To determine whether the protective effects of these extenders against refrigeration are different for post-mortem and ejaculated sperm, pooled ejaculated samples (procured via the massage technique) were also diluted in the above extenders. Post-mortem and ejaculated sperm variables were assessed immediately at room temperature (0 h), and after refrigeration at 5°C for 24 and 48 h. The flushing method retrieved more sperm than the float-out method (596.5 ± 75.4 million sperm vs 341.0 ± 87.6 million sperm; p < 0.05); indeed, the number retrieved by the former method was similar to that obtained by massage-induced ejaculation (630.3 ± 78.2 million sperm). For sperm collected by all methods, the L&R-84 medium provided an advantage in terms of sperm motility variables at 0 h. In the refrigerated sperm samples, however, the Lake 7.1 medium was associated with higher percentages of viable sperm, and had a greater protective effect (p < 0.05) with respect to most motility variables. In conclusion, the flushing method is recommended for collecting sperm from dead birds. If this sperm needs to be refrigerated at 5°C until analysis, Lake 7.1 medium is recommended as an extender. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  20. More Pitfalls with Sperm Viability Staining and a Viability-Based Stress Test to Characterize Sperm Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A. Eckel

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Sperm viability (SV, the proportion of live sperm in a sample, is a widely applied measure of sperm quality but few studies test its robustness. At least three reasons make SV problematic as a surrogate for sperm quality. First, reviewing the ecological literature revealed that previously identified methodological pitfalls have not been overcome, including low cross-study standardization of protocols, inadequate statistical treatment, and unaccounted for within-sample heterogeneity. Second, SV is affected by biological variation such as between species, reproductive organs, or sperm age cohorts. Third, the proportion of live sperm extracted from males appears more related to male than to sperm quality in the sense of the future performance of sperm. We propose an alternative method to assess sperm quality by characterizing the temporal decrease of SV in a stressor medium and illustrate in two species, the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius and the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster how some common methodological pitfalls may be circumvented. Our data empirically support the well-known but little-considered facts that (i non-blind measurements may alter SV and (ii that SV frequently have non-significant repeatability within one sample. (iii Cross-sectional sampling of ejaculates showed that this heterogeneity even masked a biological pattern—the sperm stratification within males. We show (iv that this shortcoming can be overcome by following the temporal decline of SV of a sperm subsample in a stress test. Finally, (v comparing the staining pattern of sperm between Cimex and Drosophila, we found that in the latter, the visibility of sperm is substantially delayed (30 min when sperm density is high. We show that this delay in stained sperm visibility was, however, not biased toward dead or live sperm. To measure sperm quality, we advocate analyzing the temporal decline in SV in a stressor medium over current protocols that use SV per se and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-12

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

  2. Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-12-31

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

  5. Cryopreservation of microencapsulated canine sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Shambhu; Otsuki, Tsubasa; Fujimura, Chika; Yamamoto, Naoki; Yamashita, Yasuhisa; Higaki, Shogo; Hishinuma, Mitsugu

    2011-03-01

    The objective was to develop a method for cryopreserving microencapsulated canine sperm. Pooled ejaculates from three beagle dogs were extended in egg yolk tris extender and encapsulated using alginate and poly-L-lysine at room temperature. The microcapsules were cooled at 4 °C, immersed in pre-cooled extender (equivalent in volume to the microcapsules) to reach final concentration of 7% (v/v) glycerol and 0.75% (v/v) Equex STM paste, and equilibrated for 5, 30 and 60 min at 4 °C. Thereafter, microcapsules were loaded into 0.5 mL plastic straws and frozen in liquid nitrogen. In Experiment 1, characteristics of microencapsulated canine sperm were evaluated after glycerol addition at 4 °C. Glycerol exposure for 5, 30 and 60 min did not significantly affect progressive motility, viability, or acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm compared with pre-cooled unencapsulated sperm (control). In Experiment 2, characteristics of frozen-thawed canine microencapsulated sperm were evaluated at 0, 3, 6, and 9 h of culture at 38.5 °C. Pre-freeze glycerol exposure for 5, 30, and 60 min at 4 °C did not influence post-thaw quality in unencapsulated sperm. Post-thaw motility and acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm decreased more than those of unencapsulated sperm (P < 0.05) following glycerol exposure for 5 min. However, motility, viability and acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm after 30 and 60 min glycerol exposure were higher than unencapsulated sperm cultured for 6 or 9 h (P < 0.05). In conclusion, since microencapsulated canine sperm were successfully cryopreserved, this could be a viable alternative to convention sperm cryopreservation in this species. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, Ken P; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Kirkman, Stephen P; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S; Kotze, Pieter G H; McCue, Steven A; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding events

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Long-term resightings of humpback whales off Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natacha Aguilar de Soto

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  14. Ovarian fluid mediates the temporal decline in sperm viability in a fish with sperm storage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clelia Gasparini

    Full Text Available A loss of sperm viability and functionality during sperm transfer and storage within the female reproductive tract can have important fitness implications by disrupting fertilization and impairing offspring development and survival. Consequently, mechanisms that mitigate the temporal decline in sperm function are likely to be important targets of selection. In many species, ovarian fluid is known to regulate and maintain sperm quality. In this paper, we use the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a highly polyandrous freshwater fish exhibiting internal fertilization and sperm storage, to determine whether ovarian fluid (OF influences the decline in sperm viability (the proportion of live sperm in the ejaculate over time and whether any observed effects depend on male sexual ornamentation. To address these questions we used a paired experimental design in which ejaculates from individual males were tested in vitro both in presence and absence of OF. Our results revealed that the temporal decline in sperm viability was significantly reduced in the presence of OF compared to a saline control. This finding raises the intriguing possibility that OF may play a role in mediating the decline in sperm quality due to the deleterious effects of sperm ageing, although other possible explanations for this observation are discussed. Interestingly, we also show that the age-related decline in sperm viability was contingent on male sexual ornamentation; males with relatively high levels of iridescence (indicating higher sexual attractiveness exhibited a more pronounced decline in sperm viability over time than their less ornamented counterparts. This latter finding offers possible insights into the functional basis for the previously observed trade-off between these key components of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa-Marie Leclerc

    2011-06-01

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

  16. Effect of transfection and co-incubation of bovine sperm with exogenous DNA on sperm quality and functional parameters for its use in sperm-mediated gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, María Elena; Sánchez-Villalba, Esther; Delgado, Andrea; Felmer, Ricardo

    2017-02-01

    Sperm-mediated gene transfer (SMGT) is based on the capacity of sperm to bind exogenous DNA and transfer it into the oocyte during fertilization. In bovines, the progress of this technology has been slow due to the poor reproducibility and efficiency of the production of transgenic embryos. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of different sperm transfection systems on the quality and functional parameters of sperm. Additionally, the ability of sperm to bind and incorporate exogenous DNA was assessed. These analyses were carried out by flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence microscopy, and motility parameters were also evaluated by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Transfection was carried out using complexes of plasmid DNA with Lipofectamine, SuperFect and TurboFect for 0.5, 1, 2 or 4 h. The results showed that all of the transfection treatments promoted sperm binding and incorporation of exogenous DNA, similar to sperm incorporation of DNA alone, without affecting the viability. Nevertheless, the treatments and incubation times significantly affected the motility parameters, although no effect on the integrity of DNA or the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed. Additionally, we observed that transfection using SuperFect and TurboFect negatively affected the acrosome integrity, and TurboFect affected the mitochondrial membrane potential of sperm. In conclusion, we demonstrated binding and incorporation of exogenous DNA by sperm after transfection and confirmed the capacity of sperm to spontaneously incorporate exogenous DNA. These findings will allow the establishment of the most appropriate method [intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF)] of generating transgenic embryos via SMGT based on the fertilization capacity of transfected sperm.

  17. 50 CFR 229.32 - Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tervo, Outi; Christoffersen, Mads; FØrasier, Timothy

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Tatar

    2014-12-01

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

  20. 33 CFR 117.927 - Coosaw River (Whale Branch).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Changes in Sperm Motility and Capacitation Induce Chromosomal Aberration of the Bovine Embryo following Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoku Kato

    Full Text Available Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI has become the method of choice to treat human male infertility. One of the outstanding problems associated with this technique is our current lack of knowledge concerning the effect of sperm capacitation and motility upon the subsequent development of oocytes following ICSI. In the present study, we first examined the capacitation state of sperm exhibiting normal motility, along with sperm that had been activated, and examined the effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS produced by these sperm types upon embryogenesis following bovine in vitro fertilization (IVF and ICSI. Data showed that activated sperm reduced the chromosomal integrity of IVF/ICSI embryos at the blastocyst stage, while capacitated sperm produced ROS in capacitation media. Secondly, we treated sperm with carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazine (CCCP, a chemical known to uncouple cell respiration within the mitochondria, and investigated the effect of this treatment upon blastocyst formation and chromosomal integrity at the blastocyst stage. Activated sperm in which the mitochondria had been treated with CCCP reduced levels of chromosomal aberration at the blastocyst stage following ICSI, by reducing mitochondrial activity in activated sperm. In conclusion, these findings suggest that capacitated sperm exhibiting activated motility induced chromosomal aberration during development to the blastocyst stage following ICSI. The injection of sperm exhibiting normal motility, or activated sperm in which mitochondrial activity had been reduced, improved the quality of ICSI-derived embryos. Therefore, the selection of sperm exhibiting progressive motility may not always be better for early embryo development and fetal growth following human ICSI, and that the use of a bovine model may contribute to a deeper understanding of sperm selection for human ICSI embryo development.

  3. Low Sperm Count

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... that the fluid (semen) you ejaculate during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. A low sperm ... ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out of the tip of ...

  4. Effects of fishing rope strength on the severity of large whale entanglements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowlton, Amy R; Robbins, Jooke; Landry, Scott; McKenna, Henry A; Kraus, Scott D; Werner, Timothy B

    2016-04-01

    Entanglement in fixed fishing gear affects whales worldwide. In the United States, deaths of North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have exceeded management limits for decades. We examined live and dead whales entangled in fishing gear along the U.S. East Coast and the Canadian Maritimes from 1994 to 2010. We recorded whale species, age, and injury severity and determined rope polymer type, breaking strength, and diameter of the fishing gear. For the 132 retrieved ropes from 70 cases, tested breaking strength range was 0.80-39.63 kN (kiloNewtons) and the mean was 11.64 kN (SD 8.29), which is 26% lower than strength at manufacture (range 2.89-53.38 kN, mean = 15.70 kN [9.89]). Median rope diameter was 9.5 mm. Right and humpback whales were found in ropes with significantly stronger breaking strengths at time of manufacture than minke whales (Balaenoptera acuturostrata) (19.30, 17.13, and 10.47 mean kN, respectively). Adult right whales were found in stronger ropes (mean 34.09 kN) than juvenile right whales (mean 15.33 kN) and than all humpback whale age classes (mean 17.37 kN). For right whales, severity of injuries increased since the mid 1980s, possibly due to changes in rope manufacturing in the mid 1990s that resulted in production of stronger ropes at the same diameter. Our results suggest that broad adoption of ropes with breaking strengths of ≤ 7.56 kN (≤ 1700 lbsf) could reduce the number of life-threatening entanglements for large whales by at least 72%, and yet could provide sufficient strength to withstand the routine forces involved in many fishing operations. A reduction of this magnitude would achieve nearly all the mitigation legally required for U.S. stocks of North Atlantic right and humpback whales. Ropes with reduced breaking strength should be developed and tested to determine the feasibility of their use in a variety of fisheries. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Assessing the Performance of Omni-Directional Receivers for Passive Acoustic Detection of Vocalizing Odontocetes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Daziens, John

    2004-01-01

    ...: 2 orca and 2 pilot whale whistles and sperm whale and Risso's dolphin clicks. Several hundred iterations of each signal were broadcast from R/V Point Sur at stations 300 m to 12,000 m from the range's moored three-element...

  8. 75 FR 68756 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Petition Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Pomilla

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

  12. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken P Findlay

    Full Text Available Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens, hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii, mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015 identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude

  13. Milk proteins interact with goat Binder of SPerm (BSP) proteins and decrease their binding to sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Menezes, Erika Bezerra; van Tilburg, Mauricio; Plante, Geneviève; de Oliveira, Rodrigo V; Moura, Arlindo A; Manjunath, Puttaswamy

    2016-11-01

    Seminal plasma Binder of SPerm (BSP) proteins bind to sperm at ejaculation and promote capacitation. When in excess, however, BSP proteins damage the sperm membrane. It has been suggested that milk components of semen extenders associate with BSP proteins, potentially protecting sperm. Thus, this study was conducted to investigate if milk proteins interact with BSP proteins and reduce BSP binding to goat sperm. Using gel filtration chromatography, milk was incubated with goat seminal plasma proteins and loaded onto columns with and without calcium. Milk was also fractionated into parts containing mostly whey proteins or mostly caseins, incubated with seminal plasma proteins and subjected to gel filtration. Eluted fractions were evaluated by immunoblot using anti-goat BSP antibodies, confirming milk protein-BSP protein interactions. As determined by ELISA, milk proteins coated on polystyrene wells bound to increasing of goat BSP proteins. Far-western dot blots confirmed that BSP proteins bound to caseins and β-lactoglobulin in a concentration-dependent manner. Then, cauda epididymal sperm from five goats was incubated with seminal plasma; seminal plasma followed by milk; and milk followed by seminal plasma. Sperm membrane proteins were extracted and evaluated by immunoblotting. The pattern of BSP binding to sperm membrane proteins was reduced by 59.3 % when epididymal sperm were incubated with seminal plasma and then with skimmed milk (p  0.05). In conclusion, goat BSP proteins have an affinity for caseins and whey proteins. Milk reduces BSP binding to goat sperm, depending whether or not sperm had been previously exposed to seminal plasma. Such events may explain the protective effect of milk during goat sperm preservation.

  14. Heavy metals in tissues of stranded short-finned pilot whales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoneburner, D.L.

    1978-01-01

    Selected tissues from four short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Cumberland Island National Seashore were analyzed for total cadmium, mercury and selenium by neutron activation. Cadmium reached a maximum mean wet weight concentration of 31.4 ppm in the kidney tissues. Maximum mean wet weight concentrations of mercury, 230.9 ppm, and selenium, 44.2 ppm, were found in the liver tissues. The lowest concentration of each metal was found in the blubber. Postmortem examination showed that the whales had no food in their stomachs. The whales must have been utilizing metabolic reserves, contaminated with residual concentrations of heavy metals, prior to beaching. This utilization of reserves probably resulted in the high concentrations of cadmium, mercury and selenium found in the liver and kidney tissues. Since the heavy metal concentrations were three to four times greater in the stranded whales, as compared to apparently healthy whales of the same species, it is suggested that heavy metal toxicosis may have been a factor contributing to this particular stranding. (Auth.)

  15. Climate Change and Baleen Whale Trophic Cascades in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Presence and function of dopamine transporter (DAT in stallion sperm: dopamine modulates sperm motility and acrosomal integrity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier A Urra

    Full Text Available Dopamine is a catecholamine with multiple physiological functions, playing a key role in nervous system; however its participation in reproductive processes and sperm physiology is controversial. High dopamine concentrations have been reported in different portions of the feminine and masculine reproductive tract, although the role fulfilled by this catecholamine in reproductive physiology is as yet unknown. We have previously shown that dopamine type 2 receptor is functional in boar sperm, suggesting that dopamine acts as a physiological modulator of sperm viability, capacitation and motility. In the present study, using immunodetection methods, we revealed the presence of several proteins important for the dopamine uptake and signalling in mammalian sperm, specifically monoamine transporters as dopamine (DAT, serotonin (SERT and norepinephrine (NET transporters in equine sperm. We also demonstrated for the first time in equine sperm a functional dopamine transporter using 4-[4-(Dimethylaminostyryl]-N-methylpyridinium iodide (ASP(+, as substrate. In addition, we also showed that dopamine (1 mM treatment in vitro, does not affect sperm viability but decreases total and progressive sperm motility. This effect is reversed by blocking the dopamine transporter with the selective inhibitor vanoxerine (GBR12909 and non-selective inhibitors of dopamine reuptake such as nomifensine and bupropion. The effect of dopamine in sperm physiology was evaluated and we demonstrated that acrosome integrity and thyrosine phosphorylation in equine sperm is significantly reduced at high concentrations of this catecholamine. In summary, our results revealed the presence of monoamine transporter DAT, NET and SERT in equine sperm, and that the dopamine uptake by DAT can regulate sperm function, specifically acrosomal integrity and sperm motility.

  18. Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process.

  19. Winter and spring diving behavior of bowhead whales relative to prey

    KAUST Repository

    Heide-Jørgensen, Mads

    2013-10-23

    Background Little is known about bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) foraging behavior and what concentrations of prey are required to balance the energetic trade-offs of feeding. We used satellite telemetry, archival depth recorders, and water column echo sounding data to study bowhead whale diving behavior relative to prey depth and concentration in Disko Bay, West Greenland. Results Between March and May 2008 to 2011, nine bowhead whales were tagged in Disko Bay, West Greenland with instruments that collected data on location and diving over a period of 1 to 33 days. The frequency of U-dives (presumed to be foraging dives) was low during winter months but more than doubled in spring concurrent with a decrease in diving depth. The mean speed of the horizontal bottom phase of the U-dives was 0.9 ms-1 and on average, whales spent 37% of their time at the bottom phase of the dive. In March, bowhead whales presumably fed on copepods (Calanus spp.) close to the seabed (between 100 and 400 m). In April and May, after the copepods ascended to shallower depths, bowhead whales also dove to shallower depths (approximately 30 m) more often. However, echo sounding surveys in the vicinity of feeding whales in early May indicated that patches of copepods could still be found close to the seabed. Conclusions There was a marked change in diving behavior from winter through spring and this was likely in response to the changes in sea ice conditions, primary production and potential copepod abundance in the upper part of the water column. Depth and duration of dives changed significantly during this period; however, other dive parameters (for example the proportion of time spent feeding on the bottom of U-dives) remained fairly constant indicating a constant feeding effort. Bowhead whales target copepods at or close to the seabed in winter months in Disko Bay and continue feeding on copepods when they migrate to the surface. However, bowhead whales leave West Greenland before peak

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. An immunological approach of sperm sexing and different methods for identification of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiv Kumar Yadav

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Separation of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm has been practiced for selection of desired sex of offspring to increase the profit in livestock industries. At present, fluorescence-activated cell sorter is the only successful method for separation of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm. This technology is based on the differences in DNA content between these two types of sperm and has been commercialized for bovine sperm. However, this technology still has problems in terms of high economic cost, sperm damage, and lower pregnancy rates compared to unsorted semen. Therefore, an inexpensive, convenient, and non-invasive approach for sperm sexing would be of benefit to agricultural sector. Within this perspective, immunological sperm sexing method is one of the attractive choices to separate X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm. This article reviews the current knowledge about immunological approaches, viz., H-Y antigen, sex-specific antigens, and differentially expressed proteins for sperm sexing. Moreover, this review also highlighted the different methods for identification of X- and Y-sperm.

  2. Confocal fluorescence microscopy in a murine model of microdissection testicular sperm extraction to improve sperm retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ryan P; Lowe, Greg J; Kavoussi, Parviz K; Steers, William D; Costabile, Raymond A; Herr, John C; Shetty, Jagathpala; Lysiak, Jeffrey J

    2012-05-01

    Microdissection testicular sperm extraction markedly improves the sperm retrieval rates in men with nonobstructive azoospermia. However, localizing sperm foci can be time-consuming and it is not always successful. Fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy offers the advantage of rapid in vivo detection of fluorescently labeled sperm in the seminiferous tubules. After establishing the feasibility of fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy to identify antibody labeled sperm in vivo C57/B6 mice underwent intraperitoneal injection of busulfan to induce azoospermia. During spermatogenesis reestablishment at approximately 16 weeks the mice were anesthetized and the testes were delivered through a low midline incision. Fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled antibody to intra-acrosomal protein Hs-14 was injected retrograde into a single murine rete testis. The testes were imaged in vivo with fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy and sperm foci were detected. The respective seminiferous tubules were excised and squash prepared for immunofluorescence microscopy. Sperm foci were identified in the testis injected with fluorescently tagged antibody by in vivo fiberoptic confocal fluorescence microscopy. The contralateral control testis of each mouse showed no specific signal. Immunofluorescence microscopy of the excised tubules provided morphological confirmation of the presence of labeled sperm with an absence in controls. Findings were consistent in the feasibility portion of the study and in the busulfan model of nonobstructive azoospermia. Fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy was feasible during microdissection testicular sperm extraction in an azoospermic mouse model to identify fluorescently labeled sperm in vivo. Translation to the clinical setting could decrease operative time and improve the sperm harvest rate. Copyright © 2012 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-30

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

  4. Sperm DNA fragmentation in boars is delayed or abolished by using sperm extenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Llano, Begoña; Enciso, María; García-Casado, Pedro; Sala, Rubén; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2006-12-01

    The semen quality of seven young adult boars was assessed for percentages of sperm motility, normal acrosomes, abnormal sperm, cells positive to sHOST (short Hipoosmotic Swelling Test), HPNA cells (sHOST Positive with Normal Acrosome cells) and the percentage of sperm heads, which exhibited DNA fragmentation using the Sperm Chromatin Dispersion test (SCD). These parameters were analysed in sperm samples both undiluted and diluted using a commercial extender and stored at 15 degrees C for 21 days. Results showed that semen quality decreases faster in the undiluted semen samples from day 0 to day 7 compared to diluted semen samples that remained with a high quality up to day 11. The undiluted semen exhibited a low DNA fragmentation index (DFI) during the first days and then a significant increase from day 7 up to day 21. This increase in the DFI coincided with the lowest levels of the other semen quality parameters. On the contrary, the samples diluted in the commercial extender showed very low levels of DNA fragmentation in all boars during the preservation period. When the evolution of DNA fragmentation was analysed in the undiluted samples, differences were found among boars. These differences were not shown in the samples diluted in the extender where the basal DFI remained stable during the 21 days. The main conclusion of this study was that some sperm extenders delay or partially prevent sperm DNA fragmentation.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Hozumi, Aya

    2018-03-28

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lavenia Ratnarajah

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

  8. Severe Fertility Effects of sheepish Sperm Caused by Failure To Enter Female Sperm Storage Organs in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Tomaru

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In Drosophila, mature sperm are transferred from males to females during copulation, stored in the sperm storage organs of females, and then utilized for fertilization. Here, we report a gene named sheepish (shps of Drosophila melanogaster that is essential for sperm storage in females. shps mutant males, although producing morphologically normal and motile sperm that are effectively transferred to females, produce very few offspring. Direct counts of sperm indicated that the primary defect was correlated to failure of shps sperm to migrate into the female sperm storage organs. Increased sperm motion parameters were seen in the control after transfer to females, whereas sperm from shps males have characteristics of the motion parameters different from the control. The few sperm that occasionally entered the female sperm storage organs showed no obvious defects in fertilization and early embryo development. The female postmating responses after copulation with shps males appeared normal, at least with respect to conformational changes of uterus, mating plug formation, and female remating rates. The shps gene encodes a protein with homology to amine oxidases, including as observed in mammals, with a transmembrane region at the C-terminal end. The shps mutation was characterized by a nonsense replacement in the third exon of CG13611, and shps was rescued by transformants of the wild-type copy of CG13611. Thus, shps may define a new class of gene responsible for sperm storage.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Finn; Hammond, P.S.

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Sperm-macrophage interaction in the mouse: a quantitative assay in vitro using 111indium oxine-labeled sperm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olive, D.L.; Weinberg, J.B.; Haney, A.F.

    1987-01-01

    The role of reproductive tract macrophages in contraception and reproductive failure has become widely recognized. However, in vitro analysis of sperm phagocytosis by macrophages has relied upon a semi-quantitative method of sperm counting that is of limited accuracy and reproducibility. We have developed an assay using murine sperm labeled with 111 indium oxine, and results indicate the labeling to be rapid and efficient. Incorporation of 111 indium into sperm increased the dose and sperm concentration and reached 90% maximal uptake after 15 min incubation, with maximal uptake occurring at 30 min. No decrease in sperm motility was noted with levels of oxine in excess of those required for significant labeling. Maximal labeling efficiency occurred in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), with Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) + 10% adult bovine serum (ABS) producing significantly less uptake. Label dissociation was detectable in PBS at room temperature, but at 37 degrees C in DMEM + 10% ABS, loss of label occurred at a rate of 23.5%/h. Addition of labeled sperm to murine macrophage monolayers under optimal conditions resulted in uptake of 111 indium by macrophages, while free label was unincorporated. Results indicated assay specificity for macrophage-limited uptake, with insignificant label uptake by nonphagocytic murine fibroblasts and better sensitivity than sperm counting. Macrophages from Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG)-infected mice resulted in a decrease in sperm uptake. Female macrophages showed greater capacity for sperm uptake than those of the male mouse. These initial studies demonstrated the utility of this model system in enhancing the understanding of sperm-macrophage interaction in the female reproductive tract

  11. Sperm origins and concentration do not impact the clinical outcomes in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Cen; Zhou, Ze-Hong; Zheng, Dan-Ni; Xu, Xiao-Fei; Huang, Jin; Lian, Ying; Qiao, Jie

    2018-05-25

    In the present study, we evaluated the impact of sperm origins and concentration on the clinical outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. A total of 1201 ICSI cycles were retrospectively analyzed for male azoospermia or oligozoospermia between January 2015 and December 2015 in the Peking University Third Hospital. Patients were divided into three groups (Group 1 vs Group 2/3; surgically extracted sperm vs ejaculated sperms): Group 1 included 343 ICSI cycles and Group 2 analyzed 388 cycles on semen with sperm concentration cycles with sperm concentration between 5 × 10 6 ml -1 and 15 × 10 6 ml -1 (mild oligozoospermia group). Fertilization rates, clinical pregnancy rates, and live birth rates were analyzed and compared among groups of different semen origins and concentrations on the oocyte retrieval day. Group 2 showed a lower fertilization rate than Group 3 (62.9% ± 21.6% vs 66.8% ± 22.1%,Pcycles.

  12. Analysis of sperm quality in recombinant inbred mouse strains: correlation of sperm head shape with sperm abnormalities and with the incidence of supplementary spermatozoa in the perivitelline space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krzanowska, H; Styrna, J; Wabik-Sliz, B

    1995-07-01

    Recombinant inbred strains were developed from reciprocal crosses between two inbred strains of mice (CBA and KE) differing in sperm head shape, proportion of normal sperm heads (CBA, 95%; KE, 78%) and fertilization efficiency (CBA, 100% of fertilized ova; KE, 72%), to determine whether the indices of sperm morphology and function were correlated. The following parameters were analysed in recombinant inbred and progenitor strains: index of sperm head shape (head width in the middle of its length/head length), percentage of abnormal sperm heads, percentage of spermatozoa with progressive movements, efficiency of penetration of hyaluronic acid polymer (Sperm Select) and percentage of fertilized ova after mating males from the tested strains with females from an outbred stock. For each investigated character, recombinant inbred strains, recombinant inbred EXCB and CBXE, could be divided into at least three categories: KE-like, CBA-like and intermediate, suggesting that in each case a minimum of two genes was involved. Recombinant strains derived from the reciprocal crosses of progenitor strains differed only with respect to the proportion of abnormal sperm heads, showing the involvement of the Y chromosome in determining this character. Penetration into Sperm Select was significantly correlated both with fertilization efficiency and sperm motility, while correlation with the proportion of normal spermatozoa did not reach the level of significance. However, there was a significant negative correlation of both sperm abnormalities and the incidence of supplementary spermatozoa in the perivitelline space with the index of sperm head shape.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  13. Impacts of ocean acidification on sperm develop with exposure time for a polychaete with long lived sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Anna L; Ellis, Robert P; Urbina, Mauricio A; Mourabit, Sulayman; Galloway, Tamara S; Lewis, Ceri

    2017-08-01

    The majority of marine invertebrate species release eggs and sperm into seawater for external fertilisation. Seawater conditions are currently changing at an unprecedented rate as a consequence of ocean acidification (OA). Sperm are thought to be particularly vulnerable to these changes and may be exposed to external environmental conditions for variable periods of time between spawning and fertilisation. Here, we undertook a mechanistic investigation of sperm swimming performance in the coastal polychaete Arenicola marina during an extended exposure to OA conditions (pH NBS 7.77, 1000 μatm pCO 2 ). We found that key fitness-related aspects of sperm functioning declined faster under OA conditions i.e. impacts became apparent with exposure time. Sperm swimming speed (VCL), the number of motile sperm and sperm path linearity all dropped significantly after 4 h under OA conditions whilst remaining constant under ambient conditions at this time point. Our results highlight the importance of sperm exposure duration in ocean acidification experiments and may help towards explaining species specific differences in response. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Sperm competition in bats.

    OpenAIRE

    Hosken, D J

    1997-01-01

    Sperm competition is a widespread phenomenon influencing the evolution of male anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Bats are an ideal group for studying sperm competition. Females store fertile sperm for up to 200 days and the size of social groups varies from single animals to groups of hundreds of thousands. This study examines the relationship between social group size and investment in spermatogenesis across 31 species of microchiropteran bat using new and published data on testis mass and ...

  15. 76 FR 43985 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the Sei Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

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

  16. Collisions between Whales and Fast Ferries around Korean Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Jun Song

    2013-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  3. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.; Armstrong, A. J.; Pierce, S. J.; Prebble, C. E. M.; Cagua, E. F.; Cochran, J. E. M.; Berumen, Michael L.; Richardson, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  4. Whale sharks target dense prey patches of sergestid shrimp off Tanzania

    KAUST Repository

    Rohner, C. A.

    2015-03-17

    Large planktivores require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable. This is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas, such as whale sharks Rhincodon typus. Here, we characterize zooplankton biomass, size structure and taxonomic composition from whale shark feeding events and background samples at Mafia Island, Tanzania. The majority of whale sharks were feeding (73%, 380 of 524 observations), with the most common behaviour being active surface feeding (87%). We used 20 samples collected from immediately adjacent to feeding sharks and an additional 202 background samples for comparison to show that plankton biomass was ∼10 times higher in patches where whale sharks were feeding (25 vs. 2.6 mg m-3). Taxonomic analyses of samples showed that the large sergestid Lucifer hanseni (∼10 mm) dominated while sharks were feeding, accounting for ∼50% of identified items, while copepods (<2 mm) dominated background samples. The size structure was skewed towards larger animals representative of L.hanseni in feeding samples. Thus, whale sharks at Mafia Island target patches of dense, large, zooplankton dominated by sergestids. Large planktivores, such as whale sharks, which generally inhabit warm oligotrophic waters, aggregate in areas where they can feed on dense prey to obtain sufficient energy. © 2015 © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  5. Organization and distribution of glomeruli in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takushi Kishida

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Although modern baleen whales (Mysticeti retain a functional olfactory system that includes olfactory bulbs, cranial nerve I and olfactory receptor genes, their olfactory capabilities have been reduced to a great degree. This reduction likely occurred as a selective response to their fully aquatic lifestyle. The glomeruli that occur in the olfactory bulb can be divided into two non-overlapping domains, a dorsal domain and a ventral domain. Recent molecular studies revealed that all modern whales have lost olfactory receptor genes and marker genes that are specific to the dorsal domain. Here we show that olfactory bulbs of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus lack glomeruli on the dorsal side, consistent with the molecular data. In addition, we estimate that there are more than 4,000 glomeruli elsewhere in the bowhead whale olfactory bulb, which is surprising given that bowhead whales possess only 80 intact olfactory receptor genes. Olfactory sensory neurons that express the same olfactory receptors in rodents generally project to two specific glomeruli in an olfactory bulb, implying an approximate 1:2 ratio of the number of olfactory receptors to the number of glomeruli. Here we show that this ratio does not apply to bowhead whales, reiterating the conceptual limits of using rodents as model organisms for understanding the initial coding of odor information among mammals.

  6. Sperm Impairment by Sperm Agglutinating Factor Isolated from Escherichia coli: Receptor Specific Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiranjeet Kaur

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In an earlier work done in our laboratory, we have been able to isolate a sperm agglutinating strain of Escherichia coli from the semen sample of a male attending infertility clinic. Further, factor responsible for sperm agglutination (SAF was isolated and purified, and, using SAF as a tool, corresponding SAF binding receptor from human spermatozoa has been purified. Characterization of SAF and SAF binding receptor using MALDI-TOF showed homology to glutamate decarboxylase and MHC class I molecule, respectively. Coincubation of SAF with spermatozoa not only resulted in spermagglutination but could also compromise other sperm parameters, namely, Mg2+ dependent ATPase activity and apoptosis. Intravaginal administration of SAF could lead to infertility in Balb/c mice. SAF induced impairment of sperm parameters, and infertility was observed to be due to interaction of SAF with sperm surface receptor component as, when purified receptor was introduced, receptor completely inhibited all the detrimental effects induced by SAF. From these results, it could be concluded that interaction of SAF with spermatozoa is receptor mediated.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Killingley, J.S.

    1980-01-01

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

  8. iDNA at Sea: Recovery of Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus Mitochondrial DNA Sequences from the Whale Shark Copepod (Pandarus rhincodonicus Confirms Global Population Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Meekan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The whale shark (Rhincodon typus is an iconic and endangered species with a broad distribution spanning warm-temperate and tropical oceans. Effective conservation management of the species requires an understanding of the degree of genetic connectivity among populations, which is hampered by the need for sampling that involves invasive techniques. Here, the feasibility of minimally-invasive sampling was explored by isolating and sequencing whale shark DNA from a commensal or possibly parasitic copepod, Pandarus rhincodonicus that occurs on the skin of the host. We successfully recovered mitochondrial control region DNA sequences (~1,000 bp of the host via DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction from whole copepod specimens. DNA sequences obtained from multiple copepods collected from the same shark exhibited 100% sequence similarity, suggesting a persistent association of copepods with individual hosts. Newly-generated mitochondrial haplotypes of whale shark hosts derived from the copepods were included in an analysis of the genetic structure of the global population of whale sharks (644 sequences; 136 haplotypes. Our results supported those of previous studies and suggested limited genetic structuring across most of the species range, but the presence of a genetically unique and potentially isolated population in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, we recovered the mitogenome and nuclear ribosomal genes of a whale shark using a shotgun sequencing approach on copepod tissue. The recovered mitogenome is the third mitogenome reported for the species and the first from the Mozambique population. Our invertebrate DNA (iDNA approach could be used to better understand the population structure of whale sharks, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean, and also for genetic analyses of other elasmobranchs parasitized by pandarid copepods.

  9. SMART USE OF COMPUTER-AIDED SPERM ANALYSIS (CASA) TO CHARACTERIZE SPERM MOTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) has evolved over the past fifteen years to provide an objective, practical means of measuring and characterizing the velocity and parttern of sperm motion. CASA instruments use video frame-grabber boards to capture multiple images of spermato...

  10. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  11. Comparison of semen variables, sperm DNA damage and sperm membrane proteins in two male layer breeder lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    M, Shanmugam; T R, Kannaki; A, Vinoth

    2016-09-01

    Semen variables are affected by the breed and strain of chicken. The present study was undertaken to compare the semen quality in two lines of adult chickens with particular reference to sperm chromatin condensation, sperm DNA damage and sperm membrane proteins. Semen from a PD3 and White Leghorn control line was collected at 46 and 47 weeks and 55 weeks of age. The semen was evaluated for gross variables and sperm chromatin condensation by aniline blue staining. Sperm DNA damage was assessed by using the comet assay at 47 weeks of age and sperm membrane proteins were assessed at 55 weeks of age. The duration of fertility was studied by inseminating 100 million sperm once into the hens of the same line as well as another line. The eggs were collected after insemination for 15days and incubated. The eggs were candled on 18th day of incubation for observing embryonic development. The White Leghorn control line had a greater sperm concentration and lesser percentage of morphologically abnormal sperm at the different ages where assessments occurred. There was no difference in sperm chromatin condensation, DNA damage and membrane proteins between the lines. Only low molecular weight protein bands of less than 95kDa were observed in samples of both lines. The line from which semen was used had no effect on the duration over which fertility was sustained after insemination either when used in the same line or another line. Thus, from the results of the present study it may be concluded that there was a difference in gross semen variables between the lines that were studied, however, the sperm chromatin condensation, DNA damage, membrane proteins and duration over which fertility was sustained after insemination did not differ between the lines. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Ocean acidification impacts on sperm mitochondrial membrane potential bring sperm swimming behaviour near its tipping point.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Peter; Binet, Monique T; Havenhand, Jonathan N; Doyle, Christopher J; Williamson, Jane E

    2015-04-01

    Broadcast spawning marine invertebrates are susceptible to environmental stressors such as climate change, as their reproduction depends on the successful meeting and fertilization of gametes in the water column. Under near-future scenarios of ocean acidification, the swimming behaviour of marine invertebrate sperm is altered. We tested whether this was due to changes in sperm mitochondrial activity by investigating the effects of ocean acidification on sperm metabolism and swimming behaviour in the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii. We used a fluorescent molecular probe (JC-1) and flow cytometry to visualize mitochondrial activity (measured as change in mitochondrial membrane potential, MMP). Sperm MMP was significantly reduced in ΔpH -0.3 (35% reduction) and ΔpH -0.5 (48% reduction) treatments, whereas sperm swimming behaviour was less sensitive with only slight changes (up to 11% decrease) observed overall. There was significant inter-individual variability in responses of sperm swimming behaviour and MMP to acidified seawater. We suggest it is likely that sperm exposed to these changes in pH are close to their tipping point in terms of physiological tolerance to acidity. Importantly, substantial inter-individual variation in responses of sperm swimming to ocean acidification may increase the scope for selection of resilient phenotypes, which, if heritable, could provide a basis for adaptation to future ocean acidification. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Sperm quality but not relatedness predicts sperm competition success in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehlis, Marion; Rahn, Anna K; Bakker, Theo C M

    2015-04-26

    Mating between close relatives often leads to a reduction of an individual's fitness, due to an increased expression of deleterious alleles. Thus, in many animal taxa pre- as well as postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms have evolved. An increased risk of inbreeding and hence a loss of genetic variation may occur during founder events as in most cases only few individuals establish a new population. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is a small externally fertilizing fish species subject to strong sperm competition. Sticklebacks inhabit both marine and freshwater environments and anadromous populations have repeatedly established new genetically less diverse freshwater populations. Previous studies showed that anadromous sticklebacks strongly suffer from inbreeding depression and when given the choice females prefer to mate with unrelated males. The present study aimed to address whether there exists a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism solely based on sperm-egg interactions in sperm competition experiments. We used F1 individuals that originated either from a large, genetically heterogeneous anadromous population or from a small, genetically less diverse freshwater population. For each population, eggs of two different females were in vitro fertilized by the same two males' sperm in a paired study design. In the main experiment one male was the female's full-sib brother and in the control experiment all individuals were unrelated. The results revealed that fertilization success was independent of relatedness in both populations suggesting a general lack of a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism. Instead, male quality (i.e. sperm morphology) predicted paternity success during competitive fertilization trials. In sticklebacks, there is no evidence for postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance. Sperm morphology predicted paternity instead, thus sperm quality traits are under strong sexual selection, presumably driven by the

  17. Sperm quality after swim up and density gradient centrifugation sperm preparation with supplementation of alpha lipoic acid (ALA): A preliminary study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestari, Silvia W.; Lestari, Sarah H.; Pujianto, Dwi A.

    2018-02-01

    Intra uterine insemination (IUI) as one of the treatment for infertility, persists low success rate. A factor that contributes to the unsuccessful of IUI is sperm preparation, performed through Swim-up (SU) and Density Gradient Centrifugation (DGC) methods. Furthermore, studies have shown that Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant that could enhance the sperm motility and protect the DNA integrity of the sperm [1]. This study is aimed to re-evaluate the efficiency of the DGC and SU methods in selecting sperm before being transferred for IUI by the supplementation of ALA based on the sperm DNA integrity. Semen samples were obtained from 13 men from partners of women who are infertile (normozoospermia) and underwent IUI. Semen analysis based on the guideline of World Health Organization (WHO) 2010 was performed to measure the sperm motility and velocity, before and after sperm preparation. Then, samples were incubated with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) in 0.625 mg (ALA 1), 1.25 mg (ALA 2) and 2.5 mg (ALA 3). The Sperm Chromatin Dispersion (SCD) test was performed to evaluate the sperm DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI). The percentage of motile sperm was higher in prepared sperm (post-DGC and post-SU) than in whole semen. Furthermore, the percentage of motile sperm was higher in post-DGC compared to post-SU. The level of DFI after the supplementation of ALA was decreased in prepared sperm compared to the whole semen. ALA was proved capable to select the better sperm quality with decreased sperm DNA fragmentation of prepared sperm in the all of DFI category.

  18. Varicocele Negatively Affects Sperm Mitochondrial Respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Albani, Denise; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2015-10-01

    To evaluate the effect of varicocele on oxidative stress, sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, sperm morphology, and semen parameters. A total of 20 patients with varicocele and 20 normozoospermic subjects without varicocele (control group) were recruited from a medical center for reproductive biology. The levels of serum reactive oxygen metabolites and seminal lipid peroxides were assessed for both control and varicocele subjects. Sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation was measured by sperm chromatin dispersion test. Mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically treated sperm cells. In this study, varicocele patients were compared with men without varicoceles. Oxidative stress was observed in the serum and seminal fluid of varicocele patients. These patients showed an increase of 59% (P <.05) in serum reactive oxygen metabolites and a 3-fold increase in the level of sperm lipid peroxides. A parallel and significant increase (a 2-fold increase; P <.05) in the degree of sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation was also observed. Varicocele patients showed a 27% decrease (P <.05) in mitochondrial respiratory activity in comparison to the control group. A 32% increase (P <.05) in sperm midpiece defects and a 41% decrease (P <.05) in sperm concentration and motility were also observed. Men with varicocele have increased markers of oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial respiratory activity. These results correlated with abnormalities in semen parameters. For morphology, these correlated with midpiece defects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Hypercholesterolemia Impaired Sperm Functionality in Rabbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monclus, Maria A.; Cabrillana, Maria E.; Clementi, Marisa A.; Espínola, Leandro S.; Cid Barría, Jose L.; Vincenti, Amanda E.; Santi, Analia G.; Fornés, Miguel W.

    2010-01-01

    Hypercholesterolemia represents a high risk factor for frequent diseases and it has also been associated with poor semen quality that may lead to male infertility. The aim of this study was to analyze semen and sperm function in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Twelve adult White New Zealand male rabbits were fed ad libitum a control diet or a diet supplemented with 0.05% cholesterol. Rabbits under cholesterol-enriched diet significantly increased total cholesterol level in the serum. Semen examination revealed a significant reduction in semen volume and sperm motility in hypercholesterolemic rabbits (HCR). Sperm cell morphology was seriously affected, displaying primarily a “folded head”-head fold along the major axe-, and the presence of cytoplasmic droplet on sperm flagellum. Cholesterol was particularly increased in acrosomal region when detected by filipin probe. The rise in cholesterol concentration in sperm cells was determined quantitatively by Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analyses. We also found a reduction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in sperm incubated under capacitating conditions from HCR. Interestingly, the addition of Protein Kinase A pathway activators -dibutyryl-cyclic AMP and iso-butylmethylxanthine- to the medium restored sperm capacitation. Finally, it was also reported a significant decrease in the percentage of reacted sperm in the presence of progesterone. In conclusion, our data showed that diet-induced hypercholesterolemia adversely affects semen quality and sperm motility, capacitation and acrosomal reaction in rabbits; probably due to an increase in cellular cholesterol content that alters membrane related events. PMID:20976152

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-28

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

  1. 50 CFR 226.215 - Critical habitat for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  5. Microfluidic single sperm entrapment and analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wagenaar, B.; Berendsen, Johanna Theodora Wilhelmina; Berendsen, J.T.W.; Bomer, Johan G.; Olthuis, Wouter; van den Berg, Albert; Segerink, Loes Irene

    2015-01-01

    Selection of healthy spermatozoa is of crucial importance for the success rates of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. Although sperm selection for ART procedures is predominantly based on sperm motility, successful

  6. Entanglement is a costly life-history stage in large whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoop, Julie; Corkeron, Peter; Moore, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Individuals store energy to balance deficits in natural cycles; however, unnatural events can also lead to unbalanced energy budgets. Entanglement in fishing gear is one example of an unnatural but relatively common circumstance that imposes energetic demands of a similar order of magnitude and duration of life-history events such as migration and pregnancy in large whales. We present two complementary bioenergetic approaches to estimate the energy associated with entanglement in North Atlantic right whales, and compare these estimates to the natural energetic life history of individual whales. Differences in measured blubber thicknesses and estimated blubber volumes between normal and entangled, emaciated whales indicate between 7.4 × 10 10  J and 1.2 × 10 11  J of energy are consumed during the course to death of a lethal entanglement. Increased thrust power requirements to overcome drag forces suggest that when entangled, whales require 3.95 × 10 9 to 4.08 × 10 10  J more energy to swim. Individuals who died from their entanglements performed significantly more work (energy expenditure × time) than those that survived; entanglement duration is therefore critical in determining whales' survival. Significant sublethal energetic impacts also occur, especially in reproductive females. Drag from fishing gear contributes up to 8% of the 4-year female reproductive energy budget, delaying time of energetic equilibrium (to restore energy lost by a particular entanglement) for reproduction by months to years. In certain populations, chronic entanglement in fishing gear can be viewed as a costly unnatural life-history stage, rather than a rare or short-term incident.

  7. Evaluation of Lasting Effects of Heat Stress on Sperm Profile and Oxidative Status of Ram Semen and Epididymal Sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais Rose dos Santos Hamilton

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Higher temperatures lead to an increase of testicular metabolism that results in spermatic damage. Oxidative stress is the main factor responsible for testicular damage caused by heat stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate lasting effects of heat stress on ejaculated sperm and immediate or long-term effects of heat stress on epididymal sperm. We observed decrease in motility and mass motility of ejaculated sperm, as well as an increase in the percentages of sperm showing major and minor defects, damaged plasma and acrosome membranes, and a decrease in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential in the treated group until one spermatic cycle. An increased enzymatic activity of glutathione peroxidase and an increase of stressed cells were observed in ejaculated sperm of the treated group. A decrease in the percentage of epididymal sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential was observed in the treated group. However, when comparing immediate and long-term effects, we observed an increase in the percentage of sperm with low mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, testicular heat stress induced oxidative stress that led to rescuable alterations after one spermatic cycle in ejaculated sperm and also after 30 days in epididymal sperm.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Fleur; Curé, Charlotte; Kvadsheim, Petter H.; Lam, Frans-Peter A.; Tyack, Peter L.; Miller, Patrick J. O.

    2016-06-01

    Social interactions among animals can influence their response to disturbance. We investigated responses of long-finned pilot whales to killer whale sound playbacks and two anthropogenic sources of disturbance: tagging effort and naval sonar exposure. The acoustic scene and diving behaviour of tagged individuals were recorded along with the social behaviour of their groups. All three disturbance types resulted in larger group sizes, increasing social cohesion during disturbance. However, the nature and magnitude of other responses differed between disturbance types. Tagging effort resulted in a clear increase in synchrony and a tendency to reduce surface logging and to become silent (21% of cases), whereas pilot whales increased surface resting during sonar exposure. Killer whale sounds elicited increased calling rates and the aggregation of multiple groups, which approached the sound source together. This behaviour appears to represent a mobbing response, a likely adaptive social defence against predators or competitors. All observed response-tactics would reduce risk of loss of group coordination, suggesting that, in social pilot whales, this could drive behavioural responses to disturbance. However, the behavioural means used to achieve social coordination depends upon other considerations, which are disturbance-specific.

  9. Immature germ cells in semen - correlation with total sperm count and sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Priya S; Humbarwadi, Rajendra S; Patil, Ashalata D; Gune, Anita R

    2013-07-01

    Current data regarding infertility suggests that male factor contributes up to 30% of the total cases of infertility. Semen analysis reveals the presence of spermatozoa as well as a number of non-sperm cells, presently being mentioned in routine semen report as "round cells" without further differentiating them into leucocytes or immature germ cells. The aim of this work was to study a simple, cost-effective, and convenient method for differentiating the round cells in semen into immature germ cells and leucocytes and correlating them with total sperm counts and motility. Semen samples from 120 males, who had come for investigation for infertility, were collected, semen parameters recorded, and stained smears studied for different round cells. Statistical analysis of the data was done to correlate total sperm counts and sperm motility with the occurrence of immature germ cells and leucocytes. The average shedding of immature germ cells in different groups with normal and low sperm counts was compared. The clinical significance of "round cells" in semen and their differentiation into leucocytes and immature germ cells are discussed. Round cells in semen can be differentiated into immature germ cells and leucocytes using simple staining methods. The differential counts mentioned in a semen report give valuable and clinically relevant information. In this study, we observed a negative correlation between total count and immature germ cells, as well as sperm motility and shedding of immature germ cells. The latter was statistically significant with a P value 0.000.

  10. 50 CFR 226.206 - Critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  11. Experimental evolution of sperm competitiveness in a mammal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simmons Leigh W

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When females mate with multiple partners, sperm from rival males compete to fertilise the ova. Studies of experimental evolution have proven the selective action of sperm competition on male reproductive traits. However, while reproductive traits may evolve in response to sperm competition, this does not necessarily provide evidence that sperm competitive ability responds to selection. Indeed, a study of Drosophila failed to observe divergence in sperm competitive ability of males in lines selected for enhanced sperm offence and defence. Results Adopting the naturally polygamous house mouse (Mus domesticus as our vertebrate model, we performed an experimental evolution study and observed genetic divergence in sperm quality; males from the polygamous selection lines produced ejaculates with increased sperm numbers and greater sperm motility compared to males from the monogamous lines. Here, after 12 generations of experimental evolution, we conducted competitive matings between males from lineages evolving under sperm competition and males from lineages subject to relaxed selection. We reduced variation in paternity arising from embryo mortality by genotyping embryos in utero at 14 days gestation. Our microsatellite data revealed a significant paternity bias toward males that evolved under the selective regime of sperm competition. Conclusion We provide evidence that the sperm competitiveness phenotype can respond to selection, and show that improved sperm quality translates to greater competitive fertilisation success in house mice.

  12. Sperm-Hybrid Micromotor for Targeted Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haifeng; Medina-Sánchez, Mariana; Magdanz, Veronika; Schwarz, Lukas; Hebenstreit, Franziska; Schmidt, Oliver G

    2018-01-23

    A sperm-driven micromotor is presented as a targeted drug delivery system, which is appealing to potentially treat diseases in the female reproductive tract. This system is demonstrated to be an efficient drug delivery vehicle by first loading a motile sperm cell with an anticancer drug (doxorubicin hydrochloride), guiding it magnetically, to an in vitro cultured tumor spheroid, and finally freeing the sperm cell to deliver the drug locally. The sperm release mechanism is designed to liberate the sperm when the biohybrid micromotor hits the tumor walls, allowing it to swim into the tumor and deliver the drug through the sperm-cancer cell membrane fusion. In our experiments, the sperm cells exhibited a high drug encapsulation capability and drug carrying stability, conveniently minimizing  toxic side effects and unwanted drug accumulation in healthy tissues. Overall, sperm cells are excellent candidates to operate in physiological environments, as they neither express pathogenic proteins nor proliferate to form undesirable colonies, unlike other cells or microorganisms. This sperm-hybrid micromotor is a biocompatible platform with potential application in gynecological healthcare, treating or detecting cancer or other diseases in the female reproductive system.

  13. Boundaries of Ethics, Sperm on the Border –The Globalization of Danish Sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    as sperm donation in parliamentary debates, and in the media, often raises ethical questions. This presentation inquires into how the bending of boundaries by “inappropriate parents”, fertility travelers, private sperm banks and fertility clinics have been part in negotiating the changes of the legislation......’s situational analysis based on Anselm Strauss’ social world arena theory. Furthermore, I draw theoretically on Karen Barad and Donna Haraway’s notion of diffractive readings. I use their understanding of accountability to question and intervene in the doing of ethics in practice......., relatedness and family by politicians and bioethicists, in the parliament and in the media. I will argue that the globalization of Danish sperm is a story of combined subversive acts by women and men using the technologies, sperm banks and private fertility clinics. I will explore what the labeling...

  14. Predictive value of sperm morphology and progressively motile sperm count for pregnancy outcomes in intrauterine insemination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmens, Louise; Kos, Snjezana; Beijer, Cornelis; Brinkman, Jacoline W; van der Horst, Frans A L; van den Hoven, Leonie; Kieslinger, Dorit C; van Trooyen-van Vrouwerff, Netty J; Wolthuis, Albert; Hendriks, Jan C M; Wetzels, Alex M M

    2016-06-01

    To investigate the value of sperm parameters to predict an ongoing pregnancy outcome in couples treated with intrauterine insemination (IUI), during a methodologically stable period of time. Retrospective, observational study with logistic regression analyses. University hospital. A total of 1,166 couples visiting the fertility laboratory for their first IUI episode, including 4,251 IUI cycles. None. Sperm morphology, total progressively motile sperm count (TPMSC), and number of inseminated progressively motile spermatozoa (NIPMS); odds ratios (ORs) of the sperm parameters after the first IUI cycle and the first finished IUI episode; discriminatory accuracy of the multivariable model. None of the sperm parameters was of predictive value for pregnancy after the first IUI cycle. In the first finished IUI episode, a positive relationship was found for ≤4% of morphologically normal spermatozoa (OR 1.39) and a moderate NIPMS (5-10 million; OR 1.73). Low NIPMS showed a negative relation (≤1 million; OR 0.42). The TPMSC had no predictive value. The multivariable model (i.e., sperm morphology, NIPMS, female age, male age, and the number of cycles in the episode) had a moderate discriminatory accuracy (area under the curve 0.73). Intrauterine insemination is especially relevant for couples with moderate male factor infertility (sperm morphology ≤4%, NIPMS 5-10 million). In the multivariable model, however, the predictive power of these sperm parameters is rather low. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. SPERM COUNT DISTRIBUTIONS IN FERTILE MEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperm concentration and count are often used as indicators of environmental impacts on male reproductive health. Existing clinical databases may be biased towards subfertile men with low sperm counts and less is known about expected sperm count distributions in cohorts of fertil...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fannie W Shabangu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 77 FR 6065 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-07

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

  1. Relationship of Total Motile Sperm Count and Percentage Motile Sperm to Successful Pregnancy Rates Following Intrauterine Insemination

    OpenAIRE

    Pasqualotto, Eleonora B.; Daitch, James A.; Hendin, Benjamin N.; Falcone, Tommaso; Thomas, Anthony J.; Nelson, David R.; Agarwal, Ashok

    1999-01-01

    Purpose:This study sought (i) to investigate the relationship between postwash total motile sperm count and postwash percentage motile sperm in predicting successful intrauterine insemination and (ii) to determine the minimal postwash total motile sperm count required to achieve pregnancy with intrauterine insemination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Mass spectrometry profiling of oxysterols in human sperm identifies 25-hydroxycholesterol as a marker of sperm function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Zerbinati

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol is a main lipid component of sperm cell that is essential for sperm membrane fluidity, capacitation, and acrosomal reaction. Recent data obtained in bovine sperm showed that sperm capacitation is associated to the formation of oxysterols, oxidized products of cholesterol. The aim of this study was to profile oxysterol content in human semen, and to investigate their potential role in sperm pathophysiology. Among the 12 oxysterols analyzed, 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC resulted the most represented in normozoospermic samples, and its concentration positively correlated with spermatozoa number. We detected Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase, the enzyme responsible for 25-HC production, in human spermatozoa at the level of the neck and the post acrosomal area. Upon incubation with spermatozoa, 25-HC induced calcium and cholesterol transients in connection with the acrosomal reaction. Our results support a role for 25-HC in sperm function.

  6. Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovmand, Astrid; Lauvas, Anna Jacobsen; Christensen, Preben

    2018-01-01

    . Pulmonary inflammation was determined by differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Epididymal sperm concentration and motility were measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Epididymal sperm viability and morphological abnormalities were assessed manually using Hoechst 33,342/PI...... inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model.Methods: Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous...... flourescent and Spermac staining, respectively. Epididymal sperm were assessed with regard to sperm DNA integrity (damage). Daily sperm production was measured in the testis, and testosterone levels were measured in blood plasma by ELISA.Results: Neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar fluid showed...

  7. Sperm competition, immunity, selfish genes and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Z; Price, T A R; Wedell, N

    2008-10-01

    Sperm competition is widespread and has played an important role in shaping male reproductive characters such as testis size and numbers of sperm produced, and this is reflected in the rapid evolution of many reproductive genes. Additionally, sperm competition has been implicated in the rapid evolution of seminal fluids. However, our understanding of the molecular basis of many traits thought to be important in sperm competition is rudimentary. Furthermore, links between sperm competition and a range of issues not directly related to reproduction are only just beginning to be explored. These include associations between sperm competition and selfish genes, immunity and diseases such as cancer.We briefly review these topics and suggest areas we consider worthy of additional research.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Proteins associated with critical sperm functions and sperm head shape are differentially expressed in morphologically abnormal bovine sperm induced by scrotal insulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saadi, H.A.S.; Riemsdijk, van E.L.C.; Dance, A.L.; Rajamanickam, G.D.; Kastelic, J.P.; Thundathil, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    The objective was to investigate expression patterns of proteins in pyriform sperm, a common morphological abnormality in bull sperm. Ejaculates were collected from sexually mature Holstein bulls (n = 3) twice weekly for 10 weeks (pre-thermal insult samples). Testicular temperature was elevated in

  11. Trigonellae Semen Enhances Sperm Motility and the Expression of the Cation Sperm Channel Proteins in Mouse Testes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Do Rim Kim

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetic defects during spermatogenesis can lead to a reduction in sperm motility and cause male infertility. The cation channels of sperm (CatSper play a role in the regulation of hyperactivated sperm motility in mouse testes. The effect of Trigonellae Semen (TS on the male reproductive system and CatSper protein in mouse testes during spermatogenesis was examined. C57BL/c mice were divided into the following five groups: normal, cyclophosphamide- (CP- only treated (control group, and three groups treated with varying concentrations of TS with CP (100, 500, and 1000 mg/kg TS and 100 mg/kg CP. Real-time PCR, western blot analysis, and a testosterone immunoassay were performed to assess CatSper protein levels in the five groups. Additionally, sperm cell counts and motility were examined. Results indicate that sperm motility and sperm counts increased in the TS treated groups in a dose-dependent manner (p<0.01. CatSper levels were also significantly higher in the TS treated groups compared to that of the control group (p<0.001. Therefore, TS treatment could enhance sperm function by promoting spermatogenesis and the expression of CatSper proteins in mouse testes.

  12. Implementing an open-access CASA software for the assessment of stallion sperm motility: Relationship with other sperm quality parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giaretta, Elisa; Munerato, Mauro; Yeste, Marc; Galeati, Giovanna; Spinaci, Marcella; Tamanini, Carlo; Mari, Gaetano; Bucci, Diego

    2017-01-01

    Setting an open-access computer assisted sperm analysis (CASA) may benefit the evaluation of motility in mammalian sperm, especially when economic constraints do not allow the use of a commercial system. There have been successful attempts to develop such a device in Zebra fish sperm and the system has been used in very few studies on mammalian spermatozoa. Against this background, the present study aimed at developing an open-access CASA system for mammalian sperm using the horse as a model and based upon the Image J software previously established for Zebra fish sperm. Along with determining the sperm progressive motility and other kinetic parameters (such as amplitude of lateral head displacement), the "results" window was adjusted to simplify subsequent statistical analyses. The path window was enriched with colored sperm trajectories on the basis of the subpopulation they belong to and a number that allowed the sperm track to be associated to the sperm motility data shown in the "results" window. Data obtained from the novel plugin (named as CASA_bgm) were compared with those of the commercial CASA Hamilton-Thorn IVOS Vers.12, through Bland Altman's plots. While the percentage of total and progressive motile sperm, VCL, VAP, VSL, LIN and STR and ALH were in agreement with those obtained with the commercial system, BCF significantly differed between the two systems probably due to their settings. Interestingly, a positive and significant correlation between the percentages of total motile sperm evaluated through CASA_bgm and those showing high mitochondrial membrane potential evaluated by JC-1 staining was found. In conclusion, CASA_bgm ImageJ plugin could be useful and reliable for stallion sperm motility analysis and it is our aim to apply this system to other mammalian species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Vocalization Source Level Distributions and Pulse Compression Gains of Diverse Baleen Whale Species in the Gulf of Maine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delin Wang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The vocalization source level distributions and pulse compression gains are estimated for four distinct baleen whale species in the Gulf of Maine: fin, sei, minke and an unidentified baleen whale species. The vocalizations were received on a large-aperture densely-sampled coherent hydrophone array system useful for monitoring marine mammals over instantaneous wide areas via the passive ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing technique. For each baleen whale species, between 125 and over 1400 measured vocalizations with significantly high Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR > 10 dB after coherent beamforming and localized with high accuracies (<10% localization errors over ranges spanning roughly 1 km–30 km are included in the analysis. The whale vocalization received pressure levels are corrected for broadband transmission losses modeled using a calibrated parabolic equation-based acoustic propagation model for a random range-dependent ocean waveguide. The whale vocalization source level distributions are characterized by the following means and standard deviations, in units of dB re 1 μ Pa at 1 m: 181.9 ± 5.2 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 173.5 ± 3.2 for sei whale downsweep chirps, 177.7 ± 5.4 for minke whale pulse trains and 169.6 ± 3.5 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls. The broadband vocalization equivalent pulse-compression gains are found to be 2.5 ± 1.1 for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 24 ± 10 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 69 ± 23 for sei whale downsweep chirps. These pulse compression gains are found to be roughly proportional to the inter-pulse intervals of the vocalizations, which are 11 ± 5 s for fin whale 20-Hz pulses, 29 ± 18 for the unidentified baleen whale species downsweep calls and 52 ± 33 for sei whale downsweep chirps. The source level distributions and pulse compression gains are essential for determining signal-to-noise ratios and hence detection regions for baleen whale

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  17. Fin whale sound reception mechanisms: skull vibration enables low-frequency hearing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted W Cranford

    Full Text Available Hearing mechanisms in baleen whales (Mysticeti are essentially unknown but their vocalization frequencies overlap with anthropogenic sound sources. Synthetic audiograms were generated for a fin whale by applying finite element modeling tools to X-ray computed tomography (CT scans. We CT scanned the head of a small fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus in a scanner designed for solid-fuel rocket motors. Our computer (finite element modeling toolkit allowed us to visualize what occurs when sounds interact with the anatomic geometry of the whale's head. Simulations reveal two mechanisms that excite both bony ear complexes, (1 the skull-vibration enabled bone conduction mechanism and (2 a pressure mechanism transmitted through soft tissues. Bone conduction is the predominant mechanism. The mass density of the bony ear complexes and their firmly embedded attachments to the skull are universal across the Mysticeti, suggesting that sound reception mechanisms are similar in all baleen whales. Interactions between incident sound waves and the skull cause deformations that induce motion in each bony ear complex, resulting in best hearing sensitivity for low-frequency sounds. This predominant low-frequency sensitivity has significant implications for assessing mysticete exposure levels to anthropogenic sounds. The din of man-made ocean noise has increased steadily over the past half century. Our results provide valuable data for U.S. regulatory agencies and concerned large-scale industrial users of the ocean environment. This study transforms our understanding of baleen whale hearing and provides a means to predict auditory sensitivity across a broad spectrum of sound frequencies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Ann Nichole

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

  19. Oxidative stress negatively affects human sperm mitochondrial respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Pinto Provenzano, Sara; Montagna, Daniela Domenica; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2013-07-01

    To correlate the level of oxidative stress in serum and seminal fluid and the level of sperm deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragmentation with sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically treated sperm cells. A possible relationship between sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, the level of oxidative stress, and the level of sperm DNA fragmentation was investigated. Sperm motility was positively correlated with mitochondrial respiration but negatively correlated with oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation. Interestingly, sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was negatively affected by oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation. Our data indicate that sperm mitochondrial respiration is decreased in patients with high levels of reactive oxygen species by an uncoupling between electron transport and adenosine triphosphate synthesis. This reduction in mitochondrial functionality might be 1 of the reasons responsible for the decrease in spermatozoa motility. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Regional variation in the intensity of humpback whale predation on Pacific herring in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, J. R.; Heintz, R. A.; Straley, J. M.; Vollenweider, J. J.

    2018-01-01

    We modeled the biomass of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) consumed by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to determine if whales are preventing the recovery of some herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska. We estimated consumption, by whales, of two depressed (Lynn Canal, Prince William Sound) and one robust (Sitka Sound) herring populations during fall/winter of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Consumption estimates relied on observations of whale abundance, prey selection, and herring energy content along with published data on whale size and metabolic rate. Herring biomass removed by whales was compared with independent estimates of herring abundance to assess the impact of predation on each population. Whales removed a greater proportion of the total biomass of herring available in Lynn Canal and Prince William Sound than in Sitka Sound. Biomass removals were greatest in Prince William Sound where we observed the largest number of whales foraging on herring. The biomass of herring consumed in Prince William Sound approximated the biomass lost to natural mortality over winter as projected by age-structured stock assessments. Though whales also focused their foraging on herring during the fall in Lynn Canal, whales were less abundant resulting in lower estimated consumption rates. Whales were more abundant in Sitka Sound than in Lynn Canal but foraged predominately on euphausiids. Herring abundance was greater in Sitka Sound, further reducing the overall impact on the herring population. These data indicate that the focused predation in Prince William Sound can exert top-down controlling pressure, but whale populations are not a ubiquitous constraint on forage fish productivity in the Gulf of Alaska at this time.

  2. Formation of primary sperm conjugates in a haplogyne spider (Caponiidae, Araneae) with remarks on the evolution of sperm conjugation in spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipke, Elisabeth; Michalik, Peter

    2012-11-01

    Sperm conjugation, where two or more sperm are physically united, is a rare but widespread pheno-menon across the animal kingdom. One group well known for its different types of sperm conjugation are spiders. Particularly, haplogyne spiders show a high diversity of sperm traits. Besides individual cleistospermia, primary (synspermia) and secondary (coenospermia, "spermatophore") sperm conjugation occurs. However, the evolution of sperm conjugates and sperm is not understood in this group. Here, we look at how sperm are transferred in Caponiidae (Haplogynae) in pursuit of additional information about the evolution of sperm transfer forms in spiders. Additionally, we investigated the male reproductive system and spermatozoa using light- and transmission electron-microscopy and provide a 3D reconstruction of individual as of well as conjugated spermatozoa. Mature spermatozoa are characterized by an extremely elongated, helical nucleus resulting in the longest spider sperm known to date. At the end of spermiogenesis, synspermia are formed by complete fusion of four spermatids. Thus, synspermia might have evolved early within ecribellate Haplogynae. The fused sperm cells are surrounded by a prominent vesicular area. The function of the vesicular area remains still unknown but might be correlated with the capacitation process inside the female. Further phylogenetic and functional implications of the spermatozoa and sperm conjugation are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Microdissection Testicular Sperm Extraction (micro-TESE as a Sperm Acquisition Method for Men with Nonobstructive Azoospermia Seeking Fertility: Operative and Laboratory Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandro C. Esteves

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Rare foci of sperm production may be found in up to 60% of men with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA. Sperm production, if present, is minimal for sperm appearance in the ejaculate. Given that there are no treatment options to restore fertility, sperm retrieval is the only alternative to find testicular sperm than then can be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF. Among sperm acquisition methods, micro-TESE has higher success rates at obtaining sperm compared with testicular sperm extraction and testicular sperm aspiration. Materials and Methods This video describes the operative aspects of micro-TESE, performed on an outpatient basis, in a man with NOA and history of cryptorchidism in whom orchidopexy was performed at age 6. The concept of micro-TESE is to identify areas of sperm production within the testes with the aid of optical magnification (15-25X and based on the size and appearance of the seminiferous tubules (ST. Conclusion Micro-TESE allowed the identification and extraction of sperm-containing STs with minimum tissue excision and marked reduction in time processing of testicular specimens for sperm injection.

  4. A MIDDLE MIOCENE BALEEN WHALE FROM BELE VODE IN BELGRADE, SERBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAVEL GOL’DIN

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There was a fauna of baleen whales (Cetacea: Mysticeti in the Central Paratethys, a Miocene water body which covered the area of present-day Central Europe. Most of the fossil baleen whales from the Central Paratethys have been found in strata assigned to the regional Badenian age and comprise endemic forms, known only from this region. Here a new description is provided for a fragmentary skeleton of a whale found in Belgrade, Serbia, and its age context and biological aspects are discussed. This specimen, consisting of a fragmentary horizontal ramus of the mandible and eight caudal vertebrae, is tentatively identified as ?Parietobalaena sp., a globally known Miocene taxon, with related forms having been recorded earlier from the Eastern Paratethys. An early Sarmatian age (i.e., about 12.7-12.4 Ma is proposed for the specimen. Based on epiphyseal fusion of caudal vertebrae, the specimen’s age is identified as a subadult, with a body length of around 2.5 m and an estimated adult body length around 3-3.5 m, which is extremely small for baleen whales. This find represents one of the latest records of baleen whales in the Central Paratethys and one of the latest published records of Parietobalaena-like taxa in the world.

  5. On the communicative significance of whistles in wild killer whales (Orcinus orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Frank; Franck, Dierk; Ford, John

    2002-08-01

    Killer whales (Orcinus orca) use pulsed calls and whistles in underwater communication. Unlike pulsed calls, whistles have received little study and thus their function is poorly known. In this study, whistle activities of groups of individually known killer whales were compared quantitatively across behavioural categories. Acoustic recordings and simultaneous behavioural observations were made of northern resident killer whales off Vancouver Island in 1996 and 1997. Whistles were produced at greater rates than discrete calls during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. They were the predominant sound-type recorded during socializing. The number of whistles per animal per minute was significantly higher during close-range behavioural activities than during long-range activities. Evidently, whistles play an important role in the close-range acoustic communication in northern resident killer whales.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Activation of free sperm and dissociation of sperm bundles (spermatozeugmata) of an endangered viviparous fish, Xenotoca eiseni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yue; Yang, Huiping; Torres, Leticia; Tiersch, Terrence R

    2018-04-01

    Knowledge of sperm motility activation for viviparous fishes has been limited to study of several species in Poeciliidae, and the dissociation of sperm bundles is even less understood. The goal of this study was to use the endangered Redtail Splitfin (Xenotoca eiseni) as a model to investigate the activation of sperm from viviparous fishes by study of free sperm and spermatozeugmata (unencapsulated sperm bundles). The specific objectives were to evaluate the effects of: (1) osmotic pressure and refrigerated storage (4 °C) on activation of free sperm, (2) osmotic pressure, ions, and pH on dissociation of spermatozeugmata, and (3) CaCl 2 concentration and pH on sperm membrane integrity. Free sperm were activated in Ca 2+ -free Hanks' balanced salt solution at 81-516 mOsmol/kg. The highest motility (19 ± 6%) was at 305 mOsmol/kg and swim remained for 84 h. Glucose (300-700 mOsmol/kg), NaCl (50-600 mOsmol/kg), and KCl, MgCl 2 , and MnCl 2 at 5-160 mM activated sperm within spermatozeugmata, but did not dissociate spermatozeugmata. CaCl 2 at 5-160 mM dissociated spermatozeugmata within 10 min. Solutions of NaCl-NaOH at pH 11.6 to 12.4 dissociated spermatozeugmata within 1 min. The percentage of viable cells had no significant differences (P = 0.2033) among different concentrations of CaCl 2 , but it was lower (P fishes, and for development of germplasm repositories for imperiled goodeids. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, B.; Dijkstra, M. B.; Mueller, U. G.

    2009-01-01

    -growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...... predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust...

  9. Deep diving odontocetes foraging strategies and their prey field as determined by acoustic techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorli, Giacomo

    Deep diving odontocetes, like sperm whales, beaked whales, Risso's dolphins, and pilot whales are known to forage at deep depths in the ocean on squid and fish. These marine mammal species are top predators and for this reason are very important for the ecosystems they live in, since they can affect prey populations and control food web dynamics through top-down effects. The studies presented in this thesis investigate deep diving odontocetes. foraging strategies, and the density and size of their potential prey in the deep ocean using passive and active acoustic techniques. Ecological Acoustic Recorders (EAR) were used to monitor the foraging activity of deep diving odontocetes at three locations around the world: the Josephine Seamount High Sea Marine Protected Area (JHSMPA), the Ligurian Sea, and along the Kona coast of the island of Hawaii. In the JHSMPA, sperm whales. and beaked whales. foraging rates do not differ between night-time and day-time. However, in the Ligurian Sea, sperm whales switch to night-time foraging as the winter approaches, while beaked whales alternate between hunting mainly at night, and both at night and at day. Spatial differences were found in deep diving odontocetes. foraging activity in Hawaii where they forage most in areas with higher chlorophyll concentrations. Pilot whales (and false killer whales, clustered together in the category "blackfishes") and Risso's dolphins forage mainly at night at all locations. These two species adjust their foraging activity with the length of the night. The density and size of animals living in deep sea scattering layers was studied using a DIDSON imaging sonar at multiple stations along the Kona coast of Hawaii. The density of animals was affected by location, depth, month, and the time of day. The size of animals was influenced by station and month. The DIDSON proved to be a successful, non-invasive technique to study density and size of animals in the deep sea. Densities were found to be an

  10. Seasonal presence and potential influence of humpback whales on wintering Pacific herring populations in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straley, Janice M.; Moran, John R.; Boswell, Kevin M.; Vollenweider, Johanna J.; Heintz, Ron A.; Quinn, Terrance J., II; Witteveen, Briana H.; Rice, Stanley D.

    2018-01-01

    This study addressed the lack of recovery of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in relation to humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) predation. As humpback whales rebound from commercial whaling, their ability to influence their prey through top-down forcing increases. We compared the potential influence of foraging humpback whales on three herring populations in the coastal Gulf of Alaska: Prince William Sound, Lynn Canal, and Sitka Sound (133-147°W; 57-61°N) from 2007 to 2009. Information on whale distribution, abundance, diet and the availability of herring as potential prey were used to correlate populations of overwintering herring and humpback whales. In Prince William Sound, the presence of whales coincided with the peak of herring abundance, allowing whales to maximize the consumption of overwintering herring prior to their southern migration. In Lynn Canal and Sitka Sound peak attendance of whales occurred earlier, in the fall, before the herring had completely moved into the areas, hence, there was less opportunity for predation to influence herring populations. North Pacific humpback whales in the Gulf of Alaska may be experiencing nutritional stress from reaching or exceeding carrying capacity, or oceanic conditions may have changed sufficiently to alter the prey base. Intraspecific competition for food may make it harder for humpback whales to meet their annual energetic needs. To meet their energetic demands whales may need to lengthen their time feeding in the northern latitudes or by skipping the annual migration altogether. If humpback whales extended their time feeding in Alaskan waters during the winter months, the result would likely be an increase in herring predation.

  11. Effects of hydrostatic pressure on mouse sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, N; Kamangar, P Bahrami; Azadbakht, M; Amini, A; Amiri, I

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the abnormalities in sperm after exposure to hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure acting on the cells is one of the fundamental environmental mechanical forces. Disorders of relationship between the cells and this mechanical force, such as when pressure varies beyond physiological limits, can lead to disease or pathological states. Sperm exposed to different range of hydrostatic pressure within male reproductive system and after entering the female reproductive system. Sexually mature male NMRI mice, 8-12 weeks-old were sperm donors. Sperms were separated from the caudal epididymis and maintained in Ham's F-10 culture medium supplemented with 10 % FBS and divided into control and treatments. Sperm suspensions in the treatments were placed within pressure chamber and were subjected to increased hydrostatic pressure of 25, 50 and 100 mmHg (treatment I, II and III) above atmospheric pressure for 2 and 4 h. Sperm viability, motility, morphology, DNA integrity and fertilizing ability were assessed and compared with control. Results showed that hydrostatic pressure dependent on ranges and time manner reduced sperm quality due to adverse effect on viability, motility , morphology, DNA integrity and fertilizing ability in all of treatments, especially after 4h (phydrostatic pressure reduces sperm quality as a consequence of adverse effects on sperm parameters and may cause male infertility or subfertility (Tab. 5, Ref. 5).

  12. BMI in relation to sperm count

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sermondade, N; Faure, C; Fezeu, L

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND The global obesity epidemic has paralleled a decrease in semen quality. Yet, the association between obesity and sperm parameters remains controversial. The purpose of this report was to update the evidence on the association between BMI and sperm count through a systematic review...... with meta-analysis. METHODS A systematic review of available literature (with no language restriction) was performed to investigate the impact of BMI on sperm count. Relevant studies published until June 2012 were identified from a Pubmed and EMBASE search. We also included unpublished data (n = 717 men...... studies were included in the meta-analysis, resulting in a sample of 13 077 men from the general population and attending fertility clinics. Data were stratified according to the total sperm count as normozoospermia, oligozoospermia and azoospermia. Standardized weighted mean differences in sperm...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  14. The transcriptome of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus reveals adaptations of the longest-lived mammal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seim, Inge; Ma, Siming; Zhou, Xuming; Gerashchenko, Maxim V.; Lee, Sang-Goo; Suydam, Robert; George, John C.; Bickham, John W.; Gladyshev, Vadim N.

    2014-01-01

    Mammals vary dramatically in lifespan, by at least two-orders of magnitude, but the molecular basis for this difference remains largely unknown. The bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus is the longest-lived mammal known, with an estimated maximal lifespan in excess of two hundred years. It is also one of the two largest animals and the most cold-adapted baleen whale species. Here, we report the first genome-wide gene expression analyses of the bowhead whale, based on the de novo assembly of its transcriptome. Bowhead whale or cetacean-specific changes in gene expression were identified in the liver, kidney and heart, and complemented with analyses of positively selected genes. Changes associated with altered insulin signaling and other gene expression patterns could help explain the remarkable longevity of bowhead whales as well as their adaptation to a lipid-rich diet. The data also reveal parallels in candidate longevity adaptations of the bowhead whale, naked mole rat and Brandt's bat. The bowhead whale transcriptome is a valuable resource for the study of this remarkable animal, including the evolution of longevity and its important correlates such as resistance to cancer and other diseases. PMID:25411232

  15. Tactic-specific differences in seminal fluid influence sperm performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatello, Lisa; Poli, Federica; Rasotto, Maria B

    2013-03-22

    Seminal fluid often makes up a large part of an ejaculate, yet most empirical and theoretical studies on sperm competition have focused on how sperm characteristics (number and quality) affect fertilization success. However, seminal fluid influences own sperm performance and may potentially influence the outcome of sperm competition, by also affecting that of rivals. As a consequence males may be expected to allocate their investment in both sperm and seminal fluid in relation to the potential level of competition. Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) is an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics, where sperm competition risk varies according to the tactic adopted. Here, we experimentally manipulated grass goby ejaculates by separately combining sperm and seminal fluid from territorial and sneaker males. While sperm of sneaker and territorial males did not differ in their performance when they interacted with their own seminal fluid only, sperm of sneakers increased their velocity and fertilization rate in the presence of territorial males' seminal fluid. By contrast, sneaker males' seminal fluid had a detrimental effect on the performance of territorial males' sperm. Sperm velocity was unaffected by the seminal fluid of males employing the same tactic, suggesting that seminal fluid's effect on rival-tactic sperm is not based on a self/non-self recognition mechanism. Our findings show that cross interactions of sperm and seminal fluid may influence the fertilization success of competing ejaculates with males investing in both sperm and seminal fluid in response to sperm competition risk.

  16. Study of Sperm Parameters and Sperm Fertility in Mice were Exposed to Tamoxifen during Embryonic Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Soleimanirad

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Tamoxifen is steroidal drug, which mainly treats breast cancer and also used to stimulate ovulation. The purpose of the present study was the evaluation of sperm parameters and fertility of mice whose mothers had received tamoxifen during pregnancy. Methods: In this study, 30 female and 15 male mice of NMRI were selected for mating. After mating female mice were randomly divided into two groups, the first group (control and second group (experimental. All of which contained 15 mice. From the day 13th day of pregnancy, experimental group has received tamoxifen with the dosage of 5 mg/kg for 7 days. After childbirth of the mated mice, male infants were selected. After reaching the age of puberty (6-8Weeks, adult mice were sacrificed by the cervical dislocation. After take sperm, sperm parameters (count, normality and motility, and sperm fertility was performed. In this study SPSS software and statistical t-test was used (p <0.001. Results: Studies showed that sperm parameters and sperm fertilization were significantly different. The number of sperm in the control group was 83.50±28.20 million, and in the experimental group was 60±14.14 million. There was a decrease in average sperm count in the experimental group compared with the control group (p <0.001. Our findings from in vitro fertilization culture media showed that embryos formation and oocyte disruption between control and experimental groups significantly different (p <0.001. Conclusion: The results showed that tamoxifen exposure during development can cause histological changes in the seminiferous tubules, which can lead to infertility.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Comparison of cryopreserved human sperm in vapor and liquid phases of liquid nitrogen: effect on motility parameters, morphology, and sperm function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Punyatanasakchai, Piyaphan; Sophonsritsuk, Areephan; Weerakiet, Sawaek; Wansumrit, Surapee; Chompurat, Deonthip

    2008-11-01

    To compare the effects of cryopreserved sperm in vapor and liquid phases of liquid nitrogen on sperm motility, morphology, and sperm function. Experimental study. Andrology laboratory at Ramathibodi Hospital, Thailand. Thirty-eight semen samples with normal motility and sperm count were collected from 38 men who were either patients of an infertility clinic or had donated sperm for research. Each semen sample was divided into two aliquots. Samples were frozen with static-phase vapor cooling. One aliquot was plunged into liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees C), and the other was stored in vapor-phase nitrogen (-179 degrees C) for 3 days. Thawing was performed at room temperature. Motility was determined by using computer-assisted semen analysis, sperm morphology was determined by using eosin-methylene blue staining, and sperm function was determined by using a hemizona binding test. Most of the motility parameters of sperm stored in the vapor phase were not significantly different from those stored in the liquid phase of liquid nitrogen, except in amplitude of lateral head displacement. The percentages of normal sperm morphology in both vapor and liquid phases also were not significantly different. There was no significant difference in the number of bound sperm in hemizona between sperm cryopreserved in both vapor and liquid phases of liquid nitrogen. Cryopreservation of human sperm in a vapor phase of liquid nitrogen was comparable to cryopreservation in a liquid phase of liquid nitrogen.

  19. Long-range movement of humpback whales and their overlap with anthropogenic activity in the South Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Howard C; Maxwell, Sara M; Kershaw, Francine; Mate, Bruce

    2014-04-01

    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are managed by the International Whaling Commission as 7 primary populations that breed in the tropics and migrate to 6 feeding areas around the Antarctic. There is little information on individual movements within breeding areas or migratory connections to feeding grounds. We sought to better understand humpback whale habitat use and movements at breeding areas off West Africa, and during the annual migration to Antarctic feeding areas. We also assessed potential overlap between whale habitat and anthropogenic activities. We used Argos satellite-monitored radio tags to collect data on 13 animals off Gabon, a primary humpback whale breeding area. We quantified habitat use for 3 cohorts of whales and used a state-space model to determine transitions in the movement behavior of individuals. We developed a spatial metric of overlap between whale habitat and models of cumulative human activities, including oil platforms, toxicants, and shipping. We detected strong heterogeneity in movement behavior over time that is consistent with previous genetic evidence of multiple populations in the region. Breeding areas for humpback whales in the eastern Atlantic were extensive and extended north of Gabon late in the breeding season. We also observed, for the first time, direct migration between West Africa and sub-Antarctic feeding areas. Potential overlap of whale habitat with human activities was the highest in exclusive economic zones close to shore, particularly in areas used by both individual whales and the hydrocarbon industry. Whales potentially overlapped with different activities during each stage of their migration, which makes it difficult to implement mitigation measures over their entire range. Our results and existing population-level data may inform delimitation of populations and actions to mitigate potential threats to whales as part of local, regional, and international management of highly migratory marine species.

  20. Viscoelasticity promotes collective swimming of sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tung, Chih-Kuan; Harvey, Benedict B.; Fiore, Alyssa G.; Ardon, Florencia; Suarez, Susan S.; Wu, Mingming

    From flocking birds to swarming insects, interactions of organisms large and small lead to the emergence of collective dynamics. Here, we report striking collective swimming of bovine sperm, with sperm orienting in the same direction within each cluster, enabled by the viscoelasticity of the fluid. A long-chain polyacrylamide solution was used as a model viscoelastic fluid such that its rheology can be fine-tuned to mimic that of bovine cervical mucus. In viscoelastic fluid, sperm formed dynamic clusters, and the cluster size increased with elasticity of the polyacrylamide solution. In contrast, sperm swam randomly and individually in Newtonian fluids of similar viscosity. Analysis of the fluid motion surrounding individual swimming sperm indicated that sperm-fluid interaction is facilitated by the elastic component of the fluid. We note that almost all biological fluids (e.g. mucus and blood) are viscoelastic in nature, this finding highlights the importance of fluid elasticity in biological function. We will discuss what the orientation fluctuation within a cluster reveals about the interaction strength. Supported by NIH Grant 1R01HD070038.

  1. Gonadal Morphology, Histology, and Endocrinological Characteristics of Immature Female Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozu, Ryo; Murakumo, Kiyomi; Matsumoto, Rui; Nakamura, Masaru; Ueda, Keiichi; Sato, Keiichi

    2015-10-01

    Captive breeding of whale sharks is one of the great challenges for aquariums. However, there is limited information available related to reproductive physiology due to the difficulty of sampling and long-term observation. In the present report, we provide information on the reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, which were incidentally captured as bycatch in a set-net off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Total lengths of three captured female whale sharks were 403, 665, and 761 cm, respectively, at the time of their death. Collected paired ovaries differed in size between right and left. However, it seems not to determine which side of ovary becomes developed. Histological observations revealed that oocytes surrounded by follicle cell layers localized in the developed ovary, and most developed oocytes exhibited yolk vesicle stage. Additionally, in the largest specimen, there were low levels of three steroid hormones (Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, and Estradiol-17ß) that did not show seasonal variation. The present results indicate that even the whale shark over 7 m in TL are still histologically and endocrinologically immature. We expect that the present data will provide fundamental information related to reproductive physiology of female whale sharks, and will contribute to protection activities and increased success in captive breeding of whale sharks.

  2. Variation in sperm morphometry and sperm competition among barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) populations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laskemoen, T.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bonisoli-Alquati, A.; Cepák, J.; De Lope, F.; Hermosell, I. G.; Johannessen, L. E.; Kleven, O.; Marzal, A.; Mousseau, T. A.; Moller, A. P.; Robertson, R. J.; Rudolfsen, G.; Saino, N.; Vortman, Y.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 67, č. 2 (2013), s. 301-309 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Barn swallow * Extrapair paternity * Hirundo rustica * Sperm competition * Sperm size Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.049, year: 2013

  3. Delta opioid receptor on equine sperm cells: subcellular localization and involvement in sperm motility analyzed by computer assisted sperm analyzer (CASA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lacalandra Giovanni M

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Opioid receptors and endogenous opioid peptides act not only in the control of nociceptive pathways, indeed several reports demonstrate the effects of opiates on sperm cell motility and morphology suggesting the importance of these receptors in the modulation of reproduction in mammals. In this study we investigated the expression of delta opioid receptors on equine spermatozoa by western blot/indirect immunofluorescence and its relationship with sperm cell physiology. Methods We analyzed viability, motility, capacitation, acrosome reaction and mitochondrial activity in the presence of naltrindole and DPDPE by means of a computer assisted sperm analyzer and a fluorescent confocal microscope. The evaluation of viability, capacitation and acrosome reaction was carried out by the double CTC/Hoechst staining, whereas mitochondrial activity was assessed by means of MitoTracker Orange dye. Results We showed that in equine sperm cells, delta opioid receptor is expressed as a doublet of 65 and 50 kDa molecular mass and is localized in the mid piece of tail; we also demonstrated that naltrindole, a delta opioid receptor antagonist, could be utilized in modulating several physiological parameters of the equine spermatozoon in a dose-dependent way. We also found that low concentrations of the antagonist increase sperm motility whereas high concentrations show the opposite effect. Moreover low concentrations hamper capacitation, acrosome reaction and viability even if the percentage of cells with active mitochondria seems to be increased; the opposite effect is exerted at high concentrations. We have also observed that the delta opioid receptor agonist DPDPE is scarcely involved in affecting the same parameters at the employed concentrations. Conclusions The results described in this paper add new important details in the comprehension of the mammalian sperm physiology and suggest new insights for improving reproduction and for

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Sex-sorting sperm using flow cytometry/cell sorting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Duane L; Evans, K Michael; Seidel, George E

    2013-01-01

    The sex of mammalian offspring can be predetermined by flow sorting relatively pure living populations of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm. This method is based on precise staining of the DNA of sperm with the nucleic acid-specific fluorophore, Hoechst 33342, to differentiate between the subpopulations of X- and Y-sperm. The fluorescently stained sperm are then sex-sorted using a specialized high speed sorter, MoFlo(®) SX XDP, and collected into biologically supportive media prior to reconcentration and cryopreservation in numbers adequate for use with artificial insemination for some species or for in vitro fertilization. Sperm sorting can provide subpopulations of X- or Y-bearing bovine sperm at rates in the 8,000 sperm/s range while maintaining; a purity of 90% such that it has been applied to cattle on a commercial basis. The sex of offspring has been predetermined in a wide variety of mammalian species including cattle, swine, horses, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, deer, elk, dolphins, water buffalo as well as in humans using flow cytometric sorting of X- and Y-sperm.

  6. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes with cryopreserved testicular sperm aspiration samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, M; Valle, M; Marques, F; Sampaio, M; Geber, S

    2016-04-01

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be performed with testicular frozen-thawed spermatozoa in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA). Sperm retrieval can be performed in advance of oocyte aspiration, as it may avoid the possibility of no recovery of spermatozoa on the day of oocyte pickup. There are few studies available in the literature concerning the use of frozen-thawed spermatozoa obtained from testicular sperm aspiration (TESA). To evaluate the effects and the outcomes of ICSI with frozen-thawed spermatozoa obtained by TESA, we performed a retrospective analysis of 43 ICSI cycles using frozen-thawed TESA. We obtained acceptable results with a fertilisation rate of 67.9%, an implantation rate (IR) of 17.1%, and clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates of 41.9% and 37.2% respectively. The results of this study suggest that performing ICSI using cryopreserved frozen-thawed testicular spermatozoa with TESA as a first option is a viable, safe, economic and effective method for patients with NOA. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Sperm DNA quality evaluated by comet assay and sperm chromatin structure assay in stallions after unilateral orchiectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafini, R; Varner, D D; Bissett, W; Blanchard, T L; Teague, S R; Love, C C

    2015-09-15

    Unilateral orchiectomy (UO) may interfere with thermoregulation of the remaining testis caused by inflammation surrounding the incision site, thus altering normal spermatogenesis and consequently sperm quality. Two measures of sperm DNA quality (neutral comet assay and the sperm chromatin structure assay [SCSA]) were compared before UO (0 days) and at 14, 30, and 60 days after UO to determine whether sperm DNA changed after a mild testis stress (i.e., UO). The percent DNA in the comet tail was higher at 14 and 60 days compared to 0 days (P comet tail measures (i.e., length, moment, migration) were higher at all time periods after UO compared to 0 days (P comet assay and the SCSA, which was not identified using traditional measures of sperm quality. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Outdoor air pollution and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, Rafael; García-Blàquez, Núria; Jacquemin, Bénédicte; Checa, Miguel Angel

    2016-09-15

    Exposure to air pollution has been clearly associated with a range of adverse health effects, including reproductive toxicity, but its effects on male semen quality are still unclear. We performed a systematic review (up to June 2016) to assess the impact of air pollutants on sperm quality. We included 17 semi-ecological, panel, and cohort studies, assessing outdoor air pollutants, such as PM2.5, PM10, NOx, SO2, and O3, and their effects on DNA fragmentation, sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. Thirteen studies assessed air pollution exposure measured environmentally, and six used biomarkers of air pollution exposure (two did both). We rated the studies using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and assessed with the exposure method. Taking into account these factors and the number of studies finding significant results (positive or negative), the evidence supporting an effect of air pollution on DNA fragmentation is weak but suggestive, on sperm motility is limited and probably inexistent, on lower sperm count is inconclusive, and on sperm morphology is very suggestive. Because of the diversity of air pollutants and sperm parameters, and the studies' designs, we were unable to perform a meta-analysis. In summary, most studies concluded that outdoor air pollution affects at least one of the four semen quality parameters included in the review. However, results lack consistency, and furthermore, studies were not comparable. Studies using standardized air pollution and semen measures are required to obtain more reliable conclusions. CRD42015007175. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Underwater Ambient Noise in a Baleen Whale Migratory Habitat Off the Azores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Romagosa

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of underwater noise is of particular interest given the increase in noise-generating human activities and the potential negative effects on marine mammals which depend on sound for many vital processes. The Azores archipelago is an important migratory and feeding habitat for blue (Balaenoptera musculus, fin (Balaenoptera physalus and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis en route to summering grounds in northern Atlantic waters. High levels of low frequency noise in this area could displace whales or interfere with foraging behavior, impacting energy intake during a critical stage of their annual cycle. In this study, bottom-mounted Ecological Acoustic Recorders were deployed at three Azorean seamounts (Condor, Açores, and Gigante to measure temporal variations in background noise levels and ship noise in the 18–1,000 Hz frequency band, used by baleen whales to emit and receive sounds. Monthly average noise levels ranged from 90.3 dB re 1 μPa (Açores seamount to 103.1 dB re 1 μPa (Condor seamount and local ship noise was present up to 13% of the recording time in Condor. At this location, average contribution of local boat noise to background noise levels is almost 10 dB higher than wind contribution, which might temporally affect detection ranges for baleen whale calls and difficult communication at long ranges. Given the low time percentatge with noise levels above 120 dB re 1 μPa found here (3.3% at Condor, we woud expect limited behavioral responses to ships from baleen whales. Sound pressure levels measured in the Azores are lower than those reported for the Mediterranean basin and the Strait of Gibraltar. However, the currently unknown effects of baleen whale vocalization masking and the increasing presence of boats at the monitored sites underline the need for continuous monitoring to understand any long-term impacts on whales.

  11. Behaviour and kinematics of continuous ram filtration in bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simon, Malene Juul; Johnson, Mark; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2009-01-01

    Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high, or they......Balaenid whales perform long breath-hold foraging dives despite a high drag from their ram filtration of zooplankton. To maximize the volume of prey acquired in a dive with limited oxygen supplies, balaenids must either filter feed only occasionally when prey density is particularly high......, or they must swim at slow speeds while filtering to reduce drag and oxygen consumption. Using digital tags with three-axis accelerometers, we studied bowhead whales feeding off West Greenland and present here, to our knowledge, the first detailed data on the kinematics and swimming behaviour of a balaenid...... whale filter feeding at depth. Bowhead whales employ a continuous fluking gait throughout the bottom phase of foraging dives, moving at very slow speeds (less than 1 m s-1), allowing them to filter feed continuously at depth. Despite the slow speeds, the large mouth aperture provides a water filtration...

  12. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine

    2009-01-01

    are able to fertilize close to 100 per cent of the eggs and that the average sperm use per egg is very low, but increases with queen age. The robustness of stored sperm was found to decrease with years of storage, signifying that senescence affects sperm either directly or indirectly via the declining...... glandular secretions or deteriorating sperm-storage organs. We evaluate our findings with a heuristic model, which suggests that the average queen has sperm for almost 9 years of normal colony development. We discuss the extent to which leaf-cutter ant queens have been able to optimize their sperm...

  13. Discovery of a blue whale feeding and nursing ground in southern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hucke-Gaete, Rodrigo; Osman, Layla P; Moreno, Carlos A; Findlay, Ken P; Ljungblad, Don K

    2004-05-07

    After the extensive exploitation that reduced the Southern Hemisphere blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) populations to less than 3% of its original numbers, studies on its recovery have been compounded by the inaccessibility of most populations and the extensive migrations between low and high latitudes, thus ensuring that knowledge about blue whale ecology and status remains limited. We report the recent discovery of, arguably, the most important blue whale feeding and nursing ground known to date in the Southern Hemisphere, which is located near the fjords off southern Chile. Through aerial and marine surveys (n = 7) 47 groups, comprising 153 blue whales including at least 11 mother-calf pairs, were sighted during the austral summer and early autumn of 2003. The implications of this discovery on the biological understanding and conservation of this endangered species are discussed.

  14. Testicular Damage following Testicular Sperm Retrieval

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fedder, Jens; Marcussen, Niels; Fedder, Maja D.K.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible development of histological abnormalities such as fibrosis and microcalcifications after sperm retrieval in a ram model. Fourteen testicles in nine rams were exposed to open biopsy, multiple TESAs, or TESE, and the remaining four testicles were...... left unoperated on as controls. Three months after sperm retrieval, the testicles were removed, fixed, and cut into 1/2 cm thick slices and systematically put onto a glass plate exposing macroscopic abnormalities. Tissue from abnormal areas was cut into 3 μm sections and stained for histological...... evaluation. Pathological abnormalities were observed in testicles exposed to sperm retrieval (≥11 of 14) compared to 0 of 4 control testicles. Testicular damage was found independently of the kind of intervention used. Therefore, cryopreservation of excess sperm should be considered while retrieving sperm....

  15. The predictive value of parameters of clinical presentations for sperm yield in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia receiving microdissection testicular sperm extraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Hsuan Ku

    2017-12-01

    Conclusion: Clinical presentations or phenotypes can be used as predictive factors for successful sperm retrieval during mTESE in patients with NOA. Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and cases with UDT history have a higher chance of sperm retrieval. Initial testicular needle biopsy, if available, can provide valuable information about chances of sperm retrieval. Hypospermatogenesis predicts high sperm yield rate, and LMA can have best upgrade results of sperm yield after mTESE.

  16. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teuten, Emma L.; Reddy, Christopher M.

    2007-01-01

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s

  17. Halogenated organic compounds in archived whale oil: A pre-industrial record

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teuten, Emma L. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: emma.teuten@plymouth.ac.uk; Reddy, Christopher M. [Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 360 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States)]. E-mail: creddy@whoi.edu

    2007-02-15

    To provide additional evidence that several halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) found in environmental samples are natural and not industrially produced, we analyzed an archived whale oil sample collected in 1921 from the last voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. This sample, which pre-dates large-scale industrial manufacture of HOCs, contained two methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs), five halogenated methyl bipyrroles (MBPs), one halogenated dimethyl bipyrrole (DMBP), and tentatively one dimethoxylated polybrominated biphenyl (diMeO-PBB). This result indicates, at least in part, a natural source of the latter compounds. - Nine halogenated organic compounds have been detected in archived whale oil from the early 1920s.

  18. Right Whale Sightings Advisory System (RWSAS)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Having a Whale of a Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Feu, Chris

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Synchronous seasonal change in fin whale song in the North Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M Oleson

    Full Text Available Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus song consists of down-swept pulses arranged into stereotypic sequences that can be characterized according to the interval between successive pulses. As in blue (B. musculus and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, these song sequences may be geographically distinct and may correlate with population boundaries in some regions. We measured inter-pulse intervals of fin whale songs within year-round acoustic datasets collected between 2000 and 2006 in three regions of the eastern North Pacific: Southern California, the Bering Sea, and Hawaii. A distinctive song type that was recorded in all three regions is characterized by singlet and doublet inter-pulse intervals that increase seasonally, then annually reset to the same shorter intervals at the beginning of each season. This song type was recorded in the Bering Sea and off Southern California from September through May and off Hawaii from December through April, with the song interval generally synchronized across all monitoring locations. The broad geographic and seasonal occurrence of this particular fin whale song type may represent a single population broadly distributed throughout the eastern Pacific with no clear seasonal migratory pattern. Previous studies attempting to infer population structure of fin whales in the North Pacific using synchronous individual song samples have been unsuccessful, likely because they did not account for the seasonal lengthening in song intervals observed here.

  1. Sperm DNA fragmentation, recurrent implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Coughlan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence is increasing that the integrity of sperm DNA may also be related to implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage (RM. To investigate this, the sperm DNA fragmentation in partners of 35 women with recurrent implantation failure (RIF following in vitro fertilization, 16 women diagnosed with RM and seven recent fathers (control were examined. Sperm were examined pre- and post-density centrifugation by the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD test and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL assay. There were no significant differences in the age of either partner or sperm concentration, motility or morphology between three groups. Moreover, there were no obvious differences in sperm DNA fragmentation measured by either test. However, whilst on average sperm DNA fragmentation in all groups was statistically lower in prepared sperm when measured by the SCD test, this was not seen with the results from the TUNEL assay. These results do not support the hypothesis that sperm DNA fragmentation is an important cause of RIF or RM, or that sperm DNA integrity testing has value in such patients. It also highlights significant differences between test methodologies and sperm preparation methods in interpreting the data from sperm DNA fragmentation tests.

  2. 78 FR 58240 - International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-23

    ... above will not be counted against the U.S. limit. All other bigeye tuna captured by longline gear in the Convention Area by U.S. longline vessels and retained will be counted against the U.S. limit of 3,763 mt... false killer whale under ESA and the deep-set fishery's interaction with one sperm whale. This...

  3. Gold-standard for computer-assisted morphological sperm analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Violeta; Garcia, Alejandra; Hitschfeld, Nancy; Härtel, Steffen

    2017-04-01

    Published algorithms for classification of human sperm heads are based on relatively small image databases that are not open to the public, and thus no direct comparison is available for competing methods. We describe a gold-standard for morphological sperm analysis (SCIAN-MorphoSpermGS), a dataset of sperm head images with expert-classification labels in one of the following classes: normal, tapered, pyriform, small or amorphous. This gold-standard is for evaluating and comparing known techniques and future improvements to present approaches for classification of human sperm heads for semen analysis. Although this paper does not provide a computational tool for morphological sperm analysis, we present a set of experiments for comparing sperm head description and classification common techniques. This classification base-line is aimed to be used as a reference for future improvements to present approaches for human sperm head classification. The gold-standard provides a label for each sperm head, which is achieved by majority voting among experts. The classification base-line compares four supervised learning methods (1- Nearest Neighbor, naive Bayes, decision trees and Support Vector Machine (SVM)) and three shape-based descriptors (Hu moments, Zernike moments and Fourier descriptors), reporting the accuracy and the true positive rate for each experiment. We used Fleiss' Kappa Coefficient to evaluate the inter-expert agreement and Fisher's exact test for inter-expert variability and statistical significant differences between descriptors and learning techniques. Our results confirm the high degree of inter-expert variability in the morphological sperm analysis. Regarding the classification base line, we show that none of the standard descriptors or classification approaches is best suitable for tackling the problem of sperm head classification. We discovered that the correct classification rate was highly variable when trying to discriminate among non-normal sperm

  4. Whale shark economics: a valuation of wildlife tourism in South Ari Atoll, Maldives

    KAUST Repository

    Cagua, Edgar F.

    2014-08-12

    Whale sharks attract large numbers of tourists, divers and snorkelers each year to South Ari Atoll in the Republic of Maldives. Yet without information regarding the use and economic extent of the attraction, it is difficult to prioritize conservation or implement effective management plans. We used empirical recreational data and generalized mixed statistical models to conduct the first economic valuation (with direct spend as the primary proxy) of whale shark tourism in Maldives. We estimated that direct expenditures for whale shark focused tourism in the South Ari Marine Protected Area for 2012 and 2013 accounted for US$7.6 and $9.4 million respectively. These expenditures are based on an estimate of 72,000-78,000 tourists who are involved in whale shark excursions annually. That substantial amount of income to resort owners and operators, and tourism businesses in a relatively small area highlights the need to implement regulations and management that safeguard the sustainability of the industry through ensuring guest satisfaction and whale shark conservation. © 2014 Cagua et al.

  5. Total motile sperm count has a superior predictive value over the WHO 2010 cut-off values for the outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, E; Setti, A S; Braga, D P A F; Figueira, R C S; Iaconelli, A

    2016-09-01

    The objective of this study was to compare (i) the intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes among groups with different total motile sperm count ranges, (ii) the intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes between groups with normal and abnormal total motile sperm count, and (iii) the predictive values of WHO 2010 cut-off values and pre-wash total motile sperm count for the intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes, in couples with male infertility. This study included data from 518 patients undergoing their first intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycle as a result of male infertility. Couples were divided into five groups according to their total motile sperm count: Group I, total motile sperm count sperm count 1-5 × 10(6) ; group III, total motile sperm count 5-10 × 10(6) ; group IV, total motile sperm count 10-20 × 10(6) ; and group V, total motile sperm count >20 × 10(6) (which was considered a normal total motile sperm count value). Then, couples were grouped into an abnormal and normal total motile sperm count group. The groups were compared regarding intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes. The predictive values of WHO 2010 cut-off values and total motile sperm count for the intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes were also investigated. The fertilization rate was lower in total motile sperm count group I compared to total motile sperm count group V (72.5 ± 17.6 vs. 84.9 ± 14.4, p = 0.011). The normal total motile sperm count group had a higher fertilization rate (84.9 ± 14.4 vs. 81.1 ± 15.8, p = 0.016) and lower miscarriage rate (17.9% vs. 29.5%, p = 0.041) compared to the abnormal total motile sperm count group. The total motile sperm count was the only parameter that demonstrated a predictive value for the formation of high-quality embryos on D2 (OR: 1.18, p = 0.013), formation of high-quality embryos on D3 (OR: 1.12, p = 0.037), formation of blastocysts on D5 (OR: 1.16, p = 0.011), blastocyst expansion grade on D5

  6. Sperm motility and morphology as changing parameters linked to sperm count variations.

    OpenAIRE

    Dua A; Vaidya S

    1996-01-01

    Variations in semen analyses of 177 males over a 1 year period were assessed. The average means of total counts, motility, morphology, total motile count and non-motile % were determined for 5 classes of patients ranging from azoospermic to normospermic. Positive relationships between a falling sperm count, a decrease in motility and total motile counts were seen. Also, increasingly, abnormal forms were found with lower sperm counts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Lifestyle influences human sperm functional quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mnica Ferreira; Joana Vieira Silva; Vladimiro Silva; Antnio Barros; Margarida Fardilha

    2012-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the impact of acute lifestyle changes on human sperm functional quality.Methods:In the academic festivities week, young and apparently healthy male students who voluntarily submit themselves to acute lifestyle alterations(among the potentially important variations are increase in alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco consumption and circadian rhythm shifts) were used as a model system.Sperm samples were obtained before and after the academic week and compared by traditional semen analysis(n=54) and also tested for cleavedPolyADP-ribose polymerase(PARP) protein, an apoptotic marker(n=35).Results:Acute lifestyle changes that occurred during the academic week festivities(the study model) resulted both in a significant reduction in sperm quality, assessed by basic semen analysis(decrease in sperm concentration, total number of spermatozoa, progressive and non-progressive motility and increase in sperm morphological abnormalities) and by an increase in the expression of the apoptotic marker, cleavedPARP, in the ejaculate.Conclusions:Acute lifestyle changes have clear deleterious effects on sperm quality.We propose cleavedPARP as a novel molecular marker, valuable for assessing spermquality in parallel with the basic semen analysis method.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  10. Environmental toxicants cause sperm DNA fragmentation as detected by the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA[reg])

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evenson, Donald P.; Wixon, Regina

    2005-01-01

    Studies over the past two decades have clearly shown that reproductive toxicants cause sperm DNA fragmentation. This DNA fragmentation can usually be detected prior to observing alterations of metaphase chromosomes in embryos. Thus, Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA)-detected DNA damage is viewed as the molecular precursor to later gross chromosome damage observed under the light microscope. SCSA measurements of animal or human sperm consist of first obtaining a fresh or flash frozen neat semen sample in LN2 or dry ice. Samples are then sent to a SCSA diagnostic laboratory where the samples are thawed, diluted to ∼1-2 x 106 sperm/ml, treated for 30 s with a pH 1.2 detergent buffer and then stained with acridine orange (AO). The low pH partially denatures DNA at the sites of DNA strand breaks and the AO-ssDNA fluoresces red while the AO-dsDNA fluoresces green. Flow cytometry measurements of 5000 sperm/sample provide statistically robust data on the ratio of red to green sperm, the extent of the DNA fragmentation and the standard deviations of measures. Numerous experiments on rodents treated with reproductive toxicants clearly showed that SCSA measures are highly dose responsive and have a very low CV. Different agents that act on germ cells at various stages of development usually showed sperm DNA fragmentation when that germ cell fraction arrived in the epididymis or ejaculate. Some of these treated samples were capable of successful in vitro fertilization but with frequent embryo failure. A 2-year longitudinal study of men living a valley town with a reported abnormal level of infertility and spontaneous miscarriages and also a seasonal atmospheric smog pollution, showed, for the first time, that SCSA measurements of human sperm DNA fragmentation were detectable and correlated with dosage of air pollution while the classical semen measures were not correlated. Also, young men spraying pesticides without protective gear are at an increased risk for elevated

  11. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): A last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petruny, Loren M.; Wright, Andrew J.; Smith, Courtney E.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Placement of shipping routes and offshore wind farms are mutually exclusive. • Shipping likely has greater impacts on right whales than operating wind farms. • Siting by Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) would consider impacts of both on whales. • Placing wind farms in right whale migration corridors would exclude shipping. • Effective MSP would benefit right whales, wind energy development and ship safety. - Abstract: The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities

  12. A comparison of sperm agglutination and immobilization assays with a quantitative ELISA for anti-sperm antibody in serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, D M; Leali, B A; Howe, S E

    1986-08-01

    An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that quantitates antisperm antibody in serum was compared with standard sperm agglutination and immobilization assays with the use of sera from 40 normal and 292 subfertile individuals. Quantitation of the assay was accomplished by standardizing assay parameters, including the incorporation of a standard reference curve, the number of whole target sperm, the optimal dilution of serum, the selection of microtiter plate, and the time and temperatures involved in the adsorption and incubation phases. With this method, the level of antisperm antibody binding to target sperm in 40 normal fertile individuals was found to be 2.3 (+/- 1.1 standard deviation [SD]) fg immunoglobulin (Ig)/sperm. An increased mean level of 7.4 +/- 3.7 fg Ig/sperm was determined in 84 infertile patients with positive agglutination and/or immobilization tests. In 208 individuals with negative agglutination and immobilization tests the mean concentration of antisperm antibody was 2.5 +/- 1.3 fg Ig/sperm. Postvasectomy patients assayed by this method had a mean Ig binding value of 7.1 +/- 2.4 fg Ig/sperm. The infertile group with positive agglutination and/or immobilization tests had a significantly higher mean antisperm antibody level than the normal fertile group, according to the Student's t-test for independent samples (P less than 0.001). This indirect serum-based assay reproducibly quantitates antisperm antibody binding to whole target sperm, suggests the normal and abnormal levels of antisperm antibody, and correlates with standard functional assays.

  13. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Williams

    Full Text Available Ecosystem-based management (EBM of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maine Univ., Orono. Coll. of Education.

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

  15. Toward microfluidic sperm refinement: continuous flow label-free analysis and sorting of sperm cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wagenaar, B.; Dekker, Stefan; van den Berg, Albert; Segerink, Loes Irene

    2015-01-01

    This manuscript reports upon the development of a microfluidic setup to detect and sort sperm cells from polystyrene beads label-free and non-invasively. Detection is performed by impedance analysis. When sperm cells passed the microelectrodes, the recorded impedance (19.6 ± 5.7 Ω) was higher

  16. Mitochondrial respiratory efficiency is positively correlated with human sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Provenzano, Sara Pinto; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2012-04-01

    To correlate sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency with variations in sperm motility and with sperm morphologic anomalies. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically-treated sperm cells. A possible relationship among sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, sperm motility, and morphologic anomalies was investigated. Mitochondrial respiratory efficiency was positively correlated with sperm motility and negatively correlated with the percentage of immotile spermatozoa. Moreover, midpiece defects impaired mitochondrial functionality. Our data indicate that an increase in sperm motility requires a parallel increase in mitochondrial respiratory capacity, thereby supporting the fundamental role played by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in sperm motility of normozoospermic subjects. These results are of physiopathological relevance because they suggest that disturbances of sperm mitochondrial function and of energy production could be responsible for asthenozoospermia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Dietary recommendations regarding pilot whale meat and blubber in the Faroe Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pál Weihe

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available For centuries the pilot whale has been an important part Faroese life – both in regard to food and culture. However, studies dating back to 1977 have shown an increase in contamination of the meat, blubber, liver and kidneys of pilot whales. Several birth cohorts have been established in the Faroes in order to discover the health effects related to mercury and organchlorine exposure. In short the results have so far shown that: mercury from pilot whale meat adversely affects the foetal development of the nervous system; the mercury effect is still detectable during adolescence; the mercury from the maternal diet affects the blood pressure of the children; the contaminants of the blubber adversely affect the immune system so that the children react more poorly to immunizations; contaminants in pilot whales appear to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease in those who often eat pilot whale; the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis of the carotid arteries is increased in adults who have an increased exposure to mercury; septuagenarians with type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glycaemia tended to have higher PCB concentrations and higher past intake of traditional foods, especially during childhood and adolescence. Also impaired insulin secretion appears to constitute an important part of the type 2 diabetes pathogenesis associated with exposure to persistent lipophilic food contaminants. From the latest research results, the authors consider that the conclusion from a human health perspective must be to recommend that pilot whale is no longer used for human consumption.

  18. Mercury toxicity in beluga whale lymphocytes: Limited effects of selenium protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frouin, H.; Loseto, L.L.; Stern, G.A.; Haulena, M.; Ross, P.S.

    2012-01-01

    Increasing emissions of anthropogenic mercury represents a growing concern to the health of high trophic level marine mammals. In its organic form, this metal bioaccumulates, and can be toxic to several physiological endpoints, including the immune system. In this study, we (1) evaluated the effects of inorganic mercury (mercuric chloride, HgCl 2 ) and organic mercury (methylmercuric chloride, MeHgCl) on the in vitro function of lymphocytes isolated from the peripheral blood of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas); (2) characterized the potential protective effects of sodium selenite (Na 2 SeO 3 ) on cell proliferation of HgCl 2 or MeHgCl-treated beluga whale lymphocytes; and (3) compared these dose-dependent effects to measurements of blood Hg in samples collected from traditionally harvested beluga whales in the western Canadian Arctic. Lymphocyte proliferative responses were reduced following exposure to 1 μM of HgCl 2 and 0.33 μM of MeHgCl. Decreased intracellular thiol levels were observed at 10 μM of HgCl 2 and 0.33 μM of MeHgCl. Metallothionein induction was noted at 0.33 μM of MeHgCl. Concurrent exposure of Se provided a degree of protection against the highest concentrations of inorganic Hg (3.33 and 10 μM) or organic Hg (10 μM) for T-lymphocytes. This in vitro protection of Se against Hg toxicity to lymphocytes may contribute to the in vivo protection in beluga whales exposed to high Hg concentrations. Current Hg levels in free-ranging beluga whales from the Arctic fall into the range of exposures which elicited effects on lymphocytes in our study, highlighting the potential for effects on host resistance to disease. The implications of a changing Arctic climate on Hg fate in beluga food webs and the consequences for the health of beluga whales remain pressing research needs.

  19. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate labeling of sperm-associated proteinases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Odem, R.R.; Willand, J.L.; Polakoski, K.L.

    1990-01-01

    Proteinase inhibitors have been shown to be capable of preventing various aspects of fertilization. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) is an irreversible inhibitor of trypsin-like enzymes that is commercially available in a radiolabeled form. The experiments described herein were designed to determine if DFP would prevent sperm function in live, motile sperm and to identify the sperm proteins bound with DFP. DFP at 5 mM concentrations had no observable effect on sperm motility, but inhibited the penetration of zona-free hamster ova by human sperm (5.5%) compared to controls (33.5%). Acid extracts of motile sperm that had been incubated with radiolabeled DFP and collected by the swim-up procedure demonstrated the presence of radiolabeled DFP, and the autoradiography of the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gels of these extracts localized the uptake of radiolabeled DFP to proteins in the molecular weight region of the proacrosin-acrosin system. Acid-extracted proteinases from semen samples incubated with DFP demonstrated a concentration-dependent inhibition of both esterolytic hydrolysis of benzoyl-arginine ethyl ester on spectrophotometric analysis and proteolytic activity on gelatin SDS-PAGE zymography. DFP-labeled proteins were precipitated by highly specific antibodies to proacrosin. These results demonstrated that DFP is capable of inhibiting sperm function, and that it associates with the proacrosin-acrosin system in live motile sperm

  20. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate labeling of sperm-associated proteinases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Odem, R.R.; Willand, J.L.; Polakoski, K.L. (Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (USA))

    1990-02-01

    Proteinase inhibitors have been shown to be capable of preventing various aspects of fertilization. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) is an irreversible inhibitor of trypsin-like enzymes that is commercially available in a radiolabeled form. The experiments described herein were designed to determine if DFP would prevent sperm function in live, motile sperm and to identify the sperm proteins bound with DFP. DFP at 5 mM concentrations had no observable effect on sperm motility, but inhibited the penetration of zona-free hamster ova by human sperm (5.5%) compared to controls (33.5%). Acid extracts of motile sperm that had been incubated with radiolabeled DFP and collected by the swim-up procedure demonstrated the presence of radiolabeled DFP, and the autoradiography of the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gels of these extracts localized the uptake of radiolabeled DFP to proteins in the molecular weight region of the proacrosin-acrosin system. Acid-extracted proteinases from semen samples incubated with DFP demonstrated a concentration-dependent inhibition of both esterolytic hydrolysis of benzoyl-arginine ethyl ester on spectrophotometric analysis and proteolytic activity on gelatin SDS-PAGE zymography. DFP-labeled proteins were precipitated by highly specific antibodies to proacrosin. These results demonstrated that DFP is capable of inhibiting sperm function, and that it associates with the proacrosin-acrosin system in live motile sperm.

  1. The effects of male age on sperm analysis by motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silva Liliane FI

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study aimed to investigate the influence of age on sperm quality, as analysed by motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME. Methods Semen samples were collected from 975 men undergoing evaluation or treatment for infertility. Sperm cells were evaluated at 8400× magnification using an inverted microscope equipped with Nomarski (differential interference contrast optics. Two forms of spermatozoa were considered: normal spermatozoa and spermatozoa with large nuclear vacuoles (LNV, defined as vacuoles occupying > 50% of the sperm nuclear area. At least 200 spermatozoa per sample were evaluated, and the percentages of normal and LNV spermatozoa were determined. The subjects were divided into three groups according to age: Group I, less than or equal to 35 years; Group II, 36-40 years; and Group III, greater than or equal to 41 years. Results There was no difference in the percentages of normal sperm between the two younger (I and II groups (P >0.05. The percentage of normal sperm in the older group (III was significantly lower than that in the younger (I and II groups (P P >0.05. The percentage of LNV spermatozoa was significantly higher in the older group (III than in the younger (I and II groups (P P P Conclusion The results demonstrated a consistent decline in semen quality, as reflected by morphological evaluation by MSOME, with increased age. Considering the relationship between nuclear vacuoles and DNA damage, these age-related changes predict that increased paternal age should be associated with unsuccessful or abnormal pregnancy as a consequence of fertilisation with damaged spermatozoa. Given that sperm nuclear vacuoles can be evaluated more precisely at high magnification, these results support the routine use of MSOME for ICSI as a criterion for semen analysis.

  2. Office-based sperm concentration: A simplified method for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Methods: Semen samples from 51 sperm donors were used. Following swim-up separation, the sperm concentration of the retrieved motile fraction was counted, as well as progressive motile sperm using a standardised wet preparation. The number of sperm in a 10 μL droplet covered with a 22 × 22 mm coverslip was ...

  3. Testicular sperm is superior to ejaculated sperm for ICSI in cryptozoospermia: An update systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yi-No; Hsiao, Ya-Wen; Chen, Chien-Yu; Wu, Chien-Chih

    2018-05-18

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is well established and provides patients with severely impaired sperm quality with an opportunity to father a child. However, previous studies do not clearly indicate whether male with cryptozoospermia should use testicular sperm or ejaculated sperm for ICSI. The newest systematic review of this topic also gave a controversial conclusion that was based on incorrect pooling result. Moreover, two clinical studies published after the systematic review. In the present update systematic review and meta-analysis, a comprehensive citation search for relevant studies was performed using the Cochrane library databases, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science up to September 2017. The search returned 313 records, in which six studies were included in quantitative synthesis. These studies involved 578 male infertility patients who had undergone 761 ICSI cycles. The risk ratios favour fresh testicular sperm for good quality embryo rate (1.17, 95% CI 1.05-1.30, P = 0.005), implantation rate (95% CI 1.02-2.26, P = 0.04), and pregnancy rate (RR = 1.74, 95% CI 1.20-2.52, P = 0.004). In conclusion, the existing evidence suggests that testicular sperm is better than ejaculated sperm for ICSI in male with cryptozoospermia.

  4. Fossil traces of the bone-eating worm Osedax in early Oligocene whale bones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Steffen; Goedert, James L; Kahl, Wolf-Achim; Rouse, Greg W

    2010-05-11

    Osedax is a recently discovered group of siboglinid annelids that consume bones on the seafloor and whose evolutionary origins have been linked with Cretaceous marine reptiles or to the post-Cretaceous rise of whales. Here we present whale bones from early Oligocene bathyal sediments exposed in Washington State, which show traces similar to those made by Osedax today. The geologic age of these trace fossils ( approximately 30 million years) coincides with the first major radiation of whales, consistent with the hypothesis of an evolutionary link between Osedax and its main food source, although older fossils should certainly be studied. Osedax has been destroying bones for most of the evolutionary history of whales and the possible significance of this "Osedax effect" in relation to the quality and quantity of their fossils is only now recognized.

  5. Sperm flagellum volume determines freezability in red deer spermatozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis Ros-Santaella

    Full Text Available The factors affecting the inter-individual differences in sperm freezability is a major line of research in spermatology. Poor sperm freezability is mainly characterised by a low sperm velocity, which in turn is associated with low fertility rates in most animal species. Studies concerning the implications of sperm morphometry on freezability are quite limited, and most of them are based on sperm head size regardless of the structural parts of the flagellum, which provides sperm motility. Here, for the first time, we determined the volumes of the flagellum structures in fresh epididymal red deer spermatozoa using a stereological method under phase contrast microscopy. Sperm samples from thirty-three stags were frozen and classified as good freezers (GF or bad freezers (BF at two hours post-thawing using three sperm kinetic parameters which are strongly correlated with fertility in this species. Fourteen stags were clearly identified as GF, whereas nineteen were BF. No significant difference in sperm head size between the two groups was found. On the contrary, the GF exhibited a lower principal piece volume than the BF (6.13 µm3 vs 6.61 µm3, respectively, p = 0.006. The volume of the flagellum structures showed a strong negative relationship with post-thawing sperm velocity. For instance, the volume of the sperm principal piece was negatively correlated with sperm velocity at two hours post-thawing (r = -0.60; p<0.001. Our results clearly show that a higher volume of the sperm principal piece results in poor freezability, and highlights the key role of flagellum size in sperm cryopreservation success.

  6. Whale Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

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

  7. Using an autonomous passive acoustic observational system to monitor the environmental impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on deep-diving marine mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidorovskaia, N.; Ackleh, A.; Ma, B.; Tiemann, C.; Ioup, J. W.; Ioup, G. E.

    2012-12-01

    The Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center (LADC) is a consortium of scientists from four universities and the U.S. Navy, which performs acoustic measurements and analysis in littoral waters. For the present work, six passive autonomous broadband acoustic sensors were deployed by LADC in the vicinity of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill site in the Northern Gulf of Mexico in fall 2010. The objective of the project is to assess long-term impact of the spill on the deep-diving residential population of marine mammals, particularly, sperm and beaked whales. Collected data were processed to detect, extract, and count acoustic signals produced by different types of marine mammals. As a next step, a statistical model which uses acoustic inputs was developed to estimate residential populations of different types of marine mammals at different distances from the spill site. The estimates were compared to population estimates from years prior to the spill, using pre-spill collected data in the area by LADC from 2001, 2002, and 2007. The results indicate different responses from sperm and beaked whales in the first months following the spill. A recently published article by our research group (Ackleh et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 131, 2306-2314) provides a comparison of 2007 and 2010 estimates showing a decrease in acoustic activity and abundance of sperm whales at the 9-mile distant site, whereas acoustic activity and abundance at the 25-mile distant site has clearly increased. This may indicate that some sperm whales have relocated farther away from the spill subject to food source availability. The beaked whale population appears to return to 2007 numbers after the spill even at the closest 9-mile distant site. Several acoustically observed changes in the animals' habitat associated with the spill, such as anthropogenic noise level, prey presence, etc., can be connected with the observed population trends. Preliminary results for interpreting observed population trends will

  8. Sperm motility and morphology as changing parameters linked to sperm count variations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dua A

    1996-10-01

    Full Text Available Variations in semen analyses of 177 males over a 1 year period were assessed. The average means of total counts, motility, morphology, total motile count and non-motile % were determined for 5 classes of patients ranging from azoospermic to normospermic. Positive relationships between a falling sperm count, a decrease in motility and total motile counts were seen. Also, increasingly, abnormal forms were found with lower sperm counts.

  9. The different types of sperm morphology and behavior within a single species: Why do sperm of squid sneaker males form a cluster?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirohashi, Noritaka; Iwata, Yoko

    2013-11-01

    Some coastal squids exhibit male dimorphism (large and small body size) that is linked to mating behaviors. Large "consort" males compete with other, rival males to copulate with a female, and thereby transfer their spermatophores to her internal site around the oviduct. Small "sneaker" males rush to a single female or copulating pair and transfer spermatophores to her external body surface around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. We previously found that in Loligo bleekeri, sneaker sperm are ~50% longer than consort sperm, and only the sneaker sperm, once ejaculated from the spermatophore (sperm mass), form a cluster because of chemoattraction toward their own respiratory CO2. Here, we report that sperm clusters are able to move en masse. Because a fraction of ejaculated sperm from a sneaker's spermatophore are eventually located in the female's seminal receptacle, we hypothesize that sperm clustering facilitates collective migration to the seminal receptacle or an egg micropyle. Sperm clustering is regarded as a cooperative behavior that may have evolved by sperm competition and/or physical and physiological constraints imposed by male mating tactics.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Barnes, Christina

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Whole-genome sequencing of the blue whale and other rorquals finds signatures for introgressive gene flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árnason, Úlfur; Kumar, Vikas

    2018-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolution of baleen whales (Mysticeti) has been problematic because morphological and genetic analyses have produced different scenarios. This might be caused by genomic admixture that may have taken place among some rorquals. We present the genomes of six whales, including the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), to reconstruct a species tree of baleen whales and to identify phylogenetic conflicts. Evolutionary multilocus analyses of 34,192 genome fragments reveal a fast radiation of rorquals at 10.5 to 7.5 million years ago coinciding with oceanic circulation shifts. The evolutionarily enigmatic gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is placed among rorquals, and the blue whale genome shows a high degree of heterozygosity. The nearly equal frequency of conflicting gene trees suggests that speciation of rorqual evolution occurred under gene flow, which is best depicted by evolutionary networks. Especially in marine environments, sympatric speciation might be common; our results raise questions about how genetic divergence can be established. PMID:29632892

  12. Glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration in mouse LDHC-null sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odet, Fanny; Gabel, Scott; London, Robert E; Goldberg, Erwin; Eddy, Edward M

    2013-04-01

    We demonstrated previously that a knockout (KO) of the lactate dehydrogenase type C (Ldhc) gene disrupted male fertility and caused a considerable reduction in sperm glucose consumption, ATP production, and motility. While that study used mice with a mixed genetic background, the present study used C57BL/6 (B6) and 129S6 (129) Ldhc KO mice. We found that B6 KO males were subfertile and 129 KO males were infertile. Sperm from 129 wild-type (WT) mice have a lower glycolytic rate than sperm from B6 WT mice, resulting in a greater reduction in ATP production in 129 KO sperm than in B6 KO sperm. The lower glycolytic rate in 129 sperm offered a novel opportunity to examine the role of mitochondrial respiration in sperm ATP production and motility. We observed that in media containing a mitochondrial substrate (pyruvate or lactate) as the sole energy source, ATP levels and progressive motility in 129 KO sperm were similar to those in 129 WT sperm. However, when glucose was added, lactate was unable to maintain ATP levels or progressive motility in 129 KO sperm. The rate of respiration (ZO2) was high when 129 KO or WT sperm were incubated with lactate alone, but addition of glucose caused a reduction in ZO2. These results indicate that in the absence of glucose, 129 sperm can produce ATP via oxidative phosphorylation, but in the presence of glucose, oxidative phosphorylation is suppressed and the sperm utilize aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon known as the Crabtree effect.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Frants H; Perez, Jacobo Marrero; Johnson, Mark; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T

    2011-10-22

    Toothed whales rely on sound to echolocate prey and communicate with conspecifics, but little is known about how extreme pressure affects pneumatic sound production in deep-diving species with a limited air supply. The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a highly social species among the deep-diving toothed whales, in which individuals socialize at the surface but leave their social group in pursuit of prey at depths of up to 1000 m. To investigate if these animals communicate acoustically at depth and test whether hydrostatic pressure affects communication signals, acoustic DTAGs logging sound, depth and orientation were attached to 12 pilot whales. Tagged whales produced tonal calls during deep foraging dives at depths of up to 800 m. Mean call output and duration decreased with depth despite the increased distance to conspecifics at the surface. This shows that the energy content of calls is lower at depths where lungs are collapsed and where the air volume available for sound generation is limited by ambient pressure. Frequency content was unaffected, providing a possible cue for group or species identification of diving whales. Social calls may be important to maintain social ties for foraging animals, but may be impacted adversely by vessel noise.

  14. Intracellular pH in sperm physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishigaki, Takuya; José, Omar; González-Cota, Ana Laura; Romero, Francisco; Treviño, Claudia L; Darszon, Alberto

    2014-08-01

    Intracellular pH (pHi) regulation is essential for cell function. Notably, several unique sperm ion transporters and enzymes whose elimination causes infertility are either pHi dependent or somehow related to pHi regulation. Amongst them are: CatSper, a Ca(2+) channel; Slo3, a K(+) channel; the sperm-specific Na(+)/H(+) exchanger and the soluble adenylyl cyclase. It is thus clear that pHi regulation is of the utmost importance for sperm physiology. This review briefly summarizes the key components involved in pHi regulation, their characteristics and participation in fundamental sperm functions such as motility, maturation and the acrosome reaction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator is correlated closely with sperm progressive motility and normal morphology in healthy and fertile men with normal sperm parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, L-Y; Shan, J-J; Tong, X-M; Zhu, H-Y; Yang, L-Y; Zheng, Q; Luo, Y; Shi, Q-X; Zhang, S-Y

    2014-10-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) has been demonstrated to be expressed in mature spermatozoa and correlated with sperm quality. Sperm CFTR expression in fertile men is higher than that in infertile men suffering from teratospermia, asthenoteratospermia, asthenospermia and oligospermia, but it is unknown whether CFTR is correlated with sperm parameters when sperm parameters are normal. In this study, 282 healthy and fertile men with normal semen parameters were classified into three age groups, group (I): age group of 20-29 years (98 cases, 27.1 ± 6.2), group (II): age group of 30-39 years (142 cases, 33.7 ± 2.6) and group (III): age group of more than or equal to 40 years (42 cases, 44.1 ± 4.6). Sperm concentration, total count and progressive motility were analysed by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Sperm morphology was analysed by modified Papanicolaou staining. Sperm CFTR expression was conducted by indirect immunofluorescence staining. There was a significant positive correlation (P sperm progressive motility (r = 0.221) and normal morphology (r = 0.202), but there were no correlations between sperm CFTR expression and semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm total count as well as male age (P > 0.05). Our findings show that CFTR expression is associated with sperm progressive motility and normal morphology in healthy and fertile men with normal sperm parameters, but not associated with the number of spermatozoa and male age. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. Reduction in sperm count and increase in abnormal sperm in the mouse following x-irradiation or injection of 22Na

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison, A.; Moore, P.C.

    1980-01-01

    The accumulated reduction in sperm count and increase in the number of aberrant sperm in the mouse were used to compare acute X-irradiation with protracted radiation from an injection of 22 Na. The effects per unit of absorbed dose of acute and protracted radiation were similar on sperm count, but in respect of numbers of abnormal sperm the 22 Na induced a significantly greater maximum than X-rays. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  18. Sperm Na+, K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase activity: A preliminary study of comparison of swim up and density gradient centrifugation methods for sperm preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestari, Silvia W.; Larasati, Manggiasih D.; Asmarinah, Mansur, Indra G.

    2018-02-01

    As one of the treatment for infertility, the success rate of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is still relatively low. Several sperm preparation methods, swim-up (SU) and the density-gradient centrifugation (DGC) are frequently used to select for better sperm quality which also contribute to IUI failure. Sperm selection methods mainly separate the motile from the immotile sperm, eliminating the seminal plasma. The sperm motility involves the structure and function of sperm membrane in maintaining the balance of ion transport system which is regulated by the Na+, K+-ATPase, and Ca2+-ATPase enzymes. This study aims to re-evaluate the efficiency of these methods in selecting for sperm before being used for IUI and based the evaluation on sperm Na+,K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase activities. Fourteen infertile men from couples who underwent IUI were involved in this study. The SU and DGC methods were used for the sperm preparation. Semen analysis was performed based on the reference value of World Health Organization (WHO) 2010. After isolating the membrane fraction of sperms, the Na+, K+-ATPase activity was defined as the difference in the released inorganic phosphate (Pi) with and without the existence of 10 mM ouabain in the reaction, while the Ca2+-ATPase was determined as the difference in Pi contents with and without the existence of 55 µm CaCl2. The prepared sperm demonstrated a higher percentage of motile sperm compared to sperm from the whole semen. Additionally, the percentage of motile sperm of post-DGC showed higher result than the sperm from post-SU. The velocity of sperm showed similar pattern with the percentage of motile sperm, in which the velocity of prepared sperm was higher than the sperm from whole semen. Furthermore, the sperm velocity of post-DGC was higher compared to the sperm from post-SU. The Na+, K+-ATPase activity of prepared sperm was higher compared to whole semen, whereas Na+, K+-ATPase activity in the post DGC was higher than post SU. The Ca2

  19. Sperm cryopreservation in fish and shellfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiersch, Terrence R; Yang, Huiping; Jenkins, Jill A; Dong, Qiaoxiang

    2007-01-01

    Initial success in sperm cryopreservation came at about the same time for aquatic species and livestock. However, in the 50-plus years since then cryopreserved sperm of livestock has grown into a billion-dollar global industry, while despite work in some 200 species with well over 200 published reports, cryopreservation of aquatic species sperm remains essentially a research activity with little commercial application. Most research has focused on large-bodied culture and sport fishes, such as salmonids, carps, and catfishes, and mollusks such as commercially important oyster and abalone species. However, only a handful of studies have addressed sperm cryopreservation in small fishes, such as zebrafish, and in endangered species. Overall, this work has yielded techniques that are being applied with varying levels of success around the world. Barriers to expanded application include a diverse and widely distributed literature base, technical problems, small sperm volumes, variable results, a general lack of access to the technology, and most importantly, the lack of standardization in practices and reporting. The benefits of cryopreservation include at least five levels of improvements for existing industries and for creation of new industries. First, cryopreservation can be used to improve existing hatchery operations by providing sperm on demand and simplifying the timing of induced spawning. Second, frozen sperm can enhance efficient use of facilities and create new opportunities in the hatchery by eliminating the need to maintain live males, potentially freeing resources for use with females and larvae. Third, valuable genetic lineages such as endangered species, research models, or improved farmed strains can be protected by storage of frozen sperm. Fourth, cryopreservation opens the door for rapid genetic improvement. Frozen sperm can be used in breeding programs to create improved lines and shape the genetic resources available for aquaculture. Finally

  20. 21 CFR 173.275 - Hydrogenated sperm oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Hydrogenated sperm oil. 173.275 Section 173.275... CONSUMPTION Solvents, Lubricants, Release Agents and Related Substances § 173.275 Hydrogenated sperm oil. The food additive hydrogenated sperm oil may be safely used in accordance with the following prescribed...

  1. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jody M; Chavez, Daniela R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2015-03-19

    Competition among sperm to fertilize oocytes is a ubiquitous feature of sexual reproduction as well as a profoundly important aspect of sexual selection. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms sperm use to gain competitive advantage or how these mechanisms are regulated genetically. In this study, we utilize a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify a gene, comp-1, whose function is specifically required in competitive contexts. We show that comp-1 functions in sperm to modulate their migration through and localization within the reproductive tract, thereby promoting their access to oocytes. Contrary to previously described models, comp-1 mutant sperm show no defects in size or velocity, thereby defining a novel pathway for preferential usage. Our results indicate not only that sperm functional traits can influence the outcome of sperm competition, but also that these traits can be modulated in a context-dependent manner depending on the presence of competing sperm.

  2. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Beaufort Sea, Fall 1989. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Treacy, S.D.

    1990-11-01

    The OCSLA Amendments of 1978 (43 U.S.C. 1802) established a policy for the management of oil and natural gas in the OCS and for protection of the marine and coastal environments. The amended OCSLA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct studies in areas or regions of sales to ascertain the environmental impacts on the marine and coastal environments of the outer Continental Shelf and the coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas development (43 U.S.C. 1346). The report describes field activities and data analyses for aerial surveys of bowhead whales conducted between 1 September 1989 and 20 October 1989 in the Beaufort Sea, primarily between 140 W. and 154 W. longitudes south of 72 N. latitude. Ice cover during September and October 1989 was exceptionally light. A total of 215 bowhead whales, 104 belukha whales, 9 bearded seals, 84 ringed seals, and 32 unidentified pinnipeds were observed in 1989 during 98.70 hours of survey effort that included 38.10 hours on randomized transects. The last sighting of a bowhead whale made during the survey occurred in open water on 19 October 1989. No whales were sighted during a subsequent flight on 20 October 1989. Estimated median and mean water depths were shallower than for previous surveys (1982-1989). This is consistent with a trend for whales to be located in shallower water during years of generally light ice cover

  3. An automatic system to study sperm motility and energetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Linda Z; Nascimento, Jaclyn M; Chandsawangbhuwana, Charlie; Botvinick, Elliot L; Berns, Michael W

    2008-08-01

    An integrated robotic laser and microscope system has been developed to automatically analyze individual sperm motility and energetics. The custom-designed optical system directs near-infrared laser light into an inverted microscope to create a single-point 3-D gradient laser trap at the focal spot of the microscope objective. A two-level computer structure is described that quantifies the sperm motility (in terms of swimming speed and swimming force) and energetics (measuring mid-piece membrane potential) using real-time tracking (done by the upper-level system) and fluorescent ratio imaging (done by the lower-level system). The communication between these two systems is achieved by a gigabit network. The custom-built image processing algorithm identifies the sperm swimming trajectory in real-time using phase contrast images, and then subsequently traps the sperm by automatically moving the microscope stage to relocate the sperm to the laser trap focal plane. Once the sperm is stably trapped (determined by the algorithm), the algorithm can also gradually reduce the laser power by rotating the polarizer in the laser path to measure the trapping power at which the sperm is capable of escaping the trap. To monitor the membrane potential of the mitochondria located in a sperm's mid-piece, the sperm is treated with a ratiometrically-encoded fluorescent probe. The proposed algorithm can relocate the sperm to the center of the ratio imaging camera and the average ratio value can be measured in real-time. The three parameters, sperm escape power, sperm swimming speed and ratio values of the mid-piece membrane potential of individual sperm can be compared with respect to time. This two-level automatic system to study individual sperm motility and energetics has not only increased experimental throughput by an order of magnitude but also has allowed us to monitor sperm energetics prior to and after exposure to the laser trap. This system should have application in both the

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

    KAUST Repository

    Cochran, Jesse

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. The Semen pH Affects Sperm Motility and Capacitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ji; Chen, Li; Li, Jie; Li, Hongjun; Hong, Zhiwei; Xie, Min; Chen, Shengrong; Yao, Bing

    2015-01-01

    As the chemical environment of semen can have a profound effect on sperm quality, we examined the effect of pH on the motility, viability and capacitation of human sperm. The sperm in this study was collected from healthy males to avoid interference from other factors. The spermatozoa cultured in sperm nutrition solution at pH 5.2, 6.2, 7.2 and 8.2 were analyzed for sperm total motility, progressive motility (PR), hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) rate, and sperm penetration. Our results showed that these parameters were similar in pH 7.2 and 8.2 sperm nutrition solutions, but decreased in pH 5.2 and 6.2 solutions. The HOS rate exhibited positive correlation with the sperm total motility and PR. In addition, the sperm Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity at different pHs was measured, and the enzyme activity was significantly lower in pH 5.2 and 6.2 media, comparing with that in pH 8.2 and pH 7.2 solutions. Using flow cytometry (FCM) and laser confocal scanning microscopy (LCSM) analysis, the intracellular Ca2(+ )concentrations of sperm cultured in sperm capacitation solution at pH 5.2, 6.2, 7.2 and 8.2 were determined. Compared with that at pH 7.2, the mean fluorescence intensity of sperm in pH 5.2 and 6.2 media decreased significantly, while that of pH 8.2 group showed no difference. Our results suggested that the declined Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity at acidic pHs result in decreased sperm movement and capacitation, which could be one of the mechanisms of male infertility.

  7. Localized accumulation of cytosolic calcium near the fused sperm is associated with the calcium- and voltage-dependent block of sperm entry in the sea urchin egg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivonnet, Pedro I; Mohri, Tatsuma; McCulloh, David H

    2017-10-01

    Interaction of the sperm and egg depolarizes the egg membrane, allowing the sperm to enter; however, if the egg membrane is not allowed to depolarize from its resting potential (e.g., by voltage-clamp), the sperm will not enter. Previous studies demonstrated that sperm entry into sea urchin eggs that are voltage-clamped at negative membrane potentials is regulated both by the egg's membrane potential and a voltage-dependent influx of calcium into the egg. In these cases, electrical or cytoplasmic continuity (sperm-egg membrane fusion) occurs at negative membrane potentials, but subsequent loss of cytoplasmic continuity results in failure of sperm entry (unfusion). The work presented herein examined where, in relation to the sperm, and when, in relation to the sperm-induced electrophysiological events, the egg's calcium influx occurs, and how these events relate to successful or failed sperm entry. When sperm entered the egg, elevation of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) began near the fused sperm on average 5.9 s after sperm-egg membrane fusion. Conversely, when sperm failed to enter the egg, [Ca 2+ ] i elevated near the site of sperm-egg fusion on average 0.7 s after sperm-egg membrane fusion, which is significantly earlier than in eggs for which sperm entered. Therefore, the accumulation of calcium near the site of sperm-egg fusion is spatially and temporally consistent with the mechanism that may be responsible for loss of cytoplasmic continuity and failure of sperm entry. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Tolerance to environmental desiccation in moss sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shortlidge, Erin E; Rosenstiel, Todd N; Eppley, Sarah M

    2012-05-01

    • Sexual reproduction in mosses requires that sperm be released freely into the environment before finding and fertilizing a receptive female. After release from the male plant, moss sperm may experience a range of abiotic stresses; however, few data are available examining stress tolerance of moss sperm and whether there is genetic variation for stress tolerance in this important life stage. • Here, we investigated the effects of environmental desiccation and recovery on the sperm cells of three moss species (Bryum argenteum, Campylopus introflexus, and Ceratodon purpureus). • We found that a fraction of sperm cells were tolerant to environmental desiccation for extended periods (d) and that tolerance did not vary among species. We found that this tolerance occurs irrespective of ambient dehydration conditions, and that the addition of sucrose during dry-down improved cell recovery. Although we observed no interspecific variation, significant variation among individuals within species in sperm cell tolerance to environmental desiccation was observed, suggesting selection could potentially act on this basic reproductive trait. • The observation of desiccation-tolerant sperm in multiple moss species has important implications for understanding bryophyte reproduction, suggesting the presence of a significant, uncharacterized complexity in the ecology of moss mating systems. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  9. MONTHLY VARIATION IN SPERM MOTILITY IN COMMON CARP ASSESSED USING COMPUTER-ASSISTED SPERM ANALYSIS (CASA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperm motility variables from the milt of the common carp Cyprinus carpio were assessed using a computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system across several months (March-August 1992) known to encompass the natural spawning period. Two-year-old pond-raised males obtained each mo...

  10. 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

  11. Leukocytospermia and sperm preparation - a flow cytometric study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perticarari Sandra

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leukocytes represent the predominant source of reactive oxygen species both in seminal plasma and in sperm suspensions and have been demonstrated to negatively influence sperm function and fertilization rate in assisted reproduction procedures. Peroxidase test is the standard method recommended by WHO to detect semen leukocytes but it may be inaccurate. The aims of this study were (i to compare the efficiency of swim-up and density-gradient centrifugation techniques in removing seminal leukocytes, (ii to examine the effect of leukocytes on sperm preparation, and (iii to compare flow cytometry and peroxidase test in determining leukocyte concentration in semen using a multiparameter flow cytometric method. Methods Semen samples from 126 male partners of couples undergoing infertility investigations were analyzed for leukocytospermia using standard optical microscopy and flow cytometry. Sixty-nine out of 126 samples were also processed using simultaneously the swim-up and density-gradient centrifugation techniques. A multiparameter flow cytometric analysis to assess simultaneously sperm concentration, sperm viability, sperm apoptosis, and leukocyte concentration was carried out on neat and prepared sperm. Results Both sperm preparation methods removed most seminal leukocytes. However, the concentration of leukocytes was significantly lower after swim-up compared to that after density-gradient centrifugation preparation. Leukocytes concentration, either initial or in prepared fractions, was not correlated with sperm parameters (optical microscopy and flow cytometry parameters after semen processing. There was no correlation between leukocyte concentration in the ejaculate and sperm recovery rate, whereas a significant correlation was found between the concentration of the residual leukocytes in prepared fractions and viable sperm recovery rate. Although the overall concordance between the flow cytometry and the optical

  12. Extensive Core Microbiome in Drone-Captured Whale Blow Supports a Framework for Health Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apprill, Amy; Miller, Carolyn A; Moore, Michael J; Durban, John W; Fearnbach, Holly; Barrett-Lennard, Lance G

    2017-01-01

    The pulmonary system is a common site for bacterial infections in cetaceans, but very little is known about their respiratory microbiome. We used a small, unmanned hexacopter to collect exhaled breath condensate (blow) from two geographically distinct populations of apparently healthy humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ), sampled in the Massachusetts coastal waters off Cape Cod ( n = 17) and coastal waters around Vancouver Island ( n = 9). Bacterial and archaeal small-subunit rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced from blow samples, including many of sparse volume, as well as seawater and other controls, to characterize the associated microbial community. The blow microbiomes were distinct from the seawater microbiomes and included 25 phylogenetically diverse bacteria common to all sampled whales. This core assemblage comprised on average 36% of the microbiome, making it one of the more consistent animal microbiomes studied to date. The closest phylogenetic relatives of 20 of these core microbes were previously detected in marine mammals, suggesting that this core microbiome assemblage is specialized for marine mammals and may indicate a healthy, noninfected pulmonary system. Pathogen screening was conducted on the microbiomes at the genus level, which showed that all blow and few seawater microbiomes contained relatives of bacterial pathogens; no known cetacean respiratory pathogens were detected in the blow. Overall, the discovery of a shared large core microbiome in humpback whales is an important advancement for health and disease monitoring of this species and of other large whales. IMPORTANCE The conservation and management of large whales rely in part upon health monitoring of individuals and populations, and methods generally necessitate invasive sampling. Here, we used a small, unmanned hexacopter drone to noninvasively fly above humpback whales from two populations, capture their exhaled breath (blow), and examine the associated microbiome. In the

  13. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Armitage, Sophie A O; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known...... what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow...

  14. Archaeocete-like jaws in a baleen whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Radiolabelling of sperm cells with 99mTc-HMPAO. In vivo visualization of sperm cell migration in rabbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bockisch, A.; Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN; Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN; Al-Hasani, S.; Ven, H.V.D.; Diedrich, K.; Krebs, D.; Posch, C.; Hotze, A.; Biersack, H.J.

    1989-01-01

    The present paper is the first descriptive radiolabeling of sperm cells in order to visualize their in vivo migration and imaging by scintigraphic technique, 99m Tc-HMPAO was used which combines favourable characteristics of both imaging modalities and radiation exposure. The radiolabeling yield was optimised for human sperm cells, and was increasing with the number of sperm cells, the amount of HMPAO, the 99m Tc-HMPAO concentration and the duration of the incubation. Incubation periods greater than 20 min, however, resulted only in a minor increase of labeling yield. A delay of more than 5 min between the labeling of the HMPAO with 99m Tc and initiation of the incubation of the sperm cells with the 99m Tc-HMPAO also decreased the maximum labeling yield. The radiolabeled cells were found to be stable and after 18 h > 93% of the activity was still bound to the sperm cells. After insemination of labeled sperm cells in ovulating rabbits the accumulation of the cells in the Fallopian tubes and their subsequent migration could be clearly visualized by scintigraphic techniques in vivo. (orig.) [de

  17. Epididymal sperm from Spix's yellow-toothed cavies sperm successfully cryopreserved in Tris extender with 6% glycerol and 20% egg yolk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Andréia M; Praxedes, Erica C G; Campos, Lívia B; Bezerra, Luana G P; Moreira, Samara S J; Maia, Keilla M; Souza, Ana L P; Silva, Alexandre R

    2018-04-01

    As a non-threatened hystricognath rodent species, Spix's yellow-toothed cavies can be used as a model for the development of assisted reproductive techniques for the conservation of closely related species. The objective was to establish a functional protocol for cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from these cavies. Twelve sexually mature males, ∼2 y old and weighing ∼300 g, were euthanized. Sperm were recovered by retrograde flushing of the vas deferens and cauda epididymis with Tris extender. Thereafter, sperm were extended in Tris plus 20% egg yolk, with 3%, 6% or 9% glycerol or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), placed in 0.25 mL straws and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Sperm concentration, motility (using computer-assisted sperm analysis; CASA), plasma membrane integrity, osmotic response, morphology and sperm binding-ability were determined in fresh and frozen-thawed sperm. For most sperm endpoints, glycerol was a more desirable cryoprotectant than DMSO. Data (mean ± SEM) were similar with use of 3%, 6%, and 9% glycerol (P > 0.05) in osmotic response (40.66 ± 6.3%, 42.5 ± 7.1%, and 39.5 ± 5.0% respectably), and membrane integrity (55.17 ± 5.5%, 68.4 ± 4.1%, and 59.1 ± 4.9% respectably). Among concentrations assessed, the use of 6% glycerol resulted in the greatest (P < 0.05) post-thaw values for total motility (60.9 ± 4.4%), rapid subpopulation motility (27.7 ± 3.1%) and sperm-binding capability (227.0 ± 20.2). In conclusion, epididymal sperm from the Spix's yellow-toothed cavies (G. spixii) are optimally cryopreserved in Tris extender with 6% glycerol and 20% egg yolk. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. A new approach to sperm preservation based on bioenergetic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froman, D P; Feltmann, A J

    2010-04-01

    To date, attempts to preserve chicken sperm have been based on a trial-and-error experimental approach. The present work outlines the development of an alternative approach based on empiricism and bioenergetic theory. In previous work, we found fowl sperm motility to be dependent on mitochondrial calcium cycling, phospholipase A(2), and long-chain fatty acids as an endogenous energy source. It is noteworthy that fowl sperm reside within the sperm storage tubules (SST) of the oviduct over an interval of days to weeks after insemination. In this regard, a model for in vivo sperm storage was developed and tested in additional previous research. Sperm penetration of the SST, sperm residence within the SST, and sperm egress from the SST can be explained in terms mitochondrial function. Understanding sperm function and longevity in terms of bioenergetics presented the possibility that sperm could be inactivated by disrupting mitochondrial calcium cycling and could thereby be preserved. However, this possibility also posed a problem: maintenance of the inner membrane potential of the mitochondrion within inactivated sperm. This report describes a series of experiments in which fowl sperm were inactivated by treatment with the calcium chelator tetrasodium 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, and then reactivated by treatment with calcium ions. The effect of tetrasodium 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid on mitochondrial calcium cycling was confirmed by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. When treated sperm were cooled to 10 degrees C, inactivated sperm could be reactivated throughout a 5-h storage interval. When stored sperm were held for 3 h before reactivation and insemination, fertility was 88% of the control. Storage did not affect hatchability. In summary, short-term storage was realized by manipulating mitochondrial function. We propose that 1) complex V consumes ATP within inactivated sperm and, by doing so, maintains

  19. Effect of sperm concentration on characteristics and fertilization capacity of rooster sperm frozen in the presence of the antioxidants catalase and vitamin E.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moghbeli, Morteza; Kohram, Hamid; Zare-Shahaneh, Ahmad; Zhandi, Mahdi; Sharideh, Hossein; Sharafi, Mohsen

    2016-10-01

    The objective of this study conducted was to determine the influence of different levels of sperm concentration, including catalase (CAT) and vitamin E (VitE) in rooster semen extender on postthawed quality and fertility of rooster semen. Semen was collected twice a week from six roosters (Arian) and diluted according to experimental treatments consisting of sperm suspensions containing different sperm concentrations (200, 400, and 600 × 106 sperm/mL) without antioxidant supplementation as control (Con) groups (Con200, Con400, and Con600, respectively), sperm suspensions containing different sperm concentrations (200, 400, and 600 × 106 sperm/mL) supplemented with 5-μg/mL VitE (VitE200, VitE400, and VitE600, respectively) and different sperm concentrations (200, 400, and 600 × 106 sperm/mL) supplementation with 100 IU/mL CAT (CAT200, CAT400, and CAT600, respectively). After thawing; sperm motility, membrane integrity, and mitochondrial function were assessed. Fertility and hatchability rates were determined by using 100 artificially inseminated hens. The percentage of total motility (TM) and activity of mitochondria decreased (P rooster extender with different level sperm concentrations had no effect (P > 0.05) on fertility and hatchability rates. In conclusion, although adding VitE and CAT in extender with different levels of sperm concentration improved postthawed quality of rooster semen, but adding VitE and CAT in the extender have no effect on fertility rate. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Sperm cryopreservation in live-bearing Xiphophorus fishes: offspring production from Xiphophorus variatus and strategies for establishment of sperm repositories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huiping; Cuevas-Uribe, Rafael; Savage, Markita G; Walter, Ronald B; Tiersch, Terrence R

    2012-09-01

    Cryopreservation of sperm from Xiphophorus fishes has produced live young in three species: X. hellerii, X. couchianus, and X. maculatus. In this study, the goal was to establish protocols for sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination to produce live young in X. variatus, and to identify needs for repository development. The objectives were to: 1) collect basic biological characteristics of males; 2) cryopreserve sperm from X. variatus, 3) harvest live young from cryopreserved sperm, and 4) discuss the requirements for establishment of sperm repositories. The 35 males used in this study had a body weight of 0.298±0.096 g (mean±SD), body length of 2.5±0.2 cm, and testis weight of 6.4±3.4 mg. The sperm production per gram of testis was 2.33±1.32×10(9) cells. After freezing, the post-thaw motility decreased significantly to 37%±17% (ranging from 5% to 70%) (p=0.000) from 57%±14% (40%-80%) of fresh sperm (N=20). Artificial insemination of post-thaw sperm produced confirmed offspring from females of X. hellerii and X. variatus. This research, taken together with previous studies, provides a foundation for development of strategies for sperm repositories of Xiphophorus fishes. This includes: 1) the need for breeding strategies for regeneration of target populations, 2) identification of minimum fertilization capacity of frozen samples, 3) identification of fish numbers necessary for sampling and their genetic relationships, 4) selection of packaging containers for labeling and biosecurity, 5) assurance of quality control and standardization of procedures, 6) information systems that can manage the data associated with cryopreserved samples, including the genetic data, 7) biological data of sampled fish, 8) inventory data associated with frozen samples, and 9) data linking germplasm samples with other related materials such as body tissues or cells saved for DNA and RNA analyses.

  1. [Eosin Y-water test for sperm function examination].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zha, Shu-wei; Lü, Nian-qing; Xu, Hao-qin

    2015-06-01

    Based on the principles of the in vitro staining technique, hypotonic swelling test, and water test, the Eosin Y-water test method was developed to simultaneously detect the integrity of the sperm head and tail and sperm membrane structure and function. As a widely used method in clinical laboratories in China, the Eosin Y-water test is methodologically characterized by three advantages. Firstly, both the sperm head and tail can be detected at the same time, which allows easy and comprehensive assessment of membrane damage in different parts of sperm. Secondly, distilled water is used instead of the usual formula solution to simplify and standardize the test by eliminating any potential effects on the water molecules through the sperm membrane due to different osmotic pressure or different sugar proportions and electrolyte solutions. Thirdly, the test takes less time and thus can be repeated before and after treatment. This article focuses on the fundamental principles and modification of the Eosin Y-water test and its application in sperm function examination and routine semen analysis for male infertility, assessment of the quality of sperm retrieved by testicular fine needle aspiration, semen cryopreservation program development, and evaluation of sperm membrane integrity after microwave radiation.

  2. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jody M; Chavez, Daniela R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2015-01-01

    Competition among sperm to fertilize oocytes is a ubiquitous feature of sexual reproduction as well as a profoundly important aspect of sexual selection. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms sperm use to gain competitive advantage or how these mechanisms are regulated genetically. In this study, we utilize a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify a gene, comp-1, whose function is specifically required in competitive contexts. We show that comp-1 functions in sperm to modulate their migration through and localization within the reproductive tract, thereby promoting their access to oocytes. Contrary to previously described models, comp-1 mutant sperm show no defects in size or velocity, thereby defining a novel pathway for preferential usage. Our results indicate not only that sperm functional traits can influence the outcome of sperm competition, but also that these traits can be modulated in a context-dependent manner depending on the presence of competing sperm. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05423.001 PMID:25789512

  3. Whale Preservation. Grades Five to Nine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racicot, Darlene

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

  4. Parallel Evolution of Sperm Hyper-Activation Ca2+ Channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Jacob C; Phadnis, Nitin

    2017-07-01

    Sperm hyper-activation is a dramatic change in sperm behavior where mature sperm burst into a final sprint in the race to the egg. The mechanism of sperm hyper-activation in many metazoans, including humans, consists of a jolt of Ca2+ into the sperm flagellum via CatSper ion channels. Surprisingly, all nine CatSper genes have been independently lost in several animal lineages. In Drosophila, sperm hyper-activation is performed through the cooption of the polycystic kidney disease 2 (pkd2) Ca2+ channel. The parallels between CatSpers in primates and pkd2 in Drosophila provide a unique opportunity to examine the molecular evolution of the sperm hyper-activation machinery in two independent, nonhomologous calcium channels separated by > 500 million years of divergence. Here, we use a comprehensive phylogenomic approach to investigate the selective pressures on these sperm hyper-activation channels. First, we find that the entire CatSper complex evolves rapidly under recurrent positive selection in primates. Second, we find that pkd2 has parallel patterns of adaptive evolution in Drosophila. Third, we show that this adaptive evolution of pkd2 is driven by its role in sperm hyper-activation. These patterns of selection suggest that the evolution of the sperm hyper-activation machinery is driven by sexual conflict with antagonistic ligands that modulate channel activity. Together, our results add sperm hyper-activation channels to the class of fast evolving reproductive proteins and provide insights into the mechanisms used by the sexes to manipulate sperm behavior. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. 75 FR 1582 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-12

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

  6. Mid-Frequency Sonar Interactions with Beaked Whales

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. A spatially explicit estimate of the prewhaling abundance of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Pennino, M Grazia; Smith, Tim D; Reeves, Randall R; Meynard, Christine N; Kaplan, David M; Rodrigues, Ana S L

    2016-08-01

    The North Atlantic right whale (NARW) (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the world's most threatened whales. It came close to extinction after nearly a millennium of exploitation and currently persists as a population of only approximately 500 individuals. Setting appropriate conservation targets for this species requires an understanding of its historical population size, as a baseline for measuring levels of depletion and progress toward recovery. This is made difficult by the scarcity of records over this species' long whaling history. We sought to estimate the preexploitation population size of the North Atlantic right whale and understand how this species was distributed across its range. We used a spatially explicit data set on historical catches of North Pacific right whales (NPRWs) (Eubalaena japonica) to model the relationship between right whale relative density and the environment during the summer feeding season. Assuming the 2 right whale species select similar environments, we projected this model to the North Atlantic to predict how the relative abundance of NARWs varied across their range. We calibrated these relative abundances with estimates of the NPRW total prewhaling population size to obtain high and low estimates for the overall NARW population size prior to exploitation. The model predicted 9,075-21,328 right whales in the North Atlantic. The current NARW population is thus <6% of the historical North Atlantic carrying capacity and has enormous potential for recovery. According to the model, in June-September NARWs concentrated in 2 main feeding areas: east of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and in the Norwegian Sea. These 2 areas may become important in the future as feeding grounds and may already be used more regularly by this endangered species than is thought. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. Percoll gradient-centrifuged capacitated mouse sperm have increased fertilizing ability and higher contents of sulfogalactosylglycerolipid and docosahexaenoic acid-containing phosphatidylcholine compared to washed capacitated mouse sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furimsky, Anna; Vuong, Ngoc; Xu, Hongbin; Kumarathasan, Premkumari; Xu, Min; Weerachatyanukul, Wattana; Bou Khalil, Maroun; Kates, Morris; Tanphaichitr, Nongnuj

    2005-03-01

    Although Percoll gradient centrifugation has been used routinely to prepare motile human sperm, its use in preparing motile mouse sperm has been limited. Here, we showed that Percoll gradient-centrifuged (PGC) capacitated mouse sperm had markedly higher fertilizing ability (sperm-zona pellucida [ZP] binding and in vitro fertilization) than washed capacitated mouse sperm. We also showed that the lipid profiles of PGC capacitated sperm and washed capacitated sperm differed significantly. The PGC sperm had much lower contents of cholesterol and phospholipids. This resulted in relative enrichment of male germ cell-specific sulfogalactosylglycerolipid (SGG), a ZP-binding ligand, in PGC capacitated sperm, and this would explain, in part, their increased ZP-binding ability compared with that of washed capacitated sperm. Analyses of phospholipid fatty acyl chains revealed that PGC capacitated sperm were enriched in phosphatidylcholine (PC) molecular species containing highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22: 6n-3) being the predominant HUFA (42% of total hydrocarbon chains of PC). In contrast, the level of PC-HUFAs comprising arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n-6), and DHA in washed capacitated sperm was only 27%. Having the highest unsaturation degree among all HUFAs in PC, DHA would enhance membrane fluidity to the uppermost. Therefore, membranes of PGC capacitated sperm would undergo fertilization-related fusion events at higher rates than washed capacitated sperm. These results suggested that PGC mouse sperm should be used in fertilization experiments and that SGG and DHA should be considered to be important biomarkers for sperm fertilizing ability.

  9. Mercury toxicity in beluga whale lymphocytes: Limited effects of selenium protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frouin, H. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Rd, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2 (Canada); Loseto, L.L.; Stern, G.A. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Freshwater Institute, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N6 (Canada); Haulena, M. [Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC, V6G 3E2 (Canada); Ross, P.S., E-mail: peter.s.ross@dfo-mpo.gc.ca [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Rd, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2 (Canada)

    2012-03-15

    Increasing emissions of anthropogenic mercury represents a growing concern to the health of high trophic level marine mammals. In its organic form, this metal bioaccumulates, and can be toxic to several physiological endpoints, including the immune system. In this study, we (1) evaluated the effects of inorganic mercury (mercuric chloride, HgCl{sub 2}) and organic mercury (methylmercuric chloride, MeHgCl) on the in vitro function of lymphocytes isolated from the peripheral blood of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas); (2) characterized the potential protective effects of sodium selenite (Na{sub 2}SeO{sub 3}) on cell proliferation of HgCl{sub 2} or MeHgCl-treated beluga whale lymphocytes; and (3) compared these dose-dependent effects to measurements of blood Hg in samples collected from traditionally harvested beluga whales in the western Canadian Arctic. Lymphocyte proliferative responses were reduced following exposure to 1 {mu}M of HgCl{sub 2} and 0.33 {mu}M of MeHgCl. Decreased intracellular thiol levels were observed at 10 {mu}M of HgCl{sub 2} and 0.33 {mu}M of MeHgCl. Metallothionein induction was noted at 0.33 {mu}M of MeHgCl. Concurrent exposure of Se provided a degree of protection against the highest concentrations of inorganic Hg (3.33 and 10 {mu}M) or organic Hg (10 {mu}M) for T-lymphocytes. This in vitro protection of Se against Hg toxicity to lymphocytes may contribute to the in vivo protection in beluga whales exposed to high Hg concentrations. Current Hg levels in free-ranging beluga whales from the Arctic fall into the range of exposures which elicited effects on lymphocytes in our study, highlighting the potential for effects on host resistance to disease. The implications of a changing Arctic climate on Hg fate in beluga food webs and the consequences for the health of beluga whales remain pressing research needs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-11

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

  11. Evolutionary genetics and ecology of sperm-dependent parthenogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukeboom, L.W.; Vrijenhoek, R.C.

    1998-01-01

    Sperm-dependent (or pseudogamous) forms of parthenogenetic reproduction occur in a wide variety of animals. Inheritance is typically clonal and matroclinous (of female descent), but sperm are needed to initiate normal development. As opposed to true parthenogenesis (i.e., sperm-independent

  12. Prey items and predation behavior of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Nunavut, Canada based on Inuit hunter interviews

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are the most widely distributed cetacean, occurring in all oceans worldwide, and within ocean regions different ecotypes are defined based on prey preferences. Prey items are largely unknown in the eastern Canadian Arctic and therefore we conducted a survey of Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to provide information on the feeding ecology of killer whales. We compiled Inuit observations on killer whales and their prey items via 105 semi-directed interviews conducted in 11 eastern Nunavut communities (Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk regions) from 2007-2010. Results Results detail local knowledge of killer whale prey items, hunting behaviour, prey responses, distribution of predation events, and prey capture techniques. Inuit TEK and published literature agree that killer whales at times eat only certain parts of prey, particularly of large whales, that attacks on large whales entail relatively small groups of killer whales, and that they hunt cooperatively. Inuit observations suggest that there is little prey specialization beyond marine mammals and there are no definitive observations of fish in the diet. Inuit hunters and elders also documented the use of sea ice and shallow water as prey refugia. Conclusions By combining TEK and scientific approaches we provide a more holistic view of killer whale predation in the eastern Canadian Arctic relevant to management and policy. Continuing the long-term relationship between scientists and hunters will provide for successful knowledge integration and has resulted in considerable improvement in understanding of killer whale ecology relevant to management of prey species. Combining scientists and Inuit knowledge will assist in northerners adapting to the restructuring of the Arctic marine ecosystem associated with warming and loss of sea ice. PMID:22520955

  13. The effects of increased testicular temperature on testis-specific isoform of Na+/K+ -ATPase in sperm and its role in spermatogenesis and sperm function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thundathil, J C; Rajamanickam, G D; Kastelic, J P; Newton, L D

    2012-08-01

    Impaired testicular thermoregulation is commonly implicated in abnormal spermatogenesis and impaired sperm function in animals and humans, with outcomes ranging from subclinical infertility to sterility. Bovine testes must be maintained 4-5 °C below body-core temperature for normal spermatogenesis. The effects of elevated testicular temperature have been extensively studied in cattle using a scrotal insulation model, which results in abnormal spermatogenesis and impaired sperm morphology and function. Using this model and proteomic approaches, we compared normal and abnormal sperm (from the same bulls) to elucidate the molecular basis of impaired function. We identified a cohort of sperm functional proteins differentially expressed between normal vs abnormal sperm, including a testis-specific isoform of Na(+) /K(+) -ATPase. In addition to its role as a sodium pump regulating sperm motility, Na(+) /K(+) -ATPase is also involved as a signalling molecule during sperm capacitation. In conclusion, because of its involvement in regulation of sperm function, this protein has potential as a fertility marker. Furthermore, comparing normal vs abnormal sperm (induced by scrotal insulation) is a useful model for identifying proteins regulating sperm function. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morten Tange Olsen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the applicability of telomere length measurements by quantitative PCR as a tool for minimally invasive age determination of free-ranging cetaceans. We analysed telomere length in skin samples from 28 North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae, ranging from 0 to 26 years of age. The results suggested a significant correlation between telomere length and age in humpback whales. However, telomere length was highly variable among individuals of similar age, suggesting that telomere length measured by quantitative PCR is an imprecise determinant of age in humpback whales. The observed variation in individual telomere length was found to be a function of both experimental and biological variability, with the latter perhaps reflecting patterns of inheritance, resource allocation trade-offs, and stochasticity of the marine environment.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utrecht, van W.L.

    1965-01-01

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

  16. Short communication Relationship between sperm plasma ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Matshidiso MB. Masenya

    2017-01-04

    Jan 4, 2017 ... observed between sperm plasma membrane integrity and fertility. There was a weak positive correlation between normal sperm morphology and conception rate (r = 0.11). Additionally ..... been approved by all of us. Authors' ...

  17. Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skovmand, Astrid; Jacobsen Lauvås, Anna; Christensen, Preben; Vogel, Ulla; Sørig Hougaard, Karin; Goericke-Pesch, Sandra

    2018-01-31

    Semen quality parameters are potentially affected by nanomaterials in several ways: Inhaled nanosized particles are potent inducers of pulmonary inflammation, leading to the release of inflammatory mediators. Small amounts of particles may translocate from the lungs into the lung capillaries, enter the systemic circulation and ultimately reach the testes. Both the inflammatory response and the particles may induce oxidative stress which can directly affect spermatogenesis. Furthermore, spermatogenesis may be indirectly affected by changes in the hormonal milieu as systemic inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model. Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous nanomaterials were investigated by intratracheally instilling sexually mature male NMRI mice with four different carbonaceous nanomaterials dispersed in nanopure water: graphene oxide (18 μg/mouse/i.t.), Flammruss 101, Printex 90 and SRM1650b (0.1 mg/mouse/i.t. each) weekly for seven consecutive weeks. Pulmonary inflammation was determined by differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Epididymal sperm concentration and motility were measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Epididymal sperm viability and morphological abnormalities were assessed manually using Hoechst 33,342/PI flourescent and Spermac staining, respectively. Epididymal sperm were assessed with regard to sperm DNA integrity (damage). Daily sperm production was measured in the testis, and testosterone levels were measured in blood plasma by ELISA. Neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar fluid showed sustained inflammatory response in the nanoparticle-exposed groups one week after the last instillation. No significant changes in epididymal sperm parameters, daily sperm production or plasma testosterone levels

  18. Some Reflections on Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Ebner

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Although intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI allows proper fertilization in most cases of male sub fertility, it is one of the most unphysiological techniques in assisted reproductive technologies (ART. Thus, over the last decade, researchers have tried to improve sperm observation with higher-resolution microscopy techniques such as the intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI technique. In order to identify literatures for this review, the PubMed database was searched from 2000 onwards using the terms IMSI, motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME and sperm vacuole. Approximately 10 years after the introduction of the MSOME and IMSI procedures, several questions related to the prevalence, origin, location, and clinical consequences of sperm vacuoles have not yet been clarified. It seems that IMSI as a routine application is not state of the art and the only confirmed indications for IMSI are recurrent implantation failure following ICSI and severe male factor.

  19. The influence of ecology on sociality in the killer whale (Orcinus orca)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Suzanne; Kuningas, Sanna; Esteban, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    a population under different ecological conditions can identify the relative influence of ecological selection on group formation. Here, we compare the size and persistence of social groups within a community of Atlantic killer whales, comparing between data collected from an area around Scotland where......-eating ecotype than the more phylogenetically distant Pacific mammal-eating ecotype. Our study suggests that sociality in killer whales is to some extent plastic and can be adapted to the local ecological conditions. Key words: ecology, killer whale, orca, orcinus, sociality....

  20. 78 FR 34347 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plan for the North Pacific Right Whale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-07

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

  1. A dictionary learning approach for human sperm heads classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaker, Fariba; Monadjemi, S Amirhassan; Alirezaie, Javad; Naghsh-Nilchi, Ahmad Reza

    2017-12-01

    To diagnose infertility in men, semen analysis is conducted in which sperm morphology is one of the factors that are evaluated. Since manual assessment of sperm morphology is time-consuming and subjective, automatic classification methods are being developed. Automatic classification of sperm heads is a complicated task due to the intra-class differences and inter-class similarities of class objects. In this research, a Dictionary Learning (DL) technique is utilized to construct a dictionary of sperm head shapes. This dictionary is used to classify the sperm heads into four different classes. Square patches are extracted from the sperm head images. Columnized patches from each class of sperm are used to learn class-specific dictionaries. The patches from a test image are reconstructed using each class-specific dictionary and the overall reconstruction error for each class is used to select the best matching class. Average accuracy, precision, recall, and F-score are used to evaluate the classification method. The method is evaluated using two publicly available datasets of human sperm head shapes. The proposed DL based method achieved an average accuracy of 92.2% on the HuSHeM dataset, and an average recall of 62% on the SCIAN-MorphoSpermGS dataset. The results show a significant improvement compared to a previously published shape-feature-based method. We have achieved high-performance results. In addition, our proposed approach offers a more balanced classifier in which all four classes are recognized with high precision and recall. In this paper, we use a Dictionary Learning approach in classifying human sperm heads. It is shown that the Dictionary Learning method is far more effective in classifying human sperm heads than classifiers using shape-based features. Also, a dataset of human sperm head shapes is introduced to facilitate future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Methods of sperm vitality assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovtsev, Sergey I; Librach, Clifford L

    2013-01-01

    Sperm vitality is a reflection of the proportion of live, membrane-intact spermatozoa determined by either dye exclusion or osmoregulatory capacity under hypo-osmotic conditions. In this chapter we address the two most common methods of sperm vitality assessment: eosin-nigrosin staining and the hypo-osmotic swelling test, both utilized in clinical Andrology laboratories.

  3. Spectrogram analysis of low to mid frequency marine mammal clicks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioup, George E.; Ioup, Juliette W.; Larue, James P.; Sidorovskaia, Natalia A.; Kuczaj, Stan A.; Rayborn, Grayson H.; Walker, Christopher D.

    2004-05-01

    Previous investigators have proposed explanations for some sperm whale click structure and pointed out that the separation of individual pulses within the click might be used to determine approximately the size of the sperm whales. Recently, Mohl et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114, 1124-1154 (2003)] have shown that echo-location click structure is highly dependent on the received angle. In data measured by the Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center using bottom-moored hydrophones in the northern Gulf of Mexico in the summers of 2001 and 2002, rich click structures were observed in the spectrograms of many click trains, some of which exhibit strikingly consistent spectral nulls across the train. Although this structure in the spectra could be due to propagation effects, investigations to date suggest this possibility is highly unlikely, as discussed in the next abstract. Therefore it is at least plausible that the structure could be used to identify individual animals. This is known to be a difficult problem in the case of sperm whales because of the angle dependence of at least some of their clicks. These difficulties are discussed, as is the possible use of the spectrograms of the clicks to identify individuals. [Research supported by ONR.

  4. Characterization of Na+K+-ATPase in bovine sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickey, Katie D; Buhr, Mary M

    2012-04-15

    Existing as a ubiquitous transmembrane protein, Na(+)K(+)-ATPase affects sperm fertility and capacitation through ion transport and a recently identified signaling function. Functional Na(+)K(+)-ATPase is a dimer of α and β subunits, each with isoforms (four and three, respectively). Since specific isoform pairings and locations may influence or indicate function, the objective of this study was to identify and localize subunits of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase in fresh bull sperm by immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry using antibodies against α1 and 3, and all β isoforms. Relative quantity of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase in head plasma membranes (HPM's) from sperm of different bulls was determined by densitometry of immunoblot bands, and compared to bovine kidney. Sperm and kidney specifically bound all antibodies at kDa equivalent to commercial controls, and to additional lower kDa bands in HPM. Immunofluorescence of intact sperm confirmed that all isoforms were present in the head region of sperm and that α3 was also uniformly distributed post-equatorially. Permeabilization exposing internal membranes typically resulted in an increase in fluorescence, indicating that some antibody binding sites were present on the inner surface of the HPM or the acrosomal membrane. Deglycosylation of β1 reduced the kDa of bands in sperm, rat brain and kidney, with the kDa of the deglycosylated bands differing among tissues. Two-dimensional blots of β1 revealed three distinct spots. Based on the unique quantity, location and structure Na(+)K(+)-ATPase subunits in sperm, we inferred that this protein has unique functions in sperm. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  6. The cochlea of the enigmatic pygmy right whale Caperea marginata informs mysticete phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Travis; Marx, Felix G; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Evans, Alistair R

    2017-06-01

    The pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata, is the least understood extant baleen whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti). Knowledge on its basic anatomy, ecology, and fossil record is limited, even though its singular position outside both balaenids (right whales) and balaenopteroids (rorquals + grey whales) gives Caperea a pivotal role in mysticete evolution. Recent investigations of the cetacean cochlea have provided new insights into sensory capabilities and phylogeny. Here, we extend this advance to Caperea by describing, for the first time, the inner ear of this enigmatic species. The cochlea is large and appears to be sensitive to low-frequency sounds, but its hearing limit is relatively high. The presence of a well-developed tympanal recess links Caperea with cetotheriids and balaenopteroids, rather than balaenids, contrary to the traditional morphological view of a close Caperea-balaenid relationship. Nevertheless, a broader sample of the cetotheriid Herpetocetus demonstrates that the presence of a tympanal recess can be variable at the specific and possibly even the intraspecific level. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Post Thawing Sperm Quality and Ca+2 Intensity Characters of Local Goat Sperm After Freezing by Simple Method Using Deep Freezing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gatot Ciptadi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to determine the effect of the simple modified freezing method, 1°C/minute freezing rate with different diluter ration on a post-thawing quality of local goat sperm namely Peranakan Etawah (PE. This work is aimed to study the quality of post-thawing sperm and to characterize the calcium intensity profile of both fresh and post thawing goat sperm. The method used is the experimental design of a laboratory. Freezing semen was performed in 2 main temperatures of -45°C then -196°C respectively using Mr. Frosty (® System. Early Sperm characters of Ca+2 intensity was performed by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope (CLSM through Fluo-3 staining and Ca++ intensity was analysis descriptively. The result showed that post-thawing qualities are considered as good as standard qualities, at least, more than 40% based on Indonesian National Standard (SNI, 2014. The different level diluents commercial of Andromeda used were influenced highly significant (P<0.01. The best diluents ration is 1:4 (v/v for final sperms stocked at -196°C. However freezing sperm conserved in -196°C is better than in -45°C. Meanwhile, the sperm characters of two condition showed the important variation of Ca+2 intensity, with the length of region measurement of 39.06±4.595 and 32.696±9.011 µm each.  It was concluded that the calcium intensity pattern was varied more and higher in fresh sperm than in freezing sperms. This simple modified method of a freezing system was considered as a feasible alternative method for goat semen in a reason for both for sperm post-thawing quality and practical purposes.

  8. Annual Acoustic Presence of Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Offshore Eastern Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciacca, Virginia; Caruso, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Chierici, Francesco; De Domenico, Emilio; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Simeone, Francesco; Viola, Salvatore; Riccobene, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of surveys have definitively confirmed the seasonal presence of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in highly productive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, very little is yet known about the routes that the species seasonally follows within the Mediterranean basin and, particularly, in the Ionian area. The present study assesses for the first time fin whale acoustic presence offshore Eastern Sicily (Ionian Sea), throughout the processing of about 10 months of continuous acoustic monitoring. The recording of fin whale vocalizations was made possible by the cabled deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory, “NEMO-SN1”, deployed 25 km off the Catania harbor at a depth of about 2,100 meters. NEMO-SN1 is an operational node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) Research Infrastructure. The observatory was equipped with a low-frequency hydrophone (bandwidth: 0.05 Hz–1 kHz, sampling rate: 2 kHz) which continuously acquired data from July 2012 to May 2013. About 7,200 hours of acoustic data were analyzed by means of spectrogram display. Calls with the typical structure and patterns associated to the Mediterranean fin whale population were identified and monitored in the area for the first time. Furthermore, a background noise analysis within the fin whale communication frequency band (17.9–22.5 Hz) was conducted to investigate possible detection-masking effects. The study confirms the hypothesis that fin whales are present in the Ionian Sea throughout all seasons, with peaks in call detection rate during spring and summer months. The analysis also demonstrates that calls were more frequently detected in low background noise conditions. Further analysis will be performed to understand whether observed levels of noise limit the acoustic detection of the fin whales vocalizations, or whether the animals vocalize less in the presence of high background noise. PMID:26581104

  9. Effects of oceanographic factors on spatial distribution of Whale Shark in Cendrawasih Bay National Park, West Papua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranintyari, Maulida; Sunarto; Syamsuddin, Mega L.; Astuty, Sri

    2018-05-01

    Whale sharks are a leading species in Cendrawasih Bay due to its benign nature and its regular appearance. Recently, whale sharks are vulnerable to scarcity and even extinction. One of the efforts to maintain the existence of the whale shark population is by knowing its spatial distribution. This study aims to analyze how the oceanographic factors affect the spatial distribution of whale sharks in Cendrawasih Bay National Park. The method used in this research is descriptive with the quantitative approach using the Generalized Additive Model (GAM) analysis. The data consisted of the whale shark monitoring data in TNTC taken by WWF-Indonesia, and image data of sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a concentration of Aqua-MODIS, and also sea surface current from Aviso. Analyses were conducted for the period of January 2012 until March 2015. The GAM result indicated that sea surface current was better than the other environment (SST and chlorophyll-a concentration) as an oceanographic predictor of whale shark appearance. High probabilities of the whale shark’s to appear on the surface were observed in sea surface current velocities between 0.30-0.60 m/s, for SST ranged from 30.50-31.80 °C, and for chlorophyll-a concentration ranged from 0.20-0.40 mg/m3.

  10. Sperm immobilization by dental focus microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linossier, A; Thumann, A; Bustos-Obregon, E

    1982-01-01

    Focal infections and their ability to produce alterations in different tissues have been in dispute for long time. The purpose of this work was to observe "in vitro" the effect of an Escherichia coli filtrate obtained from open pulpar necrosis on human sperm motility. It was observed that the E. coli filtrate produced a loss in sperm motility. The immobilizating factor was studied and characterized as a heat-stable, resistant to lyophilization and non-dializable substance, which could via blood stream reach the male reproductive system and affect sperm motility.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-15

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

  12. Sperm depletion as a consequence of increased sperm competition risk in the European bitterling, Rhodeus amarus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smith, C.; Pateman-Jones, C.; Zieba, G.; Przybylski, M.; Reichard, Martin

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 77, č. 5 (2009), s. 1227-1233 ISSN 0003-3472 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : alternative mating tactics * European bitterling * mating system * sexual conflict * sexual selection * sneaking * sperm competition * sperm economy Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.890, year: 2009

  13. Structure and Steroidogenesis of the Placenta in the Antarctic Minke Whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    SASAKI, Motoki; AMANO, Yoko; HAYAKAWA, Daisuke; TSUBOTA, Toshio; ISHIKAWA, Hajime; MOGOE, Toshihiro; OHSUMI, Seiji; TETSUKA, Masafumi; MIYAMOTO, Akio; FUKUI, Yutaka; BUDIPITOJO, Teguh; KITAMURA, Nobuo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract There are few reports describing the structure and function of the whale placenta with the advance of pregnancy. In this study, therefore, the placenta and nonpregnant uterus of the Antarctic minke whale were observed morphologically and immunohistochemically. Placentas and nonpregnant uteri were collected from the 15th, 16th and 18th Japanese Whale Research Programme with Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA) and 1st JARPA II organized by the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, Japan. In the macro- and microscopic observations, the placenta of the Antarctic minke whale was a diffuse and epitheliochorial placenta. The chorion was interdigitated to the endometrium by primary, secondary and tertiary villi, which contained no specialized trophoblast cells such as binucleate cells, and the interdigitation became complicated with the progress of gestation. Furthermore, fetal and maternal blood vessels indented deeply into the trophoblast cells and endometrial epithelium respectively with fetal growth. The minke whale placenta showed a fold-like shape as opposed to a finger-like shape. In both nonpregnant and pregnant uteri, many uterine glands were distributed. The uterine glands in the superficial layer of the pregnant endometrium had a wide lumen and large epithelial cells as compared with those in the deep layer. On the other hand, in the nonpregnant endometrium, the uterine glands had a narrower lumen and smaller epithelial cells than in the pregnant endometrium. In immunohistochemical detection, immunoreactivity for P450scc was detected in most trophoblast cells, but not in nonpregnant uteri, suggesting that trophoblast epithelial cells synthesized and secreted the sex steroid hormones and/or their precursors to maintain the pregnancy in the Antarctic minke whale. PMID:23269486

  14. Eye, nose, hair, and throat: external anatomy of the head of a neonate gray whale (Cetacea, Mysticeti, Eschrichtiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta, Annalisa; Ekdale, Eric G; Zellmer, Nicholas T; Deméré, Thomas A; Kienle, Sarah S; Smallcomb, Meghan

    2015-04-01

    Information is scarce on gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) anatomy and that of mysticetes in general. Dissection of the head of a neonatal gray whale revealed novel anatomical details of the eye, blowhole, incisive papilla with associated nasopalatine ducts, sensory hairs, and throat grooves. Compared to a similar sized right whale calf, the gray whale eyeball is nearly twice as long. The nasal cartilages of the gray whale, located between the blowholes, differ from the bowhead in having accessory cartilages. A small, fleshy incisive papilla bordered by two blind nasopalatine pits near the palate's rostral tip, previously undescribed in gray whales, may be associated with the vomeronasal organ, although histological evidence is needed for definitive identification. Less well known among mysticetes are the numerous elongated, stiff sensory hairs (vibrissae) observed on the gray whale rostrum from the ventral tip to the blowhole and on the mandible. These hairs are concentrated on the chin, and those on the lower jaw are arranged in a V-shaped pattern. We confirm the presence of two primary, anteriorly converging throat grooves, confined to the throat region similar to those of ziphiid and physeteroid odontocetes. A third, shorter groove occurs lateral to the left primary groove. The throat grooves in the gray whale have been implicated in gular expansion during suction feeding. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Characteristics of fin whale vocalizations recorded on instruments in the northeast Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weirathmueller, Maria Michelle Josephine

    This thesis focuses on fin whale vocalizations recorded on ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, using data collected between 2003 and 2013. OBSs are a valuable, and largely untapped resource for the passive acoustic monitoring of large baleen whales. This dissertation is divided into three parts, each of which uses the recordings of fin whale vocalizations to better understand their calling behaviors and distributions. The first study describes the development of a technique to extract source levels of fin whale vocalizations from OBS recordings. Source levels were estimated using data collected on a network of eight OBSs in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The acoustic pressure levels measured at the instruments were adjusted for the propagation path between the calling whales and the instruments using the call location and estimating losses along the acoustic travel path. A total of 1241 calls were used to estimate an average source level of 189 +/-5.8 dB re 1uPa 1m. This variability is largely attributed to uncertainties in the horizontal and vertical position of the fin whale at the time of each call, and the effect of these uncertainties on subsequent calculations. The second study describes a semi-automated method for obtaining horizontal ranges to vocalizing fin whales using the timing and relative amplitude of multipath arrivals. A matched filter is used to detect fin whale calls and pick the relative times and amplitudes of multipath arrivals. Ray-based propagation models are used to predict multipath times and amplitudes as function of range. Because the direct and first multiple arrivals are not always observed, three hypotheses for the paths of the observed arrivals are considered; the solution is the hypothesis and range that optimizes the fit to the data. Ray-theoretical amplitudes are not accurate and solutions are improved by determining amplitudes from the observations using a bootstrap method. Data from ocean bottom

  16. Distance estimation experiment for aerial minke whale surveys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Witting

    2009-09-01

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

  17. WhalePower tubercle blade power performance test report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-07-15

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

  18. Aggregation of human sperm at higher temperature is due to hyperactivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keppler, E L; Chan, P J; Patton, W C; King, A

    1999-01-01

    Chemotaxis of sperm cells to chemicals and hormones, such as progesterone, helps us to understand the concept of sperm transport. Here, the hypothesis was that heat increased sperm hyperactive motility, which caused the sperm to aggregate at the higher temperature. The objectives were (1) to determine the concentration of sperm at both halves of an artificial female reproductive tract made from a hermetically sealed cryopreservation straw filled with culture medium and placed with each end at different temperatures, and (2) to analyze the motility or kinematic parameters and hyperactivation of sperm found at the different temperatures. Cryopreserved-thawed human donor sperm (N = 6) were pooled and processed through 2-layer colloid solution. Analyses of the motile sperm were carried out and the washed sperm were homogeneously mixed and pipetted into several 0.5-mL French cryopreservation straws and heat-sealed. The control substance, consisting of acid-treated sperm, was also placed in several straws. The plastic straws of sperm were placed half at 23 degrees C and half was at either 37 or 40 degrees C. After 4 h, sperm at different sections of the straws were analyzed using the Hamilton Thorn motility analyzer (HTM-C). After 4 h of incubation, the concentration of sperm was doubled at the 40 degrees C heated half of the straw when compared with the other half of the straw at 23 degrees C. There were no differences in sperm concentration in the straw kept half at 37 degrees C and half at 23 degrees C. There were significantly higher percent motility, mean average path velocity, straight line velocity, lateral head displacement, and percent hyperactivation in sperm at the 40 degrees C temperature. The aggregation of sperm at the higher temperature of 40 degrees C may be due to enhanced motility, increased sperm velocities, and a 10-fold increase in hyperactivation at that temperature. The 37 degrees C temperature was not sufficient to attract sperm. Sperm cells

  19. Actor-networking ceta-sociality, or, what is sociological about contemporary whales?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Anders

    2007-01-01

    theory (ANT) allows for the inclusion of non-human ‘actants' (like whales) into the fabric of sociality. In the ontology of ANT, sociality emerges as semiotic-material configurations of humans, animals and technologies. Starting from a critical review of the work by Adrian Franklin on growing......In contemporary urban Euro-American societies, whales have become hugely popular and iconic creatures, arousing controversies more intense than most other instances of animal politics. How to account sociologically, however, for the dramatic social transformation of whales, from natural resource...... to near-sacrosanct agent, is far from self-evident. This article advocates a change of theoretical perspective, inspired by the work of actor-network theorists Bruno Latour and Michel Callon. Rather than focussing solely on the ‘humanity' of human-animal relations, as does most of sociology, actor-network...

  20. Multi-Year Impacts of Ecotourism on Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) Visitation at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanzogni, R L; Meekan, M G; Meeuwig, J J

    2015-01-01

    In-water viewing of sharks by tourists has become a popular and lucrative industry. There is some concern that interactions with tourists with ecotourism operations might harm sharks through disruption of behaviours. Here, we analysed five years of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounter data by an ecotourism industry at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to assess the impact of ecotourism interactions on shark visitation, within the context of the biological and physical oceanography of the region. Our data base consisted of 2823 encounter records for 951 individual whale sharks collected by ecotourism operators between 2007 and 2011. We found that total encounters per whale shark and encounters per boat trip increased through time. On average, whale sharks re-encountered in subsequent years were encountered earlier, stayed longer and tended to be encountered more often within a season than sharks that were only encountered in a single year. Sequential comparisons between years did not show any patterns consistent with disturbance and the rate of departure of whale sharks from the aggregation was negatively correlated to the number of operator trips. Overall, our analysis of this multi-year data base found no evidence that interactions with tourists affected the likelihood of whale shark re-encounters and that instead, physical and biological environmental factors had a far greater influence on whale shark visitation rates. Our approach provides a template for assessing the effects of ecotourism interactions and environmental factors on the visitation patterns of marine megafauna over multiple years.

  1. Lifetime Stable isotopes profiles in whale earplug: assessment of foraging and migrations in the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansouri, F.; Crain, D.; Winfield, Z.; Trumble, S.; Usenko, S.

    2017-12-01

    Whale earplugs, historically used for aging, were used to reconstruct lifetime stable isotope profiles for carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) for individual whales by delaminating lamina within the earplug. These stable isotope profile, which provide Continuous lifetime records of feeding, foraging ecology, and migration, were determined for 20 individuals from 4 baleen species including fin, minke, humpback, and blue whales spanning more than a century (1869 - 2014) using stable isotope analysis. Approximately 1 mg tissue from each lamina (n=1200) was analyzed for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope using continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (CF-IRMS). This research using whale earplugs have combined age estimates with stable isotope measurements to reconstruct lifetime foraging profiles with a 6-month resolution, providing an unprecedented opportunity to assess periods and trends in dietary fluctuations as well as migration between different foraging area which have distinct isotope values. Trends with these profiles suggest long-term changing in migration, while annual variability highlights seasonal fasting and feeding. Isotopic ratios were also used to identify subpopulations of Atlantic fin whales, which enabled us to assign unidentified humpback and minke whales to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. This historical archive of data provides us an unprecedented tool to assess long term marine ecosystem and subsequently marine organism transition to alternate foraging area and shed light on the whale's population status in the Northern hemisphere.

  2. FPGA Implementation of Blue Whale Calls Classifier Using High-Level Programming Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Bahoura

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a hardware-based architecture for automatic blue whale calls classification based on short-time Fourier transform and multilayer perceptron neural network. The proposed architecture is implemented on field programmable gate array (FPGA using Xilinx System Generator (XSG and the Nexys-4 Artix-7 FPGA board. This high-level programming tool allows us to design, simulate and execute the compiled design in Matlab/Simulink environment quickly and easily. Intermediate signals obtained at various steps of the proposed system are presented for typical blue whale calls. Classification performances based on the fixed-point XSG/FPGA implementation are compared to those obtained by the floating-point Matlab simulation, using a representative database of the blue whale calls.

  3. 77 FR 16538 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for the North Atlantic Right Whale...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Discovery Communications, Inc., Bethesda, MD.

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

  5. Getting it right for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaenaglacialis): a last opportunity for effective marine spatial planning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruny, Loren M; Wright, Andrew J; Smith, Courtney E

    2014-08-15

    The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) faces increasing pressure from commercial shipping traffic and proposed marine renewable energy developments. Drawing upon the successful Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary model, we propose a multi-stakeholder marine spatial planning process that considers both appropriate positioning of offshore wind farms and redefining commercial shipping lanes relative to whale migration routes: placement of wind turbines within certain right whale habitats may prove beneficial for the species. To that end, it may be advisable to initially relocate the shipping lanes for the benefit of the whales prior to selecting wind energy areas. The optimal end-state is the commercial viability of renewable energy, as well as a safe shipping infrastructure, with minimal risk of collision and exposure to shipping noise for the whales. This opportunity to manage impacts on right whales could serve as a model for other problematic interactions between marine life and commercial activities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Hückstädt

    2004-06-01

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

  7. Accountings of Selecting Sperm on the (ethical) border

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    During the past years, Denmark has become a destination for fertility travellers, in need for donated sperm. Today, treatment is possible no matter of marital status or sexuality. Furthermore, users of sperm donation can choose between anonymous and non-anonymous sperm, with either basic...... will analyze how women and their partners crossing the Danish border accounts for their donor choice, and their practices of choosing. I will be exploring the question: How are women and their partners accounting for choosing a sperm donor, crossing the (ethical) border to Denmark? The use of the term...

  8. Cytometry of mammalian sperm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-10-11

    Male germ cells respond dramatically to a variety of insults and are important reproductive dosimeters. Semen analyses are very useful in studies on the effects of drugs, chemicals, and environmental hazards on testicular function, male fertility and heritable germinal mutations. The accessibility of male cells makes them well suited for analytical cytology. We might automate the process of determining sperm morphology but should not do so solely for increased speed. Rather, richer tangible benefits will derive from cytometric evaluation through increased sensitivity, reduced subjectivity, standardization between investigators and laboratories, enhanced archival systems, and the benefits of easily exchanged standardized data. Inroads on the standardization of assays for motility and functional integrity are being made. Flow cytometric analysis of total DNA content of individual sperm is an insensitive means to detect exposure to reproductive toxins because of the small size and low frequency of the DNA content errors. Flow cytometry can be applied to determine the proportions of X- and Y-sperm in semen samples.

  9. Cytometry of mammalian sperm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-01-01

    Male germ cells respond dramatically to a variety of insults and are important reproductive dosimeters. Semen analyses are very useful in studies on the effects of drugs, chemicals, and environmental hazards on testicular function, male fertility and heritable germinal mutations. The accessibility of male cells makes them well suited for analytical cytology. We might automate the process of determining sperm morphology but should not do so solely for increased speed. Rather, richer tangible benefits will derive from cytometric evaluation through increased sensitivity, reduced subjectivity, standardization between investigators and laboratories, enhanced archival systems, and the benefits of easily exchanged standardized data. Inroads on the standardization of assays for motility and functional integrity are being made. Flow cytometric analysis of total DNA content of individual sperm is an insensitive means to detect exposure to reproductive toxins because of the small size and low frequency of the DNA content errors. Flow cytometry can be applied to determine the proportions of X- and Y-sperm in semen samples

  10. 75 FR 70903 - Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale; Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period on Marine Mammal...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-19

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

  11. Thyroxin Is Useful to Improve Sperm Motility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mendeluk Gabriela Ruth

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the non-genomic action of thyroxin on sperm kinetic and its probable use to improve sperm recovery after applying an en- richment method like “swim-up” in comparison with the available one, pentoxifylline. Materials and Methods This is an experimental study. A total of 50 patients were re- cruited, followed by infertility consultation. Conventional sperm assays were performed according to World Health Organization criteria-2010 (WHO-2010. A Computer Aided Semen Analysis System was employed to assess kinetic parameters and concentrations. Number of the motile sperm recovered after preparation technique was calculated. Results Addition of T4 (0.002 µg/ml to semen samples increased hypermotility at 20 minutes (control: 14.18 ± 5.1% vs. 17.66 ± 8.88%, P<0.03, data expressed as mean ± SD and remained unchanged after 40 minutes. Significant differences were found in the motile sperm recovered after swim-up (control: 8.93×106 ± 9.52× 06vs. 17.20×106 ± 21.16×106, P<0.03, achieving all of the tested samples a desirable threshold value for artificial insemination outcome, while adding pentoxifylline increased the number of recovered sperm after swim-up in 60% of the studied cases. No synergism between two treatments could be determined. Conclusion We propose a new physiological tool to artificially improve insemination. The discussion opens windows to investigate unknown pathways involved in sperm ca- pacitation and gives innovative arguments to better understand infertility mechanisms.

  12. Patterns of sperm damage in Chernobyl passerine birds suggest a trade-off between sperm length and integrity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hermosell, I. G.; Laskemoen, T.; Rowe, M.; Moller, A. P.; Mousseau, T. A.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2013), s. 20130530 ISSN 1744-9561 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : acrosome * radiation * sperm evolution * sperm size Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.425, year: 2013

  13. Adrenal responses of large whales: Integrating fecal aldosterone as a complementary biomarker to glucocorticoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Elizabeth A; Hunt, Kathleen E; Kraus, Scott D; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2017-10-01

    Until now, physiological stress assessment of large whales has predominantly focused on adrenal glucocorticoid (GC) measures. Elevated GC concentrations in feces (fGC) are known to reflect stressful disturbances, such as fishing gear entanglement and human-generated underwater noise, in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). However, there can be considerable variation in GC production as a function of sex and life history stage, which may confound the interpretation of fGC levels. Additionally, GC antibodies used in immunoassays can cross-react with other fecal metabolites (i.e., non-target steroids), potentially influencing fGC data. Here, aldosterone concentrations (fALD; aldosterone and related metabolites) were measured in fecal samples from right whales (total n=315 samples), including samples from identified individuals of known life history (n=82 individual whales), to evaluate its utility as a complementary biomarker to fGC for identifying adrenal activation. Concentrations of fALD were positively correlated with fGCs in right whales (r=0.59, Pwhales, fALD concentrations showed similar patterns to those reported for fGC, with higher levels in pregnant females (35.9±7.6ng/g) followed by reproductively mature males (9.5±0.9ng/g) (Pwhales. The addition of fALD measurement as a biomarker of adrenal activation may help distinguish between intrinsic and external causes of stress hormone elevations in large whales, as well as other free-living wildlife species, providing a more comprehensive approach for associating adrenal activation with specific natural and anthropogenic stressors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Modelling a tethered mammalian sperm cell undergoing hyperactivation

    KAUST Repository

    Curtis, M.P.

    2012-09-01

    The beat patterns of mammalian sperm flagella can be categorised into two different types. The first involves symmetric waves propagating down the flagellum with a net linear propulsion of the sperm cell. The second, hyperactive, waveform is classified by vigorous asymmetric waves of higher amplitude, lower wavenumber and frequency propagating down the flagellum resulting in highly curved trajectories. The latter beat pattern is part of the capacitation process whereby sperm prepare for the prospective penetration of the zona pellucida and fusion with the egg. Hyperactivation is often observed to initiate as sperm escape from epithelial and ciliary bindings formed within the isthmic regions of the female oviducts, leading to a conjecture in the literature that this waveform is mechanically important for sperm escape. Hence, we explore the mechanical effects of hyperactivation on a tethered sperm, focussing on a Newtonian fluid. Using a resistive force theory model we demonstrate that hyperactivation can indeed generate forces that pull the sperm away from a tethering point and consequently a hyperactivated sperm cell bound to an epithelial surface need not always be pushed by its flagellum. More generally, directions of the forces generated by tethered flagella are insensitive to reductions in beat frequency and the detailed flagellar responses depend on the nature of the binding at the tethering point. Furthermore, waveform asymmetry and amplitude increases enhance the tendency for a tethered flagellum to start tugging on its binding. The same is generally predicted to be true for reductions in the wavenumber of the flagellum beat, but not universally so, emphasising the dynamical complexity of flagellar force generation. Finally, qualitative observations drawn from experimental data of human sperm bound to excised female reproductive tract are also presented and are found to be consistent with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Modelling a tethered mammalian sperm cell undergoing hyperactivation

    KAUST Repository

    Curtis, M.P.; Kirkman-Brown, J.C.; Connolly, T.J.; Gaffney, E.A.

    2012-01-01

    The beat patterns of mammalian sperm flagella can be categorised into two different types. The first involves symmetric waves propagating down the flagellum with a net linear propulsion of the sperm cell. The second, hyperactive, waveform is classified by vigorous asymmetric waves of higher amplitude, lower wavenumber and frequency propagating down the flagellum resulting in highly curved trajectories. The latter beat pattern is part of the capacitation process whereby sperm prepare for the prospective penetration of the zona pellucida and fusion with the egg. Hyperactivation is often observed to initiate as sperm escape from epithelial and ciliary bindings formed within the isthmic regions of the female oviducts, leading to a conjecture in the literature that this waveform is mechanically important for sperm escape. Hence, we explore the mechanical effects of hyperactivation on a tethered sperm, focussing on a Newtonian fluid. Using a resistive force theory model we demonstrate that hyperactivation can indeed generate forces that pull the sperm away from a tethering point and consequently a hyperactivated sperm cell bound to an epithelial surface need not always be pushed by its flagellum. More generally, directions of the forces generated by tethered flagella are insensitive to reductions in beat frequency and the detailed flagellar responses depend on the nature of the binding at the tethering point. Furthermore, waveform asymmetry and amplitude increases enhance the tendency for a tethered flagellum to start tugging on its binding. The same is generally predicted to be true for reductions in the wavenumber of the flagellum beat, but not universally so, emphasising the dynamical complexity of flagellar force generation. Finally, qualitative observations drawn from experimental data of human sperm bound to excised female reproductive tract are also presented and are found to be consistent with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Vitrification of neat semen alters sperm parameters and DNA integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalili, Mohammad Ali; Adib, Maryam; Halvaei, Iman; Nabi, Ali

    2014-05-06

    Our aim was to evaluate the effect of neat semen vitrification on human sperm vital parameters and DNA integrity in men with normal and abnormal sperm parameters. Semen samples were 17 normozoospermic samples and 17 specimens with abnormal sperm parameters. Semen analysis was performed according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Then, the smear was provided from each sample and fixed for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Vitrification of neat semen was done by plunging cryoloops directly into liquid nitrogen and preserved for 7 days. The samples were warmed and re-evaluated for sperm parameters as well as DNA integrity. Besides, the correlation between sperm parameters and DNA fragmentation was assessed pre- and post vitrification. Cryopreserved spermatozoa showed significant decrease in sperm motility, viability and normal morphology after thawing in both normal and abnormal semen. Also, the rate of sperm DNA fragmentation was significantly higher after vitrification compared to fresh samples in normal (24.76 ± 5.03 and 16.41 ± 4.53, P = .002) and abnormal (34.29 ± 10.02 and 23.5 ± 8.31, P < .0001), respectively. There was negative correlation between sperm motility and sperm DNA integrity in both groups after vitrification. Vitrification of neat ejaculates has negative impact on sperm parameters as well as DNA integrity, particularly among abnormal semen subjects. It is, therefore, recommend to process semen samples and vitrify the sperm pellets.

  17. Axicon-based annular laser trap for studies on sperm activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Bing; Vinson, Jaclyn M.; Botvinick, Elliot L.; Esener, Sadik C.; Berns, Michael W.

    2005-08-01

    As a powerful and noninvasive tool, laser trapping has been widely applied for the confinement and physiological study of biological cells and organelles. Researchers have used the single spot laser trap to hold individual sperm and quantitatively evaluated the motile force generated by a sperm. Early studies revealed the relationship between sperm motility and swimming behavior and helped the investigations in medical aspects of sperm activity. As sperm chemotaxis draws more and more interest in fertilization research, the studies on sperm-egg communication may help to explain male or female infertility and provide exciting new approaches to contraception. However, single spot laser trapping can only be used to investigate an individual target, which has limits in efficiency and throughput. To study the chemotactic response of sperm to eggs and to characterize sperm motility, an annular laser trap with a diameter of several hundred microns is designed, simulated with ray tracing tool, and implemented. An axicon transforms the wavefront such that the laser beam is incident on the microscope objective from all directions while filling the back aperture completely for high efficiency trapping. A trapping experiment with microspheres is carried out to evaluate the system performance. The power requirement for annular sperm trapping is determined experimentally and compared with theoretical calculations. With a chemo-attractant located in the center and sperm approaching from all directions, the annular laser trapping could serve as a speed bump for sperm so that motility characterization and fertility sorting can be performed efficiently.

  18. Aspermy, Sperm Quality and Radiation in Chernobyl Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Anders Pape; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Rudolfsen, Geir

    2014-01-01

    Background Following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, large amounts of radionuclides were emitted and spread in the environment. Animals living in such contaminated areas are predicted to suffer fitness costs including reductions in the quality and quantity of gametes. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied whether aspermy and sperm quality were affected by radioactive contamination by examining ejaculates from wild caught birds breeding in areas varying in background radiation level by more than three orders of magnitude around Chernobyl, Ukraine. The frequency of males with aspermy increased logarithmically with radiation level. While 18.4% of males from contaminated areas had no sperm that was only the case for 3.0% of males from uncontaminated control areas. Furthermore, there were negative relationships between sperm quality as reflected by reduced sperm velocity and motility, respectively, and radiation. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that radioactive contamination around Chernobyl affects sperm production and quality. We are the first to report an interspecific difference in sperm quality in relation to radioactive contamination. PMID:24963711

  19. Effect of ionizing radiations on sperm of mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khattab, F.I.; Hassan, N.H.A.; Eldawt, H.A.; Roushdy, H.M.

    1995-01-01

    Effects of both gamma rays and reactor beams of mixed neutrons and gamma rays on sperms were investigated. Caudal sperms of adult male mice were examined 3 and 6 weeks post-exposure to 0.5 , 1.5, 3.0 and 6.0 Gy gamma rays and 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks in animals exposed to 42.5 and 58.5 R of mixed neutrons and gamma-rays. Sperms were seriously affected due to exposure to both types of irradiation. There were dose dependent changes in the mean frequency of abnormal sperms. The peak values were at dose level of 3.0 Gy recording 26.43% and 29.82% in both groups sacrificed 3 and 6 weeks respectively compared with 1.57% for the control group. The increase in the abnormal sperms in the groups of the animals exposed to the reactor beam was always related to the time interval between treatment and observation, the longer the time the more sperms with abnormal head were encountered. 14 figs., 2 tabs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    Beaked whales are diverse and species rich taxa. They spend the vast majority of their time submerged, regularly diving to depths of hundreds to thousands of meters, typically occur in small groups, and behave inconspicuously at the surface. These factors make them extremely difficult to detect using standard visual survey methods. However, recent advancements in acoustic detection capabilities have made passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) a viable alternative. Beaked whales can be discriminated from other odontocetes by the unique characteristics of their echolocation clicks. In 2009 and 2010, PAM methods using towed hydrophone arrays were tested. These methods proved highly effective for real-time detect