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Sample records for adult bottlenose dolphin

  1. Quantitative examination of the bottlenose dolphin cerebellum.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23775830

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26960390

  3. Iron Indices in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. Iron indices in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    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

    2012-12-01

    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

  5. 77 FR 22759 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Southeast Region Bottlenose Dolphin...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    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...

  6. Unihemispheric sleep deprivation in bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Oleksenko; Mukhametov; Polyakova; Supin; Kovalzon

    1992-03-01

    Unihemispheric and bihemispheric sleep deprivation were performed in bottlenose dolphins. One brain hemisphere was capable of being deprived of delta (0.5-3.0 Hz) sleep in the former condition. Here, an increase in sleep pressure was observed during sleep deprivation in the deprived hemisphere. In the recovery sleep, following unihemispheric sleep deprivation, there was a rebound of delta sleep only in the deprived hemisphere. Following bihemispheric sleep deprivation the animals exhibited an increase in delta sleep in both hemispheres. PMID:10607024

  7. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as described in 33 CFR... 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...

  8. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as described in 33 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan... § 229.35 Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan. (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section...

  9. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as described in 33 CFR part 80... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan... § 229.35 Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan. (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section...

  10. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as described in 33 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan... § 229.35 Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan. (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section...

  11. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as described in 33 CFR part 80... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 11 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan... § 229.35 Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan. (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section...

  12. Fatal Systemic Morbillivirus Infection in Bottlenose Dolphin, Canary Islands, Spain

    PubMed Central

    Zucca, Daniele; Arbelo, Manuel; García-Álvarez, Natalia; Andrada, Marisa; Déniz, Soraya; Fernández, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    A systemic morbillivirus infection was diagnosed postmortem in a juvenile bottlenose dolphin stranded in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean in 2005. Sequence analysis of a conserved fragment of the morbillivirus phosphoprotein gene indicated that the virus is closely related to dolphin morbillivirus recently reported in striped dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea. PMID:24447792

  13. Fatal systemic morbillivirus infection in bottlenose dolphin, canary islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Sierra, Eva; Zucca, Daniele; Arbelo, Manuel; García-Álvarez, Natalia; Andrada, Marisa; Déniz, Soraya; Fernández, Antonio

    2014-02-01

    A systemic morbillivirus infection was diagnosed postmortem in a juvenile bottlenose dolphin stranded in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean in 2005. Sequence analysis of a conserved fragment of the morbillivirus phosphoprotein gene indicated that the virus is closely related to dolphin morbillivirus recently reported in striped dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea. PMID:24447792

  14. Seasonal changes of blood composition in captive bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Terasawa, Fumio; Kitamura, Masakazu; Fujimoto, Asami; Hayama, Shin-ichi

    2002-11-01

    To determine how blood values in bottlenose dolphins changed during the year, 504 blood samples were taken from 9 dolphins from 1991 to 1999 and clinical blood examinations were undertaken monthly including 3 hematological and 19 serum chemistry tests. In creatinine, significant seasonal changes were found among three groups of adult males, adult females and juveniles, and the average values in summer were 15-38% higher than those in winter. In two out of three groups the average total cholesterol value were highest in winter, and the lowest of all groups were in summer. In two other groups the peaks of average FFA value were recorded in summer, and the lows were in winter. PMID:12499700

  15. In vitro PFOS exposure on immune endpoints in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and mice.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23722986

  16. Sounds emitted by the bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    LILLY, J C; MILLER, A M

    1961-05-26

    The sonic emissions of the bottlenose dolphin are remarkably complex. Three classes of these sounds are discussed and presented graphically. The sine-type wave whistles range in frequency from about 4000 to 18,000 cycles per second. The clicks contain components of this same frequency range plus some components of higher frequencies. Complex waves of high amplitude and of many frequencies are also emitted in water or in air. Situations in which sounds of one or more of these classes can be elicited simultaneously from one and from two restrained animals are described. The necessity for, and occurrence of, creakings for purpose of navigation, ranging, and recognition (sonar) have been eliminated in the experiments under discussion. PMID:13762154

  17. Audiogram variability in normal bottlenose dolphins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarakanov, Mikhail B.; Pletenko, Mikhail G.; Popov, Vladimir V.; Supin, Alexander Ya.

    2005-04-01

    Audiograms have been obtained in about a dozen of odontocete species, but mostly in one or two individuals each. However, some inter-individual difference in hearing sensitivity is inevitable. Therefore, a representative number of animals should be investigated to get a normal audiogram standard. In the present study, an attempt has been made to estimate the audiogram scatter among normal bottlenose dolphins. Measurements were made in dolphins captured in wild and kept in captivity 3 to 5 months, using auditory evoked potential technique (envelope following response) to measure hearing thresholds in far acoustic field. Seven subjects, 5 males and 2 females, provisionally from 3 to 15 years old, were investigated during the summer season of 2004. Hearing thresholds were measured at frequencies from 8 to 152 kHz with quarter-octave steps. All the subjects had qualitatively similar audiograms. The best sensitivity was from 38.9 dB re 1 uPa (at 32 kHz) to 51.9 dB (at 16 kHz), with a minimum of the averaged audiogram of 47.1 dB at 45 kHz. High-frequency cut-off was 152 kHz at a level of 40 dB above the lowest threshold. Standard deviation of threshold was from 4.1 to 10.3 dB. [Work supported by RFBR and Russian President Grants.

  18. Left hemispheric advantage for numerical abilities in the bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Kilian, Annette; von Fersen, Lorenzo; Güntürkün, Onur

    2005-02-28

    In a two-choice discrimination paradigm, a bottlenose dolphin discriminated relational dimensions between visual numerosity stimuli under monocular viewing conditions. After prior binocular acquisition of the task, two monocular test series with different number stimuli were conducted. In accordance with recent studies on visual lateralization in the bottlenose dolphin, our results revealed an overall advantage of the right visual field. Due to the complete decussation of the optic nerve fibers, this suggests a specialization of the left hemisphere for analysing relational features between stimuli as required in tests for numerical abilities. These processes are typically right hemisphere-based in other mammals (including humans) and birds. The present data provide further evidence for a general right visual field advantage in bottlenose dolphins for visual information processing. It is thus assumed that dolphins possess a unique functional architecture of their cerebral asymmetries. PMID:15686828

  19. Lateralization of visuospatial processing in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Kilian, A; von Fersen, L; Güntürkün, O

    2000-12-01

    Two adult female bottlenose dolphins were tested for cerebral asymmetries in the visuospatial domain. The animals learned under binocular conditions a three-choice spatial discrimination task with three hoops positioned along a line in the middle of the tank. During a correct trial the dolphins had to swim from a starting position at the tanks wall through one of the hoops, come back to the starting position, choose another hoop, swim back to start and finally swim through the third hoop. For such a trial to be correct, the animals had to swim through all three hoops in any sequence without omitting or re-using one of them. After reaching criterion binocularly, monocular trials (one eye covered with an adherent suction cup) were introduced where the dolphins carried out the same task alternatingly under left or right eye seeing conditions. For both animals, the right eye performance was clearly superior to that of the left eye. Binocular and right eye performances were similar. As a result of the complete decussation at the optic nerve, this right eye superiority suggests a left-hemispheric dominance for the processing of visuospatial information. This is a remarkable deviation from the usual right hemisphere advantage for these kind of tasks found in different species of mammals and birds. PMID:11080552

  20. Cultural transmission of tool use in bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Krützen, Michael; Mann, Janet; Heithaus, Michael R; Connor, Richard C; Bejder, Lars; Sherwin, William B

    2005-06-21

    In Shark Bay, wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) apparently use marine sponges as foraging tools. We demonstrate that genetic and ecological explanations for this behavior are inadequate; thus, "sponging" classifies as the first case of an existing material culture in a marine mammal species. Using mitochondrial DNA analyses, we show that sponging shows an almost exclusive vertical social transmission within a single matriline from mother to female offspring. Moreover, significant genetic relatedness among all adult spongers at the nuclear level indicates very recent coancestry, suggesting that all spongers are descendents of one recent "Sponging Eve." Unlike in apes, tool use in this population is almost exclusively limited to a single matriline that is part of a large albeit open social network of frequently interacting individuals, adding a new dimension to charting cultural phenomena among animals. PMID:15947077

  1. Herpesvirus in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): cultivation, epidemiology, and associated pathology.

    PubMed

    van Elk, Cornelis E; van de Bildt, Marco W G; de Jong, Antonius A W; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Kuiken, Thijs

    2009-10-01

    We studied the pathology, epidemiology, and clinical significance of genital herpesvirus infection in a zoo collection of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Samples from the genital mucosa of male (n=21) and female (n=15) dolphins were tested by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the DNA polymerase of herpesvirus. Herpesvirus infection was significantly associated with the occurrence of mucosal plaques on penis (n=3) or vulva (n=4). Biopsies from a penile plaque showed epithelial hyperplasia by histology, contained herpesvirus-like particles by electron microscopy, and tested positive for herpesvirus by PCR. Herpesvirus was successfully cultivated from penile plaque samples and identified as a member of the Gammaherpesvirinae by DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. We used the newly cultivated bottlenose dolphin herpesvirus (TTHV) to develop a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for anti-TTHV antibodies in banked sera of these dolphins. The percentage of positive samples was higher in adults (20/21, 95%) than in juveniles (7/15, 47%). Seroconversion occurred around the age of onset of sexual behavior. Although herpesvirus infection has been associated with abortion, perinatal mortality, and urogenital neoplasia in other species, we found no evidence of herpesvirus infection by PCR in tissues from six cases of abortion and perinatal mortality, and no diagnoses of urogenital tumors in 24 bottlenose dolphins from this zoo collection that died since 1990. Together, we here report the first successful cultivation from bottlenose dolphins of a herpesvirus that probably causes benign genital plaques, is endemic in this group of dolphins, and is likely transmitted by sexual contact. PMID:19901366

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN DOLPHINS FROM THE U.S. ATLANTIC COAST INCLUDING ATLANTIC BOTTLENOSE OBTAINED DURING THE 1987/88 MASS MORTALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) collected during the 1987/88 mass mortality event along the Atlantic coast ot the United States have been analyzed for anthropogenic chemical contaminants. Average contaminant concentrations in adult males were higher than the average conc...

  4. Visual lateralization of pattern discrimination in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    von Fersen, L; Schall, U; Güntürkün, O

    2000-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether bottlenose dolphins have cerebral asymmetries of visual processing. The monocular performance of the adult dolphin Goliath was tested using a large number of simultaneous multiple pattern discrimination tasks. The experiments revealed a clear right eye advantage in the acquisition and the retention of pattern discriminations as well as asymmetries in the interhemispheric transfer of visual information. As a result of a complete decussation at the optic nerve, this right eye superiority is probably related to a left hemisphere dominance in visual processing. PMID:10628742

  5. Echocardiographic evaluation of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Sklansky, Mark; Levine, Gregg; Havlis, Dielle; West, Nicole; Renner, Michael; Rimmerman, Curtis; Stone, Rae

    2006-12-01

    Safe and effective echocardiography would represent a valuable tool for marine mammal veterinarians and physiologists evaluating the dolphin heart. Unfortunately, conventional ultrasound technology (transthoracic echocardiography) has been limited by logistic, anatomic, and behavioral challenges. Five mature male Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were trained for echocardiographic imaging (four for both transthoracic and transesophageal imaging, and one for only transthoracic imaging). It was noted that transesophageal image quality transiently improved when the dolphins spontaneously exhaled. Subsequently, dolphins were conditioned to hold their breath following forced exhalation, and imaging proceeded during such behavioral breath holds. Over 25 transthoracic and 100 transesophageal echocardiographic studies were performed, including both two-dimensional imaging and color flow mapping. Transthoracic imaging yielded poor-quality images of only small portions of the heart. In contrast, transesophageal imaging, which improved dramatically with behavioral breath holding following exhalation, yielded consistently high-quality images of the entire heart (mitral, tricuspid, aortic, and pulmonary valves, atrial and ventricular septa, left and right atria, left and right ventricles, and ascending aorta and main pulmonary artery). Color flow mapping demonstrated mild tricuspid regurgitation in all dolphins, and mild aortic regurgitation in one dolphin found to have a pedunculated mass arising from the sinutubular junction just above the aortic valve. There were no complications in nonsedated dolphins. The heart of the bottlenose dolphin can be safely, effectively, and reproducibly evaluated with the use of transesophageal echocardiography in conjunction with behavioral breath holding following forced exhalation. This approach, and the normative echocardiographic data generated from this work, lays the foundation for future echocardiographic studies of

  6. Pathogen surveillance in wild bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26480911

  7. Postnatal development of echolocation abilities in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): temporal organization.

    PubMed

    Favaro, Livio; Gnone, Guido; Pessani, Daniela

    2013-03-01

    In spite of all the information available on adult bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) biosonar, the ontogeny of its echolocation abilities has been investigated very little. Earlier studies have reported that neonatal dolphins can produce both whistles and burst-pulsed sounds just after birth and that early-pulsed sounds are probably a precursor of echolocation click trains. The aim of this research is to investigate the development of echolocation signals in a captive calf, born in the facilities of the Acquario di Genova. A set of 81 impulsive sounds were collected from birth to the seventh postnatal week and six additional echolocation click trains were recorded when the dolphin was 1 year old. Moreover, behavioral observations, concurring with sound production, were carried out by means of a video camera. For each sound we measured five acoustic parameters: click train duration (CTD), number of clicks per train, minimum, maximum, and mean click repetition rate (CRR). CTD and number of clicks per train were found to increase with age. Maximum and mean CRR followed a decreasing trend with dolphin growth starting from the second postnatal week. The calf's first head scanning movement was recorded 21 days after birth. Our data suggest that in the bottlenose dolphin the early postnatal weeks are essential for the development of echolocation abilities and that the temporal features of the echolocation click trains remain relatively stable from the seventh postnatal week up to the first year of life. PMID:23362088

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    We examine individual specialization in foraging habits (foraging habitat and trophic level) of female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA, by analyzing time series of stable isotope (δ(15)N and δ(13)C) values in sequential growth layer groups within teeth. The isotope data provide a chronology of foraging habits over the lifetime of the individual and allowed us to show that female bottlenose dolphins exhibit a high degree of individual specialization in both foraging habitat and trophic level. The foraging habits used by adult females are similar to those they used as calves and may be passed down from mother to calf through social learning. We also characterized the foraging habits and home range of each individual by constructing standard ellipses from isotope values and dolphin sightings data (latitude and longitude), respectively. These data show that Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphins forage within a subset of the habitats in which they are observed. Moreover, females with similar observational standard ellipses often possessed different foraging specializations. Female bottlenose dolphins may demonstrate individual specialization in foraging habits because it reduces some of the cost of living in groups, such as competition for prey. PMID:25656585

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    We examine individual specialization in foraging habits (foraging habitat and trophic level) of female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA, by analyzing time series of stable isotope (δ15N and δ13C) values in sequential growth layer groups within teeth. The isotope data provide a chronology of foraging habits over the lifetime of the individual and allowed us to show that female bottlenose dolphins exhibit a high degree of individual specialization in both foraging habitat and trophic level. The foraging habits used by adult females are similar to those they used as calves and may be passed down from mother to calf through social learning. We also characterized the foraging habits and home range of each individual by constructing standard ellipses from isotope values and dolphin sightings data (latitude and longitude), respectively. These data show that Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphins forage within a subset of the habitats in which they are observed. Moreover, females with similar observational standard ellipses often possessed different foraging specializations. Female bottlenose dolphins may demonstrate individual specialization in foraging habits because it reduces some of the cost of living in groups, such as competition for prey.

  10. Fetal echocardiographic evaluation of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Sklansky, Mark; Renner, Michael; Clough, Patricia; Levine, Gregg; Campbell, Michelle; Stone, Rae; Schmitt, Todd; Chang, Ruey-Kang; Shannon-Rodriguez, Jayne

    2010-03-01

    In humans, fetal echocardiography represents the most important tool for the assessment of the cardiovascular well-being of the fetus. However, because of logistic, anatomic, and behavioral challenges, detailed fetal echocardiographic evaluation of marine mammals has not been previously described. Because the application of fetal echocardiography to cetaceans could have both clinical and academic importance, an approach to evaluating the fetal dolphin's cardiovascular status was developed with conventional, fetal echocardiographic techniques developed in humans. Eight singleton fetal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were evaluated, each between 6 and 11 mo gestation; six fetuses underwent two fetal echocardiographic evaluations each, four at 3-mo intervals, and two at 0.5-mo intervals. Evaluations were performed without sedation, using conventional, portable ultrasound systems. Multiple transducers, probes, and maternal dolphin positions were used to optimize image quality. Fetal echocardiography included two-dimensional imaging and color flow mapping of the heart and great arteries, as well as pulsed Doppler evaluation of the umbilical artery and vein. Thorough evaluations of the fetal dolphins' cardiovascular status were performed, with the greatest resolution between 8 and 9 mo gestation. With the use of published human fetal echocardiographic findings for comparison, fetal echocardiography demonstrated normal structure and function of the heart and great arteries, including the pulmonary veins, inferior vena cava, right and left atria, foramen ovale, tricuspid and mitral valves, right and left ventricles, ventricular septum, pulmonary and aortic valves, main pulmonary artery and ascending aorta, and ductus arteriosus. Pulsed Doppler techniques demonstrated normal umbilical arterial and venous waveforms, and color flow mapping demonstrated absence of significant valvar regurgitation. Fetal echocardiography, particularly between 8 and 9 mo gestation, can

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25153530

  12. Cognitive Adaptation of Sonar Gain Control in the Bottlenose Dolphin

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25153530

  13. Metabolite Content Profiling of Bottlenose Dolphin Exhaled Breath

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Changing ocean health and the potential impact on marine mammal health are gaining global attention. Direct health assessments of wild marine mammals, however, is inherently difficult. Breath analysis metabolomics is a very attractive assessment tool due to its noninvasive nature, but it is analytically challenging. It has never been attempted in cetaceans for comprehensive metabolite profiling. We have developed a method to reproducibly sample breath from small cetaceans, specifically Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We describe the analysis workflow to profile exhaled breath metabolites and provide here a first library of volatile and nonvolatile compounds in cetacean exhaled breath. The described analytical methodology enabled us to document baseline compounds in exhaled breath of healthy animals and to study changes in metabolic content of dolphin breath with regard to a variety of factors. The method of breath analysis may provide a very valuable tool in future wildlife conservation efforts as well as deepen our understanding of marine mammals biology and physiology. PMID:25254551

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    Maintenance work on the harbor of Setúbal, in Portugal, required the removal of a 14-m deep rocky outcrop at the ship maneuver area, using about 35 kg of Gelamonite, a nitroglycerin-based high-explosive. This important harbor is located in the Sado estuary, a biologically rich environment and an important feeding area for a resident community of bottlenose dolphins. Using different safe range calculation models, a mitigation and monitoring plan was developed that minimized the risks of these underwater explosions for the dolphins. At our monitoring station, at 2 km from the demolition site, acoustic pressure levels in excess of 170 dB re 1 μPa (root-mean-square) were measured. Samples of dead fish collected at the site were indicative of shock trauma from the blasts. PMID:21218912

  15. Metabolite content profiling of bottlenose dolphin exhaled breath.

    PubMed

    Aksenov, Alexander A; Yeates, Laura; Pasamontes, Alberto; Siebe, Craig; Zrodnikov, Yuriy; Simmons, Jason; McCartney, Mitchell M; Deplanque, Jean-Pierre; Wells, Randall S; Davis, Cristina E

    2014-11-01

    Changing ocean health and the potential impact on marine mammal health are gaining global attention. Direct health assessments of wild marine mammals, however, is inherently difficult. Breath analysis metabolomics is a very attractive assessment tool due to its noninvasive nature, but it is analytically challenging. It has never been attempted in cetaceans for comprehensive metabolite profiling. We have developed a method to reproducibly sample breath from small cetaceans, specifically Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We describe the analysis workflow to profile exhaled breath metabolites and provide here a first library of volatile and nonvolatile compounds in cetacean exhaled breath. The described analytical methodology enabled us to document baseline compounds in exhaled breath of healthy animals and to study changes in metabolic content of dolphin breath with regard to a variety of factors. The method of breath analysis may provide a very valuable tool in future wildlife conservation efforts as well as deepen our understanding of marine mammals biology and physiology. PMID:25254551

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Pulmonary ultrasound findings in a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus population.

    PubMed

    Smith, Cynthia R; Solano, Mauricio; Lutmerding, Betsy A; Johnson, Shawn P; Meegan, Jennifer M; Le-Bert, Carolina R; Emory-Gomez, Forrest; Cassle, Stephen; Carlin, Kevin; Jensen, Eric D

    2012-11-19

    Lung disease is common among wild and managed populations of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. The purpose of the study was to apply standardized techniques to the ultrasound evaluation of dolphin lungs, and to identify normal and abnormal sonographic findings associated with pleuropulmonary diseases. During a 5 yr period (2005 to 2010), 498 non-cardiac thoracic ultrasound exams were performed on bottlenose dolphins at the Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, California, USA. Exams were conducted as part of routine physical exams, diagnostic workups, and disease monitoring. In the majority of routine exams, no abnormal pleural or pulmonary findings were detected with ultrasound. Abnormal findings were typically detected during non-routine exams to identify and track disease progression or resolution; therefore, abnormal results are overrepresented in the study. In order of decreasing prevalence, abnormal sonographic findings included evidence of alveolar-interstitial syndrome, pleural effusion, pulmonary masses, and pulmonary consolidation. Of these findings, alveolar-interstitial syndrome was generally nonspecific as it represented several possible disease states. Pairing ultrasound findings with clinical signs was critical to determine relevance. Pleural effusion, pulmonary masses, and pulmonary consolidation were relatively straightforward to diagnose and interpret. Further diagnostics were performed to obtain definitive diagnoses when appropriate, specifically ultrasound-guided thoracocentesis, fine needle aspirates, and lung biopsies, as well as radiographs and computed tomography (CT) exams. Occasionally, post mortem gross necropsy and histopathology data were available to provide confirmation of diagnoses. Thoracic ultrasound was determined to be a valuable diagnostic tool for detecting pleural and pulmonary diseases in dolphins. PMID:23324421

  18. Influence of season on the hematological and serum biochemical values of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) housed in a controlled environment in northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Macchi, Elisabetta; Pezzoli, Lorenzo; Ponzio, Patrizia

    2011-09-01

    Season appears to influence the physiology of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). From 2000 to 2005, blood parameters of three captive bottlenose dolphins housed in northern Italy were examined to determine if seasonal variation was present. Seasonal variation was observed in the male dolphins, with both males exhibiting aminotransferase levels that were higher in autumn and lower in winter. Mean serum creatinine levels were higher during summer and lower during autumn in the adult male, and mean lactate dehydrogenase higher during summer and lower during spring in the juvenile male. Both males exhibited red blood cell counts and hemoglobin levels that were higher during autumn and lower during summer. This study contributes to the knowledge of baseline hematologic and biochemical values based on seasonality in bottlenose dolphins. PMID:22950322

  19. Epidermal growth in the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  20. Conditioned hearing sensitivity reduction in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Nachtigall, Paul E; Supin, Alexander Ya

    2014-08-01

    The conditioned change in hearing sensitivity during a warning sound preceding a loud sound was investigated in the bottlenose dolphin. Hearing sensitivity was measured using pip-train test stimuli and auditory evoked potential recording. When the test/warning stimulus with a frequency of 22.5 or 32 kHz preceded the loud sound with a frequency of 22.5 kHz and a sound pressure level of 165 dB re. 1 μPa rms, hearing thresholds before the loud sound increased relative to the baseline. The threshold increased up to 15 dB. In order to further investigate whether the observed threshold increase was due to conditioning, the dependence of the effect on warning duration and inter-trial interval was investigated. The duration of the warning substantially influenced the effect. Shorter warnings resulted in deeper suppression of responses and higher threshold increases than longer warnings. In contrast, the effect was nearly independent of the duration of the inter-trial interval, i.e. it was independent of the delay from the loud sound to the test/warning sound in the subsequent trial. These data are considered as evidence that the observed hearing threshold increases were not a result of the unconditioned effect of the loud sound and were instead a manifestation of a conditioned dampening of hearing when the bottlenose dolphin anticipated the quick appearance of a loud sound in the same way as previously demonstrated in the false killer whale. PMID:24855674

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. Bottlenose dolphin iris asymmetries enhance aerial and underwater vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. Discrimination of complex synthetic echoes by an echolocating bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Helweg, David A; Moore, Patrick W; Dankiewicz, Lois A; Zafran, Justine M; Brill, Randall L

    2003-02-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) detect and discriminate underwater objects by interrogating the environment with their native echolocation capabilities. Study of dolphins' ability to detect complex (multihighlight) signals in noise suggest echolocation object detection using an approximate 265-micros energy integration time window sensitive to the echo region of highest energy or containing the highlight with highest energy. Backscatter from many real objects contains multiple highlights, distributed over multiple integration windows and with varying amplitude relationships. This study used synthetic echoes with complex highlight structures to test whether high-amplitude initial highlights would interfere with discrimination of low-amplitude trailing highlights. A dolphin was trained to discriminate two-highlight synthetic echoes using differences in the center frequencies of the second highlights. The energy ratio (delta dB) and the timing relationship (delta T) between the first and second highlights were manipulated. An iso-sensitivity function was derived using a factorial design testing delta dB at -10, -15, -20, and -25 dB and delta T at 10, 20, 40, and 80 micros. The results suggest that the animal processed multiple echo highlights as separable analyzable features in the discrimination task, perhaps perceived through differences in spectral rippling across the duration of the echoes. PMID:12597207

  10. Production of monoclonal antibody specific for bottlenose dolphin neutrophils and its application to cell separation.

    PubMed

    Kato, Masako; Itou, Takuya; Nagatsuka, Nobuyuki; Sakai, Takeo

    2009-01-01

    The authors produced a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against dolphin neutrophils by fusing mouse myeloma cells with lymph node cells from a Wistar rat immunized with bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). This mAb (DN1) was reactive against 77.1 +/- 8.6% of dolphin peripheral blood PMN by flow cytometric analysis; furthermore, there was no cross-reactivity with human or bovine leukocytes. The DN1-positive cells isolated with a sorting cytometer were almost all (99.7%) neutrophils. By using DN1 in conjunction with magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS), the authors isolated neutrophils and eosinophils from density gradient-fractionated PMN with 100% and 95.6 +/- 4.8% purities, respectively. These results suggest that this mAb specific for bottlenose dolphin neutrophils is useful as a potential reagent to study bottlenose dolphin neutrophils and eosinophils. PMID:18773918

  11. Isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Fair, P A; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G; Kwok, O C H; McFee, W E; Majumdar, D; Su, C

    2008-08-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. In previous serological surveys, >90% of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, and California had antibodies to T. gondii by the modified agglutination test (MAT). In the present study, attempts were made to isolate T. gondii from dead T. truncatus. During 2005, 2006, and 2007, serum or blood clot, and tissues (brain, heart, skeletal muscle) of 52 T. truncatus stranded on the coasts of South Carolina were tested for T. gondii. Antibodies to T. gondii (MAT 1:25 or higher) were found in 26 (53%) of 49 dolphins; serum was not available from 3 animals. Tissues (heart, muscle, and sometimes brain) of 32 dolphins (26 seropositive, 3 seronegative, and 3 without accompanying sera) were bioassayed for T. gondii in mice, or cats, or both. Tissues of the recipient mice were examined for T. gondii stages. Feces of recipient cats were examined for shedding of T. gondii oocysts, but none excreted oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from hearts of the 3 dolphins (2 with MAT titers of 1:200, and 1 without accompanied serum) by bioassay in mice. Genotyping of these 3 T. gondii isolates (designated TgDoUs1-3) with the use of 10 PCR-RFLP markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) revealed 2 genotypes. Two of the 3 isolates have Type II alleles at all loci and belong to the clonal Type II lineage. One isolate has a unique genotype. This is the first report of isolation of viable T. gondii from T. truncatus. PMID:18576793

  12. Inbreeding tolerance and fitness costs in wild bottlenose dolphins

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Céline H.; Krützen, Michael; Kopps, Anna M.; Ward, Patrick; Mann, Janet; Sherwin, William B.

    2010-01-01

    In wild populations, inbreeding tolerance is expected to evolve where the cost of avoidance exceeds that of tolerance. We show that in a wild population of bottlenose dolphins found in East Shark Bay, Western Australia, levels of inbreeding are higher than expected by chance alone, and demonstrate that inbreeding is deleterious to female fitness in two independent ways. We found that inbred females, and females with inbred calves, have reduced fitness (lower calving success). We further show that one of the costs of inbreeding is extended weaning age, and that females' earlier calves are more likely to be inbred. While the exact causes of inbreeding remain obscure, our results indicate that one factor is female age, and thus experience. Any inbreeding avoidance mechanisms such as female evasion of kin, or male dispersal, do not seem to be completely effective in this population, which supports the view that inbreeding avoidance does not always evolve wherever inbreeding incurs a cost. PMID:20392729

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Comparison of directional selectivity of hearing in a beluga whale and a bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Popov, Vladimir V; Supin, Alexander Ya

    2009-09-01

    Hearing thresholds as a function of sound-source azimuth were measured in a beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas and a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus in identical conditions using the auditory evoked-potential method. In both the beluga whale and bottlenose dolphin, the receiving beam width narrowed with frequency increase. At all frequencies, the receiving beam was markedly wider in the beluga whale than in the bottlenose dolphin. In particular, the 3-dB beam width in the beluga whale narrowed from +/-33.5 degrees at 8 kHz frequency to +/-14.3 degrees at 128 kHz; the 6-dB beam width narrowed from +/-56.9 degrees to +/-18.9 degrees , respectively. In the bottlenose dolphin, the 3-dB beam width decreased from +/-19.9 degrees at 8 kHz to +/-6.3 degrees at 128 kHz; the 6-dB beam width decreased from +/-33.1 degrees to +/-8.4 degrees, respectively. In the bottlenose dolphin, the axis of the low-frequency receiving beam deviated from the midline up to 15 degrees; in the beluga whale, this effect was not detected. The audiograms of both the beluga whale and bottlenose dolphin were azimuth-dependent: from an audiogram featuring the best sensitivity at intermediate frequencies at 0 degrees to that featuring monotonous threshold increase with frequency increase at 90 degrees. In the beluga whale, this dependence was less prominent than in the bottlenose dolphin. PMID:19739771

  15. Secretory patterns of catecholamines in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Miwa; Nozawa, Aoi; Ueda, Keiichi; Bungo, Takashi; Terao, Hiromi; Asahina, Kiyoshi

    2012-05-15

    Catecholamines (CAs), namely adrenaline (A), noradrenaline (NA), and dopamine (DA), are secreted by the sympathoadrenal system and participate in a diverse array of functions, e.g., heat production, cardiovascular regulation, stress response and so on. However, little is known regarding peripheral CA fluctuations in cetaceans; nevertheless aquatic animals like them have needed to modify their physiological response especially for thermoregulation in water and oxygen economy during diving. To understand CA dynamism in cetaceans, diurnal changes in serum A, NA, and DA concentrations were measured during the winter and summer solstices in four Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). The average serum NA concentration was much higher than the average A and DA concentrations, and all concentrations were higher than those reported in other cetacean species. No distinct diurnal fluctuations were observed in CA concentrations in either solstice, suggesting inhibition of the decrease in CA concentrations during nocturnal periods by the unique sleep pattern of dolphins. All the serum CA concentrations were negatively correlated with water temperature as body temperatures were, indicating that the sympathoadrenal system might be more active during winter than in summer season, suggesting a role of CA in thermoregulation. PMID:22405705

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    We quantitatively analysed synchronous breathing for dyads in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins at Mikura Island, Tokyo, Japan. For most cases, we observed dyads swimming in the same direction (97%), in close proximity (i.e., less than 1.5m) and with their body axes parallel as they breathed synchronously. Moreover, the pairs engaged in identical behaviour before and after the synchronous breathing episodes. These results suggest that the dolphins synchronize their movements, and that synchronous breathing is a component of "pair-swimming", an affiliative social behaviour. Same sex pairs of the same age class frequently engaged in synchronous breathing for adults and subadults, as well as mother-calf and escort-calf pairs. The distance between individuals during synchronous breathing for mother-calf pairs was less than for other pairs. The distance observed between individuals for female pairs was less than for male pairs. The time differences between each exhale for each of the two dolphins involved in synchronous breathing episodes for female pairs were smaller than for male pairs, and time differences for adult pairs were smaller than subadult pairs. These results suggest that age and sex class influenced the characteristics of this behaviour. PMID:19850113

  17. Training bottlenose dolphins to overcome avoidance of environmental enrichment objects in order to stimulate play activities.

    PubMed

    Neto, Márcia P; Silveira, Miguel; Dos Santos, Manuel E

    2016-05-01

    Enrichment programs may contribute to the quality of life and stress reduction in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) kept in zoos and aquaria. The results of these programs are generally positive in terms of welfare, but the magnitude of their effects may vary greatly between individuals of the same species, especially when the enrichment plans are based on the introduction of manipulative objects. Some animals will interact spontaneously with novel objects, even without food rewards and in the absence of the trainers, while others show no interest or even aversion toward the objects. To determine if formal training can improve these conditions, we measured the effects of an operant conditioning program in the manipulation of objects by dolphins that initially avoided them. This program took place between April and October 2013 at Zoomarine Portugal. Subjects were two female and two male bottlenose dolphins (adults with ages from 17 to 35 years) that after a preliminary analysis showed avoidance or low interest in the manipulation of various toys. The level of interaction with introduced enrichment objects was observed before and after formal training to explore the toys (sixteen 20-min observation sessions per animal "before" and "after training"). In all subjects, an index of interest in object manipulation, in the absence of trainers, increased significantly after the application of the training techniques. The results show that an initial reinforcement program focused on the manipulation of toys may overcome resistance, improving the effects of environmental enrichment plans, and it is a potentially useful strategy to increase the welfare of some captive animals. Zoo Biol. 35:210-215, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26969822

  18. Importance of spontaneous micronucleated erythrocytes in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) to marine toxicology studies.

    PubMed

    Zamora-Perez, Ana; Camacho-Magaña, Claudia; Gómez-Meda, Belinda; Ramos-Ibarra, María; Batista-González, Cecilia; Zúñiga-González, G

    2006-12-01

    The objective of the work was to characterize the presence of spontaneous micronucleated erythrocytes (MNES) from peripheral blood of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to evaluate the possibility to use this species as potential bioindicator of genotoxic compounds. Forty-eight blood samples from 12 bottlenose dolphins were obtain from three Mexican dolphinariums, and from 10 dolphins was possible to obtain more than one sample at different sampling times. Smears were processed and observed with an epifluorescence microscope. The average of MNES and polychromatic erythrocytes (PCE) from the 48 samples was 24.3 +/- 6.1 MNES/10,000 total erythrocytes (TE), and 9.1 +/- 5.5 PCE/1,000 TE. MNES and PCE number did not show differences between gender and age. No variations in the MNES values of the bottlenose dolphins that were sampled more than one occasion were found. Comparisons among dolphinariums revealed differences in MNES frequency, with the highest significant frequency observed in dolphins from dolphinarium "A" (26.0 +/- 5.9 MNES/10,000 TE) than dolphinarium "B" (19.5 +/- 3.1 MNES/10,000 TE) (p < 0.05) and dolphinarium "C" (18.6 +/- 3.5 MNES/10,000 TE) (p < 0.007). The presence of MNES and PCE in the bottlenose dolphin may provide a useful marine mammal model to detect DNA damage by means of micronuclei test in peripheral blood erythrocytes to evaluate genotoxicity and cytotoxicity expositions. PMID:17278706

  19. Bottlenose dolphins audiogram dependence on azimuth: Evoked potential study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popov, Vladimir

    2005-04-01

    ABR thresholds to tonal pips were measured in two bottlenose dolphins at different azimuthal positions of the sound source. The tested frequency range was from 8 to 128 kHz. Azimuth varied within a limit of 90 degree relative to the animals' longitudinal axis. This experimental paradigm allowed us to obtain ABR audiograms at different locations of the sound source. The zero-azimuth audiogram, at the sound source position in front of the animal, was of a standard appearance (minimum thresholds at frequencies of 38 90 kHz, steep threshold increase at higher frequencies, and shallower increase at lower frequencies). The audiograms at lateralized sound-source positions looked in a different manner. With the azimuth increase, high-frequency thresholds rose much higher than low-frequency ones, so at azimuths of 6090, the threshold versus frequency function was almost monotonous: the lowest threshold was observed at the lowest frequency (8 kHz) and the highest threshold at the highest frequency (128 kHz). With monaural ABR recording, audiograms contralateral to the sound source featured higher thresholds and steeper threshold increase with frequency as compared to the ipsilateral ones. [Work supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

  20. Stable isotopes of captive cetaceans (killer whales and bottlenose dolphins).

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21270301

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Alloparental behaviour and adoption have been reported in many mammals and birds. Such behaviours are energetically costly, and their causes and functions remain unclear. We observed the adoption behaviour of a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) near Mikura Island, Japan. A calf was seen with its mother on six observation days. Following the mother's death, the calf was observed with a sub-adult female on all 18 observation days from May to September 2012. On three days, the calf was observed swimming with this female in the suckling position and milk was seen leaking from the female's mammary slit. A five-year dataset revealed no significant social or kin relationships between the biological mother and allomother, indicating that kinship and social relationships did not play an important role in the observed adoption. PMID:27049937

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Alloparental behaviour and adoption have been reported in many mammals and birds. Such behaviours are energetically costly, and their causes and functions remain unclear. We observed the adoption behaviour of a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) near Mikura Island, Japan. A calf was seen with its mother on six observation days. Following the mother’s death, the calf was observed with a sub-adult female on all 18 observation days from May to September 2012. On three days, the calf was observed swimming with this female in the suckling position and milk was seen leaking from the female’s mammary slit. A five-year dataset revealed no significant social or kin relationships between the biological mother and allomother, indicating that kinship and social relationships did not play an important role in the observed adoption. PMID:27049937

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bazua-Duran, Carmen

    2005-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. Concurrent Exposure of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to Multiple Algal Toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. Ecological variables influencing trace element concentrations in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) stranded in continental Portugal.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Sílvia S; Torres, Jordi; Ferreira, Marisa; Marçalo, Ana; Nicolau, Lídia; Vingada, José V; Eira, Catarina

    2016-02-15

    Both the conservation status of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) (Habitats Directive 92/43/CEE, Annex II) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive demand for data on their ecology and anthropogenic threats. To evaluate the bottlenose dolphin's toxicological status in continental Portugal, several trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn) were determined in 25 stranded individuals. The potential effect of sex, body length and stranding location on trace element concentrations was analysed. In the present study, bottlenose dolphins presented high mercury levels, only exceeded by animals from the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. Only essential elements were influenced by dolphin sex, whereas Cd, Hg and Pb bioaccumulated in larger dolphins, and hepatic Hg and Cd concentrations were higher in the northwest coast of continental Portugal. The location effect may relate to variations in bottlenose diet and trace element availability, according to the proximity to anthropogenic sources in the Atlantic Iberian coast. PMID:26706756

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

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Todd L; Sur, Roger L

    2012-03-01

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

  8. Bottlenosed dolphin and human recognition of veridical and degraded video displays of an artificial gestural language.

    PubMed

    Herman, L M; Morrel-Samuels, P; Pack, A A

    1990-06-01

    2 bottlenosed dolphins proficient in interpreting gesture language signs viewed veridical and degraded gestures via TV without explicit training. In Exp. 1, dolphins immediately understood most gestures: Performance was high throughout degradations successively obscuring the head, torso, arms, and fingers, though deficits occurred for gestures degraded to a point-light display (PLD) of the signer's hands. In Exp. 2, humans of varying gestural fluency saw the PLD and veridical gestures from Exp. 1. Again, performance declined in the PLD condition. Though the dolphin recognized gestures as accurately as fluent humans, effects of the gesture's formational properties were not identical for humans and dolphin. Results suggest that the dolphin uses a network of semantic and gestural representations, that bottom-up processing predominates when the dolphin's short-term memory is taxed, and that recognition is affected by variables germane to grammatical category, short-term memory, and visual perception. PMID:2141354

  9. Changes in whistle structure of resident bottlenose dolphins in relation to underwater noise and boat traffic.

    PubMed

    Gospić, Nikolina Rako; Picciulin, Marta

    2016-04-15

    The habitat of the resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago overlaps with routes of intense boat traffic. Within these waters, Sea Ambient Noise (SAN) was sampled across ten acoustic stations between 2007 and 2009. Data on boat presence was concurrently collected and when dolphins were sighted group behaviour was also recorded. Acoustic recordings were analysed for 1/3 octave bands. Samples containing dolphin whistles were analysed and compared with boat presence and SAN levels. Results indicate that dolphins whistle at higher frequencies in conditions of elevated low frequency noise. Conversely, they reduce maximum, delta and start frequencies and frequency modulations when noise levels increase significantly across higher frequencies. The study shows that high levels of SAN causes significant changes in the acoustic structure of dolphin whistles. Additionally, changes in whistle parameters, in the presence of boats, appear to be related to the behavioural state of the dolphin group. PMID:26917094

  10. Signature-whistle production in undisturbed free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Mandy L. H.; Sayigh, Laela S.; Blum, James E.; Wells, Randall S.

    2004-01-01

    Data from behavioural observations and acoustic recordings of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were analysed to determine whether signature whistles are produced by wild undisturbed dolphins, and how whistle production varies with activity and group size. The study animals were part of a resident community of bottlenose dolphins near Sarasota, Florida, USA. This community of dolphins provides a unique opportunity for the study of signature-whistle production, since most animals have been recorded during capture-release events since 1975. Three mother-calf pairs and their associates were recorded for a total of 141.25 h between May and August of 1994 and 1995. Whistles of undisturbed dolphins were compared with those recorded from the same individuals during capture-release events. Whistles were conservatively classified into one of four categories: signature, probable signature, upsweep or other. For statistical analyses, signature and probable signature whistles were combined into a 'signature' category; upsweep and other whistles were combined into a 'non-signature' category. Both 'signature' and 'non-signature' whistle frequencies significantly increased as group size increased. There were significant differences in whistle frequencies across activity types: both 'signature' and 'non-signature' whistles were most likely to occur during socializing and least likely to occur during travelling. There were no significant interactions between group size and activity type. Signature and probable signature whistles made up ca. 52% of all whistles produced by these free-ranging bottlenose dolphins. PMID:15293858

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24137158

  12. Demographics of the disappearing bottlenose dolphin in Argentina: a common species on its way out?

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Els; Bräger, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the once common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Argentina have precipitously declined throughout the country in the past decades. Unfortunately, local declines of common species are easily overlooked when establishing priorities for conservation. In this study, demographics of what may well be the last remaining resident population in the country were assessed using mark-recapture analysis (Pollock's Robust Design) of a photo-identification dataset collected during 2006-2011 in Bahía San Antonio (Patagonia, Argentina). Total abundance, corrected for unmarked individuals, ranged from 40 (95%CI: 16.1-98.8) to 83 (95%CI = 45.8-151.8) individuals and showed a decrease over the years. Adult survival rates varied between 0.97 (± 0.037 SE) and 0.99 (± 0.010 SE). Average calving interval equalled 3.5 ± 1.03 years, with 3.5 births/year in the entire population and a minimum annual birth rate of 4.2%. However, data suggest that calves may have been born and lost before being documented, underestimating birth rate, calf mortality, and possibly the number of reproductive females. Either way, the recruitment rate of calves appears to be insufficient to support the size of the population. This population is relatively small and declining. Considering the disappearance of populations north and south of the study area, an incessant decline will have severe consequences for the continuous existence of this species in Argentina, indicating an urgent need for serious conservation efforts. This study provides insight into how the failure to recognize local population declines can threaten the national (and eventually the international) status of a common species like the bottlenose dolphin. PMID:25786234

  13. Demographics of the Disappearing Bottlenose Dolphin in Argentina: A Common Species on Its Way Out?

    PubMed Central

    Vermeulen, Els; Bräger, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the once common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Argentina have precipitously declined throughout the country in the past decades. Unfortunately, local declines of common species are easily overlooked when establishing priorities for conservation. In this study, demographics of what may well be the last remaining resident population in the country were assessed using mark—recapture analysis (Pollock’s Robust Design) of a photo-identification dataset collected during 2006–2011 in Bahía San Antonio (Patagonia, Argentina). Total abundance, corrected for unmarked individuals, ranged from 40 (95%CI: 16.1–98.8) to 83 (95%CI = 45.8–151.8) individuals and showed a decrease over the years. Adult survival rates varied between 0.97 (± 0.037 SE) and 0.99 (± 0.010 SE). Average calving interval equalled 3.5 ± 1.03 years, with 3.5 births/year in the entire population and a minimum annual birth rate of 4.2%. However, data suggest that calves may have been born and lost before being documented, underestimating birth rate, calf mortality, and possibly the number of reproductive females. Either way, the recruitment rate of calves appears to be insufficient to support the size of the population. This population is relatively small and declining. Considering the disappearance of populations north and south of the study area, an incessant decline will have severe consequences for the continuous existence of this species in Argentina, indicating an urgent need for serious conservation efforts. This study provides insight into how the failure to recognize local population declines can threaten the national (and eventually the international) status of a common species like the bottlenose dolphin. PMID:25786234

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27015516

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other

    PubMed Central

    King, Stephanie L.; Janik, Vincent M.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23878217

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. Bottle-nosed dolphin: double-slit pupil yields equivalent aerial and underwater diurnal acuity.

    PubMed

    Herman, L M; Peacock, M F; Yunker, M P; Madsen, C J

    1975-08-22

    In bright daylight, and at best viewing distances, the bottlenosed dolphin resolves visual gratings approximately equally well in air and in water. Aerial resolution improves with increased viewing distance, while underwater resolution improves with decreased viewing distance. The double-slit pipil overcomes the gross myopia in air measured by ophthalmoscope and produces the indicated effects of viewing distance. PMID:1162351

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Auditory thresholds were measured in three bottlenose dolphins before and after exposure to ten impulses from a seismic air gun. Thresholds were measured using behavioral and electrophysiological methods to determine the amount of temporary threshold shift induced. The results suggest that the potential for seismic surveys using air guns to cause auditory effects on dolphins may be lower than previously predicted; however, two of the three dolphins exhibited "anticipatory" behavioral changes at the highest exposure condition that suggested they were attempting to mitigate the effects of the exposures. PMID:26611059

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-02-01

    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. PMID:24492056

  2. Evidence for distinct coastal and offshore communities of bottlenose dolphins in the north east Atlantic.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  5. Helicobacter spp. from captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Oxley, Andrew P A; Argo, Jeffrey A; McKay, David B

    2005-11-01

    The gastric fluid of six bottlenose dolphins and the faeces of four polar bears from the same oceanarium were examined for the presence of Helicobacter. As detected by PCR, all dolphins and 8/12 samples collected from polar bears were positive for Helicobacter. Novel sequence types were identified in samples collected from these animals of which several were unique to either the dolphins or the polar bears. At least one sequence type was, however, detected in both animal taxa. In addition, a sequence type from a dolphin shared a 98.2-100% identity to sequences from other Helicobacter species from harp seals, sea otters and sea lions. This study reports on the occurrence of novel Helicobacter sequence types in polar bears and dolphins and demonstrates the broad-host range of some species within these animals. PMID:16266854

  6. The Ecological Conditions That Favor Tool Use and Innovation in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.)

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Eric M.; Mann, Janet

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21799801

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

    PubMed

    Patterson, Eric M; Mann, Janet

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21799801

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24018985

  9. Differences in acoustic features of vocalizations produced by killer whales cross-socialized with bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Musser, Whitney B; Bowles, Ann E; Grebner, Dawn M; Crance, Jessica L

    2014-10-01

    Limited previous evidence suggests that killer whales (Orcinus orca) are capable of vocal production learning. However, vocal contextual learning has not been studied, nor the factors promoting learning. Vocalizations were collected from three killer whales with a history of exposure to bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and compared with data from seven killer whales held with conspecifics and nine bottlenose dolphins. The three whales' repertoires were distinguishable by a higher proportion of click trains and whistles. Time-domain features of click trains were intermediate between those of whales held with conspecifics and dolphins. These differences provided evidence for contextual learning. One killer whale spontaneously learned to produce artificial chirps taught to dolphins; acoustic features fell within the range of inter-individual differences among the dolphins. This whale also produced whistles similar to a stereotyped whistle produced by one dolphin. Thus, results provide further support for vocal production learning and show that killer whales are capable of contextual learning. That killer whales produce similar repertoires when associated with another species suggests substantial vocal plasticity and motivation for vocal conformity with social associates. PMID:25324098

  10. Identification of Lactobacillus strains with probiotic features from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Whistle repertoire of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mississippi Sound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, Erica N.; Kuczaj, Stan; Solangi, Moby

    2005-09-01

    The whistle repertoire of wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mississippi Sound, part of the northern Gulf of Mexico, was investigated. There is a large population of dolphins in this area, and many dolphins that are now housed in zoos and aquariums were captured in the Mississippi Sound. This paper reports the types of whistles that are predominant in this area, and how these whistles are used in the context of concurrent surface behavior. Over the course of 1 year (April 2004-March 2005), dolphin whistles were recorded as part of an ongoing study of the effects of human activity on wild bottlenose dolphins. The surface behavior of the focal group was categorized at 1-min intervals as follows: mill, travel, mill/travel, feed, social, with boat, or with shrimp boat. Whistles were then categorized as one of the following: upsweep, downsweep, convex, concave, sine, or constant frequency. Preliminary analysis of the data suggests that both the rate of whistling and the types of whistles produced vary as a function of dolphin behavior. Further analysis of the data will reveal if different types of whistles are associated with specific surface behavior categories. [Research supported by Department of Commerce.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 environment. More specifically, the study aim was to identify a potential preference between bare sand substrate and seagrass beds, the two habitat types present in this environment, through the resighting frequency of recognisable individual dolphins. Results Photo-identification surveys covering the 118 km2 sanctuary area were conducted over 2 survey periods May to August 2006 and from March 2009 to February 2010. Sighting frequency of recognisable individual Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins established a significant preference for the bare sand habitat. More specifically, 72 and 18% of the individuals sighted at least on two occasions were observed in the bare sand and seagrass habitats respectively. This trend was consistently observed at both seasonal and annual scales, suggesting a consistency in the distinct use of these two habitats. Conclusions It is anticipated that these results will benefit the further development of management and conservation strategies. PMID:23369354

  13. Conflict and reconciliation behavior trends of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Holobinko, Anastasia; Waring, George H

    2010-01-01

    Wild bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations display societal structures characterized by numerous and frequent changes in group composition, complex social relationships, and high levels of cooperation, attributes also observed in human and nonhuman primate cultures. Maintaining social relationships under such elemental conditions can frequently create conflict--and the opportunity for reconciliation--among group members. The conflict and reconciliation behavior patterns of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) have been studied extensively; trends are well-documented in the wild and in captivity. Apparent cultural similarities have prompted several analogous studies on wild and captive bottlenose dolphins. This research attempted to corroborate previous efforts by analyzing the social behavior of seven captive bottlenose dolphins to determine the effects of sex and age on the frequency of conflict and reconciliation, and to investigate the incidence of consolatory behavior within the group. A total of 3,428 interactions involving focal animals, 414 of which were conflict episodes, were documented during 261 hr of videotaped observations. Although the sample size precluded meaningful statistical evaluation of the influence of sex on conflict and reconciliation, participant age was a significant determinant of conflict frequency. Conversely, age did not impact frequency of reconciliation, which only occurred after 18% of all conflict interactions. Little to no definitive evidence of consolation was apparent within the study group. While results partially support the findings of previous dolphin reconciliation research, extensive behavioral studies of wild populations should be conducted before generating broad comparisons between human terms and nonhuman behavioral interactions. PMID:20014012

  14. Evidence for a Numerosity Category that is Based on Abstract Qualities of “Few” vs. “Many” in the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    Yaman, Sevgi; Kilian, Annette; von Fersen, Lorenzo; Güntürkün, Onur

    2012-01-01

    A previous study (Kilian et al., 2003) had demonstrated that bottlenose dolphins can discriminate visual stimuli differing in numerosity. The aim of the present study was twofold: first, we sought to determine if dolphins are able to use a numerical category based on “few” vs. “many” when discriminating stimuli according to the number of their constituent patterns. Second, we aimed to extend the previously demonstrated range of numbers, thereby testing the limits of the numerical abilities of bottlenose dolphins. To this end, one adult bottlenose dolphin learned to discriminate between two simultaneously presented stimuli which varied in the number of elements they contained. After initial training, several confounding parameters were excluded to render it likely that discrimination performance indeed depended on numerosity. Subsequently, the animal was tested with new stimuli of intermediate as well as higher numbers of elements. Once discrimination had been achieved, a reversal-training on a subset of stimuli was initiated. Afterward, the subject generalized the reversal successful to new and unreinforced stimuli. Our results reveal two main findings: firstly, our data strongly suggest a magnitude and a distance effect. Thus, coding of numerical information in dolphins might follow logarithmic scaling as postulated by the Weber-Fechner law. Secondly, after learning a reversal of contingencies, the dolphin generalized the reversal successful to new and unreinforced stimuli. Thus, within the limits of a study that was conducted with a single individual, our results suggest that dolphins are able to learn and use a numerical category that is based on abstract qualities of “few” vs. “many.” PMID:23162512

  15. The Gross Morphology and Histochemistry of Respiratory Muscles in Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus

    PubMed Central

    Cotten, Pamela B.; Piscitelli, Marina A.; McLellan, William A.; Rommel, Sentiel A.; Dearolf, Jennifer L.; Pabst, D. Ann

    2011-01-01

    Most mammals possess stamina because their locomotor and respiratory (i.e., ventilatory) systems are mechanically coupled. These systems are decoupled, however, in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as they swim on a breath-hold. Locomotion and ventilation are coupled only during their brief surfacing event, when they respire explosively (up to 90% of total lung volume in approximately 0.3s) (Ridgway et al., 1969). The predominantly slow-twitch fiber profile of their diaphragm (Dearolf, 2003) suggests that this muscle does not likely power their rapid ventilatory event. Based upon Bramble's (1989) biomechanical model of locomotor-respiratory coupling in galloping mammals, it was hypothesized that locomotor muscles function to power ventilation in bottlenose dolphins. It was further hypothesized that these muscles would be composed predominantly of fast-twitch fibers to facilitate the bottlenose dolphin's rapid ventilation. The gross morphology of cranio-cervical (scalenus, sternocephalicus, sternohyoid), thoracic (intercostals, transverse thoracis), and lumbo-pelvic (hypaxialis, rectus abdominis, abdominal obliques) muscles (n=7) and the fiber-type profiles (n=6) of selected muscles (scalenus, sternocephalicus, sternohyoid, rectus abdominis) of bottlenose dolphins were investigated. Physical manipulations of excised thoracic units were carried out to investigate potential actions of these muscles. Results suggest that the cranio-cervical muscles act to draw the sternum and associated ribs cranio-dorsally, which flares the ribs laterally, and increases the thoracic cavity volume required for inspiration. The lumbo-pelvic muscles act to draw the sternum and caudal ribs caudally, which decreases the volumes of the thoracic and abdominal cavities required for expiration. All muscles investigated were composed predominantly of fast-twitch fibers (range 61-88% by area) and appear histochemically poised for rapid contraction. These combined results suggest that

  16. Discrimination of mixed-directional whistles by a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Branstetter, Brian K; Black, Amy; Bakhtiari, Kimberly

    2013-09-01

    Dolphins are hypothesized to deduce the swimming direction of group members by attending to the spectral pattern of whistle harmonics. This is known as the direction of movement cue hypothesis and may facilitate coordination of complex group behavior when visibility is poor. The direction of movement cue hypothesis hinges on the assumption that dolphins can discriminate between whistles with different harmonic patterns that are associated with signaler orientation. This assumption was tested with a bottlenose dolphin. Whistles were recorded from a dolphin at different azimuth positions (0° to 180° in 45° increments). Noise-free, synthetic whistles were created to mimic the direction-dependant spectral profiles of the recorded whistles. A dolphin was then tested in its ability to discriminate between the synthetic whistles using fixed level and roving level conditions. The dolphin's discrimination performance in both the fixed and roving level conditions was near 100% for whistles separated by angles greater than 45°, and near chance for 45° separations. Computer simulations of the task, along with the dolphin's performance, suggest that the dolphin's discrimination was level invariant and based on the spectral pattern of the whistles. PMID:23967957

  17. Effect of organochlorine contaminants and individual biological traits on blubber retinoid concentrations in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Tornero, Victoria; Borrell, Asuncion; Aguilar, Alex; Wells, Randall S; Forcada, Jaume; Rowles, Teri K; Reijnders, Peter J H

    2005-02-01

    Here we assessed retinoids as biomarkers of contaminant exposure by studying whether the sex, age, lipid content and organochlorine concentrations of bottlenose dolphins induced variation in retinoid status and its deposition in blubber. Blubber samples were collected from 47 individuals of known age and gender from Sarasota Bay in June 2000 and 2001. The sample included a representative cross-section of the resident dolphin community, with ages ranging from 2 to 50 years. Organochlorine levels showed the age- and sex-related variation commonly observed in other species, with concentrations increasing in youngsters of both sexes and in adult males, and decreasing in adult females after the onset of maturity. Blubber lipid content was low in the overall population and significantly decreased with age in adult males. Retinoid blubber concentrations were comparable to other odontocete species previously studied, and were strongly determined by lipid content. As a consequence of the latter, retinoid concentration was observed to decrease with age in adult males. This effect could not be statistically dissociated from the negative correlation observed between levels of organochlorines and retinoid blubber concentration. Consequently, we could not clarify whether high organochlorine loads in this population lowered retinoid concentrations or, conversely, whether depleted lipid reserves were indeed responsible for the high organochlorine concentrations and the low retinoid levels detected in blubber. With the current knowledge, both options should be considered and investigated, with initial focus on male dolphins. PMID:15690090

  18. Comparative Analysis of Three Brevetoxin-Associated Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Mortality Events in the Florida Panhandle Region (USA)

    PubMed Central

    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

  19. Captive Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Spontaneously Using Water Flow to Manipulate Objects

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25250625

  20. A kinematic study on (un)intentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), which can be lethal in marine species and cause illness in humans, are increasing worldwide. In the Gulf of Mexico, HABs of Karenia brevis produce neurotoxic brevetoxins that cause large-scale marine mortality events. The long history of such blooms, combined with the potentially severe effects of exposure, may have produced a strong selective pressure for evolved resistance. Advances in next-generation sequencing, in particular genotyping-by-sequencing, greatly enable the genomic study of such adaptation in natural populations. We used restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing to investigate brevetoxicosis resistance in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). To improve our understanding of the epidemiology and aetiology of brevetoxicosis and the potential for evolved resistance in an upper trophic level predator, we sequenced pools of genomic DNA from dolphins sampled from both coastal and estuarine populations in Florida and during multiple HAB-associated mortality events. We sequenced 129 594 RAD loci and analysed 7431 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The allele frequencies of many of these polymorphic loci differed significantly between live and dead dolphins. Some loci associated with survival showed patterns suggesting a common genetic-based mechanism of resistance to brevetoxins in bottlenose dolphins along the Gulf coast of Florida, but others suggested regionally specific mechanisms of resistance or reflected differences among HABs. We identified candidate genes that may be the evolutionary target for brevetoxin resistance by searching the dolphin genome for genes adjacent to survival-associated SNPs. PMID:26290192

  2. Spatial and Social Sexual Segregation Patterns in Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Novel diversity of bacterial communities associated with bottlenose dolphin upper respiratory tracts.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Wesley R; Torralba, Manolito; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D; Nelson, Karen E; Morris, Pamela J

    2009-12-01

    Respiratory illness is thought to be most the common cause of death in both wild and captive populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The suspected pathogens that have been isolated from diseased animals have also been isolated from healthy individuals, suggesting they may be part of the normal flora. Our current understanding of the bacteria associated with the upper respiratory tract (URT) of bottlenose dolphins is based exclusively upon culture-based isolation and identification. Because < 1% of naturally occurring bacteria are culturable, a substantial fraction of the bacterial community associated with the dolphin URT remains to be described. The dolphin URT microbiota revealed by sequencing of bacterial 16S rDNA exhibits almost no overlap with the taxa indicated in culture-based studies. The most abundant sequences in our libraries were similar among all of our study animals and shared the greatest homology to sequences of bacteria belonging to the genera Cardiobacterium, Suttonella, Psychrobacter, Tenacibaculum, Fluviicola and Flavobacterium; however, they were sufficiently different from database sequences from both cultured and uncultured organisms to suggest they represent novel genera and species. Our findings also demonstrate the dominance of three of the four bacterial phyla that dominate other mammalian microbiomes, including those of humans, and show tremendous diversity at the species/strain level, suggesting tight coevolution of the dolphin host and its URT bacterial community. PMID:23765934

  4. Adipose-derived stem cell collection and characterization in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Shawn P; Catania, Jeffrey M; Harman, Robert J; Jensen, Eric D

    2012-11-01

    To assess the regenerative properties and potential therapeutic value of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) in the bottlenose dolphin, there is a need to determine whether an adequate adipose depot exists, in addition to the development of a standardized technique for minimally invasive adipose collection. In this study, an ultrasound-guided liposuction technique for adipose collection was assessed for its safety and efficacy. The ultrasound was utilized to identify and measure the postnuchal adipose depot and aid in the guidance of the liposuction cannula during aspiration. Liposuction procedures from 6 dolphins yielded 0.9-12.7 g of adipose. All samples yielded sufficient nucleated cells to initiate primary cell cultures, and at passage 2, were successfully differentiated into adipogenic, chondrogenic, neurogenic, and osteogenic cell lineages. The cultured dolphin cells expressed known stem-cell-associated CD markers, CD44 and CD90. Ultrasound-guided liposuction proved to be a safe and minimally invasive procedure that resulted in the successful isolation of ASCs in bottlenose dolphins. This is the first article that conclusively establishes the presence of stem cells in the dolphin. PMID:22530932

  5. Nocturnal location and activity of Pacific coast bottlenose dolphins determined by a sonobuoy array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howarth, Eric S.; Defran, R. H.

    2002-05-01

    Pacific coast bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) move offshore, presumably to feed as the sun sets [Hanson and Defran (1993), Ward (1998), Day (1998)] and are most often found inshore on the surfline at sunrise. The purpose of this research was to document their activity and location during nocturnal hours. A sonobuoy array was deployed in a triangle configuration centered approximately 500 m from the mean low low water line at Torrey Pines State Beach, CA. Surveys were conducted for 11 nights between October 1999 and November 1999 and for 21 nights between August 2000 and December 2000. Dolphin vocalizations were detected on 26 of 33 nights.

  6. First Gammaherpesvirus detection in a free-living Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Lecis, Roberta; Tocchetti, Marco; Rotta, Andrea; Naitana, Salvatore; Ganges, Llilianne; Pittau, Marco; Alberti, Alberto

    2014-12-01

    Recently, herpes viruses have been detected in different cetacean species from the Atlantic and in Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). While pathogens such as cetacean morbillivirus have been widely studied following recent epizootics, herpesvirus (HV) distribution and pathogenic effects in cetaceans are still understudied. This study reports the first molecular identification of a Gammaherpesvirus in the genital mucosa of a free-living Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded off the coast of central Italy. Sequenced herpesviral PCR product was closely related to other HVs recently isolated in the genital mucosa of various cetacean species. PMID:25632684

  7. Herpes simplex-like infection in a bottlenose dolphin stranded in the Canary Islands.

    PubMed

    Esperón, F; Fernández, A; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, J M

    2008-08-19

    A bottlenose dolphin, stranded in the Canary Islands in 2001 exhibited non-suppurative encephalitis. No molecular detection of cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) was found, but a herpesviral-specific band of 250 bp was detected in the lung and brain. The sequenced herpesviral PCR product was compared with GenBank sequences, obtaining 98% homology (p-distance of 0.02) with Human herpesvirus 1 (herpes simplex virus 1 or HSV-1). This is the first report of a herpes simplex-like infection in a stranded dolphin. PMID:18828564

  8. Harderian gland ultrastructure of the black sea bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus ponticus).

    PubMed

    Bodyak, N D; Stepanova, L V

    1994-05-01

    Examination of the Harderian gland structure of the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus ponticus, at macroscopic, microscopic, and electron microscopic levels shows significant sexual dimorphism. The epithelial cells of male and female glands are different cell types, capable of producing chemically different products. Secretory cells in both sexes contain secretion granules that produce a secretion consisting mainly of proteins and carbohydrates, but thought to be sex-specific in composition. The female glands also contain lipid secretion granules. It is suggested that in the bottlenose dolphin the Harderian gland functions to produce sexually distinct pheromones and may have other physiological activities, e.g., participating in local immunological or endocrine-related reactions. PMID:8006973

  9. Thyroid hormone concentrations in relation to age, sex, pregnancy, and perinatal loss in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    West, Kristi L; Ramer, Jan; Brown, Janine L; Sweeney, Jay; Hanahoe, Erin M; Reidarson, Tom; Proudfoot, Jeffry; Bergfelt, Don R

    2014-02-01

    This study evaluated circulating concentrations of thyroid hormones in relation to age, sex, pregnancy status, and perinatal loss in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) under human care. A total of 373 blood samples were collected from 60 individual dolphins housed at nine aquariums/oceanariums. Serum concentrations of total and free thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) were analyzed with commercial RIA kits validated for use with dolphins. While the effect of age was indicated by higher (P<0.0001) concentrations of total and free T4 and T3 in juveniles than adults, the effect of sex on thyroid hormones was inconclusive. The effect of pregnancy was indicated by higher (P<0.035) total and free T4 and T3 during early pregnancy compared to non-pregnancy. For both successful and unsuccessful pregnancy outcomes, maternal concentrations of thyroid hormones were highest during early, intermediate during mid, and lowest during late pregnancy (P<0.07 to P<0.0001). Compared to live and thriving births, concentrations of total and free T4 and total T3 were lower (P<0.08 to P<0.001) in dolphins with perinatal loss. Lower concentrations ranged from 10% to 14% during early, 11% to 18% during mid, and 23% to 37% during late pregnancy. In conclusion, the effects of age, reproductive status and stage of pregnancy on thyroid hormone concentrations are necessary factors to take into account when assessing thyroid gland function. Since perinatal loss may be associated with hypothyroidism in dolphins, analysis of serum T4 and T3 should be considered for those dolphins that have a history of pregnancy loss. PMID:24321177

  10. Spontaneous Ejaculation in a Wild Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Spontaneous ejaculation, which is defined as the release of seminal fluids without apparent sexual stimulation, has been documented in boreoeutherian mammals. Here we report spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), and present a video of this rare behavior. This is the first report of spontaneous ejaculation by an aquatic mammal, and the first video of this behavior in animals to be published in a scientific journal. PMID:24015280

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Spontaneous ejaculation, which is defined as the release of seminal fluids without apparent sexual stimulation, has been documented in boreoeutherian mammals. Here we report spontaneous ejaculation in a wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), and present a video of this rare behavior. This is the first report of spontaneous ejaculation by an aquatic mammal, and the first video of this behavior in animals to be published in a scientific journal. PMID:24015280

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-15

    Cetaceans are well known definitive hosts of parasitic nematodes of the genus Anisakis (Nematoda: Anisakidae). Anisakid nematodes are also a health hazard for humans, potentially causing gastrointestinal infections or allergic reactions following the consumption of infected fish. In marine mammals, the nematodes develop from third-stage larvae to adults in the stomachs. In the first (or fore-) stomach, these parasites are typically associated with mucosal ulceration; parasites have not been identified in other organs. Two small cetaceans, a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus and a harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, presented marked gastric A. simplex infection, as well as chronic granulomatous and ulcerative dermatitis with intralesional nematodes, bordered by epithelial hyperplasia. Nematodes in the skin of the bottlenose dolphin were morphologically similar to Anisakis spp. Morphology of the parasitic remnants in the skin lesion of the harbour porpoise was indistinct, but molecular identification confirmed the presence of A. simplex. This is the first report of Anisakis spp. infection in the skin of marine mammals. PMID:25590777

  13. The seasonal fluctuation of plasma amino acids in aquarium-maintained bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Miyaji, Kazuki; Ohta, Mitsuaki; Nagao, Kenji; Ohtani, Nobuyo; Bannai, Makoto

    2012-07-01

    Although there has been extensive research on plasma amino acid profiles of mammals, there is currently a lack of information on seasonal differences in the concentrations of plasma amino acids specifically in cetaceans. The present study examined the response of the plasma amino acids to seasonal changes in the culture environment after controlling for the effect of sex and age. Significant seasonal changes in plasma carnosine (P=0.012), cystine (P=0.0014), isoleucine (P=0.0042), methionine (P=0.002), ornithine (P=0.0096), and taurine (P=0.032) were observed. These amino acids were mainly related to capacity for exercise, ammonia detoxification, thermoregulation, and osmoregulation. We proposed that optimizing plasma amino acids levels by supplementation of amino acids should be of considerable benefit for aquarium-maintained bottlenose dolphins. This study constitutes a first step towards improving our understanding of the metabolism of aquarium-maintained bottlenose dolphins. We also revealed that the ratio of tryptophan to large neutral amino acids significantly declined (P=0.0076), suggesting reduction in serotonin synthesis in winter and autumn. Although further studies are needed, this finding implied that bottlenose dolphins could produce behavioral changes seasonally by the alteration of serotonin activity. To better understand the metabolic machinery for amino acids that facilitate the adaptation of marine mammals to their environments, it is essential to continue monitoring of and further investigations into relationships between plasma amino acids and specific environmental factors. PMID:22333514

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Spectra fishing twine entanglement of a bottlenose dolphin: a case study and experimental modeling.

    PubMed

    Barco, Susan G; D'Eri, Linda R; Woodward, Becky L; Winn, Jeremy P; Rotstein, David S

    2010-09-01

    We report here the first documented case of a cetacean fatality from entanglement in recreational Spectra fishing twine. Spectra twine is a relatively new microfilament braided twine that is marketed to replace nylon monofilament twine in rod and reel fisheries. Following the case of this entangled bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), we conducted tests with Spectra and comparable monofilament twines on Tursiops tissue from stranded animals to compare the abrasion properties of the twines. We found that Spectra twine was significantly more abrasive on bottlenose dolphin fluke tissue than a similar strength and diameter monofilament. With the same forces applied, the Spectra twine cut deeper than the monofilament, exhibiting a linear relationship with force applied where the monofilament appeared to reach a maximum depth of penetration of approximately 2 mm. These tests may explain why this bottlenose dolphin was so severely debilitated from carrying a relatively light load of twine over a short period of time (20 days). Future public and corporate outreach will be essential to minimize the effect that this increasingly popular fishing twine will have on non-target species. PMID:20553857

  16. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) detection of simulated echoes from normal and time-reversed clicks.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Wu, Teri; Borror, Nancy; Tormey, Megan; Brewer, Arial; Black, Amy; Bakhtiari, Kimberly

    2013-12-01

    In matched filter processing, a stored template of the emitted sonar pulse is compared to echoes to locate individual replicas of the emitted pulse embedded in the echo stream. A number of experiments with bats have suggested that bats utilize matched filter processing for target ranging, but not for target detection. For dolphins, the few available data suggest that dolphins do not utilize matched filter processing. In this study, the effect of time-reversing a dolphin's emitted click was investigated. If the dolphin relied upon matched filter processing, time-reversal of the click would be expected to reduce the correlation between the (unaltered) click and the echoes and therefore lower detection performance. Two bottlenose dolphins were trained to perform a phantom echo detection task. On a small percentage of trials ("probe trials"), a dolphin's emitted click was time-reversed before interacting with the phantom echo system. Data from the normal and time-reversed trials were then analyzed and compared. There were no significant differences in detection performance or click emissions between the normal and time-reversed conditions for either subject, suggesting that the dolphins did not utilize matched filter processing for this echo detection task. PMID:25669264

  17. A method to enable a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) to echolocate while out of water.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Houser, Dorian S; Moore, Patrick W; Branstetter, Brian K; Trickey, Jennifer S; Ridgway, Sam H

    2010-09-01

    The study of site-specific brain activity associated with dolphin echolocation has been hampered by the difficulties inherent in administering radiolabels and performing medical imaging while a dolphin echolocates in an aquatic environment. To overcome these limitations, a system has been developed to allow a bottlenose dolphin to echolocate while out of the water. The system relies on a "phantom echo generator" (PEG) consisting of a Texas Instruments C6713 digital signal processor with an analog input/output daughtercard. Echolocation clicks produced by the dolphin are detected with a hydrophone embedded in a suction cup on the melon, then digitized within the PEG. Clicks exceeding a user-defined threshold are convolved with a target impulse response, delayed, and scaled before being converted to analog and transmitted through a sound projector embedded in a suction cup attached to the dolphin's lower jaw. Dolphin in-air echolocation behavior, inter-click intervals, and overall performance were analogous to those observed during comparable underwater testing with physical targets, demonstrating that the dolphin was indeed performing an echolocation task while out of water. PMID:20815483

  18. A kinematic study on (un)intentional imitation in bottlenose dolphins

    PubMed Central

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Gastrointestinal parasites of free-living Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Northern Red Sea, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kleinertz, S; Hermosilla, C; Ziltener, A; Kreicker, S; Hirzmann, J; Abdel-Ghaffar, F; Taubert, A

    2014-04-01

    The present study represents the first report on the gastrointestinal parasite fauna infecting the free-living and alive Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) inhabiting waters of the Red Sea at Hurghada, Egypt. A total of 94 individual faecal samples of the examined bottlenose dolphins were collected during several diving expeditions within their natural habitats. Using classical parasitological techniques, such as sodium acetate acetic acid formalin method, carbol fuchsin-stained faecal smears, coproantigen ELISA, PCR and macroscopical analyses, the study revealed infections with 21 different parasite species belonging to protozoans and metazoans with some of them bearing zoonotic and/or pathogenic potential. Four identified parasite species are potential zoonotic species (Giardia spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Diphyllobothrium spp., Ascaridida indet.); three of them are known to have high pathogenic potential for the examined dolphin species (Nasitrema attenuata, Zalophotrema spp. and Pholeter gastrophilus) and some appear to be directly associated with stranding events. In detail, the study indicates stages of ten protozoan species (Giardia spp., Sarcocystis spp., Isospora (like) spp., Cystoisospora (like) spp., Ciliata indet. I and II, Holotricha indet., Dinoflagellata indet., Hexamita (like) spp., Cryptosporidium spp.), seven trematode species (N. attenuata, Nasitrema spp. I and II, Zalophotrema curilensis, Zalophotrema spp., Pholeter gastrophilus, Trematoda indet.), one cestode species (Diphyllobothrium spp.), two nematode species (Ascaridida indet, Capillaria spp.) and one crustacean parasite (Cymothoidae indet.). Additionally, we molecularly identified adult worms of Anisakis typica in individual dolphin vomitus samples by molecular analyses. A. typica is a common parasite of various dolphin species of warmer temperate and tropical waters and has not been attributed as food-borne parasitic zoonoses so far. Overall, these parasitological findings

  1. Which person is my trainer? Spontaneous visual discrimination of human individuals by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Tomonaga, Masaki; Uwano, Yuka; Ogura, Sato; Chin, Hyangsun; Dozaki, Masahiro; Saito, Toyoshi

    2015-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins are known to use signature whistles to identify conspecifics auditorily. However, the way in which they recognize individuals visually is less well known. We investigated their visual recognition of familiar human individuals under the spontaneous discrimination task. In each trial, the main trainer appeared from behind a panel. In test trials, two persons (one was the main trainer) appeared from the left and right sides of the panel and moved along the poolside in opposite directions. Three of the four dolphins spontaneously followed their main trainers significantly above the level of chance. Subsequent tests, however, revealed that when the two persons wore identical clothing, the following response deteriorated. This suggests that dolphins can spontaneously discriminate human individuals using visual cues, but they do not utilize facial cues, but body area for this discrimination. PMID:26191479

  2. Whole-lung resonance in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and white whale (Delphinapterus leucas).

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J

    2003-07-01

    An acoustic backscatter technique was used to estimate in vivo whole-lung resonant frequencies in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and white whale (Delphinapterus leucas). Subjects were trained to submerge and position themselves near an underwater sound projector and a receiving hydrophone. Acoustic pressure measurements were made near the thorax while the subject was insonified with pure tones at frequencies from 16 to 100 Hz. Whole-lung resonant frequencies were estimated by comparing pressures measured near the subject's thorax to those measured from the same location without the subject present. Experimentally measured resonant frequencies for the white whale and dolphin lungs were 30 and 36 Hz, respectively. These values were significantly higher than those predicted using a free-spherical air bubble model. Experimentally measured damping ratios and quality factors at resonance were 0.20 and 2.5, respectively, for the white whale, and 0.16 and 3.1, respectively, for the dolphin. PMID:12880064

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26290502

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    Hart, Leslie B; Wells, Randall S; Kellar, Nick; Balmer, Brian C; Hohn, Aleta A; Lamb, Stephen V; Rowles, Teri; Zolman, Eric S; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Leslie B.; Wells, Randall S.; Kellar, Nick; Balmer, Brian C.; Hohn, Aleta A.; Lamb, Stephen V.; Rowles, Teri; Zolman, Eric S.; Schwacke, Lori H.

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Travel at low energetic cost by swimming and wave-riding bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:1538760

  8. Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) papillomaviruses: vaccine antigen candidates and screening test development.

    PubMed

    Rehtanz, Manuela; Bossart, Gregory D; Doescher, Bethany; Rector, Annabel; Van Ranst, Marc; Fair, Patricia A; Jenson, Alfred B; Ghim, Shin-Je

    2009-01-01

    Papillomaviruses (PVs) have been shown as being the etiologic agents of various benign and malignant tumours in many vertebrate species. In dolphins and porpoises, a high prevalence of orogenital tumours has recently been documented with at least four distinct novel species-specific PV types detected in such lesions. Therefore, we generated the immunological reagents to establish a serological screening test to determine the prevalence of PV infection in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins [(Tursiops truncatus (Tt)]. Using the baculovirus expression system, virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from the L1 proteins of two TtPV types, TtPV1 and TtPV2, were generated. Polyclonal antibodies against TtPV VLPs were produced in rabbits and their specificity for the VLPs was confirmed. Electron microscopy and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) studies revealed that the generated VLPs self-assembled into particles presenting conformational immunodominant epitopes. As such, these particles are potential antigen candidates for a TtPV vaccine. Subsequently, the VLPs served as antigens in initial ELISA tests using sera from six bottlenose dolphins to investigate PV antibody presence. Three of these sera were derived from dolphins with genital tumour history and showed positive PV ELISA reactivity, while the remaining sera from lesion-free dolphins were PV antibody-negative. The results suggest that the developed screening test may serve as a potential tool for determining PV prevalence and thus for observing transmission rates in dolphin populations as the significance of PV infection in cetaceans starts to unfold. PMID:18676105

  9. Decades-long social memory in bottlenose dolphins

    PubMed Central

    Bruck, Jason N.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23926160

  10. Identification and Characteristics of Signature Whistles in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Namibia

    PubMed Central

    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, P<0.001) and supported our categorisation. Signature whistle structure remained stable over time and location, with most types (82%) recorded in 2 or more years, and 4 identified at Walvis Bay and a second field site approximately 450 km away. Whistle acoustic parameters were consistent with those of signature whistles documented in Sarasota Bay (Florida, USA). We provide evidence of possible two-voice signature whistle production by a common bottlenose 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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Songhai; Nachtigall, Paul E; Breese, Marlee; Supin, Alexander Ya

    2012-01-01

    Emitted biosonar clicks and auditory evoked potential (AEP) responses triggered by the clicks were synchronously recorded during echolocation in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) trained to wear suction-cup EEG electrodes and to detect targets by echolocation. Three targets with target strengths of -34, -28, and -22 dB were used at distances of 2 to 6.5 m for each target. The AEP responses were sorted according to the corresponding emitted click source levels in 5-dB bins and averaged within each bin to extract biosonar click-related AEPs from noise. The AEP amplitudes were measured peak-to-peak and plotted as a function of click source levels for each target type, distance, and target-present or target-absent condition. Hearing sensation levels of the biosonar clicks were evaluated by comparing the functions of the biosonar click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click source level to a function of external (in free field) click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click sound pressure level. The results indicated that the dolphin's hearing sensation levels to her own biosonar clicks were equal to that of external clicks with sound pressure levels 16 to 36 dB lower than the biosonar click source levels, varying with target type, distance, and condition. These data may be assumed to indicate that the bottlenose dolphin possesses effective protection mechanisms to isolate the self-produced intense biosonar beam from the animal's ears during echolocation. PMID:22238654

  12. Hearing Sensation Levels of Emitted Biosonar Clicks in an Echolocating Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

    PubMed Central

    Li, Songhai; Nachtigall, Paul E.; Breese, Marlee; Supin, Alexander Ya.

    2012-01-01

    Emitted biosonar clicks and auditory evoked potential (AEP) responses triggered by the clicks were synchronously recorded during echolocation in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) trained to wear suction-cup EEG electrodes and to detect targets by echolocation. Three targets with target strengths of −34, −28, and −22 dB were used at distances of 2 to 6.5 m for each target. The AEP responses were sorted according to the corresponding emitted click source levels in 5-dB bins and averaged within each bin to extract biosonar click-related AEPs from noise. The AEP amplitudes were measured peak-to-peak and plotted as a function of click source levels for each target type, distance, and target-present or target-absent condition. Hearing sensation levels of the biosonar clicks were evaluated by comparing the functions of the biosonar click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click source level to a function of external (in free field) click-related AEP amplitude-versus-click sound pressure level. The results indicated that the dolphin's hearing sensation levels to her own biosonar clicks were equal to that of external clicks with sound pressure levels 16 to 36 dB lower than the biosonar click source levels, varying with target type, distance, and condition. These data may be assumed to indicate that the bottlenose dolphin possesses effective protection mechanisms to isolate the self-produced intense biosonar beam from the animal's ears during echolocation. PMID:22238654

  13. Visual lateralization in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): evidence for a population asymmetry?

    PubMed

    Yaman, Sevgi; von Fersen, Lorenzo; Dehnhardt, Guido; Güntürkün, Onur

    2003-06-16

    A previous behavioural study with a single bottlenose dolphin had reported a right eye superiority in visual discrimination tasks, indicating a left hemisphere dominance for visual object processing. The presence of a functional asymmetry demonstrated with one individual shows that this function can be lateralized in this single animal, but cannot reveal if this represents a population asymmetry. Therefore, we conducted a series of visual discrimination experiments with three individuals of Tursiops truncatus under monocular conditions. The tested animals had to distinguish between simultaneously presented stimulus pairs of different patterns, whereby one stimulus was always defined to be correct. Additionally, the animals were observed for their free eye use during training and introduction of new items. The present data set revealed a right eye advantage (left hemisphere dominance) for all tested animals and a predominance of right eye use during daily activities. These results make it possible that bottlenose dolphins are lateralized for visual pattern discrimination at the level of a population asymmetry. Against the background of similar data in other vertebrates, a left hemisphere dominance for pattern discrimination points to the possibility that dolphins exploit local visual details instead of global configurational features to recognize and memorize visual stimuli. PMID:12798271

  14. Food-related bray calls in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Janik, V M

    2000-05-01

    Because cetaceans are difficult to study in the wild, little is known about how they use their sounds in their natural environment. Only the recent development of passive acoustic localization systems has enabled observations of the communication behaviour of individuals for correlation with their surface behaviour. Using such a system, I show that bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland, produce low-frequency bray calls which are clearly correlated with feeding on salmonids. The production of these calls is followed by fast approaches by conspecifics in the area. In animals which use sound as a foraging tool, it is difficult to distinguish between food calls which have evolved because of their role in attracting conspecifics, and food manipulation or searching calls which may attract conspecifics as a by-product. However, the low-frequency structure of the bottlenose dolphin bray suggests that it evolved because of a role in manipulating prey rather than in attracting conspecifics. This conclusion suggests that dolphins exploit the perceptual systems of their prey to facilitate capture. PMID:10853736

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26992371

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), persistent chemicals widely used for industrial purposes, have been banned in most parts of the world for decades. Owing to their bioaccumulative nature, PCBs are still found in high concentrations in marine mammals, particularly those that occupy upper trophic positions. While PCB-related health effects have been well-documented in some mammals, studies among dolphins and whales are limited. We conducted health evaluations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) near a site on the Georgia, United States coast heavily contaminated by Aroclor 1268, an uncommon PCB mixture primarily comprised of octa- through deca-chlorobiphenyl congeners. A high proportion (26%) of sampled dolphins suffered anaemia, a finding previously reported from primate laboratory studies using high doses of a more common PCB mixture, Aroclor 1254. In addition, the dolphins showed reduced thyroid hormone levels and total thyroxine, free thyroxine and triiodothyronine negatively correlated with PCB concentration measured in blubber (p = 0.039, < 0.001, 0.009, respectively). Similarly, T-lymphocyte proliferation and indices of innate immunity decreased with blubber PCB concentration, suggesting an increased susceptibility to infectious disease. Other persistent contaminants such as DDT which could potentially confound results were similar in the Georgia dolphins when compared with previously sampled reference sites, and therefore probably did not contribute to the observed correlations. Our results clearly demonstrate that dolphins are vulnerable to PCB-related toxic effects, at least partially mediated through the endocrine system. The severity of the effects suggests that the PCB mixture to which the Georgia dolphins were exposed has substantial toxic potential and further studies are warranted to elucidate mechanisms and potential impacts on other top-level predators, including humans, who regularly consume fish from the same marine waters. PMID:21613298

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), persistent chemicals widely used for industrial purposes, have been banned in most parts of the world for decades. Owing to their bioaccumulative nature, PCBs are still found in high concentrations in marine mammals, particularly those that occupy upper trophic positions. While PCB-related health effects have been well-documented in some mammals, studies among dolphins and whales are limited. We conducted health evaluations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) near a site on the Georgia, United States coast heavily contaminated by Aroclor 1268, an uncommon PCB mixture primarily comprised of octa- through deca-chlorobiphenyl congeners. A high proportion (26%) of sampled dolphins suffered anaemia, a finding previously reported from primate laboratory studies using high doses of a more common PCB mixture, Aroclor 1254. In addition, the dolphins showed reduced thyroid hormone levels and total thyroxine, free thyroxine and triiodothyronine negatively correlated with PCB concentration measured in blubber (p = 0.039, < 0.001, 0.009, respectively). Similarly, T-lymphocyte proliferation and indices of innate immunity decreased with blubber PCB concentration, suggesting an increased susceptibility to infectious disease. Other persistent contaminants such as DDT which could potentially confound results were similar in the Georgia dolphins when compared with previously sampled reference sites, and therefore probably did not contribute to the observed correlations. Our results clearly demonstrate that dolphins are vulnerable to PCB-related toxic effects, at least partially mediated through the endocrine system. The severity of the effects suggests that the PCB mixture to which the Georgia dolphins were exposed has substantial toxic potential and further studies are warranted to elucidate mechanisms and potential impacts on other top-level predators, including humans, who regularly consume fish from the same marine waters. PMID:21613298

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19912161

  19. COPLANAR PCB AND METAL RESIDUES IN DOLPHINS FROM THE U.S. ATLANTIC COAST INCLUDING THE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN OBTAINED DURING THE 1987/88 MASS MORTALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) collected during the 1987/88 mass mortality event along the Atlantic coast of the United States have been analyzed for coplanar PCBs #77, 105, 126 and 169 in blubber, and for the metals Hg, Pb, Cd, Mn, and Cr, and the non-metallic element ...

  20. Ganglion cell topography of the retina in the bottlenosed dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

    PubMed

    Mass, A M; Supin AYa

    1995-01-01

    The distribution and size of ganglion cells in the retina of the bottlenosed dolphin are described. Ganglion cells concentrate at two spots of the highest density in the nasal and temporal quadrants, 15 to 16 mm (50 to 55 degrees) from the optic disk. The mean peak cell density in both spots is about 670 cells/mm2. With a posterior nodal distance of 14.5 mm (under water), this corresponds to 43 cells/deg2, which provides a retinal resolution of about 9' in water and 12' in air. Mean cell size was from 26 to 31 microns in various parts of the retina. PMID:7620874

  1. Gastrointestinal parasites of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the extreme Southwestern Atlantic, with notes on diet composition.

    PubMed

    Romero, María Alejandra; Fernández, Mercedes; Dans, Silvana L; García, Néstor A; González, Raúl; Crespo, Enrique A

    2014-02-01

    We surveyed the gastrointestinal tracts of 6 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from Patagonia to check for helminth parasites and characterize dolphin diet. All dolphins harbored parasites (6477 helminths). We recorded 7 species, including nematodes Anisakis simplex s.l., Pseudoterranova decipiens, acanthocephalans Corynosoma cetaceum, C. australe, and digeneans Braunina cordiformis, Pholeter gastrophilus and Synthesium tursionis. Among the gastric helminths, the most prevalent species were C. cetaceum and A. simplex while C. australe and S. tursionis inhabited the intestine at low prevalence. This is the first report of C. australe and P. decipiens in bottlenose dolphins. Regarding diet, 5 stomachs contained food remains (consisting of 103 prey items). The most important prey species were Geotria australis and Stromateus brasiliensis, but their role in parasite transmission is unclear. At the community level, the gastrointestinal parasite community of T. truncatus was depauperate and strongly overlapped the community described for pelagic dolphins inhabiting Patagonia, suggesting a strong local influence in shaping helminth communities. Nevertheless, these observations are at odds with the notion that oceanic cetaceans have comparatively poorer helminth fauna than neritic species such as bottlenose dolphins, due to the lower likelihood of parasite exchange. PMID:24492055

  2. Genetic isolation of a now extinct population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Nichols, Courtney; Herman, Jerry; Gaggiotti, Oscar E; Dobney, Keith M; Parsons, Kim; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2007-07-01

    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 studies suggesting local habitat dependence for this species in the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic. One genetically differentiated UK population went extinct at least 100 years ago and has not been replaced. The data indicate that this was a local extinction, and not a case of historical range shift or contraction. One possible interpretation is a declining metapopulation and conservation need for this species in the UK. PMID:17456457

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Chemicals discovered in water at levels that may be significantly different than expected are referred to as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) because the risk to environmental health posed by their occurrence/frequency is still unknown. The worldwide distributed compounds perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and bisphenol A (BPA) may fall into this category due to effects on endocrine receptors. We applied an ex vivo assay using small slices of bioptic skin from the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, cultured and treated for 24 h with different PFOA or BPA concentrations to analyze global gene expression. RNA was labeled and hybridized to a species-specific oligomicroarray. The skin transcriptome held information on the contaminant exposure, potentially predictive about long-term effects on health, being the genes affected involved in immunity modulation, response to stress, lipid homeostasis, and development. The transcriptomic signature of dolphin skin could be therefore relevant as classifier for a specific contaminant. PMID:26794494

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit bays, sounds and estuaries across the Gulf of Mexico. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, studies were initiated to assess potential effects on these ecologically important apex predators. A previous study reported disease conditions, including lung disease and impaired stress response, for 32 dolphins that were temporarily captured and given health assessments in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA. Ten of the sampled dolphins were determined to be pregnant, with expected due dates the following spring or summer. Here, we report findings after 47 months of follow-up monitoring of those sampled dolphins. Only 20% (95% CI: 2.50-55.6%) of the pregnant dolphins produced viable calves, as compared with a previously reported pregnancy success rate of 83% in a reference population. Fifty-seven per cent of pregnant females that did not successfully produce a calf had been previously diagnosed with moderate-severe lung disease. In addition, the estimated annual survival rate of the sampled cohort was low (86.8%, 95% CI: 80.0-92.7%) as compared with survival rates of 95.1% and 96.2% from two other previously studied bottlenose dolphin populations. Our findings confirm low reproductive success and high mortality in dolphins from a heavily oiled estuary when compared with other populations. Follow-up studies are needed to better understand the potential recovery of dolphins in Barataria Bay and, by extension, other Gulf coastal regions impacted by the spill. PMID:26538595

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit bays, sounds and estuaries across the Gulf of Mexico. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, studies were initiated to assess potential effects on these ecologically important apex predators. A previous study reported disease conditions, including lung disease and impaired stress response, for 32 dolphins that were temporarily captured and given health assessments in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA. Ten of the sampled dolphins were determined to be pregnant, with expected due dates the following spring or summer. Here, we report findings after 47 months of follow-up monitoring of those sampled dolphins. Only 20% (95% CI: 2.50–55.6%) of the pregnant dolphins produced viable calves, as compared with a previously reported pregnancy success rate of 83% in a reference population. Fifty-seven per cent of pregnant females that did not successfully produce a calf had been previously diagnosed with moderate–severe lung disease. In addition, the estimated annual survival rate of the sampled cohort was low (86.8%, 95% CI: 80.0–92.7%) as compared with survival rates of 95.1% and 96.2% from two other previously studied bottlenose dolphin populations. Our findings confirm low reproductive success and high mortality in dolphins from a heavily oiled estuary when compared with other populations. Follow-up studies are needed to better understand the potential recovery of dolphins in Barataria Bay and, by extension, other Gulf coastal regions impacted by the spill. PMID:26538595

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25409921

  7. First case of erysipelas in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded in the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Melero, Mar; Rubio-Guerri, Consuelo; Crespo, Jose Luis; Arbelo, Manuel; Vela, Ana Isabel; García-Párraga, Daniel; Sierra, Eva; Domínguez, Lucas; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel

    2011-12-01

    An adult female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded alive and subsequently died several minutes later on the Mediterranean coast of Spain on 14 July 2010. Clinical examination revealed foam through the blowhole and rales upon lung auscultation. On venipuncture, the blood was abnormally dense and dark. Hematological and biochemical abnormalities included dehydration, leukocytosis (48 600 leukocytes microl(-1)) characterized by neutrophilia (48 200 neutrophils microl(-1)), and elevated bilirubin (4.38 mg dl(-1)), alanine aminotransferase (382.3 U l(-1)), aspartate aminotransferase (1449.3 U l(-1)), lactate dehydrogenase (1631.3 U l(-1)), and creatine kinase (404.7 U l(-1)). The most relevant findings of the gross examination were rhomboid-shaped skin lesions, stable froth in the trachea, pulmonary congestion, abnormally thick and rough pleura with adhesions, edematous and congestive superficial cervical and tracheobronchial lymph nodes, red-tinged urine, and severe brain congestion. Histopathology of the kidney, lung, skin, and brain revealed multisystemic intravascular bacterial emboli. Samples of skin, brain, and lung were cultured on Columbia blood agar under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and pure and heavy bacterial cultures were obtained from skin and brain samples. The microorganism isolated was Gram-positive, catalase-negative, facultatively anaerobic, and rod-shaped. The isolates were identified as Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae by the API Coryne biochemical system. Based on the gross and microscopic findings, a diagnosis of acute E. rhusiopathiae septicemia was made. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of E. rhusiopathiae septicemia in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin. PMID:22303633

  8. Acoustic detection probability of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, with static acoustic dataloggers in Cardigan Bay, Wales.

    PubMed

    Nuuttila, Hanna K; Thomas, Len; Hiddink, Jan G; Meier, Rhiannon; Turner, John R; Bennell, James D; Tregenza, Nick J C; Evans, Peter G H

    2013-09-01

    Acoustic dataloggers are used for monitoring the occurrence of cetaceans and can aid in fulfilling statutory monitoring requirements of protected species. Although useful for long-term monitoring, their spatial coverage is restricted, and for many devices the effective detection distance is not specified. A generalized additive mixed model (GAMM) was used to investigate the effects of (1) distance from datalogger, (2) animal behavior (feeding and traveling), and (3) group size on the detection probability of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with autonomous dataloggers (C-PODs) validated with visual observations. The average probability of acoustic detection for minutes with a sighting was 0.59 and the maximum detection distance ranged from 1343-1779 m. Minutes with feeding activity had higher acoustic detection rates and longer average effective detection radius (EDR) than traveling ones. The detection probability for single dolphins was significantly higher than for groups, indicating that their acoustic behavior may differ from those of larger groups in the area, making them more detectable. The C-POD is effective at detecting dolphin presence but the effects of behavior and group size on detectability create challenges for estimating density from detections as higher detection rate of feeding dolphins could yield erroneously high density estimates in feeding areas. PMID:23968057

  9. Auditory evoked potentials (AEP) methods for population-level assessment of hearing sensitivity in bottlenose dolphins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James

    2005-04-01

    A portable system for recording auditory evoked potentials (AEP) was developed to rapidly assess the hearing sensitivity of dolphins in air. The system utilizes a transducer embedded in a silicone suction cup to deliver amplitude modulated tones to the dolphin through the lower jaw. Frequencies tested range from 10-150 kHz and testing of both ears is completed within 90 min. AEP-determined thresholds from one subject were benchmarked against that subject's direct field behavioral audiogram to quantify variation between the two methods. To date, AEP audiograms have been obtained from over 30 bottlenose dolphins. Considerable individual variation in frequency-specific hearing sensitivity was observed. Some high-frequency hearing loss was observed in relatively young (early 20s) and old (35+ years) animals; conversely, age was not necessarily related to hearing loss as several animals greater than 40 years of age had good hearing sensitivity across the range of tested frequencies. Profound hearing loss typically occurred at higher frequencies. Decline in sensitivity was rapid in all cases and began between 50-60 kHz. Increased sample size of hearing sensitivity in dolphins suggest that the use of audiometric functions from single animals as representative of population level audiometry might be misleading.

  10. Seasonal patterns of heat loss in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Meagher, Erin M; McLellan, William A; Westgate, Andrew J; Wells, Randall S; Blum, James E; Pabst, D Ann

    2008-05-01

    This study investigated patterns of heat loss in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident to Sarasota Bay, FL, USA, where water temperatures vary seasonally from 11 to 33 degrees C. Simultaneous measurements of heat flux (HF) and skin surface temperature were collected at the body wall and appendages of dolphins during health-monitoring events in summer (June 2002-2004) and winter (February 2003-2005). Integument thickness was measured and whole body conductance (W/m(2) degrees C) was estimated using HF and colonic temperature measurements. Across seasons, HF values were similar at the appendages, but their distribution differed significantly at the flipper and fluke. In summer, these appendages displayed uniformly high values, while in winter they most frequently displayed very low HF values with a few high HF values. In winter, blubber thickness was significantly greater and estimated conductance significantly lower, than in summer. These results suggest that dolphins attempt to conserve heat in winter. In winter, though, HF values across the body wall were similar to (flank) or greater than (caudal keel) summer values. It is likely that higher winter HF values are due to the steep temperature gradient between the body core and colder winter water, which may limit the dolphin's ability to decrease heat loss across the body wall. PMID:18183404

  11. Lack of variation in voltage-gated sodium channels of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exposed to neurotoxic algal blooms.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    In coastal marine ecosystems, neurotoxins produced by harmful algal blooms (HABs) often result in large-scale mortality events of many marine species. Historical and frequent exposure to HABs therefore may provide a strong selective pressure for adaptations that result in toxin resistance. Neurotoxin resistance has independently evolved in a variety of terrestrial and marine species via mutations in genes encoding the toxin binding sites within the voltage-gated sodium channel gene complex. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that genetic variation in the putative binding site of brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) explains differences among individuals or populations in resistance to harmful Karenia brevis blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. We found very little variation in the sodium channel exons encoding the putative brevetoxin binding site among bottlenose dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle. Our study included samples from several bottlenose dolphin mortality events associated with HABs, but we found no association between genetic variation and survival. We observed a significant effect of geographic region on genetic variation for some sodium channel isoforms, but this can be primarily explained by rare private alleles and is more likely a reflection of regional genetic differentiation than the cause of different levels of HAB resistance between regions. In contrast to many other previously studied neurotoxin-resistant species, we conclude that bottlenose dolphins have not evolved resistance to HABs via mutations in genes encoding the brevetoxin binding site on the voltage-gated sodium channels. PMID:25456229

  12. [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].

    PubMed

    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

  13. A division of labour with role specialization in group-hunting bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off Cedar Key, Florida.

    PubMed

    Gazda, Stefanie K; Connor, Richard C; Edgar, Robert K; Cox, Frank

    2005-01-22

    Individual role specialization during group hunting is extremely rare in mammals. Observations on two groups of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida revealed distinctive behavioural roles during group feeding. In each group, one individual was consistently the 'driver', herding the fishes in a circle toward the remaining 'barrier' dolphins. Aerial fish-capture rates differed between groups, as well as between the driver and barrier dolphins, in one group but not in the other. These differences between the two groups may reflect differences in group stability or in prey school size. PMID:15695203

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Could Relatedness Help Explain Why Individuals Lead in Bottlenose Dolphin Groups?

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Jennifer S.; Wartzok, Douglas; Heithaus, Michael; Krützen, Michael

    2013-01-01

    In many species, particular individuals consistently lead group travel. While benefits to followers often are relatively obvious, including access to resources, benefits to leaders are often less obvious. This is especially true for species that feed on patchy mobile resources where all group members may locate prey simultaneously and food intake likely decreases with increasing group size. Leaders in highly complex habitats, however, could provide access to foraging resources for less informed relatives, thereby gaining indirect benefits by helping kin. Recently, leadership has been documented in a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) where direct benefits to leaders appear unlikely. To test whether leaders could benefit indirectly we examined relatedness between leader-follower pairs and compared these levels to pairs who associated but did not have leader-follower relationship (neither ever led the other). We found the average relatedness value for leader-follower pairs was greater than expected based on chance. The same was not found when examining non leader-follower pairs. Additionally, relatedness for leader-follower pairs was positively correlated with association index values, but no correlation was found for this measure in non leader-follower pairs. Interestingly, haplotypes were not frequently shared between leader-follower pairs (25%). Together, these results suggest that bottlenose dolphin leaders have the opportunity to gain indirect benefits by leading relatives. These findings provide a potential mechanism for the maintenance of leadership in a highly dynamic fission-fusion population with few obvious direct benefits to leaders. PMID:23516445

  16. Genotoxic potential of TiO2 on bottlenose dolphin leukocytes.

    PubMed

    Bernardeschi, Margherita; Guidi, Patrizia; Scarcelli, Vittoria; Frenzilli, Giada; Nigro, Marco

    2010-01-01

    Titanium dioxide is extensively used in a variety of products, including industrial materials and cosmetics. Studies mainly performed on human cell lines and in vivo exposure on experimental animals have raised concern about the toxic effects of ultrafine titanium dioxide; however, scarce information is available about its impact on aquatic life. The aim of this article was to assess the genotoxic potential of TiO(2) (anatase and rutile) on bottlenose dolphin leukocytes. Blood samples were obtained from four male and one female specimens reared at the Adriatic SeaWorld "Oltremare" (Riccione, Italy). Leukocytes were isolated by the lyses procedure and in vitro exposed to TiO(2) in RPMI. Experimental solutions were sonicated immediately before dosing the cells. Three exposure times (4, 24 and 48 h) and three doses (20, 50 and 100 microg/ml) were tested. Genotoxicity was detected by the single-cell gel electrophoresis (or comet assay) at pH > or = 13, assessing single/double-strand breaks and alkali-labile sites. Cytotoxicity was also detected by the Trypan blue exclusion method. Results showed that both the crystalline forms of TiO(2) were genotoxic for bottlenose dolphin leukocytes, with a statistically significant increase of DNA fragmentation after exposure to 50 and 100 microg/ml for 24 and 48 h. Although preliminary, these are the first data regarding the genetic susceptibility of toothed cetaceans toward an "emerging" pollutant, such as TiO(2) particles. PMID:19915826

  17. Quantification of the interaction between bottlenose dolphins and the Atlantic blue crab fishery in Charleston, South Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Health of common bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, following the deepwater horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Schwacke, Lori H; Smith, Cynthia R; Townsend, Forrest I; Wells, Randall S; Hart, Leslie B; Balmer, Brian C; Collier, Tracy K; De Guise, Sylvain; Fry, Michael M; Guillette, Louis J; Lamb, Stephen V; Lane, Suzanne M; McFee, Wayne E; Place, Ned J; Tumlin, Mandy C; Ylitalo, Gina M; Zolman, Eric S; Rowles, Teresa K

    2014-01-01

    The oil spill resulting from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform initiated immediate concern for marine wildlife, including common bottlenose dolphins in sensitive coastal habitats. To evaluate potential sublethal effects on dolphins, health assessments were conducted in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, an area that received heavy and prolonged oiling, and in a reference site, Sarasota Bay, Florida, where oil was not observed. Dolphins were temporarily captured, received a veterinary examination, and were then released. Dolphins sampled in Barataria Bay showed evidence of hypoadrenocorticism, consistent with adrenal toxicity as previously reported for laboratory mammals exposed to oil. Barataria Bay dolphins were 5 times more likely to have moderate-severe lung disease, generally characterized by significant alveolar interstitial syndrome, lung masses, and pulmonary consolidation. Of 29 dolphins evaluated from Barataria Bay, 48% were given a guarded or worse prognosis, and 17% were considered poor or grave, indicating that they were not expected to survive. Disease conditions in Barataria Bay dolphins were significantly greater in prevalence and severity than those in Sarasota Bay dolphins, as well as those previously reported in other wild dolphin populations. Many disease conditions observed in Barataria Bay dolphins are uncommon but consistent with petroleum hydrocarbon exposure and toxicity. PMID:24350796

  19. Evaluation of Potential Protective Factors Against Metabolic Syndrome in Bottlenose Dolphins: Feeding and Activity Patterns of Dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24133483

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Sperm DNA fragmentation is one of the major causes of infertility; the sperm chromatin dispersion test (SCDt) evaluates this parameter and offers the advantage of species-specific validated protocol and ease of use under field conditions. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics in both fresh and post-thaw bottlenose dolphin sperm using the SCDt following different cryopreservation protocols to gain new information about the post-thaw differential sperm DNA longevity in this species. Fresh and cryopreserved semen samples from five bottlenose dolphins were examined for sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics using the SCDt (Halomax(®)). Sperm DNA fragmentation was assessed immediately at collection and following cryopreservation (T0) and then after 0.5, 1, 4, 8, 24, 48 and 72 h incubation at 37°C. Serially collected ejaculates from four dolphins were frozen using different cryopreservation protocols in a TES-TRIS-fructose buffer (TTF), an egg-yolk-free vegetable lipid LP1 buffer (LP1) and human sperm preservation medium (HSPM). Fresh ejaculated spermatozoa initially showed low levels of DNA fragmentation for up to 48 h. Lower Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) was found in the second fresh ejaculate compared to the first when more than one sample was collected on the same day (p < 0.05); this difference was not apparent in any other seminal characteristic. While there was no difference observed in SDF between fresh and frozen-thawed sperm using the different cryopreservation protocols immediately after thawing (T0), frozen-thawed spermatozoa incubated at 37°C showed an increase in the rate of SDF after 24 h. Sperm frozen in the LP1(℗) buffer had higher levels (p < 0.05) of DNA fragmentation after 24- and 48-h incubation than those frozen in TTF or HSPM. No correlation was found between any seminal characteristic and DNA fragmentation in either fresh and/or frozen-thawed samples. PMID:25604784

  3. Establishment of epidermal cell lines derived from the skin of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Yu, Jin; Kindy, Mark S; Ellis, Blake C; Baatz, John E; Peden-Adams, Margie; Ellingham, Tara J; Wolff, Daynna J; Fair, Patricia A; Gattoni-Celli, Sebastiano

    2005-12-01

    The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), a marine mammal found off the Atlantic coast, has become the focus of considerable attention because of an increasing number of mortality events witnessed in this species over the last several years along the southeastern United States. Assessment of the impact of environmental stressors on bottlenose dolphins (BND) has been difficult because of the protected status of these marine mammals. The studies presented herein focused on establishing epidermal cell cultures and cell lines as tools for the in vitro evaluation of environmental stressors on BND skin. Epidermal cell cultures were established from skin samples obtained from Atlantic BND and subjected to karyotype analysis. These cultures were further characterized using immunohistochemical methods demonstrating expression of cytokeratins. By two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), we observed that the proteomic profile of BND skin tissue samples shared distinct similarities with that of skin-derived cultures. Epidermal cell cultures were transfected with a plasmid encoding the SV40 small t- and large T-antigens, as well as the neomycin-resistance gene. Five neomycin-resistant clones were isolated and expanded, and all of them proliferated at a faster rate than nontransfected BND epidermal cultures, which exhibited signs of senescence. Cell lysates prepared from two transfected clones were shown to express, by Western blot analysis, both SV40 tumor antigens. These experimental results are consistent with the concept that transfected clones expressing SV40 tumor antigens represent immortalized BND cell lines. Epidermal cell lines derived from Tursiops truncatus will provide a unique tool for studying key features of the interaction occurring between dolphins and the environment in which they live at their most crucial interface: the skin. PMID:16281302

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26093395

  5. Skin Lesions on Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Three Sites in the Northwest Atlantic, USA

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Leslie Burdett; Rotstein, Dave S.; Wells, Randall S.; Allen, Jason; Barleycorn, Aaron; Balmer, Brian C.; Lane, Suzanne M.; Speakman, Todd; Zolman, Eric S.; Stolen, Megan; McFee, Wayne; Goldstein, Tracey; Rowles, Teri K.; Schwacke, Lori H.

    2012-01-01

    Skin disease occurs frequently in many cetacean species across the globe; methods to categorize lesions have relied on photo-identification (photo-id), stranding, and by-catch data. The current study used photo-id data from four sampling months during 2009 to estimate skin lesion prevalence and type occurring on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from three sites along the southeast United States coast [Sarasota Bay, FL (SSB); near Brunswick and Sapelo Island, GA (BSG); and near Charleston, SC (CHS)]. The prevalence of lesions was highest among BSG dolphins (P = 0.587) and lowest in SSB (P = 0.380), and the overall prevalence was significantly different among all sites (p<0.0167). Logistic regression modeling revealed a significant reduction in the odds of lesion occurrence for increasing water temperatures (OR = 0.92; 95%CI:0.906–0.938) and a significantly increased odds of lesion occurrence for BSG dolphins (OR = 1.39; 95%CI:1.203–1.614). Approximately one-third of the lesioned dolphins from each site presented with multiple types, and population differences in lesion type occurrence were observed (p<0.05). Lesions on stranded dolphins were sampled to determine the etiology of different lesion types, which included three visually distinct samples positive for herpesvirus. Although generally considered non-fatal, skin disease may be indicative of animal health or exposure to anthropogenic or environmental threats, and photo-id data provide an efficient and cost-effective approach to document the occurrence of skin lesions in free-ranging populations. PMID:22427955

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

    PubMed

    Hart, Leslie Burdett; Rotstein, Dave S; Wells, Randall S; Allen, Jason; Barleycorn, Aaron; Balmer, Brian C; Lane, Suzanne M; Speakman, Todd; Zolman, Eric S; Stolen, Megan; McFee, Wayne; Goldstein, Tracey; Rowles, Teri K; Schwacke, Lori H

    2012-01-01

    Skin disease occurs frequently in many cetacean species across the globe; methods to categorize lesions have relied on photo-identification (photo-id), stranding, and by-catch data. The current study used photo-id data from four sampling months during 2009 to estimate skin lesion prevalence and type occurring on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from three sites along the southeast United States coast [Sarasota Bay, FL (SSB); near Brunswick and Sapelo Island, GA (BSG); and near Charleston, SC (CHS)]. The prevalence of lesions was highest among BSG dolphins (P = 0.587) and lowest in SSB (P = 0.380), and the overall prevalence was significantly different among all sites (p<0.0167). Logistic regression modeling revealed a significant reduction in the odds of lesion occurrence for increasing water temperatures (OR = 0.92; 95%CI:0.906-0.938) and a significantly increased odds of lesion occurrence for BSG dolphins (OR = 1.39; 95%CI:1.203-1.614). Approximately one-third of the lesioned dolphins from each site presented with multiple types, and population differences in lesion type occurrence were observed (p<0.05). Lesions on stranded dolphins were sampled to determine the etiology of different lesion types, which included three visually distinct samples positive for herpesvirus. Although generally considered non-fatal, skin disease may be indicative of animal health or exposure to anthropogenic or environmental threats, and photo-id data provide an efficient and cost-effective approach to document the occurrence of skin lesions in free-ranging populations. PMID:22427955

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:18625031

  8. [Formation of probabilistic structure of motor behavior in bottlenose dolphins in captivity].

    PubMed

    Chechina, O N; Kondrat'eva, N L

    2009-01-01

    A probabilistic structure of the motor behavior was analyzed in dolphin calves Tursiops truncatus in the prenatal period and adult dolphins in an oceanarium. Ethograms were recorded and subjected to a computer analysis. Ranking probabilities of transitions between behavioral acts revealed a highly determined sequence of operations underlying the newborn dolphins' behavior. The principle of formation of the variation ethologic structures providing a contact between a developing organism and the environment was determined. The results are discussed in terms of the concept of the informational brain-environment interaction. PMID:19947534

  9. Temporary threshold shift in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exposed to mid-frequency tones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finneran, James J.; Carder, Donald A.; Schlundt, Carolyn E.; Ridgway, Sam H.

    2005-10-01

    A behavioral response paradigm was used to measure hearing thresholds in bottlenose dolphins before and after exposure to 3 kHz tones with sound exposure levels (SELs) from 100 to 203 dB re 1 μPa2 s. Experiments were conducted in a relatively quiet pool with ambient noise levels below 55 dB re 1 μPa2/Hz at frequencies above 1 kHz. Experiments 1 and 2 featured 1-s exposures with hearing tested at 4.5 and 3 kHz, respectively. Experiment 3 featured 2-, 4-, and 8-s exposures with hearing tested at 4.5 kHz. For experiment 2, there were no significant differences between control and exposure sessions. For experiments 1 and 3, exposures with SEL=197 dB re 1 μPa2 s and SEL>=195 dB re 1 μPa2 s, respectively, resulted in significantly higher TTS4 than control sessions. For experiment 3 at SEL=195 dB re 1 μPa2 s, the mean TTS4 was 2.8 dB. These data are consistent with prior studies of TTS in dolphins exposed to pure tones and octave band noise and suggest that a SEL of 195 dB re 1 μPa2 s is a reasonable threshold for the onset of TTS in dolphins and white whales exposed to midfrequency tones.

  10. Multi-echo processing by a bottlenose dolphin operating in "packet" transmission mode at long range.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Schroth-Miller, Maddie; Borror, Nancy; Tormey, Megan; Brewer, Arial; Black, Amy; Bakhtiari, Kimberly; Goya, Gavin

    2014-11-01

    Bottlenose dolphins performing echolocation tasks at long ranges may utilize a transmission mode where bursts, or "packets," of echolocation clicks are emitted rather than single clicks. The clicks within each packet are separated by time intervals well below the two-way travel time, while the packets themselves are emitted at intervals greater than the two-way travel time. Packet use has been shown to increase with range; however, the exact function of packets and the advantages gained by their utilization remain unknown. In this study, the capability for dolphins to utilize multi-echo processing within packets of echoes was investigated by manipulating the number of available echoes within each packet as a dolphin performed a long-range echolocation task. The results showed an improvement in detectability with an increase in the number of echoes in each packet and suggest that packet use is an adaptation to allow multi-echo processing at long ranges without introducing range ambiguity. PMID:25373986

  11. Bottlenose dolphins as indicators of persistent organic pollutants in the western North Atlantic Ocean and northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Kucklick, John; Schwacke, Lori; Wells, Randy; Hohn, Aleta; Guichard, Aurore; Yordy, Jennifer; Hansen, Larry; Zolman, Eric; Wilson, Rachel; Litz, Jenny; Nowacek, Doug; Rowles, Teri; Pugh, Rebecca; Balmer, Brian; Sinclair, Carrie; Rosel, Patricia

    2011-05-15

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including legacy POPs (PCBs, chlordanes, mirex, DDTs, HCB, and dieldrin) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants were determined in 300 blubber biopsy samples from coastal and near shore/estuarine male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) sampled along the U.S. East and Gulf of Mexico coasts and Bermuda. Samples were from 14 locations including urban and rural estuaries and near a Superfund site (Brunswick, Georgia) contaminated with the PCB formulation Aroclor 1268. All classes of legacy POPs in estuarine stocks varied significantly (p < 0.05) among sampling locations. POP profiles in blubber varied by location with the most characteristic profile observed in bottlenose dolphins sampled near the Brunswick and Sapelo estuaries along the Georgia coast which differed significantly (p < 0.001) from other sites. Here and in Sapelo, PCB congeners from Aroclor 1268 dominated indicating widespread food web contamination by this PCB mixture. PCB 153, which is associated with non-Aroclor 1268 PCB formulations, correlated significantly to human population indicating contamination from a general urban PCB source. Factors influencing regional differences of other POPs were less clear and warrant further study. This work puts into geographical context POP contamination in dolphins to help prioritize efforts examining health effects from POP exposure in bottlenose dolphins. PMID:21526819

  12. Effect of lactation stage and concurrent pregnancy on milk composition in the bottlenose dolphin

    PubMed Central

    West, K L; Oftedal, O T; Carpenter, J R; Krames, B J; Campbell, M; Sweeney, J C

    2007-01-01

    Although many toothed whales (Cetacea: Odontoceti) lactate for 2–3 years or more, it is not known whether milk composition is affected by lactation stage in any odontocete species. We collected 64 pooled milk samples spanning 1–30 months postpartum from three captive bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. Milks were assayed for water, fat, crude protein (TN × 6.38) and sugar; gross energy was calculated. Ovulation and pregnancy were determined via monitoring of milk progesterone. Based on analysis of changes in milk composition for each individual dolphin, there were significant increases (P<0.05) in fat (in all three dolphins) and crude protein (in two of three), and a decrease (P<0.05) in water (in two of three) over the course of lactation, but the sugar content did not change. In all three animals, the energy content was positively correlated with month of lactation, but the percentage of energy provided by crude protein declined slightly but significantly (P<0.05). At mid-lactation (7–12 months postpartum, n=17), milk averaged 73.0±1.0% water, 12.8±1.0% fat, 8.9±0.5% crude protein, 1.0±0.1% sugar, 1.76±0.09 kcal g−1 (=7.25 kJ g−1) and 30.3±1.3% protein:energy per cent. This protein:energy per cent was surprisingly high compared with other cetaceans and in relation to the growth rates of calves. Milk progesterone indicated that dolphins ovulated and conceived between 413 and 673 days postpartum, following an increase in milk energy density. The significance of these observed compositional changes to calf nutrition will depend on the amounts of milk produced at different stages of lactation, and how milk composition and yield are influenced by sampling procedure, maternal diet and maternal condition, none of which are known. PMID:22140298

  13. Two levels of alliance formation among male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.).

    PubMed Central

    Connor, R C; Smolker, R A; Richards, A F

    1992-01-01

    In Shark Bay, Western Australia, male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) cooperate in pairs and triplets to sequester and control the movements of females. We refer to this behavior as "herding" and to the male pairs and triplets as alliances. During a 25-month study (1987-1989) on the social relationships of males, we documented herding in 10 alliances. Males preferentially herded nonpregnant females likely to be in estrus. Alliance members associated with one another consistently when not herding females. Each alliance associated preferentially with one or two other alliances. Occasionally, two alliances combined and took females from another alliance or defended females against such efforts. This study documents multiple-level male alliances within a social group outside of humans. PMID:11607275

  14. Conditioned frequency-dependent hearing sensitivity reduction in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Nachtigall, Paul E; Supin, Alexander Ya

    2015-04-01

    The frequency specificity of conditioned dampening of hearing, when a loud sound is preceded by a warning sound, was investigated in a bottlenose dolphin. The loud sounds were 5 s tones of 16, 22.5 or 32 kHz, sound pressure level of 165 dB root mean square (RMS) re. 1 µPa. Hearing sensitivity was tested at the same three frequencies. Hearing sensitivity was measured using pip-train test stimuli and auditory evoked potential recording. The test sound stimuli served also as warning sounds. The durations of the warning sounds were varied randomly to avoid locking a conditioning effect to the timing immediately before the loud sound. Hearing thresholds before the loud sound increased, relative to the baseline, at test frequencies equal to or higher than the loud sound frequency. The highest threshold increase appeared at test frequencies of 0.5 octaves above the loud sound frequencies. PMID:25657210

  15. Occurrence of a unique sialyl tetrasaccharide in colostrum of a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Uemura, Yusuke; Asakuma, Sadaki; Nakamura, Tadashi; Arai, Ikichi; Taki, Michihiro; Urashima, Tadasu

    2005-10-10

    Crude oligosaccharides were recovered from bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) colostrum after chloroform/methanol extraction of lipids and protein precipitation, and purified using gel filtration, anion exchange chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Their chemical structures characterized by NMR spectroscopy were as follows: GalNAc(beta1-4)[Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)]Gal(beta1-4)Glc, Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc, Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal(beta1-4)Glc and Gal(alpha1-4)Gal(beta1-4)Glc. The monosialyltetrasaccharide and neutral trisaccharide have not previously been found as free forms in any natural sources including milk or colostrum, although these structures have been found in the carbohydrate units of glycosphingolipids GM2 and Gb3. PMID:15978735

  16. A novel case of Fusarium oxysporum infection in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Staggs, Lydia; St Leger, Judy; Bossart, Gregory; Townsend, Forrest I; Hicks, Christie; Rinaldi, Michael

    2010-06-01

    A necropsy was performed on a captive-born, 10-yr-old male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) after it died acutely. Gross necropsy findings revealed hemorrhage within the right cerebrum, right cerebellum, and right eye. Histopathologic findings revealed a moderate multifocal acute necrotizing meningoencephalitis with intralesional fungal hyphae. Several pieces of cerebrum and cerebellum and cerebrospinal fluid were sent to the Fungus Testing Laboratory in San Antonio, Texas (U.S.A.). The culture yielded Fusarium oxysporum, which was confirmed by internal transcribed spacer and D1-D2 sequencing. Fusarium oxysporum infection has been reported in marine mammals. No cases of noncutaneous F. oxysporum infection in a cetacean that was not on long-term antimicrobials have been reported in the literature. PMID:20597220

  17. Come dine with me: food-associated social signalling in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    King, Stephanie L; Janik, Vincent M

    2015-07-01

    Food-related signalling is widespread in the animal kingdom with some food-associated vocalizations considered functionally referential. Food calls can, however, vary greatly in the type of information they convey. Thus, there are a multitude of purposes for which food calls are used, including social recruitment, caller spacing, the indication of type, quantity, quality, divisibility of food, the caller's hunger level and even as tools to manipulate prey behaviour. Yet little work has focused on the social aspect of food calling in animals. We investigated the association of social signals in wild bottlenose dolphins with foraging behaviour where context-specific food-associated calls are commonly produced. Our data showed that specific social signals were significantly correlated with food call production and these calls rarely occurred in the absence of food calls. We suggest that animals are sharing additional information on the food patch itself with their social affiliates. PMID:25688042

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Acoustic behavior associated with cooperative task success in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Eskelinen, Holli C; Winship, Kelley A; Jones, Brittany L; Ames, Audra E M; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2016-07-01

    Although many species have proven capable of cooperating to achieve common goals, the role of communication in cooperation has received relatively little attention. Analysis of communication between partners is vital in determining whether actions are truly cooperative rather than serendipitous or learned via trial and error (Chalmeau and Gallo in Behav Process 35:101-111, 1996a. doi: 10.1016/0376-6357(95)00049-6 , Primates 37:39-47, 1996b. doi: 10.1007/BF02382918 ). Wild cetaceans often produce sounds during cooperative foraging, playing, and mating, but the role of these sounds in cooperative events is largely unknown. Here, we investigated acoustic communication between two male bottlenose dolphins while they cooperatively opened a container (Kuczaj et al. in Anim Cogn 18:543-550, 2015b. doi: 10.1007/s10071-014-0822-4 ). Analyses of whistles, burst pulses, and bi-phonations that occurred during four contexts (i.e., no container, no animals interacting with container, one animal interacting with container, and two animals interacting with container) revealed that overall sound production rate significantly increased during container interactions. Sound production rates were also significantly higher during cooperative successes than solo successes, suggesting that the coordination of efforts rather than the apparatus itself was responsible for the phonation increase. The most common sound type during cooperative successes was burst pulse signals, similar to past recordings of cooperative events in bottlenose dolphins (Bastian in Animal sonar systems. Laboratoire de Physiologie Acoustique, Jouy-en Josas, pp 803-873, 1967; Connor and Smolker 1996). PMID:27022973

  4. Monitoring Dolphins in an Urban Marine System: Total and Effective Population Size Estimates of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins in Moreton Bay, Australia

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Blowhole swabs are a simple and non-invasive method for collecting samples from cetaceans and can be used for screening large numbers of animals in the field. This study reports a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Brucella spp. using blowhole swab samples from bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus stranded in the coastal region of Virginia, South Carolina and northern Florida, USA, between 2013 and 2015. We used real-time PCR results on lung samples from the same dolphins in order to estimate the relative sensitivity and specificity of real-time PCR of blowhole swabs. Brucella DNA was detected in lung tissue of 22% (18/81) and in blowhole swabs of 21% (17/81) of the sampled dolphins. The relative sensitivity and specificity of real-time PCR on blowhole swabs as compared to the real-time PCR on lung samples was 94% (17/18) and 100% (63/63), respectively. These results indicate that real-time PCR on blowhole swabs may be used as a non-invasive test for rapid detection of Brucella spp. in the respiratory tract of dolphins. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of blowhole swabs for detection of bacterial pathogens by real-time PCR in bottlenose dolphins. PMID:27503920

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Helicobacter pylori is considered to be responsible for the most common gastric infections in humans worldwide. In animals, other Helicobacter species are linked to gastritis with and without the presence of ulcers in their respective hosts. Moreover, gastric ulcers have been reported for decades in wild and captive dolphins. Clinical signs include lack of appetite, anorexia, abdominal tenderness, depression, and occasional unresponsiveness. In this study, serum and stool of nine bottlenose dolphins from Loro Parque collection Tenerife, Spain were examined for the presence of Helicobacter spp. The aim of our study was to evaluate the use of two commercially available kits for the detection of H. pylori in humans: a stool antigen immunoassay (Letitest H. pylori CARD) and a Western blot assay (EUROLINE-WB H. pylori) that were adapted to identify specific Helicobacter spp. antibodies in the tested Loro Parque bottlenose dolphin collection. The utility of these diagnostic kits for their application in dolphins is demonstrated, and their use in the future for the diagnosis of Helicobacter spp. in both wild and captive dolphins is proposed in this study. PMID:25578177

  7. On the role of periodic structures in the lower jaw of the atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Dible, S A; Flint, J A; Lepper, P A

    2009-03-01

    This paper proposes the application of band-gap theory to hearing in the atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Using the transmission line modelling (TLM) technique and published computed tomography (CT) data of an atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), a series of sound propagation experiments have been carried out. It is shown that the teeth in the lower jaw can be viewed as a periodic array of scattering elements which result in the formation of an acoustic stop band (or band gap) that is angular dependent. It is shown through simple and complex geometry simulations that performance enhancements such as improved gain and isolation between the two receive paths can be achieved. This mechanism has the potential to be exploited in direction-finding sonar. PMID:19258687

  8. A new level of complexity in the male alliance networks of Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.).

    PubMed

    Connor, Richard C; Watson-Capps, Jana J; Sherwin, William B; Krützen, Michael

    2011-08-23

    Male bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia form two levels of alliances; two to three males cooperate to herd individual females and teams of greater than three males compete with other groups for females. Previous observation suggested two alliance tactics: small four to six member teams of relatives that formed stable pairs or trios and unrelated males in a large 14-member second-order alliance that had labile trio formation. Here, we present evidence for a third level of alliance formation, a continuum of second-order alliance sizes and no relationship between first-order alliance stability and second-order alliance size. These findings challenge the 'two alliance tactics' hypothesis and add to the evidence that Shark Bay male bottlenose dolphins engage in alliance formation that likely places considerable demands on their social cognition. PMID:21047850

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    Lobomycosis is a chronic fungal disease caused by the etiologic agent, Lacazia loboi, in the skin and subcutaneous tissues in humans and dolphins in tropical and transitional tropical climates. An Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) stranded in Kagoshima, Japan, had severe skin lesions characterized by granulomatous reactions and hyperkeratosis that were similar to those of the lobomycosis, but no fungal organism was observed in the skin lesion. In this paper, we report a stranded Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin with lobomycosis-like lesions based on pathological examinations in Japan. PMID:25866402

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

    PubMed Central

    TAJIMA, Yuko; SASAKI, Kyoko; KASHIWAGI, Nobuyuki; YAMADA, Tadasu K.

    2015-01-01

    Lobomycosis is a chronic fungal disease caused by the etiologic agent, Lacazia loboi, in the skin and subcutaneous tissues in humans and dolphins in tropical and transitional tropical climates. An Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) stranded in Kagoshima, Japan, had severe skin lesions characterized by granulomatous reactions and hyperkeratosis that were similar to those of the lobomycosis, but no fungal organism was observed in the skin lesion. In this paper, we report a stranded Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin with lobomycosis-like lesions based on pathological examinations in Japan. PMID:25866402

  11. Determination of the immunotoxic potential of heavy metals on the functional activity of bottlenose dolphin leukocytes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Cámara Pellissó, S; Muñoz, M J; Carballo, M; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, J M

    2008-02-15

    Heavy metals may affect the immune system of cetaceans. But no information exists on their effects on the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) immune system, although this species is a coastal top predator which can bioaccumulate high concentrations of them. This work studies the effects of Hg (1, 5 and 10mg/L), Al (2,5, 25 and 50mg/L), Cd (1, 10, 20 and 40mg/L), Pb (1, 10, 20 and 50mg/L) and Cr (1 and 10mg/L), on the function of phagocytes and lymphocytes isolated from the peripheral blood of bottlenose dolphins under in vitro conditions. Cell viability, apoptosis, lymphocyte proliferation and phagocytosis were evaluated. Viability and lymphoproliferation were measured with Alamar Blue assay, and apoptosis and phagocytosis were evaluated with flow cytometry. Apoptosis was detected as mechanism of cell death after cadmium and mercury exposure. A significant reduction in the lymphoproliferative response was registered by exposure to 1mg/L of mercury, 10mg/L of cadmium and 50mg/L of lead. Decreased phagocytosis was also observed at 5mg/L of mercury, 50mg/L of aluminium and 10mg/L of cadmium. Chromium did not present any effects on any immune assay at the concentrations tested. The concentrations of heavy metals that were found to affect the functional activity of bottlenose dolphin leukocytes are within the environmental ranges reported in the tissues of bottlenose dolphins. These results support the hypothesis that exposure to these contaminants, particularly mercury and cadmium could lead to a reduction in host resistance to disease in these animals. PMID:17997166

  12. Male reproductive success increases with alliance size in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

    PubMed

    Wiszniewski, Joanna; Corrigan, Shannon; Beheregaray, Luciano B; Möller, Luciana M

    2012-03-01

    1. Determining the extent of variation in male mating strategies and reproductive success is necessary to understand the fitness benefits of social and cooperative behaviour. 2. This study assesses the reproductive success of male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in a small embayment population where different behavioural strategies of males have previously been identified. Parentage for 44 sampled calves was examined using 23 microsatellite loci and one mitochondrial DNA marker. Our candidate parent pool of 70 males and 64 females contained individuals sampled from both the embayment and adjacent coastal populations. 3. A moderate level of polygyny was detected in our sample. We assigned paternity of 23 calves to 12 males at the strict 95% confidence level and an additional nine calves to two males at the 80% confidence level. The majority (92%) of successful males were identified as residents to the embayment, and 46% of offspring were located within the same social group or community as their father. 4. Our results suggest that the size of alliances was the best predictor of reproductive success for males in this population, while the strength of association among allied males, alliance stability and male ranging patterns had little influence. In line with predictions for male alliances formed between unrelated individuals, we found that reproductive skew within alliances was not large. 5. Together, our genetic and behavioural analyses demonstrate that alliance formation between male dolphins is a successful strategy to enhance reproductive output. PMID:21981240

  13. Equal latency contours for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    Mulsow, Jason; Schlundt, Carolyn E; Brandt, Lacey; Finneran, James J

    2015-11-01

    Loudness perception by non-human animals is difficult to study directly. Previous research efforts have instead focused on estimating loudness perception using simple reaction time (RT) data. These data are used to generate equal latency contours that serve as a proxy for equal loudness contours. To aid the design of auditory weighting functions for marine mammals, equal latency contours were generated using RT data for two marine mammal species that are representative of broader functional hearing groups: the bottlenose dolphin (under water) and California sea lion (in air). In all cases, median RT decreased with increasing tone sound pressure level (SPL). The equal latency contours corresponding to near-threshold SPLs were similar to audiograms for both species. The sea lion contours showed some compression at frequencies below 1 kHz; however, a similar pattern was not apparent in the more variable data for dolphins. Equal latency contours for SPLs greater than approximately 40 dB above threshold diverged from predicted equal loudness contours, likely due to the asymptotic nature of RT at the highest tested SPLs. The results suggest that auditory threshold data, potentially augmented with compression at low frequencies, may provide a useful way forward when designing auditory weighting functions for marine mammals. PMID:26627745

  14. Fatal cetacean morbillivirus infection in an Australian offshore bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Stone, B M; Blyde, D J; Saliki, J T; Blas-Machado, U; Bingham, J; Hyatt, A; Wang, J; Payne, J; Crameri, S

    2011-11-01

    A juvenile offshore bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was found stranded with neurological signs and unable to swim or float unassisted. It subsequently died, succumbing to a combination of severe pneumonia and encephalitis. Morbillivirus serum neutralisation test serology was positive (titre 1:16) for cetacean morbillivirus and negative for both phocine distemper virus and canine distemper virus. There was concurrent thymic and lymph node lymphoid depletion and necrosis, together with intranuclear and intracytoplasmic acidophilic viral inclusion bodies and multinucleate syncytia within multiple organs. Paramyxovirus capsids were identified in lung sections via electron microscopy and morbillivirus antigen was demonstrated within sections of lung, thymus and brain by immunohistochemistry. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for morbillivirus nucleoprotein (N) and phosphoprotein (P) genes were positive and phylogenetic gene product sequence analysis revealed 98% and 94% sequence identity to dolphin morbillivirus, respectively. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of a cetacean mortality due to morbillivirus infection occurring in the southern hemisphere. Morbillivirus infection should be included in the differential diagnosis of stranded live or dead cetaceans in Australian waters, particularly if animals display neurological signs. PMID:22008125

  15. Variation in Female Reproductive Tract Morphology of the Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Orbach, Dara N; Marshall, Christopher D; Würsig, Bernd; Mesnick, Sarah L

    2016-04-01

    Cetaceans exhibit vaginal folds, unusual protrusions of the vaginal wall into the vaginal lumen. Inconsistent terminology and a lack of anatomical landmarks in the literature have hindered comparative studies of the form and function of vaginal folds. Our objectives are to: (1) develop a standardized measurement protocol for the reproductive tracts of female cetaceans, (2) assess variation in morphometrics within the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), and (3) determine if vaginal muscle is skeletal, and therefore of somatic origin in this species. We selected 15 measurements to characterize female reproductive tracts and evaluated variability using fresh or frozen-thawed specimens from southeastern USA representing a range of sexual maturity states and reproductive states (n = 18 specimens). Presence of skeletal muscle and variation in the density of muscle banding were assessed using 90 histological samples (n = 5 specimens). Analyses of the gross morphological data revealed that the dolphins generally had one large vaginal fold that bisected the vaginal lumen. Vaginal morphology was similar for sexually mature and immature specimens and across reproductive states. The histological data revealed that the vaginal musculature consisted of smooth muscle, consistent with other mammals, leading us to conclude that vaginal contractions are likely under autonomic rather than somatic control. No differences were found in the density of smooth muscle banding among vaginal regions or sexual maturity states. Our systematic protocol lays the foundation for evaluating the function (e.g., sexual selection, natural selection) and evolution of vaginal folds. PMID:26788790

  16. Genes or culture: are mitochondrial genes associated with tool use in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.)?

    PubMed

    Bacher, K; Allen, S; Lindholm, A K; Bejder, L; Krützen, M

    2010-09-01

    Some bottlenose dolphins use marine sponges as foraging tools ('sponging'), which appears to be socially transmitted from mothers mainly to their female offspring. Yet, explanations alternative to social transmission have been proposed. Firstly, the propensity to engage in sponging might be due to differences in diving ability caused by variation of mitochondrial genes coding for proteins of the respiratory chain. Secondly, the cultural technique of sponging may have selected for changes in these same genes (or other autosomal ones) among its possessors. We tested whether sponging can be predicted by mitochondrial coding genes and whether these genes are under selection. In 29 spongers and 54 non-spongers from two study sites, the non-coding haplotype at the HVRI locus was a significant predictor of sponging, whereas the coding mitochondrial genes were not. There was no evidence of selection in the investigated genes. Our study shows that mitochondrial gene variation is unlikely to be a viable alternative to cultural transmission as a primary driver of tool use in dolphins. PMID:20582623

  17. Modified variance ratio for objective detection of transient evoked potentials in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J

    2008-12-01

    Evoked potential studies have often relied on one or more human observers to visually assess the averaged waveforms and decide if a response is present. Although simple and easy to implement, response detection strategies based on human observers are inherently subjective and depend on the observers' experience and biases. To avoid these shortcomings, some recent marine animal studies utilizing auditory steady-state responses have applied frequency-domain, statistically based objective detection methods; however, statistically based objective methods have not yet been applied to marine animal tests involving transient evoked responses, which are normally analyzed in the time domain. The present study applied a modified version of the variance ratio F(SP) to determine the presence or absence of evoked responses in two bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stimulated with tone pips. The appropriate degrees of freedom for the statistical tests were empirically determined in four dolphins. The modified variance ratio was found to be a useful tool and to provide an objective statistical approach for the detection of transient evoked potentials. PMID:19206829

  18. Leisure boating noise as a trigger for the displacement of the bottlenose dolphins of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago (northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia).

    PubMed

    Rako, Nikolina; Fortuna, Caterina Maria; Holcer, Draško; Mackelworth, Peter; Nimak-Wood, Maja; Pleslić, Grgur; Sebastianutto, Linda; Vilibić, Ivica; Wiemann, Annika; Picciulin, Marta

    2013-03-15

    The waters of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago are subject to intense boat traffic related to the high number of leisure boats frequenting this area during the summer tourist season. Boat noise dominates the acoustic environment of the local bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) population. This study investigates the spatial and temporal change in the underwater noise levels due to intense boating, and its effect on the distribution of the bottlenose dolphins. In the period 2007-2009 sea ambient noise (SAN) was sampled across ten acoustic stations. During data collection the presence of leisure boats was recorded if they were within 2 km of the sampling station. Bottlenose dolphin spatial distribution was monitored in the same period. Results showed a strong positive correlation between high SAN levels and boat presence, particularly in the tourist season. Dolphin distribution indicated significant seasonal displacements from noisy areas characterized by the intense leisure boating. PMID:23324542

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-17

    We report on the epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease (LLD), a cutaneous disorder evoking lobomycosis, in 658 common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from South America and 94 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins T. aduncus from southern Africa. Photographs and stranding records of 387 inshore residents, 60 inshore non-residents and 305 specimens of undetermined origin (inshore and offshore) were examined for the presence of LLD lesions from 2004 to 2015. Seventeen residents, 3 non-residents and 1 inshore dolphin of unknown residence status were positive. LLD lesions appeared as single or multiple, light grey to whitish nodules and plaques that may ulcerate and increase in size over time. Among resident dolphins, prevalence varied significantly among 4 communities, being low in Posorja (2.35%, n = 85), Ecuador, and high in Salinas, Ecuador (16.7%, n = 18), and Laguna, Brazil (14.3%, n = 42). LLD prevalence increased in 36 T. truncatus from Laguna from 5.6% in 2007-2009 to 13.9% in 2013-2014, albeit not significantly. The disease has persisted for years in dolphins from Mayotte, Laguna, Salinas, the Sanquianga National Park and Bahía Málaga (Colombia) but vanished from the Tramandaí Estuary and the Mampituba River (Brazil). The geographical range of LLD has expanded in Brazil, South Africa and Ecuador, in areas that have been regularly surveyed for 10 to 35 yr. Two of the 21 LLD-affected dolphins were found dead with extensive lesions in southern Brazil, and 2 others disappeared, and presumably died, in Ecuador. These observations stress the need for targeted epidemiological, histological and molecular studies of LLD in dolphins, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. PMID:26575156

  1. 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.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25864766

  2. [Dynamics of development of locomotion of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus ponticus baravash, 1940) in early ontogenesis].

    PubMed

    Chechina, O N

    2007-01-01

    Locomotion in early ontogenesis in calves of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus born in oceanarium was studied by visual observation and recording of etograms with subsequent computer treatment of data. The first element of locomotion of the neonates was swimming synchronously with their mother on the water surface and diving to a depth. In the process of development, this form of behavior was modified and other motor acts and postures characteristic of locomotion of adult individuals appeared heterochronously. Formation of various ways of swimming in the calves was connected with the appearance of their capability for the turn to the back. The diving reaction was developed in connection with development of static postures. Among the jumps, the first one was a non-high jumping out from the water--a "flopping-down" abdomen-wise, and subsequently a high arch-like jump with a noiseless entrance into the water and a "flopping-down" side-wise. The main ways of locomotion characteristic of this animal species appeared for the first month of life; subsequently they were improved and complicated. PMID:17933350

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Culturally transmitted tool use has important ecological and evolutionary consequences and has been proposed as a significant driver of human evolution. Such evidence is still scarce in other animals. In cetaceans, tool use has been inferred using indirect evidence in one population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.), where particular dolphins (‘spongers’) use marine sponges during foraging. To date, evidence of whether this foraging tactic actually provides access to novel food items is lacking. We used fatty acid (FA) signature analysis to identify dietary differences between spongers and non-spongers, analysing data from 11 spongers and 27 non-spongers from two different study sites. Both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in FA profiles between spongers and non-spongers between and within study sites. Moreover, FA profiles differed significantly between spongers and non-spongers foraging within the same deep channel habitat, whereas the profiles of non-spongers from deep channel and shallow habitats at this site could not be distinguished. Our results indicate that sponge use by bottlenose dolphins is linked to significant differences in diet. It appears that cultural transmission of tool use in dolphins, as in humans, allows the exploitation of an otherwise unused niche. PMID:24759862

  4. Comparison of lipids in selected tissues of the Florida manatee (Order Sirenia) and bottlenose dolphin (Order Cetacea; Suborder Odontoceti).

    PubMed

    Ames, Audra L; Van Vleet, Edward S; Reynolds, John E

    2002-07-01

    The position, porosity and oil-filled nature of the zygomatic process of the squamosal bone (ZPSB) of the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, suggest that it may have a similar sound conduction function to that of the intramandibular fat body (IMFB) of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, and other odontocetes. To examine this possibility we determined the lipid composition of the ZPSB and adipose tissue from the dorsal part of the head region of the Florida manatee, and compared it to that of the dolphin IMFB and melon (another fatty area implicated in sound conduction in odontocetes). Lipids from manatee ZPSB and from adipose tissue were composed almost entirely of triacylglycerols. The most abundant fatty acids of the ZPSB were 18:1, 16:0, 14:0 and 16:1. The major fatty acids of the adipose tissue in the head were the four mentioned above, along with 12:0 and 18:0. Manatee samples did not contain isovaleric acid (iso-5:0), which was found in the bottlenose dolphin IMFB and melon, and has been related to sound conduction in dolphins and some other odontocetes. Thus, if manatee tissues are capable of sound conduction, and this process does occur through the ZPSB, a somewhat different suite of lipid components must support this function. PMID:12091108

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    Culturally transmitted tool use has important ecological and evolutionary consequences and has been proposed as a significant driver of human evolution. Such evidence is still scarce in other animals. In cetaceans, tool use has been inferred using indirect evidence in one population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.), where particular dolphins ('spongers') use marine sponges during foraging. To date, evidence of whether this foraging tactic actually provides access to novel food items is lacking. We used fatty acid (FA) signature analysis to identify dietary differences between spongers and non-spongers, analysing data from 11 spongers and 27 non-spongers from two different study sites. Both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed significant differences in FA profiles between spongers and non-spongers between and within study sites. Moreover, FA profiles differed significantly between spongers and non-spongers foraging within the same deep channel habitat, whereas the profiles of non-spongers from deep channel and shallow habitats at this site could not be distinguished. Our results indicate that sponge use by bottlenose dolphins is linked to significant differences in diet. It appears that cultural transmission of tool use in dolphins, as in humans, allows the exploitation of an otherwise unused niche. PMID:24759862

  6. Intervention to Improve the Quality of Life of a Bottlenose Dolphin That Developed Necrosis on the Tail Flukes

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Keiichi; Murakami, Masahito; Kato, Junichi; Miyahara, Hirokazu; Izumisawa, Yasuharu

    2013-01-01

    [Purpose, Case, and Methods] A female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in captivity developed necrosis of the tail flukes. Although the diseased site healed after surgical resection, the loss of approximately 75% of the tail greatly affected her swimming performance. To restore swimming ability, we developed artificial tail flukes as a prosthetic swimming aid and provided physical therapy that included swimming training from postoperative day 1 to day 1427. [Results] The prosthetic enabled the dolphin to recover swimming ability almost to the level prior to disease onset, but even acquire applied movement, and reestablish social relationships, thus greatly improving the animal's quality of life. [Conclusion] The results clearly demonstrate that, as in postoperative rehabilitation in humans, the use of prosthetic devices in physical therapy can be beneficial for marine animals such as dolphins. PMID:24259946

  7. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in blubber of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, USA.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25965044

  8. Machine learning approaches to investigate the impact of PCBs on the transcriptome of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Mancia, Annalaura; Ryan, James C; Van Dolah, Frances M; Kucklick, John R; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S; Rosel, Patricia E; Hohn, Aleta A; Schwacke, Lori H

    2014-09-01

    As top-level predators, common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are particularly sensitive to chemical and biological contaminants that accumulate and biomagnify in the marine food chain. This work investigates the potential use of microarray technology and gene expression profile analysis to screen common bottlenose dolphins for exposure to environmental contaminants through the immunological and/or endocrine perturbations associated with these agents. A dolphin microarray representing 24,418 unigene sequences was used to analyze blood samples collected from 47 dolphins during capture-release health assessments from five different US coastal locations (Beaufort, NC, Sarasota Bay, FL, Saint Joseph Bay, FL, Sapelo Island, GA and Brunswick, GA). Organohalogen contaminants including pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners were determined in blubber biopsy samples from the same animals. A subset of samples (n = 10, males; n = 8, females) with the highest and the lowest measured values of PCBs in their blubber was used as strata to determine the differential gene expression of the exposure extremes through machine learning classification algorithms. A set of genes associated primarily with nuclear and DNA stability, cell division and apoptosis regulation, intra- and extra-cellular traffic, and immune response activation was selected by the algorithm for identifying the two exposure extremes. In order to test the hypothesis that these gene expression patterns reflect PCB exposure, we next investigated the blood transcriptomes of the remaining dolphin samples using machine-learning approaches, including K-nn and Support Vector Machines classifiers. Using the derived gene sets, the algorithms worked very well (100% success rate) at classifying dolphins according to the contaminant load accumulated in their blubber. These results suggest that gene expression profile analysis may provide a valuable means

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    An unusual number of near term and neonatal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) mortalities occurred in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) in 2011, during the first calving season after two well documented environmental perturbations; sustained cold weather in 2010 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWHOS). Preceding the stranding event, large volumes of cold freshwater entered the nGOM due to unusually large snowmelt on the adjacent watershed, providing a third potential stressor. We consider the possibility that this extreme cold and freshwater event contributed to the pattern of perinatal dolphin strandings along the nGOM coast. During the 4-month period starting January 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins, including 46% perinatal calves (nearly double the percentage for the same time period from 2003-2010) washed ashore from Louisiana to western Florida. Comparison of the frequency distribution of strandings to flow rates and water temperature at a monitoring buoy outside Mobile Bay, Alabama (the 4(th) largest freshwater drainage in the U.S.) and along the nGOM coast showed that dolphin strandings peaked in Julian weeks 5, 8, and 12 (February and March), following water temperature minima by 2-3 weeks. If dolphin condition was already poor due to depleted food resources, bacterial infection, or other factors, it is plausible that the spring freshet contributed to the timing and location of the unique stranding event in early 2011. These data provide strong observational evidence to assess links between the timing of the DWHOS, other local environmental stressors, and mortality of a top local predator. Targeted analyses of tissues from stranded dolphins will be essential to define a cause of death, and our findings highlight the importance of considering environmental data along with biological samples to interpret stranding patterns during and after an unusual mortality event. PMID:22815950

  10. Were Multiple Stressors a ‘Perfect Storm’ for Northern Gulf of Mexico Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in 2011?

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    An unusual number of near term and neonatal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) mortalities occurred in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) in 2011, during the first calving season after two well documented environmental perturbations; sustained cold weather in 2010 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWHOS). Preceding the stranding event, large volumes of cold freshwater entered the nGOM due to unusually large snowmelt on the adjacent watershed, providing a third potential stressor. We consider the possibility that this extreme cold and freshwater event contributed to the pattern of perinatal dolphin strandings along the nGOM coast. During the 4-month period starting January 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins, including 46% perinatal calves (nearly double the percentage for the same time period from 2003–2010) washed ashore from Louisiana to western Florida. Comparison of the frequency distribution of strandings to flow rates and water temperature at a monitoring buoy outside Mobile Bay, Alabama (the 4th largest freshwater drainage in the U.S.) and along the nGOM coast showed that dolphin strandings peaked in Julian weeks 5, 8, and 12 (February and March), following water temperature minima by 2–3 weeks. If dolphin condition was already poor due to depleted food resources, bacterial infection, or other factors, it is plausible that the spring freshet contributed to the timing and location of the unique stranding event in early 2011. These data provide strong observational evidence to assess links between the timing of the DWHOS, other local environmental stressors, and mortality of a top local predator. Targeted analyses of tissues from stranded dolphins will be essential to define a cause of death, and our findings highlight the importance of considering environmental data along with biological samples to interpret stranding patterns during and after an unusual mortality event. PMID:22815950

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25019655

  12. Characterization of estrogens, testosterone, and cortisol in normal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Steinman, Karen J; Robeck, Todd R; O'Brien, Justine K

    2016-01-15

    The goal of this study was to describe profiles of serum estrogens, testosterone and cortisol during normal pregnancy in bottlenose dolphins. Predominant estrogens in all categories of dolphin sera pools during estrus and pregnancy (EARLY: Days 0-120; MID: Days 121-240; LATE: Days 241 to parturition; Day 0=day of conception) were estrone/estrone conjugates (E1-C) and estriol (E3). Serum samples collected throughout 101 normal pregnancies were analyzed for E1-C, E3, testosterone (T) and cortisol (CORT). E1-C was higher (P<0.05) during LATE compared to EARLY and MID, and higher (P<0.05) in nulliparous than multiparous females. E1-C concentrations were also inversely associated with maternal age (P=0.05). E3 was higher (P<0.05) in EARLY than MID and LATE, and higher overall for nulliparous than multiparous females, but concentrations were similar among gestational stages when parity was excluded from analyses. Analysis by indexed month post-conception (IMPC) demonstrated that E1-C increased from IMPC 9 and peaked at IMPC 11. E3 was significantly elevated during IMPC 1, decreased until IMPC 6 and peaked at IMPC 11. T increased (P<0.05) at IMPC 3 and continued to increase throughout gestation (P<0.05). CORT was higher (P<0.05) during LATE compared to EARLY and MID (P<0.05), peaked during IMPC 12, and was not affected by parity. Hormone profiles were not influenced by fetal sex. PMID:26718081

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Attaching bio-telemetry or -logging devices ('tags') to marine animals for research and monitoring adds drag to streamlined bodies, thus affecting posture, swimming gaits and energy balance. 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) were trained to swim a set course, either non-tagged (n=7) or fitted with a tag (DTAG2; n=12), and surface exclusively in a flow-through respirometer in which oxygen consumption VO₂ and carbon dioxide production (VO₂; ml kg(-1) min(-1)) rates were measured and respiratory exchange ratio (VO₂/resting VO₂) was calculated. Tags did not significantly affect individual mass-specific oxygen consumption, physical activity ratios (exercise /resting ), total or net cost of transport (COT; J m(-1) kg(-1)) or locomotor costs during swimming or two-minute recovery phases. However, individuals swam significantly slower when tagged (by ~11%; mean ± s.d., 3.31±0.35 m s(-1)) than when non-tagged (3.73±0.41 m s(-1)). A combined theoretical and computational fluid dynamics model estimating drag forces and power exertion during swimming suggests that drag loading and energy consumption are reduced at lower swimming speeds. Bottlenose dolphins in the specific swimming task in this experiment slowed to the point where the tag yielded no increases in drag or power, while showing no difference in metabolic parameters when instrumented with a DTAG2. These results, and our observations, suggest that animals modify their behavior to maintain metabolic output and energy expenditure when faced with tag-induced drag. PMID:25324344

  14. Visible and invisible displacement with dynamic visual occlusion in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Christine M; Sullivan, Jess; Buck, Cara L; Trexel, Julie; Scarpuzzi, Mike

    2015-01-01

    Anticipating the location of a temporarily obscured target-what Piaget (the construction of reality in the child. Basic Books, New York, 1954) called "object permanence"-is a critical skill, especially in hunters of mobile prey. Previous research with bottlenose dolphins found they could predict the location of a target that had been visibly displaced into an opaque container, but not one that was first placed in an opaque container and then invisibly displaced to another container. We tested whether, by altering the task to involve occlusion rather than containment, these animals could show more advanced object permanence skills. We projected dynamic visual displays at an underwater-viewing window and videotaped the animals' head moves while observing these displays. In Experiment 1, the animals observed a small black disk moving behind occluders that shifted in size, ultimately forming one large occluder. Nine out of ten subjects "tracked" the presumed movement of the disk behind this occluder on their first trial-and in a statistically significant number of subsequent trials-confirming their visible displacement abilities. In Experiment 2, we tested their invisible displacement abilities. The disk first disappeared behind a pair of moving occluders, which then moved behind a stationary occluder. The moving occluders then reappeared and separated, revealing that the disk was no longer behind them. The subjects subsequently looked to the correct stationary occluder on eight of their ten first trials, and in a statistically significant number of subsequent trials. Thus, by altering the stimuli to be more ecologically valid, we were able to show that the dolphins could indeed succeed at an invisible displacement task. PMID:25092491

  15. Predicting bottlenose dolphin distribution along Liguria coast (northwestern Mediterranean Sea) through different modeling techniques and indirect predictors.

    PubMed

    Marini, C; Fossa, F; Paoli, C; Bellingeri, M; Gnone, G; Vassallo, P

    2015-03-01

    Habitat modeling is an important tool to investigate the quality of the habitat for a species within a certain area, to predict species distribution and to understand the ecological processes behind it. Many species have been investigated by means of habitat modeling techniques mainly to address effective management and protection policies and cetaceans play an important role in this context. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been investigated with habitat modeling techniques since 1997. The objectives of this work were to predict the distribution of bottlenose dolphin in a coastal area through the use of static morphological features and to compare the prediction performances of three different modeling techniques: Generalized Linear Model (GLM), Generalized Additive Model (GAM) and Random Forest (RF). Four static variables were tested: depth, bottom slope, distance from 100 m bathymetric contour and distance from coast. RF revealed itself both the most accurate and the most precise modeling technique with very high distribution probabilities predicted in presence cells (90.4% of mean predicted probabilities) and with 66.7% of presence cells with a predicted probability comprised between 90% and 100%. The bottlenose distribution obtained with RF allowed the identification of specific areas with particularly high presence probability along the coastal zone; the recognition of these core areas may be the starting point to develop effective management practices to improve T. truncatus protection. PMID:25460419

  16. Thoracic auscultation in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and South African fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) with an electronic stethoscope.

    PubMed

    Scharpegge, Julia; Hartmann, Manuel García; Eulenberger, Klaus

    2012-06-01

    Thoracic auscultation is an important diagnostic method used in cases of suspected pulmonary disease in many species, as respiratory sounds contain significant information on the physiology and pathology of the lungs and upper airways. Respiratory diseases are frequent in marine mammals and are often listed as one of their main causes of death. The aim of this study was to investigate and report baseline parameters for the electronic-mediated thoracic auscultation of one cetacean species and two pinniped species in captivity. Respiratory sounds from 20 captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), 6 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and 5 South African fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) were recorded with an electronic stethoscope. The sounds were analyzed for duration of the respiratory cycle, adventitious sounds, and peak frequencies of recorded sounds during expiration and inspiration as well as for sound intensity as reflected by waveform amplitude during the respiratory cycle. In respiratory cycles of the bottlenose dolphins' expiring "on command," the duration of the expiration was significantly shorter than the duration of the inspiration. In the examined pinnipeds of this study, there was no clear pattern concerning the duration of one breathing phase: Adventitious sounds were detected most often in bottlenose dolphins that were expiring on command and could be compared with "forced expiratory wheezes" in humans. This is the first report of forced expiratory wheezes in bottlenose dolphins; they can easily be misinterpreted as pathologic respiratory sounds. The peak frequencies of the respiratory sounds reached over 2,000 Hz in bottlenose dolphins and over 1,000 Hz in California sea lions and South African fur seals, but the variation of the frequency spectra was very high in all animals. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first systematic analysis of respiratory sounds of bottlenose dolphins and two species of pinnipeds. PMID:22779229

  17. Post-conflict affiliation as conflict management in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Chisato; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Furuta, Keisuke; Ishibashi, Toshiaki; Yoshida, Akihiko; Taki, Michihiro; Mori, Yoshihisa; Amano, Masao

    2015-01-01

    Post-conflict affiliation between former opponents or between one of the former opponents and bystanders might have the function of conflict management, which reduces the costs associated with aggressions. One of the suggested functions of post-conflict affiliation is decreased renewed aggressions directed from aggressors to victims. However, the effect of post-conflict affiliation on renewed aggressions by victims has not been investigated. We examined whether post-conflict affiliations decreased the number of renewed aggressions initiated by winners or losers in captive bottlenose dolphins. Both winners and losers initiated renewed aggressions. However, these aggressions decreased after post-conflict affiliation between former opponents, initiated by bystanders to winners, initiated by losers to bystanders, and initiated by bystanders to losers. Post-conflict affiliation between former opponents is suggested to function as reconciliation. Post-conflict affiliation initiated by losers to bystanders is suggested to function as the protection of losers. Post-conflict affiliations initiated by bystanders to one of former opponents are suggested to function as both appeasement and protection of the opponent who affiliates with bystanders. PMID:26392064

  18. Morphology of the complex laryngeal gland in the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

    PubMed

    Smith, T L; Turnbull, B S; Cowan, D F

    1999-01-01

    A complex lymphoepithelial gland is a constant feature in the larynx of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, based on study of 56 animals. Larynges were removed from fresh, non-decomposed beach-stranded animals for gross examination and histological sampling. A large lymphoepithelial gland occurs in the rostro-ventral mucosa of the larynx, overlying the cricoid cartilage. It presents as a well-defined, elevated, and heavily trabeculated area. Histological examination reveals a pseudostratified columnar epithelium which branches into the underlying submucosa. The epithelial-lined folds and crypts thus formed are surrounded by aggregations of lymphocytes, which infiltrate this epithelium. Mucous glands are often associated with these lymphoid aggregations. The histological appearance of the laryngeal gland is remarkably similar to the palatine, or dorsal oropharyngeal tonsils, of T. truncatus. It may be analogous to the nasopharyngeal adenoid of terrestrial animals. Age-related involution of the laryngeal gland is not as obvious with increasing animal age (or length) as it is in other mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. The distribution of this gland among cetaceans is not yet known. We have observed it in individuals of every species we have studied, including Lagenodelphis hosei, Stenella coeruleoalba, Stenella attenuata, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Steno bredanensis, Physeter catodon, Pseudorca crassidens, Mesoplodon europaeus, and Kogia breviceps. PMID:9892423

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    Numerous studies have documented the ability of many species to make relative quantity judgments using an analogue magnitude system. We investigated whether one beluga whale, Delphinapterus leucas, and three bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, were capable of selecting the larger of two sets of quantities, and analyzed if their performance matched predictions from the object file model versus the analog accumulator model. In Experiment 1, the two sets were presented simultaneously, under water, and they were visually (condition 1) or echoically (condition 2) available at the time of choice. In experiment 2, the two sets were presented above the water, successively (condition 1) or sequentially, item-by-item (condition 2), so that they were not visually available at the time of choice (condition 1) or at any time throughout the experiment (condition 2). We analyzed the effect of the ratio between quantities, the difference between quantities, and the total number of items presented on the subjects' choices. All subjects selected the larger of the two sets of quantities above chance levels in all conditions. However, unlike most previous studies, the subjects' choices did not match the predictions from the accumulator model. Whether these findings reflect interspecies differences in the mechanisms which underpin relative quantity judgments remains to be determined. PMID:23499634

  20. Hearing Mechanisms and Noise Metrics Related to Auditory Masking in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Branstetter, Brian K; Bakhtiari, Kimberly L; Trickey, Jennifer S; Finneran, James J

    2016-01-01

    Odontocete cetaceans are acoustic specialists that depend on sound to hunt, forage, navigate, detect predators, and communicate. Auditory masking from natural and anthropogenic sound sources may adversely affect these fitness-related capabilities. The ability to detect a tone in a broad range of natural, anthropogenic, and synthesized noise was tested with bottlenose dolphins using a psychophysical, band-widening procedure. Diverging masking patterns were found for noise bandwidths greater than the width of an auditory filter. Despite different noise types having equal-pressure spectral-density levels (95 dB re 1 μPa(2)/Hz), masked detection threshold differences were as large as 22 dB. Consecutive experiments indicated that noise types with increased levels of amplitude modulation resulted in comodulation masking release due to within-channel and across-channel auditory mechanisms. The degree to which noise types were comodulated (comodulation index) was assessed by calculating the magnitude-squared coherence between the temporal envelope from an auditory filter centered on the signal and temporal envelopes from flanking filters. Statistical models indicate that masked thresholds in a variety of noise types, at a variety of levels, can be explained with metrics related to the comodulation index in addition to the pressure spectral-density level of noise. This study suggests that predicting auditory masking from ocean noise sources depends on both spectral and temporal properties of the noise. PMID:26610950

  1. Monaural and binaural hearing directivity in the bottlenose dolphin: evoked-potential study.

    PubMed

    Popov, Vladimir V; Supin, Alexander Ya; Klishin, Vladimir O; Bulgakova, Tatyana N

    2006-01-01

    Hearing thresholds as a function of sound-source azimuth were measured in bottlenose dolphins using an auditory evoked potential (AEP) technique. AEP recording from a region next to the ear allowed recording monaural responses. Thus, a monaural directivity diagram (a threshold-vs-azimuth function) was obtained. For comparison, binaural AEP components were recorded from the vertex to get standard binaural directivity diagrams. Both monaural and binaural diagrams were obtained at frequencies ranging from 8 to 128 kHz in quarter-octave steps. At all frequencies, the monaural diagram demonstrated asymmetry manifesting itself as: (1) lower thresholds at the ipsilateral azimuth as compared to the symmetrical contralateral azimuth and (2) ipsilateral shift of the lowest-threshold point. The directivity index increased with frequency: at the ipsilateral side it rose from 4.7 to 17.8 dB from 11.2 to 128 kHz, and from 10.5 to 15.6 dB at the contralateral side. The lowest-threshold azimuth shifted from 0 degrees at 90-128 kHz to 22.5 degrees at 8-11.2 kHz. The frequency-dependent variation of the lowest-threshold azimuth indicates the presence of two sound-receiving apertures at each head side: a high-frequency aperture with the axis directed frontally, and a low-frequency aperture with the axis directed laterally. PMID:16454317

  2. Habitat structure and the dispersal of male and female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    Natoli, Ada; Birkun, Alexei; Aguilar, Alex; Lopez, Alfredo; Hoelzel, A. Rus

    2005-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are widely distributed and a high degree of morphometric and genetic differentiation has been found among both allopatric and parapatric populations. We analysed 145 samples along a contiguous distributional range from the Black Sea to the eastern North Atlantic for mitochondrial and nuclear genetic diversity, and found population structure with boundaries that coincided with transitions between habitat regions. These regions can be characterized by ocean floor topography, and oceanographic features such as surface salinity, productivity and temperature. At the extremes of this range there was evidence for the directional emigration of females. Bi-parentally inherited markers did not show this directional bias in migration, suggesting a different dispersal strategy for males and females at range margins. However, comparative assessment based on mitochondrial DNA and nuclear markers indicated that neither sex showed a strong bias for greater dispersal on average. These data imply a mechanism for the evolutionary structuring of populations based on local habitat dependence for both males and females. PMID:16024385

  3. Post-conflict affiliation as conflict management in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Chisato; Morisaka, Tadamichi; Furuta, Keisuke; Ishibashi, Toshiaki; Yoshida, Akihiko; Taki, Michihiro; Mori, Yoshihisa; Amano, Masao

    2015-01-01

    Post-conflict affiliation between former opponents or between one of the former opponents and bystanders might have the function of conflict management, which reduces the costs associated with aggressions. One of the suggested functions of post-conflict affiliation is decreased renewed aggressions directed from aggressors to victims. However, the effect of post-conflict affiliation on renewed aggressions by victims has not been investigated. We examined whether post-conflict affiliations decreased the number of renewed aggressions initiated by winners or losers in captive bottlenose dolphins. Both winners and losers initiated renewed aggressions. However, these aggressions decreased after post-conflict affiliation between former opponents, initiated by bystanders to winners, initiated by losers to bystanders, and initiated by bystanders to losers. Post-conflict affiliation between former opponents is suggested to function as reconciliation. Post–conflict affiliation initiated by losers to bystanders is suggested to function as the protection of losers. Post-conflict affiliations initiated by bystanders to one of former opponents are suggested to function as both appeasement and protection of the opponent who affiliates with bystanders. PMID:26392064

  4. Auditory evoked potentials in a bottlenose dolphin during moderate-range echolocation tasks.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Mulsow, Jason; Houser, Dorian S

    2013-12-01

    Studies with echolocating odontocetes have suggested that forms of automatic gain control mediate auditory electrophysiological responses to target-related echoes. This study used a phantom echo generator and auditory evoked potential measurements to examine automatic gain control in a bottlenose dolphin. Auditory evoked potentials to outgoing clicks and incoming echoes were recorded for simulated ranges from 2.5 to 80 m. When geometric spreading loss was simulated, echo-evoked potential amplitudes were essentially constant up to 14 m and progressively decreased with increasing range. When the echo levels were held constant relative to clicks, echo-evoked potential amplitudes increased with increasing range up to 80 m. These results suggest that automatic gain control maintains distance-independent echo-evoked potential amplitudes at close range, but does not fully compensate for attenuation due to spreading loss at longer ranges. The automatic gain control process appears to arise from an interaction of transmitter and receiver based processes, resulting in a short-range region of distance-independent echo-evoked potential amplitudes for relevant targets, and a longer-range region in which echo-evoked potential amplitudes are reduced. PMID:25669263

  5. Calcium-binding proteins in the cerebellar cortex of the bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise.

    PubMed

    Kalinichenko, Sergei G; Pushchin, Igor I

    2008-07-01

    Studying the distribution of Ca2+-binding proteins allows one to discover specific neuron chemotypes involved in the regulation of the activity of various neural elements. While extensive data exist on Ca2+-binding proteins in the nervous system, in particular, in the cerebellar cortex of terrestrial mammals, the localization of these proteins in the cerebellar cortex of marine mammals has not been studied. We studied the localization of calretinin, calbindin, and parvalbumin immunoreactivity in the cerebellar cortex of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncates and harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena. In both species, most Purkinje cells were calbindin-immunoreactive, while calretinin and parvalbumin were expressed in a small portion of Purkinje cells. In addition, calretinin-immunoreactive unipolar brush and granule cells and calbindin- and parvalbumin-immunoreactive basket, stellate, and Golgi cells were observed. Calretinin-immunoreactive corticopetal (mossy and climbing) fibers were found. Based on the length of the primary dendrite, short-, middle-, and long-dendrite unipolar brush cells could be distinguished. The validity of this classification was supported using cluster analysis suggesting the presence of several natural types of these cells. The distribution of Ca2+-binding proteins in the cerebellar cortex of the cetaceans studied was generally similar to that reported for terrestrial mammals, suggesting that this trait is evolutionarily conservative in mammals. PMID:18455363

  6. Two isoforms of aquaporin 2 responsive to hypertonic stress in the bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Miwa; Wakui, Hitomi; Itou, Takuya; Segawa, Takao; Inoshima, Yasuo; Maeda, Ken; Kikuchi, Kiyoshi

    2016-04-15

    This study investigated the expression of aquaporin 2 (AQP2) and its newly found alternatively spliced isoform (alternative AQP2) and the functions of these AQP2 isoforms in the cellular hyperosmotic tolerance in the bottlenose dolphin, ITALIC! Tursiops truncatus mRNA sequencing revealed that alternative AQP2 lacks the fourth exon and instead has a longer third exon that includes a part of the original third intron. The portion of the third intron, now part of the coding region of alternative AQP2, is highly conserved among many species of the order Cetacea but not among terrestrial mammals. Semi-quantitative PCR revealed that AQP2 was expressed only in the kidney, similar to terrestrial mammals. In contrast, alternative AQP2 was expressed in all organs examined, with strong expression in the kidney. In cultured renal cells, expression of both AQP2 isoforms was upregulated by the addition to the medium of NaCl but not by the addition of mannitol, indicating that the expression of both isoforms is induced by hypersalinity. Treatment with small interfering RNA for both isoforms resulted in a decrease in cell viability in hypertonic medium (500 mOsm kg(-1)) when compared with controls. These findings indicate that the expression of alternatively spliced AQP2 is ubiquitous in cetacean species, and it may be one of the molecules important for cellular osmotic tolerance throughout the body. PMID:26944501

  7. Expectancy and conditioned hearing levels in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Nachtigall, Paul E; Supin, Alexander Ya; Smith, Adam B; Pacini, Aude F

    2016-03-01

    The hearing sensitivity of a bottlenose dolphin for a warning sound, when the exact time of the arrival of a loud sound could or could not be predicted, was measured. Sensitivity was measured when the time of onset of the loud sound was randomly varied (random-variation sessions) and when the time of onset of the loud sound and the pattern of stimulus levels was constant (fixed-stimulus sessions). The loud sound was kept the same in both of the series. The mean duration and mean range of the levels of the test/warning signal were also kept equal across experimental sessions. Hearing sensitivity was measured using the auditory evoked potential method with rhythmic trains of short pips as test stimuli. With randomly varied warning sounds, thresholds before the loud sound were on average 10.6 dB higher than the baseline thresholds. With fixed warning signals, thresholds were on average 4.4 dB higher than the baseline thresholds. Considering that the loud sounds were identical, the difference between the random-variation and the fixed-stimulus sessions cannot be explained by a direct (unconditioned) influence of sound exposure. Therefore, the data provide reliable evidence for the conditioning nature of the hearing-dampening effect and also demonstrate that hearing sensitivity change also depends on when the animal can expect the loud sound to occur. PMID:26787478

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Interrelationships between intranarial pressure and biosonar clicks in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsberry, Wesley R.; Cranford, Ted W.; Ridgway, Sam H.; Carder, Donald A.; Vanbonn, William G.; Blackwood, Diane J.; Carr, Jennifer A.; Evans, William E.

    2002-05-01

    Three Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were given a target recognition biosonar task. During their performance of the task, both acoustic data in the far field and pressure within the bony nasal passages were digitally recorded (Elsberry et al., 1999). Analysis of over 15000 biosonar clicks provided new insights into odontocete biosonar sound production and is consistent with acoustic and pressure data taken from white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) during biosonar (Ridgway and Carder, 1988). Our work provides the first evidence for a minimum intranarial pressure during biosonar click production for any odontocete (11.8+/-0.5 kPascals over basal pressure). All three subjects exhibited nearly the same minimum tranarial pressure difference during biosonar click production. Clicks produced at or near this minimum intranarial pressure exhibited a wide range of acoustic power values. The acoustic power of a biosonar click was not highly correlated with intranarial pressure (R2=0.116). The radiated acoustic energy in biosonar clicks ranged from 1 to 1370 microJoules. Estimates of mechanical work during pressurization events were produced using a piston/cylinder model and intranarial volume data from prepared specimens and computed tomography scans. Mechanical work during pressurization events ranged from 2.74 to 23.0 Joules, with an average of 10.3 Joules.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

    Objective-To evaluate annual survival and mortality rates and the longevity of a managed population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Design-Retrospective cohort study. Animals-103 bottlenose dolphins at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program (MMP). Procedures-Population age structures, annual survival and crude mortality rates, and median age at death for dolphins > 30 days old were determined from 2004 through 2013. Results-During 2004 through 2013, the annual survival rates for MMP dolphins ranged from 0.98 to 1.0, and the annual crude mortality rates ranged from 0% to 5%, with a mean of 2.7%. The median age at death was 30.1 years from 2004 through 2008 and increased to 32 years from 2009 through 2013. The maximum age for a dolphin in the study was 52 years. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results indicated that the annual mortality rates were low and survival rates were high for dolphins in the MMP from 2004 through 2013 and that the median age at death for MMP dolphins during that time was over 10 years greater than that reported in free-ranging dolphins. These findings were likely attributable to the continually improving care and husbandry of managed dolphin populations. PMID:25835174

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    The role the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays in response to exposure to environmental toxins is relatively poorly understood, particularly in comparison to its well-described role in pathogen immunity. We investigated associations between MHC diversity and resistance to brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A previous genome-wide association study investigating an apparent difference in harmful algal bloom (HAB) resistance among dolphin populations in the Gulf of Mexico identified genetic variation associated with survival in close genomic proximity to multiple MHC class II loci. Here, we characterized genetic variation at DQA, DQB, DRA, and DRB loci in dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle, including dolphins that died during HABs and dolphins presumed to have survived HAB exposure. We found that DRB and DQB exhibited patterns of genetic differentiation among geographic regions that differed from neutral microsatellite loci. In addition, genetic differentiation at DRB across multiple pairwise comparisons of live and dead dolphins was greater than differentiation observed at neutral loci. Our findings at these MHC loci did not approach the strength of association with survival previously described for a nearby genetic variant. However, the results provide evidence that selective pressures at the MHC vary among dolphin populations that differ in the frequency of HAB exposure and that the overall composition of DRB variants differs between dolphin survivors and non-survivors of HABs. These results may suggest a potential role of MHC diversity in variable survival of bottlenose dolphins exposed to HABs. PMID:25475909

  12. Coinfection by Ureaplasma spp., Photobacterium damselae and an Actinomyces-like microorganism in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with pleuropneumonia stranded along the Adriatic coast of Italy.

    PubMed

    Di Francesco, Gabriella; Cammà, Cesare; Curini, Valentina; Mazzariol, Sandro; Proietto, Umberto; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Ferri, Nicola; Di Provvido, Andrea; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-04-01

    A case of pleuropneumonia is reported in an adult male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) found stranded in 2014 along the Central Adriatic coast of Italy. A severe pyogranulomatous pneumonia and thoracic lymphadenopathy were present at necropsy. Numerous Splendore-Hoeppli bodies were found microscopically scattered throughout the lung. Histochemical evidence of Actinomyces-like organisms was obtained from the pulmonary parenchyma, with a strain of Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida and Ureaplasma spp. being also isolated from the same tissue. For the latter, a genome fragment of approximately 1400 bp from the 16s rDNA was amplified and sequenced. BLAST analysis revealed 100% identity with an uncultured Ureaplasma spp. (JQ193826.1). PMID:27033917

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Socially learned behaviours leading to genetic population structure have rarely been described outside humans. Here, we provide evidence of fine-scale genetic structure that has probably arisen based on socially transmitted behaviours in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in western Shark Bay, Western Australia. We argue that vertical social transmission in different habitats has led to significant geographical genetic structure of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes. Dolphins with mtDNA haplotypes E or F are found predominantly in deep (more than 10 m) channel habitat, while dolphins with a third haplotype (H) are found predominantly in shallow habitat (less than 10 m), indicating a strong haplotype–habitat correlation. Some dolphins in the deep habitat engage in a foraging strategy using tools. These ‘sponging’ dolphins are members of one matriline, carrying haplotype E. This pattern is consistent with what had been demonstrated previously at another research site in Shark Bay, where vertical social transmission of sponging had been shown using multiple lines of evidence. Using an individual-based model, we found support that in western Shark Bay, socially transmitted specializations may have led to the observed genetic structure. The reported genetic structure appears to present an example of cultural hitchhiking of mtDNA haplotypes on socially transmitted foraging strategies, suggesting that, as in humans, genetic structure can be shaped through cultural transmission. PMID:24648223

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Socially learned behaviours leading to genetic population structure have rarely been described outside humans. Here, we provide evidence of fine-scale genetic structure that has probably arisen based on socially transmitted behaviours in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in western Shark Bay, Western Australia. We argue that vertical social transmission in different habitats has led to significant geographical genetic structure of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes. Dolphins with mtDNA haplotypes E or F are found predominantly in deep (more than 10 m) channel habitat, while dolphins with a third haplotype (H) are found predominantly in shallow habitat (less than 10 m), indicating a strong haplotype-habitat correlation. Some dolphins in the deep habitat engage in a foraging strategy using tools. These 'sponging' dolphins are members of one matriline, carrying haplotype E. This pattern is consistent with what had been demonstrated previously at another research site in Shark Bay, where vertical social transmission of sponging had been shown using multiple lines of evidence. Using an individual-based model, we found support that in western Shark Bay, socially transmitted specializations may have led to the observed genetic structure. The reported genetic structure appears to present an example of cultural hitchhiking of mtDNA haplotypes on socially transmitted foraging strategies, suggesting that, as in humans, genetic structure can be shaped through cultural transmission. PMID:24648223

  15. Measuring fecal progestogens as a tool to monitor reproductive activity in captive female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Biancani, B; Da Dalt, L; Lacave, G; Romagnoli, S; Gabai, G

    2009-12-01

    The objective was to develop and test radioimmunoassays (RIAs) to measure fecal progestogens (P) and estrogens (E) to monitor ovarian activity in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Fecal samples were collected at least once a week for 20 mo from three peripubertal female bottlenose dolphins. Blood samples were collected at least once a month to compare serum and fecal steroid concentrations. Moreover, random fecal samples from three pregnant females, one lactating female, and one sexually mature female receiving oral altrenogest treatment were also collected. Fecal samples were collected behaviorally with a probe to avoid water contamination and extracted with petroleum ether (for P analysis) or diethyl ether (for E analysis). When possible, vaginal cytology and ovarian ultrasonography were used to monitor the estrous cycle. The RIA for fecal P had good reproducibility and negligible matrix effect. In addition, when fecal samples (N=25) were extracted with ethanol, the results with the two methods of extraction were highly correlated (r=0.923). Therefore, extraction of fecal samples with petroleum ether represented a valid alternative to other, more time-consuming methods of determining fecal P concentrations. In the absence of luteal activity, fecal P concentrations were consistently < 10 pmol/g feces, although they never decreased below 10 pmol/g during pregnancy. Thus, the threshold to confirm the presence of an active corpus luteum was provisionally set at 10 pmol/g. Around the onset of puberty, luteal phases appeared shorter and irregular in the bottlenose dolphin, as in other mammalian species. Additional HPLC-MS studies should be performed to identify predominant P metabolites to be used as fecal indicators of luteal activity in this species. PMID:19783290

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

    PubMed

    Colegrove, Kathleen M; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2015-04-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can develop metabolic states mimicking prediabetes, including hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, elevated glucose, and fatty liver disease. Little is known, however, about dolphin pancreatic histomorphology. Distribution and area of islets, α, β, and δ cells were evaluated in pancreatic tissue from 22 dolphins (mean age 25.7years, range 0-51). Associations of these measurements were evaluated by sex, age, percent high glucose and lipids during the last year of life, and presence or absence of fatty liver disease and islet cell vacuolation. The most common pancreatic lesions identified were exocrine pancreas fibrosis (63.6%) and mild islet cell vacuolation (47.4%); there was no evidence of insulitis or amyloid deposition, changes commonly associated with type 2 diabetes. Dolphin islet architecture appears to be most similar to the pig, where α and β cells are localized to the central or periphery of the islet, respectively, or are well dispersed throughout the islet. Unlike pigs, large islets (greater than 10,000μm(2)) were common in dolphins, similar to that found in humans. A positive linear association was identified between dolphin age and islet area average, supporting a compensatory response similar to other species. The strongest finding in this study was a positive linear association between islet size, specifically β-cells, and percent blood samples with high cholesterol (greater than 280mg/dl, R(2)=0.57). This study is the most comprehensive assessment of the dolphin pancreas to date and may help direct future studies, including associations between chronic hypercholesterolemia and β-cell size. PMID:25745813

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

    Lobomycosis (lacaziosis) is a chronic fungal disease of the skin that affects only dolphins and humans. Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of lobomycosis in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (IRL). We studied the occurrence and distribution of lobomycosis in the IRL using photo-identification survey data collected between 1996 and 2006. Our objectives were to (1) determine the sensitivity and specificity of photo-identification for diagnosis of lobomycosis in free-ranging dolphins; (2) determine the spatial distribution of lobomycosis in the IRL; and (3) assess temporal patterns of occurrence. Photographs from 704 distinctly marked dolphins were reviewed for skin lesions compatible with lobomycosis. The presumptive diagnosis was validated by comparing the results of photographic analysis with physical examination and histologic examination of lesion biopsies in 102 dolphins captured and released during a health assessment and 3 stranded dolphins. Twelve of 16 confirmed cases were identified previously by photography, a sensitivity of 75%. Among 89 dolphins without disease, all 89 were considered negative, a specificity of 100%. The prevalence of lobomycosis estimated from photographic data was 6.8% (48/704). Spatial distribution was determined by dividing the IRL into six segments based on hydrodynamics and geographic features. The prevalence ranged from <1% in the Mosquito Lagoon to 16.9% in the south Indian River. The incidence of the disease did not increase during the study period, indicating that the disease is endemic, rather than emerging. In summary, photo-identification is a useful tool to monitor the course of individual and population health for this enigmatic disease. PMID:18712442

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge regarding stress hormones and how they vary in response to seasonality, gender, age, and reproductive status for any marine mammal is limited. Furthermore, stress hormones may be measured in more than one matrix (e.g., feces, blood, blubber), but the relationships between levels of a given hormone across these matrices are unknown, further complicating the interpretations of hormones measured in samples collected from wild animals. A study is underway to address these issues in a population of bottlenose dolphins trained for voluntary participation in sample collections from different matrices and across season and time of day. PMID:26610993

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) have tissue mercury concentrations among the highest reported worldwide. Analysis of total mercury (THg) concentrations in blood collected between 2003 and 2012 showed a significant linear decrease over time (p=0.04). Significant differences in the spatial distribution of THg in resident IRL dolphins were also observed with a general gradient in concentration from north to south. Evaluation of local biogeochemistry and accumulation of mercury in prey species is needed to better understand factors influencing the distribution of Hg in the apex predator. Analyses of temporal and spatial patterns of exposure to THg in this sentinel species may have implications for both ecosystem and public health in the region. PMID:26119626

  20. Histologic findings in free-ranging Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) skin: mercury, selenium, and seasonal factors.

    PubMed

    Miller, Debra L; Woshner, Victoria; Styer, Eloise L; Ferguson, Sylvia; Knott, Katrina K; Gray, Matthew J; Wells, Randall S; O'Hara, Todd M

    2011-10-01

    Full-thickness epidermal biopsy samples were collected from free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA. Season (summer or winter) of collection, mercury (Hg) concentration, and selenium (Se) concentration were compared to histologic parameters. Epidermal Hg concentration was positively related to age (P<0.001) and negatively related to height of the stratum spinosum (P<0.05). The mitotic index and heights of the stratum externum and intermedium were lower in summer than in winter (P<0.01). Transmission electron microscopic examination revealed variation in the diameters (60-138 nm) and arrangements of collagen fibers, regardless of age or concentrations of Hg and Se. The significance of the variation in height of the stratum spinosum and the perivascular collagen degeneration to dolphin health need further investigation. PMID:22102676

  1. Quantitative tools for comparing animal communication systems: information theory applied to bottlenose dolphin whistle repertoires.

    PubMed

    McCOWAN; Hanser; Doyle

    1999-02-01

    Comparative analysis of nonhuman animal communication systems and their complexity, particularly in comparison to human language, has been generally hampered by both a lack of sufficiently extensive data sets and appropriate analytic tools. Information theory measures provide an important quantitative tool for examining and comparing communication systems across species. In this paper we use the original application of information theory, that of statistical examination of a communication system's structure and organization. As an example of the utility of information theory to the analysis of animal communication systems, we applied a series of information theory statistics to a statistically categorized set of bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus, whistle vocalizations. First, we use the first-order entropic relation in a Zipf-type diagram (Zipf 1949 Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort) to illustrate the application of temporal statistics as comparative indicators of repertoire complexity, and as possible predictive indicators of acquisition/learning in animal vocal repertoires. Second, we illustrate the need for more extensive temporal data sets when examining the higher entropic orders, indicative of higher levels of internal informational structure, of such vocalizations, which could begin to allow the statistical reconstruction of repertoire organization. Third, we propose using 'communication capacity' as a measure of the degree of temporal structure and complexity of statistical correlation, represented by the values of entropic order, as an objective tool for interspecies comparison of communication complexity. In doing so, we introduce a new comparative measure, the slope of Shannon entropies, and illustrate how it potentially can be used to compare the organizational complexity of vocal repertoires across a diversity of species. Finally, we illustrate the nature and predictive application of these higher-order entropies using a preliminary

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

    PubMed Central

    Brunoldi, Marco; Bozzini, Giorgio; Casale, Alessandra; Corvisiero, Pietro; Grosso, Daniele; Magnoli, Nicodemo; Alessi, Jessica; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Mandich, Alberta; Morri, Carla; Povero, Paolo; Wurtz, Maurizio; Melchiorre, Christian; Viano, Gianni; Cappanera, Valentina; Fanciulli, Giorgio; Bei, Massimiliano; Stasi, Nicola; Taiuti, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Within the framework of the EU Life+ project named LIFE09 NAT/IT/000190 ARION, a permanent automated real-time passive acoustic monitoring system for the improvement of the conservation status of the transient and resident population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been implemented and installed in the Portofino Marine Protected Area (MPA), Ligurian Sea. The system is able to detect the simultaneous presence of dolphins and boats in the area and to give their position in real time. This information is used to prevent collisions by diffusing warning messages to all the categories involved (tourists, professional fishermen and so on). The system consists of two gps-synchronized acoustic units, based on a particular type of marine buoy (elastic beacon), deployed about 1 km off the Portofino headland. Each one is equipped with a four-hydrophone array and an onboard acquisition system which can record the typical social communication whistles emitted by the dolphins and the sound emitted by boat engines. Signals are pre-filtered, digitized and then broadcast to the ground station via wi-fi. The raw data are elaborated to get the direction of the acoustic target to each unit, and hence the position of dolphins and boats in real time by triangulation. PMID:26789265

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

    PubMed

    Brunoldi, Marco; Bozzini, Giorgio; Casale, Alessandra; Corvisiero, Pietro; Grosso, Daniele; Magnoli, Nicodemo; Alessi, Jessica; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Mandich, Alberta; Morri, Carla; Povero, Paolo; Wurtz, Maurizio; Melchiorre, Christian; Viano, Gianni; Cappanera, Valentina; Fanciulli, Giorgio; Bei, Massimiliano; Stasi, Nicola; Taiuti, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Within the framework of the EU Life+ project named LIFE09 NAT/IT/000190 ARION, a permanent automated real-time passive acoustic monitoring system for the improvement of the conservation status of the transient and resident population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been implemented and installed in the Portofino Marine Protected Area (MPA), Ligurian Sea. The system is able to detect the simultaneous presence of dolphins and boats in the area and to give their position in real time. This information is used to prevent collisions by diffusing warning messages to all the categories involved (tourists, professional fishermen and so on). The system consists of two gps-synchronized acoustic units, based on a particular type of marine buoy (elastic beacon), deployed about 1 km off the Portofino headland. Each one is equipped with a four-hydrophone array and an onboard acquisition system which can record the typical social communication whistles emitted by the dolphins and the sound emitted by boat engines. Signals are pre-filtered, digitized and then broadcast to the ground station via wi-fi. The raw data are elaborated to get the direction of the acoustic target to each unit, and hence the position of dolphins and boats in real time by triangulation. PMID:26789265

  4. Lateralized visual behavior in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) performing audio-visual tasks: the right visual field advantage.

    PubMed

    Delfour, F; Marten, K

    2006-01-10

    Analyzing cerebral asymmetries in various species helps in understanding brain organization. The left and right sides of the brain (lateralization) are involved in different cognitive and sensory functions. This study focuses on dolphin visual lateralization as expressed by spontaneous eye preference when performing a complex cognitive task; we examine lateralization when processing different visual stimuli displayed on an underwater touch-screen (two-dimensional figures, three-dimensional figures and dolphin/human video sequences). Three female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were submitted to a 2-, 3- or 4-, choice visual/auditory discrimination problem, without any food reward: the subjects had to correctly match visual and acoustic stimuli together. In order to visualize and to touch the underwater target, the dolphins had to come close to the touch-screen and to position themselves using monocular vision (left or right eye) and/or binocular naso-ventral vision. The results showed an ability to associate simple visual forms and auditory information using an underwater touch-screen. Moreover, the subjects showed a spontaneous tendency to use monocular vision. Contrary to previous findings, our results did not clearly demonstrate right eye preference in spontaneous choice. However, the individuals' scores of correct answers were correlated with right eye vision, demonstrating the advantage of this visual field in visual information processing and suggesting a left hemispheric dominance. We also demonstrated that the nature of the presented visual stimulus does not seem to have any influence on the animals' monocular vision choice. PMID:16246503

  5. Influence of seasonal forcing on habitat use by bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Northern Adriatic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bearzi, Giovanni; Azzellino, Arianna; Politi, Elena; Costa, Marina; Bastianini, Mauro

    2008-12-01

    Bottlenose dolphins are the only cetaceans regularly observed in the northern Adriatic Sea, but they survive at low densities and are exposed to significant threats. This study investigates some of the factors that influence habitat use by the animals in a largely homogeneous environment by combining dolphin data with hydrological and physiographical variables sampled from oceanographic ships. Surveys were conducted year-round between 2003 and 2006, totalling 3,397 km of effort. Habitat modelling based on a binary stepwise logistic regression analysis predicted between 81% and 93% of the cells where animals were present. Seven environmental covariates were important predictors: oxygen saturation, water temperature, density anomaly, gradient of density anomaly, turbidity, distance from the nearest coast and bottom depth. The model selected consistent predictors in spring and summer. However, the relationship (inverse or direct) between each predictor and dolphin presence varied among seasons, and different predictors were selected in fall. This suggests that dolphin distribution changed depending on seasonal forcing. As the study area is relatively uniform in terms of bottom topography, habitat use by the animals seems to depend on complex interactions among hydrological variables, caused primarily by seasonal change and likely to determine shifts in prey distribution.

  6. Composition of the milks of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops trucatus) and the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Pervaiz, S; Brew, K

    1986-01-01

    Milk samples from four individual bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) of known lactation stages were analyzed for protein, carbohydrate and lipid composition, as well as for activity levels of alpha-lactalbumin, the regulatory protein of lactose synthase. The milk from both species had relatively high protein and lipid levels, as reported previously for other marine mammals. The major proportion of the lipid was in the form of triglycerides. Dolphin milk contained an average of 2.2% neutral sugars, which was essentially all in the form of lactose, as determined by several criteria. Manatee milk samples contained 0.6% of neutral sugars, and a larger proportion (about 2%) of amino sugars. Lactose was not detected by enzymatic assay or paper chromatography, but HPLC analysis indicated the presence of low levels of lactose together with two components that were tentatively identified as oligosaccharides. alpha-Lactalbumin activity, determined by assay with bovine galactosyltransferase, was found in both dolphin and manatee milk. The level in dolphin milk was comparable with that found in bovine and other milk, but the level in the manatee was less than 10% of that in the dolphin. PMID:2873935

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

    SciTech Connect

    Schwacke, Lori H.; Twiner, Michael J.; De Guise, Sylvain; Balmer, Brian C.; Wells, Randall S.; Rotstein, David C.; Varela, Rene A.; Hansen, Larry J.; Zolman, Eric S.; Spradlin, Trevor R.; and others

    2010-08-15

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

  8. Temporal δ13C records from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) reflect variation in foraging location and global carbon cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossman, S. L.; Barros, N. B.; Ostrom, P. H.; Gandhi, H.; Wells, R. S.

    2010-12-01

    With four decades of data on a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resident to Sarasota Bay (SB), The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program offers an unparalleled platform for ground-truthing stable isotope data and exploring bottlenose dolphin ecology in a natural setting. We explored carbon isotope value fidelity to habitat utilization by comparing δ13C data from whole teeth and muscle to the individual dolphin's proclivity towards foraging in seagrass beds based on observational data. We then examined variation in habitat use based on temporal isotope records. Whole tooth protein isotope values do not show a significant correlation with the observed percentage of foraging in seagrass habitat. In contrast, δ13C values from muscle showed a significant positive relationship with the observational data. Differences in the degree of tissue turn over may account for this distinction between tooth and muscle. Dolphin teeth consist of annually deposited layers that are inert once formed. Thus, the isotopic composition of protein in annuli reflect foraging at the time of deposition. In addition to incorporating variation associated with differences in foraging over the lifetime of the individual, whole tooth isotope values are confounded because a disproportionate amount of tooth protein derives from the first few years of life. Given the turnover time of muscle tissue, isotope values reflect diet over the past several months. From 1991 to 2008, muscle δ13C values showed a significant decline, -13.5‰ to -15.1‰.This time period encompasses a state wide net fishing ban (1995) however other factors such as a series of red tide harmful algal blooms, a decline in predators, increases in shallow water boat traffic and an increase in string ray abundance may also contribute to the temporal isotope trend. To examine changes in dolphin foraging habitat further back in time we analyzed the tip of crown of the tooth which records the isotopic signal from the

  9. Diet overlap between harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin: An argument in favour of interference competition for food?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spitz, Jérôme; Rousseau, Yann; Ridoux, Vincent

    2006-10-01

    In aquatic ecosystems, competitive interactions are occasionally described. Violent attacks on harbour porpoises by bottlenose dolphins were reported and it was proposed that this behavior could result from competitive interactions for food. This hypothesis implies that the two predators should share all or part of they prey range. In this work, we describe the diets of each predator in the Bay of Biscay and adjacent areas from stomach content analysis of stranded animals. The diet of the harbour porpoise was mostly composed of small schooling fish living close to the seafloor (98 percent by mass). The diet of the bottlenose dolphin was characterised by the presence of large specimens of demersal fish (91 percent by mass) and cephalopods. Several prey species are common in the two diets and even the length distributions of some of them, such as sardine or scads, are very similar. However, global indices such as the Mantel test or the Pianka's index indicate no or weak overlap. The dietary results suggest that the two predators show partial dietary overlap over several major dimensions of the foraging niche: prey profile, foraging habitats, prey species and size range. We suggest interference competition is plausible at the scale of a prey school that would be exploited jointly by groups of the two predators.

  10. Evidence of melatonin secretion in cetaceans: plasma concentration and extrapineal HIOMT-like presence in the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus.

    PubMed

    Panin, Mattìa; Gabai, Gianfranco; Ballarin, Cristina; Peruffo, Antonella; Cozzi, Bruno

    2012-06-01

    The pineal gland is generally believed to be absent in cetaceans, although few and subsequently unconfirmed reports described the organ in some species. The recent description of a complete and photographed pineal body in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to examine a series of 29 brains of the same species, but no gland was found. We then decided to investigate if the main product of the gland, melatonin, was nevertheless produced and present in the plasma of this species. We collected plasma and serum samples from a series of captive bottlenose dolphins for a period of 7 months spanning from winter to summer and we determined the indoleamine concentration by radio-immunoassay (RIA). The results demonstrated for the first time a quantitative assessment of melatonin production in the blood of a cetacean. Melatonin levels were comparable to those of terrestrial mammals (5.15-27.74 pg/ml daylight concentration), with indications of both seasonal and daily variation although the presence of a circadian rhythm remains uncertain. Immunohistochemical analyses using as a marker hydroxyindole-O-methyl-transferase (HIOMT, the key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of the hormone), suggested extrapineal melatonin production by the retina, the Harderian gland and the gut. The enzyme was unequivocally localized in all the three tissues, and, specifically, ganglion cells in the retina showed a very strong HIOMT-immunoreactivity. Our results suggest that further research might reveal unexplored aspects of melatonin production in cetaceans and deserves special attention and further efforts. PMID:22554922

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are an emerging contaminant of concern with low level exposures demonstrating toxicity in laboratory animals and wildlife, although immunotoxicity studies have been limited. Bottlenose dolphin peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) and mouse splenocytes were exposed to environmentally relevant DE-71 (a penta-PBDE mixture) concentrations (0-50 µg ml(-1) ) in vitro. Natural killer (NK) cell activity and lymphocyte (B and T cell) proliferation were evaluated using the parallelogram approach for risk assessment. This study aimed to substantiate results from field studies with dolphins, assess the sensitivities between the mouse model and dolphins, and to evaluate risk using the parallelogram approach. In mouse cells, NK cell activity increased at in vitro doses 0.05, 0.5 and 25 µg DE-71 ml(-1) , whereas proliferation was not modulated. In dolphin cells, NK cell activity and lymphocyte proliferation was not altered after in vitro exposure. In vitro exposure of dolphin PBLs to DE-71 showed similar results to correlative field studies; NK cell activity in mice was more sensitive to in vitro exposure than dolphins, and the parallelogram approach showed correlation with all three endpoints to predict risk in bottlenose dolphins. PMID:24706408

  12. The importance of delineating networks by activity type in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida

    PubMed Central

    Gazda, Stefanie; Iyer, Swami; Killingback, Timothy; Connor, Richard; Brault, Solange

    2015-01-01

    Network analysis has proved to be a valuable tool for studying the behavioural patterns of complex social animals. Often such studies either do not distinguish between different behavioural states of the organisms or simply focus attention on a single behavioural state to the exclusion of all others. In either of these approaches it is impossible to ascertain how the behavioural patterns of individuals depend on the type of activity they are engaged in. Here we report on a network-based analysis of the behavioural associations in a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida. We consider three distinct behavioural states—socializing, travelling and foraging—and analyse the association networks corresponding to each activity. Moreover, in constructing the different activity networks we do not simply record a spatial association between two individuals as being either present or absent, but rather quantify the degree of any association, thus allowing us to construct weighted networks describing each activity. The results of these weighted activity networks indicate that networks can reveal detailed patterns of bottlenose dolphins at the population level; dolphins socialize in large groups with preferential associations; travel in small groups with preferential associates; and spread out to forage in very small, weakly connected groups. There is some overlap in the socialize and travel networks but little overlap between the forage and other networks. This indicates that the social bonds maintained in other activities are less important as they forage on dispersed, solitary prey. The overall network, not sorted by activity, does not accurately represent any of these patterns. PMID:26064611

  13. The importance of delineating networks by activity type in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida.

    PubMed

    Gazda, Stefanie; Iyer, Swami; Killingback, Timothy; Connor, Richard; Brault, Solange

    2015-03-01

    Network analysis has proved to be a valuable tool for studying the behavioural patterns of complex social animals. Often such studies either do not distinguish between different behavioural states of the organisms or simply focus attention on a single behavioural state to the exclusion of all others. In either of these approaches it is impossible to ascertain how the behavioural patterns of individuals depend on the type of activity they are engaged in. Here we report on a network-based analysis of the behavioural associations in a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida. We consider three distinct behavioural states-socializing, travelling and foraging-and analyse the association networks corresponding to each activity. Moreover, in constructing the different activity networks we do not simply record a spatial association between two individuals as being either present or absent, but rather quantify the degree of any association, thus allowing us to construct weighted networks describing each activity. The results of these weighted activity networks indicate that networks can reveal detailed patterns of bottlenose dolphins at the population level; dolphins socialize in large groups with preferential associations; travel in small groups with preferential associates; and spread out to forage in very small, weakly connected groups. There is some overlap in the socialize and travel networks but little overlap between the forage and other networks. This indicates that the social bonds maintained in other activities are less important as they forage on dispersed, solitary prey. The overall network, not sorted by activity, does not accurately represent any of these patterns. PMID:26064611

  14. Use of the Robust Design to Estimate Seasonal Abundance and Demographic Parameters of a Coastal Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) Population

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Holly C.; Pollock, Ken; Waples, Kelly; Bradley, Stuart; Bejder, Lars

    2013-01-01

    As delphinid populations become increasingly exposed to human activities we rely on our capacity to produce accurate abundance estimates upon which to base management decisions. This study applied mark–recapture methods following the Robust Design to estimate abundance, demographic parameters, and temporary emigration rates of an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population off Bunbury, Western Australia. Boat-based photo-identification surveys were conducted year-round over three consecutive years along pre-determined transect lines to create a consistent sampling effort throughout the study period and area. The best fitting capture–recapture model showed a population with a seasonal Markovian temporary emigration with time varying survival and capture probabilities. Abundance estimates were seasonally dependent with consistently lower numbers obtained during winter and higher during summer and autumn across the three-year study period. Specifically, abundance estimates for all adults and juveniles (combined) varied from a low of 63 (95% CI 59 to 73) in winter of 2007 to a high of 139 (95% CI 134 to148) in autumn of 2009. Temporary emigration rates (γ') for animals absent in the previous period ranged from 0.34 to 0.97 (mean  =  0.54; ±SE 0.11) with a peak during spring. Temporary emigration rates for animals present during the previous period (γ'') were lower, ranging from 0.00 to 0.29, with a mean of 0.16 (± SE 0.04). This model yielded a mean apparent survival estimate for juveniles and adults (combined) of 0.95 (± SE 0.02) and a capture probability from 0.07 to 0.51 with a mean of 0.30 (± SE 0.04). This study demonstrates the importance of incorporating temporary emigration to accurately estimate abundance of coastal delphinids. Temporary emigration rates were high in this study, despite the large area surveyed, indicating the challenges of sampling highly mobile animals which range over large spatial areas. PMID:24130781

  15. Use of the robust design to estimate seasonal abundance and demographic parameters of a coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population.

    PubMed

    Smith, Holly C; Pollock, Ken; Waples, Kelly; Bradley, Stuart; Bejder, Lars

    2013-01-01

    As delphinid populations become increasingly exposed to human activities we rely on our capacity to produce accurate abundance estimates upon which to base management decisions. This study applied mark-recapture methods following the Robust Design to estimate abundance, demographic parameters, and temporary emigration rates of an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) population off Bunbury, Western Australia. Boat-based photo-identification surveys were conducted year-round over three consecutive years along pre-determined transect lines to create a consistent sampling effort throughout the study period and area. The best fitting capture-recapture model showed a population with a seasonal Markovian temporary emigration with time varying survival and capture probabilities. Abundance estimates were seasonally dependent with consistently lower numbers obtained during winter and higher during summer and autumn across the three-year study period. Specifically, abundance estimates for all adults and juveniles (combined) varied from a low of 63 (95% CI 59 to 73) in winter of 2007 to a high of 139 (95% CI 134 to148) in autumn of 2009. Temporary emigration rates (γ') for animals absent in the previous period ranged from 0.34 to 0.97 (mean  =  0.54; ±SE 0.11) with a peak during spring. Temporary emigration rates for animals present during the previous period (γ'') were lower, ranging from 0.00 to 0.29, with a mean of 0.16 (± SE 0.04). This model yielded a mean apparent survival estimate for juveniles and adults (combined) of 0.95 (± SE 0.02) and a capture probability from 0.07 to 0.51 with a mean of 0.30 (± SE 0.04). This study demonstrates the importance of incorporating temporary emigration to accurately estimate abundance of coastal delphinids. Temporary emigration rates were high in this study, despite the large area surveyed, indicating the challenges of sampling highly mobile animals which range over large spatial areas. PMID:24130781

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The analysis of DNA damage by mean of Comet or single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay has been commonly used to assess genotoxic impact in aquatic animals being able to detect exposure to low concentrations of contaminants in a wide range of species. The aims of this work were 1) to evaluate the usefulness of the Comet to detect DNA strand breakage in dolphin leukocytes, 2) to use the DNA diffusion assay to determine the amount of DNA strand breakage associated with apoptosis or necrosis, and 3) to determine the proportion of DNA strand breakage that was unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. Significant intra-individual variation was observed in all of the estimates of DNA damage. DNA strand breakage was overestimated because a considerable amount (~29%) of the DNA damage was derived from apoptosis and necrosis. The remaining DNA damage in dolphin leukocytes was caused by factors unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. These results indicate that the DNA diffusion assay is a complementary tool that can be used together with the Comet assay to assess DNA damage in bottlenose dolphins. PMID:21637693

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

    PubMed

    Díaz, Adriana; Carro, Sandra; Santiago, Livia; Estévez, Juan; Guevara, Celia; Blanco, Miriam; Sánchez, Laima; Sánchez, Liena; López, Nirka; Cruz, Danilo; López, Ronar; Cuetara, Elizabeth B; Fuentes, Jorge Luis

    2009-04-01

    The analysis of DNA damage by mean of Comet or single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay has been commonly used to assess genotoxic impact in aquatic animals being able to detect exposure to low concentrations of contaminants in a wide range of species. The aims of this work were 1) to evaluate the usefulness of the Comet to detect DNA strand breakage in dolphin leukocytes, 2) to use the DNA diffusion assay to determine the amount of DNA strand breakage associated with apoptosis or necrosis, and 3) to determine the proportion of DNA strand breakage that was unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. Significant intra-individual variation was observed in all of the estimates of DNA damage. DNA strand breakage was overestimated because a considerable amount (~29%) of the DNA damage was derived from apoptosis and necrosis. The remaining DNA damage in dolphin leukocytes was caused by factors unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. These results indicate that the DNA diffusion assay is a complementary tool that can be used together with the Comet assay to assess DNA damage in bottlenose dolphins. PMID:21637693

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Recognition of Frequency Modulated Whistle-Like Sounds by a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Humans with Transformations in Amplitude, Duration and Frequency.

    PubMed

    Branstetter, Brian K; DeLong, Caroline M; Dziedzic, Brandon; Black, Amy; Bakhtiari, Kimberly

    2016-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) use the frequency contour of whistles produced by conspecifics for individual recognition. Here we tested a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) ability to recognize frequency modulated whistle-like sounds using a three alternative matching-to-sample paradigm. The dolphin was first trained to select a specific object (object A) in response to a specific sound (sound A) for a total of three object-sound associations. The sounds were then transformed by amplitude, duration, or frequency transposition while still preserving the frequency contour of each sound. For comparison purposes, 30 human participants completed an identical task with the same sounds, objects, and training procedure. The dolphin's ability to correctly match objects to sounds was robust to changes in amplitude with only a minor decrement in performance for short durations. The dolphin failed to recognize sounds that were frequency transposed by plus or minus ½ octaves. Human participants demonstrated robust recognition with all acoustic transformations. The results indicate that this dolphin's acoustic recognition of whistle-like sounds was constrained by absolute pitch. Unlike human speech, which varies considerably in average frequency, signature whistles are relatively stable in frequency, which may have selected for a whistle recognition system invariant to frequency transposition. PMID:26863519

  1. Discovery of a novel bottlenose dolphin coronavirus reveals a distinct species of marine mammal coronavirus in Gammacoronavirus.

    PubMed

    Woo, Patrick C Y; Lau, Susanna K P; Lam, Carol S F; Tsang, Alan K L; Hui, Suk-Wai; Fan, Rachel Y Y; Martelli, Paolo; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2014-01-01

    While gammacoronaviruses mainly comprise infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and its closely related bird coronaviruses (CoVs), the only mammalian gammacoronavirus was discovered from a white beluga whale (beluga whale CoV [BWCoV] SW1) in 2008. In this study, we discovered a novel gammacoronavirus from fecal samples from three Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), which we named bottlenose dolphin CoV (BdCoV) HKU22. All the three BdCoV HKU22-positive samples were collected on the same date, suggesting a cluster of infection, with viral loads of 1 × 10(3) to 1 × 10(5) copies per ml. Clearance of virus was associated with a specific antibody response against the nucleocapsid of BdCoV HKU22. Complete genome sequencing and comparative genome analysis showed that BdCoV HKU22 and BWCoV SW1 have similar genome characteristics and structures. Their genome size is about 32,000 nucleotides, the largest among all CoVs, as a result of multiple unique open reading frames (NS5a, NS5b, NS5c, NS6, NS7, NS8, NS9, and NS10) between their membrane (M) and nucleocapsid (N) protein genes. Although comparative genome analysis showed that BdCoV HKU22 and BWCoV SW1 should belong to the same species, a major difference was observed in the proteins encoded by their spike (S) genes, which showed only 74.3 to 74.7% amino acid identities. The high ratios of the number of synonymous substitutions per synonymous site (Ks) to the number of nonsynonymous substitutions per nonsynonymous site (Ka) in multiple regions of the genome, especially the S gene (Ka/Ks ratio, 2.5), indicated that BdCoV HKU22 may be evolving rapidly, supporting a recent transmission event to the bottlenose dolphins. We propose a distinct species, Cetacean coronavirus, in Gammacoronavirus, to include BdCoV HKU22 and BWCoV SW1, whereas IBV and its closely related bird CoVs represent another species, Avian coronavirus, in Gammacoronavirus. PMID:24227844

  2. Discovery of a Novel Bottlenose Dolphin Coronavirus Reveals a Distinct Species of Marine Mammal Coronavirus in Gammacoronavirus

    PubMed Central

    Woo, Patrick C. Y.; Lau, Susanna K. P.; Lam, Carol S. F.; Tsang, Alan K. L.; Hui, Suk-Wai; Fan, Rachel Y. Y.; Martelli, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    While gammacoronaviruses mainly comprise infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and its closely related bird coronaviruses (CoVs), the only mammalian gammacoronavirus was discovered from a white beluga whale (beluga whale CoV [BWCoV] SW1) in 2008. In this study, we discovered a novel gammacoronavirus from fecal samples from three Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), which we named bottlenose dolphin CoV (BdCoV) HKU22. All the three BdCoV HKU22-positive samples were collected on the same date, suggesting a cluster of infection, with viral loads of 1 × 103 to 1 × 105 copies per ml. Clearance of virus was associated with a specific antibody response against the nucleocapsid of BdCoV HKU22. Complete genome sequencing and comparative genome analysis showed that BdCoV HKU22 and BWCoV SW1 have similar genome characteristics and structures. Their genome size is about 32,000 nucleotides, the largest among all CoVs, as a result of multiple unique open reading frames (NS5a, NS5b, NS5c, NS6, NS7, NS8, NS9, and NS10) between their membrane (M) and nucleocapsid (N) protein genes. Although comparative genome analysis showed that BdCoV HKU22 and BWCoV SW1 should belong to the same species, a major difference was observed in the proteins encoded by their spike (S) genes, which showed only 74.3 to 74.7% amino acid identities. The high ratios of the number of synonymous substitutions per synonymous site (Ks) to the number of nonsynonymous substitutions per nonsynonymous site (Ka) in multiple regions of the genome, especially the S gene (Ka/Ks ratio, 2.5), indicated that BdCoV HKU22 may be evolving rapidly, supporting a recent transmission event to the bottlenose dolphins. We propose a distinct species, Cetacean coronavirus, in Gammacoronavirus, to include BdCoV HKU22 and BWCoV SW1, whereas IBV and its closely related bird CoVs represent another species, Avian coronavirus, in Gammacoronavirus. PMID:24227844

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Specific non-coplanar PCB-mediated modulation of bottlenose dolphin and beluga whale phagocytosis upon in vitro exposure.

    PubMed

    Levin, Milton; Morsey, Brenda; Mori, Chiharu; Guise, Sylvain

    2004-10-01

    Contaminant-induced immunosuppression by organochlorines (OC), particularly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), has been suspected as a cofactor in the deaths of thousands of marine mammals. One important innate defense mechanism is phagocytosis, the ability of cells to ingest extracellular macromolecules. The present study was aimed at characterizing the immunomodulatory potential of representative OCs on phagocytosis in bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales. The ability of peripheral blood leukocytes to engulf fluorescent microspheres was evaluated using flow cytometry. The immunomodulatory effects of three non-coplanar PCB congeners, 138, 153, and 180, one coplanar PCB, 169, and 2,3,7,8-TCDD and all possible mixtures (26) were tested upon in vitro exposure. In both species, all mixtures containing at least two non-coplanar PCBs significantly reduced both neutrophil and monocyte phagocytosis, with effects more marked in dolphins than in belugas. Coplanar OCs, on their own or when added to non-coplanar congeners, did not further modulate phagocytosis, suggesting an Ah receptor-independent mechanism. Concentration-response experiments with individual congeners further demonstrated a non-coplanar PCB-induced suppression of phagocytosis, while coplanar congeners produced no consistent effects. Our results suggest simple additive interactions of chemicals in a mixture. However, calculation of toxic equivalency (TEQs) failed to predict the experimentally induced immunomodulatory effects of OCs on dolphin and beluga phagocytosis, confirming the Ah receptor-independent nature of the effects on phagocytosis. Overall, our results suggest that non-AhR mechanisms may explain one facet of immunotoxicity (phagocytosis), something that is not captured using the TEQ approach. This is the first report demonstrating the immunomodulatory effects of OCs on dolphin and beluga phagocytosis, and the first overall demonstration of immunomodulatory effects on phagocytosis mediated

  6. Complex Social Structure of an Endangered Population of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Aeolian Archipelago (Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Blasi, Monica F.; Boitani, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    We investigated social structure and association patterns for a small population of Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, inhabiting the Aeolian Archipelago (southern Italy). Specifically we evaluate the role of sex and age composition, residency patterns and interaction with trammel nets on this social organization. Association data for 23 regularly sighted individuals were obtained from summer photoidentification surveys collected from 2005–2012. Using a combined cluster and social network analysis approach, we found associations between dolphins were hierarchically structured, where two mixed-sex social units were subdivided into smaller temporarily dynamic groups. We found non-random and long-term preferred associations in the population; however, the degree of social cohesion, residence pattern and interaction with trammel nets differed considerably between the two social units. Six of eight females occurred in the more resident social unit-1; in addition, social unit-1 individuals had significantly stronger associations, higher preferred associates, lived in larger groups and occurred less frequently with trammel nets. Nine of eleven males were clustered in social unit-2 and five of these males, interacting with trammel nets, formed small groups and preferred associations. We propose that female and male groups associate in the study area during the breeding season and that some males choose to interact with reproductive females forming a distinct but interrelated social unit. Other males may be associating in a larger fission-fusion network, which consists of dolphins that appear to temporarily join the network from the coastal population. We cannot exclude that some males specialized in trammel net foraging, suggesting that this foraging technique may favor a solitary lifestyle. Large group sizes and high degree of social cohesion for females could be an indication of greater protection and more efficiency in detecting, deterring or

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

    PubMed

    Connor, Richard C

    2007-04-29

    Bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, live in a large, unbounded society with a fission-fusion grouping pattern. Potential cognitive demands include the need to develop social strategies involving the recognition of a large number of individuals and their relationships with others. Patterns of alliance affiliation among males may be more complex than are currently known for any non-human, with individuals participating in 2-3 levels of shifting alliances. Males mediate alliance relationships with gentle contact behaviours such as petting, but synchrony also plays an important role in affiliative interactions. In general, selection for social intelligence in the context of shifting alliances will depend on the extent to which there are strategic options and risk. Extreme brain size evolution may have occurred more than once in the toothed whales, reaching peaks in the dolphin family and the sperm whale. All three 'peaks' of large brain size evolution in mammals (odontocetes, humans and elephants) shared a common selective environment: extreme mutual dependence based on external threats from predators or conspecific groups. In this context, social competition, and consequently selection for greater cognitive abilities and large brain size, was intense. PMID:17296597

  8. Mercury and selenium status of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): A study in stranded animals on the Canary Islands.

    PubMed

    García-Alvarez, Natalia; Fernández, Antonio; Boada, Luis D; Zumbado, Manuel; Zaccaroni, Annalisa; Arbelo, Manuel; Sierra, Eva; Almunia, Javier; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2015-12-01

    The mercury (Hg) level in the marine environment has tripled in recent decades, becoming a great concern because of its high toxic potential. This study reports Hg and selenium (Se) status, and the first Se/Hg molar ratio assessment in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the waters of the Canary Islands. Total Hg and Se concentrations were determined in the blubber and liver collected from 30 specimens stranded along the coasts of the archipelago from 1997 to 2013. The median values for total Hg in the blubber and liver were 80.83 and 223.77 μg g(-1) dry weight (dw), and the median levels for Se in both tissues were 7.29 and 68.63 μg g(-1) dw, respectively. Hg concentrations in the liver were lower than 100 μg g(-1) wet weight (ww), comparable to those obtained in bottlenose dolphins from the North Sea, the Western Atlantic Ocean and several locations in the Pacific Ocean. The Mediterranean Sea and South of Australia are the most contaminated areas for both elements in this cetacean species. In addition, it must be stressed that the levels of Hg and Se in the liver showed an increasing trend with the age of the animals. As expected, a strong positive correlation between Hg and Se was observed (rs=0.960). Surprisingly, both younger and older specimens had a Se/Hg molar ratio different from 1, suggesting that these individuals may be at greater toxicological risk for high concentrations of both elements or a deficiency of Se without a protective action against Hg toxicity. PMID:26232758

  9. A worldwide perspective on the population structure and genetic diversity of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Tezanos-Pinto, Gabriela; Baker, Charles Scott; Russell, Kirsty; Martien, Karen; Baird, Robin W; Hutt, Alistair; Stone, Gregory; Mignucci-Giannoni, Antonio A; Caballero, Susana; Endo, Tetusya; Lavery, Shane; Oremus, Marc; Olavarría, Carlos; Garrigue, Claire

    2009-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) occupy a wide range of coastal and pelagic habitats throughout tropical and temperate waters worldwide. In some regions, "inshore" and "offshore" forms or ecotypes differ genetically and morphologically, despite no obvious boundaries to interchange. Around New Zealand, bottlenose dolphins inhabit 3 coastal regions: Northland, Marlborough Sounds, and Fiordland. Previous demographic studies showed no interchange of individuals among these populations. Here, we describe the genetic structure and diversity of these populations using skin samples collected with a remote biopsy dart. Analysis of the molecular variance from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences (n = 193) showed considerable differentiation among populations (F(ST) = 0.17, Phi(ST) = 0.21, P < 0.001) suggesting little or no female gene flow or interchange. All 3 populations showed higher mtDNA diversity than expected given their small population sizes and isolation. To explain the source of this variation, 22 control region haplotypes from New Zealand were compared with 108 haplotypes worldwide representing 586 individuals from 19 populations and including both inshore and offshore ecotypes as described in the Western North Atlantic. All haplotypes found in the Pacific, regardless of population habitat use (i.e., coastal or pelagic), are more divergent from populations described as inshore ecotype in the Western North Atlantic than from populations described as offshore ecotype. Analysis of gene flow indicated long-distance dispersal among coastal and pelagic populations worldwide (except for those haplotypes described as inshore ecotype in the Western North Atlantic), suggesting that these populations are interconnected on an evolutionary timescale. This finding suggests that habitat specialization has occurred independently in different ocean basins, perhaps with Tursiops aduncus filling the ecological niche of the inshore ecotype in some coastal

  10. Tissue-specific distribution and whole-body burden estimates of persistent organic pollutants in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Yordy, Jennifer E; Pabst, D Ann; McLellan, William A; Wells, Randall S; Rowles, Teri K; Kucklick, John R

    2010-06-01

    Most exposure assessments for free-ranging cetaceans focus on contaminant concentrations measured in blubber, and few data are available for other tissues or the factors governing contaminant distribution among tissues. The goal of this study was to provide a detailed description of the distribution of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) within the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) body and assess the role of lipid dynamics in mediating contaminant distribution. Thirteen tissues (brain, blubber, heart, liver, lung, kidney, mammary gland, melon, skeletal muscle, spleen, thyroid, thymus, and testis/uterus) were sampled during necropsy from bottlenose dolphins (n = 4) and analyzed for lipid and 85 POPs, including polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Significant correlations between tissue POP concentrations and lipid suggest that distribution of POPs is generally related to tissue lipid content. However, blubber:tissue partition coefficients ranged widely from 0.753 to 6.25, suggesting that contaminant distribution is not entirely lipid-dependent. Tissue-specific and whole-body contaminant burdens confirmed that blubber, the primary site of metabolic lipid storage, is also the primary site for POP accumulation, contributing >90% to the whole-body burdens. Observations also suggest that as lipid mobilizes from blubber, contaminants may redistribute, leading to elevated tissue concentrations. These results suggest that individuals with reduced blubber lipid may be at increased risk for exposure-related health effects. However, this study also provides evidence that the melon, a metabolically inert lipid-rich structure, may serve as an alternate depot for POPs, thus preventing the bulk of blubber contaminants from being directly available to other tissues. This unique physiological adaptation should be taken into consideration when assessing contaminant-related health effects in wild cetacean populations

  11. Feeding a Modified Fish Diet to Bottlenose Dolphins Leads to an Increase in Serum Adiponectin and Sphingolipids.

    PubMed

    Sobolesky, Philip M; Harrell, Tyler S; Parry, Celeste; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Janech, Michael G

    2016-01-01

    Feeding a modified fish diet has been suggested to improve insulin sensitivity in bottlenose dolphins; however, insulin sensitivity was not directly measured. Since demonstrating an improvement in insulin sensitivity is technically difficult in dolphins, we postulated that directional changes in the hormone axis: fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21)/Adiponectin/Ceramide (Cer), could provide further support to this hypothesis. We measured 2-h post-prandial serum FGF21, total adiponectin, percent unmodified adiponectin, ceramide, and sphingosine levels from dolphins fed a diet rich in heptadecanoic acid (C17:0) over 24 weeks. Serum FGF21 was quantified by ELISA with an observed range of 129-1599 pg/ml, but did not significantly change over the 24-week study period. Total adiponectin levels (mean ± SD) significantly increased from 776 ± 400 pmol/ml at week 0 to 1196 ± 467 pmol/ml at week 24. The percent unmodified adiponectin levels (mean ± SD) decreased from 23.8 ± 6.0% at week 0 to 15.2 ± 5.2% at week 24. Interestingly, although FGF21 levels did not change, there was a good correlation between FGF21 and total adiponectin (ρ = 0.788, P < 0.001). We quantified the abundances of serum ceramides and sphingosines (SPH) because adiponectin has a defined role in sphingolipid metabolism through adiponectin receptor-mediated activation of ceramidases. The most abundant ceramide in dolphin sera was Cer 24:1 comprising 49% of the ceramides measured. Significant reductions were observed in the unsaturated Cer 18:1, Cer 20:1, and Cer 24:1, whereas significant increases were observed in saturated Cer 22:0, Cer 24:0, and Cer 26:0. However, total serum ceramides did not change. Significant elevations were detected for total sphingosine, dihydrosphingosine, sphingosine-1-phosphate, and dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate. Proteomic analysis of the serum proteins revealed few changes in serum proteins over the study period. In conclusion

  12. Feeding a Modified Fish Diet to Bottlenose Dolphins Leads to an Increase in Serum Adiponectin and Sphingolipids

    PubMed Central

    Sobolesky, Philip M.; Harrell, Tyler S.; Parry, Celeste; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Janech, Michael G.

    2016-01-01

    Feeding a modified fish diet has been suggested to improve insulin sensitivity in bottlenose dolphins; however, insulin sensitivity was not directly measured. Since demonstrating an improvement in insulin sensitivity is technically difficult in dolphins, we postulated that directional changes in the hormone axis: fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21)/Adiponectin/Ceramide (Cer), could provide further support to this hypothesis. We measured 2-h post-prandial serum FGF21, total adiponectin, percent unmodified adiponectin, ceramide, and sphingosine levels from dolphins fed a diet rich in heptadecanoic acid (C17:0) over 24 weeks. Serum FGF21 was quantified by ELISA with an observed range of 129–1599 pg/ml, but did not significantly change over the 24-week study period. Total adiponectin levels (mean ± SD) significantly increased from 776 ± 400 pmol/ml at week 0 to 1196 ± 467 pmol/ml at week 24. The percent unmodified adiponectin levels (mean ± SD) decreased from 23.8 ± 6.0% at week 0 to 15.2 ± 5.2% at week 24. Interestingly, although FGF21 levels did not change, there was a good correlation between FGF21 and total adiponectin (ρ = 0.788, P < 0.001). We quantified the abundances of serum ceramides and sphingosines (SPH) because adiponectin has a defined role in sphingolipid metabolism through adiponectin receptor-mediated activation of ceramidases. The most abundant ceramide in dolphin sera was Cer 24:1 comprising 49% of the ceramides measured. Significant reductions were observed in the unsaturated Cer 18:1, Cer 20:1, and Cer 24:1, whereas significant increases were observed in saturated Cer 22:0, Cer 24:0, and Cer 26:0. However, total serum ceramides did not change. Significant elevations were detected for total sphingosine, dihydrosphingosine, sphingosine-1-phosphate, and dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate. Proteomic analysis of the serum proteins revealed few changes in serum proteins over the study period. In conclusion

  13. The Use of Deep Water Berths and the Effect of Noise on Bottlenose Dolphins in the Shannon Estuary cSAC.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Joanne M; Beck, Suzanne; Berrow, Simon D; André, Michel; van der Schaar, Mike; O'Connor, Ian; McKeown, Eugene P

    2016-01-01

    The Shannon Estuary on the west coast of Ireland is one of Europe's premier deepwater berths catering for ships up to 200,000 deadweight tonnage. It is also Ireland's only designated candidate special area of conservation for bottlenose dolphins under the EU Habitats Directive. Long-term static acoustic monitoring was carried out at a number of intensive shipping sites. In 2012, noise monitoring took place over a 6-month period (at 1 site) as part of Ireland's requirements under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). This is the first assessment of the potential effect of vessel traffic on the behavior of this discrete dolphin population. PMID:26611032

  14. Discrimination of phase altered targets by an echolocating Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Ibsen, Stuart D; Muller, Mark W; Au, Whitlow W L; Nachtigall, Paul E; Breese, Marlee

    2013-02-01

    Sensitivity of echolocating dolphins to phase changes within echoes may be a vital piece of information when constructing echolocation models. Previous experiments have yielded ambiguous results leaving it unclear what cues might have been used by passively listening dolphins to discriminate between different phase altered signals. This study used a phantom echo generator to produce computer controlled echoes. The dolphin interacted with the system in a real echolocation task to discriminate between simulated targets that were unaltered and those that had a 180° phase shift. The frequency amplitude spectral content between the two targets was the same. There were no temporal differences between the two targets. The only cue that the dolphin could use to discriminate between them was the 180° phase shift. The dolphin preformed at a success level of 40% in discriminating the two echoes. This indicates that the 180° phase shift was not perceived. PMID:23363129

  15. Validation of a field based chromatin dispersion assay to assess sperm DNA fragmentation in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Calabuig, M-J; López-Fernández, C; Martínez-Nevado, E; Pérez-Gutiérrez, J F; de la Fuente, J; Johnston, S D; Blyde, D; Harrison, K; Gosálvez, J

    2014-10-01

    Over the last two decades, there have been significant advances in the use of assisted reproductive technology for genetic and reproductive management of captive dolphin populations, including evaluation of sperm DNA quality. This study validated a customized sperm chromatin dispersion test (SCDt) for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a means of assessing sperm DNA damage both in the field and in the laboratory. After performing the SCDt, two different sperm morphotypes were identified: (i) sperm with fragmented DNA showed large haloes of dispersed DNA fragments emerging from a compact sperm nucleoid core and (ii) sperm containing non-fragmented DNA displayed small compact haloes surrounded by a dense core of non-dispersed DNA and protein complex. Estimates of sperm DNA fragmentation by means of SCDt were directly comparable to results obtained following a two-tailed comet assay and showed a significant degree of correlation (r = 0.961; p < 0.001). This investigation also revealed that the SCDt, with minor modifications to the standard protocol, can be successfully conducted in the field using a LED florescence microscopy obtaining a high correlation (r = 0.993; p = 0.01) between the data obtained in the laboratory and in the field. PMID:25130370

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (p<0.05), manatees (p<0.01), loggerheads (p<0.05) and green sea turtles (p<0.05). The proportion of net interaction strandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted. PMID:24613263

  17. Selection of suitable reference genes for normalization of quantitative RT-PCR in peripheral blood samples of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    Chen, I-Hua; Chou, Lien-Siang; Chou, Shih-Jen; Wang, Jiann-Hsiung; Stott, Jeffrey; Blanchard, Myra; Jen, I-Fan; Yang, Wei-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative RT-PCR is often used as a research tool directed at gene transcription. Selection of optimal housekeeping genes (HKGs) as reference genes is critical to establishing sensitive and reproducible qRT-PCR-based assays. The current study was designed to identify the appropriate reference genes in blood leukocytes of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for gene transcription research. Seventy-five blood samples collected from 7 bottlenose dolphins were used to analyze 15 candidate HKGs (ACTB, B2M, GAPDH, HPRT1, LDHB, PGK1, RPL4, RPL8, RPL18, RPS9, RPS18, TFRC, YWHAZ, LDHA, SDHA). HKG stability in qRT-PCR was determined using geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and comparative delta Ct algorithms. Utilization of RefFinder, which combined all 4 algorithms, suggested that PGK1, HPRT1 and RPL4 were the most stable HKGs in bottlenose dolphin blood. Gene transcription perturbations in blood can serve as an indication of health status in cetaceans as it occurs prior to alterations in hematology and chemistry. This study identified HKGs that could be used in gene transcript studies, which may contribute to further mRNA relative quantification research in the peripheral blood leukocytes in captive cetaceans. PMID:26486099

  18. Selection of suitable reference genes for normalization of quantitative RT-PCR in peripheral blood samples of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Chen, I-Hua; Chou, Lien-Siang; Chou, Shih-Jen; Wang, Jiann-Hsiung; Stott, Jeffrey; Blanchard, Myra; Jen, I-Fan; Yang, Wei-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative RT-PCR is often used as a research tool directed at gene transcription. Selection of optimal housekeeping genes (HKGs) as reference genes is critical to establishing sensitive and reproducible qRT-PCR-based assays. The current study was designed to identify the appropriate reference genes in blood leukocytes of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for gene transcription research. Seventy-five blood samples collected from 7 bottlenose dolphins were used to analyze 15 candidate HKGs (ACTB, B2M, GAPDH, HPRT1, LDHB, PGK1, RPL4, RPL8, RPL18, RPS9, RPS18, TFRC, YWHAZ, LDHA, SDHA). HKG stability in qRT-PCR was determined using geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and comparative delta Ct algorithms. Utilization of RefFinder, which combined all 4 algorithms, suggested that PGK1, HPRT1 and RPL4 were the most stable HKGs in bottlenose dolphin blood. Gene transcription perturbations in blood can serve as an indication of health status in cetaceans as it occurs prior to alterations in hematology and chemistry. This study identified HKGs that could be used in gene transcript studies, which may contribute to further mRNA relative quantification research in the peripheral blood leukocytes in captive cetaceans. PMID:26486099

  19. Probabilistic risk assessment of reproductive effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Southeast United States Coast.

    PubMed

    Schwacke, Lori H; Voit, Eberhard O; Hansen, Larry J; Wells, Randall S; Mitchum, Greg B; Hohn, Aleta A; Fair, Patricia A

    2002-12-01

    High levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been reported in the tissues of some species of marine mammals. The high concentrations are of concern because a growing body of experimental evidence links PCBs to deleterious effects on reproduction, endocrine homeostasis, and immune system function. Much of the recent research has focused on determining the exposure of marine mammal populations to PCBs, but very little effort has been devoted to the actual risk assessments that are needed to determine the expected impacts of the documented exposures. We describe a novel risk assessment approach that integrates measured tissue concentrations of PCBs with a surrogate dose-response relationship and leads to predictions of health risks for marine mammals as well as to the uncertainties associated with these predictions. Specifically, we use PCB tissue residue data from three populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), study the feasibility of published dose-response data from a surrogate species. and combine this information to estimate the risk of detrimental reproductive effects in female dolphins. Our risk analyses for dolphin populations near Beaufort (NC, USA), Sarasota (FL, USA), and Matagorda Bay (TX, USA) indicate a high likelihood that reproductive success, primarily in primiparous females, is being severely impaired by chronic exposure to PCBs. Excess risk of reproductive failure, measured in terms of stillbirth or neonatal mortality, for primiparous females was estimated as 60% (Beaufort), 79% (Sarasota), and 78% (Matagorda Bay). Females of higher parity, which have previously off-loaded a majority of their PCB burden, exhibit a much lower risk. PMID:12463575

  20. Decreased lymphocyte responses in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are associated with increased concentrations of PCBs and DDT in peripheral blood.

    PubMed Central

    Lahvis, G P; Wells, R S; Kuehl, D W; Stewart, J L; Rhinehart, H L; Via, C S

    1995-01-01

    Since 1987, large-scale mortalities of dolphins have been reported along the Atlantic coast of North America, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Mediterranean Sea. Autopsied bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, which were collected from the large-scale mortality along the Atlantic coast in 1987 to 1988, exhibited opportunistic infections indicative of immune dysfunction. Further, these animals had high levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as PCBs and DDT, that can suppress immune functions. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between chemical contaminant exposure and immune response in free-ranging dolphins. In June of 1991, peripheral blood was obtained from members of a bottlenose dolphin population that resides along the west coast of Florida. Peripheral blood lymphocyte responses to Concanavalin A (Con A) and phytohemagglutinin (PHA) were determined in vitro and compared by regression analysis with contaminant concentrations in whole blood from a small subset of these animals (n = 5). These data indicate that a reduced immune response in these bottlenose dolphins was correlated with increasing whole blood concentrations of several contaminants. Specifically, inverse correlations were found between Con A-induced lymphocyte proliferation and tetrachlorinated to octachlorinated biphenyls (r2 values ranged from 0.70 to 0.87). Con A-induced lymphocyte responses also correlated inversely with p,p'DDT (r2 values of 0.73 and 0.79); o.p'-DDE (r2 values of 0.93 and 0.96); and p,p'-DDE (r2 values of 0.73 and 0.81). PMID:7556026

  1. Stereology of the Thyroid Gland in Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in Comparison with Human (Homo sapiens): Quantitative and Functional Implications

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian thyroid gland maintains basal metabolism in tissues for optimal function. Determining thyroid volume is important in assessing growth and involution. Volume estimation is also important in stereological studies. Direct measurements of colloid volume and nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of the follicular cells may provide important information about thyroid gland function such as hormone storage and secretion, which helps understand the changes at morphological and functional levels. The present study determined the colloid volume using simple stereological principle and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of 4 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and 2 human thyroid glands. In both dolphin and human thyroid glands, the size of the follicles tended to be quite variable. The distribution of large and small follicles within the thyroid gland was also found to be random in both the dolphin and human thyroid gland; however, the size of follicles appeared to decrease as a function of increasing age in the dolphin thyroid gland. The mean colloid volume of the dolphin thyroid gland and human thyroid gland was 1.22×105 µm3 and 7.02×105 µm3 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean colloid volume. The mean N/C ratio of the dolphin thyroid follicular epithelia and human follicular epithelia was 0.50 and 0.64 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean N/C ratio. This information contributes to understanding dolphin thyroid physiology and its structural adaptations to meet the physical demands of the aquatic environment, and aids with ultrasonography and corrective therapy in live subjects. PMID:23690927

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

    Terrestrial mammals with differentiated social relationships live in 'semi-closed groups' that occasionally accept new members emigrating from other groups. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Western Australia, exhibit a fission-fusion grouping pattern with strongly differentiated relationships, including nested male alliances. Previous studies failed to detect a group membership 'boundary', suggesting that the dolphins live in an open social network. However, two alternative hypotheses have not been excluded. The community defence model posits that the dolphins live in a large semi-closed 'chimpanzee-like' community defended by males and predicts that a dominant alliance(s) will range over the entire community range. The mating season defence model predicts that alliances will defend mating-season territories or sets of females. Here, both models are tested and rejected: no alliances ranged over the entire community range and alliances showed extensive overlap in mating season ranges and consorted females. The Shark Bay dolphins, therefore, present a combination of traits that is unique among mammals: complex male alliances in an open social network. The open social network of dolphins is linked to their relatively low costs of locomotion. This reveals a surprising and previously unrecognized convergence between adaptations reducing travel costs and complex intergroup-alliance relationships in dolphins, elephants and humans. PMID:22456886

  3. Perfluoroalkyl compounds in relation to life-history and reproductive parameters in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, Florida, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Houde, Magali; Balmer, Brian C; Brandsma, Sicco; Wells, Randall S; Rowles, Teri K; Solomon, Keith R; Muir, Derek C G

    2006-09-01

    Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) were determined in plasma, milk, and urine of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay (FL, USA) during three winter and two summer capture-and-release programs (2002-2005). Plasma and urine samples were extracted using an ion-pairing method. Perfluoroalkyl compounds were extracted from milk samples using acetonitrile, and extracts were cleaned with graphitized nonporous carbon. All extracts were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Mean seasonal sum of PFCs (sigma PFCs) detected in dolphin plasma ranged from 530 to 927 ng/g wet weight. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were found in concentrations between seasons, suggesting a constant exposure to PFCs. Overall, blubber thickness of dolphins did not correlate with PFC concentrations in plasma, suggesting an absence of PFC sequestration in blubber. Sexually immature calves (age, <10 years; mean sigma PFCs, 1,410 +/- 780 ng/ g wet wt) were significantly more contaminated (p < 0.001) than their mothers (mean sigma PFCs, 366 +/- 351 ng/g wet wt). The reproductive history of females had a significant role in the burden of PFC contamination; PFC concentrations in nulliparous females (females that have not been observed with calves) were significantly greater than those detected in uniparous females (females that have been observed with one calf), suggesting an off-loading of PFCs during or after parturition. To investigate this hypothesis, PFCs were analyzed in milk samples (n=10; mean sigma PFCs, 134 +/- 76.1 ng/g wet wt), confirming a maternal transfer of PFCs through lactation in dolphins. Results from the present study showed that young and developing bottlenose dolphins are highly exposed to PFCs. These chemicals also were detected in urine (mean sigma PFCs, 26.6 +/- 79 ng/g wet wt), indicating that the urinary system is an important pathway of PFC depuration in dolphins. PMID:16986796

  4. Heterologous murine and bovine IVF using bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26149074

  5. Echolocation characteristics of free-swimming bottlenose dolphins during object detection and identification.

    PubMed

    Houser, Dorian; Martin, Stephen W; Bauer, Eric J; Phillips, Michael; Herrin, Tim; Cross, Matt; Vidal, Andrea; Moore, Patrick W

    2005-04-01

    A biosonar measurement tool (BMT) was created to investigate dolphin echolocation search strategies by recording echolocation clicks, returning echoes, and three-dimensional angular motion, velocity, and depth of free-swimming dolphins performing open-water target detections. Trial start and stop times, locations determined from a differential global positioning system (DGPS), and BMT motion and acoustic data were used to produce spatial and acoustic representations of the searches. Two dolphins (LUT, FLP) searched for targets lying on the seafloor of a bay environment while carrying the BMT. LUT searched rapidly (< 10 s), produced few clicks, and varied click-peak frequency (20-120 kHz); FLP searched relatively slowly (tens of seconds) and produced many hundreds of clicks with stereotypical frequency-dependent energy distributions dominating from 30-60 kHz. Dolphins amplified target echo returns by either increasing the click source level or reducing distance to the target but without reducing source level. The distribution of echolocation click-peak frequencies suggested a bias in the dominant frequency components of clicks, possibly due to mechanical constraints of the click generator. Prior training and hearing loss accommodation potentially explain differences in the search strategies of the two dolphins. PMID:15898671

  6. Functional brain imaging and bioacoustics in the Bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridgway, Sam; Finneran, James; Carder, Donald; van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Houser, Dorian; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2003-10-01

    The dolphin brain is the central processing computer for a complex and effective underwater echolocation and communication system. Until now, it has not been possible to study or diagnose disorders of the dolphin brain employing modern functional imaging methods like those used in human medicine. Our most recent studies employ established methods such as behavioral tasks, physiological observations, and computed tomography (CT) and, for the first time, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET). Trained dolphins slide out of their enclosure on to a mat and are transported by trainers and veterinarians to the laboratory for injection of a ligand. Following ligand injection, brief experiments include trained vocal responses to acoustic, visual, or tactile stimuli. We have used the ligand technetium (Tc-99m) biscisate (Neurolite) to image circulatory flow by SPECT. Fluro-deoxy-d-glucose (18-F-FDG) has been employed to image brain metabolism with PET. Veterinarians carefully monitored dolphins during and after the procedure. Through these methods, we have demonstrated that functional imaging can be employed safely and productively with dolphins to obtain valuable information on brain structure and function for medical and research purposes. Hemispheric differences and variations in flow and metabolism in different brain areas will be shown.

  7. Echolocation characteristics of free-swimming bottlenose dolphins during object detection and identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houser, Dorian; Martin, Stephen W.; Bauer, Eric J.; Phillips, Michael; Herrin, Tim; Cross, Matt; Vidal, Andrea; Moore, Patrick W.

    2005-04-01

    A biosonar measurement tool (BMT) was created to investigate dolphin echolocation search strategies by recording echolocation clicks, returning echoes, and three-dimensional angular motion, velocity, and depth of free-swimming dolphins performing open-water target detections. Trial start and stop times, locations determined from a differential global positioning system (DGPS), and BMT motion and acoustic data were used to produce spatial and acoustic representations of the searches. Two dolphins (LUT, FLP) searched for targets lying on the seafloor of a bay environment while carrying the BMT. LUT searched rapidly (<10 s), produced few clicks, and varied click-peak frequency (20-120 kHz); FLP searched relatively slowly (tens of seconds) and produced many hundreds of clicks with stereotypical frequency-dependent energy distributions dominating from 30-60 kHz. Dolphins amplified target echo returns by either increasing the click source level or reducing distance to the target but without reducing source level. The distribution of echolocation click-peak frequencies suggested a bias in the dominant frequency components of clicks, possibly due to mechanical constraints of the click generator. Prior training and hearing loss accommodation potentially explain differences in the search strategies of the two dolphins. .

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

    PubMed

    Van Dolah, Frances M; Neely, Marion G; McGeorge, Lauren E; Balmer, Brian C; Ylitalo, Gina M; Zolman, Eric S; Speakman, Todd; Sinclair, Carrie; Kellar, Nicholas M; Rosel, Patricia E; Mullin, Keith D; Schwacke, Lori H

    2015-01-01

    As long-lived predators that integrate exposures across multiple trophic levels, cetaceans are recognized as sentinels for the health of marine ecosystems. Their utility as sentinels requires the establishment of baseline health parameters. Because cetaceans are protected, measurements obtained with minimal disruption to free ranging animals are highly desirable. In this study we investigated the utility of skin gene expression profiling to monitor health and contaminant exposure in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Remote integument biopsies were collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (May 2010) and during summer and winter for two years following oil contamination (2010-2011). A bottlenose dolphin microarray was used to characterize the skin transcriptomes of 94 individuals from three populations: Barataria Bay, Louisiana, Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, and Mississippi Sound, Mississippi/Alabama. Skin transcriptomes did not differ significantly between populations. In contrast, season had a profound effect on gene expression, with nearly one-third of all genes on the array differing in expression between winter and the warmer seasons (moderated T-test; p<0.01, fold-change≥1.5). Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in blubber changed concurrently, reaching >two-fold higher concentrations in summer compared to winter, due to a seasonal decrease in blubber thickness and loss of stored lipid. However, global gene expression did not correlate strongly with seasonally changing contaminant concentrations, most likely because the refractory, lipid-stored metabolites are not substrates for phase I or II xenobiotic detoxification pathways. Rather, processes related to cell proliferation, motility, and differentiation dominated the differences in expression in winter and the warmer seasons. More subtle differences were seen between spring and summer (1.5% of genes differentially expressed). However, two presumed oil

  9. Seasonal Variation in the Skin Transcriptome of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Van Dolah, Frances M.; Neely, Marion G.; McGeorge, Lauren E.; Balmer, Brian C.; Ylitalo, Gina M.; Zolman, Eric S.; Speakman, Todd; Sinclair, Carrie; Kellar, Nicholas M.; Rosel, Patricia E.; Mullin, Keith D.; Schwacke, Lori H.

    2015-01-01

    As long-lived predators that integrate exposures across multiple trophic levels, cetaceans are recognized as sentinels for the health of marine ecosystems. Their utility as sentinels requires the establishment of baseline health parameters. Because cetaceans are protected, measurements obtained with minimal disruption to free ranging animals are highly desirable. In this study we investigated the utility of skin gene expression profiling to monitor health and contaminant exposure in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Remote integument biopsies were collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (May 2010) and during summer and winter for two years following oil contamination (2010-2011). A bottlenose dolphin microarray was used to characterize the skin transcriptomes of 94 individuals from three populations: Barataria Bay, Louisiana, Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, and Mississippi Sound, Mississippi/Alabama. Skin transcriptomes did not differ significantly between populations. In contrast, season had a profound effect on gene expression, with nearly one-third of all genes on the array differing in expression between winter and the warmer seasons (moderated T-test; p<0.01, fold-change≥1.5). Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in blubber changed concurrently, reaching >two-fold higher concentrations in summer compared to winter, due to a seasonal decrease in blubber thickness and loss of stored lipid. However, global gene expression did not correlate strongly with seasonally changing contaminant concentrations, most likely because the refractory, lipid-stored metabolites are not substrates for phase I or II xenobiotic detoxification pathways. Rather, processes related to cell proliferation, motility, and differentiation dominated the differences in expression in winter and the warmer seasons. More subtle differences were seen between spring and summer (1.5% of genes differentially expressed). However, two presumed oil

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    In mammalian tissues under hypoxic conditions, ATP degradation results in accumulation of purine metabolites. During exercise, muscle energetic demand increases and oxygen consumption can exceed its supply. During breath-hold diving, oxygen supply is reduced and, although oxygen utilization is regulated by bradycardia (low heart rate) and peripheral vasoconstriction, tissues with low blood flow (ischemia) may become hypoxic. The goal of this study was to evaluate potential differences in the circulating levels of purine metabolism components between diving and exercise in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Blood samples were taken from captive dolphins following a swimming routine (n=8) and after a 2min dive (n=8). Activity of enzymes involved in purine metabolism (hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT), inosine monophosphate deshydrogenase (IMPDH), xanthine oxidase (XO), purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP)), and purine metabolite (hypoxanthine (HX), xanthine (X), uric acid (UA), inosine monophosphate (IMP), inosine, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)), adenosine, adenosine monophosphate (AMP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), ATP, guanosine diphosphate (GDP), guanosine triphosphate (GTP)) concentrations were quantified in erythrocyte and plasma samples. Enzymatic activity and purine metabolite concentrations involved in purine synthesis and degradation, were not significantly different between diving and exercise. Plasma adenosine concentration was higher after diving than exercise (p=0.03); this may be related to dive-induced ischemia. In erythrocytes, HGPRT activity was higher after diving than exercise (p=0.007), suggesting an increased capacity for purine recycling and ATP synthesis from IMP in ischemic tissues of bottlenose dolphins during diving. Purine recycling and physiological adaptations may maintain the ATP concentrations in bottlenose dolphins after diving and exercise. PMID:26506131

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    This study examined whether a group of captive dolphins displayed anticipatory behaviors before shows. In general, anticipation occurs when an event is being predicted. Anticipatory behavior is defined by Spruijt et al. as "responses elicited by rewarding stimuli that lead to and facilitate consummatory behavior (Spruijt et al., 2001, Appl Anim Behav Sci 72: 145-171)." Using behavioral recording techniques, the behaviors, breathing rates, space use, and activity levels of all dolphins was recorded both before and after shows. Analysis compared pre- and post-show data in addition to looking at gradual changes in behavior prior to show sessions. Significant changes were found in the behavior and space use prior to sessions with the dolphins decreasing their activity levels, spending more time at the surface and moving towards the starting point of a session before it took place. There was a significant increase in the vigilant behavior before sessions, indicating that the dolphins were becoming more alert towards their trainers and other activities around the pool. This result mirrors previous research with other captive species; as feeding time was approaching, the animals seemed to "wait" and look for the handlers. Any behavioral change that may be regarded as anticipatory behavior was not evidently abnormal or stereotypic in nature, and breathing rates remained stable indicating that the animals do not perceive the shows as stressful or as an aversive experience. Additionally, behavior and level of activity remained stable following the sessions. PMID:23633033

  12. Nontargeted biomonitoring of halogenated organic compounds in two ecotypes of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Southern California Bight.

    PubMed

    Shaul, Nellie J; Dodder, Nathan G; Aluwihare, Lihini I; Mackintosh, Susan A; Maruya, Keith A; Chivers, Susan J; Danil, Kerri; Weller, David W; Hoh, Eunha

    2015-02-01

    Targeted environmental monitoring reveals contamination by known chemicals, but may exclude potentially pervasive but unknown compounds. Marine mammals are sentinels of persistent and bioaccumulative contaminants due to their longevity and high trophic position. Using nontargeted analysis, we constructed a mass spectral library of 327 persistent and bioaccumulative compounds identified in blubber from two ecotypes of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) sampled in the Southern California Bight. This library of halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) consisted of 180 anthropogenic contaminants, 41 natural products, 4 with mixed sources, 8 with unknown sources, and 94 with partial structural characterization and unknown sources. The abundance of compounds whose structures could not be fully elucidated highlights the prevalence of undiscovered HOCs accumulating in marine food webs. Eighty-six percent of the identified compounds are not currently monitored, including 133 known anthropogenic chemicals. Compounds related to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were the most abundant. Natural products were, in some cases, detected at abundances similar to anthropogenic compounds. The profile of naturally occurring HOCs differed between ecotypes, suggesting more abundant offshore sources of these compounds. This nontargeted analytical framework provided a comprehensive list of HOCs that may be characteristic of the region, and its application within monitoring surveys may suggest new chemicals for evaluation. PMID:25526519

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Organochlorine contaminants in tissues of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the northeastern part of the Adriatic Sea.

    PubMed

    Romanić, S Herceg; Holcer, D; Lazar, B; Klinčić, D; Mackelworth, P; Fortuna, C M

    2014-09-01

    Levels of 24 organochlorine compounds, including toxic mono-ortho PCB congeners, were determined in the organs and tissues (blubber, kidney, lung, muscle, liver, heart) of 13 common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded between 2000 and 2005 in the northern part of the Croatian territorial waters of the Adriatic Sea. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found at higher concentrations in comparison with organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in all of the analyzed tissues. Sums of six indicator congeners (Σ6PCB) constituted around 50% of the total PCB amount, while PCB-153 and PCB-138 were found to have the highest concentrations. Among the seven investigated OCPs, p,p'-DDE was found at the highest concentrations. In blubber, mean values of 22,048 and 11,310ngg(-1) wet weight were determined for ΣPCB and ΣDDT, respectively. Much lower concentrations were found in muscle samples, followed by similar concentrations in kidneys, liver and heart, while the lowest levels of organochlorine contaminants were found in lungs. The results indicate that p,p'-DDT is still being introduced in the Mediterranean region. PCB concentrations are among the highest found in this region and toxicological assessments indicate that the health of this specie is at high risk. PMID:25151654

  15. Brucella sp. vertebral osteomyelitis with intercurrent fatal Staphylococcus aureus toxigenic enteritis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    Goertz, Caroline E. C.; Frasca, Salvatore; Bohach, Gregory A.; Cowan, Daniel F.; Buck, John D.; French, Richard A.; De Guise, Sylvain; Maratea, Jennifer; Hinckley, Lynn; Ewalt, Darla; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Karst, Sheila M.; Deobald, Claudia F.; St. Aubin, David J.; Dunn, J. Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    A previously beach-stranded, juvenile, male, bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was diagnosed with vertebral osteomyelitis of unknown etiology. Antemortem serological testing suggested past or current Brucella sp. infection; however, this could not be confirmed prior to death despite multiple isolation attempts from aspirates, blood, and biopsies. Systemic antibiotics were administered for over a year to control the suspected infection; however, the animal succumbed peracutely to a highly pathogenic, enterotoxin-secreting Staphylococcus sp. Gross necropsy findings included a fistulous tract leading to locally extensive osteomyelitis of a coccygeal vertebra with sequestra and osteophytes from which a Brucella species was isolated. Histopathological examination of intestine revealed pseudomembranous enteritis with a uniform population of intraluminal Gram-positive cocci. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in pure culture from the intestine and tested positive for the staphylococcal enterotoxin A gene by polymerase chain reaction analysis. Serum taken shortly before death had endotoxin and elevated antibody titers to staphylococcal enterotoxin A when compared to samples collected during a period of apparent good health eighteen months earlier. The isolation of a pyrogenic toxin superantigen-producing staphylococcal isolate, clinical signs, and diagnostic findings in this animal resembled some of those noted in human toxic shock syndrome. The present case highlights the clinical challenges of treating chronic illnesses, complications of long-term antibiotic use, and promotion of pathogenic strains in cases of prolonged rehabilitation of marine mammals. PMID:21908337

  16. Brucella sp. vertebral osteomyelitis with intercurrent fatal Staphylococcus aureus toxigenic enteritis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Goertz, Caroline E C; Frasca, Salvatore; Bohach, Gregory A; Cowan, Daniel F; Buck, John D; French, Richard A; De Guise, Sylvain; Maratea, Jennifer; Hinckley, Lynn; Ewalt, Darla; Schlievert, Patrick M; Karst, Sheila M; Deobald, Claudia F; St Aubin, David J; Dunn, J Lawrence

    2011-07-01

    A previously beach-stranded, juvenile, male, bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was diagnosed with vertebral osteomyelitis of unknown etiology. Antemortem serological testing suggested past or current Brucella sp. infection; however, this could not be confirmed prior to death despite multiple isolation attempts from aspirates, blood, and biopsies. Systemic antibiotics were administered for over a year to control the suspected infection; however, the animal succumbed peracutely to infection by a highly pathogenic, enterotoxin-secreting Staphylococcus sp. Gross necropsy findings included a fistulous tract leading to locally extensive osteomyelitis of a coccygeal vertebra with sequestra and osteophytes from which a Brucella species was isolated. Histopathological examination of intestine revealed pseudomembranous enteritis with a uniform population of intraluminal Gram-positive cocci. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in pure culture from the intestine and tested positive for the staphylococcal enterotoxin A gene by polymerase chain reaction analysis. Serum taken shortly before death had endotoxin and elevated antibody titers to staphylococcal enterotoxin A when compared to samples collected during a period of apparent good health 18 months earlier. The isolation of a pyrogenic toxin superantigen-producing staphylococcal isolate, clinical signs, and diagnostic findings in this animal resembled some of those noted in human toxic shock syndrome. The present case highlights the clinical challenges of treating chronic illnesses, complications of long-term antibiotic use, and promotion of pathogenic strains in cases of prolonged rehabilitation of marine mammals. PMID:21908337

  17. Quantifying the acoustic repertoire of a population: The vocalizations of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins in Fiordland, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boisseau, Oliver

    2005-04-01

    Quantification of the vocal repertoire of a species is critical for subsequent analysis of signal functionality, geographical variation, social relevance, and transmission. While signal repertoires have been documented for numerous animal species, detailed descriptions for the cetaceans are rare. This study describes the vocalizations of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins resident to the waters of Fiordland, New Zealand. The field recordings presented in this paper were made using both audio band and broadband apparatus. Subsequent classification of vocalizations using multivariate parameters enabled a quantification of the entire vocal output of the focal animals. These results were used to propose a meaningful repertoire of signals employed by this species. A total of 12 individual signal types were described, comprising four broad structural classes: ``tonal,'' ``single bursts,'' ``click bursts,'' and ``repeat bursts.'' The proposed repertoire will allow subsequent investigation into vocal behavior. It appears that the successful description of a species' repertoire is dependent on the use of appropriate recording systems, a high number of representative recordings with good signal-to-noise ratio, and subsequent validation of the original classification system. .

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Age estimation in the Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus(Montagu 1821) by bone density of the thoracic limb

    PubMed Central

    Butti, Camilla; Corain, Livio; Cozzi, Bruno; Podestà, Michela; Pirone, Andrea; Affronte, Marco; Zotti, Alessandro

    2007-01-01

    The determination of age is an important step in defining the life history traits of individuals and populations. Age determination of odontocetes is mainly based on counting annual growth layer groups in the teeth. However, this useful method is always invasive, requiring the cutting of at least one tooth, and sometimes the results are difficult to interpret. Based on the concept that bone matrix is constantly deposited throughout life, we analysed the bone mineral density of the arm and forearm of a series of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) stranded along the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea or maintained in confined waters. The bone mineral density values we obtained were evaluated as possible age predictors of the Mediterranean population of this species, considering age as determined by counting growth layer groups in sections of the teeth and the total body length of the animal as references. Comparisons between left and right flipper showed no difference. Our results show that bone mineral density values of the thoracic limb are indeed reliable age predictors in Tursiops truncatus. Further investigations in additional odontocete species are necessary to provide strong evidence of the reliability of bone mineral density as an indicator of growth and chronological wear and tear in toothed-whales. PMID:17850286

  20. Nontargeted Biomonitoring of Halogenated Organic Compounds in Two Ecotypes of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Southern California Bight

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Targeted environmental monitoring reveals contamination by known chemicals, but may exclude potentially pervasive but unknown compounds. Marine mammals are sentinels of persistent and bioaccumulative contaminants due to their longevity and high trophic position. Using nontargeted analysis, we constructed a mass spectral library of 327 persistent and bioaccumulative compounds identified in blubber from two ecotypes of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) sampled in the Southern California Bight. This library of halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) consisted of 180 anthropogenic contaminants, 41 natural products, 4 with mixed sources, 8 with unknown sources, and 94 with partial structural characterization and unknown sources. The abundance of compounds whose structures could not be fully elucidated highlights the prevalence of undiscovered HOCs accumulating in marine food webs. Eighty-six percent of the identified compounds are not currently monitored, including 133 known anthropogenic chemicals. Compounds related to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were the most abundant. Natural products were, in some cases, detected at abundances similar to anthropogenic compounds. The profile of naturally occurring HOCs differed between ecotypes, suggesting more abundant offshore sources of these compounds. This nontargeted analytical framework provided a comprehensive list of HOCs that may be characteristic of the region, and its application within monitoring surveys may suggest new chemicals for evaluation. PMID:25526519

  1. [Frequency discrimination by the bottle-nosed dolphin and the Northern fur seal depending on sound parameters and sound conduction pathways].

    PubMed

    Babushkina, E S; Poliakov, M A

    2003-01-01

    Underwater differential frequency hearing thresholds in the Black Sea bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus p.) and the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) were measured depending on signal frequency and sound conduction pathways. The measurements were performed by the method of instrumental conditioned reflexes with food reinforcement under conditions of full and partial (with heads out of water at sound conduction through body tissues) submergence of animals into water. It was shown that in a frequency range of 5-100 kHz, underwater differential frequency hearing thresholds of the bottle-nosed dolphin changed from 0.46-0.60% to 0.21-0.34% and depended little on sound conduction pathways. The minimum underwater differential frequency hearing thresholds of the northern fur seal corresponded to the frequencies of maximum hearing sensitivity, changed from 1.7% to 1-2.3% in a frequency range of 1-20 kHz, sharply increased at the edges of the frequency hearing perception range, and depended little (in a range of 5-40 kHz) on sound conduction pathways. Thus, underwater sounds propagating through the body tissues of dolphin and fur seal reach the inner ear. PMID:12723360

  2. Recognition of Frequency Modulated Whistle-Like Sounds by a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Humans with Transformations in Amplitude, Duration and Frequency

    PubMed Central

    Branstetter, Brian K.; DeLong, Caroline M.; Dziedzic, Brandon; Black, Amy; Bakhtiari, Kimberly

    2016-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) use the frequency contour of whistles produced by conspecifics for individual recognition. Here we tested a bottlenose dolphin’s (Tursiops truncatus) ability to recognize frequency modulated whistle-like sounds using a three alternative matching-to-sample paradigm. The dolphin was first trained to select a specific object (object A) in response to a specific sound (sound A) for a total of three object-sound associations. The sounds were then transformed by amplitude, duration, or frequency transposition while still preserving the frequency contour of each sound. For comparison purposes, 30 human participants completed an identical task with the same sounds, objects, and training procedure. The dolphin’s ability to correctly match objects to sounds was robust to changes in amplitude with only a minor decrement in performance for short durations. The dolphin failed to recognize sounds that were frequency transposed by plus or minus ½ octaves. Human participants demonstrated robust recognition with all acoustic transformations. The results indicate that this dolphin’s acoustic recognition of whistle-like sounds was constrained by absolute pitch. Unlike human speech, which varies considerably in average frequency, signature whistles are relatively stable in frequency, which may have selected for a whistle recognition system invariant to frequency transposition. PMID:26863519

  3. A Comparison of Portable Ultrasound and Fully-Equipped Clinical Ultrasound Unit in the Thyroid Size Measurement of the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Measurement of thyroid size and volume is a useful clinical parameter in both human and veterinary medicine, particularly for diagnosing thyroid diseases and guiding corrective therapy. Procuring a fully-equipped clinical ultrasound unit (FCUS) may be difficult in most veterinary settings. The present study evaluated the inter-equipment variability in dolphin thyroid ultrasound measurements between a portable ultrasound unit (PUS) and a FCUS; for both units, repeatability was also assessed. Thyroid ultrasound examinations were performed on 15 apparently healthy bottlenose dolphins with both PUS and FCUS under identical scanning conditions. There was a high level of agreement between the two ultrasound units in dolphin thyroid measurements (ICC = 0.859–0.976). A high intra-operator repeatability in thyroid measurements was found (PUS: ICC = 0.854–0.984, FCUS: ICC = 0.709–0.954). As a conclusion, no substantial inter-equipment variability was found between PUS and FCUS in dolphin thyroid size measurements under identical scanning conditions, supporting further application of PUS for quantitative analyses of dolphin thyroid gland in both research and clinical practices at aquarium settings. PMID:22272311

  4. Toward the identification, characterization and experimental culture of Lacazia loboi from Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Adam M; Reif, John S; Guzmán, Esther A; Bossart, Gregory D; Ottuso, Patrick; Snyder, Joseph; Medalie, Neil; Rosato, Ralph; Han, Sushan; Fair, Patricia A; McCarthy, Peter J

    2016-08-01

    Lobomycosis (lacaziosis) is a chronic, granulomatous, fungal infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissues of humans and dolphins. To date, the causative agent, the yeast-like organism Lacazia loboi, has not been grown in the laboratory, and there have been no recent reports describing attempts to culture the organism. As a result, studies on the efficacy of therapeutics and potential environmental reservoirs have not been conducted. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to utilize both classical and novel microbiological methods in order to stimulate growth of Lacazia cells collected from dolphin lesions. This included the experimental inoculation of novel media, cell culture, and the use of artificial skin matrices. Although unsuccessful, the methods and results of this study provide important insight into new approaches that could be utilized in future investigations of this elusive organism. PMID:27118803

  5. Evaluation of motility, membrane status and DNA integrity of frozen-thawed bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) spermatozoa after sex-sorting and recryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Montano, G A; Kraemer, D C; Love, C C; Robeck, T R; O'Brien, J K

    2012-06-01

    Artificial insemination (AI) with sex-sorted frozen-thawed spermatozoa has led to enhanced management of ex situ bottlenose dolphin populations. Extended distance of animals from the sorting facility can be overcome by the use of frozen-thawed, sorted and recryopreserved spermatozoa. Although one bottlenose dolphin calf had been born using sexed frozen-thawed spermatozoa derived from frozen semen, a critical evaluation of in vitro sperm quality is needed to justify the routine use of such samples in AI programs. Sperm motility parameters and plasma membrane integrity were influenced by stage of the sex-sorting process, sperm type (non-sorted and sorted) and freezing method (straw and directional) (P<0.05). After recryopreservation, sorted spermatozoa frozen with the directional freezing method maintained higher (P<0.05) motility parameters over a 24-h incubation period compared to spermatozoa frozen using straws. Quality of sperm DNA of non-sorted spermatozoa, as assessed by the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA), was high and remained unchanged throughout freeze-thawing and incubation processes. Though a possible interaction between Hoechst 33342 and the SCSA-derived acridine orange was observed in stained and sorted samples, the proportion of sex-sorted, recryopreserved spermatozoa exhibiting denatured DNA was low (6.6±4.1%) at 6 h after the second thawing step and remained unchanged (P>0.05) at 24 h. The viability of sorted spermatozoa was higher (P<0.05) than that of non-sorted spermatozoa across all time points after recryopreservation. Collective results indicate that bottlenose dolphin spermatozoa undergoing cryopreservation, sorting and recryopreservation are of adequate quality for use in AI. PMID:22454530

  6. Evaluating cardiac physiology through echocardiography in bottlenose dolphins: using stroke volume and cardiac output to estimate systolic left ventricular function during rest and following exercise.

    PubMed

    Miedler, Stefan; Fahlman, Andreas; Valls Torres, Mónica; Álvaro Álvarez, Teresa; Garcia-Parraga, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Heart-rate (fH) changes during diving and exercise are well documented for marine mammals, but changes in stroke volume (SV) and cardiac output (CO) are much less known. We hypothesized that both SV and CO are also modified following intense exercise. Using transthoracic ultrasound Doppler at the level of the aortic valve, we compared blood flow velocities in the left ventricle and cardiac frequencies during rest and at 1, 3 and 4 min after a bout of exercise in 13 adult bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, six male and seven female, body mass range 143-212 kg). Aortic cross-sectional area and ventricle blood velocity at the aortic valve were used to calculate SV, which together with fH provided estimates of left CO at rest and following exercise. fH and SV stabilized approximately 4-7 s following the post-respiratory tachycardia, so only data after the fH had stabilized were used for analysis and comparison. There were significant increases in fH, SV and CO associated with each breath. At rest, fH, SV and CO were uncorrelated with body mass, and averaged 41±9 beats min(-1), 136±19 ml and 5514±1182 l min(-1), respectively. One minute following high intensity exercise, the cardiac variables had increased by 104±43%, 63±11% and 234±84%, respectively. All variables remained significantly elevated in all animals for at least 4 min after the exercise. These baseline values provide the first data on SV and CO in awake and unrestrained cetaceans in water. PMID:26385334

  7. Complex contaminant exposure in cetaceans: a comparative E-Screen analysis of bottlenose dolphin blubber and mixtures of four persistent organic pollutants.

    PubMed

    Yordy, Jennifer E; Mollenhauer, Meagan A M; Wilson, Rachel M; Wells, Randall S; Hohn, Aleta; Sweeney, Jay; Schwacke, Lori H; Rowles, Teri K; Kucklick, John R; Peden-Adams, Margie M

    2010-10-01

    Cetaceans are federally protected species that are prone to accumulate complex mixtures of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which individually may exert estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects. In the present study it was assessed whether contaminant mixtures harbored by cetaceans are estrogenic or antiestrogenic using a comparative approach. Interactions of antiestrogenic and estrogenic compounds were first investigated with the E-Screen assay using a mixture of four POPs (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene [4,4'-DDE], trans-nonachlor, and polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] 138 180) prevalent in cetacean blubber. Estrogenic/antiestrogenic activity was determined for the individual compounds and their binary, tertiary, and quaternary combinations. Significantly different responses were observed for the various POP mixtures, including enhanced estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects and antagonistic interactions. These results were then compared to the concentrations and estrogenic/antiestrogenic activity of contaminant mixtures isolated directly from the blubber of 15 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) collected from five U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico locations. The lowest observed effect concentrations (LOECs) determined for 4,4'-DDE (20 µmol/L), PCB 138 (20 µmol/L), PCB 180 (21 µmol/L), and trans-nonachlor (3 µmol/L) in the E-Screen were greater than estimated dolphin blood concentrations. Although estimated blood concentrations were below the LOECs, significant estrogenic activity was detected in diluted dolphin blubber from Cape May, NJ and Bermuda. Positive correlations between blubber estrogenicity and select POP concentrations (ΣDDTs, ΣPBDEs, ΣHCB, Σestrogenic PCBs, Σestrogenic POPs) were also observed. Collectively, these results suggest that select bottlenose dolphin populations may be exposed to contaminants that act in concert to exert estrogenic effects at biologically relevant concentrations. These observations do not necessarily

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is the causative agent of erysipelas, a disease of many mammalian and avian species, mainly swine and turkeys. In cetaceans, erysipelas is considered to be the most common infection in juvenile individuals, which have not been vaccinated. Moreover, the disease manifest in both forms, the dermatologic and the acute septicemic forms, has been reported in various species of dolphins and whales. It is difficult to diagnose erysipelas by currently available approaches. Moreover, it is mainly based on culture methods and also PCR methods, which are currently being developed. At the present stage, prophylactic approaches are based on antibiotic therapy and vaccination mostly with porcine erysipelas vaccines. In the present study, an Indirect Immuno Fluorescence method for the detection of dolphin antibodies levels against E. rhusiopathiae was developed and applied in two different groups of captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Loro Parque (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain) and L'Oceanogràfic de Valencia (Valencia, Spain) in order to check the tittering levels of antibodies after application of porcine erysipelas vaccines in the studied dolphins. PMID:25064337

  9. Development and evaluation of deep intra-uterine artificial insemination using cryopreserved sexed spermatozoa in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Robeck, Todd R; Montano, G A; Steinman, K J; Smolensky, P; Sweeney, J; Osborn, S; O'Brien, J K

    2013-06-01

    Since its development in bottlenose dolphins, widespread application of AI with sex-selected, frozen-thawed (FT) spermatozoa has been limited by the significant expense of the sorting process. Reducing the total number of progressively motile sperm (PMS) required for an AI would reduce the sorting cost. As such, this research compared the efficacy of small-dose deep uterine AI with sexed FT spermatozoa (SEXED-SMALL; ~50×10(6)PMS, n=20), to a moderate dose deposited mid-horn (SEXED-STD, ~200×10(6)PMS; n=20), and a large dose of FT non-sexed spermatozoa deposited in the uterine body (NONSEXED-LARGE, 660×10(6)PMS, n=9). Ten of the 11 calves resulting from use of sexed spermatozoa were of the predetermined sex. Similar rates of conception (NONSEXED-LARGE: 78%, SEXED-STD: 60%, SEXED-SMALL: 57%) and total pregnancy loss (TPL: NONSEXED-LARGE: 28.6%; SEXED-STD: 41.0%; SEXED-SMALL: 63.6%) were observed across groups, but early pregnancy loss (EPL,

  10. Vascularization of Air Sinuses and Fat Bodies in the Head of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): Morphological Implications on Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Costidis, Alex; Rommel, Sentiel A.

    2012-01-01

    Cetaceans have long been considered capable of limiting diving-induced nitrogen absorption and subsequent decompression sickness through a series of behavioral, anatomical, and physiological adaptations. Recent studies however suggest that in some situations these adaptive mechanisms might be overcome, resulting in lethal and sublethal injuries. Perhaps most relevant to this discussion is the finding of intravascular gas and fat emboli in mass-stranded beaked whales. Although the source of the gas emboli has as yet to been ascertained, preliminary findings suggest nitrogen is the primary component. Since nitrogen gas embolus formation in divers is linked to nitrogen saturation, it seems premature to dismiss similar pathogenic mechanisms in breath-hold diving cetaceans. Due to the various anatomical adaptations in cetacean lungs, the pulmonary system is thought of as an unlikely site of significant nitrogen absorption. The accessory sinus system on the ventral head of odontocete cetaceans contains a sizeable volume of air that is exposed to the changing hydrostatic pressures during a dive, and is intimately associated with vasculature potentially capable of absorbing nitrogen through its walls. The source of the fat emboli has also remained elusive. Most mammalian fat deposits are considered poorly vascularized and therefore unlikely sites of intravascular introduction of lipid, although cetacean blubber may not be as poorly vascularized as previously thought. We present new data on the vasculature of air sinuses and acoustic fat bodies in the head of bottlenose dolphins and compare it to published accounts. We show that the mandibular fat bodies and accessory sinus system are associated with extensive venous plexuses and suggest potential physiological and pathological implications. PMID:22969724

  11. Assessment of the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organochlorine contaminants in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    García-Álvarez, Natalia; Boada, Luis D; Fernández, Antonio; Zumbado, Manuel; Arbelo, Manuel; Sierra, Eva; Xuriach, Aina; Almunia, Javier; Camacho, María; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2014-09-01

    The concentrations of 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 23 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in the blubber and liver of 27 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded along the Canary Islands coasts from 1997 to 2011. DDTs (mean of 60,960 and 445 ng/g lw., respectively) and PCBs (mean of 47,168 and 628 ng/g lw., respectively) were the predominant compounds in both tissues. Among PCBs the highly chlorinated PCB 180, 153 and 138 were the predominant congeners. We found a p,p'-DDE/∑DDTs ratio of 0.87 in blubber and 0.88 in liver, which is indicative of DDT ageing. All the samples showed detectable values of any of the 16 PAH studied. Phenanthrene was the most frequently detected and at the highest concentration. According to our results, concentrations of OCPs, and especially PCBs, are still at toxicologically relevant levels in blubber of bottlenose dolphins of this geographical area. PMID:24726510

  12. Analysis of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins and pectenotoxin-2 in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhihong; Broadwater, Margaret H; Ramsdell, John S

    2015-10-16

    Toxins produced by harmful algae are associated with detrimental health effects and mass mortalities of marine mammals. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is generally used to confirm the presence of algal toxins in marine mammals. Sample preparation and LC-MS/MS methods for the determination of three diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins (okadaic acid, OA; dinophysistoxin-1, DTX1; dinophysistoxin-2, DTX2) and pectenotoxin-2 (PTX2) in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) urine and tissue samples were evaluated using spike-and-recovery tests. Sample clean-up with either reversed-phase silica or polymeric solid-phase extraction (SPE) reduced interference of sample matrices and improved toxin recoveries, with polymeric SPE showing higher sample loading capacity. LC separation on Xbridge C18 columns using acetonitrile/water gradient elutions with ammonia as the additive was chosen for its high detectivity and sensitivity in the MS detection of DSP toxins in negative ion mode. The retention times of OA, DTX1, and DTX2, separated as negative ions, increased with LC column temperature while the retention time of PTX2, separated as the neutral molecule, was weakly affected. At the same column temperature, retention times of OA, DTX1, and DTX2 gradually increased as the mobile phases aged while the retention time of PTX2 remained unchanged; higher column temperatures resulted in a greater increase in the retention time of each DSP toxin with mobile phase aging. Average recoveries of the 4 toxins in bottlenose dolphin samples ranged from 80% to 130% with relative standard deviations of less than 15% using the LC mobile phases prepared within one week at a column temperature of 30°C or 40°C. The preferred column temperature was 30°C, as the retention times of DSP toxins were less affected by mobile phase aging at this temperature. The limit of detection of each toxin analyzed in bottlenose dolphin samples was 2.8 ng/g or less in tissue

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

    PubMed

    Bryan, Colleen E; Christopher, Steven J; Balmer, Brian C; Wells, Randall S

    2007-12-15

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

  14. Diurnal and annual changes in serum cortisol concentrations in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins Tursiops aduncus and killer whales Orcinus orca.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Miwa; Uchida, Senzo; Ueda, Keiichi; Tobayama, Teruo; Katsumata, Etsuko; Yoshioka, Motoi; Aida, Katsumi

    2003-07-01

    Until present, fundamental studies on cortisol secretory patterns have not been conducted in cetaceans. The objectives of this study were: (1) to examine diurnal changes in serum cortisol concentrations in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins Tursiops aduncus and killer whales Orcinus orca, (2) to investigate annual cortisol changes in killer whales, and (3) to investigate the relationship between cortisol and sex steroids (testosterone and progesterone) concentrations in killer whales. Diurnal changes in serum cortisol concentrations were investigated at various intervals in the two species. In Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, serum cortisol levels exhibited the same episodic fluctuations for 24 h as did diurnal terrestrial mammals: cortisol levels were lower at 18:00 h and higher in the early morning. In killer whales, cortisol concentrations continued to decrease until 18:00 h, after which they fluctuated, and then increased in the next morning. Annual changes in cortisol levels were investigated by collecting blood samples every two weeks from two male killer whales and a pregnant female one twice per day (during 09:00-10:00 and 16:00-17:00 h) throughout a one-year period. Regarding sera collected during 09:00-10:00 h from the female, cortisol concentrations showed cyclic changes having about 4-month intervals. In males, cortisol showed higher concentrations in winter and lower concentrations during the summer season. There was a negative correlation between cortisol and progesterone levels in the female and a negative correlation was also observed between cortisol and testosterone in male no. 2. In the female and male no. 1, cortisol levels during 09:00-10:00 h were significantly higher than those during 16:00-17:00 h, and their data are considered to support observations regarding diurnal changes in cortisol levels in the two cetacean species. PMID:12849966

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Rapid detection of Brucella spp. in marine mammals is challenging. Microbiologic culture is used for definitive diagnosis of brucellosis, but is time consuming, has low sensitivity and can be hazardous to laboratory personnel. Serological methods can aid in diagnosis, but may not differentiate prior exposure versus current active infection and may cross-react with unrelated Gram-negative bacteria. This study reports a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Brucella spp. and application to screen clinical samples from bottlenose dolphins stranded along the coast of South Carolina, USA. The assay was found to be 100% sensitive for the Brucella strains tested, and the limit of detection was 0.27fg of genomic DNA from Brucella ceti B1/94 per PCR volume. No amplification was detected for the non-Brucella pathogens tested. Brucella DNA was detected in 31% (55/178) of clinical samples tested. These studies indicate that the real-time PCR assay is highly sensitive and specific for the detection of Brucella spp. in bottlenose dolphins. We also developed a second real-time PCR assay for rapid identification of Brucella ST27, a genotype that is associated with human zoonotic infection. Positive results were obtained for Brucella strains which had been identified as ST27 by multilocus sequence typing. No amplification was found for other Brucella strains included in this study. ST27 was identified in 33% (18/54) of Brucella spp. DNA-positive clinical samples. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of a real-time PCR assay for identification of Brucella genotype ST27 in marine mammals. PMID:24632518

  16. Insights about the genetic diversity and population structure of an offshore group of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mid-Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Castilho, C S; Pedone-Valdez, F; Bertuol, F; Fruet, P; Genoves, R C; Di Tullio, J C; Caon, G; Hoffmann, L S; Freitas, T R O

    2015-01-01

    Although the genus Tursiops has a worldwide distribution and is globally well-studied, some dolphin populations continue to face high risks of decline. Hence, it is necessary to assess the genetic diversity and structure of this genus to properly assess its conservation status and to implement appropriate management actions. In Brazil, genetic studies on this group remain rare, particularly for populations inhabiting offshore waters. Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (SPSPA) is a small group of islands located in the Mid- Atlantic Ridge, where recent studies of the Tursiops truncatus group indicate that individuals are resident throughout the year around the archipelago, exhibiting considerable site fidelity. A previous study with this group indicated that the individuals form an isolated population. To test this hypothesis, and describe the genetic diversity of SPSPA individuals, we assessed 12 microsatellite loci and a portion of the mitochondrial control region. Bayesian analysis revealed that SPSPA bottlenose dolphins form a unique population. In a phylogeographic perspective, we found that individuals from SPSPA shared mtDNA haplotypes with inshore and offshore individuals from North Atlantic, suggesting that they are not currently isolated from their conspecifics. Mirroring mtDNA findings, microsatellite analysis revealed that most of the pairs of individuals sampled seem to be unrelated (83.8%) and no indication of inbreeding, what would be expected if a small population such as SPSPA was reproductively isolated. PMID:25966105

  17. Annual, seasonal and individual variation in hematology and clinical blood chemistry profiles in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, Florida.

    PubMed

    Hall, Ailsa J; Wells, Randall S; Sweeney, Jay C; Townsend, Forrest I; Balmer, Brian C; Hohn, Aleta A; Rhinehart, Howard L

    2007-10-01

    Hematology and clinical blood chemistry (HCBC) profiles in free-living bottlenose dolphins from Sarasota Bay, Florida have been monitored over a 14-year period. This long-term dataset includes samples from recaptured dolphins, enabling individual variation to be accounted for when investigating seasonal and annual variability. Four different laboratories carried out the assays and inter-laboratory comparisons found significant differences in 31 of 39 parameters measured. However, variability in comparable HCBCs by sex, age, condition, season and year could be investigated. Significant relationships with the independent variables were found for the majority of the HCBCs. Notable consistent seasonal differences included significantly elevated glucose and significantly lower creatinine concentrations in winter compared to summer. These differences may be due to energetic or thermoregulatory fluctuations in the animals by season and do not necessarily have any clinical significance. Erythrocyte counts were significantly lower in the winter, possibly also due to nutritional differences. Albumin and calcium levels in this population have increased significantly over the years of monitoring and consistently across seasons, being higher in the winter than the summer. Again, nutritional and thermal constraints seem to be the most likely environmental factors influencing these patterns. PMID:17524692

  18. Is blood thicker than water? The role of kin and non-kin in non-mother-calf associations of captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Levengood, Alexis L; Dudzinski, Kathleen M

    2016-03-01

    Relationships are important for social animals and kinship can play a vital role. Still, occurrence and function of kin bonds (aside from mother) in delphinid calf associations, alloparenting, or calf rearing are poorly represented in the literature. This study examined the role of kin and non-kin in non-mother-calf associations for a managed population of bottlenose dolphins. Calf associations were event sampled to determine if kin and non-kin differences existed in frequency or duration. Calves with kin present exhibited a higher average number of associates than calves without kin. Yet calves showed no conclusive association preference in frequency; though some individuals showed early signs of developing kin preferences. Duration and context of associations did not differ between kin and non-kin, suggesting they serve the same developmental purpose. However, personality, calf age, and associate age played a greater role in the formation of calf associations, supporting the notion that calves choose associates with similar traits, aiding in their development in difficult and changing environments. Though kinship is important in the formation of relationships in older dolphins, it appears that outside the mother-calf bond, there are other more influential factors, such as age, personality, and sociality in the formation of early developmental bonds. PMID:26718883

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

    PubMed

    Lane, Emily P; de Wet, Morné; Thompson, Peter; Siebert, Ursula; Wohlsein, Peter; Plön, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    Coastal dolphins are regarded as indicators of changes in coastal marine ecosystem health that could impact humans utilizing the marine environment for food or recreation. Necropsy and histology examinations were performed on 35 Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) and five Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa, between 2010 and 2012. Parasitic lesions included pneumonia (85%), abdominal and thoracic serositis (75%), gastroenteritis (70%), hepatitis (62%), and endometritis (42%). Parasitic species identified were Halocercus sp. (lung), Crassicauda sp. (skeletal muscle) and Xenobalanus globicipitis (skin). Additional findings included bronchiolar epithelial mineralisation (83%), splenic filamentous tags (45%), non-suppurative meningoencephalitis (39%), and myocardial fibrosis (26%). No immunohistochemically positive reaction was present in lesions suggestive of dolphin morbillivirus, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella spp. The first confirmed cases of lobomycosis and sarcocystosis in South African dolphins were documented. Most lesions were mild, and all animals were considered to be in good nutritional condition, based on blubber thickness and muscle mass. Apparent temporal changes in parasitic disease prevalence may indicate a change in the host/parasite interface. This study provided valuable baseline information on conditions affecting coastal dolphin populations in South Africa and, to our knowledge, constitutes the first reported systematic health assessment in incidentally caught dolphins in the Southern Hemisphere. Further research on temporal disease trends as well as disease pathophysiology and anthropogenic factors affecting these populations is needed. PMID:25203143

  20. A Systematic Health Assessment of Indian Ocean Bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and Indo-Pacific Humpback (Sousa plumbea) Dolphins Incidentally Caught in Shark Nets off the KwaZulu-Natal Coast, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Emily P.; de Wet, Morné; Thompson, Peter; Siebert, Ursula; Wohlsein, Peter; Plön, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    Coastal dolphins are regarded as indicators of changes in coastal marine ecosystem health that could impact humans utilizing the marine environment for food or recreation. Necropsy and histology examinations were performed on 35 Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) and five Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa, between 2010 and 2012. Parasitic lesions included pneumonia (85%), abdominal and thoracic serositis (75%), gastroenteritis (70%), hepatitis (62%), and endometritis (42%). Parasitic species identified were Halocercus sp. (lung), Crassicauda sp. (skeletal muscle) and Xenobalanus globicipitis (skin). Additional findings included bronchiolar epithelial mineralisation (83%), splenic filamentous tags (45%), non-suppurative meningoencephalitis (39%), and myocardial fibrosis (26%). No immunohistochemically positive reaction was present in lesions suggestive of dolphin morbillivirus, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella spp. The first confirmed cases of lobomycosis and sarcocystosis in South African dolphins were documented. Most lesions were mild, and all animals were considered to be in good nutritional condition, based on blubber thickness and muscle mass. Apparent temporal changes in parasitic disease prevalence may indicate a change in the host/parasite interface. This study provided valuable baseline information on conditions affecting coastal dolphin populations in South Africa and, to our knowledge, constitutes the first reported systematic health assessment in incidentally caught dolphins in the Southern Hemisphere. Further research on temporal disease trends as well as disease pathophysiology and anthropogenic factors affecting these populations is needed. PMID:25203143

  1. Behavior of a solitary sociable female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) off the coast of Kent, Southeast England.

    PubMed

    Eisfeld, Sonja M; Simmonds, Mark P; Stansfield, Laura R

    2010-01-01

    This article provides a report of the behavior of a solitary sociable dolphin studied on the southeast coast of England in 2007. This is the first study of its kind in which behavior of such a nonhuman animal was systematically studied. By the time of this study, this young female was highly interactive with people in the water. People accompanied the dolphin for 18.4% of the 100 hr of observation, and their presence changed her behavior. The study recorded 39 different behaviors; feeding and resting behaviors declined in frequency in the presence of people. In addition, the dolphin exhibited behavior possibly hazardous to people in the water, which included preventing swimmers from leaving the water. The dolphin received several wounds, at least one of which was life-threatening. This article discusses the welfare implications for such animals. PMID:20017044

  2. Integrating life-history and reproductive success data to examine potential relationships with organochlorine compounds for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida.

    PubMed

    Wells, Randall S; Tornero, Victoria; Borrell, Asuncion; Aguilar, Alex; Rowles, Teri K; Rhinehart, Howard L; Hofmann, Suzanne; Jarman, Walter M; Hohn, Aleta A; Sweeney, Jay C

    2005-10-15

    Research initiated in 1970 has identified a long-term, year-round resident community of about 140 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida, providing unparalleled opportunities to investigate relationships between organochlorine contaminant residues and life-history and reproductive parameters. Many individual dolphins are identifiable and of known age, sex, and maternal lineage (< or =4 generations). Observational monitoring provides data on dolphin spatial and temporal occurrence, births and fates of calves, and birth-order. Capture-release operations conducted for veterinary examinations provide biological data and samples for life-history and contaminant residue measurement. Organochlorine concentrations in blubber and blood (plasma) can be examined relative to age, sex, lipid content, and birth-order. Reproductive success is evaluated through tracking of individual female lifetime calving success. For the current study, 47 blubber samples collected during June 2000 and 2001 were analyzed for PCB concentrations of 22 congeners relative to life-history factors and reproductive success. Prior to sexual maturity, males and females exhibited similar concentrations of about 15-50 ppm. Classical patterns of accumulation with age were identified in males, but not in females. Subsequently, males accumulated higher concentrations of PCBs through their lives (>100 ppm), whereas females begin to depurate with their first calf, reaching a balance between contaminant intake and lactational loss (<15 ppm). In primiparous females, PCB concentrations in blubber and plasma and the rates of first-born calf mortality were both high. First-born calves had higher concentrations than subsequent calves of similar age (>25 vs.<25 ppm). Maternal burdens were lower early in lactation and increased as calves approached nutritional independence. Empirical data were generally consistent with a published theoretical risk assessment and supported the need for

  3. Ratiometric Measurements of Adiponectin by Mass Spectrometry in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with Iron Overload Reveal an Association with Insulin Resistance and Glucagon

    PubMed Central

    Neely, Benjamin A.; Carlin, Kevin P.; Arthur, John M.; McFee, Wayne E.; Janech, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Dolphins. LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-15

    The effect of anthropogenic pollution in marine mammals worldwide has become an important issue due to the high concentrations found in many areas. The present study represents the first report of pollutants in free-ranging cetaceans from the Canary Islands, where there are 12 marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), because of the presence of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We selected this resident population of dolphins as a bioindicator to gain knowledge concerning the toxicological status of the cetaceans of this protected area. In 64 biopsy samples of live free-ranging animals sampled from 2003 to 2011, we determined the concentrations of 18 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 23 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We found high levels of many of these pollutants, and some of them were detectable in 100% of the samples. The median value for ∑OCPs was 57,104 ng g(-1) lipid weight (lw), and the dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) accounted for 70% of this amount. Among PCBs, congeners 180, 153 and 138 were predominant (82% of ∑PCBs; median = 30,783 ng g(-1) lw). Concerning the analyzed PAHs, the total median burden was 13,598 ng g(-1) lw, and phenanthrene was the compound measured at the highest concentration followed by pyrene and by naphthalene. Surprisingly, we have found that organohalogen pollutants exhibit an upward trend in recent years of sampling. Thus, according to the guidelines outlined in the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive, further monitoring studies in Canary Islands are required to contribute to the conservation of the resident populations of marine mammals in this region. PMID:24937489

  6. The ability to recognize objects from bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) echoes generalizes across multiple orientations in humans and neural networks.

    PubMed

    DeLong, Caroline M; Heberle, Amanda L; Wisniewski, Matthew G; Mercado, Eduardo

    2014-05-01

    Object constancy, the ability to recognize objects despite changes in orientation, has not been well studied in the auditory modality. Dolphins use echolocation for object recognition, and objects ensonified by dolphins produce echoes that can vary significantly as a function of orientation. In this experiment, human listeners had to classify echoes from objects varying in material, shape, and size that were ensonified with dolphin signals. Participants were trained to discriminate among the objects using an 18-echo stimulus from a 10° range of aspect angles, then tested with novel aspect angles across a 60° range. Participants were typically successful recognizing the objects at all angles (M = 78 %). Artificial neural networks were trained and tested with the same stimuli with the purpose of identifying acoustic cues that enable object recognition. A multilayer perceptron performed similarly to the humans and revealed that recognition was enabled by both the amplitude and frequency of echoes, as well as the temporal dynamics of these features over the course of echo trains. These results provide insight into representational processes underlying echoic recognition in dolphins and suggest that object constancy perceived through the auditory modality is likely to parallel what has been found in the visual domain in studies with both humans and animals. PMID:24072644

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    While odontocetes do not have an external pinna that guides sound to the middle ear, they are considered to receive sound through specialized regions of the head and lower jaw. Yet odontocetes differ in the shape of the lower jaw suggesting that hearing pathways may vary between species, potentially influencing hearing directionality and noise impacts. This work measured the audiogram and received sensitivity of a Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) in an effort to comparatively examine how this species receives sound. Jaw hearing thresholds were lowest (most sensitive) at two locations along the anterior, midline region of the lower jaw (the lower jaw tip and anterior part of the throat). Responses were similarly low along a more posterior region of the lower mandible, considered the area of best hearing in bottlenose dolphins. Left- and right-side differences were also noted suggesting possible left-right asymmetries in sound reception or differences in ear sensitivities. The results indicate best hearing pathways may vary between the Risso's dolphin and other odontocetes measured. This animal received sound well, supporting a proposed throat pathway. For Risso's dolphins in particular, good ventral hearing would support their acoustic ecology by facilitating echo-detection from their proposed downward oriented echolocation beam. PMID:25925434

  8. Using the auditory steady-state response to assess temporal dynamics of hearing sensitivity during bottlenose dolphin echolocation.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Mulsow, Jason; Houser, Dorian S

    2013-11-01

    The auditory steady-state response (ASSR) to an external tone was measured in an echolocating dolphin to determine if hearing sensitivity changes could be tracked over time scales corresponding to single click-echo pairs. Individual epochs containing click-echo pairs were first extracted from the instantaneous electroencephalogram. Epochs were coherently averaged using the external tone modulation rate as a timing reference, then Fourier transformed using a sliding, 10-ms temporal window to obtain the ASSR amplitude as a function of time. The results revealed a decrease in the ASSR amplitude at the time of click emission, followed by a 25-70 ms recovery. PMID:24180800

  9. High-resolution measurement of a bottlenose dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) biosonar transmission beam pattern in the horizontal plane.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Branstetter, Brian K; Houser, Dorian S; Moore, Patrick W; Mulsow, Jason; Martin, Cameron; Perisho, Shaun

    2014-10-01

    Previous measurements of toothed whale echolocation transmission beam patterns have utilized few hydrophones and have therefore been limited to fine angular resolution only near the principal axis or poor resolution over larger azimuthal ranges. In this study, a circular, horizontal planar array of 35 hydrophones was used to measure a dolphin's transmission beam pattern with 5° to 10° resolution at azimuths from -150° to +150°. Beam patterns and directivity indices were calculated from both the peak-peak sound pressure and the energy flux density. The emitted pulse became smaller in amplitude and progressively distorted as it was recorded farther off the principal axis. Beyond ±30° to 40°, the off-axis signal consisted of two distinct pulses whose difference in time of arrival increased with the absolute value of the azimuthal angle. A simple model suggests that the second pulse is best explained as a reflection from internal structures in the dolphin's head, and does not implicate the use of a second sound source. Click energy was also more directional at the higher source levels utilized at longer ranges, where the center frequency was elevated compared to that of the lower amplitude clicks used at shorter range. PMID:25324101

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Parainfluenza virus 3 (PIV-3) is a common viral infection not only in humans, but also in many other species. Serological evidence suggests that nearly 100 % of children in the United States have been infected with PIV-3 by 5 years of age. Similarly, in cattle, PIV-3 is commonly associated with bovine respiratory disease complex. A novel dolphin PIV-3 (TtPIV-1) was described by Nollens et al. in 2008 from a dolphin that was diagnosed with an unknown respiratory illness. At that time, TtPIV-1 was found to be most similar to, but distinct from, bovine PIV-3 (BPIV-3). In the present study, similar viral growth kinetics and pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, IL-6, and CXCL8) production were seen between BPIV-3 and TtPIV-1 in BEAS-2B, MDBK, and Vero cell lines. Initial nomenclature of TtPIV-1 was based on partial sequence of the fusion and RNA polymerase genes. Based on the similarities we saw with the in vitro work, it was important to examine the TtPIV-1 genome in more detail. Full genome sequencing and subsequent phylogenetic analysis revealed that all six viral genes of TtPIV-1 clustered within the recently described BPIV-3 genotype B strains, and it is proposed that TtPIV-1 be re-classified with BPIV-3 genotype B strains. PMID:26174699

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The present study documents the morphology of neurons in several regions of the neocortex from the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the North Atlantic minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Golgi-stained neurons (n = 210) were analyzed in the frontal and temporal neocortex as well as in the primary visual and primary motor areas. Qualitatively, all three species exhibited a diversity of neuronal morphologies, with spiny neurons including typical pyramidal types, similar to those observed in primates and rodents, as well as other spiny neuron types that had more variable morphology and/or orientation. Five neuron types, with a vertical apical dendrite, approximated the general pyramidal neuron morphology (i.e., typical pyramidal, extraverted, magnopyramidal, multiapical, and bitufted neurons), with a predominance of typical and extraverted pyramidal neurons. In what may represent a cetacean morphological apomorphy, both typical pyramidal and magnopyramidal neurons frequently exhibited a tri-tufted variant. In the humpback whale, there were also large, star-like neurons with no discernable apical dendrite. Aspiny bipolar and multipolar interneurons were morphologically consistent with those reported previously in other mammals. Quantitative analyses showed that neuronal size and dendritic extent increased in association with body size and brain mass (bottlenose dolphin < minke whale < humpback whale). The present data thus suggest that certain spiny neuron morphologies may be apomorphies in the neocortex of cetaceans as compared to other mammals and that neuronal dendritic extent covaries with brain and body size. PMID:25100560

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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. Where's That Dolphin?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  15. THE NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF THE DIET OF BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) IS BETTER ASSESSED RELATIVE TO METABOLIZABLE ENERGY THAN DRY MATTER.

    PubMed

    Ardente, Amanda J; Hill, Richard C

    2015-06-01

    Nutrient concentrations in a diet can be expressed either "as fed," relative to dry matter (DM), or relative to metabolizable energy (ME). Most published literature evaluates the diet of dolphins by comparing nutrient content relative to DM. Nevertheless, ME requirements, not DM, determine how much food dolphins need to maintain their body condition. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate why it is important to calculate the ME content of fish fed to dolphins and compare nutrient concentrations in dolphin diets relative to ME, not DM. Two studies that compared the nutrient composition of fish species on a DM basis were reevaluated. The ME content of each fish species was calculated and found to vary widely among species, from 0.94 to 1.58 Mcal/kg as fed. Water, mineral, and fat concentrations relative to ME also varied markedly among fish species. To demonstrate the magnitude of nutrient content differences between fish, the percent change in nutrient concentration for each species was calculated relative to herring. The percent changes for DM and ME analyses were then compared. Percent change in nutrient concentration was either over- or underestimated on a DM basis when compared with the percent change on an ME basis. Notable discrepancies were evident among important nutrients, such as crude protein, water, and sodium. Caretakers of managed dolphins must account for differences in energy density when deciding how much to feed and assessing the nutrient composition of the diet. PMID:26056869

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  17. Purification and characterization of the major whey proteins from the milks of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), and the beagle (Canis familiaris).

    PubMed

    Pervaiz, S; Brew, K

    1986-05-01

    The major whey proteins of the milks of the dolphin, manatee, and beagle were purified by gel filtration and ion exchange chromatography and characterized and identified by molecular weight determination, amino acid analysis, N-terminal sequencing, and activity measurements. The major whey protein components from all three species were found to be monomeric beta-lactoglobulins. These proteins were all active in binding retinol. Dolphin milk contained two beta-lactoglobulins (designated 1 and 2) which showed a slight difference in molecular weight and considerably divergent N-terminal sequences, whereas the other milks only contained a single form of beta-lactoglobulin. alpha-Lactalbumins were purified from dolphin and dog milks and were active in promoting lactose synthesis by bovine galactosyltransferase. The dolphin protein had an N-terminal sequence more similar to ruminant alpha-lactalbumins than to those known from other species. Although alpha-lactalbumin activity has been detected in manatee milk at low levels, the corresponding protein was not isolated. In addition, dog milk was found to contain high levels of lysozyme (greater than 1.0 mg/ml), which were identified by activity and sequencing. The functional and evolutionary implications of these results are discussed. PMID:3707136

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Optimization of blood collection card method/enzyme-linked immunoassay for monitoring exposure of bottlenose dolphin to brevetoxin-producing red tides.

    PubMed

    Maucher, Jennifer M; Briggs, Lyn; Podmore, Colleen; Ramsdell, John S

    2007-01-15

    Blood collection cards have been successfully used as a tool to monitor brevetoxin (PbTx) exposure in several species, including fish, mice, and rats. Previous methanolic methods used for extracting brevetoxin from blood collection cards have shown dolphin blood to have matrix difficulties in several biological assays. To better biomonitor protected marine mammal species in the Florida area, which is historically prone to unusual mortality events caused by brevetoxin exposure, we have modified the previous extraction method to consistently recover brevetoxin with a known efficiency from dolphin blood collection card samples with minimal matrix interference. A combination of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) with 6% MeOH and 100% acetonitrile was used to elute blood from the cellulose card and precipitate proteins, respectively. Analysis was performed using a newly developed direct enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), which yields a sample limit of quantification of 1 ng PbTx-3 equiv/mL. This extraction method allowed for linear recovery of PbTx-3 spiked into dolphin blood (1-30 ng/mL) with a consistent recovery rate of 58% and has subsequently been used to monitor brevetoxins in dolphins, as well as sea turtles and manatees, in regions endemic to red tides. In addition, two known metabolites of PbTx-2 were isolated and also found to be detectable using the ELISA. The cysteine conjugate (m/z 1018) and cysteine sulfoxide conjugate (m/z 1034) were found to have linear recoveries of 87% and 66%, respectively. In summary, this method of extracting brevetoxins and their metabolites from blood collection cards, in conjunction with the ELISA detection method, is a simple and reliable way to biomonitor physiologically relevant toxin levels in protected marine animals. PMID:17310722

  1. Mercury and selenium in blood and epidermis of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL: interaction and relevance to life history and hematologic parameters.

    PubMed

    Woshner, Victoria; Knott, Katrina; Wells, Randall; Willetto, Carla; Swor, Rhonda; O'Hara, Todd

    2008-09-01

    Blood and epidermal biopsies from free-ranging Tursiops truncatus captured and released during either summer or winter health assessments in Sarasota Bay, FL, were evaluated for concentrations of mercury, selenium, stable isotopes (d(13)C and d(15)N), and blood glutathione peroxidase activity in conjunction with routine hematology and serum chemistry panels. Major objectives were to: 1) quantify and describe relationships among mercury, selenium, glutathione peroxidase, and stable isotopes of C and N in blood and epidermis; 2) elucidate major parameters that influence blood mercury and glutathione peroxidase activity; 3) relate measures of tissue mercury, selenium, and glutathione peroxidase to specific ecological, hematological, morphological, or life history parameters, including season, sex, age, and trophic level. Mercury in both tissues examined is almost exclusively methylmercury. Epidermal concentrations of mercury and selenium reflect their respective amounts in blood, albeit at several times blood concentrations of mercury. The strong association between blood mercury and serum selenium, in conjunction with a lack of significant correlation between blood mercury and glutathione peroxidase, implies that a substantial proportion of blood mercury is affiliated with another selenium-containing moiety or is related to recent dietary intakes (e.g., trophic level, intensive fish consumption). Circulating blood mercury may be described in terms of serum selenium concentration, along with interaction terms among serum selenium, blood d(15)N, and age. Current selenium concentrations in Sarasota Bay dolphins appear adequate for maintenance of blood glutathione peroxidase activity. However, dolphins evidently are subject to seasonal exacerbation of oxidative stress, which might render them more vulnerable to toxic effects of mercury. PMID:19165553

  2. HERPESVIRUS-ASSOCIATED GENITAL LESIONS IN A STRANDED STRIPED DOLPHIN (STENELLA COERULEOALBA) IN THE CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN.

    PubMed

    Sierra, Eva; Díaz-Delgado, Josué; Arbelo, Manuel; Andrada, Marisa; Sacchini, Simona; Fernández, Antonio

    2015-07-01

    An adult male striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded alive at Arico, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The dolphin died shortly after stranding, and a complete postmortem examination was performed. The most remarkable gross findings were two fleshy masses of approximately 1 cm diameter, near the tip of the penis. These masses were composed of hyperplastic epithelial cells with pigmentary incontinence. Ballooning degeneration and margination of chromatin was observed within the stratum corneum of the epidermis. A universal nested PCR assay that amplifies a conserved region within the polymerase gene of Herpesviridae was positive. The sequenced product was most closely related to a gammaherpesvirus that shared nucleotide identities of 93% with penile lesions from Atlantic and Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This similarity supports the hypothesis of sexual transmission between species. PMID:25973629

  3. The relationship of maternal characteristics and circulating progesterone concentrations with reproductive outcome in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) after artificial insemination, with and without ovulation induction, and natural breeding.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, J K; Robeck, T R

    2012-08-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) undergoing natural breeding and artificial insemination (AI) were examined to characterize serum progesterone concentrations and determine relationships among age, parity, and reproductive outcome. Progesterone profiles of five cycle types (n = 119 total cycles from 54 animals) were characterized as follows: (i) conception and production of a live term calf (conceptive-term, n = 73); (ii) conception and abortion after Day 60 (conceptive-abortion, n = 12); (iii) unknown conception status with prolonged, elevated progesterone and absence of a fetus (conceptive-unknown, n = 14); (iv) conception failure with normal luteal phase progesterone concentrations (non-conceptive, n = 14, AI cycles only); and (v) conception failure with progesterone insufficiency occuring after spontaneous ovulation or owing to premature ovulation induction using GnRH (non-conceptive-PI, n = 6, AI cycles only). By Day 21 post-insemination (PI), progesterone concentrations were similar (P > 0.05) among conceptive-term, conceptive-abortion and conceptive-unknown, and higher (P < 0.05) for conceptive-term than non-conceptive and non-conceptive-PI cycles. Progesterone concentrations of known conceptive cycles peaked by Week 7 PI (P < 0.05) and remained elevated for the remainder of pregnancy (Weeks 8 up to 54, ≥ 5 days pre-partum). During midpregnancy (Days 121-240), conceptive-term cycles had higher (P > 0.05) progesterone concentrations than conceptive-abortion and unknown conception status cycles. Parity was not associated with reproductive outcome based on cycle type (P > 0.05). Age of females in conceptive-unknown (26.5 ± 10.1 yrs) and conceptive-abortion (22.1 ± 9.4 yrs) groups was higher (P < 0.05) than in conceptive-term (15.7 ± 7.2 yrs). The conceptive-unknown cycle type possibly represents undetected early embryonic loss occurring before Day 60 PI. Length of gestation using known conception dates was 376.1 ± 11.0 days and the range of this

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23034277

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  6. Sleep behaviour: sleep in continuously active dolphins.

    PubMed

    Sekiguchi, Yuske; Arai, Kazutoshi; Kohshima, Shiro

    2006-06-22

    Sleep has been assumed to be necessary for development and to be a vital function in mammals and other animals. However, Lyamin et al. claim that in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca), neonates and their mothers show almost no sleep behaviour for the first month after birth; this conclusion is based on their observation that the cetaceans keep swimming, avoid obstacles and rarely close their eyes for 24 hours a day throughout that period. Here we analyse the behaviour and eye closure of three neonate-mother pairs of bottlenose dolphins and find that, although the animals tend to open both eyes when surfacing to breathe, one or both eyes are closed during 'swim rest', an underwater sleeping behaviour that is associated with continuous activity. This observation calls into question the conclusions of Lyamin et al., who overlooked this type of sleep by analysing the animals' eye state only when they surfaced to breathe. PMID:16791150

  7. A comparison of pectoral fin contact behaviour for three distinct dolphin populations.

    PubMed

    Dudzinski, Kathleen M; Gregg, Justin D; Paulos, Robin D; Kuczaj, Stan A

    2010-06-01

    Tactile exchanges involving the pectoral fin have been documented in a variety of dolphin species. Several functions (e.g., social, hygienic) have been offered as possible explanations for when and why dolphins exchange pectoral fin contacts. In this study, we compared pectoral fin contact between dolphin dyads from three distinct dolphin populations: two groups of wild dolphins; Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) from The Bahamas and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) from around Mikura Island, Japan; and one group of captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) residing at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences, Anthony's Key Resort. A number of similarities were observed between the captive and wild groups, including; rates of pectoral fin contact, which dolphin initiated contact, posture preference, and same-sex rubbing partner preference. Unlike their wild counterparts, however, dolphins in the captive study group engaged in petting and rubbing at equal rates, females were more likely to contact males, males assumed the various rubbing roles more frequently than females, and calves and juveniles were more likely to be involved in pectoral fin contact exchanges. These results suggest that some aspects of pectoral fin contact behaviour might be common to many dolphin species, whereas other aspects could be species specific, or could be the result of differing environmental and social conditions. PMID:20176094

  8. Perception time and movement time in dolphin pulsing and whistling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridgway, Sam; Carder, Donald

    2002-05-01

    Auditory/vocal response time was separated into perception time (PT) and movement time (MT) in trials with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)-two males and one female. Pressure catheters accepted into the nasal cavity by each dolphin recorded the pressure increase that preceded sound production. Time from acoustic stimulus onset to onset of pressure rise was recorded as PT (range 57 to 314 ms) and pressure rise onset to dolphin sound onset was recorded as MT (range 63 to 363 ms). Blindfolded dolphins trained to report a target by whistling often responded before completion of their 200- to 800-ms echolocation click trains. Detection of the target, indicated by whistling, before termination of the animal's own click train, suggests that dolphins do not voluntarily respond to each successive click but rather set a rhythm such that each click is emitted about 20 ms after the target echo arrives.

  9. Dolphin pox: a skin disease of cetaceans.

    PubMed Central

    Geraci, J R; Hicks, B D; St Aubin, D J

    1979-01-01

    Poxvirus has been identified morphologically from skin lesions in captive and free-ranging bottlenosed dolphins, Tursiops truncatus and a stranded Atlantic white-sided dolphin, Lagenorhynchus acutus. The lesions, commonly referred to as ring or pinhole lesions, appear as solitary or coalesced circular grey blemishes. Advanced ring lesions may take the form of black punctiform stippled patterns known as "tattoo". Histologically, the stratum externum is thickened, and there is ballooning degeneration and eosinophilic intractyoplasmic inclusions in the stratum intermedium. These includions contain virus particles which exhibit typical poxvirus morphology. Stress, environmental conditions and general health appear to play a major role in the clinical manifestation of dolphin pox. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. Fig. 8. Fig. 9. PMID:232852

  10. Switching strategies: a dolphin's use of passive and active acoustics to imitate motor actions.

    PubMed

    Jaakkola, Kelly; Guarino, Emily; Rodriguez, Mandy; Hecksher, Jane

    2013-09-01

    Scientists have long debated the extent to which animals can imitate. Observations of bottlenose dolphins suggest a sophisticated capacity for social imitation, but little is known about the nature of these abilities. Here, we explore the behavioral mechanisms underlying a dolphin's ability to copy motor actions while blindfolded (i.e., wearing eyecups). When a dolphin was asked to imitate a dolphin, a human, and then another dolphin blindfolded, his accuracy remained relatively consistent across models. However, his blindfolded echolocation dramatically increased when copying a human as compared to other dolphins, suggesting he actively switched between strategies: recognizing behaviors via characteristic sounds when possible, but via echolocation for the more novel sounding behaviors of the human. Such flexibility in changing perceptual routes demonstrates that the dolphin's imitation was not automatically elicited, but rather results from an intentional, problem-solving approach to imitation. PMID:23389771

  11. Volumetric neuroimaging of the atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) brain from in situ magnetic resonance images.

    PubMed

    Montie, Eric W; Schneider, Gerald; Ketten, Darlene R; Marino, Lori; Touhey, Katie E; Hahn, Mark E

    2008-03-01

    The structure and development of the brain are extremely difficult to study in free-ranging marine mammals. Here, we report measurements of total white matter (WM), total gray matter (GM), cerebellum (WM and GM), hippocampus, and corpus callosum made from magnetic resonance (MR) images of fresh, postmortem brains of the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) imaged in situ (i.e., the brain intact within the skull, with the head still attached to the body). WM:GM volume ratios of the entire brain increased from fetus to adult, illustrating the increase in myelination during ontogeny. The cerebellum (WM and GM combined) of subadult and adult dolphins ranged from 13.8 to 15.0% of total brain size, much larger than that of primates. The corpus callosum mid-sagittal area to brain mass ratios (CCA/BM) ranged from 0.088 to 0.137, smaller than in most mammals. Dolphin hippocampal volumes were smaller than those of carnivores, ungulates, and humans, consistent with previous qualitative results assessed from histological studies of the bottlenose dolphin brain. These quantitative measurements of white matter, gray matter, corpus callosum, and hippocampus are the first to be determined from MR images for any cetacean species. We establish here an approach for accurately determining the size of brain structures from in situ MR images of stranded, dead dolphins. This approach can be used not only for comparative and developmental studies of marine mammal brains but also for investigation of the potential impacts of natural and anthropogenic chemicals on neurodevelopment and neuroanatomy in exposed marine mammal populations. PMID:18286607

  12. Dolphin "packet" use during long-range echolocation tasks.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J

    2013-03-01

    When echolocating, dolphins typically emit a single broadband "click," then wait to receive the echo before emitting another click. However, previous studies have shown that during long-range echolocation tasks, they may instead emit a burst, or "packet," of several clicks, then wait for the packet of echoes to return before emitting another packet of clicks. The reasons for the use of packets are unknown. In this study, packet use was examined by having trained bottlenose dolphins perform long-range echolocation tasks. The tasks featured "phantom" echoes produced by capturing the dolphin's outgoing echolocation clicks, convolving the clicks with an impulse response to create an echo waveform, and then broadcasting the delayed, scaled echo to the dolphin. Dolphins were trained to report the presence of phantom echoes or a change in phantom echoes. Target range varied from 25 to 800 m. At ranges below 75 m, the dolphins rarely used packets. As the range increased beyond 75 m, two of the three dolphins increasingly produced packets, while the third dolphin instead utilized very high click repetition rates. The use of click packets appeared to be governed more by echo delay (target range) than echo amplitude. PMID:23464048

  13. Transmission beam characteristics of a Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus).

    PubMed

    Smith, Adam B; Kloepper, Laura N; Yang, Wei-Cheng; Huang, Wan-Hsiu; Jen, I-Fan; Rideout, Brendan P; Nachtigall, Paul E

    2016-01-01

    The echolocation system of the Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) remains poorly studied compared to other odontocete species. In this study, echolocation signals were recorded from a stationary Risso's dolphin with an array of 16 hydrophones and the two-dimensional beam shape was explored using frequency-dependent amplitude plots. Click source parameters were similar to those already described for this species. Centroid frequency of click signals increased with increasing sound pressure level, while the beamwidth decreased with increasing center frequency. Analysis revealed primarily single-lobed, and occasionally vertically dual-lobed, beam shapes. Overall beam directivity was found to be greater than that of the harbor porpoise, bottlenose dolphin, and a false killer whale. The relationship between frequency content, beam directivity, and head size for this Risso's dolphin deviated from the trend described for other species. These are the first reported measurements of echolocation beam shape and directivity in G. griseus. PMID:26827004

  14. Dolphin sonar detection and discrimination capabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, Whitlow W. L.

    2001-05-01

    Dolphins have a very sophisticated short range sonar that surpasses all technological sonar in its capabilities to perform complex target discrimination and recognition tasks. The system that the U.S. Navy has for detecting mines buried under ocean sediment is one that uses Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. However, close examination of the dolphin sonar system will reveal that the dolphin acoustic hardware is fairly ordinary and not very special. The transmitted signals have peak-to-peak amplitudes as high as 225-228 dB re 1 μPa which translates to an rms value of approximately 210-213 dB. The transmit beamwidth is fairly broad at about 10o in both the horizontal and vertical planes and the receiving beamwidth is slightly broader by several degrees. The auditory filters are not very narrow with Q values of about 8.4. Despite these fairly ordinary features of the acoustic system, these animals still demonstrate very unusual and astonishing capabilities. Some of the capabilities of the dolphin sonar system will be presented and the reasons for their keen sonar capabilities will be discussed. Important features of their sonar include the broadband clicklike signals used, adaptive sonar search capabilities and large dynamic range of its auditory system.

  15. Human infection due to Mycobacterium marinum after a dolphin bite

    PubMed Central

    Flowers, D. J.

    1970-01-01

    A young man employed at the local aquarium was bitten by a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) during a training session, receiving a slight injury which healed rapidly. Some two months later fluctuant swellings appeared in the region of the bite, which developed into indolent ulcers which have not completely healed seven months after the original bite. Cultures taken on two occasions have yielded a pure growth of Mycobacterium marinum. Images PMID:5529254

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Dolphin lung collapse and intramuscular circulation during free diving: evidence from nitrogen washout.

    PubMed

    Ridgway, S H; Howard, R

    1979-12-01

    Intramuscular nitrogen tensions in Tursiops truncatus after a schedule of repetitive ocean dives suggest a lung collapse depth of about 70 meters and suggest that intramuscular circulation is maintained during unrestrained diving in the open ocean. Therefore, the bottle-nosed dolphin is not protected by lung collapse from the decompression hazards of dives to depths shallower than 70 meters. PMID:505001

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23649907

  19. Toxoplasmosis in captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Mergl, J; Gehring, E; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Kwok, O C H; Grigg, M E; Su, C; Martineau, D

    2009-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a sea aquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) tested. Two of these dolphins, as well as a walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) at the facility, died. Encephalitis and T. gondii tissue cysts were identified in histological sections of the brain of 1 dolphin (dolphin no. 1). Another dolphin (dolphin no. 2) had mild focal encephalitis without visible organisms, but viable T. gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice and cats from its brain and skeletal muscle; this strain was designated TgDoCA1. The PCR-RFLP typing using 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) identified a Type II strain. The DNA sequencing of B1 and SAG1 alleles amplified from TgDoCA1 and directly from the brains of dolphin no. 1 and the walrus showed archetypal alleles consistent with infection by a Type II strain. No unique polymorphisms were detected. This is apparently the first report of isolation of T. gondii from a marine mammal in Canada. PMID:19245284

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25898942

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Hearing Loss in Stranded Odontocete Dolphins and Whales

    PubMed Central

    Mann, David; Hill-Cook, Mandy; Manire, Charles; Greenhow, Danielle; Montie, Eric; Powell, Jessica; Wells, Randall; Bauer, Gordon; Cunningham-Smith, Petra; Lingenfelser, Robert; DiGiovanni, Robert; Stone, Abigale; Brodsky, Micah; Stevens, Robert; Kieffer, George; Hoetjes, Paul

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:21072206

  4. A Mini Review of Dolphin Carbohydrate Metabolism and Suggestions for Future Research Using Exhaled Air

    PubMed Central

    Ridgway, Sam H.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24379802

  5. Resumption of traditional drive hunting of dolphins in the Solomon Islands in 2013.

    PubMed

    Oremus, Marc; Leqata, John; Baker, C Scott

    2015-05-01

    The 'drive hunting' of dolphins has a long history in the Solomon Islands, specifically at the island of Malaita. In 2010, the most active village, Fanalei, suspended hunting in exchange for financial compensation from an international non-governmental organization but resumed hunting again in early 2013. Here, we report on a visit to Fanalei in March 2013 to document the species and number of dolphins killed in the renewed hunting. Detailed records for the 2013 hunting, up to the time of our visit, included at least 1500 pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), 159 spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) and 15 'bottlenose' dolphins, probably Tursiops truncatus. Molecular identification confirmed two of the species, pantropical spotted and spinner dolphins. A summary of all available records from 1976 to 2013 documented a minimum total of 15 454 dolphins killed by the Fanalei villagers alone. We also found the local price of a dolphin tooth had increased from about US$0.14 (SBD$1) in 2004 to about US$0.70 (SBD$5) in 2013. The large number of dolphins killed and the apparent incentive for future hunting offered by the increasing commercial value of teeth, highlight an urgent need to monitor hunts and assess the abundance and trends in local populations. PMID:26064656

  6. 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).

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26883513

  7. How dolphins see the world: A comparison with chimpanzees and humans

    PubMed Central

    Tomonaga, Masaki; Uwano, Yuka; Saito, Toyoshi

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24435017

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

    PubMed

    Tomonaga, Masaki; Uwano, Yuka; Saito, Toyoshi

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24435017

  9. Why do dolphins carry sponges?

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19066625

  10. A dolphin peripheral blood leukocyte cDNA microarray for studies of immune function and stress reactions.

    PubMed

    Mancia, Annalaura; Lundqvist, Mats L; Romano, Tracy A; Peden-Adams, Margie M; Fair, Patricia A; Kindy, Mark S; Ellis, Blake C; Gattoni-Celli, Sebastiano; McKillen, David J; Trent, Harold F; Chen, Yian Ann; Almeida, Jonas S; Gross, Paul S; Chapman, Robert W; Warr, Gregory W

    2007-01-01

    A microarray focused on stress response and immune function genes of the bottlenosed dolphin has been developed. Random expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were isolated and sequenced from two dolphin peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL) cDNA libraries biased towards T- and B-cell gene expression by stimulation with IL-2 and LPS, respectively. A total of 2784 clones were sequenced and contig analysis yielded 1343 unigenes (archived and annotated at ). In addition, 52 dolphin genes known to be important in innate and adaptive immune function and stress responses of terrestrial mammals were specifically targeted, cloned and added to the unigene collection. The set of dolphin sequences printed on a cDNA microarray comprised the 1343 unigenes, the 52 targeted genes and 2305 randomly selected (but unsequenced) EST clones. This set was printed in duplicate spots, side by side, and in two replicates per slide, such that the total number of features per microarray slide was 19,200, including controls. The dolphin arrays were validated and transcriptomic profiles were generated using PBL from a wild dolphin, a captive dolphin and dolphin skin cells. The results demonstrate that the array is a reproducible and informative tool for assessing differential gene expression in dolphin PBL and in other tissues. PMID:17084893

  11. The hydrodynamics of dolphin drafting

    PubMed Central

    Weihs, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    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. PMID:15132740

  12. What's in a voice? Cues used by dolphins in individual recognition of signature whistles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-09-01

    Cues that bottlenose dolphins may use for individual recognition of signature whistles are (1) the individually distinctive frequency modulation patterns of whistles; and (2) voice cues caused by the anatomy of the vocal apparatus. Experiments were designed to determine whether dolphins use either or both of these cues in recognizing whistles. Temporarily held wild dolphins listened to whistles of a close relative and of a known conspecific of the same sex and similar age. To test the hypothesis that dolphins recognize the frequency modulation patterns of whistles, signature whistles were synthesized and all general voice features removed. In playbacks to 14 individuals, dolphins turned significantly more often towards the speaker if they heard the synthetic signature whistle of a close relative than that of another individual. To test the hypothesis that dolphins may also be using voice cues to recognize whistles, natural variant (nonsignature) whistles were played back, which are highly variable in contour. Preliminary analysis of seven playbacks showed no difference in responses to variant whistles of kin versus nonkin. Thus, the frequency modulation pattern of signature whistles alone provides information on the identity of the caller, and voice cues are likely not used by dolphins to identify individuals.

  13. The dive response redefined: underwater behavior influences cardiac variability in freely diving dolphins.

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Kendall, Traci; Cuccurullo, Veronica; Williams, Terrie M

    2012-08-15

    A hallmark of the dive response, bradycardia, promotes the conservation of onboard oxygen stores and enables marine mammals to submerge for prolonged periods. A paradox exists when marine mammals are foraging underwater because activity should promote an elevation in heart rate (f(H)) to support increased metabolic demands. To assess the effect of the interaction between the diving response and underwater activity on f(H), we integrated interbeat f(H) with behavioral observations of adult bottlenose dolphins diving and swimming along the coast of the Bahamas. As expected for the dive response, f(H) while resting during submergence (40±6 beats min(-1)) was significantly lower than f(H) while resting at the water surface (105±8 beats min(-1)). The maximum recorded f(H) (f(H,max)) was 128±7 beats min(-1), and occurred during post-dive surface intervals. During submergence, the level of bradycardia was modified by activity. Behaviors such as simple head bobbing at depth increased f(H) by 40% from submerged resting levels. Higher heart rates were observed for horizontal swimming at depth. Indeed, the dolphins operated at 37-58% of their f(H,max) while active at depth and approached 57-79% of their f(H,max) during anticipatory tachycardia as the animals glided to the surface. f(H) was significantly correlated with stroke frequency (range=0-2.5 strokes s(-1), r=0.88, N=25 dives) and calculated swim speed (range=0-5.4 m s(-1), r=0.88, N=25 dives). We find that rather than a static reflex, the dive response is modulated by behavior and exercise in a predictable manner. PMID:22837445

  14. Dynamics of biosonar signals in free-swimming and stationary dolphins: The role of source levels on the characteristics of the signals.

    PubMed

    Au, Whitlow W L; Martin, Stephen W; Moore, Patrick W; Branstetter, Brian; Copeland, Adrienne M

    2016-03-01

    The biosonar signals of two free-swimming Atlantic bottlenose dolphins performing a complex sonar search for a bottom target in San Diego Bay were compared with the biosonar signals of a dolphin performing a target discrimination task in a net pen in the same bay. A bite-plate device carried by the free-swimming dolphins supported a hydrophone that extended directly in front of the dolphin. A biosonar measuring tool attached to the bite plate measured the outgoing biosonar signals while the dolphins conducted sonar searches. Each of the free-swimming dolphins used different biosonar search strategy in solving the problem and the dolphins' biosonar signals reflect the difference in strategy. The dolphin in the pen stationed in a hoop while echolocating on a target 6 m away and reported if the indentation on a spherical target was directed toward it. The signals were parameterized by determining the peak-to-peak source levels, source energy flux density, peak frequency, center frequency, root-mean-square (rms) bandwidth, rms duration, and the Q of the signals. Some parameters were similar for the free-swimming and stationary dolphins while some were significantly different, suggesting biosonar signals used by free-swimming animals may be different than signals used by dolphins in a pen. PMID:27036275

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. Behavioural evidence of magnetoreception in dolphins: detection of experimental magnetic fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Behavioural evidence of magnetoreception in dolphins: detection of experimental magnetic fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kremers, Dorothee; López Marulanda, Juliana; Hausberger, Martine; Lemasson, Alban

    2014-09-01

    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.

  18. Behavioural evidence of magnetoreception in dolphins: detection of experimental magnetic fields.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25267469

  19. Visual laterality in dolphins when looking at (un)familiar humans.

    PubMed

    Thieltges, Hélène; Lemasson, Alban; Kuczaj, Stan; Böye, Martin; Blois-Heulin, Catherine

    2011-03-01

    Understanding the evolution of brain lateralisation including the origin of human visual laterality requires an understanding of brain lateralisation in related animal species. However, little is known about the visual laterality of marine mammals. To help correct this lack, we evaluated the influence of familiarity with a human on the visual response of five captive bottlenose dolphins. Dolphins gazed longer at unfamiliar than at familiar humans, revealing their capacity to discriminate between these two types of stimuli. Pooled data for responses to all test stimuli demonstrated a preferential use of left eye by all our five dolphin subjects. However, familiarity with particular humans did not influence preferential use of a given eye. Finally, we compared our results with those on other vertebrates. PMID:21140186

  20. Social networks reveal cultural behaviour in tool-using [corrected] dolphins.

    PubMed

    Mann, Janet; Stanton, Margaret A; Patterson, Eric M; Bienenstock, Elisa J; Singh, Lisa O

    2012-01-01

    Animal tool use is of inherent interest given its relationship to intelligence, innovation and cultural behaviour. Here we investigate whether Shark Bay bottlenose dolphins that use marine sponges as hunting tools (spongers) are culturally distinct from other dolphins in the population based on the criteria that sponging is both socially learned and distinguishes between groups. We use social network analysis to determine social preferences among 36 spongers and 69 non-spongers sampled over a 22-year period while controlling for location, sex and matrilineal relatedness. Homophily (the tendency to associate with similar others) based on tool-using status was evident in every analysis, although maternal kinship, sex and location also contributed to social preference. Female spongers were more cliquish and preferentially associated with other spongers over non-spongers. Like humans who preferentially associate with others who share their subculture, tool-using dolphins prefer others like themselves, strongly suggesting that sponge tool-use is a cultural behaviour. PMID:22864573

  1. Douglas RD-2 Dolphin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1940-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-12

    An unusual mortality event (UME) involving primarily common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus of all size classes stranding along coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, USA, started in early 2010 and continued into 2014. During this northern Gulf of Mexico UME, a distinct cluster of perinatal dolphins (total body length <115 cm) stranded in Mississippi and Alabama during 2011. The proportion of annual dolphin strandings that were perinates between 2009 and 2013 were compared to baseline strandings (2000-2005). A case-reference study was conducted to compare demographics, histologic lesions, and Brucella sp. infection prevalence in 69 UME perinatal dolphins to findings from 26 reference perinates stranded in South Carolina and Florida outside of the UME area. Compared to reference perinates, UME perinates were more likely to have died in utero or very soon after birth (presence of atelectasis in 88 vs. 15%, p < 0.0001), have fetal distress (87 vs. 27%, p < 0.0001), and have pneumonia not associated with lungworm infection (65 vs. 19%, p = 0.0001). The percentage of perinates with Brucella sp. infections identified via lung PCR was higher among UME perinates stranding in Mississippi and Alabama compared to reference perinates (61 vs. 24%, p = 0.01), and multiple different Brucella omp genetic sequences were identified in UME perinates. These results support that from 2011 to 2013, during the northern Gulf of Mexico UME, bottlenose dolphins were particularly susceptible to late-term pregnancy failures and development of in utero infections including brucellosis. PMID:27068499

  3. Nearfield and farfield measurements of dolphin echolocation beam patterns: No evidence of focusing.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Mulsow, Jason; Branstetter, Brian; Moore, Patrick; Houser, Dorian S

    2016-08-01

    The potential for bottlenose dolphins to actively focus their biosonar transmissions was examined by measuring emitted clicks in four dolphins using horizontal, planar hydrophone arrays. Two hydrophone configurations were used: a rectangular array with hydrophones 0.2 to 2 m from the dolphins and a polar array with hydrophones 0.5 to 5 m from the dolphins. The biosonar task was a target change detection utilizing physical targets at ranges from 1.3 to 6.3 m with all subjects and "phantom" targets at simulated ranges from 2.5 to 20 m with two subjects. To provide a basis for evaluating the experimental data, sound fields radiated from flat and focused circular pistons were mathematically simulated using transient excitation functions similar to dolphin clicks. The array measurements showed no evidence that the dolphins adaptively focused their click emissions; axial amplitudes and iso-amplitude contours matched the pattern of the simulation results for flat transducers and showed a single region of maximum amplitude, beyond which spherical spreading loss was approximated. PMID:27586761

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condet, Manon; Dulau-Drouot, Violaine

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Dolphin biosonar target detection in noise: wrap up of a past experiment.

    PubMed

    Au, Whitlow W L

    2014-07-01

    The target detection capability of bottlenose dolphins in the presence of artificial masking noise was first studied by Au and Penner [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 70, 687-693 (1981)] in which the dolphins' target detection threshold was determined as a function of the ratio of the echo energy flux density and the estimated received noise spectral density. Such a metric was commonly used in human psychoacoustics despite the fact that the echo energy flux density is not compatible with noise spectral density which is averaged intensity per Hz. Since the earlier detection in noise studies, two important parameters, the dolphin integration time applicable to broadband clicks and the dolphin's auditory filter shape, were determined. The inclusion of these two parameters allows for the estimation of the received energy flux density of the masking noise so that the dolphin target detection can now be determined as a function of the ratio of the received energy of the echo over the received noise energy. Using an integration time of 264 μs and an auditory bandwidth of 16.7 kHz, the ratio of the echo energy to noise energy at the target detection threshold is approximately 1 dB. PMID:24993190

  6. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nishita, Miki; Shirakihara, Miki; Amano, Masao

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about community splitting among dolphins because such events are rare in dolphin populations. A case of a community split was confirmed in a population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Japan, where a group of approximately 30 dolphins moved to a new habitat some 60 km from the original habitat. We examined the associations among the dolphins before the community split to determine whether the new community members were already socially different before the split, using 7-year identification data. Before the split, the males in the same community after the split more often associated with each other than they did with those in different community. In contrast, the association patterns among females and between sexes showed no relationships with their post-split community membership. These results indicate that the males of new community were socially different from the other males for a long time before the split, but the females might not have been different. Our findings suggest that at time of the community split, the factors determining the memberships of the subsequent communities are sex-linked. The long-term social relationships among males could be maintained in the subsequent communities. PMID:26608473

  8. Characterization of Alpha-fetoprotein Levels in Three Dolphin Species: Development of Sensitive Immunoassays for Analysis of the Pregnancy-associated Variations

    PubMed Central

    MORITA, Yuka; HIRAMATSU, Naoshi; FUJITA, Toshiaki; AMANO, Haruna; KATSUMATA, Etsuko; ARAI, Kazutoshi; IWASAKI, Toshihide; TODO, Takashi; HARA, Akihiko

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A single radial immunodiffusion (SRID) assay and a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) were initially developed for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) of the striped dolphin. Utilizing these developed assays, we investigated pregnancy-associated changes in the levels of AFP in the sera of fetuses and pregnant females of three dolphin species; samples were either collected from captive individuals or obtained as fishery by-products. The concentrations of AFP in the fetal serum ranged from 419.0 to 2026.3 μg/ml in the striped dolphin, 12.6 to 1218.7 μg/ml (for an AFP equivalent; eqAFP) in the common bottlenose dolphin and 770.6 to 3129.1 μg eqAFP/ml in the Risso's dolphin. AFP levels decreased with increased fetal size in fetuses over 20 cm in length. The concentrations of AFP in sera of pregnant females ranged from 7.18 to 8068.7 ng/ml in the striped dolphin, 6.6 to 1241.1 ng eqAFP/ml in the common bottlenose dolphin and 3.4 to 2868.7 ng eqAFP/ml in the Risso's dolphin. The levels in most pregnant females were equal to or lower than those found in males and nonpregnant individuals, although a few pregnant females exhibited extremely high levels (in the range of hundreds to thousands of nanograms per milliliter). Such high levels of AFP were not observed during pseudopregnancy. To our knowledge, this is the first report on basal profiles for serum AFP levels in small odontocetes. The profiles indicated that AFP may play a significant role during embryonic development, although maternal levels do not appear to be a diagnostic biomarker for monitoring pregnancy. PMID:23656975

  9. Multiple populations of pantropical spotted dolphins in Hawaiian waters.

    PubMed

    Courbis, Sarah; Baird, Robin W; Cipriano, Frank; Duffield, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Understanding gene flow and dispersal patterns is important for predicting effects of natural events and anthropogenic activities on animal populations. In Hawaii, most species of odontocetes are managed as single populations. Recent exceptions include false killer whales, spinner dolphins, and common bottlenose dolphins, for which studies have shown fidelity to individual islands or groups of islands. Our study focused on pantropical spotted dolphins. We analyzed mitochondrial control region and 11 microsatellite loci from 101 individuals from 4 areas: Hawaii, Maui/Lanai, Oahu, and Kauai/Niihau. We examined F ST, F' ST, R ST, Jost's D, and ΦST and used TESS to estimate number of populations and assignment probabilities. Our results support genetic differentiation among Hawaii, Maui/Lanai, and Oahu and suggest that pantropical spotted dolphins near Kauai/Niihau are likely transient and in low numbers. Between island regions, F ST for microsatellites ranged from 0.016 to 0.045 and for mtDNA, from 0.011 to 0.282. F ' ST, ranged from 0.098 to 0.262 for microsatellites and 0.019 to 0.415 for mtDNA. R ST and ΦST showed similar results to F ST for microsatellites and mtDNA respectively, and Jost's D fell between F ST and F ' ST. TESS supported 3 populations, and greatest mean assignment probability by island region ranged from 0.50 to 0.72. The private alleles method indicated migration rates among regions from 1.49 to 3.45, and effective population size of the island of Hawaii was estimated to be 220. There was no strong evidence to support sex-biased dispersal or group fidelity. Considering this study in the larger context of other odontocete population studies and studies of connectivity, we suggest genetic differentiation may be mediated by behavior adapted to differing habitat types and niches. PMID:25124812

  10. Estimated transmission beam pattern of clicks recorded from free-ranging white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Wahlberg, Magnus; Miller, Lee A.

    2004-09-01

    Recordings were made from white-beaked dolphins in Icelandic waters using a four-hydrophone array in a star configuration. The acoustic signals were amplified and sampled to a hard disk at a rate of 800 kHz per channel. The 3 and 10 dB beamwidths were calculated to be 8° and 10°, respectively, indicating a narrower transmission beam for white-beaked dolphins than that reported for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The beamwidth was more similar to that found for belugas (Delphinapterus lucas). The measured beam pattern included large side lobes, perhaps due to the inclusion of off-axis clicks, even after applying several criteria to select only on-axis clicks. The directivity index was calculated to be 18 dB when using all data for angles from 0°-50°. The calculated sound radiation from a circular piston with a radius of 6 cm driven by a white-beaked dolphin click had a beam pattern very similar to the measured beam pattern for the main transmission lobe of the white-beaked dolphin. The directivity index was 29 dB. This is the first attempt to estimate the directionality index of dolphins in the field. [Work supported by the Oticon Foundation and the Danish National Research Council.

  11. SETI meets a social intelligence: Dolphins as a model for real-time interaction and communication with a sentient species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzing, Denise L.

    2010-12-01

    In the past SETI has focused on the reception and deciphering of radio signals from potential remote civilizations. It is conceivable that real-time contact and interaction with a social intelligence may occur in the future. A serious look at the development of relationship, and deciphering of communication signals within and between a non-terrestrial, non-primate sentient species is relevant. Since 1985 a resident community of free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins has been observed regularly in the Bahamas. Life history, relationships, regular interspecific interactions with bottlenose dolphins, and multi-modal underwater communication signals have been documented. Dolphins display social communication signals modified for water, their body types, and sensory systems. Like anthropologists, human researchers engage in benign observation in the water and interact with these dolphins to develop rapport and trust. Many individual dolphins have been known for over 20 years. Learning the culturally appropriate etiquette has been important in the relationship with this alien society. To engage humans in interaction the dolphins often initiate spontaneous displays, mimicry, imitation, and synchrony. These elements may be emergent/universal features of one intelligent species contacting another for the intention of initiating interaction. This should be a consideration for real-time contact and interaction for future SETI work.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Temporal resolution in the dolphin's auditory system revealed by double-click evoked potential study.

    PubMed

    Supin AYa; Popov, V V

    1995-04-01

    Temporal resolution of hearing in two bottlenosed dolphins was estimated by measuring auditory brain-stem response (ABR) recovery in conditions of double-click stimuli. From these data, temporal transfer function of the supposed integrator was derived assuming nonlinear transform of the integrator output to ABR amplitude. The obtained temporal transfer function showed a nearly constant level up to 200 microseconds. then decay to approximately -3 dB at 300 microseconds (as presented in the sound intensity domain), and subsequent decay of 10-11 dB per time doubling (about 35 dB/decade). PMID:7598764

  15. Risk Functions of Dolphins and Sea Lions Exposed to Sonar Signals.

    PubMed

    Houser, Dorian S; Martin, Steven W; Finneran, James J

    2016-01-01

    Acoustic dose-response functions have been recommended as a means of predicting behavioral impacts on marine mammals from anthropogenic noise exposure. Thirty bottlenose dolphins and fifteen sea lions participated in a controlled exposure study to explore dose-response relationships to the received level of a simulated sonar signal. Both species showed an increase in the probability of response and in the severity of response with increased received levels. Differences in species sensitivity were noted in habituation and the impact of age on responsiveness. PMID:26610994

  16. Echolocation signals of wild dolphins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, W. W. L.

    2004-07-01

    Most of our understanding of dolphin echolocation has come from studies of captive dolphins performing various echolocation tasks. Recently, measurements of echolocation signals in the wild have expanded our understanding of the characteristics of these signals in a natural setting. Measuring undistorted dolphin echolocation signals with free swimming dolphins in the field can be a challenging task. A four hydrophone array arranged in a symmetrical star pattern was used to measure the echolocation signals of four species of dolphins in the wild. Echolocation signals of the following dolphins have been measured with the symmetrical star array: white-beaked dolphins in Iceland, Atlantic spotted dolphins in the Bahamas, killer whales in British Columbia, and dusky dolphins in New Zealand. There are many common features in the echolocation signals of the different species. Most of the signals had spectra that were bimodal: two peaks, one at low frequencies and another about an octave higher in frequency. The source level of the sonar transmission varies as a function of 20log R, suggesting a form of time-varying gain but on the transmitting end of the sonar process rather than the receiving end. The results of the field work call into question the issue of whether the signals used by captive dolphins may be shaped by the task they are required to perform rather than what they would do more naturally.

  17. Ring Bubbles of Dolphins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  18. Evidence for signature whistles in Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) in Ilhéus, northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lima, Alice; Le Pendu, Yvonnick

    2014-12-01

    Signature whistles have been widely studied in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A recent study suggested the occurrence of signature whistles in Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) but could not identify the whistlers. The objective of this study is to describe the whistle characteristics in the population of S. guianensis from Ilhéus and investigate the occurrence of signature whistles. Dolphins from 55 groups were photographed and sound emissions from 21 groups were recorded. The frequency parameters and duration of the 847 recorded whistles were similar to those recorded in 12 other populations, on an intermediate position of a latitudinal gradient. The visual classification method was applied to the spectrograms of 68 stereotyped potential signature whistles. Five out of 6 human judges agreed on the formation of 13 groups. The presence of the same individuals in different recording occasions of stereotyped whistles suggests that some whistle types are produced by specific individuals. The study is the first to use the photo-identification technique to identify Guiana dolphins emitting whistles and the results reinforce the hypothesis of signature whistles in this species. PMID:25480065

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25739514

  20. Evidence suggests vocal production learning in a cross-fostered Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus).

    PubMed

    Favaro, Livio; Neves, Silvana; Furlati, Stefano; Pessani, Daniela; Martin, Vidal; Janik, Vincent M

    2016-07-01

    Vocal learning is a rare skill in mammals, and we have limited information about the contexts in which they use it. Previous studies suggested that cetaceans in general are skilled at imitating sounds, but only few species have been studied to date. To expand this investigation to another species and to investigate the possible influence of the social environment on vocal learning, we studied the whistle repertoire of a female Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) that was stranded at an early age and was subsequently raised in a group of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We show that this cross-fostered animal produced vocal signals more akin to those of its Tursiops poolmates than those of Risso's dolphins in the wild. This is one of very few systematic cross-fostering studies in cetaceans and the first to suggest vocal production learning in the Risso's dolphin. Our findings also suggest that social experience is a major factor in the development of the vocal repertoire in this species. PMID:26874843

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25739514

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21900314

  3. Pathophysiological and physicochemical basis of ammonium urate stone formation in dolphins

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Cynthia R.; Poindexter, John R.; Meegan, Jennifer M.; Bobulescu, I. Alexandru; Jensen, Eric D.; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Sakhaee, Khashayar

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Nephrolithiasis has been increasingly reported in bottlenose dolphins, with all cases to date being ammonium urate nephrolithiasis. Materials and Methods A case-control study was conducted in dolphins with and without evidence of nephrolithiasis, aiming to identify biomarkers and risk factors associated with stone formation in a managed population. Dolphins were sampled in both fasting and postprandial states in order to study the effect of dietary factors on serum and urinary biochemistry. Urine was continuously collected over a 6-hr period via catheter and divided into three 2-hour collections, with a bolus fish meal given after completion of the first collection. Blood was sampled at the beginning of the fasting period and end of the postprandial period. Results There were no significant differences in serum and urine chemistries and acid base profiles between dolphins with and without stones, at baseline or postprandially, suggesting that case and control animals in this study represent a continuum of stone risk. In analyses combining the case and control dolphins in a single cohort, we noted significant postprandial increases in urinary uric acid, sulfate and net acid excretion, accompanied by increased urinary ammonium excretion and a commensurate rise in urine pH. The supersaturation index of ammonium urate increased postprandially by more than twofold. Conclusion These findings suggest that dolphins are susceptible to ammonium urate nephrolithiasis at least in part because a high dietary load of acid and purines results in a transient but marked increase in the urinary supersaturation of the sparingly soluble ammonium urate salt. PMID:24518786

  4. A preliminary study of habitat and resource partitioning among co-occurring tropical dolphins around Mayotte, southwest Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Alexandra; Kiszka, Jeremy; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Richard, Pierre; Ridoux, Vincent

    2009-09-01

    Mayotte in the southwest Indian Ocean is characterized by high dolphin diversity. They may coexist within a fairly small area around the island because they exploit neither the same preferential habitats nor the same resources. This preliminary study aimed to investigate ecological niche segregation among these delphinid communities: the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus, the pantropical spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata, the spinner dolphin, Stenella longirostris, and the melon-headed whale, Peponocephala electra. Two approaches were used. Habitat preferences were investigated by analysing dolphin sighting data and associated physiographical characteristics. Resource partitioning was explored by analysing C and N stable isotopes in skin and blubber biopsies. Only T. aduncus, which showed clear association with coastal habitats in the lagoon, differed from the others in terms of habitat preferences, characterised by shallow depth and slope, and proximity to the coast. All other species shared similar oceanic habitats immediately outside the lagoon, these being of higher depth and slope, greater distance from the coast and were not discernable by discriminant analysis. The two Stenella species and the melon-headed whale displayed very high overlap in habitat physiographic variables. The analysis of stable isotopes confirmed the ecological isolation of T. aduncus and revealed a clear segregation of P. electra compared to the two Stenella that was not apparent in the habitat analysis. This may reflect ecological differences that were not observable from diurnal surface observations.

  5. Precocious Ossification of the Tympanoperiotic Bone in Fetal and Newborn Dolphins: An Evolutionary Adaptation to the Aquatic Environment?

    PubMed

    Cozzi, Bruno; Podestà, Michela; Vaccaro, Calogero; Poggi, Roberto; Mazzariol, Sandro; Huggenberger, Stefan; Zotti, Alessandro

    2015-07-01

    The present study, performed with a dual-energy X-ray (DXA) bone densitometer on a series of fetal and newborn striped and short-beaked common dolphins, shows that the bone density of the area of the tympanic bulla within the tympanoperiotic complex starts with 0.483 g cm(-2) in 5- to 6-month-old specimens of striped (or common) dolphin fetuses and reaches 1.841 g cm(-2) in newborn striped dolphins, with values consistently higher than in other parts of the skull or elsewhere in the skeleton. The same results apply to the common bottlenose dolphins, in which the area of the tympanic bulla has a density of 0.312 g cm(-2) in 5-month-old specimens and becomes four times as much in newborns. Regardless of the areal bone density results correlated to the DXA-technique, comparisons with DXA-bone density data in the literature referred to other mammals emphasize the presence of very high mineral deposition in the area of the tympanoperiotic bone in fetal and newborn dolphins and the most dense part of it belongs to the tympanic bulla. The early osseous maturation of the tympanic bulla area may be compared to what described in fin whales and may represent an unique ontogenetic and phylogenetic feature of cetaceans, possibly related to the development of essential acoustic sense and establishment of immediate post-natal mother-calf relationship. PMID:25676796

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24831888

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

    PubMed Central

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cantor, Mauricio; Whitehead, Hal

    2013-05-19

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

  9. The Promise of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKinney, Alexis; Dustin, Dan; Wolff, Robert

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Douglas OA-4A Dolphin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1938-01-01

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

  11. A transcriptomic analysis of the stress induced by capture-release health assessment studies in wild dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Mancia, A; Warr, G W; Chapman, R W

    2008-06-01

    The health of wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) is typically evaluated by the study of animals that are captured and released back into the wild after examination. The impact of such studies on gene expression in peripheral blood cells was investigated using microarray and quantitative polymerase chain reaction methods. Significantly increased expression was observed in two major classes of genes: (i) energy metabolism, and (ii) responsiveness to stress and trauma, the latter effect suggesting the initiation of an acute-phase response. The value of data obtained in capture/release studies may need to be weighed against the potential physiological impacts of such studies. PMID:18466235

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

    Growing morphological and molecular evidence indicates that the porpoises, dolphins, and whales evolved within the even-toed ungulates, formerly known as Artiodactyla. These animals are now grouped in the Cetartiodactyla. We evaluated the antigenic similarity of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) molecules of 15 cetacean species and the domestic cow. The similarity was scored using three distinct antibodies raised against bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) IgG in a Western blot, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and a competitive ELISA format. A score was generated for the genetic distance between each species and T. truncatus using the cytochrome b sequence. Each antibody displayed a distinct pattern of reactivity with the IgG antibodies of the various species. The monoclonal antibody (MAb) specific for the gamma heavy chain of T. truncatus was reactive with all monodontids, delphinids, and phocoenids. The light-chain-specific MAb reacted with IgG of delphinoid and phocoenid species and one of the two mysticete species tested. The polyclonal antibody was broadly cross-reactive across all cetaceans and the domestic cow. Using the MAb specific for the gamma heavy chain, the degree of IgG cross-reactivity ranged from less than 17% for the mysticetes to 106% for killer whale Orcinus orca. The IgG in beaked whale and baleen whale sera was significantly less cross-reactive with bottlenose dolphin IgG than sera from other toothed whales. A strong negative correlation was demonstrated between antigenic cross-reactivity of IgG molecules and the genetic distance of their hosts. The data generated will be useful for the development of clinical serodiagnostics in diverse cetacean species. PMID:18768672

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Research on the ecology of sympatric dolphins has increased worldwide in recent decades. However, many dolphin associations such as that between common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) are poorly understood. The present study was conducted in the San Matías Gulf (SMG) ecosystem (North Patagonia, Argentina) where a high diet overlap among both species was found. The main objective of the present work was to explore the niche overlap of common and dusky dolphins in the habitat and temporal dimensions. The specific aims were (a) to evaluate the habitat use strategies of both species through a comparison of their group attributes (social composition, size and activity), and (b) to evaluate their habitat preferences and habitat overlap through Environmental Niche modeling considering two oceanographic seasons. To accomplish these aims, we used a historic database of opportunistic and systematic records collected from 1983 to 2011. Common and dusky dolphins exhibited similar patterns of group size (from less than 10 to more than 100 individuals), activity (both species use the area to feed, nurse, and copulate), and composition (adults, juveniles, and mothers with calves were observed for both species). Also, both species were observed travelling and feeding in mixed-species groups. Specific overlap indices were higher for common dolphins than for dusky dolphins, but all indices were low, suggesting that they are mainly segregated in the habitat dimension. In the case of common dolphins, the best habitats were located in the northwest of the gulf far from the coast. In the warm season they prefer areas with temperate sea surface and in the cold season they prefer areas with relatively high variability of sea surface temperature. Meanwhile, dusky dolphins prefer areas with steep slopes close to the coast in the southwestern sector of the gulf in both seasons. PMID:26091542

  14. Short-term enhancement and suppression of dolphin auditory evoked responses following echolocation click emission.

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Echon, Roxanne; Mulsow, Jason; Houser, Dorian S

    2016-07-01

    Biosonar gain control mechanisms in a bottlenose dolphin were investigated by measuring the auditory steady-state response (ASSR) to an external tone while the animal echolocated. The dolphin performed an echo change-detection task that utilized electronically synthesized echoes with echo delays corresponding to 25- and 50-m target range. During the task, amplitude modulated tones with carrier frequencies from 25 to 125 kHz were continuously presented and the instantaneous electroencephalogram stored for later analysis. ASSRs were extracted from the electroencephalogram by synchronously averaging time epochs temporally aligned with the onset of the external tone modulation cycle nearest to each of the dolphin's echolocation clicks. Results showed an overall suppression of the ASSR amplitude for tones with frequencies near the click center frequencies. A larger, temporary suppression of the ASSR amplitude was also measured at frequencies above 40-50 kHz, while a temporary enhancement was observed at lower frequencies. Temporal patterns for ASSR enhancement or suppression were frequency-, level-, and range-dependent, with recovery to pre-click values occurring within the two-way travel time. Suppressive effects fit the patterns expected from forward masking by the emitted biosonar pulse, while the specific mechanisms responsible for the frequency-dependent enhancement are unknown. PMID:27475154

  15. Fatal Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae septicemia in two Atlantic dolphins (Stenella frontalis and Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Díaz-Delgado, J; Arbelo, M; Sierra, E; Vela, A; Domínguez, M; Paz, Y; Andrada, M; Domínguez, L; Fernández, A

    2015-09-17

    We describe gross, histopathologic, ultrastructural, immunohistochemical, and microbiologic features of acute septicemia by Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in an Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis and an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Generalized lymphadenomegaly and widespread hemorrhages were the most consistent macroscopic findings. Tricavitary effusion and icterus were noted in one individual. Histologically, all organs examined showed numerous variably sized bacillary bacterial emboli (Gram-positive; Ziehl-Neelsen-negative), typically associated with systemic congestion, edema, hemorrhages, and fibrinocellular thrombi. These bacteria were frequently intravascular, either extracellular or intramonocytic/macrophagic, and to a lesser extent, free within the interstitium of parenchymal organs. In both cases, microbiological analysis yielded E. rhusiopathiae. A primary anti-E. rhusiopathiae antibody created in mice from one of the strains isolated allowed positive immunohistochemical detection. Electron microscopy and dual immunohistochemistry with lysozyme and MAC387 antibodies confirmed the intramacrophagic location of the bacilli. E. rhusiopathiae, a known multispecies and zoonotic agent, should be considered as a potential etiologic agent in septicemia cases in free-ranging individuals of these dolphin species. PMID:26378410

  16. Complete amino acid sequence of the myoglobin from the Pacific spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata graffmani.

    PubMed

    Jones, B N; Wang, C C; Dwulet, F E; Lehman, L D; Meuth, J L; Bogardt, R A; Gurd, F R

    1979-04-25

    The complete amino acid sequence of the major component myoglobin from the Pacific spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata graffmani, was determined by the automated Edman degradation of several large peptides obtained by specific cleavage of the protein. The acetimidated apomyoglobin was selectively cleaved at its two methionyl residues with cyanogen bromide and at its three arginyl residues by trypsin. By subjecting four of these peptides and the apomyoglobin to automated Edman degradation, over 80% of the primary structure of the protein was obtained. The remainder of the covalent structure was determined by the sequence analysis of peptides that resulted from further digestion of the central cyanogen bromide fragment. This fragment was cleaved at its glutamyl residues with staphylococcal protease and its lysyl residues with trypsin. The action of trypsin was restricted to the lysyl residues by chemical modification of the single arginyl residue of the fragment with 1,2-cyclohexanedione. The primary structure of this myoglobin proved to be identical with that from the Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin and Pacific common dolphin but differs from the myoglobins of the killer whale and pilot whale at two positions. The above sequence identities and differences reflect the close taxonomic relationship of these five species of Cetacea. PMID:454657

  17. Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) echoic angular discrimination: effects of object separation and complexity.

    PubMed

    Branstetter, Brian K; Mevissen, Sonja J; Pack, Adam A; Herman, Louis M; Roberts, Scott R; Carsrud, Lea K

    2007-01-01

    A bottlenose dolphin was tested on its ability to echoically discriminate horizontal angular differences between arrays of vertically oriented air-filled PVC rods. The blindfolded dolphin was required to station in a submerged hoop 2 radial m from the stimuli and indicate if an array with two rods (S+) was to the right or the left of a single rod (S-). The angular separation between the two rods (thetaw) was held constant within each experiment while the angle between the S+ and the S-stimuli (thetab) varied to produce angular differences (deltatheta= thetab-thetaw) ranging from 0.25 to 4 degrees. In experiment I, thetaw was maintained at 2 degrees and in experiment II, thetaw was maintained at 4 degrees. Resulting 75% correct thresholds (method of constant stimuli) were 1.5 and 0.7 degrees, respectively. The two main findings of this study are: (1) decreasing the number of targets does not aid in localization, and (2) increasing the space between the rods enhances localization. Taken as a whole, the experiments suggest dolphins have a well-developed ability to resolve spatial information through sonar. PMID:17297816

  18. Investigation of the potential for vascular bubble formation in a repetitively diving dolphin.

    PubMed

    Houser, D S; Dankiewicz-Talmadge, L A; Stockard, T K; Ponganis, P J

    2010-01-01

    The production of venous gas emboli (VGE) resulting from altered dive behavior is postulated as contributing to the stranding of beaked whales exposed to mid-frequency active sonar. To test whether nitrogen gas uptake during repetitive breath-hold diving is sufficient for asymptomatic VGE formation in odontocetes, a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus Montagu) was trained to perform 10-12 serial dives with 60 s surface intervals to depths of 30, 50, 70 or 100 m. The dolphin remained at the bottom depth for 90 s on each dive. Doppler and/or two-dimensional imaging ultrasound did not detect VGE in the portal and brachiocephalic veins following a dive series. Van Slyke analyses of serial, post-dive blood samples drawn from the fluke yielded blood nitrogen partial pressure (P(N(2))) values that were negligibly different from control samples. Mean heart rate (HR; +/-1 s.d.) recorded during diving was 50+/-3 beats min(-1) and was not significantly different between the 50, 70 and 100 m dive sessions. The absence of VGE and elevated blood P(N(2)) during post-dive periods do not support the hypothesis that N(2) supersaturation during repetitive dives contributes to VGE formation in the dolphin. The diving HR pattern and the presumed rapid N(2) washout during the surface-interval tachycardia probably minimized N(2) accumulation in the blood during dive sessions. PMID:20008362

  19. Relationship of blood flow and metabolism to acoustic processing centers of the dolphin brain.

    PubMed

    Houser, Dorian S; Moore, Patrick W; Johnson, Shawn; Lutmerding, Betsy; Branstetter, Brian; Ridgway, Sam H; Trickey, Jennifer; Finneran, James J; Jensen, Eric; Hoh, Carl

    2010-09-01

    Odontocete brain tissues associated with auditory processing are hypertrophied and modified relative to their terrestrial counterparts. The relationship between the functional demand on these tissues and metabolic substrate requirements is unknown. Using positron emission tomography (PET), relative cerebral blood flow was measured in a bottlenose dolphin. Approximately 60 mCi (13)NH(3) was administered to the dolphin via a catheter inserted into the hepatic vein and threaded proximate to the vena cava. Radiolabel initially appeared as distributed focal points in the cerebellum. Increasing scan time resulted in an increase in the number of focal regions and in the diffusivity of label activity throughout the brain. The time course and spatial distribution of radiolabel was consistent with a cerebral blood supply dominated by the spinal meningeal arteries. Blood flow was predominantly observed in the cerebellum and neocortex, particularly the auditory and visual cortex. Differential brain glucose uptake, previously measured in a separate dolphin, showed good agreement with the differential supply of blood to brain tissues. Rates of blood supply and glucose uptake in the auditory cortex, inferior colliculus, and cerebellum are consistent with a high metabolic demand of tissues which are important to the integration of auditory and other sensory inputs. PMID:20815480

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Vaginal calculi in the dolphin.

    PubMed

    Sawyer, J E; Walker, W A

    1977-10-01

    Examination of the reproductive tract of a mature spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata , revealed 13 vaginal calculi, composed primarily of calcium phosphate compounds. Vaginal calculi also were found in two mature Lagenorhynchus obliquidens and in six mature Delphinus delphis . PMID:24228951

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Research involving marine mammals often requires costly field programs. This paper assessed whether the benefits of using cameras outweighs the implications of having personnel performing marine mammal detection in the field. The efficacy of video and still cameras to detect Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Fremantle Harbour (Western Australia) was evaluated, with consideration on how environmental conditions affect detectability. The cameras were set on a tower in the Fremantle Port channel and videos were perused at 1.75 times the normal speed. Images from the cameras were used to estimate position of dolphins at the water's surface. Dolphin detections ranged from 5.6 m to 463.3 m for the video camera, and from 10.8 m to 347.8 m for the still camera. Detection range showed to be satisfactory when compared to distances at which dolphins would be detected by field observers. The relative effect of environmental conditions on detectability was considered by fitting a Generalised Estimation Equations (GEEs) model with Beaufort, level of glare and their interactions as predictors and a temporal auto-correlation structure. The best fit model indicated level of glare had an effect, with more intense periods of glare corresponding to lower occurrences of observed dolphins. However this effect was not large (-0.264) and the parameter estimate was associated with a large standard error (0.113). The limited field of view was the main restraint in that cameras can be only applied to detections of animals observed rather than counts of individuals. However, the use of cameras was effective for long term monitoring of occurrence of dolphins, outweighing the costs and reducing the health and safety risks to field personal. This study showed that cameras could be effectively implemented onshore for research such as studying changes in habitat use in response to development and construction activities. PMID:25965856

  3. An Assessment of the Effectiveness of High Definition Cameras as Remote Monitoring Tools for Dolphin Ecology Studies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Research involving marine mammals often requires costly field programs. This paper assessed whether the benefits of using cameras outweighs the implications of having personnel performing marine mammal detection in the field. The efficacy of video and still cameras to detect Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the Fremantle Harbour (Western Australia) was evaluated, with consideration on how environmental conditions affect detectability. The cameras were set on a tower in the Fremantle Port channel and videos were perused at 1.75 times the normal speed. Images from the cameras were used to estimate position of dolphins at the water’s surface. Dolphin detections ranged from 5.6 m to 463.3 m for the video camera, and from 10.8 m to 347.8 m for the still camera. Detection range showed to be satisfactory when compared to distances at which dolphins would be detected by field observers. The relative effect of environmental conditions on detectability was considered by fitting a Generalised Estimation Equations (GEEs) model with Beaufort, level of glare and their interactions as predictors and a temporal auto-correlation structure. The best fit model indicated level of glare had an effect, with more intense periods of glare corresponding to lower occurrences of observed dolphins. However this effect was not large (-0.264) and the parameter estimate was associated with a large standard error (0.113). The limited field of view was the main restraint in that cameras can be only applied to detections of animals observed rather than counts of individuals. However, the use of cameras was effective for long term monitoring of occurrence of dolphins, outweighing the costs and reducing the health and safety risks to field personal. This study showed that cameras could be effectively implemented onshore for research such as studying changes in habitat use in response to development and construction activities. PMID:25965856

  4. Reporting presence or absence of named objects by a language-trained dolphin.

    PubMed

    Herman, L M; Forestell, P H

    1985-01-01

    Referential "reporting" was defined as the transmission of information about the presence or absence of symbolically-referenced real-world objects. In Experiment 1 two bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), trained in earlier studies to carry out instructions conveyed by imperative sentences expressed in artificial gestural or acoustic languages, each gave spontaneous indications that an object referenced in an imperative was absent from their tank. In Experiment 2 the dolphin tutored in the gestural language was taught to make explicit reports of object absence by pressing a "No" paddle in response to imperatives referencing an absent object. Absence was reported correctly on 84% of 97 missing-object probes inserted at random intervals among 598 sentences referring to objects that were present. Reports were typically made after active search of the tank for an average of 15.0 sec. False reports, that objects present were absent, were few (7.5%). In Experiment 3, the dolphin was taught an interrogative sentence form that enabled us to ask direct questions about the presence or absence of specific objects. Responses by the dolphin on the No paddle indicated absence, while responses on a "Yes" paddle indicated presence. From one to three objects were shown the dolphin and then placed in the tank in a discrete-trial procedure. In response to the interrogative, reports or object presence or absence were better than 91% correct with a single object in the tank and either that object or some other object referenced; accuracy declined to 72-78% correct with three objects present, but was still well above chance. Several lines of evidence suggested that the dolphin was attempting to remember which objects it had been shown, rather than conducting an active environmental search as in Experiment 2. The memory strategy became less efficient as the number of objects to be remembered increased. Overall, the results evidenced the language-trained dolphin's understanding of

  5. Dolphin Morbillivirus Epizootic Resurgence, Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18325265

  6. Mass stranding of striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, at Augusta, Western Australia: notes on clinical pathology and general observations.

    PubMed

    Gales, N J

    1992-10-01

    Seventeen striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, were found stranded on a West Australian beach. Three animals died before a rescue attempt was made and a further three died during the rescue. The remaining dolphins were released 24 km offshore and were not seen again. One dolphin was noted to have a broken mandible. Evidence of physical trauma to the other dolphins was minimal; one adult female was observed with some peeling skin. Blood was collected for analysis. All dolphins were slightly dehydrated and had a leukogram typical of a stressed animal. Plasma biochemistry reflected primary muscle trauma. There were no clues to the cause of the stranding; observed pathology reflected damage that occurred as a direct consequence of stranding. PMID:1474667

  7. Sonar-induced temporary hearing loss in dolphins

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    There is increasing concern that human-produced ocean noise is adversely affecting marine mammals, as several recent cetacean mass strandings may have been caused by animals' interactions with naval ‘mid-frequency’ sonar. However, it has yet to be empirically demonstrated how sonar could induce these strandings or cause physiological effects. In controlled experimental studies, we show that mid-frequency sonar can induce temporary hearing loss in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Mild-behavioural alterations were also associated with the exposures. The auditory effects were induced only by repeated exposures to intense sonar pings with total sound exposure levels of 214 dB re: 1 μPa2 s. Data support an increasing energy model to predict temporary noise-induced hearing loss and indicate that odontocete noise exposure effects bear trends similar to terrestrial mammals. Thus, sonar can induce physiological and behavioural effects in at least one species of odontocete; however, exposures must be of prolonged, high sound exposures levels to generate these effects. PMID:19364712

  8. Evidence for double acoustic windows in the dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

    PubMed

    Popov, Vladimir V; Supin, Alexander Ya; Klishin, Vladimir O; Tarakanov, Mikhail B; Pletenko, Mikhail G

    2008-01-01

    In a bottlenose dolphin positions of sound receiving areas on the head surface were determined by comparing the acoustic delays from different sound-source positions. For this investigation, auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to short tone pips were recorded and their latencies were measured at different sound source positions. After correction for the latency dependence on response amplitude, the difference in ABR latencies was adopted as being the difference of the acoustic delays. These delay differences were used to calculate the position of the sound-receiving point. Measurements were conducted at sound frequencies from 16 to 128 kHz, in half-octave steps. At probe frequencies of 16 and 22.5 kHz, the receiving area was located 21.7-26 cm caudal of the melon tip, which is near the bulla and auditory meatus. At higher probe frequencies, from 32 to 128 kHz, the receiving area was located from 9.3 to 13.1 cm caudal of the melon tip, which corresponds to a proximal part of the lower jaw. Thus, at least two sound-receiving areas (acoustic windows) with different frequency sensitivity were identified. PMID:18177182

  9. Contribution of various frequency bands to ABR in dolphins.

    PubMed

    Popov, V V; Supin, A Y

    2001-01-01

    Auditory brainstem responses (ABR) to clicks and noise bursts of various frequency bands and intensities were recorded in two bottlenosed dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. The purpose was to assess contributions of various parts of the cochlear partition to ABR and travelling wave velocity in the cochlea. At band-pass filtered stimuli (1-0.25 oct wide), ABR amplitude increased with increasing stimulus frequency, thus indicating higher contribution of basal cochlear parts. At high-pass and low-pass filtered stimuli, ABR amplitude increased with passband widening. However, the sum of all narrow-band contributions was a waveform of higher amplitude than the real ABR evoked by the wide-band stimulus. Applying a correction based on an assumption that the 'internal spectrum' is about 0.4 oct wider than the nominal stimulus spectrum resulted in the sum of narrow-band contributions equal to the wide-band ABR. The travelling wave velocity was computed based on ABR latencies and assigned a frequency of 128 kHz to the basal end of the cochlea. The computation gave values from 38.2 oct/ms at the proximal end of the basilar membrane to 4.0 oct/ms at a distance of 3.25 oct (13.5 kHz). PMID:11124470

  10. Auditory evoked responses to rhythmic sound pulses in dolphins.

    PubMed

    Popov, V V; Supin, A Y

    1998-10-01

    The ability of auditory evoked potentials to follow sound pulse (click or pip) rate was studied in bottlenosed dolphins. Sound pulses were presented in 20-ms rhythmic trains separated by 80-ms pauses. Rhythmic click or pip trains evoked a quasi-sustained response consisting of a sequence of auditory brainstem responses. This was designated as the rate-following response. Rate following response peak-to-peak amplitude dependence on sound pulse rate was almost flat up to 200 s-1, then displayed a few peaks and valleys superimposed on a low-pass filtering function with a cut-off frequency of 1700 s-1 at a 0.1-amplitude level. Peaks and valleys of the function corresponded to the pattern of the single auditory brain stem response spectrum; the low-pass cut-off frequency was below the auditory brain stem response spectrum bandwidth. Rate-following response frequency composition (magnitudes of the fundamental and harmonics) corresponded to the auditory brain stem response frequency spectrum except for lower fundamental magnitudes at frequencies above 1700 Hz. These regularities were similar for both click and pip trains. The rate-following response to steady-state rhythmic stimulation was similar to the rate-following response evoked by short trains except for a slight amplitude decrease with the rate increase above 10 s-1. The latter effect is attributed to a long-term rate-dependent adaptation in conditions of the steady-state pulse stimulation. PMID:9809455

  11. Detection of temporal gaps in noise in dolphins: evoked-potential study.

    PubMed

    Popov, V V; Supin AYa

    1997-08-01

    Temporal resolution of hearing was studied in bottlenosed dolphins by recording the auditory brain-stem response (ABR) evoked by gap in noise. Gaps shorter than 0.5 ms evoked a response combining both off- and on-components; longer gaps evoked separate off- and on-responses. Both the response to a short gap and on-response to the end of a long gap increased with increasing gap duration. On-response recovered completely at gap duration of 5-10 ms. Small but detectable response arose at gap duration as short as 0.1 ms. Contrary to the on-response after a long silence, the response to a short gap was less dependent on noise intensity. From these data, the temporal transfer function of the supposed integrator was derived assuming nonlinear transform of the integrator output to ABR amplitude. Equivalent rectangular duration of the found temporal transfer function was 0.27 ms. PMID:9265761

  12. Lateral suppression of rhythmic evoked responses in the dolphin's auditory system.

    PubMed

    Popov, V V; Supin AYa; Klishin, V O

    1998-12-01

    In the auditory system of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), a brain-evoked response to rhythmic sound amplitude modulations (the envelope-following response) was markedly suppressed by addition of another sound with a frequency 5-20 kHz higher and an intensity down to 40 dB lower than that of the amplitude-modulated signal. This effect was called paradoxical lateral suppression. This phenomenon was primarily observed when the amplitude-modulated stimulus had a carrier frequency above 30 kHz and modulation rates above 500 Hz. Only the sustained rhythmic response was suppressed, while the transient on-response was not. This indicates that the suppression influenced the ability of evoked potentials to follow rapid amplitude modulations. This prevents weak sounds from being masked by stronger ones. PMID:9872141

  13. 77 FR 45268 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-31

    ...), this final rule implements an amendment to the BDTRP (71 FR 24776). The BDTRP was originally published on April 26, 2006, and amended on December 19, 2008 (73 FR 77531). Details regarding the development and justification of this final rule were provided in the preamble of the proposed rule (77 FR...

  14. 77 FR 21946 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Bottlenose Dolphin Take...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-12

    ... necessary to meet the requirements of this section. On April 26, 2006, NMFS published a final rule (71 FR... uncertainty in fishery management. On December 19, 2008, NMFS published a final rule (73 FR 77531) amending... spiny dogfish as overfished in 1998 (63 FR 17820, April 10, 1998). In January 2000, NMFS implemented...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Due to their high trophic position and long life span, small cetaceans are considered as suitable bioindicators to monitor the presence of contaminants in marine ecosystems. Here, we document the contamination with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and total mercury (T-Hg) of spinner (Stenella longirostris, n =21) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus, n=32) sampled from the coastal waters of La Réunion (south-western Indian Ocean). In addition, seven co-occurring teleost fish species were sampled and analyzed as well. Blubber samples from living dolphins and muscle from teleosts were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and metabolites (DDTs), chlordanes (CHLs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs), reported as having a natural origin, were also analyzed. T-Hg levels were measured in blubber and skin biopsies of the two dolphin species. Stable isotopes δ(13)C and δ(15)N values were determined in skin of the dolphins and in the muscle of teleosts. For PCBs, HCHs and T-Hg, concentrations were significantly higher in T. aduncus than in S. longirostris. For other POP levels, intra-species variability was high. MeO-PBDEs were the dominant compounds (55% of the total POPs) in S. longirostris, while PCBs dominated (50% contribution) in T. aduncus. Other contaminants showed similar profiles between the two species. Given the different patterns of POPs and T-Hg contamination and the δ(15)N values observed among analyzed teleosts, dietary and foraging habitat preferences most likely explain the contrasted contaminant profiles observed in the two dolphin species. Levels of each class of contaminants were significantly higher in males than females. Despite their spatial and temporal overlap in the waters of La Réunion, S. longirostris and T. aduncus are differently exposed to contaminant accumulation. PMID:26775007

  16. An Interview with a Dolphin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well-established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PCB concentrations likely to cause population declines and suppress population recovery. In a large pan-European meta-analysis of stranded (n = 929) or biopsied (n = 152) cetaceans, three out of four species:- striped dolphins (SDs), bottlenose dolphins (BNDs) and killer whales (KWs) had mean PCB levels that markedly exceeded all known marine mammal PCB toxicity thresholds. Some locations (e.g. western Mediterranean Sea, south-west Iberian Peninsula) are global PCB "hotspots" for marine mammals. Blubber PCB concentrations initially declined following a mid-1980s EU ban, but have since stabilised in UK harbour porpoises and SDs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Some small or declining populations of BNDs and KWs in the NE Atlantic were associated with low recruitment, consistent with PCB-induced reproductive toxicity. Despite regulations and mitigation measures to reduce PCB pollution, their biomagnification in marine food webs continues to cause severe impacts among cetacean top predators in European seas. PMID:26766430

  19. [Estimates of velocity of the travelling wave in the high-range cochlea of the dolphin].

    PubMed

    Popov, V V; Supin, A Ia

    2014-07-01

    Auditory brainstem responses (ABR) to sound pulses of precisely defined spectrum band of 0.5 oct (from 11.2-16 to 90-128 kHz) were recorded in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. At equal stimulus levels, ABR amplitude depended on the stimulus spectrum band: the higher the frequency, the higher the amplitude. ABR waveform little depended on the stimulus spectrum band, however ABR latency did depend: the higher the frequency, the shorter the latency. The latency difference between responses to the lowest-frequency (11.2-16 kHz) and the highest-frequency (90-129 kHz) stimuli was up to 0.3 ms. This latency difference was attributed to the time of the wave travelling along the basilar membrane. Therefore, the data were used to compute the travelling-wave velocity. The obtained estimates were: 38.2 oct/ms at the proximal (high-frequ- ency) end of the basilar membrane to 2.8 oct/ms at the distal (low-frequency) end. Comparison of the travelling-wave velocities in humans and dolphins shows that the travelling-wave velocity is linked to the characteristic frequency, not to the place in the cochlea. PMID:25669111

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well-established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PCB concentrations likely to cause population declines and suppress population recovery. In a large pan-European meta-analysis of stranded (n = 929) or biopsied (n = 152) cetaceans, three out of four species:- striped dolphins (SDs), bottlenose dolphins (BNDs) and killer whales (KWs) had mean PCB levels that markedly exceeded all known marine mammal PCB toxicity thresholds. Some locations (e.g. western Mediterranean Sea, south-west Iberian Peninsula) are global PCB “hotspots” for marine mammals. Blubber PCB concentrations initially declined following a mid-1980s EU ban, but have since stabilised in UK harbour porpoises and SDs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Some small or declining populations of BNDs and KWs in the NE Atlantic were associated with low recruitment, consistent with PCB-induced reproductive toxicity. Despite regulations and mitigation measures to reduce PCB pollution, their biomagnification in marine food webs continues to cause severe impacts among cetacean top predators in European seas. PMID:26766430

  1. Reliability of 2D ultrasound measurements of testis size in dolphins taken under voluntary behavior.

    PubMed

    Yuen, Queeny W H; Ying, Michael T C; Brook, Fiona M; Kinoshita, Reimi E

    2009-06-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate the reliability of two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound in measuring testis size in dolphins, in vivo, with the subject presenting for examination under voluntary or trained behaviour. The testes of five bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) were measured once by two operators to test inter-operator variability (reproducibility) and repeatedly measured by the same operator to test intra-operator variability (repeatability). Ultrasound examinations for each test were conducted on the same day to avoid measurement variability due to time difference. The evaluation of reproducibility and repeatability were conducted on separate days. In the ultrasound examination, the length, circumference, depth and width of both testes of the animal were measured. To prevent bias, measurements were not communicated between the operators on-site and repeated measurements were masked. Results showed that both reproducibility and repeatability of all the testis measurements were high (>90%). Overall, measurement variability of the technique was found to be of a satisfactory level. Ultrasound is a useful imaging tool for routine long-term monitoring of the testes in this species of animals. Sources of error due to movements as a result of the subject being in the water during examinations were inevitable and must be taken into account. PMID:19171415

  2. A Study of a Mechanical Swimming Dolphin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Lilly; Maass, Daniel; Leftwich, Megan; Smits, Alexander

    2007-11-01

    A one-third scale dolphin model was constructed to investigate dolphin swimming hydrodynamics. Design and construction of the model were achieved using body coordinate data from the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) to ensure geometric similarity. The front two-thirds of the model are rigid and stationary, while an external mechanism drives the rear third. This motion mimics the kinematics of dolphin swimming. Planar laser induced florescence (PLIF) and particle image velocimetry (PIV) are used to study the hydrodynamics of the wake and to develop a vortex skeleton model.

  3. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims versus Evidence

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22928101

  4. Heart development in the spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata).

    PubMed

    Sedmera, David; Misek, Ivan; Klima, Milan; Thompson, Robert P

    2003-08-01

    Marine mammals show many deviations from typical mammalian characteristics due to their high degree of specialization to the aquatic environment. In Cetaceans, some of the features of limbs and dentition resemble very ancestral patterns. In some species, hearts with a clearly bifid apex (a feature normally present during mammalian embryogenesis prior to completion of ventricular septation) have been described. However, there is a scant amount of data regarding heart development in Cetaceans, and it is not clear whether the bifid apex is the rule or the exception. We examined samples from a unique collection of embryonic dolphin specimens macroscopically and histologically to learn more about normal cardiac development in the spotted dolphin. It was found that during the dolphin's 280 days of gestation, the heart completes septation at about 35 days. However, substantial trabecular compaction, which normally occurs in chicks, mice, and humans at around that time period, was delayed until day 60, when coronary circulation became established. At that time, the apex still appeared bifid, similarly to early fetal mouse or rat hearts. By day 80, however, the heart gained a compacted, characteristic shape, with a single apex. It thus appears that the bifid apex in the adult Cetacean heart is probably particular to certain species, and its significance remains unclear. PMID:12845705

  5. 50 CFR 216.91 - Dolphin-safe labeling standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 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...

  6. 50 CFR 216.91 - Dolphin-safe labeling standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 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...

  7. 50 CFR 216.91 - Dolphin-safe labeling standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 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...

  9. 50 CFR 216.91 - Dolphin-safe labeling standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 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...

  10. Neurobrucellosis in Stranded Dolphins, Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18760012

  11. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Occurrence and Foraging Activity of Coastal Dolphins in Menai Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Temple, Andrew J.; Tregenza, Nick; Amir, Omar A.; Jiddawi, Narriman; Berggren, Per

    2016-01-01

    Understanding temporal patterns in distribution, occurrence and behaviour is vital for the effective conservation of cetaceans. This study used cetacean click detectors (C-PODs) to investigate spatial and temporal variation in occurrence and foraging activity of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea) dolphins resident in the Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA), Zanzibar, Tanzania. Occurrence was measured using detection positive minutes. Inter-click intervals were used to identify terminal buzz vocalisations, allowing for analysis of foraging activity. Data were analysed in relation to spatial (location) and temporal (monsoon season, diel phase and tidal phase) variables. Results showed significantly increased occurrence and foraging activity of dolphins in southern areas and during hours of darkness. Higher occurrence at night was not explained by diel variation in echolocation rate and so were considered representative of occurrence patterns. Both tidal phase and monsoon season influenced occurrence but results varied among sites, with no general patterns found. Foraging activity was greatest during hours of darkness, High water and Flood tidal phases. Comparisons of echolocation data among sites suggested differences in the broadband click spectra of MBCA dolphins, possibly indicative of species differences. These dolphin populations are threatened by unsustainable fisheries bycatch and tourism activities. The spatial and temporal patterns identified in this study have implications for future conservation and management actions with regards to these two threats. Further, the results indicate future potential for using passive acoustics to identify and monitor the occurrence of these two species in areas where they co-exist. PMID:26934473

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Occurrence and Foraging Activity of Coastal Dolphins in Menai Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Temple, Andrew J; Tregenza, Nick; Amir, Omar A; Jiddawi, Narriman; Berggren, Per

    2016-01-01

    Understanding temporal patterns in distribution, occurrence and behaviour is vital for the effective conservation of cetaceans. This study used cetacean click detectors (C-PODs) to investigate spatial and temporal variation in occurrence and foraging activity of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and Indian Ocean humpback (Sousa plumbea) dolphins resident in the Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA), Zanzibar, Tanzania. Occurrence was measured using detection positive minutes. Inter-click intervals were used to identify terminal buzz vocalisations, allowing for analysis of foraging activity. Data were analysed in relation to spatial (location) and temporal (monsoon season, diel phase and tidal phase) variables. Results showed significantly increased occurrence and foraging activity of dolphins in southern areas and during hours of darkness. Higher occurrence at night was not explained by diel variation in echolocation rate and so were considered representative of occurrence patterns. Both tidal phase and monsoon season influenced occurrence but results varied among sites, with no general patterns found. Foraging activity was greatest during hours of darkness, High water and Flood tidal phases. Comparisons of echolocation data among sites suggested differences in the broadband click spectra of MBCA dolphins, possibly indicative of species differences. These dolphin populations are threatened by unsustainable fisheries bycatch and tourism activities. The spatial and temporal patterns identified in this study have implications for future conservation and management actions with regards to these two threats. Further, the results indicate future potential for using passive acoustics to identify and monitor the occurrence of these two species in areas where they co-exist. PMID:26934473

  14. Head morphology in perinatal dolphins: a window into phylogeny and ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Rauschmann, Michael A; Huggenberger, Stefan; Kossatz, Lars S; Oelschläger, Helmut H A

    2006-11-01

    In this paper on the ontogenesis and evolutionary biology of odontocete cetaceans (toothed whales), we investigate the head morphology of three perinatal pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) with the following methods: computer-assisted tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, conventional X-ray imaging, cryo-sectioning as well as gross dissection. Comparison of these anatomical methods reveals that for a complete structural analysis, a combination of modern imaging techniques and conventional morphological methods is needed. In addition to the perinatal dolphins, we include series of microslides of fetal odontocetes (S. attenuata, common dolphin Delphinus delphis, narwhal Monodon monoceros). In contrast to other mammals, newborn cetaceans represent an extremely precocial state of development correlated to the fact that they have to swim and surface immediately after birth. Accordingly, the morphology of the perinatal dolphin head is very similar to that of the adult. Comparison with early fetal stages of dolphins shows that the ontogenetic change from the general mammalian bauplan to cetacean organization was characterized by profound morphological transformations of the relevant organ systems and roughly seems to parallel the phylogenetic transition from terrestrial ancestors to modern odontocetes. PMID:17051542

  15. Role of Crassicauda sp. in natural mortality of pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata: a reassessment.

    PubMed

    Balbuena, Juan Antonio; Simpkin, Andrew

    2014-02-01

    Evaluating the effect of parasites on population size is essential for designing management and conservation plans of wild animal populations. Although knowledge in this area is scarce in cetaceans, current evidence suggests that species of the nematode genus Crassicauda may play an important regulatory role in some populations. In the present study, a semiparametric regression technique was applied to a previously published dataset to re-examine the role of Crassicauda sp. in natural mortality of pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata. The resulting model indicated parasite-induced mortality at ages between 6.5 and 9 yr and at roughly 12 yr. The maximum mortality estimates obtained could represent 2 to 4% of natural mortality in dolphins 6 to 8 yr old. This estimate is substantially smaller than previously published values, but in contrast with previous research, our model provides clear statistical evidence for parasite-induced mortality because the bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals of the estimated mortality rates excluded the 0 value. We also evaluated, through simulations, how potential sampling biases of infected dolphins could overestimate parasite-induced mortality. Small differences in sampling selectivity between infected and uninfected animals could substantially reduce the mortality estimates. However, the simulated models also supported the notion of statistically significant mortality in juvenile dolphins. Given that dolphins older than 16 yr were poorly represented in the dataset, further research is needed to establish whether Crassicauda sp. causes meaningful mortality for population dynamics among adult individuals. PMID:24492057

  16. 50 CFR 216.211 - Specified activity and specified geographical region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... to a total of 5 bottlenose dolphin, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, and one pantropical spotted dolphin... following species annually: 227 bottlenose dolphins, 65 Atlantic spotted dolphins, 77 pantropical spotted dolphins, 27 Clymene dolphins, 12 rough-toothed dolphins, 14 striped dolphins, 15 melon-headed whales,...

  17. 50 CFR 216.211 - Specified activity and specified geographical region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... to a total of 5 bottlenose dolphin, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, and one pantropical spotted dolphin... following species annually: 227 bottlenose dolphins, 65 Atlantic spotted dolphins, 77 pantropical spotted dolphins, 27 Clymene dolphins, 12 rough-toothed dolphins, 14 striped dolphins, 15 melon-headed whales,...

  18. 50 CFR 216.211 - Specified activity and specified geographical region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... to a total of 5 bottlenose dolphin, one Atlantic spotted dolphin, and one pantropical spotted dolphin... following species annually: 227 bottlenose dolphins, 65 Atlantic spotted dolphins, 77 pantropical spotted dolphins, 27 Clymene dolphins, 12 rough-toothed dolphins, 14 striped dolphins, 15 melon-headed whales,...

  19. Dynamics of dolphin porpoising revisited.

    PubMed

    Weihs, D

    2002-11-01

    Porpoising is the popular name for the high-speed surface piercing motion of dolphins and other species, in which long, ballistic jumps are alternated with sections of swimming close to the surface. The first analysis of this behavior (Au and Weihs, 1980) showed that above a certain "crossover" speed this behavior is energetically advantageous, as the reduction in drag due to movement in the air becomes greater than the added cost of leaping.Since that publication several studies documented porpoising behavior at high speeds. The observations indicated that the behavior was more complex than previously assumed. The leaps were interspersed with relatively long swimming bouts, of about twice the leap length. In the present paper, the possibility of dolphins using a combination of leaping and burst and coast swimming is examined. A three-phase model is proposed, in which the dolphin leaps out of the water at a speed U(f), which is the final speed obtained at the end of the burst phase of burst and coast swimming. The leap is at constant speed and so the animal returns to the water at U(f), goes to a shallow depth and starts horizontal coasting while losing speed, till it reaches U(i). At that point it starts active swimming, accelerating to U(f). It then starts the next leap. Ranges of speeds for which this three-stage swimming is advantageous are calculated as a function of animal and physical parameters.NotationC-Constant defined in equation (12)C(D)-Coasting drag coefficientD-Dragg-Gravitational accelerationH-Height of jumpJ-Energy required for jumpk-Ratio of swim length to jump lengthl-DistanceL-Total distance (eq. 28)m-Added massM-Animal massM(1)-Total massr-Coefficient defined in eq. (22)R-Ratio of energies, for three-phase swimmingR(2)-Ratio of energies, for burst and coast swimmingt-TimeT-ThrustU-SpeedV-Body volumeW-Weightα-Emergence (=return) angleβ-Swim / coast drag penalty ratioγ-Surface effects drag ratioρ-Density of seawater and cetacean

  20. Bubbles in live-stranded dolphins

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:21993505

  1. Bubbles in live-stranded dolphins.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    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. PMID:21993505

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Similar to humans, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can develop metabolic syndrome and associated high ferritin. While fish and fish-based fatty acids may protect against metabolic syndrome in humans, findings have been inconsistent. To assess potential protective factors against metabolic syndrome related to fish diets, fatty acids were compared between two dolphin populations with higher (n = 30, Group A) and lowe