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Sample records for white-beaked dolphin lagenorhynchus

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Is dolphin morbillivirus virulent for white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Elk, C E; van de Bildt, M W G; Jauniaux, T; Hiemstra, S; van Run, P R W A; Foster, G; Meerbeek, J; Osterhaus, A D M E; Kuiken, T

    2014-11-01

    The virulence of morbilliviruses for toothed whales (odontocetes) appears to differ according to host species. In 4 species of odontocetes, morbilliviruses are highly virulent, causing large-scale epizootics with high mortality. In 8 other species of odontocetes, including white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), morbilliviruses have been found as an incidental infection. In these species, the virulence of morbilliviruses is not clear. Therefore, the admission of 2 white-beaked dolphins with morbillivirus infection into a rehabilitation center provided a unique opportunity to investigate the virulence of morbillivirus in this species. By phylogenetic analysis, the morbilliviruses in both animals were identified as a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) most closely related to that detected in a white-beaked dolphin in Germany in 2007. Both animals were examined clinically and pathologically. Case No. 1 had a chronic neural DMV infection, characterized by polioencephalitis in the cerebrum and morbillivirus antigen expression limited to neurons and glial cells. Surprisingly, no nervous signs were observed in this animal during the 6 months before death. Case No. 2 had a subacute systemic DMV infection, characterized by interstitial pneumonia, leucopenia, lymphoid depletion, and DMV antigen expression in mononuclear cells and syncytia in the lung and in mononuclear cells in multiple lymphoid organs. Cause of death was not attributed to DMV infection in either animal. DMV was not detected in 2 contemporaneously stranded white-beaked dolphins. Stranding rate did not increase in the region. These results suggest that DMV is not highly virulent for white-beaked dolphins. © The Author(s) 2013.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galatius, Anders

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Behavioral responses by Icelandic White-Beaked Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) to playback sounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Atem, Ana; Miller, Lee A.

    2016-01-01

    AbstractThe aim of this study was to investigate how wild white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)respond to the playback of novel, anthropogenic sounds. We used amplitude-modulated tones and synthetic pulse-bursts. (Some authors in the literature use the term “burst pulse” meaning...... a burst of pulses or clicks.) The tones were 2 s in duration at frequencies of 100, 200, or 250kHz in three separate playback experiments. The pulse-bursts consisted of 10 different pre-recorded white-beaked dolphin clicks from which one was chosen randomly and repeated at a rate of 300 clicks/s for 2 s...... playbacks were conducted, 123 of which contained sound; the rest were controls. The dolphins responded behaviorally to 90 playbacks with sound. They never responded when we projected the no sound control. The data do not allow assigning specific behavioral responses to specific acoustic stimuli. We also...

  5. Occurrence of vertebral osteophytosis in a museum sample of white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) from Danish waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galatius, Anders; Sonne, Christian; Kinze, Carl Christian

    2009-01-01

    The occurrence of pathologic new bone formation in the vertebral column was studied in 46 skeletons of the white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) stranded in Denmark between 1903 and 2002 and held in the collections of the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. New bone formation...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, O.E.

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Isolation of a virus with rhabdovirus morphology from a white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); H.W.J. Broeders; K.S. Teppema; T. Kuiken (Thijs); J.A. House; H.W. Vos (Helma); I.K.G. Visser (Ilona)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractA virus with rhabdovirus morphology which proved to be antigenically distinct from rabies virus and vesicular stomatitis virus was isolated from a dolphin that had beached on the Dutch coast. Neutralizing antibodies to this virus were found in several European marine mammal species.

  8. On the occurrence of spondylosis deformans in white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris (Gray, 1846) stranded on the Dutch coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kompanje, E.J.O.

    1995-01-01

    Fourty-three skeletons of Lagenorhynchus albirostris were examined for the occurrence of pathological changes in the vertebral column. In comparison, 83 skeletons of Phocoena phocoena and 18 of Tursiops truncatus were studied. The pathogenesis of spondylosis deformans is discussed.

  9. White-beaked dolphins trapped in the ice and eaten by polar bears

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Aars

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus depend on sea ice, where they hunt ice-associated seals. However, they are opportunistic predators and scavengers with a long list of known prey species. Here we report from a small fjord in Svalbard, Norwegian High Arctic, a sighting of an adult male polar bear preying on two white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris on 23 April 2014. This is the first record of this species as polar bear prey. White-beaked dolphins are frequent visitors to Svalbard waters in summer, but have not previously been reported this far north in early spring. We suggest they were trapped in the ice after strong northerly winds the days before, and possibly killed when forced to surface for air at a small opening in the ice. The bear had consumed most parts of one dolphin. When observed he was in the process of covering the mostly intact second dolphin with snow. Such caching behaviour is generally considered untypical of polar bears. During the following ice-free summer and autumn, at least seven different white-beaked dolphin carcasses were observed in or near the same area. We suggest, based on the area and the degree to which these dolphins had decayed, that they were likely from the same pod and also suffered death due to entrapment in the ice in April. At least six different polar bears were seen scavenging on the carcasses.

  10. Biosonar, diving and movements of two tagged white-beaked dolphin in Icelandic waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Teilmann, Jonas

    2013-01-01

    For the first time bio-logging tags were attached to free-ranging white-beaked dolphins, Lagenorhynchus albirostris. A satellite tag was attached to one animal while an acoustic A-tag, a time-depth recorder and a VHF transmitter complex was attached to a second dolphin with a suction cup....... The satellite tag transmitted for 201 days, during which time the dolphin stayed in the coastal waters of western Iceland. The acoustic tag complex was on the second animal for 13 hours and 40 minutes and provided the first insight in echolocation behaviour of a free-ranging white-beaked dolphin. The tag...... registered 162 dives. The dolphin dove to a maximum depth of 45 m, which is about the depth of the bay in which the dolphin was swimming. Two basic types of dives were identified; U-shaped and V-shaped dives. The dolphin used more time in U-shaped dives, more clicks and sonar signals with shorter click...

  11. Vertebral column deformities in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertulli, Chiara G; Galatius, Anders; Kinze, Carl C; Rasmussen, Marianne H; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul; Vedder, Elisabeth J; Sánchez Contreras, Guillermo J; Sabin, Richard C; Watson, Alastair

    2015-09-17

    Five white-beaked dolphins Lagenorhynchus albirostris with outwardly vertebral kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis or lordosis were identified during a photo-identification survey of over 400 individuals (2002-2013) in Faxaflói and Skjálfandi Bays, Iceland. In addition, 3 stranding reports from Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK were analysed, providing both external observation and post mortem details of axial deviations of the vertebral column in this species. Two of the free-ranging cases and 2 of the stranded specimens appeared to have an acquired disease, either as a direct result of trauma, or indirectly from trauma/wound and subsequent infection and bony proliferation, although we were unable to specifically identify the causes. Our data represent a starting point to understand vertebral column deformations and their implications in white-beaked dolphins from the eastern North Atlantic. We recommend for future necropsy cases to conduct macro- and microscopic evaluation of muscle from both sides of the deformed region, in order to assess chronic or acute conditions related to the vertebral deformations and cause of death.

  12. A genomewide catalogue of single nucleotide polymorphisms in white-beaked and Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, R; Schubert, M; Vargas-Velázquez, A M; Brownlow, A; Víkingsson, G A; Siebert, U; Jensen, L F; Øien, N; Wall, D; Rogan, E; Mikkelsen, B; Dabin, W; Alfarhan, A H; Alquraishi, S A; Al-Rasheid, K A S; Guillot, G; Orlando, L

    2016-01-01

    The field of population genetics is rapidly moving into population genomics as the quantity of data generated by high-throughput sequencing platforms increases. In this study, we used restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq) to recover genomewide genotypes from 70 white-beaked (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and 43 Atlantic white-sided dolphins (L. acutus) gathered throughout their north-east Atlantic distribution range. Both species are at a high risk of being negatively affected by climate change. Here, we provide a resource of 38,240 RAD-tags and 52,981 nuclear SNPs shared between both species. We have estimated overall higher levels of nucleotide diversity in white-sided (π = 0.0492 ± 0.0006%) than in white-beaked dolphins (π = 0.0300 ± 0.0004%). White-sided dolphins sampled in the Faroe Islands, belonging to two pods (N = 7 and N = 11), showed similar levels of diversity (π = 0.0317 ± 0.0007% and 0.0267 ± 0.0006%, respectively) compared to unrelated individuals of the same species sampled elsewhere (e.g. π = 0.0285 ± 0.0007% for 11 Scottish individuals). No evidence of higher levels of kinship within pods can be derived from our analyses. When identifying the most likely number of genetic clusters among our sample set, we obtained an estimate of two to four clusters, corresponding to both species and possibly, two further clusters within each species. A higher diversity and lower population structuring was encountered in white-sided dolphins from the north-east Atlantic, in line with their preference for pelagic waters, as opposed to white-beaked dolphins that have a more patchy distribution, mainly across continental shelves. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. A genomewide catalogue of single nucleotide polymorphisms in white-beaked and Atlantic white-sided dolphins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández, R.; Schubert, M.; Vargas-Velázquez, A. M.

    2015-01-01

    -beaked (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and 43 Atlantic white-sided dolphins (L. acutus) gathered throughout their north-east Atlantic distribution range. Both species are at a high risk of being negatively affected by climate change. Here, we provide a resource of 38 240 RAD-tags and 52 981 nuclear SNPs shared between both...... species. We have estimated overall higher levels of nucleotide diversity in white-sided (π = 0.0492 ± 0.0006%) than in white-beaked dolphins (π = 0.0300 ± 0.0004%). White-sided dolphins sampled in the Faroe Islands, belonging to two pods (N = 7 and N = 11), showed similar levels of diversity (π = 0...... of genetic clusters among our sample set, we obtained an estimate of two to four clusters, corresponding to both species and possibly, two further clusters within each species. A higher diversity and lower population structuring was encountered in white-sided dolphins from the north-east Atlantic, in line...

  14. Dusky dolphins Lagenorhynchus obscurus and Cape fur seals ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The fatty acid composition of the blubber of five dusky dolphins Lagenorhynchus obscurus and five Cape fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus from the northern Benguela ecosystem (South-East Atlantic) and their main prey was determined. Differences in fatty acid composition of the inner and outer blubber layer of the ...

  15. Echolocation in sympatric Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) and Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) producing narrow-bandhigh-frequency clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kyhn, Line Anker; Jensen, Frants Havmand; Beedholm, Kristian

    2010-01-01

    -element hydrophone array from wild Peale's (Lagenorhynchus australis) and Commerson's (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) dolphins off the Falkland Islands. The centroid frequency was different between Commerson's (133±2kHz) and Peale's (129±3kHz) dolphins. The r.m.s. bandwidth was 12±3kHz for both species. The source...... level was higher for Peale's dolphin (185±6dB re 1 uPa p.-p.) than for Commerson's(177±5 dB re 1 uPa p.-p.). The mean directivity indexes were 25dB for both species. The relatively low source levels in combination with the high directivity index may be an adaptation to reduce clutter when foraging...

  16. Behavioural responses of dusky dolphin groups (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) to tour vessels off Kaikoura, New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundquist, David; Gemmell, Neil J; Würsig, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    Commercial viewing and swimming with dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) near Kaikoura, New Zealand began in the late 1980s and researchers have previously described changes in vocalisation, aerial behaviour, and group spacing in the presence of vessels. This study was conducted to assess the current effects that tourism has on the activity budget of dusky dolphins to provide wildlife managers with information for current decision-making and facilitate development of quantitative criteria for management of this industry in the future. First-order time discrete Markov chain models were used to assess changes in the behavioural state of dusky dolphin pods targeted by tour vessels. Log-linear analysis was conducted on behavioural state transitions to determine whether the likelihood of dolphins moving from one behavioural state to another changed based on natural and anthropogenic factors. The best-fitting model determined by Akaike Information Criteria values included season, time of day, and vessel presence within 300 m. Interactions with vessels reduced the proportion of time dolphins spent resting in spring and summer and increased time spent milling in all seasons except autumn. Dolphins spent more time socialising in spring and summer, when conception occurs and calves are born, and the proportion of time spent resting was highest in summer. Resting decreased and traveling increased in the afternoon. Responses to tour vessel traffic are similar to those described for dusky dolphins elsewhere. Disturbance linked to vessels may interrupt social interactions, carry energetic costs, or otherwise affect individual fitness. Research is needed to determine if increased milling is a result of acoustic masking of communication due to vessel noise, and to establish levels at which changes to behavioural budgets of dusky dolphins are likely to cause long-term harm. Threshold values from these studies would allow managers to set appropriate operational conditions based

  17. Behavioural responses of dusky dolphin groups (Lagenorhynchus obscurus to tour vessels off Kaikoura, New Zealand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Lundquist

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Commercial viewing and swimming with dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus near Kaikoura, New Zealand began in the late 1980s and researchers have previously described changes in vocalisation, aerial behaviour, and group spacing in the presence of vessels. This study was conducted to assess the current effects that tourism has on the activity budget of dusky dolphins to provide wildlife managers with information for current decision-making and facilitate development of quantitative criteria for management of this industry in the future. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: First-order time discrete Markov chain models were used to assess changes in the behavioural state of dusky dolphin pods targeted by tour vessels. Log-linear analysis was conducted on behavioural state transitions to determine whether the likelihood of dolphins moving from one behavioural state to another changed based on natural and anthropogenic factors. The best-fitting model determined by Akaike Information Criteria values included season, time of day, and vessel presence within 300 m. Interactions with vessels reduced the proportion of time dolphins spent resting in spring and summer and increased time spent milling in all seasons except autumn. Dolphins spent more time socialising in spring and summer, when conception occurs and calves are born, and the proportion of time spent resting was highest in summer. Resting decreased and traveling increased in the afternoon. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Responses to tour vessel traffic are similar to those described for dusky dolphins elsewhere. Disturbance linked to vessels may interrupt social interactions, carry energetic costs, or otherwise affect individual fitness. Research is needed to determine if increased milling is a result of acoustic masking of communication due to vessel noise, and to establish levels at which changes to behavioural budgets of dusky dolphins are likely to cause long-term harm. Threshold

  18. Visual laterality in belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) and Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) when viewing familiar and unfamiliar humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeater, Deirdre B; Hill, Heather M; Baus, Natalie; Farnell, Heather; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2014-11-01

    Lateralization of cognitive processes and motor functions has been demonstrated in a number of species, including humans, elephants, and cetaceans. For example, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have exhibited preferential eye use during a variety of cognitive tasks. The present study investigated the possibility of visual lateralization in 12 belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) and six Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) located at two separate marine mammal facilities. During free swim periods, the belugas and Pacific white-sided dolphins were presented a familiar human, an unfamiliar human, or no human during 10-15 min sessions. Session videos were coded for gaze duration, eye presentation at approach, and eye preference while viewing each stimulus. Although we did not find any clear group level lateralization, we found individual left eye lateralized preferences related to social stimuli for most belugas and some Pacific white-sided dolphins. Differences in gaze durations were also observed. The majority of individual belugas had longer gaze durations for unfamiliar rather than familiar stimuli. These results suggest that lateralization occurs during visual processing of human stimuli in belugas and Pacific white-sided dolphins and that these species can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. Records of Dusky Dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obscurus (Gray, 1828) in the eastern South Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waerebeek, van Koen

    1992-01-01

    Fourty-seven authenticated locality records of the dusky dolphin along the west coast of South America are presented, based on original data, museum specimens and the literature. Confirmed distribution limits are Chimbote (09°05’S) in north—central Peru and Isla Treble (55°07’S 71°02’W), Magallanes,

  1. Phylogeography and population dynamics of the white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) in the North Atlantic

    KAUST Repository

    Banguera-Hinestroza, E.

    2014-02-27

    Highly mobile species in the marine environment may be expected to show little differentiation at the population level, but this is often not the case. Instead cryptic population structure is common, and effective conservation will require an understanding of how these patterns evolve. Here we present an assessment from both sides of the North Atlantic of differentiation among populations of a dolphin species that inhabits mainly pelagic waters, the Atlantic white-sided dolphin. We compare eleven putative populations in the western and eastern North Atlantic at mtDNA and microsatellite DNA loci and find reduced nucleotide diversity and signals for historical bottlenecks and post-bottleneck expansions in all regions. We calculate expansion times to have occurred during the early Holocene, following the last glacial maximum (LGM). We find evidence for connectivity among populations from either side of the North Atlantic, and differentiation between putative populations in the far northeast compared with all other areas sampled. Some data suggest the possibility of separate refugia during the LGM explaining this pattern, although ongoing ecological processes may also be a factor. We discuss the implications for developing effective programs of conservation and management in the context of ongoing anthropogenic impact. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

  2. Multi-locus phylogeography of the dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus: passive dispersal via the west-wind drift or response to prey species and climate change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Würsig Bernd

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus is distributed along temperate, coastal regions of New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, and Peru where it feeds on schooling anchovy, sardines, and other small fishes and squid tightly associated with temperate ocean sea surface temperatures. Previous studies have suggested that the dusky dolphin dispersed in the Southern Hemisphere eastward from Peru via a linear, temperate dispersal corridor provided by the circumpolar west-wind drift. With new mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data, we propose an alternative phylogeographic history for the dusky dolphin that was structured by paleoceanographic conditions that repeatedly altered the distribution of its temperate prey species during the Plio-Pleistocene. Results In contrast to the west-wind drift hypothesis, phylogenetic analyses support a Pacific/Indian Ocean origin, with a relatively early and continued isolation of Peru from other regions. Dispersal of the dusky dolphin into the Atlantic is correlated with the history of anchovy populations, including multiple migrations from New Zealand to South Africa. Additionally, the cooling of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific led to the divergence of anchovy populations, which in turn explains the north-south equatorial transgression of L. obliquidens and the subsequent divergence of L. obscurus in the Southern Hemisphere. Conclusion Overall, our study fails to support the west-wind drift hypothesis. Instead, our data indicate that changes in primary productivity and related abundance of prey played a key role in shaping the phylogeography of the dusky dolphin, with periods of ocean change coincident with important events in the history of this temperate dolphin species. Moderate, short-term changes in sea surface temperatures and current systems have a powerful effect on anchovy populations; thus, it is not infeasible that repeated fluctuations in anchovy populations continue to play

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  5. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson's and Peale's Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellabianca, Natalia A; Pierce, Graham J; Raya Rey, Andrea; Scioscia, Gabriela; Miller, David L; Torres, Mónica A; Paso Viola, M Natalia; Goodall, R Natalie P; Schiavini, Adrián C M

    2016-01-01

    Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii) and Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals) of Commerson's dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals) of Peale's dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson's dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale's dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson's dolphins and 20,000 Peale's dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale's dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson's dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures.

  6. Effects of tour boats on dolphin activity examined with sensitivity analysis of Markov chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dans, Silvana Laura; Degrati, Mariana; Pedraza, Susana Noemí; Crespo, Enrique Alberto

    2012-08-01

    In Patagonia, Argentina, watching dolphins, especially dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus), is a new tourist activity. Feeding time decreases and time to return to feeding after feeding is abandoned and time it takes a group of dolphins to feed increase in the presence of boats. Such effects on feeding behavior may exert energetic costs on dolphins and thus reduce an individual's survival and reproductive capacity or maybe associated with shifts in distribution. We sought to predict which behavioral changes modify the activity pattern of dolphins the most. We modeled behavioral sequences of dusky dolphins with Markov chains. We calculated transition probabilities from one activity to another and arranged them in a stochastic matrix model. The proportion of time dolphins dedicated to a given activity (activity budget) and the time it took a dolphin to resume that activity after it had been abandoned (recurrence time) were calculated. We used a sensitivity analysis of Markov chains to calculate the sensitivity of the time budget and the activity-resumption time to changes in behavioral transition probabilities. Feeding-time budget was most sensitive to changes in the probability of dolphins switching from traveling to feeding behavior and of maintaining feeding behavior. Thus, an increase in these probabilities would be associated with the largest reduction in the time dedicated to feeding. A reduction in the probability of changing from traveling to feeding would also be associated with the largest increases in the time it takes dolphins to resume feeding. To approach dolphins when they are traveling would not affect behavior less because presence of the boat may keep dolphins from returning to feeding. Our results may help operators of dolphin-watching vessels minimize negative effects on dolphins. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    A large number of mammalian species harbor a tandem repeat in exon III of the gene encoding dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4), a receptor associated with cognitive functions. In this study, a DRD4 gene exon III tandem repeat from the order Cetacea was identified and characterized. Included in our study...... were samples from 10 white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), 10 harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), eight sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and five minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Using enzymatic amplification followed by sequencing of amplified fragments, a tandem repeat...... composed of 18-bp basic units was detected in all of these species. The tandem repeats in white-beaked dolphin and harbor porpoise were both monomorphic and consisted of 11 and 12 basic units, respectively. In contrast, the sperm whale harbored a polymorphic tandem repeat with size variants composed...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    were samples from 10 white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), 10 harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), eight sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and five minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Using enzymatic amplification followed by sequencing of amplified fragments, a tandem repeat...... composed of 18-bp basic units was detected in all of these species. The tandem repeats in white-beaked dolphin and harbor porpoise were both monomorphic and consisted of 11 and 12 basic units, respectively. In contrast, the sperm whale harbored a polymorphic tandem repeat with size variants composed...... in exon III of their DRD4 gene. Consequently, the 18-bp tandem repeat appears to have originated prior to the differentiation of hoofed mammals into odd-toed and even-toed ungulates. The composition of the tandem repeat in cetaceans differed markedly from that in primates, which is composed of 48-bp...

  9. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson’s and Peale’s Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellabianca, Natalia A.; Pierce, Graham J.; Raya Rey, Andrea; Scioscia, Gabriela; Miller, David L.; Torres, Mónica A.; Paso Viola, M. Natalia; Schiavini, Adrián C. M.

    2016-01-01

    Commerson’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii) and Peale’s dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals) of Commerson’s dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals) of Peale’s dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson’s dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale’s dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson’s dolphins and 20,000 Peale’s dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale’s dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson’s dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures. PMID:27783627

  10. Dolphin underwater bait-balling behaviors in relation to group and prey ball sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn-Hirshorn, Robin L; Muzi, Elisa; Richardson, Jessica L; Fox, Gabriella J; Hansen, Lauren N; Salley, Alyce M; Dudzinski, Kathleen M; Würsig, Bernd

    2013-09-01

    We characterized dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) feeding behaviors recorded on underwater video, and related behaviors to variation in prey ball sizes, dolphin group sizes, and study site (Argentina versus New Zealand, NZ). Herding behaviors most often involved dolphins swimming around the side or under prey balls, but dolphins in Argentina more often swam under prey balls (48% of passes) than did dolphins in NZ (34% of passes). This result may have been due to differences in group sizes between sites, since groups are larger in Argentina. Additionally, in NZ, group size was positively correlated with proportion of passes that occurred under prey balls (pdolphins in Argentina more often swam through prey balls (8% of attempts) than did dolphins in NZ (4% of attempts). This result may have been due to differences in prey ball sizes between sites, since dolphins fed on larger prey balls in Argentina (>74m(2)) than in NZ (maximum 33m(2)). Additionally, in NZ, dolphins were more likely to swim through prey balls to capture fish when they fed on larger prey balls (p=0.025). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Delphinid systematics and biogeography with a focus on the current genus Lagenorhynchus: Multiple pathways for antitropical and trans-oceanic radiation

    KAUST Repository

    Banguera Hinestroza, Eulalia

    2014-11-01

    The six species currently classified within the genus Lagenorhynchus exhibit a pattern of antitropical distribution common among marine taxa. In spite of their morphological similarities they are now considered an artificial grouping, and include both recent and the oldest representatives of the Delphinidae radiation. They are, therefore, a good model for studying questions about the evolutionary processes that have driven dolphin speciation, dispersion and distribution. Here we used two different approaches. First we constructed a multigenic phylogeny with a minimum amount of missing data (based on 9 genes, 11,030 bp, using the 6 species of the genus and their closest relatives) to infer their relationships. Second, we built a supermatrix phylogeny (based on 33 species and 27 genes) to test the effect of taxon sampling on the phylogeny of the genus, to provide inference on biogeographic history, and provide inference on the main events shaping the dispersion and radiation of delphinids. Our analyses suggested an early evolutionary history of marine dolphins in the North Atlantic Ocean and revealed multiple pathways of migration and radiation, probably guided by paleoceanographic changes during the Miocene and Pliocene. L. acutus and L albirostris likely shared a common ancestor that arose in the North Atlantic around the Middle Miocene, predating the radiation of subfamilies Delphininae, Globicephalinae and Lissodelphininae. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Delphinid systematics and biogeography with a focus on the current genus Lagenorhynchus: multiple pathways for antitropical and trans-oceanic radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banguera-Hinestroza, Eulalia; Hayano, Azusa; Crespo, Enrique; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2014-11-01

    The six species currently classified within the genus Lagenorhynchus exhibit a pattern of antitropical distribution common among marine taxa. In spite of their morphological similarities they are now considered an artificial grouping, and include both recent and the oldest representatives of the Delphinidae radiation. They are, therefore, a good model for studying questions about the evolutionary processes that have driven dolphin speciation, dispersion and distribution. Here we used two different approaches. First we constructed a multigenic phylogeny with a minimum amount of missing data (based on 9 genes, 11,030bp, using the 6 species of the genus and their closest relatives) to infer their relationships. Second, we built a supermatrix phylogeny (based on 33 species and 27 genes) to test the effect of taxon sampling on the phylogeny of the genus, to provide inference on biogeographic history, and provide inference on the main events shaping the dispersion and radiation of delphinids. Our analyses suggested an early evolutionary history of marine dolphins in the North Atlantic Ocean and revealed multiple pathways of migration and radiation, probably guided by paleoceanographic changes during the Miocene and Pliocene. L. acutus and L. albirostris likely shared a common ancestor that arose in the North Atlantic around the Middle Miocene, predating the radiation of subfamilies Delphininae, Globicephalinae and Lissodelphininae. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Environmental Niche Overlap between Common and Dusky Dolphins in North Patagonia, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svendsen, Guillermo Martín; Romero, María Alejandra; Williams, Gabriela Noemí; Gagliardini, Domingo Antonio; Crespo, Enrique Alberto; Dans, Silvana Laura; González, Raúl Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Research on the ecology of sympatric dolphins has increased worldwide in recent decades. However, many dolphin associations such as that between common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) are poorly understood. The present study was conducted in the San Matías Gulf (SMG) ecosystem (North Patagonia, Argentina) where a high diet overlap among both species was found. The main objective of the present work was to explore the niche overlap of common and dusky dolphins in the habitat and temporal dimensions. The specific aims were (a) to evaluate the habitat use strategies of both species through a comparison of their group attributes (social composition, size and activity), and (b) to evaluate their habitat preferences and habitat overlap through Environmental Niche modeling considering two oceanographic seasons. To accomplish these aims, we used a historic database of opportunistic and systematic records collected from 1983 to 2011. Common and dusky dolphins exhibited similar patterns of group size (from less than 10 to more than 100 individuals), activity (both species use the area to feed, nurse, and copulate), and composition (adults, juveniles, and mothers with calves were observed for both species). Also, both species were observed travelling and feeding in mixed-species groups. Specific overlap indices were higher for common dolphins than for dusky dolphins, but all indices were low, suggesting that they are mainly segregated in the habitat dimension. In the case of common dolphins, the best habitats were located in the northwest of the gulf far from the coast. In the warm season they prefer areas with temperate sea surface and in the cold season they prefer areas with relatively high variability of sea surface temperature. Meanwhile, dusky dolphins prefer areas with steep slopes close to the coast in the southwestern sector of the gulf in both seasons.

  14. Cetaceans of the Atlantic Frontier, north and west of Scotland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, C. R.; Pollock, C.; Cronin, C.; Taylor, S.

    2001-05-01

    Surveys carried out to the north and west of Scotland have recorded 15 species of cetacean between 1979 and 1998. These were fin whale ( Balaenoptera physalus) , sei whale ( B. borealis) , minke whale ( B. acutorostrata) , humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae) , sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) , northern bottlenose whale ( Hyperoodon ampullatus) , Sowerby's beaked whale ( Mesoplodon bidens) , killer whale ( Orcinus orca) , long-finned pilot whale ( Globicephala melas) , Atlantic white-sided dolphin ( Lagenorhynchus acutus) , white-beaked dolphin ( L. albirostris) , Risso's dolphin ( Grampus griseus) , bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) , common dolphin ( Delphinus delphis) and harbour porpoise ( Phocoena phocoena) . Atlantic white-sided dolphin was the most abundant species in the region with a total of 6317 animals recorded. Harbour porpoise was the most frequently sighted cetacean species. The geographical distribution of sightings indicate that cetacean species have varying ecological requirements, with species such as sperm whale, pilot whale and white-sided dolphin favouring deep water off the continental shelf edge, while minke whale, white-beaked dolphin and harbour porpoise were apparently limited to the continental shelf. The diversity of species recorded in the region suggests that the Atlantic Frontier is an important habitat for cetaceans.

  15. Distribution and feeding ecology of dolphins along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doksæter, L.; Olsen, E.; Nøttestad, L.; Fernö, A.

    2008-01-01

    During Leg 1 of the MAR-ECO expedition on the R.V. G.O. Sars in June 2004 four main species of dolphins were observed along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge from Iceland to the Azores: pilot whale ( Globicephala melas) ( n=326), short-beaked common dolphin ( Delphinus delphis) ( n=273), white-sided dolphin ( Lagenorhynchus acutus) ( n=103), and striped dolphin ( Stenella coeruleoalba) ( n=86). Pilot whales and white-sided dolphins were found in cold (5-16 °C) and less-saline (34.6-35.8‰) water masses in the northern part of the study area, whereas common and striped dolphins inhabited warmer (12-22 °C) and more-saline (34.8-36.7‰) waters in the south. Dolphins tended to aggregate in areas of steep slopes, but actual bottom depth appeared to be less important. Based on spatial correlations between dolphin occurrence and candidate prey organisms recorded acoustically and by midwater trawling, mesopelagic fishes and squids were assumed to be important prey items, with Benthosema glaciale probably being the most important prey for pilot whales and white-sided dolphins, while Lampanyctus macdonaldi, Stomias boa ferox and Chauliodus sloani were probably of particular importance for common dolphins. Cephalopods, especially Gonatus sp. and Teuthowenia megalops were the most likely prey species of pilot whales and striped dolphins, respectively. The difference in physical habitat north and south of the Sub-polar Frontal Zone seemed to have important effects on prey distribution, in turn influencing dolphin distribution.

  16. Sequence analysis of dolphin ferritin H and L subunits and possible iron-dependent translational control of dolphin ferritin gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasaki Yukako

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Iron-storage protein, ferritin plays a central role in iron metabolism. Ferritin has dual function to store iron and segregate iron for protection of iron-catalyzed reactive oxygen species. Tissue ferritin is composed of two kinds of subunits (H: heavy chain or heart-type subunit; L: light chain or liver-type subunit. Ferritin gene expression is controlled at translational level in iron-dependent manner or at transcriptional level in iron-independent manner. However, sequencing analysis of marine mammalian ferritin subunits has not yet been performed fully. The purpose of this study is to reveal cDNA-derived amino acid sequences of cetacean ferritin H and L subunits, and demonstrate the possibility of expression of these subunits, especially H subunit, by iron. Methods Sequence analyses of cetacean ferritin H and L subunits were performed by direct sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR fragments from cDNAs generated via reverse transcription-PCR of leukocyte total RNA prepared from blood samples of six different dolphin species (Pseudorca crassidens, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens, Grampus griseus, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Tursiops truncatus, and Delphinapterus leucas. The putative iron-responsive element sequence in the 5'-untranslated region of the six different dolphin species was revealed by direct sequencing of PCR fragments obtained using leukocyte genomic DNA. Results Dolphin H and L subunits consist of 182 and 174 amino acids, respectively, and amino acid sequence identities of ferritin subunits among these dolphins are highly conserved (H: 99–100%, (99→98 ; L: 98–100%. The conserved 28 bp IRE sequence was located -144 bp upstream from the initiation codon in the six different dolphin species. Conclusion These results indicate that six different dolphin species have conserved ferritin sequences, and suggest that these genes are iron-dependently expressed.

  17. Marine mammal sightings around oil and gas installations in the central North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delefosse, Matthieu; Rahbek, Malene Louise; Roesen, Lars

    2017-01-01

    288 animals were reported between May 2013 and May 2016. A total of seven marine mammal species were identified, five cetaceans: harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), killer whale (Orcinus orca), pilot whales...... (Globicephala spp.) and two species of pinnipeds: harbour (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). The most sighted species were harbour porpoise (41%) and minke whale (31%). Relative counts and biodiversity of marine mammals observed around installations corresponded well with the expected...

  18. Feeding at a high pitch: source parameters of narrow band, high-frequency clicks from echolocating off-shore hourglass dolphins and coastal Hector's dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyhn, Line A; Tougaard, J; Jensen, F; Wahlberg, M; Stone, G; Yoshinaga, A; Beedholm, K; Madsen, P T

    2009-03-01

    Toothed whales depend on echolocation for orientation and prey localization, and source parameters of echolocation clicks from free-ranging animals therefore convey valuable information about the acoustic physiology and behavioral ecology of the recorded species. Recordings of wild hourglass (Lagenorhynchus cruciger) and Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) were made in the Drake Passage (between Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctic Peninsular) and Banks Peninsular (Akaroa Harbour, New Zealand) with a four element hydrophone array. Analysis of source parameters shows that both species produce narrow band high-frequency (NBHF) echolocation clicks. Coastal Hector's dolphins produce clicks with a mean peak frequency of 129 kHz, 3 dB bandwidth of 20 kHz, 57 micros, 10 dB duration, and mean apparent source level (ASL) of 177 dB re 1 microPa(p.-p.). The oceanic hourglass dolphins produce clicks with mean peak frequency of 126 kHz, 3 dB bandwidth of 8 kHz, 116 micros, 10 dB duration, and a mean estimated ASL of 197 dB re 1 microPa(p.-p.). Thus, hourglass dolphins apparently produce clicks of higher source level, which should allow them to detect prey at more than twice the distance compared to Hector's dolphins. The observed source parameter differences within these two NBHF species may be an adaptation to a coastal cluttered environment versus a deep water, pelagic habitat.

  19. Why do Dolphins Play?

    OpenAIRE

    Stan A. Kuczaj; Holli C. Eskelinen

    2014-01-01

    Play is an important aspect of dolphin life, perhaps even an essential one. Play provides opportunities for dolphin calves to practice and perfect locomotor skills, including those involved in foraging and mating strategies and behaviors. Play also allows dolphin calves to learn important social skills and acquire information about the characteristics and predispositions of members of their social group, particularly their peers. In addition to helping dolphin calves learn how to behave, play...

  20. Where's That Dolphin?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Skull ontogeny and modularity in two species of Lagenorhynchus: Morphological and ecological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo, Daniela L; Viglino, Mariana; Flores, David A; Cappozzo, Humberto L

    2017-02-01

    Comparisons of skull shape between closely related species can provide information on the role that phylogeny and function play in cranial evolution. We used 3D-anatomical landmarks in order to study the skull ontogeny of two closely related species, Lagenorhynchus obscurus and Lagenorhynchus australis, with a total sample of 52 skulls. We found shared trends between species, such as the relative compression of the neurocranium and the enlargement of the rostrum during ontogeny. However, these are common mammalian features, associated with prenatal brain development and sensory capsules. Moreover, we found a posterior displacement of the external nares and infraorbital foramina, and a strong development of the rostrum in an anteroposterior direction. Such trends are associated with the process of telescoping and have been observed in postnatal ontogeny of other odontocetes, suggesting a constraint in the pattern. Interspecific differences related to the deepness of facial region, robustness of the feeding apparatus and rostrum orientation may be related with the specific lifestyles of L. obscurus and L. australis. We also tested the presence of three different modules in the skull (basicranium, neurocranium, rostrum), all of which presented strong integration. Only the rostrum showed a different ontogenetic trajectory between species. Even though we detected directional asymmetry, changes in this feature along ontogeny were not detectable. Because asymmetry may be related to echolocation, our results suggest a functional importance of directional asymmetry from the beginning of postnatal life. J. Morphol. 278:203-214, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals,Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Why do Dolphins Play?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stan A. Kuczaj

    2014-05-01

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

  3. Evolution of river dolphins.

    OpenAIRE

    Hamilton, H.; Caballero, S.; Collins, A. G.; Brownell, R. L.

    2001-01-01

    The world's river dolphins (Inia, Pontoporia, Lipotes and Platanista) are among the least known and most endangered of all cetaceans. The four extant genera inhabit geographically disjunct river systems and exhibit highly modified morphologies, leading many cetologists to regard river dolphins as an unnatural group. Numerous arrangements have been proposed for their phylogenetic relationships to one another and to other odontocete cetaceans. These alternative views strongly affect the biogeog...

  4. Evolution of river dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, H; Caballero, S; Collins, A G; Brownell, R L

    2001-03-07

    The world's river dolphins (Inia, Pontoporia, Lipotes and Platanista) are among the least known and most endangered of all cetaceans. The four extant genera inhabit geographically disjunct river systems and exhibit highly modified morphologies, leading many cetologists to regard river dolphins as an unnatural group. Numerous arrangements have been proposed for their phylogenetic relationships to one another and to other odontocete cetaceans. These alternative views strongly affect the biogeographical and evolutionary implications raised by the important, although limited, fossil record of river dolphins. We present a hypothesis of river dolphin relationships based on phylogenetic analysis of three mitochondrial genes for 29 cetacean species, concluding that the four genera represent three separate, ancient branches in odontocete evolution. Our molecular phylogeny corresponds well with the first fossil appearances of the primary lineages of modern odontocetes. Integrating relevant events in Tertiary palaeoceanography, we develop a scenario for river dolphin evolution during the globally high sea levels of the Middle Miocene. We suggest that ancestors of the four extant river dolphin lineages colonized the shallow epicontintental seas that inundated the Amazon, Paraná, Yangtze and Indo-Gangetic river basins, subsequently remaining in these extensive waterways during their transition to freshwater with the Late Neogene trend of sea-level lowering.

  5. Dolphins. LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

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

  6. Predictive Spatial Analysis of Marine Mammal Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    pilot whale 30 Guild name Scientific name Common Name Globicephala melas Long-finned pilot whale Lags Lagenorhynchus spp. White-beaked...whale (Physeter macrocephalus), pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (Kogia spp.), killer whales, pilot whales ( Globicephala spp.), Lags (Lagenorhynchus spp...Melon-headed whale Pseudorca crassidens False killer whale Pilot whales Globicephala spp. Pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus Short-finned

  7. Feeding at a high pitch: Source parameters of narrow band,high-frequency clicks from echolocating off-shore hourglassdolphins and coastal Hector's dolphins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kyhn, Line Anker; Tougaard, Jakob; Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2009-01-01

    (Lagenorhynchus cruciger) and Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori ) were made in the Drake Passage between Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctic Peninsular and Banks Peninsular Akaroa Harbour, New Zealand with a four element hydrophone array. Analysis of source parameters shows that both species produce...... narrow band high-frequency (NBHF) echolocation clicks. Coastal Hector's dolphins produce clicks with a mean peak frequency of 129 kHz, 3 dB bandwidth of 20 kHz, 57 ys, 10 dB duration, and mean apparent source level (ASL) of 177 dB re 1 yPa (p.-p.). The oceanic hourglass dolphins produce clicks with mean...... peak frequency of 126 kHz, 3 dB bandwidth of 8 kHz, 116 ys, 10 dB duration, and a mean estimated ASL of 197 dB re 1 yPa (p.-p.). Thus, hourglass dolphins apparently produce clicks of higher source level, which should allow them to detect prey at more than twice the distance compared to Hector...

  8. Hemoglobin as a major binding protein for methylmercury in white-sided dolphin liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zayas, Zoyne Pedrero; Ouerdane, Laurent; Mounicou, Sandra; Lobinski, Ryszard; Monperrus, Mathilde; Amouroux, David

    2014-02-01

    As methylmercury (MeHg) can be bioaccumulated and biomagnified in the trophic web, its toxicity for marine mammals is of major concern. Mercury speciation in marine biota has been widely studied, mainly focused on the discrimination and quantification of inorganic Hg and MeHg. Less attention has been paid to the interactions of Hg with biomolecules and the characterization of its specific binding, which play a key role in metabolic pathways controlling its uptake, transformation, and toxicity. In the studied white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) liver homogenate (QC04LH4) sample, approximately 60% of the total MeHg was found in the water soluble fraction, specifically associated with high molecular weight biomolecules. The identity of the involved proteins was investigated (after tryptic digestion of the fraction) by μRPLC with parallel detection by ICP-MS and ESI-MS/MS. Molecular mass spectrometry experiments were carried out at high resolution (100000) to ensure accurate protein identification and determination of the MeHg binding sites. Cysteine residue on the dolphin hemoglobin β chain was found to be the main MeHg binding site, suggesting that hemoglobin is a major MeHg binding protein in this marine mammal and could be a potential carrier of this MeHg from blood to liver prior to its degradation in this organ. In parallel, a significant proportion of selenium was found to be present as selenoneine and a potential role for this compound in Hg detoxification is discussed.

  9. Ring Bubbles of Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shariff, Karim; Marten, Ken; Psarakos, Suchi; White, Don J.; Merriam, Marshal (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    The article discusses how dolphins create and play with three types of air-filled vortices. The underlying physics is discussed. Photographs and sketches illustrating the dolphin's actions and physics are presented. The dolphins engage in this behavior on their own initiative without food reward. These behaviors are done repeatedly and with singleminded effort. The first type is the ejection of bubbles which, after some practice on the part of the dolphin, turn into toroidal vortex ring bubbles by the mechanism of baroclinic torque. These bubbles grow in radius and become thinner as they rise vertically to the surface. One dolphin would blow two in succession and guide them to fuse into one. Physicists call this a vortex reconnection. In the second type, the dolphins first create an invisible vortex ring in the water by swimming on their side and waving their tail fin (also called flukes) vigorously. This vortex ring travels horizontally in the water. The dolphin then turns around, finds the vortex and injects a stream of air into it from its blowhole. The air "fills-out" the core of the vortex ring. Often, the dolphin would knock-off a smaller ring bubble from the larger ring (this also involves vortex reconnection) and steer the smaller ring around the tank. One other dolphin employed a few other techniques for planting air into the fluke vortex. One technique included standing vertically in the water with tail-up, head-down and tail piercing the free surface. As the fluke is waved to create the vortex ring, air is entrained from above the surface. Another technique was gulping air in the mouth, diving down, releasing air bubbles from the mouth and curling them into a ring when they rose to the level of the fluke. In the third type, demonstrated by only one dolphin, the longitudinal vortex created by the dorsal fin on the back is used to produce 10-15 foot long helical bubbles. In one technique she swims in a curved path. This creates a dorsal fin vortex since

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. Comparative feeding kinematics and performance of odontocetes: belugas, Pacific white-sided dolphins and long-finned pilot whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, E A; Marshall, C D

    2009-12-01

    Cetaceans are thought to display a diversity of feeding modes that are often described as convergent with other more basal aquatic vertebrates (i.e. actinopterygians). However, the biomechanics of feeding in cetaceans has been relatively ignored by functional biologists. This study investigated the feeding behavior, kinematics and pressure generation of three odontocetes with varying feeding modes (belugas, Delphinapterus leucas; Pacific white-sided dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens; and long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas). Four feeding phases were recognized in all odontocetes: (I) preparatory, (II) jaw opening, (III) gular depression, and (IV) jaw closing. Belugas relied on a feeding mode that was composed of discrete ram and suction components. Pacific white-sided dolphins fed using ram, with some suction for compensation or manipulation of prey. Pilot whales were kinematically similar to belugas but relied on a combination of ram and suction that was less discrete than belugas. Belugas were able to purse the anterior lips to occlude lateral gape and form a small, circular anterior aperture that is convergent with feeding behaviors observed in more basal vertebrates. Suction generation in odontocetes is a function of hyolingual displacement and rapid jaw opening, and is likely to be significantly enhanced by lip pursing behaviors. Some degree of subambient pressure was measured in all species, with belugas reaching 126 kPa. Functional variations of suction generation during feeding demonstrate a wider diversity of feeding behaviors in odontocetes than previously thought. However, odontocete suction generation is convergent with that of more basal aquatic vertebrates.

  13. Diel patterns in underwater sounds produced by beluga whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins at John G. Shedd Aquarium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brickman, Jon; Tanchez, Erin; Thomas, Jeanette

    2005-09-01

    Diel patterns in underwater sounds from five beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) and five Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) housed at John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL were studied. Underwater sounds were sampled systematically over 24-h periods by using a battery-operated cassette recorder and an Ithaco 605C hydrophone controlled by a digital timer, which activated every hour and then shut off after 2.5 min. Belugas had 14 sounds and Pacific white-sided dolphins produced 5 sounds. For each species, the use of some sounds was correlated with other sounds. The diel pattern for both species was similar and mostly affected by the presence of humans. Sounds gradually increased after the staff and visitors arrived, peaked during the midday, gradually decreased as closing of the aquarium approached, and was minimal overnight. These data can help identify the best time of day to make recordings and perhaps could be used to examine social, reproductive, or health changes in these captive cetaceans.

  14. Line transects, environmental data and GIS: Cetacean distribution, habitat and prey selection along the Barents Sea shelf edge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mette Skern-Mauritzen

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Cetacean observations obtained during sighting surveys for abundance estimation can also be used to investigate cetacean habitat and prey selection, the principal processes underlying cetacean distributions. In this paper, we investigate habitat and prey selection of minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata, fin (B. physalus and sperm (Physeter macrocephalus whales and Lagenorhynchus (Atlantic white-sided L. acutus and white-beaked L. albirostris dolphins observed along predetermined cruise tracks along the Barents Sea shelf edge in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The observations were combined with simultaneously collected data on habitat (depth, sea surface temperature, and temperature gradients and prey (plankton, 0-group fish, capelin and herring distributions in a GeographicInformation System (GIS to investigate habitat and prey selection. Minke whales were associated with cold waters and herring, and capelin in years with low herring abundance. Fin whales were mainly associated with northern cold and deep waters, as well as capelin, 0-group fish and plankton. Lagenorhynchus dolphins were associated with capelin. Finally, sperm whales were associated with deep waters and 0-group fish. Sperm whales were probably indirectly attracted to 0-group fish through preying on predatory fish such as Sebastes spp. and the squid Gonatus spp. The cetacean species responded differently to annual variation in habitat and prey distributions. Minke and fin whale distributions and abundances remained similar between years within the study area, suggestingthat these species are generalists responding to environmental changes by switching between prey species. Conversely, Lagenorhynchus dolphins shifted northwards, likely due to tracking the shifting capelin distributions. The results are discussed in light of how such cetacean habitat and cetacean prey relationships can be valuable for the proper assessment of population sizes and trends, both through guiding the design of

  15. Comparative anatomy of the foramen ovale in the hearts of cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, Alastair A; Carr, Peter A; Currie, Richard J W

    2007-07-01

    The structure of the cardiac foramen ovale from 17 species representing six cetacean families, the Monodontidae, Phocoenidae, Delphinidae, Ziphiidae, Balaenidae and the Balaenopteridae, was studied using the scanning electron microscope. Eight white whale fetuses (Delphinapterus leucas) and a narwhal fetus (Monodon monoceros) represented the Monodontidae; one fetal and nine neonatal harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and a finless porpoise fetus (Neophocoena phocoenoides) represented the Phocoenidae; two white-beaked dolphin fetuses (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), four fetal and one neonatal Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus), a Risso's dolphin fetus (Grampus griseus), two common bottle-nosed dolphin neonates (Tursiops truncatus), a female short-beaked common dolphin fetus (Delphinus delphis), four killer whale fetuses (Orcinus orca) and two long-finned pilot whale fetuses (Globicephala melas) represented the Delphinidae; two northern bottlenose whale fetuses (Hyperoodon ampullatus) represented the Ziphiidae; one bowhead whale fetus (Balaena mysticetus) represented the Balaenidae and five Common minke whale fetuses (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), one blue whale fetus (Balaenoptera musculus), nine fin whale fetuses (Balaenoptera physalus) and four humpback whale fetuses (Megaptera novaeangliae) represented the Balaenopteridae. The hearts of an additional two incompletely identified toothed and four baleen whale fetuses were also studied. In each species the fold of tissue derived from the cardiac septum primum and subtended by the foramen ovale had the appearance of a short tunnel or sleeve which was fenestrated at its distal end. In the toothed whales the tissue fold was tunnel-shaped with the interatrial septum as the floor whereas in baleen whales it was more sleeve-like. In toothed whales thin threads extended from the fold to insert into the interatrial septum whereas a network of threads covered the distal end of the sleeve in the baleen

  16. Observational Learning in Wild and Captive Dolphins

    OpenAIRE

    Yeater, Deirdre B.; Stan A. Kuczaj II

    2010-01-01

    Many non-human species imitate the behavior of others, and dolphins seem particularly adept at this form of observational learning. Evidence for observational learning in wild dolphins is rare, given the difficulty of observing individual wild animals in sufficient detail to eliminate other possible explanations of purported imitation. Consequently, much of the evidence supporting observational learning in dolphins has involved animals in captive settings. This research suggests that dolphins...

  17. Dolphin morbillivirus epizootic resurgence, Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raga, Juan-Antonio; Banyard, Ashley; Domingo, Mariano; Corteyn, Mandy; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Fernández, Mercedes; Aznar, Francisco-Javier; Barrett, Thomas

    2008-03-01

    In July 2007, > 100 striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, were found dead along the coast of the Spanish Mediterranean. Of 10 dolphins tested, 7 were positive for a virus strain closely related to the dolphin morbillivirus that was isolated during a previous epizootic in 1990.

  18. Body and self in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Louis M

    2012-03-01

    In keeping with recent views of consciousness of self as represented in the body in action, empirical studies are reviewed that demonstrate a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) conscious awareness of its own body and body parts, implying a representational "body image" system. Additional work reviewed demonstrates an advanced capability of dolphins for motor imitation of self-produced behaviors and of behaviors of others, including imitation of human actions, supporting hypotheses that dolphins have a sense of agency and ownership of their actions and may implicitly attribute those levels of self-awareness to others. Possibly, a mirror-neuron system, or its functional equivalent to that described in monkeys and humans, may mediate both self-awareness and awareness of others. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Iron Indices in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. An Interview with a Dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, Kathy; Keilty, Jennifer

    1993-01-01

    A fabricated conversation between two humans and a dolphin at Marineland illustrates man's relationship to nature and the impact that human actions have on living creatures and the environment, and stresses developing a deeper understanding and value for the natural world and consideration of the universality of continued human error and…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. The hydrodynamics of dolphin drafting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weihs Daniel

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Drafting in cetaceans is defined as the transfer of forces between individuals without actual physical contact between them. This behavior has long been surmised to explain how young dolphin calves keep up with their rapidly moving mothers. It has recently been observed that a significant number of calves become permanently separated from their mothers during chases by tuna vessels. A study of the hydrodynamics of drafting, initiated in the hope of understanding the mechanisms causing the separation of mothers and calves during fishing-related activities, is reported here. Results Quantitative results are shown for the forces and moments around a pair of unequally sized dolphin-like slender bodies. These include two major effects. First, the so-called Bernoulli suction, which stems from the fact that the local pressure drops in areas of high speed, results in an attractive force between mother and calf. Second is the displacement effect, in which the motion of the mother causes the water in front to move forwards and radially outwards, and water behind the body to move forwards to replace the animal's mass. Thus, the calf can gain a 'free ride' in the forward-moving areas. Utilizing these effects, the neonate can gain up to 90% of the thrust needed to move alongside the mother at speeds of up to 2.4 m/sec. A comparison with observations of eastern spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris is presented, showing savings of up to 60% in the thrust that calves require if they are to keep up with their mothers. Conclusions A theoretical analysis, backed by observations of free-swimming dolphin schools, indicates that hydrodynamic interactions with mothers play an important role in enabling dolphin calves to keep up with rapidly moving adult school members.

  3. PFAS profiles in three North Sea top predators: metabolic differences among species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galatius, Anders; Bossi, Rossana; Sonne, Christian; Rigét, Frank Farsø; Kinze, Carl Christian; Lockyer, Christina; Teilmann, Jonas; Dietz, Rune

    2013-11-01

    Profiles of seven compounds of perfluoro-alkyl substances (PFASs) were compared among three species of top predators from the Danish North Sea: the white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). The seals had higher total burdens (757.8 ng g(-1) ww) than the dolphins (439.9 ng g(-1) ww) and the porpoises (355.8 ng g(-1) ww), probably a reflection of feeding closer to the shore and thus contamination sources. The most striking difference among the species was the relative contribution of perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA) to the profiles; the seals (0.1%) had much lower levels than porpoises (8.3%) and dolphins (26.0%). In combination with the values obtained from the literature, this result indicates that Carnivora species including Pinnipedia have a much higher capacity of transforming PFOSA to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) than cetacean species. Another notable difference among the species was that the two smaller species (seals and porpoises) with supposedly higher metabolic rates had lower concentrations of the perfluorinated carboxylic acids, which are generally more easily excreted than perfluorinated sulfonamides. Species-specific characteristics should be recognized when PFAS contamination in marine mammals is investigated, for example, several previous studies of PFASs in cetaceans have not quantified PFOSA.

  4. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Fiksdal, Britta L.; Houlihan, Daniel; Barnes, Aaron C.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders. Studies have been released claiming swimming with dolphins is therapeutic and beneficial for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, physical disabilities, and other psychological disorders. The majority of the studies conducted supporting the effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy have been found to have major methodo...

  5. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiksdal, Britta L; Houlihan, Daniel; Barnes, Aaron C

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders. Studies have been released claiming swimming with dolphins is therapeutic and beneficial for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, physical disabilities, and other psychological disorders. The majority of the studies conducted supporting the effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy have been found to have major methodological concerns making it impossible to draw valid conclusions. Readers will be informed of the history of, theory behind, and variations of dolphin-assisted therapy along with a review and critique of studies published which purportedly support its use.

  6. 78 FR 40698 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Office of Naval Research Acoustic...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-08

    ... macrorhynchus. Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus.... Endangered/Depleted. Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris. Stejneger's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon stejnegeri. Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba. Pinnipeds Hawaiian.... Pacific White-sided Dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens. Pantropical Spotted Dolphin Stenella attenuata...

  7. Meals on Wheels? A Decade of Megafaunal Visual and Acoustic Observations from Offshore Oil & Gas Rigs and Platforms in the North and Irish Seas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Louise Georgia Todd

    Full Text Available A decade of visual and acoustic detections of marine megafauna around offshore Oil & Gas (O&G installations in the North and Irish Seas are presented. Marine megafauna activity was monitored visually and acoustically by Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC qualified and experienced Marine Mammal Observers (MMO and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM Operators respectively, with real-time towed PAM in combination with industry standard software, PAMGuard. Monitoring was performed during routine O&G industrial operations for underwater noise mitigation purposes, and to ensure adherence to regulatory guidelines. Incidental sightings by off-effort MMOs and installation crew were also reported. Visual and acoustic monitoring spanned 55 non-consecutive days between 2004 and 2014. A total of 47 marine mammal sightings were recorded by MMOs on dedicated watch, and 10 incidental sightings of marine megafauna were reported over 10 years. Species included: harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena, Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus, white beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris, common dolphin (Delphinus delphis, minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata, common seal (Phoca vitulina, grey seal (Halichoerus grypus and, basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus. Passive Acoustic Monitoring was conducted on two occasions in 2014; 160 PAM hours over 12 days recorded a total of 308 individual clicks identified as harbour porpoises. These appear to be the first such acoustic detections obtained from a North Sea drilling rig whilst using a typically configured hydrophone array designed for towing in combination with real-time PAMGuard software. This study provides evidence that marine megafauna are present around mobile and stationary offshore O&G installations during routine operational activities. On this basis, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs for decommissioning O&G platforms should be carried-out on a case-by-case basis, and must include

  8. 50 CFR 216.91 - Dolphin-safe labeling standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Dolphin-safe labeling standards. 216.91... MAMMALS Dolphin Safe Tuna Labeling § 216.91 Dolphin-safe labeling standards. (a) It is a violation of... include on the label of those products the term “dolphin-safe” or any other term or symbol that claims or...

  9. Morphological convergence in 'river dolphin' skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Charlotte E; Cooper, Natalie

    2017-01-01

    Convergent evolution can provide insights into the predictability of, and constraints on, the evolution of biodiversity. One striking example of convergence is seen in the 'river dolphins'. The four dolphin genera that make up the 'river dolphins' ( Inia geoffrensis, Pontoporia blainvillei, Platanista gangetica and Lipotes vexillifer ) do not represent a single monophyletic group, despite being very similar in morphology. This has led many to using the 'river dolphins' as an example of convergent evolution. We investigate whether the skulls of the four 'river dolphin' genera are convergent when compared to other toothed dolphin taxa in addition to identifying convergent cranial and mandibular features. We use geometric morphometrics to uncover shape variation in the skulls of the 'river dolphins' and then apply a number of phylogenetic techniques to test for convergence. We find significant convergence in the skull morphology of the 'river dolphins'. The four genera seem to have evolved similar skull shapes, leading to a convergent morphotype characterised by elongation of skull features. The cause of this morphological convergence remains unclear. However, the features we uncover as convergent, in particular elongation of the rostrum, support hypotheses of shared feeding mode or diet and thus provide the foundation for future work into convergence within the Odontoceti.

  10. DPIV measurements of dolphins performing tailstands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eun Moon, Yae; Sherman, Erica; Fish, Frank; Williams, Terrie; Wei, Timothy

    2008-11-01

    In the past few years, we have adapted DPIV to permit measurements of flow around swimming mammals (human and dolphin). In this study, we apply this technique to measure flow associated with a dolphin performing a tail stand; the behavior in which the dolphin lifts and holds itself vertically out of the water by rapid and strong oscillations of its tail. The objective of this work was i) to validate the ability to compute thrust production from vortices generated by the tail motions and ii) to develop a quantitative measure of the thrust production capability of a dolphin. Data from numerous tail stands taken from two different Atlantic bottlenose dolphins will be presented. Independent thrust comparisons are developed by monitoring how much of the dolphins' bodies were held above the water during the tailstand behavior. The presentation includes both movies showing flow velocity overlayed on the original dolphin videos as wall as plots of thrust as a function of percent body weight lifted from the water. The data clearly demonstrate that dolphins produce thrust on the order of their body weight, far more than necessary to overcome turbulent boundary layer drag.

  11. Neurobrucellosis in stranded dolphins, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Mora, Gabriela; González-Barrientos, Rocío; Morales, Juan-Alberto; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Guzmán-Verri, Caterina; Barquero-Calvo, Elías; Baquero-Calvo, Elías; De-Miguel, María-Jesús; Marín, Clara-María; Blasco, José-María; Moreno, Edgardo

    2008-09-01

    Ten striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, stranded along the Costa Rican Pacific coast, had meningoencephalitis and antibodies against Brucella spp. Brucella ceti was isolated from cerebrospinal fluid of 6 dolphins and 1 fetus. S. coeruleoalba constitutes a highly susceptible host and a potential reservoir for B. ceti transmission.

  12. California Sea Lions Use Dolphins to Locate Food

    OpenAIRE

    Bearzi, Maddalena

    2006-01-01

    Aggregations by 3 species of dolphins (the bottlenose dolphin [Tursiops truncatus], the short-beaked common dolphin [Delphinus delphis], and the long-beaked common dolphin [Delphinus capensis]) and California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) were investigated in Santa Monica Bay, California. Groups were followed and observed during 201 boat-based surveys conducted in 1997–2001 documenting that sea lions were aggregated in 18.6% of the sightings with bottlenose dolphins (150 bottlenose dolph...

  13. Brucellosis in Endangered Hector's Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckle, Kelly; Roe, Wendi D; Howe, Laryssa; Michael, Sarah; Duignan, Padraig J; Burrows, E; Ha, Hye Jeong; Humphrey, Sharon; McDonald, Wendy L

    2017-09-01

    Brucella spp infections of marine mammals are often asymptomatic but have been associated with reproductive losses and deaths. Zoonotic infections originating from marine isolates have also been described. Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) are an endangered species with a declining population, and the role of infectious disease in population dynamics is not fully understood. In this study, 27 Hector's dolphins found dead around the New Zealand coastline between November 2006 and October 2010 were evaluated for lesions previously associated with cetacean brucellosis. Tissues were examined using histological, immunohistochemical, and molecular (polymerase chain reaction [PCR]) techniques. Seven of 27 dolphins (26%) had at least 1 tissue that was positive on PCR for Brucella spp. Lesions consistent with brucellosis were present in 10 of 27 (37%) dolphins, but in 8 of these dolphins Brucella infection could not be demonstrated in lesional tissues. Two dolphins (7%) were diagnosed with active brucellosis: 1 female with placentitis and metritis, and 1 stillborn male fetus. Brucella identified in these 2 dolphins had genetic similarity (99%) to Brucella pinnipedialis. The omp2a gene amplicon from the uterus of the female had 100% homology with ST27 genotype isolates from a human in New Zealand and a bottlenose dolphin of Pacific origin. The remaining 5 PCR-positive dolphins were assessed as having asymptomatic or latent infection. While most Brucella infections identified in this study appeared to be subclinical, the finding of 2 dolphins with reproductive disease due to Brucella infection suggests that this disease has the potential to affect reproductive success in this species.

  14. Quantitative examination of the bottlenose dolphin cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  15. Covert underwater acoustic communication using dolphin sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Songzuo; Qiao, Gang; Ismail, Asim

    2013-04-01

    In November 2012, an experiment demonstrating biological mimicry method for covert underwater acoustic communication (UAC) was conducted at Lianhua Lake in Heilongjiang China. Dolphin whistles were used for synchronization while dolphin clicks were used as information carrier. The time interval between dolphin clicks conveys the information bits. Channel estimates were obtained with matching pursuit (MP) algorithm, which is useful for sparse channel estimation. Adaptive RAKE Equalization was employed at the receiver. Bit error rates were less than 10(-4) with 37 bits per second data rate in the lake trial.

  16. Dolphin Continuous Auditory Vigilance for Five Days

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keough, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    .... Diazepam has been shown to induce unihemispheric slow waves (USW), therefore we used functional imaging of dolphins with and without diazepam to observe hemispheric differences in brain metabolism and blood flow...

  17. Biscayne Bay Dolphin Photo ID System

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Dolphin Continuous Auditory Vigilance for Five Days

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keough, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    This report documents the first use of magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of living dolphins to register functional brain scans, allowing for the exploration of potential mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep...

  19. Biscayne Bay Florida Bottlenose Dolphin Studies

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta L. Fiksdal

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders. Studies have been released claiming swimming with dolphins is therapeutic and beneficial for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, physical disabilities, and other psychological disorders. The majority of the studies conducted supporting the effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy have been found to have major methodological concerns making it impossible to draw valid conclusions. Readers will be informed of the history of, theory behind, and variations of dolphin-assisted therapy along with a review and critique of studies published which purportedly support its use.

  1. Bubbles in live-stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennison, S; Moore, M J; Fahlman, A; Moore, K; Sharp, S; Harry, C T; Hoppe, J; Niemeyer, M; Lentell, B; Wells, R S

    2012-04-07

    Bubbles in supersaturated tissues and blood occur in beaked whales stranded near sonar exercises, and post-mortem in dolphins bycaught at depth and then hauled to the surface. To evaluate live dolphins for bubbles, liver, kidneys, eyes and blubber-muscle interface of live-stranded and capture-release dolphins were scanned with B-mode ultrasound. Gas was identified in kidneys of 21 of 22 live-stranded dolphins and in the hepatic portal vasculature of 2 of 22. Nine then died or were euthanized and bubble presence corroborated by computer tomography and necropsy, 13 were released of which all but two did not re-strand. Bubbles were not detected in 20 live wild dolphins examined during health assessments in shallow water. Off-gassing of supersaturated blood and tissues was the most probable origin for the gas bubbles. In contrast to marine mammals repeatedly diving in the wild, stranded animals are unable to recompress by diving, and thus may retain bubbles. Since the majority of beached dolphins released did not re-strand it also suggests that minor bubble formation is tolerated and will not lead to clinically significant decompression sickness.

  2. Post-epizootic chronic dolphin morbillivirus infection in Mediterranean striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Sara; Alba, Ana; Ganges, Llilianne; Vidal, Enric; Raga, Juan Antonio; Alegre, Ferrán; González, Beatriz; Medina, Pascual; Zorrilla, Irene; Martínez, Jorge; Marco, Alberto; Pérez, Mónica; Pérez, Blanca; Pérez de Vargas Mesas, Ana; Martínez Valverde, Rosa; Domingo, Mariano

    2011-10-06

    Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) has caused 2 epizootics with high mortality rates on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, in 1990 and 2006-07, mainly affecting striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba. Following the first epizootic unusual DMV infections affecting only the central nervous system of striped dolphins were found, with histological features similar to subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and old dog encephalitis, the chronic latent localised infections caused by defective forms of measles virus and canine distemper virus, respectively. Between 2008 and 2010, monitoring by microscopic and immunohistochemical (IHC) studies of 118 striped dolphins stranded along Catalonia, the Valencia Region and Andalusia showed similar localised DMV nervous system infections in 25.0, 28.6 and 27.4% of cases, respectively, with no significant differences among regions or sex. The body length of DMV-infected dolphins was statistically greater than that of non-infected dolphins (196.5 vs. 160.5 cm; p dolphins with positive IHC-DMV had positive PCR results. All 6 cases were positive with the 78 bp RT-PCR. These findings contraindicate the use of the 429 bp RT-PCR protocol based on the P gene to detect this specific form of DMV. DMV localised nervous infection constitutes the most relevant single cause of stranding and death in Mediterranean striped dolphins in the years following a DMV epizootic, and it might even overwhelm the effects of the epizootic itself, at least in 2007.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothee Kremers

    2014-11-01

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

  4. Observations of NC stop nets for bottlenose dolphin takes

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Dolphin morbillivirus infection in different parts of the Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.F. van Bressem; I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); R.L. de Swart (Rik); C. Örvell; L. Stanzani; E. Androukaki (Eugenia); K. Siakavara; A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractMorbillivirus were isolated from Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) dying along the coasts of Italy and Greece in 1991. They were antigenically identical to the morbilliviruses isolated from striped dolphins in Spain in 1990.

  6. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan... § 229.35 Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan. (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to implement the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan to reduce incidental mortality and serious...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Why do dolphins carry sponges?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Janet; Sargeant, Brooke L; Watson-Capps, Jana J; Gibson, Quincy A; Heithaus, Michael R; Connor, Richard C; Patterson, Eric

    2008-01-01

    Tool use is rare in wild animals, but of widespread interest because of its relationship to animal cognition, social learning and culture. Despite such attention, quantifying the costs and benefits of tool use has been difficult, largely because if tool use occurs, all population members typically exhibit the behavior. In Shark Bay, Australia, only a subset of the bottlenose dolphin population uses marine sponges as tools, providing an opportunity to assess both proximate and ultimate costs and benefits and document patterns of transmission. We compared sponge-carrying (sponger) females to non-sponge-carrying (non-sponger) females and show that spongers were more solitary, spent more time in deep water channel habitats, dived for longer durations, and devoted more time to foraging than non-spongers; and, even with these potential proximate costs, calving success of sponger females was not significantly different from non-spongers. We also show a clear female-bias in the ontogeny of sponging. With a solitary lifestyle, specialization, and high foraging demands, spongers used tools more than any non-human animal. We suggest that the ecological, social, and developmental mechanisms involved likely (1) help explain the high intrapopulation variation in female behaviour, (2) indicate tradeoffs (e.g., time allocation) between ecological and social factors and, (3) constrain the spread of this innovation to primarily vertical transmission.

  9. Why do dolphins carry sponges?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet Mann

    Full Text Available Tool use is rare in wild animals, but of widespread interest because of its relationship to animal cognition, social learning and culture. Despite such attention, quantifying the costs and benefits of tool use has been difficult, largely because if tool use occurs, all population members typically exhibit the behavior. In Shark Bay, Australia, only a subset of the bottlenose dolphin population uses marine sponges as tools, providing an opportunity to assess both proximate and ultimate costs and benefits and document patterns of transmission. We compared sponge-carrying (sponger females to non-sponge-carrying (non-sponger females and show that spongers were more solitary, spent more time in deep water channel habitats, dived for longer durations, and devoted more time to foraging than non-spongers; and, even with these potential proximate costs, calving success of sponger females was not significantly different from non-spongers. We also show a clear female-bias in the ontogeny of sponging. With a solitary lifestyle, specialization, and high foraging demands, spongers used tools more than any non-human animal. We suggest that the ecological, social, and developmental mechanisms involved likely (1 help explain the high intrapopulation variation in female behaviour, (2 indicate tradeoffs (e.g., time allocation between ecological and social factors and, (3 constrain the spread of this innovation to primarily vertical transmission.

  10. 76 FR 51943 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; International Dolphin Conservation Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-19

    ...; International Dolphin Conservation Program AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA... (NOAA) collects information to implement the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (Act). The... ] nations in the International Dolphin Conservation Program that would otherwise be under embargo. The Act...

  11. Experimental Estimation of Material and Support Properties for Flexible Dolphin Structures

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Milan Batista; Aleksander Grm

    2017-01-01

    .... Most liquid bulk terminals are equipped with a jetty as berthing facility. The ship mostly berths to dedicated breasting dolphin structures, which can be single-pile flexible/rigid dolphins or multi-pile flexible/rigid dolphins...

  12. Location of an acoustic window in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, V V; Supin, A Y

    1990-01-15

    Auditory brainstem responses (ABR) to sound clicks from sources in different positions were recorded in dolphins Inia geoffrensis. The position of the acoustic window was determined by measurement of acoustic delays. The acoustic window was found to lie close to the auditory meatus and the bulla rather than on the lower jaw.

  13. Audiogram of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kastelein, R.A.; Hagedoorn, M.; Au, W.W.L.; Haan, de D.

    2003-01-01

    The underwater hearing sensitivity of a striped dolphin was measured in a pool using standard psycho-acoustic techniques. The go/no-go response paradigm and up¿down staircase psychometric method were used. Auditory sensitivity was measured by using 12 narrow-band frequency-modulated signals having

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude R. Joiris

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boos, Karin; D'Hert, Diederik; Nachtsheim, Dominik A.

    2016-01-01

    The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross's gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ), the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI), the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns. PMID:27777810

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Stress Hormones and their Regulation in a Captive Dolphin Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Dolphin Population Cory D Champagne & Dorian S. Houser National Marine Mammal Foundation 2240 Shelter Island Dr, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92106 phone...understanding of how the stress response operates in marine mammals by evaluating markers of stress in a captive dolphin population. It determines...baseline levels of putative stress hormones and evaluates the functional consequences of increased stress in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops

  19. The dolphin cochlear nucleus: topography, histology and functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malkemper, E P; Oelschläger, H H A; Huggenberger, S

    2012-02-01

    Despite the outstanding auditory capabilities of dolphins, there is only limited information available on the cytology of the auditory brain stem nuclei in these animals. Here, we investigated the cochlear nuclei (CN) of five brains of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and La Plata dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) using cell and fiber stain microslide series representing the three main anatomical planes. In general, the CN in dolphins comprise the same set of subnuclei as in other mammals. However, the volume ratio of the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) in relation to the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) of dolphins represents a minimum among the mammals examined so far. Because, for example, in cats the DCN is necessary for reflexive orientation of the head and pinnae towards a sound source, the massive restrictions in head movability in dolphins and the absence of outer ears may be correlated with the reduction of the DCN. Moreover, the same set of main neuron types were found in the dolphin CN as in other mammals, including octopus and multipolar cells. Because the latter two types of neurons are thought to be involved in the recognition of complex sounds, including speech, we suggest that, in dolphins, they may be involved in the processing of their communication signals. Comparison of the toothed whale species studied here revealed that large spherical cells were present in the La Plata dolphin but absent in the common dolphin. These neurons are known to be engaged in the processing of low-frequency sounds in terrestrial mammals. Accordingly, in the common dolphin, the absence of large spherical cells seems to be correlated with a shift of its auditory spectrum into the high-frequency range above 20 kHz. The existence of large spherical cells in the VCN of the La Plata dolphin, however, is enigmatic asthis species uses frequencies around 130 kHz. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Dolphin Cognition: Representations and Processes in Memory and Perception

    OpenAIRE

    Mercado III, Eduardo; DeLong, Caroline M.

    2010-01-01

    Many people agree that dolphins are sentient beings, but few would claim to know what being a dolphin is like. From a psychological perspective, a dolphin’s experiences are a function of its mental capacities, especially those processes that relate to memories, percepts, thoughts, and emotions. This paper reviews what is currently known about dolphins’ cognitive abilities, focusing on how they perceive and remember events. Experiments with captive dolphins show that they can flexibly access m...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. High Frequency Components in Bottlenose Dolphin Echolocation Signals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Toland, Ronald

    1998-01-01

    .... To assess the importance of these high frequencies in dolphin echolocation and target identification, experiments were performed in which an acoustic filter, used to suppress the high frequencies...

  3. Neural network modeling of a dolphin's sonar discrimination capabilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars Nonboe; René Rasmussen, A; Au, WWL

    1994-01-01

    The capability of an echo-locating dolphin to discriminate differences in the wall thickness of cylinders was previously modeled by a counterpropagation neural network using only spectral information of the echoes [W. W. L. Au, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 95, 2728–2735 (1994)]. In this study, both time...... and frequency information were used to model the dolphin discrimination capabilities. Echoes from the same cylinders were digitized using a broadband simulated dolphin sonar signal with the transducer mounted on the dolphin's pen. The echoes were filtered by a bank of continuous constant-Q digital filters...

  4. Mitogenomic phylogenetic analyses of the Delphinidae with an emphasis on the Globicephalinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Stephanis Renaud

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous DNA-based phylogenetic studies of the Delphinidae family suggest it has undergone rapid diversification, as characterised by unresolved and poorly supported taxonomic relationships (polytomies for some of the species within this group. Using an increased amount of sequence data we test between alternative hypotheses of soft polytomies caused by rapid speciation, slow evolutionary rate and/or insufficient sequence data, and hard polytomies caused by simultaneous speciation within this family. Combining the mitogenome sequences of five new and 12 previously published species within the Delphinidae, we used Bayesian and maximum-likelihood methods to estimate the phylogeny from partitioned and unpartitioned mitogenome sequences. Further ad hoc tests were then conducted to estimate the support for alternative topologies. Results We found high support for all the relationships within our reconstructed phylogenies, and topologies were consistent between the Bayesian and maximum-likelihood trees inferred from partitioned and unpartitioned data. Resolved relationships included the placement of the killer whale (Orcinus orca as sister taxon to the rest of the Globicephalinae subfamily, placement of the Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus within the Globicephalinae subfamily, removal of the white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris from the Delphininae subfamily and the placement of the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis as sister taxon to the rest of the Delphininae subfamily rather than within the Globicephalinae subfamily. The additional testing of alternative topologies allowed us to reject all other putative relationships, with the exception that we were unable to reject the hypothesis that the relationship between L. albirostris and the Globicephalinae and Delphininae subfamilies was polytomic. Conclusion Despite their rapid diversification, the increased sequence data yielded by mitogenomes enables the

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

    OpenAIRE

    Denise L. Herzing; Elliser, Cindy R.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  7. An insight into the epidemiology of dolphin morbillivirus worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, M; Waerebeek, K V; Jepson, P D; Raga, J A; Duignan, P J; Nielsen, O; Di Beneditto, A P; Siciliano, S; Ramos, R; Kant, W; Peddemors, V; Kinoshita, R; Ross, P S; López-Fernandez, A; Evans, K; Crespo, E; Barrett, T

    2001-08-20

    Serum samples from 288 cetaceans representing 25 species and originating from 11 different countries were collected between 1995 and 1999 and examined for the presence of dolphin morbillivirus (DMV)-specific antibodies by an indirect ELISA (iELISA) (N = 267) or a plaque reduction assay (N = 21). A total of 35 odontocetes were seropositive: three harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and a common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) from the Northeastern (NE) Atlantic, a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from Kent (England), three striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), two Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) and a bottlenose dolphin from the Mediterranean Sea, one common dolphin from the Southwest (SW) Indian Ocean, three Fraser's dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) from the SW Atlantic, 18 long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) and a bottlenose dolphin from the SW Pacific as well as a captive bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) originally from Taiwan. The presence of morbillivirus antibodies in 17 of these animals was further examined in other iELISAs and virus neutralization tests. Our results indicate that DMV infects cetaceans worldwide. This is the first report of DMV-seropositive animals from the SW Indian, SW Atlantic and West Pacific Oceans. Prevalence of DMV-seropositives was 85.7% in 21 pilot whales from the SW Pacific and both sexually mature and immature individuals were infected. This indicates that DMV is endemic in these animals. The same situation may occur among Fraser's dolphins from the SW Atlantic. The prevalence of DMV-seropositives was 5.26% and 5.36% in 19 common dolphins and 56 harbour porpoise from the NE Atlantic, respectively, and 18.75% in 16 striped dolphins from the Mediterranean. Prevalence varied significantly with sexual maturity in harbour porpoises and striped dolphins; all DMV-seropositives being mature animals. The prevalence of seropositive harbour porpoise and striped dolphins appeared to have decreased since previous

  8. An evaluation of marine traffic on the Chinese white dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C.

    2016-12-01

    The proposed third runway reclamation project of Hong Kong airport will soon impact the surrounding population of Chinese white dolphins. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the size of the reclamation will be 650 hectares of land located to the north of the current airport platform. All of the necessary works will be conducted via the surrounding marine areas. During the construction period the dredging and reclamation activities will increase the risk of dolphins colliding with this extra marine traffic especially since this construction site is less than one kilometre away from the dolphin marine park of Sha Chau & Lung Kwu Chau. Furthermore, after the construction of the third runway, there will be a re-routing of Skypier Ferries and other high speed boats through this area. The dolphins will undoubtedly be disturbed. The increase in vessel traffic during the construction project will also generate sounds that may interfere with echolocation systems that dolphins rely on to navigate and fish. This further impact can be measured using underwater hydrophones that can record the boat noise as well as the dolphin clicks. The latter determines the presence or absence of dolphins. From this the impact of noise on dolphin populations can be determined by simply determining if the dolphins stay around during periods of high levels of underwater noise. The data presented is the result of several years of collection. A clear understanding of the conjunction of noises from the dolphins and marine traffic patterns for different times of the day will help determine the impact and offer the chance to change marine traffic patterns thus minimizing the adverse impact on the iconic Hong Kong white dolphins.

  9. Biochemical and Anatomical Characteristics of Dolphin Muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    deformation ( stretch ). The combination of capacities for strength and elasticity, coupled with high cellularity, produces a tendon that is adapted...hexosamines. These data suggest a biochemical difference in dolphin and rat tendon, which may be of relevance to the unique myofascial design of the...has a relatively greater need for strength rather than stretch in its dynamic function. Proteoglycans, with their high charge density and very large

  10. Cognitive skills in bottlenose dolphin communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janik, Vincent M

    2013-04-01

    Bottlenose dolphins display a behavioural skill set that makes them an interesting model system for the study of complexity in communication and cognition. They are capable of vocal learning, referential labelling, syntax comprehension, and joint attention. In their own communication system, these skills are used in individual recognition, group cohesion, and coordination, which suggests that social challenges are a universal selection pressure for complexity in communication and cognition independent of the physical environment. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Optimization of Dolphin Drillings spare part management

    OpenAIRE

    Wollbraaten, Maximilian

    2015-01-01

    Master's thesis in Offshore technology : Industrial asset management The aim of this thesis is to analyze and improve Dolphin Drillings spare part management. That is done by conducting a current situation analysis, and proposing a framework for determining necessary spare part stock levels. Chapter 3 presents a review of elements in an RCM analysis, and classification of spare parts. It is proposed to use the analytical hierarchy process to determine the importance of param...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 50 CFR 216.95 - Official mark for “Dolphin-safe” tuna products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Official mark for âDolphin-safeâ tuna... AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Dolphin Safe Tuna Labeling § 216.95 Official mark for “Dolphin-safe... Department of Commerce that may be used to label tuna products that meet the “dolphin-safe” standards set...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  15. Dolphin shows and interaction programs: benefits for conservation education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, L J; Zeigler-Hill, V; Mellen, J; Koeppel, J; Greer, T; Kuczaj, S

    2013-01-01

    Dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs are two types of education programs within zoological institutions used to educate visitors about dolphins and the marine environment. The current study examined the short- and long-term effects of these programs on visitors' conservation-related knowledge, attitude, and behavior. Participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs demonstrated a significant short-term increase in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Three months following the experience, participants of both dolphin shows and interaction programs retained the knowledge learned during their experience and reported engaging in more conservation-related behaviors. Additionally, the number of dolphin shows attended in the past was a significant predictor of recent conservation-related behavior suggesting that repetition of these types of experiences may be important in inspiring people to conservation action. These results suggest that both dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs can be an important part of a conservation education program for visitors of zoological facilities. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1988-10-24

    Oct 24, 1988 ... The incidence of shark induced scars on Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins caught in gill nets off Natal, on the south-east coast of southern Africa, was monitored between January 1983 and June 1987. The occurrence of dolphin remains in sharks caught in these nets between January 1980 and December ...

  17. Spinner dolphins Stenella longirostris off south-west Mauritius ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Spinner dolphins Stenella longirostris longirostris off the south-west coast of Mauritius are subject to ongoing anthropogenic disturbance in the form of daily dolphin tourism, which has intensified since 1998. Abundance of this species was estimated using photo-identification data and mark-recapture analysis. Between April ...

  18. The Occurrence and Distribution of Dolphins in Zanzibar, Tanzania ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Incidental catches (bycatch) in gillnet fisheries off Zanzibar (Unguja Island), as a source of mortality among several species of dolphins, were reported in a questionnaire survey conducted in 1999. As a follow-up to that survey, from January 2000 to August 2003, we monitored the incidental catches of dolphins collected from ...

  19. Lobomycosis: risk of zoonotic transmission from dolphins to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    Lobomycosis, a fungal disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissues caused by Lacazia loboi, is sometimes referred to as a zoonotic disease because it affects only specific delphinidae and humans; however, the evidence that it can be transferred directly to humans from dolphins is weak. Dolphins have also been postulated to be responsible for an apparent geographic expansion of the disease in humans. Morphological and molecular differences between the human and dolphin organisms, differences in geographic distribution of the diseases between dolphins and humans, the existence of only a single documented case of presumed zoonotic transmission, and anecdotal evidence of lack of transmission to humans following accidental inoculation of tissue from infected dolphins do not support the hypothesis that dolphins infected with L. loboi represent a zoonotic hazard for humans. In addition, the lack of human cases in communities adjacent to coastal estuaries with a high prevalence of lobomycosis in dolphins, such as the Indian River Lagoon in Florida (IRL), suggests that direct or indirect transmission of L. loboi from dolphins to humans occurs rarely, if at all. Nonetheless, attention to personal hygiene and general principals of infection control are always appropriate when handling tissues from an animal with a presumptive diagnosis of a mycotic or fungal disease.

  20. Brucella ceti infection in dolphins from the Western Mediterranean sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isidoro-Ayza, Marcos; Ruiz-Villalobos, Nazareth; Pérez, Lola; Guzmán-Verri, Caterina; Muñoz, Pilar M; Alegre, Fernando; Barberán, Montserrat; Chacón-Díaz, Carlos; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; González-Barrientos, Rocio; Moreno, Edgardo; Blasco, José María; Domingo, Mariano

    2014-09-17

    Brucella ceti infections have been increasingly reported in cetaceans. Brucellosis in these animals is associated with meningoencephalitis, abortion, discospondylitis', subcutaneous abscesses, endometritis and other pathological conditions B. ceti infections have been frequently described in dolphins from both, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the Mediterranean Sea, only two reports have been made: one from the Italian Tyrrhenian Sea and the other from the Adriatic Sea. We describe the clinical and pathological features of three cases of B. ceti infections in three dolphins stranded in the Mediterranean Catalonian coast. One striped dolphin had neurobrucellosis, showing lethargy, incoordination and lateral swimming due to meningoencephalitis, A B. ceti infected bottlenose dolphin had discospondylitis, and another striped dolphin did not show clinical signs or lesions related to Brucella infection. A detailed characterization of the three B. ceti isolates was performed by bacteriological, molecular, protein and fatty acid analyses. All the B. ceti strains originating from Mediterranean dolphins cluster together in a distinct phylogenetic clade, close to that formed by B. ceti isolates from dolphins inhabiting the Atlantic Ocean. Our study confirms the severity of pathological signs in stranded dolphins and the relevance of B. ceti as a pathogen in the Mediterranean Sea.

  1. Echolocation click rates and behavior of foraging Hawaiian spinner dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Au, Whitlow W. L.

    2004-05-01

    Groups of spinner dolphins work together to actively aggregate small animals in the deep-scattering layer that serve as their prey. Detailed information on dolphin foraging behavior, obtained with a 200-kHz multibeam sonar (Simrad MS2000), made it possible to correlate echolocation and foraging. Fifty-six groups of spinner dolphins foraging at night within a midwater micronekton sound-scattering layer were observed with the sonar. During sonar surveys, the rates of whistles and echolocation clicks were measured using four hydrophones at 6-m depth intervals. Significant differences in click rates were found between depths and between the different stages of foraging. Groups of foraging dolphins ranged in size from 16 to 28 dolphins. Click rates were not significantly affected by the number of dolphins in a foraging group. Contrary to initial predictions, click rates were relatively low when sonar data indicated that pairs of dolphins were actively feeding. Highest echolocation rates occurred within the scattering layer, during transitions between foraging states. Whistles were only detected when dolphins were not in a foraging formation and when animals were surfacing. This suggests clicks may be used directly or indirectly to cue group movement during foraging.

  2. Dolphins Can Maintain Vigilant Behavior through Echolocation for 15 Days without Interruption or Cognitive Impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Branstetter, Brian K.; Finneran, James J.; Elizabeth A Fletcher; Weisman, Brian C.; Sam H Ridgway

    2012-01-01

    In dolphins, natural selection has developed unihemispheric sleep where alternating hemispheres of their brain stay awake. This allows dolphins to maintain consciousness in response to respiratory demands of the ocean. Unihemispheric sleep may also allow dolphins to maintain vigilant states over long periods of time. Because of the relatively poor visibility in the ocean, dolphins use echolocation to interrogate their environment. During echolocation, dolphin produce clicks and listen to retu...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harley, Heidi E

    2013-06-01

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

  5. Rhythm perception and production by the bottlenose dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harley, Heidi E.; Crowell, Sara E.; Fellner, Wendi; Odell, Kim; Larsen-Plott, Leslie

    2005-09-01

    Rhythm is an important component of many natural communication systems, but it has rarely been the focus of laboratory studies of nonhuman species. Recent cognitive studies with a bottlenose dolphin confirm that a dolphin can discriminate among six different 14-kHz 4-s acoustic rhythms at 94% accuracy, and can transfer that discrimination across multiple frequency (93%) and tempo (16%-93%) shifts. In addition, a dolphin has learned to produce six different rhythms in an object-labeling paradigm. Original training required the dolphin to produce the rhythms using a pneumatic switch that led to the in-air projection of computer-generated tones. However, the dolphin spontaneously began to produce the rhythms vocally as well. To date, the dolphin has accurately labeled five objects with unique rhythms at 87% accuracy using the switch and at 83% accuracy using his own vocalizations. Confusions at the various tempos in the perception study and the variability of some characteristics and stability of others in the production study provide insight into how dolphins represent rhythm and have implications for natural communication in this species.

  6. Pathogen surveillance in wild bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-16

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

  7. Precocious development of self-awareness in dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Morrison

    Full Text Available Mirror-self recognition (MSR is a behavioral indicator of self-awareness in young children and only a few other species, including the great apes, dolphins, elephants and magpies. The emergence of self-awareness in children typically occurs during the second year and has been correlated with sensorimotor development and growing social and self-awareness. Comparative studies of MSR in chimpanzees report that the onset of this ability occurs between 2 years 4 months and 3 years 9 months of age. Studies of wild and captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus have reported precocious sensorimotor and social awareness during the first weeks of life, but no comparative MSR research has been conducted with this species. We exposed two young bottlenose dolphins to an underwater mirror and analyzed video recordings of their behavioral responses over a 3-year period. Here we report that both dolphins exhibited MSR, indicated by self-directed behavior at the mirror, at ages earlier than generally reported for children and at ages much earlier than reported for chimpanzees. The early onset of MSR in young dolphins occurs in parallel with their advanced sensorimotor development, complex and reciprocal social interactions, and growing social awareness. Both dolphins passed subsequent mark tests at ages comparable with children. Thus, our findings indicate that dolphins exhibit self-awareness at a mirror at a younger age than previously reported for children or other species tested.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Precocious development of self-awareness in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Rachel; Reiss, Diana

    2018-01-01

    Mirror-self recognition (MSR) is a behavioral indicator of self-awareness in young children and only a few other species, including the great apes, dolphins, elephants and magpies. The emergence of self-awareness in children typically occurs during the second year and has been correlated with sensorimotor development and growing social and self-awareness. Comparative studies of MSR in chimpanzees report that the onset of this ability occurs between 2 years 4 months and 3 years 9 months of age. Studies of wild and captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have reported precocious sensorimotor and social awareness during the first weeks of life, but no comparative MSR research has been conducted with this species. We exposed two young bottlenose dolphins to an underwater mirror and analyzed video recordings of their behavioral responses over a 3-year period. Here we report that both dolphins exhibited MSR, indicated by self-directed behavior at the mirror, at ages earlier than generally reported for children and at ages much earlier than reported for chimpanzees. The early onset of MSR in young dolphins occurs in parallel with their advanced sensorimotor development, complex and reciprocal social interactions, and growing social awareness. Both dolphins passed subsequent mark tests at ages comparable with children. Thus, our findings indicate that dolphins exhibit self-awareness at a mirror at a younger age than previously reported for children or other species tested.

  10. Taxonomy Icon Data: saddleback dolphin [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available saddleback dolphin Delphinus delphis Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/Cetacea Delphinus_delphi...s_L.png Delphinus_delphis_NL.png Delphinus_delphis_S.png Delphinus_delphis_NS.png htt...p://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Delphinus+delphis&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Delphinus+delphi...s&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Delphinus+delphi...s&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Delphinus+delphis&t=NS ...

  11. Taxonomy Icon Data: bottlenosed dolphin [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

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

  12. Responses of Human-Habituated Wild Atlantic Spotted Dolphins to Play Behaviors Using a Two-Way Human/Dolphin Interface

    OpenAIRE

    Denise L. Herzing; Delfour, Fabienne; Pack, Adam A.

    2012-01-01

    Since 1985, a well-studied community of free ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, and bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, has been observed underwater in the Bahamas. Over this period, the dolphins have become habituated to human swimmers. Long-term underwater observations revealed that some of these dolphins engaged in play behavior using man-made and natural objects in the presence of humans, and allowed humans to interact with them during play. We investigated the do...

  13. The Dolphin in the Mirror - A Familiar Face?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dibble, Dianna Samuelson; Van Alstyne, Kaitlin Katie; Rohr, Jim; Ridgway, Sam

    2017-01-01

    We suggest how a basic physics problem becomes much richer when researchers of various disciplines converse. Our discussion explores Snell's window from the perspective of what a dolphin might see. An aperture, Snell's window, allows light to travel through the air-water interface. Outside this window, there is total reflection from under the water-air interface. Dolphins see through the aperture to follow our movements above the water's surface. When dolphins look outside the window, can they see their own reflections from under the water-air interface?

  14. Bayesian analysis of the Hector’s Dolphin data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    King, R.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years there have been increasing concerns for many wildlife populations, due to decreasing population trends. This has led to the introduction of management schemes to increase the survival rates and hence the population size of many species of animals. We concentrate on a particular dolphin population situated off the coast of New Zealand, and investigate whether the introduction of a fishing gill net ban was effective in decreasing dolphin mortality. We undertake a Bayesian analysis of the data, in which we quantitatively compare the different competing biological hypotheses, determining the effect of the sanctuary upon the dolphin population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Guyana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) from Costa Rica emit whistles that vary with surface behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J

    2013-10-01

    Guyana dolphins show remarkable intraspecific whistle variation. This variation has been largely explained in terms of distance among populations; however, other factors such as behavior may also be important. A broadband recording system recorded the whistles of Guyana dolphins under three behavioral states. A discriminant analysis found that during social and travel events, dolphins emit whistles with high delta and minimum frequency, respectively. Whistle duration was also important in discriminating behaviors. This study indicates that behavior is an important factor contributing to whistle variation of Guyana dolphins. Understanding how dolphin whistles vary with behavioral context will advance our understanding of dolphin communication and enable appropriate comparative studies.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Functional Imaging of Dolphin Brain Metabolism and Blood Flow

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keogh, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    This report documents the first use of magnetic resonance images (MRls) of living dolphins to register functional brain scans, allowing for the exploration of potential mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep...

  20. GoM Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-identification studies

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-12-01

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

  2. Functional Imaging of Dolphin Brain Metabolism and Blood Flow

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ridgway, Sam; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keogh, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-01-01

    .... Diazepam has been shown to induce unihemispheric slow waves (USW), therefore we used functional imaging of dolphins with and without diazepam to observe hemispheric differences in brain metabolism and blood flow...

  3. Pathology of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) infected with Brucella ceti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Barrientos, R; Morales, J-A; Hernández-Mora, G; Barquero-Calvo, E; Guzmán-Verri, C; Chaves-Olarte, E; Moreno, E

    2010-05-01

    Seventeen striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) displaying swimming disorders compatible with neurological syndromes were investigated for Brucella infection. Sixteen dolphins had meningoencephalomyelitis. Serum antibody against Brucella antigen was detected in all 14 animals tested and Brucella ceti was isolated from eight out of nine animals. Brucella antigen was detected in the brain by immunofluorescence, but not by immunohistochemical labelling. By contrast, Brucella antigen was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in the trophoblast of animals with severe placentitis and in the mitral valve of animals with myocarditis. The microscopical lesions observed in the tissues of the infected dolphins were similar to those of chronic brucellosis in man. The severity of brucellosis in S. coeruleoalba indicates that this dolphin species is highly susceptible to infection by B. ceti. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Borsa, Philippe; Andréfouët, Serge; Juncker, Matthieu

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Blind river dolphin: first side-swimming cetacean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herald, E S; Brownell, R L; Frye, F L; Morris, E J; Evans, W E; Scott, A B

    1969-12-12

    The blind river dolphin (Platanista gangetica), first written about by Pliny the Elder in A.D. 72, was found (10 November 1968) to be the first known side-swimming cetacean. The rudimentary eye lacks the lens, but anatomical evidence suggests that the eye may serve as a light sensor. The underwater sound emissions of this species, although similar to those of the Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), appear to be produced constantly.

  6. Bottlenose Dolphins: Energy Consumption during Pregnancy, Lactation, and Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    cost for most mam- mars. The literature on energy consumption during gestation and lactation of bottle - nose dolphins is very small and all the reports...Tt453, from 18 months prior to parturition (-18). through birth (0), and continuing for 24 months of lactation (23). 36 Figure 1. Daily feeding ...Professional Paper 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS: PR: MM40 Energy Consumption During Pregnancy, Lactation , and Growth PE: 0603709N

  7. The experience of self in the bottlenose dolphin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, D; Whitlow, J W

    1995-06-01

    Marten and Psarakos have presented some evidence which suggests that objective self-awareness and possibly representations of self may characterize the dolphins' experience of self. Their research demonstrates the possibility of similarities in the sense of self between primate species and dolphins, although whether dolphins have subjective self-awareness, personal memories, and theories of self--all important facets of the sense of self in humans--was not examined. Clearly, even this limited evidence was difficult to achieve; the difficulties in adapting methods and coding behavior are quite apparent in their report. Future progress, however, may depend upon clarification of what are the necessary components for a sense of self and an explication of how these might be reflected in dolphin behavior. We are mindful of the authors' point (pp. 219 and 220) that the dolphin lives more in an acoustic than a visual environment. Thus, while tasks relying upon vision may reveal the presence or absence of the sense of self in primates, it might well be the case that in dolphins self-related experiences might be better revealed in auditory tasks. But then, what is the nature of human self-awareness in terms of audition? While both conceptual and methodological hurdles remain, Marten and Psarakos have demonstrated that important questions can be asked about the minds and phenomenal worlds of nonanthropoid species.

  8. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mann

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckenreuter, Andre; Möller, Luciana; Harcourt, Robert

    2012-04-30

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

  10. Behaviour of Spinner Dolphin at Sha\\'ab Samadai, Marsa Alam, Red ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    . Samadai, Marsa Alam, Red Sea. The data were collected from October 2005 until. September 2006 using surface observations. Four objectives were studied: arrival and departure time of dolphins, distribution of dolphin movements within the ...

  11. Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep in the Amazonian dolphin, Inia geoffrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhametov, L M

    1987-08-18

    An electroencephalographic study of sleep in Amazonian dolphins, Inia geoffrensis, revealed that unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is the dominant sleep type in this species, as in the other two dolphin species that were studied earlier.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Managed Dolphin Population Dorian S. Houser National Marine Mammal Foundation 2240 Shelter Island Drive, #200 San Diego, CA 92107 phone: (877...to: 1) determine the variation in corticosteroid hormones, thyroid hormones, and catecholamines within a dolphin population relative to seasonality...will be collected from the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (MMP) dolphin population over the course of a year. Subject dolphins will be split into

  13. The environment as a driver of immune and endocrine responses in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia A Fair

    Full Text Available Immune and endocrine responses play a critical role in allowing animals to adjust to environmental perturbations. We measured immune and endocrine related markers in multiple samples from individuals from two managed-care care dolphin groups (n = 82 samples from 17 dolphins and single samples collected from two wild dolphin populations: Indian River Lagoon, (IRL FL (n = 26; and Charleston, (CHS SC (n = 19. The immune systems of wild dolphins were more upregulated than those of managed-care-dolphins as shown by higher concentrations of IgG and increases in lysozyme, NK cell function, pathogen antibody titers and leukocyte cytokine transcript levels. Collectively, managed-care care dolphins had significantly lower levels of transcripts encoding pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF, anti-viral MX1 and INFα and regulatory IL-10. IL-2Rα and CD69, markers of lymphocyte activation, were both lower in managed-care care dolphins. IL-4, a cytokine associated with TH2 activity, was lower in managed-care care dolphins compared to the free-ranging dolphins. Differences in immune parameters appear to reflect the environmental conditions under which these four dolphin populations live which vary widely in temperature, nutrition, veterinary care, pathogen/contaminant exposures, etc. Many of the differences found were consistent with reduced pathogenic antigenic stimulation in managed-care care dolphins compared to wild dolphins. Managed-care care dolphins had relatively low TH2 lymphocyte activity and fewer circulating eosinophils compared to wild dolphins. Both of these immunologic parameters are associated with exposure to helminth parasites which is uncommon in managed-care care dolphins. Less consistent trends were observed in a suite of hormones but significant differences were found for cortisol, ACTH, total T4, free T3, and epinephrine. While the underlying mechanisms are likely multiple and complex, the marked differences observed in the immune and endocrine

  14. The environment as a driver of immune and endocrine responses in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Schaefer, Adam M; Houser, Dorian S; Bossart, Gregory D; Romano, Tracy A; Champagne, Cory D; Stott, Jeffrey L; Rice, Charles D; White, Natasha; Reif, John S

    2017-01-01

    Immune and endocrine responses play a critical role in allowing animals to adjust to environmental perturbations. We measured immune and endocrine related markers in multiple samples from individuals from two managed-care care dolphin groups (n = 82 samples from 17 dolphins and single samples collected from two wild dolphin populations: Indian River Lagoon, (IRL) FL (n = 26); and Charleston, (CHS) SC (n = 19). The immune systems of wild dolphins were more upregulated than those of managed-care-dolphins as shown by higher concentrations of IgG and increases in lysozyme, NK cell function, pathogen antibody titers and leukocyte cytokine transcript levels. Collectively, managed-care care dolphins had significantly lower levels of transcripts encoding pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF, anti-viral MX1 and INFα and regulatory IL-10. IL-2Rα and CD69, markers of lymphocyte activation, were both lower in managed-care care dolphins. IL-4, a cytokine associated with TH2 activity, was lower in managed-care care dolphins compared to the free-ranging dolphins. Differences in immune parameters appear to reflect the environmental conditions under which these four dolphin populations live which vary widely in temperature, nutrition, veterinary care, pathogen/contaminant exposures, etc. Many of the differences found were consistent with reduced pathogenic antigenic stimulation in managed-care care dolphins compared to wild dolphins. Managed-care care dolphins had relatively low TH2 lymphocyte activity and fewer circulating eosinophils compared to wild dolphins. Both of these immunologic parameters are associated with exposure to helminth parasites which is uncommon in managed-care care dolphins. Less consistent trends were observed in a suite of hormones but significant differences were found for cortisol, ACTH, total T4, free T3, and epinephrine. While the underlying mechanisms are likely multiple and complex, the marked differences observed in the immune and endocrine systems of wild

  15. Soundscape Ecology of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin Resting Bays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heenehan, Heather Leigh

    Sound is a key sensory modality for Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Like many other marine animals, these dolphins rely on sound and their acoustic environment for many aspects of their daily lives, making it is essential to understand soundscape in areas that are critical to their survival. Hawaiian spinner dolphins rest during the day in shallow coastal areas and forage offshore at night. In my dissertation I focus on the soundscape of the bays where Hawaiian spinner dolphins rest taking a soundscape ecology approach. I primarily relied on passive acoustic monitoring using four DSG-Ocean acoustic loggers in four Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting bays on the Kona Coast of Hawai'i Island. 30-second recordings were made every four minutes in each of the bays for 20 to 27 months between January 8, 2011 and March 30, 2013. I also utilized concomitant vessel-based visual surveys in the four bays to provide context for these recordings. In my first chapter I used the contributions of the dolphins to the soundscape to monitor presence in the bays and found the degree of presence varied greatly from less than 40% to nearly 90% of days monitored with dolphins present. Having established these bays as important to the animals, in my second chapter I explored the many components of their resting bay soundscape and evaluated the influence of natural and human events on the soundscape. I characterized the overall soundscape in each of the four bays, used the tsunami event of March 2011 to approximate a natural soundscape and identified all loud daytime outliers. Overall, sound levels were consistently louder at night and quieter during the daytime due to the sounds from snapping shrimp. In fact, peak Hawaiian spinner dolphin resting time co-occurs with the quietest part of the day. However, I also found that humans drastically alter this daytime soundscape with sound from offshore aquaculture, vessel sound and military mid-frequency active sonar. During one recorded mid

  16. Dolphins can maintain vigilant behavior through echolocation for 15 days without interruption or cognitive impairment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian K Branstetter

    Full Text Available In dolphins, natural selection has developed unihemispheric sleep where alternating hemispheres of their brain stay awake. This allows dolphins to maintain consciousness in response to respiratory demands of the ocean. Unihemispheric sleep may also allow dolphins to maintain vigilant states over long periods of time. Because of the relatively poor visibility in the ocean, dolphins use echolocation to interrogate their environment. During echolocation, dolphin produce clicks and listen to returning echoes to determine the location and identity of objects. The extent to which individual dolphins are able to maintain continuous vigilance through this active sense is unknown. Here we show that dolphins may continuously echolocate and accurately report the presence of targets for at least 15 days without interruption. During a total of three sessions, each lasting five days, two dolphins maintained echolocation behaviors while successfully detecting and reporting targets. Overall performance was between 75 to 86% correct for one dolphin and 97 to 99% correct for a second dolphin. Both animals demonstrated diel patterns in echolocation behavior. A 15-day testing session with one dolphin resulted in near perfect performance with no significant decrement over time. Our results demonstrate that dolphins can continuously monitor their environment and maintain long-term vigilant behavior through echolocation.

  17. 77 FR 45268 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-31

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

  18. 77 FR 22759 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Bottlenose Dolphin...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-17

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

  19. 9 CFR 3.111 - Swim-with-the-dolphin programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Swim-with-the-dolphin programs. 3.111... Transportation of Marine Mammals Animal Health and Husbandry Standards § 3.111 Swim-with-the-dolphin programs. Swim-with-the-dolphin programs shall comply with the requirements in this section, as well as with all...

  20. 77 FR 21946 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-12

    ... Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan AGENCY: National Marine... Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP) and implementing regulations by permanently continuing medium... April 30. Members of the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Team (BDTRT) recommended these regulations be...

  1. Dolphin Therapy: The Playful Way to Work toward the Next Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wermer, Maaike

    2008-01-01

    More than 400 children with a physical and/or mental challenge visit the Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) for dolphin-assisted therapy every year. Dolphin therapy appears to be the right approach for many children. With the help of these special and very social animals, it is easier to make contact with the children. It motivates…

  2. Differences in the whistle characteristics and repertoire of Bottlenose and Spinner Dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bazúa-Durán Carmen

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Several methods have been used to compare the whistles produced by dolphins. The two methods used in this study are: (1 a classification of whistle contours in six categories (i.e. constant frequency, upsweep, downsweep, concave, convex, and sine and (2 the extraction of frequency and time parameters from each whistle contour. Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus whistles are described in the same way when comparing whistle contour distributions in each of the six categories and whistle frequency and time parameters using Discriminant Function Analysis. For Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris whistles, each method describes whistles differently. Several facts may explain these differences in describing dolphin whistles, such as a greater fluidity of Spinner Dolphin groups when compared to Bottlenose Dolphin groups, greater geographic variation in the whistles of Bottlenose Dolphins than in those of Spinner Dolphins, an average beginning frequency 16% lower than the average ending frequency in Spinner Dolphin whistles compared to a varied relationship for Bottlenose Dolphins, and stricter criteria used to define whistle contour categories in the study of Spinner Dolphin whistles than in the Bottlenose Dolphin whistle study.

  3. Hepatitis E virus in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-08

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa eSartori

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Finn

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

  6. Cross-sectional anatomy, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the head of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Farré, J M; Gonzalo-Orden, M; Barreiro-Vázquez, J D; Barreiro-Lois, A; André, M; Morell, M; Llarena-Reino, M; Monreal-Pawlowsky, T; Degollada, E

    2015-02-01

    Computed tomography (CT) and low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used to scan seven by-caught dolphin cadavers, belonging to two species: four common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and three striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). CT and MRI were obtained with the animals in ventral recumbency. After the imaging procedures, six dolphins were frozen at -20°C and sliced in the same position they were examined. Not only CT and MRI scans, but also cross sections of the heads were obtained in three body planes: transverse (slices of 1 cm thickness) in three dolphins, sagittal (5 cm thickness) in two dolphins and dorsal (5 cm thickness) in two dolphins. Relevant anatomical structures were identified and labelled on each cross section, obtaining a comprehensive bi-dimensional topographical anatomy guide of the main features of the common and the striped dolphin head. Furthermore, the anatomical cross sections were compared with their corresponding CT and MRI images, allowing an imaging identification of most of the anatomical features. CT scans produced an excellent definition of the bony and air-filled structures, while MRI allowed us to successfully identify most of the soft tissue structures in the dolphin's head. This paper provides a detailed anatomical description of the head structures of common and striped dolphins and compares anatomical cross sections with CT and MRI scans, becoming a reference guide for the interpretation of imaging studies. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. [Rest and activity states in the Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shpak, O V; Liamin, O I; Manger, P R; Siegel, J M; Mukhametov, L M

    2009-01-01

    The unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, the ability to sleep during swimming with one open eye and the absence of paradoxical sleep in the form of it is observed in all terrestrial mammals are unique features of sleep in cetaceans. Visual observations supplement electrophysiological studies and allow obtaining novel data about sleep of cetaceans. In the present study we examined behavior of 3 adult Commerson's dolphins Cephalorhynchus commersonii which were housed in the oceanarium Sea-World (San Diego, USA). The behavior of the dolphins can be subdivided into 5 swimming types: 1) active swimming marked by variable speed and irregular trajectory of movement (on average for 3 dolphins 35.1 +/- 2.7% of the 24-h period) was scored as active wakefulness; 2) circular swimming was divided into slow and fast swimming and occupied, on average, 44.4 +/- 3.8 and 9.7 +/- 0.8% of the 24-h period, respectively; while in circular swimming, dolphins swam from 1 to 6 circles on one respiration pause; 3) quiet chaotic swimming (3.9 +/- 1.2%) that occurred at the bottom and was not accompanied by signs of activity; 4) floating, and 5) slow swimming at the surface (4.1 +/- 0.5 and 2.8 +/- 0.4%), respectively; the latter two swimming types were accompanied by frequent respiration (hyperventilation). We suggest that sleep in Commerson's dolphins occurred predominantly during the circular and quiet swimming. From time to time the dolphins slowed down their speeds and even stopped for several seconds. Such episodes appeared to be the deepest sleep episodes. In all dolphins muscle jerks as well erections in the male were observed. Jerks and erections occurred during the circular and quiet chaotic swimming. Similar to other studied small cetaceans, Commerson's dolphins are in a state of almost uninterrupted swimming during 24 h per day and they sleep during swimming. Some muscle jerks that we observed in the dolphins in this study might have been episodes of paradoxical sleep.

  9. Humpback Dolphin (Genus Sousa) Behavioural Responses to Human Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piwetz, Sarah; Lundquist, David; Würsig, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) use shallow, near-shore waters throughout their range. This coastal distribution makes them vulnerable to recreational and commercial disturbances, especially near heavily populated and industrialized areas. Most research focusing on Sousa and human activities has emphasized direct impacts and threats, involving injury and death, with relatively little focus on indirect effects on dolphins, such as changes in behaviour that may lead to deleterious effects. Understanding behaviour is important in resolving human-wildlife conflict and is an important component of conservation. This chapter gives an overview of animal behavioural responses to human activity with examples from diverse taxa; reviews the scientific literature on behavioural responses of humpback dolphins to human activity throughout their range, including marine vessel traffic, dolphin tourism, cetacean-fishery interactions, noise pollution, and habitat alteration; and highlights information and data gaps for future humpback dolphin research to better inform behaviour-based management decisions that contribute to conservation efforts. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  10. What do dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) understand about hidden objects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaakkola, Kelly; Guarino, Emily; Rodriguez, Mandy; Erb, Linda; Trone, Marie

    2010-01-01

    Object permanence, the ability to mentally represent and reason about objects that have disappeared from view, is a fundamental cognitive skill that has been extensively studied in human infants and terrestrial animals, but not in marine animals. A series of four experiments examined this ability in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). After being trained on a "find the object" game, dolphins were tested on visible and invisible displacement tasks, and transpositions. In Experiments 1 and 2, dolphins succeeded at visible displacements, but not at invisible displacements or transpositions. Experiment 3 showed that they were able to pass an invisible displacement task in which a person's hand rather than a container was used as the displacement device. However, follow-up controls suggested they did so by learning local rules rather than via a true representation of the movement of hidden objects. Experiment 4 demonstrated that the dolphins did not rely on such local rules to pass visible displacement tasks. Thus, like many terrestrial animals, dolphins are able to succeed on visible displacement tasks, but seem unable to succeed on tasks requiring the tracking of hidden objects.

  11. The freshwater dolphin Inia geoffrensis geoffrensis produces high frequency whistles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J; Wartzok, Douglas

    2007-02-01

    Because whistles are most commonly associated with social delphinids, they have been largely overlooked, ignored, or presumed absent, in solitary freshwater dolphin species. Whistle production in the freshwater dolphin, the boto (Inia geoffrensis geoffrensis), has been controversial. Because of its sympatry with tucuxi dolphins (Sotalia fluviatilis), a whistling species, some presume tucuxi whistles might have been erroneously assigned to the boto. Using a broadband recording system, we recorded over 100 whistles from boto dolphins in the Yasunf River, Ecuador, where the tucuxi dolphins are absent. Our results therefore provide conclusive evidence for whistle production in Inia geoffrensis geoffrensis. Furthermore, boto whistles are significantly different from tucuxi whistles recorded in nearby rivers. The Ecuadorian boto whistle has a significantly greater frequency range (5.30-48.10 kHz) than previously reported in other populations (Peru and Colombia) that were recorded with more bandwidth limited equipment. In addition, the top frequency and the range are greater than in any other toothed whale species recorded to date. Whistle production was higher during resting activities, alone or in the presence of other animals. The confirmation of whistles in the boto has important implications for the evolution of whistles in Cetacea and their association with sociality.

  12. Tracking dolphin whistles using an autonomous acoustic recorder array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiggins, Sean M; Frasier, Kaitlin E; Henderson, E Elizabeth; Hildebrand, John A

    2013-06-01

    Dolphins are known to produce nearly omnidirectional whistles that can propagate several kilometers, allowing these sounds to be localized and tracked using acoustic arrays. During the fall of 2007, a km-scale array of four autonomous acoustic recorders was deployed offshore of southern California in a known dolphin habitat at ~800 m depth. Concurrently with the one-month recording, a fixed-point marine mammal visual survey was conducted from a moored research platform in the center of the array, providing daytime species and behavior visual confirmation. The recordings showed three main types of dolphin acoustic activity during distinct times: primarily whistling during daytime, whistling and clicking during early night, and primarily clicking during late night. Tracks from periods of daytime whistling typically were tightly grouped and traveled at a moderate rate. In one example with visual observations, traveling common dolphins (Delphinus sp.) were tracked for about 10 km with an average speed of ~2.5 m s(-1) (9 km h(-1)). Early night recordings had whistle localizations with wider spatial distribution and slower travel speed than daytime recordings, presumably associated with foraging behavior. Localization and tracking of dolphins over long periods has the potential to provide insight into their ecology, behavior, and potential response to stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J Allen

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

  15. Patterns of Dolphin Bycatch in a North-Western Australian Trawl Fishery

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furutani, Rui

    2008-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Heart pathologies in dolphins stranded along the northwestern Italian coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scaglione, F E; Bollo, E; Pregel, P; Chiappino, L; Sereno, A; Mignone, W; Moschi, R; Garibaldi, F; Tittarelli, C; Guarda, F

    2013-11-25

    Nine striped dolphins Stenella coeruleoalba and 1 bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus stranded along the Ligurian Sea coast of Italy were necropsied between February 2011 and April 2012. Macroscopic and histological findings were observed in the hearts of all animals and included saccular aneurysms of the pulmonary trunk (n = 3), cirsoid aneurysms (n = 1), right ventricular dilation (n = 1) associated with hypoplasia of the tricuspid chordae (n = 1), valvular fibrosis (n = 3), mitral leaflet thickening (n = 1), left ventricular hypertrophy (n = 1), lymphocytic myocarditis (n =1), and Lambl's excrescences (n = 4). To our best knowledge Lambl's excrescences, aneurysm of the pulmonary trunk, and cirsoid aneurysms have not previously been described in marine mammals, and some of these findings should be taken into account as possible causes of dolphin morbidity, mortality, and stranding.

  19. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in wild dolphins from the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezón, O; Resendes, A R; Domingo, M; Raga, J A; Agustí, C; Alegre, F; Mons, J L; Dubey, J P; Almería, S

    2004-06-01

    Although Toxoplasma gondii infection has been found occasionally in cetaceans, little is known of the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii in wild dolphins. Antibodies to T. gondii were determined in serum samples from 58 dolphins stranded in the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Modified agglutination test was used to determine T. gondii antibodies, and a titer of 1:25 was considered indicative of T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 4 of 36 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), in 2 of 4 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), in 4 of 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and in 1 harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Antibodies were not found in 9 Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) and in 1 long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) surveyed. The results indicate that T. gondii infection is frequent in at least 3 dolphin species from the Mediterranean Sea.

  20. Acute Poisoning with Methadone (Dolphin (Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgy A. Livanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Most publications report on the use of methadone as a medication, however an increase of the illegal use of methadone has been demonstrated worldwide over the recent years, thus increasing the number of hospitalizations due to acute poisoning with this synthetic opioid. The aim of the present review was to summarize current data on the mechanisms of toxicity, selective toxicity, toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of methadone (Dolphin. The involvement of CNS, respiratory, cardiovascular and urinary systems in acute poisoning with methadone was dis- cussed. The practice of use of methadone in many countries as a medicine for the replacement therapy for opiate addicts was analyzed. In addition, it was suggested that the results of the use of naloxone antidote therapy in acute opioid poisoning do not always clearly demonstrate its sufficient efficacy. Ways to improve of the intensive therapy of severe acute poisoning by methadone were substantiated; in addition to general critical care methods, treatment with a complex metabolic antihypoxant cytoflavin should be considered. 

  1. Why Dolphins are not Aquatic Apes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Barrett

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The Social Brain (or Social Intelligence hypothesis is a very influential theory that ties brain size and, by extension, cognitive ability to the demands of obligate and intense sociality. Initially developed to explain primate brain size evolution, the Social Brain hypothesis has since been applied to a diverse array of other social taxa, both mammalian and avian; its origins as a primate-based hypothesis (especially as articulated by Humphrey, 1976, however, mean that it retains a heavily anthropocentric tinge. This colors the way in which other species are viewed, and their cognitive abilities tested, despite fundamental differences in many aspects of bodily morphology, brain anatomy and behavior. The delphinids are a case in point and, in this review, we demonstrate how the anthropocentric origins of the Social Brain hypothesis have pushed us toward a view of the delphinids as a species of ‗aquatic ape‘. We suggest that a more ecological, embodied/embedded, view of dolphin behavior and psychology undercuts such a view, and will provide a more satisfactory assessment of the natural intelligence the delphinids display.

  2. Audiogram of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastelein, Ronald A.; Hagedoorn, Monique; Au, Whitlow W. L.; de Haan, Dick

    2003-02-01

    The underwater hearing sensitivity of a striped dolphin was measured in a pool using standard psycho-acoustic techniques. The go/no-go response paradigm and up-down staircase psychometric method were used. Auditory sensitivity was measured by using 12 narrow-band frequency-modulated signals having center frequencies between 0.5 and 160 kHz. The 50% detection threshold was determined for each frequency. The resulting audiogram for this animal was U-shaped, with hearing capabilities from 0.5 to 160 kHz (8 13 oct). Maximum sensitivity (42 dB re 1 μPa) occurred at 64 kHz. The range of most sensitive hearing (defined as the frequency range with sensitivities within 10 dB of maximum sensitivity) was from 29 to 123 kHz (approximately 2 oct). The animal's hearing became less sensitive below 32 kHz and above 120 kHz. Sensitivity decreased by about 8 dB per octave below 1 kHz and fell sharply at a rate of about 390 dB per octave above 140 kHz.

  3. Humpback Dolphins: A Brief Introduction to the Genus Sousa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Thomas A; Curry, Barbara E

    2015-01-01

    The delphinid genus Sousa has recently undergone a major revision, and currently contains four species, the Atlantic humpback (Sousa teuszii), Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea), Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa chinensis), and Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis) dolphins. Recent molecular evidence suggests that humpback dolphins in the Bay of Bengal may comprise a fifth species. These moderate-sized dolphin species are found in shallow (dolphins feed mostly on small fishes, and sometimes shrimps; occur for the most part in small groups (mostly 12 or less); have limited nearshore movements; and in most parts of their range exhibit a fission/fusion type of social organization. Major threats that affect all the species are entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat degradation/destruction from various forms of coastal development. Impacts from vessel traffic (including behavioural disturbance and displacement, as well as mortality and morbidity from collisions with vessels) appear to be significant in most areas. Several other threats are apparently significant only in particular parts of the range of some species (e.g. high levels of organochlorine contaminants affecting Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong). Direct hunting only occurs in limited areas and primarily on a small scale. Conservation actions so far have been limited, with most populations receiving little study and almost no management attention. Much more work is needed on humpback dolphin population status, threats, and how the major threats can be reduced or eliminated. Extinction risks for the four species and some populations are preliminarily re-assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria in the current volume. The results suggest that all four species in the genus are threatened at some level (suggested Red List status ranges from Vulnerable for S. chinensis and S. sahulensis to Critically Endangered for S. teuszii). © 2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  4. Visual laterality in dolphins: importance of the familiarity of stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. Results We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously) to familiar objects (known but never manipulated) to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously). At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Conclusion Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their fission-fusion social system

  5. Visual laterality in dolphins: importance of the familiarity of stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blois-Heulin Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. Results We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously to familiar objects (known but never manipulated to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously. At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Conclusion Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their

  6. Visual laterality in dolphins: importance of the familiarity of stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blois-Heulin, Catherine; Crével, Mélodie; Böye, Martin; Lemasson, Alban

    2012-01-12

    Many studies of cerebral asymmetries in different species lead, on the one hand, to a better understanding of the functions of each cerebral hemisphere and, on the other hand, to develop an evolutionary history of hemispheric laterality. Our animal model is particularly interesting because of its original evolutionary path, i.e. return to aquatic life after a terrestrial phase. The rare reports concerning visual laterality of marine mammals investigated mainly discrimination processes. As dolphins are migrant species they are confronted to a changing environment. Being able to categorize new versus familiar objects would allow dolphins a rapid adaptation to novel environments. Visual laterality could be a prerequisite to this adaptability. To date, no study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the environmental factors that could influence their visual laterality. We investigated visual laterality expressed spontaneously at the water surface by a group of five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in response to various stimuli. The stimuli presented ranged from very familiar objects (known and manipulated previously) to familiar objects (known but never manipulated) to unfamiliar objects (unknown, never seen previously). At the group level, dolphins used their left eye to observe very familiar objects and their right eye to observe unfamiliar objects. However, eyes are used indifferently to observe familiar objects with intermediate valence. Our results suggest different visual cerebral processes based either on the global shape of well-known objects or on local details of unknown objects. Moreover, the manipulation of an object appears necessary for these dolphins to construct a global representation of an object enabling its immediate categorization for subsequent use. Our experimental results pointed out some cognitive capacities of dolphins which might be crucial for their wild life given their fission-fusion social system and migratory behaviour.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janik, Vincent M.

    2000-08-01

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

  10. Learning in human-dolphin interactions at zoological facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, Diane L.

    This research aimed to better understand learning in zoological settings, particularly learning about marine mammals, by investigating the research question, what do people learn through interacting with dolphins in zoological facilities? Sociocultural situated learning theory, specifically a Community of Practice (CoP) model of learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991), was the theoretical framework. The CoP model allowed for diversity of knowledge, interest, motivations, and goals that existed among the community of animal enthusiasts at three commercial zoological facilities, and also for peripheral to more central types of participation. I collected data through interviews of spectators, visitors, and trainers (n=51), observations (n=16), and an online questionnaire of past-visitors (n=933). Data were coded, categorized, and analyzed based on the National Science Foundation's (Friedman, 2008) and the National Research Council's (2009) frameworks for informal science education. Five principal findings answered the research question. First, all participants gained new knowledge within three broad categories: (a) dolphin physiology and natural history, (b) care and training of dolphins, and (c) conservation. Second, all participants constructed personal meanings by connecting the activity to experiences, beliefs, and practices outside the interaction context. Almost all participants made associations with conservation. Third, most participants shifted their attitudes and gained a sense of personal agency about beginning or increasing stewardship actions. Fourth, visitors learned interspecies etiquette skills; trainers learned skills in dolphin training and management, people management, and teaching. Fifth, visitors had long-lasting memories of the experience that occurred eight months to 18 years in the past. Popular cultural ideas about dolphins and the ways the dolphins were represented influenced visitors' expectations and the types of learning. Potential physical

  11. STRATEGI KOMUNIKASI PEMASARAN EKOWISATA PADA DESTINASI WISATA DOLPHIN HUNTING LOVINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni Luh Putu Agustini Karta

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this research is to find the right marketing communications strategy for Ecotourism’s Destinations, (Dolphin Hunting Lovina, to be sustainable. Design methodology used is a marketing communication approach by adopting the concept of basic elements of the theory of marketing communication, the shift towards integrated marketing approach marketing communications, and public organizational challenges in creating brand awareness. Qualitative research and in-depth interviews carried out to some competent resource. The findings generated that image creation and brand awareness of Dolphin Hunting Lovina is determined by the  organization’s marketing communications and internal audiences

  12. Long-term correlations in the surface behavior of dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cancho, R. Ferrer i.; Lusseau, D.

    2006-06-01

    Here we study the sequences of surface behavioral patterns of dolphins (Tursiops sp.) and find long-term correlations. We show that the long-term correlations are not of a trivial nature, i.e. they cannot be explained by the repetition of the same surface behavior many times in a row. Our findings suggest that dolphins have a long collective memory extending back at least to the 7-th past behavior. As far as we know, this is the first evidence of long-term correlations in the behavior of a non-human species.

  13. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton-Robb, Kate; Gershwin, Lisa-ann; Thompson, Ross; Austin, Jeremy; Owen, Kylie; McKechnie, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic threats.

  14. A new dolphin species, the Burrunan Dolphin Tursiops australis sp. nov., endemic to southern Australian coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Charlton-Robb

    Full Text Available Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named Tursiops maugeanus but was later synonymised with T. truncatus. Morphologically, these coastal dolphins share some characters with both aforementioned recognised Tursiops species, but they also possess unique characters not found in either. Recent mtDNA and microsatellite genetic evidence indicates deep evolutionary divergence between this dolphin and the two currently recognised Tursiops species. However, in accordance with the recommendations of the Workshop on Cetacean Systematics, and the Unified Species Concept the use of molecular evidence alone is inadequate for describing new species. Here we describe the macro-morphological, colouration and cranial characters of these animals, assess the available and new genetic data, and conclude that multiple lines of evidence clearly indicate a new species of dolphin. We demonstrate that the syntype material of T. maugeanus comprises two different species, one of which is the historical 'southern form of Tursiops' most similar to T. truncatus, and the other is representative of the new species and requires formal classification. These dolphins are here described as Tursiops australis sp. nov., with the common name of 'Burrunan Dolphin' following Australian aboriginal narrative. The recognition of T. australis sp. nov. is particularly significant given the endemism of this new species to a small geographic region of southern and south-eastern Australia, where only two small resident populations in close proximity to a major urban and agricultural centre are known, giving them a high conservation value and making them susceptible to numerous anthropogenic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-04

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

  16. Behavior of dusky dolphins foraging on the deep-scattering layer in Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly; Wursig, Bernd; McFadden, Cynthia

    2003-04-01

    Little is known of foraging habits of sound-scattering layer consumers. A 200-kHz echosounder was used to survey dusky dolphins and the sound-scattering layer in winter 2002, in Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand. Visual observations of dolphin surfacings occurred 84% of the time that dolphins were acoustically detected, confirming identifications from the acoustic data. Dusky dolphins were within the layer at 2000 h (about 1.5 h after dusk), within 125 m of the surface. As the layer rose to within 30 m of the surface at 0100 h, the observed depth of dolphins decreased presumably as the dolphins followed the vertical migration of their prey. The mean depth of dolphins was within the scattering layer except when the top of the layer was deeper than 125 m. Dusky dolphins often forage within large groups. Acoustically identified subgroups of coordinated animals ranged from 1 to 5 dolphins. Subgroup size varied with time of night, minimum depth of the scattering layer, and the variance of the food resource. The largest subgroups occurred when the scattering layer was closest to the surface, and when the layer was most heterogeneous. Time, depth of layer, and layer variance contributed significantly to predicting foraging dusky dolphin subgroup size.

  17. Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lord, C.

    2011-01-01

    "Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal

  18. West Africa's Atlantic humpback dolphin ( Sousa teuszii ): endemic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Atlantic humpback dolphins (Sousa teuszii) are endemic to nearshore West African waters between Western Sahara and Angola. They are considered Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature based on restricted geographic range, low abundance and apparent decline in recent decades. We review ...

  19. First confirmed records of Clymene dolphin, Stenella clymene (Gray ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Clymene dolphins, Stenella clymene, are endemic to the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean, where their occurrence is documented from fewer than 200 records. The species is particularly poorly known in the eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa where only 12 verified records exist, predominantly comprising dead ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  1. The taxonomic status of common dolphins Delphinus spp. in South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Aside from gender differences, a principal components analysis of skull measurements of 72 adult common dolphins from South Africa failed to distinguish more than one form of Delphinus. Plots of rostral length against zygomatic width indicated most could be referred to the long-beaked form D. capensis, but three ...

  2. Organochlorines in common dolphins caught in shark nets during ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-07-17

    Jul 17, 1989 ... The concentrations of organochlorines were determined in blubber and liver samples from common dolphins inhabiting the coastal waters of the south-east coast of southern Africa. Liver levels of PCBs and DDTs are far lower and do not appear directly associated with those in blubber. In males, blubber ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  4. Organochlorines in common dolphins caught in shark nets during ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The concentrations of organochlorines were determined in blubber and liver samples from common dolphins inhabiting the coastal waters of the south-east coast of southern Africa. Liver levels of PCBs and DDTs are far lower and do not appear directly associated with those in blubber. In males, blubber residue ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Placentation in dolphins from the Amazon River Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa teuszii in the Saloum Delta ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    During October and November 2015, the first systematic survey of Sousa teuszii was carried out in the Saloum Delta (Senegal, West Africa), comprising 1 617.5 km of boat-based survey coverage. Thirty sightings were recorded in the Saloum and Diomboss rivers, and along the southern coastline. Dolphins were also ...

  8. Bioaccumulation of platinum group metals in dolphins, Stenella sp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Platinum group metals (PGMs) concentrations were measured in the tissues= of dolphins (Stenella sp.) caught along the Ghanaian coastline. Tissues from specimens caught by fishermen from Dixcove, western Ghana, were analysed in 2006 for palladium (Pd), platinum (Pt) and rhodium (Rh) using the Neutron Activation ...

  9. Home range and diving behaviour of Heaviside's dolphins ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Three Heaviside's dolphins Cephalorhynchus heavisidii were fitted with satellite depth recorders off the west coast of South Africa during February–April 1997 and monitored for 51, 73 and 130 days, respectively. In total, 345 locations were received from the three animals, but only 27 from one male. Using α -local convex ...

  10. Decades-long social memory in bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruck, Jason N

    2013-10-07

    Long-term social memory is important, because it is an ecologically relevant test of cognitive capacity, it helps us understand which social relationships are remembered and it relates two seemingly disparate disciplines: cognition and sociality. For dolphins, long-term memory for conspecifics could help assess social threats as well as potential social or hunting alliances in a very fluid and complex fission-fusion social system, yet we have no idea how long dolphins can remember each other. Through a playback study conducted within a multi-institution dolphin breeding consortium (where animals are moved between different facilities), recognition of unfamiliar versus familiar signature whistles of former tank mates was assessed. This research shows that dolphins have the potential for lifelong memory for each other regardless of relatedness, sex or duration of association. This is, to my knowledge, the first study to show that social recognition can last for at least 20 years in a non-human species and the first large-scale study to address long-term memory in a cetacean. These results, paired with evidence from elephants and humans, provide suggestive evidence that sociality and cognition could be related, as a good memory is necessary in a fluid social system.

  11. Non-auditory, electrophysiological potentials preceding dolphin biosonar click production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finneran, James J; Mulsow, Jason; Jones, Ryan; Houser, Dorian S; Accomando, Alyssa W; Ridgway, Sam H

    2018-03-01

    The auditory brainstem response to a dolphin's own emitted biosonar click can be measured by averaging epochs of the instantaneous electroencephalogram (EEG) that are time-locked to the emitted click. In this study, averaged EEGs were measured using surface electrodes placed on the head in six different configurations while dolphins performed an echolocation task. Simultaneously, biosonar click emissions were measured using contact hydrophones on the melon and a hydrophone in the farfield. The averaged EEGs revealed an electrophysiological potential (the pre-auditory wave, PAW) that preceded the production of each biosonar click. The largest PAW amplitudes occurred with the non-inverting electrode just right of the midline-the apparent side of biosonar click generation-and posterior of the blowhole. Although the source of the PAW is unknown, the temporal and spatial properties rule out an auditory source. The PAW may be a neural or myogenic potential associated with click production; however, it is not known if muscles within the dolphin nasal system can be actuated at the high rates reported for dolphin click production, or if sufficiently coordinated and fast motor endplates of nasal muscles exist to produce a PAW detectable with surface electrodes.

  12. Epidermal growth in the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1985-07-01

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

  13. Features of Dolphin Skin with Potential Hydrodynamic Importance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-09-01

    various theories [51. Conicerning the itdea that dolphins might activehý change their skin surface to reduce hydrodynamnic drag. he stated. "An...for histology (mnounting Iin paraffin. sectioning on a mnicrotoinic. and mounting on microscope slidest. ste took care that the sections were

  14. Dolphins and African apes: comparisons of sympatric socio-ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bearzi, M.; Stanford, C.B.

    2007-01-01

    Dolphins and African apes are distantly related mammalian taxa that exhibit striking convergences in their socioecology. In both cetaceans and African apes, two or more closely related species sometimes occur in sympatry. However, detailed reviews of the ways in which sympatric associations of

  15. Underwater observations of dolphin reactions to a distressed conspecific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuczaj, Stan A; Frick, Erin E; Jones, Brittany L; Lea, James S E; Beecham, Dan; Schnöller, Fabrice

    2015-09-01

    This report describes the epimeletic (or "caregiving") behavior produced by members of a group of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the possible role of the ailing animal's distress call in eliciting such behavior. Epimeletic behavior in cetaceans most typically involves forms of support provided to a distressed, injured, or dying animal (Caldwell & Caldwell, 1966). Analyses of underwater video and corresponding acoustic recordings revealed a distressed dolphin (the DD) that frequently produced what are most likely distress calls, often paired with the emission of long bubble streams. The frequency of her whistle production was positively correlated with the frequency of the supporting behaviors the DD received from other dolphins. These helping behaviors included raft formations, lifts, and stimulating pushes that were predominantly directed toward the upper third of the DD's body, all of which appeared to be directed towards bringing the DD toward the surface so that she could breathe. This is the first documented underwater account of multiple wild bottlenose dolphins providing epimeletic care to a distressed conspecific, and highlights the possible role of distress calls in such scenarios.

  16. Assistive Technology and Dolphin Therapy: A Wonderful Combination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Eli; Thomasson, Gretchen

    2008-01-01

    Madison is a four-year-old child who was born with cerebral palsy and cortical vision impairment. As a result, she has limited use of her extremities and is just starting to walk with assistance. She is predominately non-verbal, with the exception of a few words. This article describes how Island Dolphin Care (IDC), a nonprofit agency in Key…

  17. Abundance and Distribution of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Boat-based surveys (n=167) were conducted during 2006, using photographic identification (photo-id) techniques and mark-recapture methods for open populations (Jolly-Seber model) to estimate the abundance of humpback dolphins inhabiting the Wasini Channel (104: 95% CI 67-160). Their distribution was mapped ...

  18. Characterization of morbilliviruses isolated from dolphins and porpoises in Europe.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); M.F. van Bressem; R.L. de Swart (Rik); M.W.G. van de Bildt (Marco); H.W. Vos (Helma); R.W.J. van der Heijden (Roger); J.T. Saliki; C. Örvell; P. Kitching; T. Kuiken (Thijs); T. Barrett (Thomas)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractA previously unidentified morbillivirus was isolated from two harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) that had died in the Dutch Waddensea (North Sea) in 1990. This porpoise morbillivirus (PMV) and a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV), which had recently caused a heavy mortality in Mediterranean

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-27

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de M.N.

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Long-term responses of Burrunan dolphins (Tursiops australis to swim-with dolphin tourism in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia: A population at risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole E. Filby

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated Burrunan dolphin responses to dolphin-swim tour vessels across two time periods: 1998–2000 and 2011–2013. A total of 211 dolphin sightings were documented across 306 surveys. Sighting success rate and mean encounter time with dolphins decreased significantly by 12.8% and 8.2 min, respectively, between periods. Approaches that did not contravene regulations elicited highest approach responses by dolphins towards tour vessels, whereas dolphins’ responded to illegal approaches most frequently with avoidance. Small groups responded to tour vessels with avoidance significantly more than large groups. Initial dolphin behaviour had a strong effect on dolphin’s responses to tour vessels, with resting groups the most likely to exhibit avoidance. Calves were significantly more likely to be present during swims in 2011–2013. Dolphin’s responses to tour vessels changed across time, with effect responses (avoidance and approach increasing significantly as dolphins gained cumulative experience. These dolphins are forced to expend a greater level of time and energy avoiding or approaching boats, shifting from a non-effect response to an effect response. Consequences of this include possible decrease in biological fitness by detracting from core biological activities such as foraging and resting. Combined with a decrease in sighting success between periods, the results imply that this population of dolphins, which is endemic to Australia and listed as threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, may not be well suited to the dolphin-swim industry. The management implications of these results warrant a shift from passive to active management in Port Phillip Bay. The importance of long-term research is highlighted, given behavioural responses detected herein would be undetected in short-term studies.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Pesca associada entre golfinhos e aves marinhas Feeding associations between dolphin and sea birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Along ten years of study of a common dolphin from the brazilian coast, Sotalia brasiliensis Van Beneden, 1874, I could see some occasions of feeding associations of this dolphin with five species of birds, Sula leucogaster (Boddaert, 1783, Fregata magnificens Mathews, 1914, Sterna hirundinacea Lesson, 1831, Larus dominicanus Lichtenstein, 1823 and Phalacrocorax olivaceus Humboldt, 1895. The commonest association observed was between the dolphin and S. leucogaster, and in all the associations was characterized the commensalism, with advantaged to the birds.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ann Weaver

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Rowe Smith

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  7. Unusual sighting of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) in the Kvarnerić, Northern Adriatic sea

    OpenAIRE

    Bearzi, Giovanni; Fortuna, Caterina Maria; Notabartolo di Sciara, Giuseppe

    1998-01-01

    An adult striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, was encountered east of the island of Lošinj on 6 May 1996, and observed from a small inflatable boat for 5 hours. The only cetacean species that has been consistently observed in the Northern Adriatic Sea in the last decades is the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. Occasional reports of striped dolphins in the Central and Northern Adriatic Sea may simply reflect the occurrence of stray individuals, but the fact that such observations ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Records of Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus, in Coastal Waters of Southern Argentina

    OpenAIRE

    Riccialdelli, Luciana; Torres, Monica Analia; Prosser Goodall, Rae Natalie; Dellabianca, Natalia Andrea; Pimper, Lida Elena; Reyes, Laura M.; Fernández Ajó, Alejandro; Bastida, Ricardo Oscar

    2017-01-01

    We review the records of published and unpublished sightings and strandings for Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) in subantarctic waters of the Southwestern South Atlantic Ocean. Based on 59 sighting (n = 521 individuals) and 33 stranding records (n = 88 individuals), we identified three main areas of Risso’s dolphin concentration in Patagonian waters, which have been observed mostly during the austral summer. We were unable to find published or unpublished reports of Risso’s dolphin in offs...

  10. The Effect of Touching a Dolphin on the EEG Slow Waves hi Children

    OpenAIRE

    HOMMA Ayako:筆頭著者; Hara, Hideki; MATSUZAKI Kumiko; SASAKI Miki; MASAOKA Yuri; Homma, Ikuo

    2011-01-01

    Among animal-facilitated therapies, dolphin-facilitated therapy has been shown to beneficially affect human behavior, emotion and speech ability. We recently showed that touching a dolphin reduced the respiratory rate and state anxiety in healthy children. In this study, we collected electroencephalographic data (EEG), widely used for examining various brain functions, before and after touching dolphins. We examined the relationship between EEG power spectra and individual trait anxiety score...

  11. Patterns of Dolphin Bycatch in a North-Western Australian Trawl Fishery

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    The bycatch of small cetaceans in commercial fisheries is a global wildlife management problem. We used data from skippers' logbooks and independent observers to assess common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) bycatch patterns between 2003 and 2009 in the Pilbara Trawl Fishery, Western Australia. Both datasets indicated that dolphins were caught in all fishery areas, across all depths and throughout the year. Over the entire datasets, observer reported bycatch rates (n = 52 dolphins in ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric M Patterson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam eRidgway

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. The “Creative Dolphin” Revisited: What Do Dolphins Do When Asked to Vary their Behavior?

    OpenAIRE

    Stan A. Kuczaj II; Holli C. Eskelinen

    2014-01-01

    The variability of dolphin behavior is evident in their communication, foraging, and play. Dolphins can also vary their behavior when asked to do so by humans. Following the work of Karen Pryor and her colleagues, this ability is commonly referred to as creative behavior, a bit of a misnomer since dolphins need not always create a new behavior to succeed on this task. Nonetheless, when given a task in which success depends on not repeating what one has already done, dolphins are able to remem...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  20. Sound-conducting mechanisms for echolocation hearing of a dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryabov, Vyacheslav A.

    2005-09-01

    The morphological study of the lower jaw of a dolphin (Tursiops truncatus p.), and the modeling and calculation of its structures from the acoustic point of view have been conducted. It was determined that the cross-sectional area of the mandibular canal (MC) increases exponentially. The MC represents the acoustical horn. The mental foramens (MFs) is positioned in the horn throat, representing the nonequidistant array of waveguide delay lines (NAWDL). The acoustical horn ensures the traveling wave conditions inside the MC and intensifies sonar echoes up to 1514 times. This ``ideal'' traveling wave antenna is created by nature, representing the combination of the NAWDL and the acoustical horn. The dimensions and sequence of morphological structures of the lower jaw are optimal both for reception and forming the beam pattern, and for the amplification and transmission of sonar echoes up to the bulla tympani. Morphological structures of the lower jaw are considered as components of the peripheral section of the dolphin echolocation hearing.

  1. Differential effects of human activity on Hawaiian spinner dolphins in their resting bays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather L. Heenehan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Hawaiian spinner dolphins display predictable daily behavior, using shallow bays to rest during the daytime, bays that are also frequented by humans. All previous research on the potential response of Hawaiian spinner dolphins to human activity has been conducted visually, at the surface. In this study we take a different approach by using passive acoustic monitoring to analyze dolphin behavior and assess whether human activity affects the behavior of the animals. We used days (n=99 and hours (n=641 when dolphins were confirmed present in visual surveys between January 9, 2011 and August 15, 2012 and metrics generated from concomitant 30-second sound recordings (n=9615. Previous research found that the dolphins were predictably silent during rest and that acoustic activity matched general activity of the dolphins with higher acoustic activity before and after rest, and silence during rest. The daily pattern of dolphin whistle activity in Bay 2 and 4 (Kealakekua and Kauhako matched what would be expected from this earlier work. However, in Bay 1 and 3 (Makako and Honaunau there was no drop in dolphin whistle activity during rest. After assessing the relationship between time of day and dolphin acoustic activity, data on human presence were used to determine how variability in the dolphins’ acoustic activity might be explained by human activity (i.e. the number of vessels, kayaks and swimmer snorkelers present. Bay 2, the bay with the most human activity, showed no relationship between dolphin whistle activity and human presence (either vessels, kayaks, or swimmer/snorkelers. Although the relationships were weak, Bay 1 displayed a positive relationship between dolphin whistle activity and the number of vessels and swimmer/snorkelers present in the bay. Bay 4 also showed a positive relationship between dolphin whistle activity and the number of swimmer snorkelers. We also documented less sound being added to the soundscape with each additional

  2. Habitat use by a freshwater dolphin in the low-water season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braulik, Gill T.; Reichert, Albert P.; Ehsan, Tahir; Khan, Samiullah; Northridge, Simon P.; Alexander, Jason S.; Garstang, Richard

    2012-01-01

    1. Many river dolphin populations are most vulnerable during the low-water season when habitat is limited. Indus River dolphin habitat selection in the dry season was investigated using Generalized Linear Models of dolphin distribution and abundance in relation to physical features of river geomorphology and channel geometry in cross-section. 2. Dolphins selected locations in the river with significantly greater mean depth, maximum depth, cross-sectional area, and hydraulic radius, and significantly narrower river width and a lower degree of braiding than areas where dolphins were absent. They were also recorded with higher frequency at river constrictions and at confluences. 3. Channel cross-sectional area was the most important factor affecting dolphin presence and abundance, with the area of water below 1 m in depth exerting the greatest influence. Indus dolphins avoided channels with small cross-sectional area (2), presumably owing to the risk of entrapment and reduced foraging opportunities. 4. Channel geometry had a greater ability to explain dolphin distribution than river geomorphology; however, both analyses indicated similar types of habitat selection. The dolphin–habitat relationships identified in the river geomorphology analysis were scale-dependent, indicating that dolphin distribution is driven by the occurrence of discrete small-scale features, such as confluences and constrictions, as well as by broader-scale habitat complexes. 5. There are numerous plans to impound or extract more water from the Indus River system. If low-water season flows are allowed to decrease further, the amount of deeper habitat will decline, there may be insufficient patches of suitable habitat to support the dolphin population through the low-water season, and dolphins may become isolated within deeper river sections, unable or unwilling to traverse through shallows between favourable patches of habitat.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten eEberle

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Chronic inflammation has been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D in humans. Postmortem hepatic and splenic tissue from a 46-year-old geriatric male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus with insulin resistance (chronic hyperinsulinemia with hyperglycemia, chronic inflammation (white blood cell count greater than 12,000 cells/μL, and mild fatty liver disease was evaluated for elevated pro-inflammatory mediators. Cytokine mRNA expression in postmortem hepatic and splenic tissue, as determined by real-time PCR, included an array of cytokines: TGF-β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, and IL-18. Values from this dolphin were compared to a younger reference dolphin with no known chronic metabolic perturbations or inflammation. Levels of TGF-β, TNF-α, and IL-4 were higher in the case dolphin's liver compared to that of the reference dolphin. In the case dolphin's spleen, IL-10 and IFN-γ mRNA was upregulated while IL-4 was less than reference dolphin. IL-18 and IL-13 were upregulated in both tissues. Fluorescent immunohistochemistry (IHC utilized the following antibodies: anti-porcine IL-6, anti-bovine IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-10, anti-human TGF-β, anti-ovine IL-1β, and anti-dolphin IL-8. Fluorescent IHC in spleen from the case dolphin revealed staining of IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, and TGF-β throughout the tissue. IL-10 and IFN-γ were seen to predominate in areas surrounding the follicles of splenic tissue. This is the first characterization of cytokine levels in dolphin hepatic and splenic tissue. While there are limitations to a case study, this report of inflammatory biomarkers in tissues of a dolphin with insulin resistance and fatty liver disease are similar to those observed in human patients.

  4. What Laboratory Research has Told Us about Dolphin Cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Herman, Louis M.

    2010-01-01

    Studies of sensory, cognitive, and communicative skills of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were carried out over a 34-year period at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Honolulu. Findings on sensory skills included fine discrimination of auditory frequency differences andauditory duration, good visual resolution capabilities in water and in air, and sharing of object recognition across the senses of vision and echolocation. Short-term memory for auditory and visual materials...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-07-01

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

  6. Dolphin insula reflects minicolumnar organization of mammalian isocortex

    OpenAIRE

    Casanova, Manuel F.; Trippe, Juan; Tillquist, Christopher R.; Switala, Andrew E.

    2010-01-01

    The brain of the bottlenose dolphin exhibits patterns of isocortical parcellation and cytoarchitecture distinct from those seen in primates, yet cell clusters in anterior insula are comparable in scale to module-like cell arrangements found throughout isocortex in other placental mammalian species with long divergent evolutionary histories. This similarity may be due to common ancestry, or to convergence as a result of selective constraints on organization of connections within such modules. ...

  7. 50 CFR 216.92 - Dolphin-safe requirements for tuna harvested in the ETP by large purse seine vessels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Dolphin-safe requirements for tuna... MAMMALS REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS Dolphin Safe Tuna Labeling § 216.92 Dolphin-safe requirements for tuna harvested in the ETP by large purse seine vessels. (a) U.S...

  8. 78 FR 40997 - Enhanced Document Requirements To Support Use of the Dolphin Safe Label on Tuna Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-09

    ... Requirements To Support Use of the Dolphin Safe Label on Tuna Products AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries.... SUMMARY: NMFS issues this final rule to revise regulations under the Dolphin Protection Consumer... represent the product as dolphin-safe. This rule modifies the requirements for the certifications that must...

  9. 78 FR 20604 - Enhanced Document Requirements To Support Use of the Dolphin Safe Label on Tuna Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-05

    ... Requirements To Support Use of the Dolphin Safe Label on Tuna Products AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries...; request for comments. SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to revise regulations under the Dolphin Protection Consumer... represent the product as dolphin-safe. This proposed rule would modify the requirements for the...

  10. Stomach Content of a Juvenile Bolivian River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis) from the Upper Madeira Basin, Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aliaga-Rossel, E.; Beerman, A.S.; Sarmiento, J.

    2010-01-01

    The article presents a study about the stomach content of a juvenile Bolivian river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis), an endemic subspecies of the Amazon River dolphin, found in the upper Madeira River basin in Bolivia. The study finds that the stomach of Bolivian river dolphin contained a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holley Muraco

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura N Kloepper

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  15. Shared Reproductive State Enhances Female Associations in Dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana M. Möller

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Bottlenose dolphin iris asymmetries enhance aerial and underwater vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivamonte, Andre

    2009-02-01

    When the iris of the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) contracts it constrains the path of light that can focus onto the two areas of the retina having a finer retinal mosaic. Under high ambient light conditions the operculum of the iris shields the lens and forms in the process two asymmetrically shaped, sized and positioned slit pupils. Tracing rays of light in the reverse direction through the pupils from the retinal regions associated with higher resolution confirm behaviorally observed preferred aerial and underwater viewing directions. In the forward and downward viewing direction, the larger temporal pupil admits light that is focused by the weakly refractive margin of a bifocal lens onto the temporal area centralis compensating for the addition of the optically strong front surface of the cornea in air. A schematic dolphin eye model incorporating a bifocal lens offers an explanation for a dolphin's comparable visual acuities in air and water for both high and low ambient light conditions. Comparison of methods for curve fitting psychometric ogive functions to behavioral visual acuity and spectral sensitivity data are discussed.

  17. Exploring Social Markets, Partner Debt, and Mimetic Currency in Dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine M. Johnson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Dynamic models of “Biological Markets” can provide a systematic and ecologically-valid approach to studying communication and social cognition in dolphins. These market models view interacting animals as traders engaged in a negotiation for social commodities, whose values vary with the state of their current market. Across the phyla, factors like the supply and demand of social resources can impact on investment and partner choice. Such models map well to the polyadic nature of typical social interactions, generating predictions based on configurations of participants, and enabling us to use behavioral observations to address issues of cognitive organization. Plus, by positing communicative signals as social currency, these models provide tools to discern which aspects of dolphins’ vocal and gestural repertoires impact on their social relationships. Adapting these models for dolphins highlights the premise that “partnerhood is good,” wherein both players gain when they partner. When considered over time, the gains and losses of valued partners may accumulate into “wealth” or “debt” for a particular player, altering its threshold for responding to its market’s odds. For example, “Partner Debt” could motivate a player to more readily take action to destabilize its current market. In dolphins, one type of social currency that bears further investigation is the use of vocal and/or gestural mimicry. Such mimesis may promote prosociality, cooperation, and even the coordination of third party information.

  18. Dolphin Morbillivirus in a Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in Denmark, 2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Wendy K; Grilo, Miguel L; Wohlsein, Peter; Andersen-Ranberg, Emilie U; Hansen, Mette S; Kinze, Carl C; Hjulsager, Charlotte K; Olsen, Morten T; Lehnert, Kristina; Prenger-Berninghoff, Ellen; Siebert, Ursula; Osterhaus, Albert; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Jensen, Lasse F; van der Vries, Erhard

    2017-10-01

    We studied the etiology of encephalitis in a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that stranded in 2016 on the coast of Denmark. Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) was detected in the brain and other organs. Phylogenetics showed close relation to DMV isolated from a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) from Spain in 2012.

  19. 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.

  20. First record of Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei for the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, R.H.; Buurt, van G.; Debrot, A.O.; Bermudez-Villapol, L.A.; Simal, F.

    2012-01-01

    A dead dolphin found on Bonaire in August 2011 is identified as adult Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei, a new species for the Dutch Caribbean. A first closer examination showed a collapsed lung, stomach parasite infection and abundant mouth ulceration as indications of its health status. The

  1. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy as a Verbal Operant Condition for Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrasi, Renee Marie

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the effects of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy (DAT) as a reinforcer for verbal operant production in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Three children who attended a dolphin therapy program participated in this single subject research study. Baseline data was collected for each child via a video tape provided by parents and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. Dolphin Morbillivirus in a Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in Denmark, 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jo, Wendy K.; Grilo, Miguel L.; Wohlsein, Peter

    2017-01-01

    We studied the etiology of encephalitis in a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that stranded in 2016 on the coast of Denmark. Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) was detected in the brain and other organs. Phylogenetics showed close relation to DMV isolated from a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba...

  4. Predictive Modeling of Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) Resting Habitat in the Main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Lesley H.; Johnston, David W.; Urban, Dean L.; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W.; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H.; Deakos, Mark H.; Mobley, Joseph R.; Pack, Adam A.; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood. PMID:22937022

  5. 78 FR 25530 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BLUE DOLPHIN; Invitation for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-01

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BLUE DOLPHIN... of the vessel BLUE DOLPHIN is: Intended Commercial Use Of Vessel: ``Skippered daysailing in Puget...

  6. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy for Children with Special Needs: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilts, Rachel; Trompisch, Norbert; Bergquist, Timothy M.

    2011-01-01

    Dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT), as a part of animal-assisted therapy and complementary and alternative medicine, yields several positive results. This study intended to add to DAT effectiveness research while using a standardized assessment. In the Ukraine, a DAT program called DolphinSwim agreed to take part in research with 37 voluntary…

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-16

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Zorikov, T.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Remote Monitoring of Dolphins and Whales in the High Naval Activity Areas in Hawaiian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    Stenella co- eruleoalba), and bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) (J. Oswald, pers. com.). In Fig. 13 are the number of recording days between...Atlantic bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ),” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 131, 569-576. Au, W. W. L., Branstetter, B., Moore, P. W., and Finneran, J

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  14. Risso’s dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, F.; Hartman, K.L.; Rood, E.J.J.; Hendriks, A.J.E.; Zult, D.B.; Wolff, W.J.; Huisman, J.; Pierce, G.J.

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral responses of Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a

  15. Risso's dolphins alter daily resting pattern in response to whale watching at the Azores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, Fleur; Hartman, Karin L.; Rood, Ente J. J.; Hendriks, Arthur J. E.; Zult, Daan B.; Wolff, Wim J.; Huisman, Jef; Pierce, Graham J.

    P>Behavioral responses of Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) to whale watching vessels were studied off Pico Island, Azores. Dolphin behavior was studied from a land-based lookout, enabling observations of groups in the absence and presence of vessels. The number of whale watching vessels showed a

  16. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley H Thorne

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.

  17. What's in a voice? Dolphins do not use voice cues for individual recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayigh, Laela S; Wells, Randall S; Janik, Vincent M

    2017-11-01

    Most mammals can accomplish acoustic recognition of other individuals by means of "voice cues," whereby characteristics of the vocal tract render vocalizations of an individual uniquely identifiable. However, sound production in dolphins takes place in gas-filled nasal sacs that are affected by pressure changes, potentially resulting in a lack of reliable voice cues. It is well known that bottlenose dolphins learn to produce individually distinctive signature whistles for individual recognition, but it is not known whether they may also use voice cues. To investigate this question, we played back non-signature whistles to wild dolphins during brief capture-release events in Sarasota Bay, Florida. We hypothesized that non-signature whistles, which have varied contours that can be shared among individuals, would be recognizable to dolphins only if they contained voice cues. Following established methodology used in two previous sets of playback experiments, we found that dolphins did not respond differentially to non-signature whistles of close relatives versus known unrelated individuals. In contrast, our previous studies showed that in an identical context, dolphins reacted strongly to hearing the signature whistle or even a synthetic version of the signature whistle of a close relative. Thus, we conclude that dolphins likely do not use voice cues to identify individuals. The low reliability of voice cues and the need for individual recognition were likely strong selective forces in the evolution of vocal learning in dolphins.

  18. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Lesley H; Johnston, David W; Urban, Dean L; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H; Deakos, Mark H; Mobley, Joseph R; Pack, Adam A; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.

  19. The spatial context of free-ranging Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) producing acoustic signals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammers, MO; Schotten, M; Au, WWL

    To improve our understanding of how dolphins use acoustic signals in the wild, a three-hydrophone towed array was used to investigate the spatial occurrence of Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) relative to each other as they produced whistles, burst pulses, and echolocation clicks.

  20. Linking the sounds of dolphins to their locations and behavior using video and multichannel acoustic recordings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Rebecca E; Fristrup, Kurt M; Tyack, Peter L

    2002-10-01

    It is difficult to attribute underwater animal sounds to the individuals producing them. This paper presents a system developed to solve this problem for dolphins by linking acoustic locations of the sounds of captive bottlenose dolphins with an overhead video image. A time-delay beamforming algorithm localized dolphin sounds obtained from an array of hydrophones dispersed around a lagoon. The localized positions of vocalizing dolphins were projected onto video images. The performance of the system was measured for artificial calibration signals as well as for dolphin sounds. The performance of the system for calibration signals was analyzed in terms of acoustic localization error, video projection error, and combined acoustic localization and video error. The 95% confidence bounds for these were 1.5, 2.1, and 2.1 m, respectively. Performance of the system was analyzed for three types of dolphin sounds: echolocation clicks, whistles, and burst-pulsed sounds. The mean errors for these were 0.8, 1.3, and 1.3 m, respectively. The 95% confidence bound for all vocalizations was 2.8 m, roughly the length of an adult bottlenose dolphin. This system represents a significant advance for studying the function of vocalizations of marine animals in relation to their context, as the sounds can be identified to the vocalizing dolphin and linked to its concurrent behavior.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-06-15

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

  2. Eighteen-year study of South Australian dolphins shows variation in lung nematodes by season, year, age class, and location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomo, Ikuko; Kemper, Catherine M; Lavery, Trish J

    2010-04-01

    Between 1990 and 2007, carcasses of opportunistically collected short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis; n=238), Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus; n=167), and common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus; n=15) were examined for parasites and life history data. Three species of lung nematodes (Halocercus lagenorhynchi, Stenurus ovatus, Pharurus alatus) were identified in surface nodules, subsurface lesions, or airways. Nematode burdens were light to heavy and, in many cases, would have compromised the dolphins' health. The number of dolphins infected was related to species, year, season, age class, and geographic region. Nematodes were found in all three species but were more prevalent in short-beaked common dolphins (mean annual prevalence=26%) than in bottlenose dolphins (12%). There was a significant increase in prevalence of nematodes in short-beaked common dolphins in 2005-06 (63%) compared to 1990-2004 (14%), with a peak in April-June. More young short-beaked common dolphins were infected than subadults and adults and, during the unusual infection event, there were more dependent calves (dolphin (Tursiops spp.) calves but no increase in overall prevalence was detected during 2005-06. Because neonates of both short-beaked common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins were infected, mother-to-calf transmission is suspected for these species in South Australia. Numbers of infections in short-beaked common dolphins were higher in Gulf St Vincent than elsewhere in South Australia, particularly in 2005-06. The cause of the unusual infection event in short-beaked common dolphins is unknown. We discuss the influence of dolphin diet, life history, and external factors.

  3. The “Creative Dolphin” Revisited: What Do Dolphins Do When Asked to Vary their Behavior?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stan A. Kuczaj II

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The variability of dolphin behavior is evident in their communication, foraging, and play. Dolphins can also vary their behavior when asked to do so by humans. Following the work of Karen Pryor and her colleagues, this ability is commonly referred to as creative behavior, a bit of a misnomer since dolphins need not always create a new behavior to succeed on this task. Nonetheless, when given a task in which success depends on not repeating what one has already done, dolphins are able to remember what they have done and successfully produce a new behavior, sometimes even a completely novel one. In this paper, we report similarities and differences in the performance of three bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus given such a task, the results highlighting the need for continued investigation of individual differences in cognitive style and performance.

  4. Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis bycatch in New Zealand commercial trawl fisheries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finlay N Thompson

    Full Text Available Marine mammals are regularly reported as bycatch in commercial and artisanal fisheries, but data are often insufficient to allow assessment of these incidental mortalities. Observer coverage of the mackerel trawl fishery in New Zealand waters between 1995 and 2011 allowed evaluation of common dolphin Delphinus delphis bycatch on the North Island west coast, where this species is the most frequently caught cetacean. Observer data were used to develop a statistical model to estimate total captures and explore covariates related to captures. A two-stage Bayesian hurdle model was used, with a logistic generalised linear model predicting whether any common dolphin captures occurred on a given tow of the net, and a zero-truncated Poisson distribution to estimate the number of dolphin captures, given that there was a capture event. Over the 16-year study period, there were 119 common dolphin captures reported on 4299 observed tows. Capture events frequently involved more than one individual, with a maximum of nine common dolphin observed caught in a single tow. There was a peak of 141 estimated common dolphin captures (95% c.i.: 56 to 276; 6.27 captures per 100 tows in 2002-03, following the marked expansion in annual effort in this fishery to over 2000 tows. Subsequently, the number of captures fluctuated although fishing effort remained relatively high. Of the observed capture events, 60% were during trawls where the top of the net (headline was <40 m below the surface, and the model determined that this covariate best explained common dolphin captures. Increasing headline depth by 21 m would halve the probability of a dolphin capture event on a tow. While lack of abundance data prevents assessment of the impact of these mortalities on the local common dolphin population, a clear recommendation from this study is the increasing of headline depth to reduce common dolphin captures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eVenn-Watson

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) bycatch in New Zealand commercial trawl fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Finlay N; Abraham, Edward R; Berkenbusch, Katrin

    2013-01-01

    Marine mammals are regularly reported as bycatch in commercial and artisanal fisheries, but data are often insufficient to allow assessment of these incidental mortalities. Observer coverage of the mackerel trawl fishery in New Zealand waters between 1995 and 2011 allowed evaluation of common dolphin Delphinus delphis bycatch on the North Island west coast, where this species is the most frequently caught cetacean. Observer data were used to develop a statistical model to estimate total captures and explore covariates related to captures. A two-stage Bayesian hurdle model was used, with a logistic generalised linear model predicting whether any common dolphin captures occurred on a given tow of the net, and a zero-truncated Poisson distribution to estimate the number of dolphin captures, given that there was a capture event. Over the 16-year study period, there were 119 common dolphin captures reported on 4299 observed tows. Capture events frequently involved more than one individual, with a maximum of nine common dolphin observed caught in a single tow. There was a peak of 141 estimated common dolphin captures (95% c.i.: 56 to 276; 6.27 captures per 100 tows) in 2002-03, following the marked expansion in annual effort in this fishery to over 2000 tows. Subsequently, the number of captures fluctuated although fishing effort remained relatively high. Of the observed capture events, 60% were during trawls where the top of the net (headline) was dolphin captures. Increasing headline depth by 21 m would halve the probability of a dolphin capture event on a tow. While lack of abundance data prevents assessment of the impact of these mortalities on the local common dolphin population, a clear recommendation from this study is the increasing of headline depth to reduce common dolphin captures.

  12. 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.

  13. Organohalogen contaminants and metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and cerebellum gray matter in short-beaked common dolphins and Atlantic white-sided dolphins from the western North Atlantic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montie, Eric W., E-mail: emontie@marine.usf.ed [Departments of Biology (EWM and MEH) and Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (CMR), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States); Reddy, Christopher M. [Departments of Biology (EWM and MEH) and Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (CMR), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States); Gebbink, Wouter A. [Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OH3 (Canada); Touhey, Katie E. [Cape Cod Stranding Network, Buzzards Bay, MA 02542 (United States); Hahn, Mark E. [Departments of Biology (EWM and MEH) and Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (CMR), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543 (United States); Letcher, Robert J. [Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OH3 (Canada)

    2009-08-15

    Concentrations of several congeners and classes of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and/or their metabolites, namely organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hydroxylated-PCBs (OH-PCBs), methylsulfonyl-PCBs (MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants, and OH-PBDEs, were measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of short-beaked common dolphins (n = 2), Atlantic white-sided dolphins (n = 8), and gray seal (n = 1) from the western North Atlantic. In three Atlantic white-sided dolphins, cerebellum gray matter (GM) was also analyzed. The levels of OCs, PCBs, MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs, PBDEs, and OH-PBDEs in cerebellum GM were higher than the concentrations in CSF. 4-OH-2,3,3',4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (4-OH-CB107) was the only detectable OH-PCB congener present in CSF. The sum (SIGMA) OH-PCBs/SIGMA PCB concentration ratio in CSF was approximately two to three orders of magnitude greater than the ratio in cerebellum GM for dolphins. - Organohalogens and/or metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and cerebellum gray matter in short-beaked common dolphins, Atlantic white-sided dolphins, and gray seal.

  14. Protein gene product 9.5-immunoreactive neurons in the retina of striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Fraser dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J P; Chen, S T; Chien, C H; Yao, C J; Chou, L S

    1999-08-01

    This study demonstrates immunocytochemically that protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5), a neuronal marker, is expressed by various populations of retinal cells in Stenella coeruleoalba (striped dolphin) and Lagenodelphis hosei (Fraser dolphin): one in the retinal ganglion cells and the other in the inner nuclear layer, resembling horizontal and amacrine cells. The specific distribution of PGP 9.5 in a dolphin closely resembles that in rodents and carnivores; however, some differences arise among these animals. In a dolphin's retina, for example, only a few of giant ganglion cells are immunoreacted while almost all the small ganglion cells are stained strongly. The processes of horizontal cells, identified according to their localization, appear not to connect entirely in a dolphin. Instead, PGP 9.5 positive cells are widely distributed in the small to moderate ganglion cells and have distinct processes which are ramified extensively in the outer plexiform layer in rodents and carnivores. The high levels of PGP 9.5 expressing in the inner part of dolphin retina, including ganglion cells and their axons as well as distinct sublamination in the inner plexiform layer, indicate that this molecule markedly influences the retinal system, possibly in visual connection. Although mammals have various visual behavior, i.e., living marine vs. terrestrial environment, and active during daytime vs. in the night, the retina is a common model to characterize the neurochemical properties.

  15. Cross-sectional anatomy, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic region of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Farré, J M; Gonzalo-Orden, M; Barreiro-Vázquez, J D; Ajenjo, J M; Barreiro-Lois, A; Llarena-Reino, M; Degollada, E

    2014-06-01

    The aim of this study was to provide a detailed anatomical description of the thoracic region features in normal common (Delphinus delphis) and striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and to compare anatomical cross-sections with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. CT and MRI were used to scan 7 very fresh by-caught dolphin cadavers: four common and three striped dolphins. Diagnostic images were obtained from dolphins in ventral recumbency, and after the examinations, six dolphins were frozen (-20°C) and sliced in the same position. As well as CT and MRI scans, cross-sections were obtained in the three body planes: transverse (slices of 1 cm thickness), sagittal (5 cm thickness) and dorsal (5 cm thickness). Relevant anatomical features of the thoracic region were identified and labelled on each section, obtaining a complete bi-dimensional atlas. Furthermore, we compared CT and MRI scans with anatomical cross-sections, and results provided a complete reference guide for the interpretation of imaging studies of common and striped dolphin's thoracic structures. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. Exodus! Large-scale displacement and social adjustments of resident Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) in the Bahamas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzing, Denise L; Augliere, Bethany N; Elliser, Cindy R; Green, Michelle L; Pack, Adam A

    2017-01-01

    Over the last 20 years, significant habitat shifts have been documented in some populations of cetaceans. On Little Bahama Bank (LBB) there are sympatric communities of resident Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), monitored since 1985. The size and social structure (three clusters: Northern, Central, Southern) have been stable among the spotted dolphin community with little immigration/emigration, even after large demographic losses (36%) following two major hurricanes in 2004. In 2013 an unprecedented exodus of over 50% (52 individuals) of the spotted dolphin community was documented. The entire Central cluster and a few Northern and Southern individuals relocated 161 km south to Great Bahama Bank (GBB), also home to two sympatric resident communities of spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. During the late summer of 2013 and the summers of 2014 and 2015 both sites were regularly monitored but no former LBB dolphins returned to LBB. Uncharacteristic matriline splits were observed. Social analyses revealed random associations for those spotted dolphins and very little integration between spotted dolphins that moved to GBB (MGBB) and those dolphin resident to GBB (RGBB). Male alliances among spotted dolphins were present, with some altered patterns. On LBB, the operational sex ratio (OSR) was reduced (.40 to .25). OSR for MGBB and RGBB dolphins were similar (.45 and .43). A significant steady decrease in sea surface temperature and chlorophyll a (a proxy for plankton production) occurred on LBB leading up to this exodus. Similar trends were not present over the same period on GBB. The sudden large-scale shift of spotted dolphins from LBB to GBB in association with the gradual decline in certain environmental factors suggests that a possible "tipping point" was reached in prey availability. This study provides a unique view into social and genetic implications of large-scale displacement of stable dolphin

  17. Exodus! Large-scale displacement and social adjustments of resident Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis in the Bahamas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise L Herzing

    Full Text Available Over the last 20 years, significant habitat shifts have been documented in some populations of cetaceans. On Little Bahama Bank (LBB there are sympatric communities of resident Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, monitored since 1985. The size and social structure (three clusters: Northern, Central, Southern have been stable among the spotted dolphin community with little immigration/emigration, even after large demographic losses (36% following two major hurricanes in 2004. In 2013 an unprecedented exodus of over 50% (52 individuals of the spotted dolphin community was documented. The entire Central cluster and a few Northern and Southern individuals relocated 161 km south to Great Bahama Bank (GBB, also home to two sympatric resident communities of spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. During the late summer of 2013 and the summers of 2014 and 2015 both sites were regularly monitored but no former LBB dolphins returned to LBB. Uncharacteristic matriline splits were observed. Social analyses revealed random associations for those spotted dolphins and very little integration between spotted dolphins that moved to GBB (MGBB and those dolphin resident to GBB (RGBB. Male alliances among spotted dolphins were present, with some altered patterns. On LBB, the operational sex ratio (OSR was reduced (.40 to .25. OSR for MGBB and RGBB dolphins were similar (.45 and .43. A significant steady decrease in sea surface temperature and chlorophyll a (a proxy for plankton production occurred on LBB leading up to this exodus. Similar trends were not present over the same period on GBB. The sudden large-scale shift of spotted dolphins from LBB to GBB in association with the gradual decline in certain environmental factors suggests that a possible "tipping point" was reached in prey availability. This study provides a unique view into social and genetic implications of large-scale displacement of stable

  18. The Curse of the Dolphins: Cognitive Decline and Psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phelps, Randall; Tsai, Anne; Hagen, Arlene; Pinter, Joseph; Smith, Raegan; Stein, Martin T

    Isela is an 11-year-old Mexican-American girl with mild intellectual disability. During a vacation with her family, she went swimming with dolphins. A few days later, Isela awoke at night with laughing spells; during the day, she was pacing, aggressive, and had a decline in self-care and communication skills. Her parents attributed the symptoms to the dolphins. She was evaluated by a pediatric neurologist. The sleep-deprived electroencephalogram, brain magnetic resonance imaging, lumbar puncture, and thyroid function tests were normal. A genomic microarray was sent. The neurologist initiated empirical therapy for seizures with lamotrigine, which caused a rash. It was discontinued. She was then treated with oxcarbazepine followed by topiramate for several months without any change in symptoms. Comparative genomic hybridization revealed a small deletion at 14q13.1, which includes the NPAS3 gene. Psychiatry was consulted after several months of persistent symptoms. Isela seemed to be laughing in response to internal stimuli. Owing to the decline in communication and her apparent preoccupation with visual and auditory internal stimuli, Isela could not be interviewed adequately to confirm that she was experiencing hallucinations, but her laughter seemed to be in response to hallucinations. Isela was diagnosed with disorganized schizophrenia with psychosis. Risperidone was prescribed.A psychology evaluation was completed a few months later. Parents noted significant improvement after starting risperidone with reduced inappropriate laughing spells, reduced pacing, as well as improved eating, sleeping, communication, and self-care. Cognitive assessment with the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-II indicated the following: verbal estimated intelligence quotient (IQ) = 70, perceptual estimated IQ = 71, and full-scale estimated IQ = 68. There was no cognitive decline compared with testing at school 4 years previously. Although psychotic symptoms were significantly

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno eCozzi

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  1. Humpback Dolphins of Western Australia: A Review of Current Knowledge and Recommendations for Future Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanf, Daniella M; Hunt, Tim; Parra, Guido J

    2016-01-01

    Among the many cetacean species that occupy Australian coastal waters, Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, are one of the most vulnerable to extirpation due to human activities. This review summarises the existing knowledge, presently occurring and planned research projects, and current conservation measures for humpback dolphins in Western Australia (WA). Rapid and wide-scale coastal development along the northern WA coastline has occurred despite a lack of baseline data for inshore dolphins and, therefore, without a precautionary approach to their conservation. The distribution, abundance, habitat use, and population structure of humpback dolphins remain poorly understood. Less than 1% of their inferred distribution has so far been studied to understand local population demography. The sparse data available suggest that WA humpback dolphins occur as localised populations in low numbers within a range of inshore habitats, including both clear and turbid coastal waters. Marine protected areas cover a third of their inferred distribution in WA, but the efficacy of these reserves in protecting local cetacean populations is unknown. There is a pressing need for coordination and collaboration among scientists, government agencies, industry bodies, Traditional Owners, and local community groups to fill in the gaps of information on humpback dolphins in WA. The recently developed strategies and sampling guidelines developed by state and federal governments should serve as a best practise standard for collection of data aimed at assessing the conservation status of humpback dolphins in WA and Australia. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Tidal and seasonal influences in dolphin habitat use in a southern Brazilian estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Lopes Paitach

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study we describe how franciscana and Guiana dolphin habitat use is influenced by tidal cycles and seasonality in Babitonga Bay. The franciscanas use a greater area in winter and a smaller area in summer, but the extent of the area used did not vary with the tide. Guiana dolphins did not change the extent of the area used within seasons or tides. Franciscanas remained closer to the mouth of the bay and the islands during ebb tide, moving to the inner bay areas and closer to the mainland coast during flood tide. Guiana dolphin used areas closer to the mainland coast during the flood tide. Guiana dolphin patterns of movement do not seem to be related to the tidal current. Franciscanas used sandier areas while Guiana dolphins preferred muddy areas, with some seasonal variation. We suggest that these dolphins modify their distributions based on habitat accessibility and prey availability. This study enhances our knowledge of critical habitat characteristics for franciscana and Guiana dolphins, and these factors should be considered when planning local human activities targeting species conservation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta eParolisi

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. An atypical genotype of Toxoplasma gondii as a cause of mortality in Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roe, W D; Howe, L; Baker, E J; Burrows, L; Hunter, S A

    2013-02-18

    Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) are a small endangered coastal species that are endemic to New Zealand. Anthropogenic factors, particularly accidental capture in fishing nets, are believed to be the biggest threat to survival of this species. The role of infectious disease as a cause of mortality has not previously been well investigated. This study investigates Toxoplasma gondii infection in Hector's dolphins, finding that 7 of 28 (25%) dolphins examined died due to disseminated toxoplasmosis, including 2 of 3 Maui's dolphins, a critically endangered sub-species. A further 10 dolphins had one or more tissues that were positive for the presence of T. gondii DNA using PCR. Genotyping revealed that 7 of 8 successfully amplified isolates were an atypical Type II genotype. Fatal cases had necrotising and haemorrhagic lesions in the lung (n=7), lymph nodes (n=6), liver (n=4) and adrenals (n=3). Tachyzoites and tissue cysts were present in other organs including the brain (n=5), heart (n=1), stomach (n=1) and uterus (n=1) with minimal associated inflammatory response. One dolphin had a marked suppurative metritis in the presence of numerous intra-epithelial tachyzoites. No dolphins had underlying morbillivirus infection. This study provides the first evidence that infectious agents could be important in the population decline of this species, and highlights the need for further research into the route of entry of T. gondii organisms into the marine environment worldwide. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Observations on Australian Humpback Dolphins (Sousa sahulensis) in Waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, Isabel; Jedensjö, Maria; Wijaya, Gede Mahendra; Anamiato, Jim; Kahn, Benjamin; Kreb, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    The Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis, has recently been described to occur in northern Australian coastal waters. However, its distribution in adjacent waters of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea remains largely unknown. Although there have been few studies conducted on inshore dolphins in these regions, the available information records humpback dolphins primarily from the Kikori Delta in Papua New Guinea, and Bird's Head Seascape in West Papua. Research in southern Papua New Guinea indicates that humpback dolphins are indeed S. sahulensis, based on cranial and external morphometrics, external colouration and the preliminary genetic analysis presented here. A similar situation exists for the Australian snubfin dolphin, Orcaella heinsohni, where it is assumed that the species also occurs along the Sahul Shelf coastal waters of northern Australia and New Guinea. There are anecdotal reports of direct catch of Australian humpback dolphins for use as shark bait, coastal development is increasing, and anthropogenic impacts will continue to escalate as human populations expand into previously uninhabited regions. Future research and management priorities for the Governments of the Pacific Islands and Indonesia will need to focus on inshore dolphins in known regional hotspots, as current bycatch levels appear unsustainable. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-09

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern.

  8. Whistles emitted by Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) in Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azevedo, Alexandre F; Flach, L; Bisi, Tatiana L; Andrade, Luciana G; Dorneles, Paulo R; Lailson-Brito, J

    2010-04-01

    The whistles of Atlantic spotted dolphins have been studied in a few localities of the North Atlantic Ocean and those studies revealed that the species emits whistles within a broad frequency range, with a high number of inflection points and presence of harmonics. In the South Atlantic Ocean, there is no information about the sounds produced by Atlantic spotted dolphins. A total of 1092 whistles emitted by free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins in Southeastern Brazilian coastal waters were analyzed. Whistles recorded in this study had a broad frequency range from 1.15 to 23.44 kHz. Whistles without harmonics were frequently emitted (N=701; 64.2%) and those signals with zero up to two inflection points corresponded to 94% of all whistles. Some differences in whistle characteristics (inflection points and duration) were found in relation to areas in North Atlantic Ocean and whistles were shorter and with a smaller number of inflection points in Brazil. Whistles produced by Atlantic spotted dolphins varied between the two behavioral states in which dolphins were engaged. Whistles were more frequently emitted when dolphins presented behaviors that included fast movement at surface, prey pursuit, aerial behavior, and physical contact. In these situations, whistles were on average longer and had higher frequency parameters than those emitted when animals were engaged in slowly and moderate traveling. The findings presented herewith reveal that dolphins modified whistle structures within behavioral states.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Interaural intensity and latency difference in the dolphin's auditory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, V V; Supin AYa

    1991-12-09

    Binaural hearing mechanisms were measured in dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) by recording the auditory nerve evoked response from the body surface. The azimuthal position of a sound source at 10-15 degrees from the longitudinal axis elicited interaural intensity disparity up to 20 dB and interaural latency difference as large as 250 microseconds. The latter was many times greater than the acoustical interaural time delay. This latency difference seems to be caused by the intensity disparity. The latency difference seems to be an effective way of coding of intensity disparity.

  11. The New WTO Tuna Dolphin Decision: Reconciling Trade and Environment?

    OpenAIRE

    Jakir, Vanda

    2013-01-01

    The WTO is often criticised for consistently refusing to accept the environmental measures of its Members due to their adverse impacts on international trade. The aim of this paper is to examine the recent developments in WTO law considering this clash between liberal trade and environmental protection. The analysis is based on the most recent US – Tuna II (Mexico)1 case, the third in the Tuna Dolphin line of case law. The paper shows that the Appellate Body still greatly favours free trade o...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-20

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

  17. Assessing the impact of bycatch on dolphin populations: the case of the common dolphin in the eastern North Atlantic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mannocci

    Full Text Available Fisheries interactions have been implicated in the decline of many marine vertebrates worldwide. In the eastern North Atlantic, at least 1000 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis are bycaught each year, particularly in pelagic pair-trawls. We have assessed the resulting impact of bycatch on this population using a demographic modeling approach. We relied on a sample of females stranded along the French Atlantic and western Channel coasts. Strandings represent an extensive source of demographic information to monitor our study population. Necropsy analysis provided an estimate of individual age and reproductive state. Then we estimated effective survivorship (including natural and human-induced mortality, age at first reproduction and pregnancy rates. Reproductive parameters were consistent with literature, but effective survivorship was unexpectedly low. Demographic parameters were then used as inputs in two models. A constant parameter matrix proposed an effective growth rate of -5.5±0.5%, corresponding to the current situation (including bycatch mortality. Subsequently, deterministic projections suggested that the population would be reduced to 20% of its current size in 30 years and would be extinct in 100 years. The demographic invariant model suggested a maximum growth rate of +4.5±0.09%, corresponding to the optimal demographic situation. Then, a risk analysis incorporating Potential Biological Removal (PBR, based on two plausible scenarii for stock structure suggested that bycatch level was unsustainable for the neritic population of the Bay of Biscay under a two-stock scenario. In depth assessment of stock structure and improved observer programs to provide scientifically robust bycatch estimates are needed. Effective conservation measures would be reducing bycatch to less than 50% of the current level in the neritic stock to reach PBR. Our approach provided indicators of the status and trajectory of the common dolphin population in the

  18. A new tropical Oligocene dolphin from Montañita/Olón, Santa Elena, Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Abella, Juan; Aguirre-Fernández, Gabriel; Gregori, Maria; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2017-01-01

    A new small probable Oligocene dolphin from Ecuador represents a new genus and species, Urkudelphis chawpipacha. The new taxon is known from a single juvenile skull and earbones; it differs from other archaic dolphins in features including widely exposed frontals at the vertex, a dorsally wide open vomer at the mesorostral groove, and a strongly projected and pointed lateral tuberosity of the periotic. Phylogenetic analysis places it toward the base of the largely-extinct clade Platanistoidea. The fossil is one of a few records of tropical fossil dolphins.

  19. Dolphin-FEW: an architecture for compilers development, monitoring and use on the web

    OpenAIRE

    Matos, Paulo; Pedro HENRIQUES

    2003-01-01

    DOLPHIN is a framework developed to help the construction of high performance, multi-language and retargetable compilers. It is constituted by a set of components, used to build and test new compilers or compiler routines; and by a set of tools, used to access, manage and develop the components. To improve and enlarge the functionalities of the DOLPHIN, several small projects were implemented around the framework, one of them is the DOLPHIN – Front-End for the Web, whose the goal is to build ...

  20. Behavioral alterations in the gray dolphin Sotalia guianensis (Gervais, 1953 caused by sea traffi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francielli Cristine Cunha Melo

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral responses by Sotalia guianensis dolphins in the presence of touristic sea traffic in the bay of Curral, Pipa-RN, Brazil, were measured. The dolphins changed their behavior when boats were closer than 100 meters. The main behavioral alterations were that the dolphins remained submerged for longer and that they formed a more cohesive group as the boats came closer. Although we concluded that the approach of the boats changed the dolphins’ behavioral pattern, we do not know what aspects of the boats caused the avoidance. We believe that the noise of the boats is probably responsible for repelling the animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-24

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

  3. Small-boat surveys for coastal dolphins: line-transect surveys of Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori)

    OpenAIRE

    Dawson, Stephen; Slooten, Elisabeth; DuFresne, Sam; Wade, Paul; Clement, Deanna

    2004-01-01

    Management of coastal species of small cetaceans is often impeded by a lack of robust estimates of their abundance. In the Austral summers of 1997−98, 1998−99, and 1999−2000 we conducted line-transect surveys of Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) abundance off the north, east, and south coasts of the South Island of New Zealand. Survey methods were modified for the use of a 15-m sailing catamaran, which was equipped with a collapsible sighting platform giving observers an eye-height o...

  4. Dietary cation-anion difference may explain why ammonium urate nephrolithiasis occurs more frequently in common bottlenose dolphins () under human care than in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardente, A J; Wells, R S; Smith, C R; Walsh, M T; Jensen, E D; Schmitt, T L; Colee, J; Vagt, B J; Hill, R C

    2017-03-01

    Ammonium urate nephrolithiasis frequently develops in common bottlenose dolphins () managed under human care but is rare in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins. In other species, the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) can affect ammonium urate urolith formation by increasing proton excretion as ammonium ions. Therefore, differences in diet between the 2 dolphin populations could affect urolith formation, but the DCAD of most species consumed by free-ranging and managed dolphins is unknown. To compare the nutrient composition of diets consumed by free-ranging and managed bottlenose dolphins, samples ( = 5) of the 8 species of fish commonly consumed by free-ranging bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, FL, and the 7 species of fish and squid commonly fed to managed bottlenose dolphins were analyzed for nutrient content. Metabolizable energy was calculated using Atwater factors; the DCAD was calculated using 4 equations commonly used in people and animals that use different absorption coefficients. The nutrient composition of individual species was used to predict the DCAD of 2 model diets typically fed to managed common bottlenose dolphins and a model diet typically consumed by common bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay. To mimic differences in postmortem handling of fish for the 2 populations of bottlenose dolphins, "free-ranging" samples were immediately frozen at -80°C and minimally thawed before analysis, whereas "managed" samples were frozen for 6 to 9 mo at -18°C and completely thawed. "Free-ranging" species contained more Ca and P and less Na and Cl than "managed" fish and squid species. As a consequence, the DCAD of both model managed dolphin diets obtained using 3 of the 4 equations was much more negative than the DCAD of the model free-ranging bottlenose dolphin diet ( dolphins must excrete more protons in urine than free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, which will promote nephrolith formation. The nutrient composition of the free-ranging bottlenose

  5. OpenDolphin: presentation models for compelling user interfaces

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2014-01-01

    Shared applications run on the server. They still need a display, though, be it on the web or on the desktop. OpenDolphin introduces a shared presentation model to clearly differentiate between "what" to display and "how" to display. The "what" is managed on the server and is independent of the UI technology whereas the "how" can fully exploit the UI capabilities like the ubiquity of the web or the power of the desktop in terms of interactivity, animations, effects, 3D worlds, and local devices. If you run a server-centric architecture and still seek to provide the best possible user experience, then this talk is for you. About the speaker Dierk König (JavaOne Rock Star) works as a fellow for Canoo Engineering AG, Basel, Switzerland. He is a committer to many open-source projects including OpenDolphin, Groovy, Grails, GPars and GroovyFX. He is lead author of the "Groovy in Action" book, which is among ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela D. Mackey

    2014-08-01

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

  7. Dolphin whistles: a functional misnomer revealed by heliox breathing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, P T; Jensen, F H; Carder, D; Ridgway, S

    2012-04-23

    Delphinids produce tonal whistles shaped by vocal learning for acoustic communication. Unlike terrestrial mammals, delphinid sound production is driven by pressurized air within a complex nasal system. It is unclear how fundamental whistle contours can be maintained across a large range of hydrostatic pressures and air sac volumes. Two opposing hypotheses propose that tonal sounds arise either from tissue vibrations or through actual whistle production from vortices stabilized by resonating nasal air volumes. Here, we use a trained bottlenose dolphin whistling in air and in heliox to test these hypotheses. The fundamental frequency contours of stereotyped whistles were unaffected by the higher sound speed in heliox. Therefore, the term whistle is a functional misnomer as dolphins actually do not whistle, but form the fundamental frequency contour of their tonal calls by pneumatically induced tissue vibrations analogous to the operation of vocal folds in terrestrial mammals and the syrinx in birds. This form of tonal sound production by nasal tissue vibrations has probably evolved in delphinids to enable impedance matching to the water, and to maintain tonal signature contours across changes in hydrostatic pressures, air density and relative nasal air volumes during dives.

  8. Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-07-24

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

  9. Gene–culture coevolution in whales and dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Hal

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Flipper development in the Mediterranean striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calzada, N; Aguilar, A

    1996-08-01

    Studies of population biology are scarce in Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) mostly because of the lack of samples. Until now, studies of physical maturity, growth, and development of the flipper bones were not available for this species in the Mediterranean. The osteological features and metric characters of the pectoral limbs of Mediterranean striped dolphins were analyzed with radiological techniques. Measurements were made directly on the radiographic films. We found five carpal bones arranged in a proximal row of three and a distal row of two, although one or two additional osseous elements were occasionally observed. The phalangeal formula (excluding metacarpals) was established as 1-2:8-9-10:6-5-7:3-2:1-2. In metacarpals, epiphyseal ossification centers matured at the same time at both ends. As a general rule, the ossification of the epiphyses in the flipper bones showed a decreasing gradient in the proximodistal direction, confirming the pattern previously described in other species. Phalangeal epiphyses were not useful as indicators of skeletal maturity, and grading epiphyseal maturation of the distal radius and ulna is proposed as the more straight-forward and precise method for assessing bone maturation. In females, maturity of the flipper was achieved between 5 and 6 years of age and 160-175 cm of body length, whereas this maturation occurred between 8 and 9 years of age and 170-181 cm in length in males. Prediction of gender through examination of flipper structure was not feasible.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta J. Cremer

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise L. Herzing

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. SWFSC/MMTD/ETP: Dolphin-Tuna Tracking Studies (DTTS) 1992-1993

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This research was designed to better understand the nature of the dolphin-tuna bond in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. In this study, researchers attempted to...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomonaga, Masaki; Uwano, Yuka; Saito, Toyoshi

    2014-01-16

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thorne, Lesley H; Johnston, David W; Urban, Dean L; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H; Deakos, Mark H; Mobley, Jr, Joseph R; Pack, Adam A; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    ... (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night...

  1. Abundance, residency, and habitat utilisation of Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) in Porpoise Bay, New Zealand

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bejder, Lars; Dawson, Steve

    2001-01-01

    Theodolite tracking and boat-based photo-identification surveys were carried out in the austral summers of 1995/96 and 1996/97 to assess abundance, residency, and habitat utilisation of Hector's dolphins...

  2. Bottlenose dolphins modify behavior to reduce metabolic effect of tag attachment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    van der Hoop, Julie M; Fahlman, Andreas; Hurst, Thomas; Rocho-Levine, Julie; Shorter, K Alex; Petrov, Victor; Moore, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    .... These costs have never been measured in free-swimming cetaceans. To examine the effect of drag from a tag on metabolic rate, cost of transport and swimming behavior, four captive male dolphins (Tursiops truncatus...

  3. Tissue distribution of metals in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Apulian coasts, southern Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardellicchio, N; Giandomenico, S; Ragone, P; Di Leo, A

    2000-02-01

    Tissue distributions of metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese) were determined in six specimens of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba, Meyen) stranded on the Apulian coasts (Southern Italy) between February and June 1987. Methyl mercury and selenium were also determined in the liver samples. The liver accumulated the highest concentrations of metals, except for cadmium and chromium. Metal levels were higher than those found in dolphins living in the Atlantic, but lower than those recorded in the same species from the French Mediterranean coasts. Necroscopic surveys found that all specimens were affected by haemorrhagic gastritis, but the cause was not clear. While it was not possible to related the death of dolphins to a specific cause, or to contaminants, the accumulation of metals is likely to contribute to the health of the organism and represents a risk factor for dolphins.

  4. Systemic herpesvirus and morbillivirus co-infection in a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, S; González, B; Willoughby, K; Maley, M; Olvera, A; Kennedy, S; Marco, A; Domingo, M

    2012-01-01

    During 2007 a dolphin morbillivirus epizootic affected the western Mediterranean and several striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded on the Catalonian coasts. One of those animals had severe lymphoid depletion, necrosis and syncytial formation in lymph nodes and spleen, with large basophilic nuclear inclusions compatible with herpesvirus detected by immunohistochemical and ultrastructural examination. Non-suppurative encephalitis with associated morbillivirus antigen and morbillivirus antigen within alveolar macrophages were also observed. A pan-herpesvirus nested polymerase chain reaction amplified a sequence virtually identical to two cetacean herpesvirus sequences previously identified in systemic infections in an Atlantic Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and in a Mediterranean striped dolphin. The herpesviral infection was probably secondary to the immunosuppression caused by the morbillivirus. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a cetacean co-infected by dolphin morbillivirus and herpesvirus with evidence of lesions attributable to both viruses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. By the Light of the Moon: North Pacific Dolphins Optimize Foraging with the Lunar Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonis, Anne Elizabeth

    The influence of the lunar cycle on dolphin foraging behavior was investigated in the productive, southern California Current Ecosystem and the oligotrophic Hawaiian Archipelago. Passive acoustic recordings from 2009 to 2015 were analyzed to document the presence of echolocation from four dolphin species that demonstrate distinct foraging preferences and diving abilities. Visual observations of dolphins, cloud coverage, commercial landings of market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) and acoustic backscatter of fish were also considered in the Southern California Bight. The temporal variability of echolocation is described from daily to annual timescales, with emphasis on the lunar cycle as an established behavioral driver for potential dolphin prey. For dolphins that foraged at night, the presence of echolocation was reduced during nights of the full moon and during times of night that the moon was present in the night sky. In the Southern California Bight, echolocation activity was reduced for both shallow- diving common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and deeper-diving Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) during times of increased illumination. Seasonal differences in acoustic behavior for both species suggest a geographic shift in dolphin populations, shoaling scattering layers or prey switching behavior during warm months, whereby dolphins target prey that do not vertically migrate. In the Hawaiian Archipelago, deep-diving short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and shallow-diving false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) also showed reduced echolocation behavior during periods of increased lunar illumination. In contrast to nocturnal foraging in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, false killer whales in the main Hawaiian Islands mainly foraged during the day and the lunar cycle showed little influence on their nocturnal acoustic behavior. Different temporal patterns in false killer whale acoustic behavior between the main and northwestern Hawaiian

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

    OpenAIRE

    Cribb, Nardi; Miller, Cara; Seuront, Laurent

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Dolphins in a Scaled-Down Mediterranean: The Gulf of Corinth's Odontocetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearzi, G; Bonizzoni, S; Santostasi, N L; Furey, N B; Eddy, L; Valavanis, V D; Gimenez, O

    The Gulf of Corinth is a 2400-km 2 semi-enclosed inland system (a mediterraneus) in central Greece. Its continental shelf areas, steep bottom relief, and waters up to 500-900m deep offer suitable habitat to neritic and pelagic species. We used photographic capture-recapture, distribution modelling, and direct observations to investigate the abundance, status, habitat preferences, movements, and group size of four odontocete species regularly observed in the Gulf, based on five years (2011-2015) of survey effort from small boats. Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) are more abundant (1324 individuals, 95%CI 1158-1515) than was determined from previous estimates. Striped dolphins appear to be confined to the Gulf, where they favour deep and oligotrophic waters, and were encountered in single-species and mixed-species groups. Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) (22 individuals, 95%CI 16-31), individuals with intermediate pigmentation (possibly striped/common dolphin hybrids) (55, 95%CI 36-83), and a single Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) were only encountered in mixed-species groups with striped dolphins. Short-beaked common dolphins constitute a discrete conservation unit (subpopulation), and based on the current estimate, would qualify as Critically Endangered according to International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria. Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) (39 animals, 95%CI 33-47) occur in single-species groups; they prefer continental shelf waters and areas near fish farms in the northern sector, and several animals appear to move into and out of the Gulf. Additionally, we contribute records of marine fauna and an assessment of the fishing fleet operating in the Gulf. Our study shows that the importance of this vulnerable marine environment has been underestimated, and management action must be taken to mitigate human impact and ensure long-term protection. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  8. Interfaces and Keyboards For Human-Dolphin Communication: What Have We Learned?

    OpenAIRE

    Denise L. Herzing

    2016-01-01

    Keyboards and cognitive interfaces for dolphins have a long history. Various modalities of communication (visual, acoustic) and triggering mechanisms (physical, infrared, acoustic) have been utilized. Protocols and frameworks (e.g., the model/rival approach) have improved with the adaptation of methodological techniques from primates and birds. This paper reviews the long history of human-dolphin communication studies and the pros and cons of both technology and technique.

  9. Interfaces and Keyboards For Human-Dolphin Communication: What Have We Learned?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise L. Herzing

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Keyboards and cognitive interfaces for dolphins have a long history. Various modalities of communication (visual, acoustic and triggering mechanisms (physical, infrared, acoustic have been utilized. Protocols and frameworks (e.g., the model/rival approach have improved with the adaptation of methodological techniques from primates and birds. This paper reviews the long history of human-dolphin communication studies and the pros and cons of both technology and technique.

  10. The “dolphin Experience”: Technologies of Enchantment Promoting Self-Transformation

    OpenAIRE

    Servais, Véronique; Halloy, Arnaud

    2013-01-01

    This presentation will be grounded on fieldwork that has been conducted with people that experienced an uncanny encounter with dolphins. In their reports, these persons talk about an “interspecies connection”, “telepathic communication” and about experiencing “pure love” coming from the dolphin. This very intense and nearly mystical experience often changes how they perceive themselves and sometimes it changes the course of their life. How can such an event happen? What are the properties of ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Karczmarz, Veronika

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Delfour, Fabienne

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fury, Christine A.; Harrison, Peter L.

    2011-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mioković, Danijela; Kovačić, Darko; Pribanić, Sandra

    1999-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kotnjek, Polona

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Twiner

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

  19. Sensory perception in cetaceans: Part II – Promising experimental approaches to study chemoreception in dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothee eKremers

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Chemosensory perception in cetaceans remains an intriguing issue as morphological, neuroanatomical and genetic studies draw unclear conclusions, while behavioral data suggest that dolphins may use it for food selection or socio-sexual interactions. Experimental approaches have been scarce due to the practical difficulties of testing chemoreception in wild dolphins. Go/no-go tasks are one elegant way to investigate discrimination abilities; however, they require to train the animals, thus preventing spontaneous responses and hence the expression of preferences. Here, we aimed at testing potential spontaneous responses to chemical stimuli and developed novel procedures. First, we conducted a study to test whether captive dolphins respond to a biologically relevant smell. Therefore, we placed dead fish within an opaque barrel at the border of the pool and counted the number of respirations at proximity as an indicator of investigation. The same dead fishes were presented several times during experiments lasting three consecutive days. From the second day on (i.e. when the odor composition changed, dolphins breathed more often close to the fish-smelling barrel than close to the visually identical but empty control barrel. Second, we conducted a study to test whether dolphins are able to discriminate food flavors. Captive dolphins are commonly provided with ice cubes as a source of enrichment. We took this opportunity to provide ice cubes with different flavors and to compare the reaction to these different flavors as a measure of discrimination. Hence, we used the latency of return to the ice cube begging spot as a measure of discrimination from the previous ice cube flavor. Thus, our method used a non-invasive and easily replicable technique based on the spontaneous begging responses of dolphins toward more or less attractive items bearing biological relevance. The procedures used enabled us to show that dolphins may discriminate odors and flavors

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chisato Yamamoto

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

  4. A kinematic study on (un)intentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Luisa; Bulgheroni, Maria; Tizzi, Raffaella; Castiello, Umberto

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown

    OpenAIRE

    McGowen, Michael R.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have undergone a radical transformation from the original mammalian bodyplan. In addition, some cetaceans have evolved large brains and complex cognitive capacities. We compared approximately 10 000 protein-coding genes culled from the bottlenose dolphin genome with nine other genomes to reveal molecular correlates of the remarkable phenotypic features of these aquatic mammals. Evolutionary analyses demonstrated that the overall synonymous substitution rate in ...

  6. The effects of dolphin education programs on visitors' conservation-related knowledge, attitude, and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Lance Joseph

    Zoological institutions typically exhibit dolphins in educational programs such as dolphin shows and interaction programs. The goal of these programs is to entertain visitors while increasing their conservation-related knowledge, attitude and behavior towards dolphins and the marine environment. The purpose of the current study was to examine dolphin shows and interaction programs in terms of their effectiveness in meeting these goals. A multi-institutional study was conducted at six different facilities throughout the United States. A repeated measures design was used to examine the knowledge, attitude and behavior of visitors before, immediately after and three months following participation in dolphin shows or interaction programs. Participants of dolphin shows reflected a significant short-term increase in knowledge, attitudes and behavioral intentions. These participants' attitudes and behavioral intentions returned to entry levels three months following the shows. However, knowledge and reported behavior were significantly higher three months following the show compared to entry levels. Participants of interaction programs had a short-term increase in knowledge, attitudes and behavioral intentions immediately following the program and levels were significantly higher three months following the program when compared to entry levels. Additionally, these participants also reported engaging in more conservation-related behavior than during the entry surveys. Results from the current study suggest that both dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs can be an important part of a conservation education program within zoological facilities. Understanding the aspects of these types of programs that lead people to conservation action will help zoological facilities in meeting their goals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. BLOOD CHEMISTRY AND HEMATOLOGY VALUES IN HEALTHY AND REHABILITATED ROUGH-TOOTHED DOLPHINS, STENO BREDANENSIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manire, Charles A; Reiber, C Melanie; Gaspar, Cécile; Rhinehart, Howard L; Byrd, Lynne; Sweeney, Jay; West, Kristi L

    2017-10-27

    Rehabilitation efforts for live stranded marine mammals are guided by diagnostic measures of blood chemistry and hematology parameters obtained from each individual undergoing treatment. Despite the widespread use of blood parameters, reference values are not available in the literature from healthy rough-toothed dolphins, Steno bredanensis, with which to infer the health status of an animal. We examined serum or plasma chemistry and hematology data from 17 rough-toothed dolphins either housed at Dolphin Quest French Polynesia or during their rehabilitation at the Dolphin and Whale Hospital in Sarasota, Florida between 1994 and 2005. Blood parameters were compared among healthy animals, rehabilitation animals that were eventually released, and rehabilitation animals that died. This study indicated significant differences in many blood parameters for the poorly known rough-toothed dolphin that are likely to vary between healthy and sick animals. These included aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, bicarbonate, and globulins, which were greater in sick dolphins, and alkaline phosphatase and total protein which were greater in healthy individuals. Total white blood cell counts were lower in healthy animals as were the absolute numbers of neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils. Analysis of first blood sample levels for glucose, sodium, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate may have value for triage and prognostic evaluation.

  11. Travel at low energetic cost by swimming and wave-riding bottlenose dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, T M; Friedl, W A; Fong, M L; Yamada, R M; Sedivy, P; Haun, J E

    1992-02-27

    Over the past 50 years there has been much speculation about the energetic cost of swimming and wave-riding by dolphins. When aligned properly in front of the bow of moving ships in the stern wake of small boats, on wind waves, and even in the wake of larger cetaceans, the animals appear to move effortlessly through the water without the benefit of propulsive strokes by the flukes. Theoretically, body streamlining as well as other anatomical and behavioural adaptations contribute to low transport costs in these animals. The economy of movement permitted by wave-riding has been perceived as an energetic advantage for the swimming dolphin, but has been hard to prove in the absence of physiological data for exercising cetaceans. Here we determine the aerobic and anaerobic costs of swimming and wave-riding in bottlenose dolphins and find that the minimum cost of transport for swimming dolphins is 1.29 +/- 0.05 J kg-1 m-1 at a cruising speed of 2.1 m s-1. Aerobic costs are nearly twice as high for swimming seals and sea lions, and 8-12 times higher for human swimmers. Wave-riding by dolphins provides additional benefits in terms of speed. The results indicate that behavioural, physiological and morphological factors make swimming an economical form of high-speed travel for dolphins.

  12. Clicks, whistles and pulses: Passive and active signal use in dolphin communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzing, Denise L.

    2014-12-01

    The search for signals out of noise is a problem not only with radio signals from the sky but in the study of animal communication. Dolphins use multiple modalities to communicate including body postures, touch, vision, and most elaborately sound. Like SETI radio signal searches, dolphin sound analysis includes the detection, recognition, analysis, and interpretation of signals. Dolphins use both passive listening and active production to communicate. Dolphins use three main types of acoustic signals: frequency modulated whistles (narrowband with harmonics), echolocation (broadband clicks) and burst pulsed sounds (packets of closely spaced broadband clicks). Dolphin sound analysis has focused on frequency-modulated whistles, yet the most commonly used signals are burst-pulsed sounds which, due to their graded and overlapping nature and bimodal inter-click interval (ICI) rates are hard to categorize. We will look at: 1) the mechanism of sound production and categories of sound types, 2) sound analysis techniques and information content, and 3) examples of lessons learned in the study of dolphin acoustics. The goal of this paper is to provide perspective on how animal communication studies might provide insight to both passive and active SETI in the larger context of searching for life signatures.

  13. Pectoral fin contact as a mechanism for social bonding among dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudzinski, Kathleen; Ribic, Christine

    2017-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins are large-brained social mammals residing in a fission-fusion society with relationships that are established and maintained over decades. We examined a decade-long data set of inter-individual pectoral fin contact exchanges to better understand how dolphins share information via tactile contact. Sex and age are significant factors in pectoral fin contact within non-kin dolphin dyads. Adult females shared more pectoral fin contacts with other adult females, while younger females showed no pattern of contact. Males shared more pectoral fin contacts with other males as juveniles and as adults, but showed no difference in the number of touches versus rubs as pectoral fin contacts with other males. Whether in the role of initiator as rubber or initiator as rubbee, male dolphins again preferred other males. These results support the notion that dolphins, especially male dolphins, might use pectoral fin contact as one tool in their repertoire for social bonding to establish, maintain and manage their inter-individual relationships. Additionally, it is also likely that the exchange of pectoral fin contact is developed and refined as individuals age, mature socially, and establish their place within a fission-fusion society.

  14. Pectoral fin contact as a mechanism for social bonding among dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen M. Dudzinski

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphins are large-brained social mammals residing in a fission-fusion society with relationships that are established and maintained over decades. We examined a decade-long data set of inter-individual pectoral fin contact exchanges to better understand how dolphins share information via tactile contact. Sex and age are significant factors in pectoral fin contact within non-kin dolphin dyads. Adult females shared more pectoral fin contacts with other adult females, while younger females showed no pattern of contact. Males shared more pectoral fin contacts with other males as juveniles and as adults, but showed no difference in the number of touches versus rubs as pectoral fin contacts with other males. Whether in the role of initiator as rubber or initiator as rubbee, male dolphins again preferred other males. These results support the notion that dolphins, especially male dolphins, might use pectoral fin contact as one tool in their repertoire for social bonding to establish, maintain and manage their inter-individual relationships. Additionally, it is also likely that the exchange of pectoral fin contact is developed and refined as individuals age, mature socially, and establish their place within a fission-fusion society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Weaver

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Almost nothing is known about the effect of long-term bridge construction on free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. The species’ natural history predicts that there should be sex differences in reaction to construction because bottlenose dolphins show sex differences in most of their behaviors. A 5-year bridge construction project over a narrow but important dolphin corridor at John’s Pass tidal inlet, St. Petersburg FL, brought chronic environmental changes. The purpose of this 8-year study was to determine if bridge construction was associated with changes in dolphin sightings. The sex difference hypothesis was tested with a comparison of sighting probabilities before, during and after bridge construction. Sighting probabilities were generated for 68 adults seen n = 6504 times during N = 951 small-boat surveys of the 6.5-mile estuarine study area, documented with photo identification June 2005-December 2012. The sex difference hypothesis was supported with a significant interaction between construction and gender. Female sightings showed a significant linear decline across construction. Male sightings did not change across construction. The main conclusion is that adult males and females may react differently to habitat changes associated with anthropogenic activities. Sex differences in environmental monitoring and vigilance associated with maternal behavior may have played a role. This is the first report on John’s Pass dolphins that evaluates changes in their behavior during a major construction project across a narrow but important dolphin corridor.

  16. Cooperation or dolphin 'tug-of-war'? Comment on Kuczaj et al. and Eskelinen et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephanie L; Allen, Simon J; Connor, Richard C; Jaakkola, Kelly

    2016-11-01

    Two recent papers by Kuczaj et al. (Anim Cognit 18:543-550, 2015) and Eskelinen et al. (Anim Cognit 19:789-797, 2016) claim to have demonstrated that (i) bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) cooperated to solve a novel task and (ii) vocal signals were important for coordinating these cooperative efforts. Although it is likely that bottlenose dolphins may share communicative signals in order to achieve a common goal, we suggest that this has not been demonstrated in the aforementioned studies. Here, we discuss the two main problems that preclude any definitive conclusions being drawn on cooperative task success and vocal communication from these studies. The first lies in the experimental design. The 'cooperative task', involving an apparatus that requires two dolphins to pull in opposite directions in order to achieve a food reward, is not conducive to cooperation, but could instead reflect a competitive 'tug-of-war'. It is therefore of questionable use in distinguishing competitive from cooperative interactions. Second, the suggestion that the occurrence of burst-pulsed signals in this task was indicative of cooperation is disputable, as (i) this study could not determine which dolphins were actually producing the signals and (ii) this sound type is more commonly associated with aggressive signalling in dolphins. We commend the authors for investigating this exciting and topical area in animal communication and cognition, but the question of whether dolphins cooperate and communicate to solve a cooperative task remains as yet unanswered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabienne, Delfour; Helen, Beyer

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Trophic relationships of the spinner dolphin at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, SW Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Martins Silva-Jr

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available We present an overview of predator-prey and other trophic relationships of spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris around Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, off northeastern Brazil, with use of original data and a brief review of data published elsewhere. Records were made while snorkelling among the dolphins in daytime. Individual fish pursuit and coordinated school herding were the two hunting tactics recorded. Three small prey types (oceanic squids, fishes, and prawns were recovered from vomits collected in situ and from stomachs of two stranded dolphins. In their turn, spinners were preyed on by the cookiecutter sharks (Dalatiidae as evidenced by round and crater-like wounds and circular scars. Additionally, the dolphins were preyed on by large sharks (Lamnidae, Carcharhinidae, as evidenced by crescent-shaped wounds and scars. Unidentified fishes bit fin pieces, as evidenced by variably-shaped marks. On the other hand, dolphins’ particulate faeces, vomits and live roundworms were eaten by plankton-feeding fishes. Thus, the trophic role of the spinner dolphins of Fernando de Noronha may be summarised as that of : 1 a predator of small oceanic squids, fishes, and prawns; 2 a prey for the small, piece-eating cookiecutter sharks and other unidentified fishes; 3 a prey for large sharks able to kill a dolphin; and 4 a particulate food supplier for plankton-eating fishes.

  1. A multimodal detection model of dolphins to estimate abundance validated by field experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akamatsu, Tomonari; Ura, Tamaki; Sugimatsu, Harumi; Bahl, Rajendar; Behera, Sandeep; Panda, Sudarsan; Khan, Muntaz; Kar, S K; Kar, C S; Kimura, Satoko; Sasaki-Yamamoto, Yukiko

    2013-09-01

    Abundance estimation of marine mammals requires matching of detection of an animal or a group of animal by two independent means. A multimodal detection model using visual and acoustic cues (surfacing and phonation) that enables abundance estimation of dolphins is proposed. The method does not require a specific time window to match the cues of both means for applying mark-recapture method. The proposed model was evaluated using data obtained in field observations of Ganges River dolphins and Irrawaddy dolphins, as examples of dispersed and condensed distributions of animals, respectively. The acoustic detection probability was approximately 80%, 20% higher than that of visual detection for both species, regardless of the distribution of the animals in present study sites. The abundance estimates of Ganges River dolphins and Irrawaddy dolphins fairly agreed with the numbers reported in previous monitoring studies. The single animal detection probability was smaller than that of larger cluster size, as predicted by the model and confirmed by field data. However, dense groups of Irrawaddy dolphins showed difference in cluster sizes observed by visual and acoustic methods. Lower detection probability of single clusters of this species seemed to be caused by the clumped distribution of this species.

  2. A combined stereo-photogrammetry and underwater-video system to study group composition of dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bräger, S.; Chong, A.; Dawson, S.; Slooten, E.; Würsig, B.

    1999-11-01

    One reason for the paucity of knowledge of dolphin social structure is the difficulty of measuring individual dolphins. In Hector's dolphins, Cephalorhynchus hectori, total body length is a function of age, and sex can be determined by individual colouration pattern. We developed a novel system combining stereo-photogrammetry and underwater-video to record dolphin group composition. The system consists of two downward-looking single-lens-reflex (SLR) cameras and a Hi8 video camera in an underwater housing mounted on a small boat. Bow-riding Hector's dolphins were photographed and video-taped at close range in coastal waters around the South Island of New Zealand. Three-dimensional, stereoscopic measurements of the distance between the blowhole and the anterior margin of the dorsal fin (BH-DF) were calibrated by a suspended frame with reference points. Growth functions derived from measurements of 53 dead Hector's dolphins (29 female : 24 male) provided the necessary reference data. For the analysis, the measurements were synchronised with corresponding underwater-video of the genital area. A total of 27 successful measurements (8 with corresponding sex) were obtained, showing how this new system promises to be potentially useful for cetacean studies.

  3. The broadband social acoustic signaling behavior of spinner and spotted dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammers, Marc O.; Au, Whitlow W. L.; Herzing, Denise L.

    2003-09-01

    Efforts to study the social acoustic signaling behavior of delphinids have traditionally been restricted to audio-range (dolphin (Stenella longirostris) and the Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis). Signals were quantitatively analyzed to establish their full bandwidth, to identify distinguishing characteristics between each species, and to determine how often they occur beyond the range of human hearing. Fundamental whistle contours were found to extend beyond 20 kHz only rarely among spotted dolphins, but with some regularity in spinner dolphins. Harmonics were present in the majority of whistles and varied considerably in their number, occurrence, and amplitude. Many whistles had harmonics that extended past 50 kHz and some reached as high as 100 kHz. The relative amplitude of harmonics and the high hearing sensitivity of dolphins to equivalent frequencies suggest that harmonics are biologically relevant spectral features. The burst pulses of both species were found to be predominantly ultrasonic, often with little or no energy below 20 kHz. The findings presented reveal that the social signals produced by spinner and spotted dolphins span the full range of their hearing sensitivity, are spectrally quite varied, and in the case of burst pulses are probably produced more frequently than reported by audio-range analyses.

  4. Temporally and spatially partitioned behaviours of spinner dolphins: implications for resilience to human disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyne, Julian A; Johnston, David W; Christiansen, Fredrik; Bejder, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Selective forces shape the evolution of wildlife behavioural strategies and influence the spatial and temporal partitioning of behavioural activities to maximize individual fitness. Globally, wildlife is increasingly exposed to human activities which may affect their behavioural activities. The ability of wildlife to compensate for the effects of human activities may have implications for their resilience to disturbance. Resilience theory suggests that behavioural systems which are constrained in their repertoires are less resilient to disturbance than flexible systems. Using behavioural time-series data, we show that spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) spatially and temporally partition their behavioural activities on a daily basis. Specifically, spinner dolphins were never observed foraging during daytime, where resting was the predominant activity. Travelling and socializing probabilities were higher in early mornings and late afternoons when dolphins were returning from or preparing for nocturnal feeding trips, respectively. The constrained nature of spinner dolphin behaviours suggests they are less resilient to human disturbance than other cetaceans. These dolphins experience the highest exposure rates to human activities ever reported for any cetaceans. Over the last 30 years human activities have increased significantly in Hawaii, but the spinner dolphins still inhabit these bays. Recent abundance estimates (2011 and 2012) however, are lower than all previous estimates (1979-1981, 1989-1992 and 2003), indicating a possible long-term impact. Quantification of the spatial and temporal partitioning of wildlife behavioural schedules provides critical insight for conservation measures that aim to mitigate the effects of human disturbance.

  5. Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) from Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, J P; Morales, J A; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; González-Barrientos, C R; Hernández-Mora, G; Su, C

    2007-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is of interest because of mortality and mode of transmission. It has been suggested that marine mammals become infected with T. gondii oocysts washed from land to the sea. We report the isolation and genetic characterization of viable T. gondii from a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), the first time from this host. An adult female dolphin was found stranded on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and the animal died the next day. The dolphin had a high (1:6400) antibody titer to T. gondii in the modified agglutination test. Severe nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis was found in its brain and spinal cord, but T. gondii was not found in histological sections of the dolphin. Portions of its brain and the heart were bioassayed in mice for the isolation of T. gondii. Viable T. gondii was isolated from the brain, but not from the heart, of the dolphin. A cat fed mice infected with the dolphin isolate (designated TgSdCol) shed oocysts. Genomic DNA from tachyzoites of this isolate was used for genotyping at 10 genetic loci, including SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico, and this TgSdCo1 isolate was found to be Type II.

  6. Cerebral toxoplasmosis in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded along the Ligurian Sea coast of Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, G; Proietto, U; Di Francesco, C E; Marsilio, F; Zaccaroni, A; Scaravelli, D; Mignone, W; Garibaldi, F; Kennedy, S; Forster, F; Iulini, B; Bozzetta, E; Casalone, C

    2010-03-01

    This article reports the results of necropsy, parasitologic, microbiologic, histopathologic, immunohistochemical, indirect immunofluorescence, biomolecular, and serologic investigations on 8 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) found stranded from August to December 2007 on the Ligurian Sea coast of Italy. Severe, nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis was found in 4 animals, as characterized by prominent perivascular mononuclear cell cuffing and macrophage accumulations in neuropil. These lesions were associated with mild lymphocytic-plasmacytic infiltration of choroid plexuses in 1 dolphin. Toxoplasma gondii cysts and zoites, confirmed by immunohistochemical labeling, were scattered throughout the brain parenchyma of 2 of the 4 dolphins. No viral inclusions were seen in the brain of any animal. Other findings included severe bronchointerstitial pneumonia and pulmonary atelectasis, consolidation, and emphysema. Parasites were identified in a variety of organs, including lung (Halocerchus lagenorhynchi). Microbiologic and serologic examinations for Brucella spp were negative on all 8 dolphins. The 4 animals with meningoencephalitis had serum antibodies against T gondii (titers ranging from 1:80 to 1:320) but not against morbillivirus. In contrast, the other 4 dolphins were seropositive for morbillivirus (with titers ranging from 1:10 to 1:40) but seronegative for T gondii. No morbillivirus antigen or nucleic acid was detected in the tissues of any dolphin. It is concluded that the severe lung and brain lesions were the cause of death and that T gondii was the likely etiologic agent of the cerebral lesions. Morbillivirus infection was not considered to have contributed to death of these animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-15

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

  8. Atypical residency of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) to a shallow, urbanized embayment in south-eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado Kent, Chandra; Donnelly, David; Weir, Jeffrey; Bilgmann, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) are typically considered highly mobile, offshore delphinids. This study assessed the residency of a small community of short-beaked common dolphins in the shallow, urbanized Port Phillip Bay, south-eastern Australia. The ability to identify common dolphins by their dorsal fin markings and coloration using photo-identification was also investigated. Systematic and non-systematic boat surveys were undertaken between 2007 and 2014. Results showed that 13 adult common dolphins and their offspring inhabit Port Phillip Bay, of which 10 adults exhibit residency to the bay. The majority of these adults are reproductively active females, suggesting that female philopatry may occur in the community. Systematic surveys conducted between 2012 and 2014 revealed that the dolphins were found in a median water depth of 16 m and median distance of 2.2 km from the coast. The shallow, urbanized habitat of this resident common dolphin community is atypical for this species. As a result, these common dolphins face threats usually associated with inshore bottlenose dolphin communities. We suggest that the Port Phillip Bay common dolphin community is considered and managed separate to those outside the embayment and offshore to ensure the community's long-term viability and residency in the bay. PMID:27703709

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubero-Pardo, Priscilla

    2007-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret A Stanton

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

  11. Convergent sequence evolution between echolocating bats and dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Cotton, James A; Shen, Bin; Han, Xiuqun; Rossiter, Stephen J; Zhang, Shuyi

    2010-01-26

    Cases of convergent evolution - where different lineages have evolved similar traits independently - are common and have proven central to our understanding of selection. Yet convincing examples of adaptive convergence at the sequence level are exceptionally rare [1]. The motor protein Prestin is expressed in mammalian outer hair cells (OHCs) and is thought to confer high frequency sensitivity and selectivity in the mammalian auditory system [2]. We previously reported that the Prestin gene has undergone sequence convergence among unrelated lineages of echolocating bat [3]. Here we report that this gene has also undergone convergent amino acid substitutions in echolocating dolphins, which group with echolocating bats in a phylogenetic tree of Prestin. Furthermore, we find evidence that these changes were driven by natural selection. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Acoustic Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Frants Havmand

    2011-01-01

    of sight of surface observers. These species differ in the acoustic habitats they dwell in, as well as in group structure and foraging ecology. The overall aim of this thesis has been to address, in a comparative fashion, how these two species behave acoustically in the wild, and how they have adapted...... and extend the range of depths they can cover while producing sounds pneumatically. Surprisingly, I find that the frequency content of pilot whale calls, including the time/frequency modulation patterns that seem to convey information for some toothed whales, is unaffected by depth despite the compression....... As a consequence, the frequency contours that convey acoustic signatures in delphinids are unaffected by changes in depth as well as changes in the size of different nasal air sacs during sound production. Finally, both bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales are the subject of heavy whale watching activities...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

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

  14. 76 FR 77996 - Notice of Issuance of Final Air Permits for Eni US Operating Co., Inc. and Port Dolphin Energy, LLC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-15

    ... AGENCY Notice of Issuance of Final Air Permits for Eni US Operating Co., Inc. and Port Dolphin Energy..., the EPA issued a final Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air permit for Port Dolphin Energy, LLC (Port Dolphin), which was issued and became effective on December 1, 2011. The Eni permit...

  15. Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars...novel biomarkers to examine whether significant sublethal responses to sonar-type sounds occur in bottlenose dolphins exposed to such sounds. The...SUBTITLE Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins

  16. The Marine Mammal Brain Game: Students Compare the Brains and Behaviors of Dolphins, Sea Lions, and Manatees in This Unique Standards-Based Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demetrikopoulos, Melissa K.; Morris, Lee G.; Fobbs, Archibald J., Jr.; Johnson, John I.

    2005-01-01

    Dolphins, manatees, and sea lions are all aquatic mammals but are not closely related taxonomically. All three species are marine mammals, meaning they spend part or all of their lives in the sea and contiguous bodies of water. Dolphins belong to the taxonomic order Cetacea, which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Manatees (sea cows),…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Background The phylogeny of Cetacea (whales) is not fully resolved with substantial support. The ambiguous and conflicting results of multiple phylogenetic studies may be the result of the use of too little data, phylogenetic methods that do not adequately capture the complex nature of DNA evolution, or both. In addition, there is also evidence that the generic taxonomy of Delphinidae (dolphins) underestimates its diversity. To remedy these problems, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of seven dolphins and analyzed these data with partitioned Bayesian analyses. Moreover, we incorporate a newly-developed "relaxed" molecular clock to model heterogenous rates of evolution among cetacean lineages. Results The "deep" phylogenetic relationships are well supported including the monophyly of Cetacea and Odontoceti. However, there is ambiguity in the phylogenetic affinities of two of the river dolphin clades Platanistidae (Indian River dolphins) and Lipotidae (Yangtze River dolphins). The phylogenetic analyses support a sister relationship between Delphinidae and Monodontidae + Phocoenidae. Additionally, there is statistically significant support for the paraphyly of Tursiops (bottlenose dolphins) and Stenella (spotted dolphins). Conclusion Our phylogenetic analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes using recently developed models of rate autocorrelation resolved the phylogenetic relationships of the major Cetacean lineages with a high degree of confidence. Our results indicate that a rapid radiation of lineages explains the lack of support the placement of Platanistidae and Lipotidae. Moreover, our estimation of molecular divergence dates indicates that these radiations occurred in the Middle to Late Oligocene and Middle Miocene, respectively. Furthermore, by collecting and analyzing seven new mitochondrial genomes, we provide strong evidence that the delphinid genera Tursiops and Stenella are not monophyletic, and the current taxonomy masks potentially

  18. A kinematic study on (un)intentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Luisa; Bulgheroni, Maria; Tizzi, Raffaella; Castiello, Umberto

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of observing other’s movements on subsequent performance in bottlenose dolphins. The imitative ability of non-human animals has intrigued a number of researchers. So far, however, studies in dolphins have been confined to intentional imitation concerned with the explicit request to imitate other agents. In the absence of instruction to imitate, do dolphins (un)intentionally replicate other’s movement features? To test this, dolphins were filmed while reaching and touching a stimulus before and after observing another dolphin (i.e., model) performing the same action. All videos were reviewed and segmented in order to extract the relevant movements. A marker was inserted post hoc via software on the videos upon the anatomical landmark of interest (i.e., rostrum) and was tracked throughout the time course of the movement sequence. The movement was analyzed using an in-house software developed to perform two-dimensional (2D) post hoc kinematic analysis. The results indicate that dolphins’ kinematics is sensitive to other’s movement features. Movements performed for the “visuomotor priming” condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern similar to that performed by the observed dolphin (i.e., model). Addressing the issue of spontaneous imitation in bottlenose dolphins might allow ascertaining whether the potential or impulse to produce an imitative action is generated, not just when they intend to imitate, but whenever they watch another conspecific’s behavior. In closing, this will clarify whether motor representational capacity is a by-product of factors specific to humans or whether more general characteristics such as processes of associative learning prompted by high level of encephalization could help to explain the evolution of this ability. PMID:26300764

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou Kaiya

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The phylogeny of Cetacea (whales is not fully resolved with substantial support. The ambiguous and conflicting results of multiple phylogenetic studies may be the result of the use of too little data, phylogenetic methods that do not adequately capture the complex nature of DNA evolution, or both. In addition, there is also evidence that the generic taxonomy of Delphinidae (dolphins underestimates its diversity. To remedy these problems, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of seven dolphins and analyzed these data with partitioned Bayesian analyses. Moreover, we incorporate a newly-developed "relaxed" molecular clock to model heterogenous rates of evolution among cetacean lineages. Results The "deep" phylogenetic relationships are well supported including the monophyly of Cetacea and Odontoceti. However, there is ambiguity in the phylogenetic affinities of two of the river dolphin clades Platanistidae (Indian River dolphins and Lipotidae (Yangtze River dolphins. The phylogenetic analyses support a sister relationship between Delphinidae and Monodontidae + Phocoenidae. Additionally, there is statistically significant support for the paraphyly of Tursiops (bottlenose dolphins and Stenella (spotted dolphins. Conclusion Our phylogenetic analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes using recently developed models of rate autocorrelation resolved the phylogenetic relationships of the major Cetacean lineages with a high degree of confidence. Our results indicate that a rapid radiation of lineages explains the lack of support the placement of Platanistidae and Lipotidae. Moreover, our estimation of molecular divergence dates indicates that these radiations occurred in the Middle to Late Oligocene and Middle Miocene, respectively. Furthermore, by collecting and analyzing seven new mitochondrial genomes, we provide strong evidence that the delphinid genera Tursiops and Stenella are not monophyletic, and the current taxonomy

  1. Predicting Interactions between Common Dolphins and the Pole-and-Line Tuna Fishery in the Azores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Maria João; Menezes, Gui; Machete, Miguel; Silva, Mónica A.

    2016-01-01

    Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) are responsible for the large majority of interactions with the pole-and-line tuna fishery in the Azores but the underlying drivers remain poorly understood. In this study we investigate the influence of various environmental and fisheries-related factors in promoting the interaction of common dolphins with this fishery and estimate the resultant catch losses. We analysed 15 years of fishery and cetacean interaction data (1998–2012) collected by observers placed aboard tuna fishing vessels. Dolphins interacted in less than 3% of the fishing events observed during the study period. The probability of dolphin interaction varied significantly between years with no evident trend over time. Generalized additive modeling results suggest that fishing duration, sea surface temperature and prey abundance in the region were the most important factors explaining common dolphin interaction. Dolphin interaction had no impact on the catches of albacore, skipjack and yellowfin tuna but resulted in significantly lower catches of bigeye tuna, with a predicted median annual loss of 13.5% in the number of fish captured. However, impact on bigeye catches varied considerably both by year and fishing area. Our work shows that rates of common dolphin interaction with the pole-and-line tuna fishery in the Azores are low and showed no signs of increase over the study period. Although overall economic impact was low, the interaction may lead to significant losses in some years. These findings emphasize the need for continued monitoring and for further research into the consequences and economic viability of potential mitigation measures. PMID:27851763

  2. Predicting Interactions between Common Dolphins and the Pole-and-Line Tuna Fishery in the Azores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria João Cruz

    Full Text Available Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis are responsible for the large majority of interactions with the pole-and-line tuna fishery in the Azores but the underlying drivers remain poorly understood. In this study we investigate the influence of various environmental and fisheries-related factors in promoting the interaction of common dolphins with this fishery and estimate the resultant catch losses. We analysed 15 years of fishery and cetacean interaction data (1998-2012 collected by observers placed aboard tuna fishing vessels. Dolphins interacted in less than 3% of the fishing events observed during the study period. The probability of dolphin interaction varied significantly between years with no evident trend over time. Generalized additive modeling results suggest that fishing duration, sea surface temperature and prey abundance in the region were the most important factors explaining common dolphin interaction. Dolphin interaction had no impact on the catches of albacore, skipjack and yellowfin tuna but resulted in significantly lower catches of bigeye tuna, with a predicted median annual loss of 13.5% in the number of fish captured. However, impact on bigeye catches varied considerably both by year and fishing area. Our work shows that rates of common dolphin interaction with the pole-and-line tuna fishery in the Azores are low and showed no signs of increase over the study period. Although overall economic impact was low, the interaction may lead to significant losses in some years. These findings emphasize the need for continued monitoring and for further research into the consequences and economic viability of potential mitigation measures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-25

    The phylogeny of Cetacea (whales) is not fully resolved with substantial support. The ambiguous and conflicting results of multiple phylogenetic studies may be the result of the use of too little data, phylogenetic methods that do not adequately capture the complex nature of DNA evolution, or both. In addition, there is also evidence that the generic taxonomy of Delphinidae (dolphins) underestimates its diversity. To remedy these problems, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of seven dolphins and analyzed these data with partitioned Bayesian analyses. Moreover, we incorporate a newly-developed "relaxed" molecular clock to model heterogenous rates of evolution among cetacean lineages. The "deep" phylogenetic relationships are well supported including the monophyly of Cetacea and Odontoceti. However, there is ambiguity in the phylogenetic affinities of two of the river dolphin clades Platanistidae (Indian River dolphins) and Lipotidae (Yangtze River dolphins). The phylogenetic analyses support a sister relationship between Delphinidae and Monodontidae + Phocoenidae. Additionally, there is statistically significant support for the paraphyly of Tursiops (bottlenose dolphins) and Stenella (spotted dolphins). Our phylogenetic analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes using recently developed models of rate autocorrelation resolved the phylogenetic relationships of the major Cetacean lineages with a high degree of confidence. Our results indicate that a rapid radiation of lineages explains the lack of support the placement of Platanistidae and Lipotidae. Moreover, our estimation of molecular divergence dates indicates that these radiations occurred in the Middle to Late Oligocene and Middle Miocene, respectively. Furthermore, by collecting and analyzing seven new mitochondrial genomes, we provide strong evidence that the delphinid genera Tursiops and Stenella are not monophyletic, and the current taxonomy masks potentially interesting patterns of

  4. Neuronal and astrocytic involvement in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) with morbilliviral encephalitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucá, R; Giacominelli-Stuffler, R; Mazzariol, S; Roperto, S; Cocumelli, C; DI Guardo, G

    2017-01-01

    Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV), a highly pathogenic agent, may cause peculiar, "brain-only" forms of infection (BOFDI), in which viral antigen and/or genome is found exclusively in the brain from striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). These BOFDIs show morphopathological similarities with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and old dog encephalitis (ODE) in measles virus-infected patients and in canine distemper virus-infected dogs, respectively. The brain tissue from 3 BOFDI-affected striped dolphins was investigated by means of double labelling-indirect immunofluorescence (DL-IIF) and ultrastructurally, in order to characterize the DMV-targeted neuronal and non-neuronal cell populations, along with the associated submicroscopic findings. Viral colonization of calbindin-immunoreactive (IR) and nitric oxide synthase-IR neurons was detected in the cerebral parenchyma from the 3 DMV-infected dolphins under study, associated with nuclear (chromatin) and cytoplasmic (mitochondrial) ultrastructural changes. Furthermore, a limited viral targeting of brain astrocytes was found in these animals, all of which exhibited a prominent astrogliosis/astrocytosis. To the best of our knowledge, those herein reported should be the first submicroscopic pathology and neuropathogenetic data about BOFDI in striped dolphins. In this respect, the marked astrogliosis/astrocytosis and the low viral colonization of brain astrocytes in the 3 DMV-infected dolphins under investigation are of interest from the comparative pathology and viral neuropathogenesis standpoints, when compared with ODE-affected dogs, in whose brain a non-cytolytic, astrocyte-to-astrocyte infectious spread has been recently documented. Further studies aimed at characterizing the complex DMV-host interactions in BOFDI-affected striped dolphins are needed.

  5. 50 CFR 216.46 - U.S. citizens on foreign flag vessels operating under the International Dolphin Conservation...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false U.S. citizens on foreign flag vessels operating under the International Dolphin Conservation Program. 216.46 Section 216.46 Wildlife and Fisheries....46 U.S. citizens on foreign flag vessels operating under the International Dolphin Conservation...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Díaz LÓPEZ

    2009-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  8. The world's second largest population of humpback dolphins in the waters of Zhanjiang deserves the highest conservation priority.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xinrong; Song, Jinyuan; Zhang, Zhenhua; Li, Peng; Yang, Guang; Zhou, Kaiya

    2015-01-30

    Chinese white dolphins (Sousa chinensis) inhabiting shallow coastal waters are vulnerable to impacts from human activities in the near shore waters. This study examined the population of Chinese white dolphins occurring off the coast of Zhanjiang in the northern South China Sea. A total of 492 Chinese white dolphins were identified, 176 of which were photographed on more than one occasion. The Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population is isolated from populations of conspecifics along the Guangdong coast. It is composed of approximately 1485 individuals (95% CI = 1371-1629; SE = 63.8), with estimates of mean representative range and core area of 168.51 and 44.26 km(2), respectively. The high site fidelity and long-term residence of Chinese white dolphins in the study area are well established. A review of all available data indicates that based on what is currently known, the Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population is the second largest of the species and genus in the world. However, the recent industrial boom along the Zhanjiang coast has increased concerns regarding the conservation of the Zhanjiang Chinese white dolphin population. We recommend the designation of a national nature reserve as a most urgent measure for protecting Chinese white dolphins in Zhanjiang waters.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living Amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-07

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit bays, sounds and estuaries across the Gulf of Mexico. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, studies were initiated to assess potential effects on these ecologically important apex predators. A previous study reported disease conditions, including lung disease and impaired stress response, for 32 dolphins that were temporarily captured and given health assessments in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA. Ten of the sampled dolphins were determined to be pregnant, with expected due dates the following spring or summer. Here, we report findings after 47 months of follow-up monitoring of those sampled dolphins. Only 20% (95% CI: 2.50-55.6%) of the pregnant dolphins produced viable calves, as compared with a previously reported pregnancy success rate of 83% in a reference population. Fifty-seven per cent of pregnant females that did not successfully produce a calf had been previously diagnosed with moderate-severe lung disease. In addition, the estimated annual survival rate of the sampled cohort was low (86.8%, 95% CI: 80.0-92.7%) as compared with survival rates of 95.1% and 96.2% from two other previously studied bottlenose dolphin populations. Our findings confirm low reproductive success and high mortality in dolphins from a heavily oiled estuary when compared with other populations. Follow-up studies are needed to better understand the potential recovery of dolphins in Barataria Bay and, by extension, other Gulf coastal regions impacted by the spill. © 2015 The Authors.

  12. The importance of bioacoustics for dolphin welfare: Soundscape characterization with implications for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, Heather Ruth

    Sound is the primary sensory modality for dolphins, yet policies mitigating anthropogenic sound exposure are limited in wild populations and even fewer noise policies or guidelines have been developed for governing dolphin welfare under human care. Concerns have been raised that dolphins under human care live in facilities that are too noisy, or are too acoustically sterile. However, these claims have not been evaluated to characterize facility soundscapes, and further, how they compare to wild soundscapes. The soundscape of a wild dolphin habitat off the coast of Quintana, Roo, Mexico was characterized based on Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) recordings over one year. Snapping shrimp were persistent and broadband, following a diel pattern. Fish sound production was pulsed and prominent in low frequencies (100 -- 1000 Hz), and abiotic surface wave action contributed to noise in higher frequencies (15 -- 28 kHz). Boat motors were the main anthropogenic sound source. While sporadic, boat motors were responsible for large spikes in the noise, sometimes exceeding the ambient noise (in the absence of a boat) by 20 dB root-mean-squared sound pressure level, and potentially higher at closer distances. Boat motor sounds can potentially mask cues and communication sounds of dolphins. The soundscapes of four acoustically distinct outdoor dolphin facilities in Quintana Roo, Mexico were also characterized based on PAM, and findings compared with one another and with the measurements from the wild dolphin habitat. Recordings were made for at least 24 hours to encompass the range of daily activities. The four facilities differed in non-dolphin species present (biological sounds), bathymetry complexity, and method of water circulation. It was hypothesized that the greater the biological and physical differences of a pool from the ocean habitat, the greater the acoustic differences would be from the natural environment. Spectral analysis and audio playback revealed that the site

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-03-01

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

  16. Unsustainable human-induced injuries to the Critically Endangered Taiwanese humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, John Y; Riehl, Kimberly N; Yang, Shih Chu; Araújo-Wang, Claryana

    2017-03-15

    The Critically Endangered Taiwanese humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis) is endemic to inshore and estuarine waters of central western Taiwan. It numbers fewer than 75 individuals, is declining and faces a myriad of human threats. Data from a long-term photo-identification program on these dolphins allowed major injuries to be examined quantitatively. A large proportion (57.7%) of individuals had suffered major human-induced injuries that likely compromised their health, survivorship or reproductive potential and thus, the future of this subspecies. Considering major injuries as "takes", the injury rate (1.13 dolphins/year) for the population was 8-8.5 times higher than its Potential Biological Removal rate. Observations of new injuries and fishing gear entanglements on several dolphins showed that fisheries continue to be the predominant cause of these major injuries. Unless immediate action is taken to reduce harmful fisheries, extinction is imminent for Taiwan's only endemic dolphin. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Underwater recordings of the whistles of bottlenose dolphins in Fremantle Inner Harbour, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Sarah A.; Erbe, Christine; Kent, Chandra P. Salgado

    2017-09-01

    Dolphins use frequency-modulated whistles for a variety of social functions. Whistles vary in their characteristics according to context, such as activity state, group size, group composition, geographic location, and ambient noise levels. Therefore, comparison of whistle characteristics can be used to address numerous research questions regarding dolphin populations and behaviour. However, logistical and economic constraints on dolphin research have resulted in data collection biases, inconsistent analytical approaches, and knowledge gaps. This Data Descriptor presents an acoustic dataset of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) whistles recorded in the Fremantle Inner Harbour, Western Australia. Data were collected using an autonomous recorder and analysed using a range of acoustic measurements. Acoustic data review identified 336 whistles, which were subsequently measured for six key characteristics using Raven Pro software. Of these, 164 'high-quality' whistles were manually measured to provide an additional five acoustic characteristics. Digital files of individual whistles and corresponding measurements make this dataset available to researchers to address future questions regarding variations within and between dolphin communities.

  18. The Trophic Significance of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in Western Taiwan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ching-Wen Pan

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis have attracted considerable attention due to their critically endangered status and related conservation issues, but their trophic relationships and ecological significance in coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. For instance, this species is noticeably more abundant in the Xin-Huwei River Estuary (Ex of Western Taiwan than in the nearby Zhuoshui River Estuary (Ez, though it is unclear why the distribution shows such partitioning. To explore this topic, we conducted field surveys seasonally for two years from 2012 to 2013 and constructed Ecopath models of Ex, Ez, and an offshore site (Dm to compare energy flow within the food webs. Model comparisons showed that the availability of food resources was the main factor influencing the biomass of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Specifically, its more frequent occurrence in Ex can be attributed to greater phytoplankton production and greater biomasses of macroinvertebrates and prey fish than in the other two areas. An increase in fishing activity might decrease the food availability and, consequently, the biomass of the dolphins. Although the decline in the dolphin population would increase the biomass of some prey fish species, local fishermen might not necessarily benefit from the decline due to the concurrent decrease of highly valued crabs and shrimp. Collectively, our work suggests that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a keystone species in tropical coastal waters of Taiwan, and thereby exhibit a disproportional large ecological impact given their relatively low abundance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. The Trophic Significance of the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, Sousa chinensis, in Western Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Ching-Wen; Chen, Meng-Hsien; Chou, Lien-Siang; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2016-01-01

    Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) have attracted considerable attention due to their critically endangered status and related conservation issues, but their trophic relationships and ecological significance in coastal ecosystems are poorly understood. For instance, this species is noticeably more abundant in the Xin-Huwei River Estuary (Ex) of Western Taiwan than in the nearby Zhuoshui River Estuary (Ez), though it is unclear why the distribution shows such partitioning. To explore this topic, we conducted field surveys seasonally for two years from 2012 to 2013 and constructed Ecopath models of Ex, Ez, and an offshore site (Dm) to compare energy flow within the food webs. Model comparisons showed that the availability of food resources was the main factor influencing the biomass of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. Specifically, its more frequent occurrence in Ex can be attributed to greater phytoplankton production and greater biomasses of macroinvertebrates and prey fish than in the other two areas. An increase in fishing activity might decrease the food availability and, consequently, the biomass of the dolphins. Although the decline in the dolphin population would increase the biomass of some prey fish species, local fishermen might not necessarily benefit from the decline due to the concurrent decrease of highly valued crabs and shrimp. Collectively, our work suggests that the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin is a keystone species in tropical coastal waters of Taiwan, and thereby exhibit a disproportional large ecological impact given their relatively low abundance.

  1. How can dolphins recognize fish according to their echoes? A statistical analysis of fish echoes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yossi Yovel

    Full Text Available Echo-based object classification is a fundamental task of animals that use a biosonar system. Dolphins and porpoises should be able to rely on echoes to discriminate a predator from a prey or to select a desired prey from an undesired object. Many studies have shown that dolphins and porpoises can discriminate between objects according to their echoes. All of these studies however, used unnatural objects that can be easily characterized in human terminologies (e.g., metallic spheres, disks, cylinders. In this work, we collected real fish echoes from many angles of acquisition using a sonar system that mimics the emission properties of dolphins and porpoises. We then tested two alternative statistical approaches in classifying these echoes. Our results suggest that fish species can be classified according to echoes returning from porpoise- and dolphin-like signals. These results suggest how dolphins and porpoises can classify fish based on their echoes and provide some insight as to which features might enable the classification.

  2. Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stephanie L; Janik, Vincent M

    2013-08-06

    In animal communication research, vocal labeling refers to incidents in which an animal consistently uses a specific acoustic signal when presented with a specific object or class of objects. Labeling with learned signals is a foundation of human language but is notably rare in nonhuman communication systems. In natural animal systems, labeling often occurs with signals that are not influenced by learning, such as in alarm and food calling. There is a suggestion, however, that some species use learned signals to label conspecific individuals in their own communication system when mimicking individually distinctive calls. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a promising animal for exploration in this area because they are capable of vocal production learning and can learn to use arbitrary signals to report the presence or absence of objects. Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin's learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system.

  3. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowen, Michael R.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have undergone a radical transformation from the original mammalian bodyplan. In addition, some cetaceans have evolved large brains and complex cognitive capacities. We compared approximately 10 000 protein-coding genes culled from the bottlenose dolphin genome with nine other genomes to reveal molecular correlates of the remarkable phenotypic features of these aquatic mammals. Evolutionary analyses demonstrated that the overall synonymous substitution rate in dolphins has slowed compared with other studied mammals, and is within the range of primates and elephants. We also discovered 228 genes potentially under positive selection (dN/dS > 1) in the dolphin lineage. Twenty-seven of these genes are associated with the nervous system, including those related to human intellectual disabilities, synaptic plasticity and sleep. In addition, genes expressed in the mitochondrion have a significantly higher mean dN/dS ratio in the dolphin lineage than others examined, indicating evolution in energy metabolism. We encountered selection in other genes potentially related to cetacean adaptations such as glucose and lipid metabolism, dermal and lung development, and the cardiovascular system. This study underlines the parallel molecular trajectory of cetaceans with other mammalian groups possessing large brains. PMID:22740643

  4. Exploration of Horizontal Information Transmission through Social Learning in Juvenile Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaïane L. B. De Brabanter

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Although vertical (mother-to-offspring information transfer has been reported in dolphins, it is unclear whether horizontal information transfer takes place between peers of non-parental individuals. We hypothesized that horizontal information transmission takes place within juvenile social play-forage subgroups and within pairs of juveniles in the form of social learning, as a way for older juveniles to contribute to the further development of younger juveniles’ foraging skills. Since 1985, a long-term study in the Bahamas has involved the collection of underwater videos and sound recordings on the social structure of a resident community of free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins Stenella frontalis. Foraging behaviors of juvenile dolphins were analyzed in 24 independent foraging events recorded on video from 1994 to 2013. Forty-nine juveniles in total were observed, including eight individually identified juveniles foraging alone, eight individually identified juveniles foraging in pairs, and 33 juveniles foraging in eight subgroups of three or more dolphins. The comparison of older juveniles' behavior against younger juveniles' behavior in juvenile play-forage subgroups suggested the potential for horizontal transmission of information about prey location. However, we found no direct evidence for social learning or of teaching in pairs. This new information about wild Atlantic spotted dolphin social structure is a starting point in horizontal information transmission research and is important in terms of cognitive processes and welfare implications.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Ann Fury

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elwen, Simon Harvey; Nastasi, Aurora

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Captive Bottlenose Dolphins Do Discriminate Human-Made Sounds Both Underwater and in the Air

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Lima

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus spontaneously emit individual acoustic signals that identify them to group members. We tested whether these cetaceans could learn artificial individual sound cues played underwater and whether they would generalize this learning to airborne sounds. Dolphins are thought to perceive only underwater sounds and their training depends largely on visual signals. We investigated the behavioral responses of seven dolphins in a group to learned human-made individual sound cues, played underwater and in the air. Dolphins recognized their own sound cue after hearing it underwater as they immediately moved toward the source, whereas when it was airborne they gazed more at the source of their own sound cue but did not approach it. We hypothesize that they perhaps detected modifications of the sound induced by air or were confused by the novelty of the situation, but nevertheless recognized they were being “targeted.” They did not respond when hearing another group member’s cue in either situation. This study provides further evidence that dolphins respond to individual-specific sounds and that these marine mammals possess some capacity for processing airborne acoustic signals.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan Stolen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Plastic ingestion in Franciscana dolphins, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais and d'Orbigny, 1844), from Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denuncio, Pablo; Bastida, Ricardo; Dassis, Mariela; Giardino, Gisela; Gerpe, Marcela; Rodríguez, Diego

    2011-08-01

    Plastic debris (PD) ingestion was examined in 106 Franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) incidentally captured in artisanal fisheries of the northern coast of Argentina. Twenty-eight percent of the dolphins presented PD in their stomach, but no ulcerations or obstructions were recorded in the digestive tracts. PD ingestion was more frequent in estuarine (34.6%) than in marine (19.2%) environments, but the type of debris was similar. Packaging debris (cellophane, bags, and bands) was found in 64.3% of the dolphins, with a lesser proportion (35.7%) ingesting fishery gear fragments (monofilament lines, ropes, and nets) or of unknown sources (25.0%). PD ingestion correlated with ontogenetic changes in feeding regimes, reaching maximum values in recently weaned dolphins. Because a simultaneous increase in gillnet entanglement and the bioaccumulation of heavy metals take place at this stage, the first months after trophic independence should be considered as a key phase for the conservation of Franciscana dolphin stocks in northern Argentina. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  14. Captive Bottlenose Dolphins Do Discriminate Human-Made Sounds Both Underwater and in the Air

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Alice; Sébilleau, Mélissa; Boye, Martin; Durand, Candice; Hausberger, Martine; Lemasson, Alban

    2018-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) spontaneously emit individual acoustic signals that identify them to group members. We tested whether these cetaceans could learn artificial individual sound cues played underwater and whether they would generalize this learning to airborne sounds. Dolphins are thought to perceive only underwater sounds and their training depends largely on visual signals. We investigated the behavioral responses of seven dolphins in a group to learned human-made individual sound cues, played underwater and in the air. Dolphins recognized their own sound cue after hearing it underwater as they immediately moved toward the source, whereas when it was airborne they gazed more at the source of their own sound cue but did not approach it. We hypothesize that they perhaps detected modifications of the sound induced by air or were confused by the novelty of the situation, but nevertheless recognized they were being “targeted.” They did not respond when hearing another group member’s cue in either situation. This study provides further evidence that dolphins respond to individual-specific sounds and that these marine mammals possess some capacity for processing airborne acoustic signals. PMID:29445350

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Localization of dolphin whistles through frequency domain beamforming using a narrow aperture audio/video array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Keenan R.; Buck, John R.

    2003-04-01

    Correlating the acoustic and physical behavior of marine mammals is an ongoing challenge for scientists studying the links between acoustic communication and social behavior of these animals. This talk describes a system to record and correlate the physical and acoustical behavior of dolphins. A sparse, short baseline audio/video array consisting of 16 hydrophones and an underwater camera was constructed in a cross configuration to measure the acoustic signals of vocalizing dolphins. The bearings of vocalizing dolphins were estimated using the broadband frequency domain beamforming algorithm for sparse arrays to suppress grating lobes of Thode et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107 (2000)]. The estimated bearings from the acoustic signals were then converted to video image coordinates and a marker was placed on the video image. The system was calibrated both at an indoor tank and from an outdoor dock at UMass Dartmouth prior to field tests in a natural lagoon at the Dolphin Connection on Duck Key, FL. These tests confirmed that the system worked well within the limits of underwater visibility by consistently placing the marker on or near the whistling or echolocating dolphin. [Work supported by NSF Ocean Sciences.

  17. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowen, Michael R; Grossman, Lawrence I; Wildman, Derek E

    2012-09-22

    Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have undergone a radical transformation from the original mammalian bodyplan. In addition, some cetaceans have evolved large brains and complex cognitive capacities. We compared approximately 10,000 protein-coding genes culled from the bottlenose dolphin genome with nine other genomes to reveal molecular correlates of the remarkable phenotypic features of these aquatic mammals. Evolutionary analyses demonstrated that the overall synonymous substitution rate in dolphins has slowed compared with other studied mammals, and is within the range of primates and elephants. We also discovered 228 genes potentially under positive selection (dN/dS > 1) in the dolphin lineage. Twenty-seven of these genes are associated with the nervous system, including those related to human intellectual disabilities, synaptic plasticity and sleep. In addition, genes expressed in the mitochondrion have a significantly higher mean dN/dS ratio in the dolphin lineage than others examined, indicating evolution in energy metabolism. We encountered selection in other genes potentially related to cetacean adaptations such as glucose and lipid metabolism, dermal and lung development, and the cardiovascular system. This study underlines the parallel molecular trajectory of cetaceans with other mammalian groups possessing large brains.

  18. Morphological analysis of the flippers in the Franciscana dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei, applying X-ray technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo, Daniela Laura; Panebianco, María Victoria; Negri, María Fernanda; Cappozzo, Humberto Luis

    2014-07-01

    Pectoral flippers of cetaceans function to provide stability and maneuverability during locomotion. Directional asymmetry (DA) is a common feature among odontocete cetaceans, as well as sexual dimorphism (SD). For the first time DA, allometry, physical maturity, and SD of the flipper skeleton--by X-ray technique--of Pontoporia blainvillei were analyzed. The number of carpals, metacarpals, phalanges, and morphometric characters from the humerus, radius, ulna, and digit two were studied in franciscana dolphins from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The number of visible epiphyses and their degree of fusion at the proximal and distal ends of the humerus, radius, and ulna were also analyzed. The flipper skeleton was symmetrical, showing a negative allometric trend, with similar growth patterns in both sexes with the exception of the width of the radius (P ≤ 0.01). SD was found on the number of phalanges of digit two (P ≤ 0.01), ulna and digit two lengths. Females showed a higher relative ulna length and shorter relative digit two length, and the opposite occurred in males (P ≤ 0.01). Epiphyseal fusion pattern proved to be a tool to determine dolphin's age; franciscana dolphins with a mature flipper were, at least, four years old. This study indicates that the flippers of franciscana dolphins are symmetrical; both sexes show a negative allometric trend; SD is observed in radius, ulna, and digit two; and flipper skeleton allows determine the age class of the dolphins. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans-Wilent, J; Dudzinski, K M

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina C Ansmann

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

  1. Monitoring Dolphins in an Urban Marine System: Total and Effective Population Size Estimates of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins in Moreton Bay, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansmann, Ina C.; Lanyon, Janet M.; Seddon, Jennifer M.; Parra, Guido J.

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Bacterial Species Identified on the Skin of Bottlenose Dolphins Off Southern California via Next Generation Sequencing Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Corey D; Weller, David W; Nelson, Karen E; Chivers, Susan J; Torralba, Manolito; Grimes, D Jay

    2017-10-28

    The dermis of cetaceans is in constant contact with microbial species. Although the skin of the bottlenose dolphin provides adequate defense against most disease-causing microbes, it also provides an environment for microbial community development. Microbial community uniqueness and richness associated with bottlenose dolphin skin is a function of varying habitats and changing environmental conditions. The current study uses ribosomal DNA as a marker to identify bacteria found on the skin of coastal and offshore bottlenose dolphins off of Southern California. The unique microbial communities recovered from these dolphins suggest a greater microbial diversity on the skin of offshore ecotype bottlenose dolphins, while microbial populations associated with the coastal ecotype include species that are more closely related to each other and that suggest exposure to communities that are likely to be associated with terrestrial runoff.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Errol I Ronje

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Factor associated variations in the home range of a resident Adriatic common bottlenose dolphin population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rako-Gospić, Nikolina; Radulović, Marko; Vučur, Tihana; Pleslić, Grgur; Holcer, Draško; Mackelworth, Peter

    2017-11-15

    This study investigates the influence of the most dominant factors (association patterns, gender, natal philopatry and anthropogenic pressure) on the home range size of the 44 most resident common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the waters of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago (north Adriatic Sea, Croatia), a recently declared NATURA 2000 SCI. Results show that variations in home range patterns (MCP, 95% KDE and 50% KDE home range size) among the individual resident dolphins are primarily related to differences in gender and reflect the way in which different genders respond to external stressors. In addition, results confirm the seasonal influence of nautical tourism on both female and male dolphins through changes in their home range sizes. The overall results improve current knowledge of the main anthropogenic threats that should be taken into consideration when developing conservation measures to be applied to this Cres and Lošinj SCI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-03-01

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

  9. The study of acoustic signals and the supposed spoken language of the dolphins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vyacheslav A. Ryabov

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper continues studies in the problem of animal language by registering acoustic signals from two quasi-stationary Black Sea bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus using a two-channel system in the frequency band up to 220kHz with a dynamic range of 81dB. The packs of mutually noncoherent pulses (NP generated by the dolphins were matched to the animals. The waveforms and the spectra of these pulses changed from one pulse to another in each pack. In this connection, a suggestion was made that the set of spectral components of each pulse is a ‘word’ of the dolphin's spoken language and a pack of NPs is a sentence. The paper studied the NP peculiarities in the context of the characteristics of the human spoken language.

  10. [Sighting of Stenella attenuata, the spotted dolphin, in Culebra Bay, Costa Rica, 1999-2000].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez Sáenz, Karina; Rodríguez-Fonseca, Javier

    2004-12-01

    Parallel to a zooplankton study (1999-2000) observations were made (from an inflatable boat), on the presence of dolphins along a transect (-8 km long) on the axis of Culebra Bay (24 km2), Gulf of Papagayo, Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Dolphins were found during 20 of the 31 boat surveys conducted. The only species of cetacean found in the bay was Stenella attenuata, the spotted dolphin. These sightings were more frequent during the rainy season, particularly during the month of May of both years. The presence of S. attenuata in Culebra Bay might be associated to the abundances of fish and mollusks (their presumed prey: for example, squids), as evidenced by fishery statistics available for this zone of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

  11. Behavioural evidence of magnetoreception in dolphins: detection of experimental magnetic fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremers, Dorothee; López Marulanda, Juliana; Hausberger, Martine; Lemasson, Alban

    2014-11-01

    Magnetoreception, meaning the perception of magnetic fields, is supposed to play an important role for orientation/navigation in some terrestrial and aquatic species. Although some spatial observations of free-ranging cetaceans' migration routes and stranding sites led to the assumption that cetaceans may be sensitive to the geomagnetic field, experimental evidence is lacking. Here, we tested the spontaneous response of six captive bottlenose dolphins to the presentation of two magnetized and demagnetized controlled devices while they were swimming freely. Dolphins approached the device with shorter latency when it contained a strongly magnetized neodymium block compared to a control demagnetized block that was identical in form and density and therefore undistinguishable with echolocation. We conclude that dolphins are able to discriminate the two stimuli on the basis of their magnetic properties, a prerequisite for magnetoreception-based navigation.

  12. Ganges River dolphin: an overview of biology, ecology, and conservation status in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Ravindra K; Kannan, Kurunthachalam

    2014-12-01

    Ganges River dolphin, Platanista gangetica gangetica, is one of the three obligatory freshwater dolphins in the world and is distributed in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Sangu-Karnaphuli River systems in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. This species is facing considerable threats to its survival, and its population has dwindled from 4000 to 5000 in the early 1980s to 3500 in 2014 in the distribution range. This article reviews current status of the sub-species, habitat use, and the potential threats that the dolphins face for their survival (details of taxonomic status and genetics, evolutionary adaptations and anatomical peculiarities, physical adaptation, primitive characteristics, biology, behavior, surfacing behavior and dive times, mating and birth, and life span/age have been placed as Electronic Supplementary Materials). Recommendations have been made for the protection and developing strategies for the conservation of this Endangered and endemic sub-species.

  13. Chronic meningoencephalitis associated with Brucella sp. infection in live-stranded striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba).

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, L; Patterson, I A; Reid, R J; Foster, G; Barberán, M; Blasco, J M; Kennedy, S; Howie, F E; Godfroid, J; MacMillan, A P; Schock, A; Buxton, D

    2002-01-01

    A chronic, non-suppurative meningoencephalitis was found in three young striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) during routine neuropathological examination of marine mammals live-stranded on the Scottish coast. In all three dolphins the lesions were associated with the isolation of a Brucella sp. from the brain and with the immunohistochemical detection of brucella antigen. Moreover, antibodies to Brucella spp. were detected in the two dolphins that were subjected to serological examination. Immunohistochemical and serological examinations for morbillivirus antigen and antibodies, respectively, were negative in all cases. Although brucella infection of marine mammals has been extensively documented in recent years, its association with lesions and disease is less well recognized. The present report provides the first description of an association between Brucella sp. infection and neuropathological changes in a cetacean species. Copyright Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

  14. Genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii isolates in meningo-encephalitis affected striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) from Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, Giovanni; Di Cesare, Angela; Otranto, Domenico; Casalone, Cristina; Iulini, Barbara; Mignone, Walter; Tittarelli, Cristiana; Meloni, Silvana; Castagna, Giuseppe; Forster, Fiona; Kennedy, Seamus; Traversa, Donato

    2011-12-29

    This study reports the occurrence of Toxoplasma gondii in the brain of three striped dolphins (Stenella ceoruleoalba) found stranded on the Ligurian Sea coast of Italy between 2007 and 2008. These animals showed a severe, subacute to chronic, non-purulent, multifocal meningo-encephalitis, with the cerebral parenchyma of two dolphins harbouring protozoan cysts and zoites immunohistochemically linked to T. gondii. Molecular, phylogenetic and mutation scanning analyses showed the occurrence of Type II and of an atypical Type II T. gondii isolates in one and two dolphins, respectively. In spite of the different molecular patterns characterizing the above T. gondii genotypes, the brain lesions observed in the three animals showed common microscopic features, with no remarkable differences among them. The role of T. gondii in causing the meningo-encephalitis is herein discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Importance of sagittal kick symmetry for underwater dolphin kick performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkison, Ryan R; Dickey, James P; Dragunas, Andrew; Nolte, Volker

    2014-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine how sagittal kick symmetry in the underwater dolphin kick (UDK) between the downkick and upkick phases is related to UDK performance. Fifteen adult male competitive swimmers ranging from provincial to international level were filmed performing three trials each of maximum effort UDK over 15m using an underwater video camera. Video frames were manually digitized and each subjects' single fastest trial was evaluated for between-subject comparisons. Kinematic variables were calculated for each individual and Pearson product-moment correlations between the average horizontal centre of mass velocity (Vx) and all kinematic variables were calculated. Horizontal velocity during the downkick, horizontal velocity during the upkick, relative time spent in each phase, maximum chest flexion angle, maximum knee and ankle extension angles, the ratio of flexion/extension for chest, knee and ankle angles, and maximum vertical toe velocity during the upkick phase correlated significantly with Vx (pimportance of kick symmetry for UDK performance, and indicate that performing the upkick phase well appears to be most important for UDK performance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Kieran C R; Muthukrishna, Michael; Shultz, Susanne

    2017-11-01

    Encephalization, or brain expansion, underpins humans' sophisticated social cognition, including language, joint attention, shared goals, teaching, consensus decision-making and empathy. These abilities promote and stabilize cooperative social interactions, and have allowed us to create a 'cognitive' or 'cultural' niche and colonize almost every terrestrial ecosystem. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) also have exceptionally large and anatomically sophisticated brains. Here, by evaluating a comprehensive database of brain size, social structures and cultural behaviours across cetacean species, we ask whether cetacean brains are similarly associated with a marine cultural niche. We show that cetacean encephalization is predicted by both social structure and by a quadratic relationship with group size. Moreover, brain size predicts the breadth of social and cultural behaviours, as well as ecological factors (diversity of prey types and to a lesser extent latitudinal range). The apparent coevolution of brains, social structure and behavioural richness of marine mammals provides a unique and striking parallel to the large brains and hyper-sociality of humans and other primates. Our results suggest that cetacean social cognition might similarly have arisen to provide the capacity to learn and use a diverse set of behavioural strategies in response to the challenges of social living.

  18. The Order of the Dolphin: Origins of SETI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temming, Maria; Crider, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    In 1961, the National Academy of Sciences organized a meeting on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. The ten scientists who attended, including future SETI icons such as Frank Drake and Carl Sagan, represented a variety of scientific fields. At the conclusion of the meeting, the attendees adopted the moniker "The Order of the Dolphin," in honor of participant John Lilly's work on interspecies communication. Since this seminal meeting, researchers in each of the attendees' fields have contributed in some way to the search for intelligent life. This study investigates the circumstances that led to each attendee's invitation to Green Bank and explores SETI as the legacy of this meeting. We will focus in this talk on the SETI connections of two attendees, astronomer Otto Struve and physicist Philip Morrison, both in regards to their personal contributions to SETI and the influence of their work on subsequent SETI research. Specifically, we will examine proposals by Otto Struve for exoplanet discovery methods, and Philip Morrison for radio searches that laid the groundwork for modern SETI.

  19. Molecular cytogenetic characterization of the Amazon River dolphin Inia geoffrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonifácio, Heidi L; da Silva, Vera M F; Martin, Anthony R; Feldberg, Eliana

    2012-09-01

    Classical and molecular cytogenetic (18S rDNA, telomeric sequence, and LINE-1 retrotransposon probes) studies were carried out to contribute to an understanding of the organization of repeated DNA elements in the Amazon River dolphin (boto, Inia geoffrensis). Twenty-seven specimens were examined, each presenting 2n = 44 chromosomes, the karyotype formula 12m + 14sm + 6st + 10t + XX/XY, and fundamental number (FN) = 74. C-positive heterochromatin was observed in terminal and interstitial positions, with the occurrence of polymorphism. Interstitial telomeric sequences were not observed. The nucleolar organizer region (NOR) was located at a single site on a smallest autosomal pair. LINE-1 was preferentially distributed in the euchromatin regions, with the greatest accumulation on the X chromosome. Although the karyotype structure in cetaceans is considered to be conserved, the boto karyotype demonstrated significant variations in its formula, heterochromatin distribution, and the location of the NOR compared to other cetacean species. These results contribute to knowledge of the chromosome organization in boto and to a better understanding of karyoevolution in cetaceans.

  20. Stable isotopes of captive cetaceans (killer whales and bottlenose dolphins).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caut, Stéphane; Laran, Sophie; Garcia-Hartmann, Emmanuel; Das, Krishna

    2011-02-15

    There is currently a great deal of interest in using stable isotope methods to investigate diet, trophic level and migration in wild cetaceans. In order to correctly interpret the results stemming from these methods, it is crucial to understand how diet isotopic values are reflected in consumer tissues. In this study, we investigated patterns of isotopic discrimination between diet and blood constituents of two species of cetaceans (killer whale, Orcinus orca, and bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus) fed controlled diets over 308 and 312 days, respectively. Diet discrimination factors (Δ; mean ± s.d.) for plasma were estimated to Δ(13)C=2.3±0.6‰ and Δ(15)N=1.8±0.3‰, respectively, for both species and to Δ(13)C=2.7±0.3‰ and Δ(15)N=0.5±0.1‰ for red blood cells. Delipidation did not have a significant effect on carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of blood constituents, confirming that cetacean blood does not serve as a reservoir of lipids. In contrast, carbon isotopic values were higher in delipidated samples of blubber, liver and muscle from killer whales. The potential for conflict between fisheries and cetaceans has heightened the need for trophic information about these taxa. These results provide the first published stable isotope incorporation data for cetaceans, which are essential if conclusions are to be drawn on issues concerning trophic structures, carbon sources and diet reconstruction.

  1. The emergent properties of a dolphin social network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusseau, David

    2003-11-07

    Many complex networks, including human societies, the Internet, the World Wide Web and power grids, have surprising properties that allow vertices (individuals, nodes, Web pages, etc.) to be in close contact and information to be transferred quickly between them. Nothing is known of the emerging properties of animal societies, but it would be expected that similar trends would emerge from the topology of animal social networks. Despite its small size (64 individuals), the Doubtful Sound community of bottlenose dolphins has the same characteristics. The connectivity of individuals follows a complex distribution that has a scale-free power-law distribution for large k. In addition, the ability for two individuals to be in contact is unaffected by the random removal of individuals. The removal of individuals with many links to others does affect the length of the 'information' path between two individuals, but, unlike other scale-free networks, it does not fragment the cohesion of the social network. These self-organizing phenomena allow the network to remain united, even in the case of catastrophic death events.

  2. Demographic collapse and low genetic diversity of the Irrawaddy dolphin population inhabiting the Mekong River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krützen, Michael; Beasley, Isabel; Ackermann, Corinne Y; Lieckfeldt, Dietmar; Ludwig, Arne; Ryan, Gerard E; Bejder, Lars; Parra, Guido J; Wolfensberger, Rebekka; Spencer, Peter B S

    2018-01-01

    In threatened wildlife populations, it is important to determine whether observed low genetic diversity may be due to recent anthropogenic pressure or the consequence of historic events. Historical size of the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population inhabiting the Mekong River is unknown and there is significant concern for long-term survival of the remaining population as a result of low abundance, slow reproduction rate, high neonatal mortality, and continuing anthropogenic threats. We investigated population structure and reconstructed the demographic history based on 60 Irrawaddy dolphins samples collected between 2001 and 2009. The phylogenetic analysis indicated reciprocal monophyly of Mekong River Orcaella haplotypes with respect to haplotypes from other populations, suggesting long-standing isolation of the Mekong dolphin population from other Orcaella populations. We found that at least 85% of all individuals in the two main study areas: Kratie and Stung Treng, bore the same mitochondrial haplotype. Out of the 21 microsatellite loci tested, only ten were polymorphic and exhibited very low levels of genetic diversity. Both individual and frequency-based approaches suggest very low and non-significant genetic differentiation of the Mekong dolphin population. Evidence for recent bottlenecks was equivocal. Some results suggested a recent exponential decline in the Mekong dolphin population, with the current size being only 5.2% of the ancestral population. In order for the Mekong dolphin population to have any potential for long-term survival, it is imperative that management priorities focus on preventing any further population fragmentation or genetic loss, reducing or eliminating anthropogenic threats, and promoting connectivity between all subpopulations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Monitoring bottlenose dolphin leukocyte cytokine mRNA responsiveness by qPCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberle, Kirsten C.; Venn-Watson, Stephanie K.; Jensen, Eric D.; Porter, Tracy J.; Waters, Theresa E.; Sacco, Randy E.

    2017-01-01

    Both veterinarians caring for dolphins in managed populations and researchers monitoring wild populations use blood-based diagnostics to monitor bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) health. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) can be used to assess cytokine transcription patterns of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). This can supplement currently available blood tests with information on immune status. Full realization of this potential requires establishment of normal ranges of cytokine gene transcription levels in bottlenose dolphins. We surveyed four dolphins over the span of seven months by serial bleeds. PBMC were stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin (1, 5, and 10 μg/mL) and concanavalin A (1 μg/mL) for 48 H in vitro. RNA from these cultures was probed by qPCR using Tursiops truncatus-specific primers (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, IL-18, IFN-γ and TNF-α). Two blood samples from an additional bottlenose dolphin diagnosed with acute pulmonary disease add further perspective to the data. We observed that mitogen choice made a significant difference in the magnitude of gene transcription observed. On the other hand, most cytokines tested exhibited limited intra-animal variation. However, IL-6 and IL-12p40 differed between older and younger dolphins. Furthermore, the magnitude of mitogenic response clusters the tested cytokines into three groups. The data provide a reference for the selection of target cytokine mRNAs and their expected range of mitogen-stimulated cytokine gene transcription for future studies. PMID:29272269

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Gatta

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Monitoring bottlenose dolphin leukocyte cytokine mRNA responsiveness by qPCR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amelia Ruth Hofstetter

    Full Text Available Both veterinarians caring for dolphins in managed populations and researchers monitoring wild populations use blood-based diagnostics to monitor bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus health. Quantitative PCR (qPCR can be used to assess cytokine transcription patterns of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC. This can supplement currently available blood tests with information on immune status. Full realization of this potential requires establishment of normal ranges of cytokine gene transcription levels in bottlenose dolphins. We surveyed four dolphins over the span of seven months by serial bleeds. PBMC were stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin (1, 5, and 10 μg/mL and concanavalin A (1 μg/mL for 48 H in vitro. RNA from these cultures was probed by qPCR using Tursiops truncatus-specific primers (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-13, IL-18, IFN-γ and TNF-α. Two blood samples from an additional bottlenose dolphin diagnosed with acute pulmonary disease add further perspective to the data. We observed that mitogen choice made a significant difference in the magnitude of gene transcription observed. On the other hand, most cytokines tested exhibited limited intra-animal variation. However, IL-6 and IL-12p40 differed between older and younger dolphins. Furthermore, the magnitude of mitogenic response clusters the tested cytokines into three groups. The data provide a reference for the selection of target cytokine mRNAs and their expected range of mitogen-stimulated cytokine gene transcription for future studies.

  11. The Neocortex of Indian River Dolphins (Genus Platanista): Comparative, Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knopf, Julian P; Hof, Patrick R; Oelschläger, Helmut H A

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the morphology of four primary neocortical projection areas (somatomotor, somatosensory, auditory, visual) qualitatively and quantitatively in the Indian river dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica, P. gangetica minor) with histological and stereological methods. For comparison, we included brains of other toothed whale species. Design-based stereology was applied to the primary neocortical areas (M1, S1, A1, V1) of the Indian river dolphins and compared to those of the bottlenose dolphin with respect to layers III and V. These neocortical fields were identified using existing electrophysiological and morphological data from marine dolphins as to their topography and histological structure, including the characteristics of the neuron populations concerned. In contrast to other toothed whales, the visual area (V1) of the 'blind' river dolphins seems to be rather small. M1 is displaced laterally and the auditory area (A1) is larger than in marine species with respect to total brain size. The layering is similar in the cortices of all the toothed whale brains investigated; a layer IV could not be identified. Cell density in layer III is always higher than in layer V. The maximal neuron density in P. gangetica gangetica is found in layer III of A1, followed by layers III in V1, S1, and M1. The cell density in layer V is at a similar level in all primary areas. There are, however, some differences in neuron density between the two subspecies of Indian river dolphins. Taken as a whole, it appears that the neocortex of platanistids exhibits a considerable expansion of the auditory field. Even more than other toothed whales, they seem to depend on their biosonar abilities for navigation, hunting, and communication in their riverine habitat. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Griffeth

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Underwater noise in an impacted environment can affect Guiana dolphin communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittencourt, Lis; Lima, Isabela M S; Andrade, Luciana G; Carvalho, Rafael R; Bisi, Tatiana L; Lailson-Brito, José; Azevedo, Alexandre F

    2017-01-30

    This study focused on whistles produced by Guiana dolphin under different noise conditions in Guanabara Bay, southeastern Brazil. Recording sessions were performed with a fully calibrated recording system. Whistles and underwater noise levels registered during two behavioral states were compared separately between two areas. Noise levels differed between the two areas across all frequencies. Whistle duration differed between areas and was negatively correlated with noise levels. Whistling rate was positively correlated with noise levels, showing that whistling rate was higher in noisier conditions. Results demonstrated that underwater noise influenced Guiana dolphin acoustic behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  16. 76 FR 65697 - Marine Mammals; File No. 16685

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-24

    ..., Clymene Enterprises, 5495 Camino Playa Malaga, San Diego, CA 92124, has applied in due form for a permit...-sided (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), and northern right whale dolphins (Lissodelphis borealis); killer...) in coastal bottlenose dolphins along the California coast. Research would occur primarily in the...

  17. 75 FR 53271 - Marine Mammals; File No. 15271

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-31

    ... environmental factors; (2) determine diet and foraging behaviors as marine mammals exploit prey resources; (3) determine types of acoustic behavior of marine mammals (primarily cetaceans) and how acoustic signals are...-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), 20 Northern right whale dolphins (Lissodelphis borealis...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-24

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

  19. Recommendations for the conservation and management of humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis in the Algoa Bay region, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Karczmarski

    1998-02-01

    Full Text Available The natural history of humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis inhabiting the Algoa Bay region. Eastern Cape, South Africa, was investigated by means of land- and sea-based surveys undertaken between May 1991 and May 1994. This article reviews the findings which are relevant to the conservation of humpback dolphins and provides recommendations for both the conservation and management of this species in Eastern Cape waters. In general, humpback dolphins appear to be typical coastal dolphins which occur in small numbers, have low population growth and depend on restricted inshore resources. Establishment of protected areas where human impact could be limited or controlled seems to be the most effective conservation/management approach. Habitats critical for humpback dolphins in Eastern Cape waters (inshore rocky reefs and the dolphin's core areas in the Algoa Bay region have been identified. It is recommended that a conservation and management zone (marine sanctuary in the Algoa Bay region be established and a suitable site for it is identified. Given adequate legislation and proper management, this area could be used for the development of ecotourism, including dolphin-watch operations, which would further stimulate interest in coastal conservation.

  20. Quantification of the interaction between bottlenose dolphins and the Atlantic blue crab fishery in Charleston, South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duquette, Ashley

    Entanglement in commercial fishery equipment is the number one anthropogenic cause of marine mammal death worldwide. The Atlantic blue crab fishery is the number one cause of fishery related incidents for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in South Carolina. It is hypothesized that the dolphins are attracted to the pots either by the bait or possibly the other marine life drawn to the pots. Hydrophones deployed in baited and unbaited crab pots recorded dolphin vocalizations which were used as proxy for dolphin presence. Recorded data were used to quantify the interaction between dolphins and crab pots as well as elucidate the effects of tide, bait presences, and time of day on the interactions. Sonar imaging was deployed to determine if prey species aggregated around the crab pots and whether bait presence affects the fish activity. The hydrophones recorded 1,103 hours of audio data, and 18 hours of visual data were recorded by the dual-frequency identification sonar. The results found that dolphin interactions with the crab pots were not significantly impacted by the presence of bait. Time of day and tidal stage did affect the frequency and duration of interactions. Prey species were observed aggregating around the crab pots and no impact of bait presence on fish activity was observed. Results from this study will aid in the understanding of when and why bottlenose dolphins interact with the Atlantic blue crab fishery. Such information can then be used in the formulation of preventative measures against entanglement.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-27

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

  2. Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) as marine ecosystem sentinels: ecotoxicology and emerging diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Moura, Jailson Fulgencio; Hauser-Davis, Rachel Ann; Lemos, Leila; Emin-Lima, Renata; Siciliano, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) are small cetaceans that inhabit coastal regions down to a 50 m depth. As a coastally distributed species, they are exposed to a variety of human-induced risks that include passive fishing nets, persistent environmental pollution, and emerging diseases. As a top predatorS. guianensis occupies an important ecological niche in marine ecosystems. However, this niche also exposes this dolphin to extensive biomagnification of marine contaminants that may accumulate and be stored throughout their life of about 30 years.In this paper, we have compiled available data on the Guiana dolphin as regards its exposure to chemical pollutants, pathogenic microbes, infectious diseases, and injuries caused by interactions with passive fishing gears. Our analysis of the data shows that Guiana dolphins are particularly sensitive to environmental changes.Although the major mortal threat to dolphins results from contact with fishing other human-related activities in coastal zones also pose risks and need more attention.Such human-related risks include the presence of persistent toxicants in the marine environment, such as PCBs and PBDEs. Residues of these chemicals have been detected in Guiana dolphin's tissues at similar or higher levels that exist in cetaceans from other known polluted areas. Another risk encountered by this species is the non lethal injuries caused by fishing gear. Several incidents of this sort have occurred along the Brazilian coast with this species. When injuries are produced by interaction with fishing gear, the dorsal fin is the part of the dolphin anatomy that is more affected, commonly causing severe laceration or even total loss.The Guiana dolphins also face risks from infectious diseases. The major ones thus far identified include giardiasis, lobomycosis, toxoplasmosis, skin and skeletal lesions. Many bacterial pathogens from the family Aeromonadaceae and Vibrionaceae have been isolated from Guiana dolphins. Several

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Twiner

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-15

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

  7. Likely Age-Related Hearing Loss (Presbycusis) in a Stranded Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Songhai; Wang, Ding; Wang, Kexiong; Hoffmann-Kuhnt, Matthias; Fernando, Nimal; Taylor, Elizabeth A; Lin, Wenzhi; Chen, Jialin; Ng, Timothy

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of a stranded Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Zhuhai, China, was measured. The age of this animal was estimated to be ~40 years. The animal's hearing was measured using a noninvasive auditory evoked potential (AEP) method. The results showed that the high-frequency hearing cutoff frequency of the studied dolphin was ~30-40 kHz lower than that of a conspecific younger individual ~13 year old. The lower high-frequency hearing range in the older dolphin was explained as a likely result of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis).

  8. Comparison of Temporal Parameters of Swimming Rescue Elements When Performed Using Dolphin and Flutter Kick with Fins - Didactical Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejman, Marek; Wiesner, Wojciech; Silakiewicz, Piotr; Klarowicz, Andrzej; Abraldes, J. Arturo

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was an analysis of the time required to swim to a victim and tow them back to shore, while perfoming the flutter-kick and the dolphin-kick using fins. It has been hypothesized that using fins while using the dolphin-kick when swimming leads to reduced rescue time. Sixteen lifeguards took part in the study. The main tasks performed by them, were to approach and tow (double armpit) a dummy a distance of 50m while applying either the flutter-kick, or the dolphin-kick with fins. The analysis of the temporal parameters of both techniques of kicking demonstrates that, during the approach to the victim, neither the dolphin (tmean = 32.9s) or the flutter kick (tmean = 33.0s) were significantly faster than the other. However, when used for towing a victim the flutter kick (tmean = 47.1s) was significantly faster when compared to the dolphin-kick (tmean = 52.8s). An assessment of the level of technical skills in competitive swimming, and in approaching and towing the victim, were also conducted. Towing time was significantly correlated with the parameter that linked the temporal and technical dimensions of towing and swimming (difference between flutter kick towing time and dolphin-kick towing time, 100m medley time and the four swimming strokes evaluation). No similar interdependency has been discovered in flutter kick towing time. These findings suggest that the dolphin-kick is a more difficult skill to perform when towing the victim than the flutter-kick. Since the hypothesis stated was not confirmed, postulates were formulated on how to improve dolphin-kick technique with fins, in order to reduce swimming rescue time. Key points The source of reduction of swimming rescue time was researched. Time required to approach and to tow the victim while doing the flutter kick and the dolphin-kick with fins was analyzed. The propulsion generated by dolphin-kick did not make the approach and tow faster than the flutter kick. More difficult skill to realize of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Venn-Watson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bermudez, Luis; Van Bressem, Marie-Fran?oise; Reyes-Jaimes, Oscar; Sayegh, Alejandro J.; Paniz-Mondolfi,Alberto E.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1991-06-12

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  15. The traveling-wave amplifier model of the cochlea adapted to dolphins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars Nonboe; Au, W.W.L.

    1999-01-01

    The traveling-wave amplifier (TWA) model of the cochlea [A. Hubbard, Science 259, 68–71 (1993)] has been shown to produce outputs that compare quite well with experimental data. A TWA model with parameters adjusted to fit the physiological properties of the dolphin cochlea was used as part...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  17. Conflicts between river dolphins (Cetacea: Odontoceti and fisheries in the Central Amazon: a path toward tragedy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Cláudio Pinto de Sá Alves

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Dolphin interactions with fishermen have increased significantly and pose potential risks to the boto, Inia geoffrensis (Blainville, 1817, and the tucuxi, Sotalia fluviatilis (Gervais & Deville, 1853. The main objective of the present paper was to describe the existing conflicts between river dolphins and fishermen in the municipality of Manacapuru region. Sixteen fishermen were interviewed in Manacapuru, state of Amazonas, Brazil who described a situation of ongoing conflict that may be unsustainable. Two merchants from Manacapuru made unconfirmed reports on a boto carcass trade. Data collection for this study occurred between April 20th and April 25th, 2009, but the first author had been conducting research on river dolphins and fisheries in Manacapuru and nearby cities since the beginning of 2008, in order to gain the trust of the fishermen interviewed. The hunting and deliberate killing of the species is probably more threatening to botos than their incidental capture in fishing gears in the Manacapuru region. This practice may result from the fact that dolphins are prone to damaging fishing equipment, and stealing (and possibly damaging fish from the nets. They are portrayed negatively in numerous myths and superstitions of traditional Amazonian folklore, making them extremely undesired or even hated, seen as pests, and used in the piracatinga, Calophysus macropterus (Lichtenstein, 1819 fishery as bait. For tucuxis, incidental capture still represents the major threat to their conservation in the region evaluated here.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leatherwood, Stephen; And Others

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

  19. Rehabilitation of Platanista gangetica (Lebeck, 1801) as the valid scientific name of the Ganges dolphin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kinze, C.C.

    2000-01-01

    The Dutch scientist Heinrich Julius Lebeck’s description of the Ganges dolphin is, based on a deduced latest date of publication 24 August 1801, given priority over William Roxburgh’s account of the same species, for which no precise date could be established. Although very similar to the work of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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