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Sample records for adult bottlenose dolphin

  1. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 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 is to implement the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP) to reduce incidental mortality...

  2. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 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 is to implement the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan to reduce incidental mortality and...

  3. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 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 is to implement the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan (BDTRP) to reduce incidental mortality...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Trawling and bottlenose dolphins' social structure.

    PubMed

    Chilvers, B L; Corkeron, P J

    2001-09-22

    Human activities can affect the behaviour of mammals through the modification of habitats, changes in predation pressure or alterations in food distribution and availability. We analysed the association and ranging patterns of 242 individually identified bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in eastern Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, and distinguished two separate communities of dolphins. Unlike bottlenose dolphins elsewhere, the communities' core areas overlapped substantially. There was a correlation between the dolphins' responses to fishing activities and community membership-members of one community feed in association with trawlers and members of the other do not. Apart from feeding mode, the communities differed in habitat preference and group sizes. Inadvertent anthropogenic impacts on animals' societies are likely to be far more widespread than just this study and can increase conservation challenges. In this instance, managers need to consider the two communities' differing habitat requirements and their behavioural traditions in conservation planning.

  7. 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

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

  8. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-15

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-10

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

  12. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... injury of the western North Atlantic coastal bottlenose dolphin stock in specific Category I and Category... mesh gillnet gear longer than 1,000 feet (304.8 m). (ii) Medium mesh gillnets. From November 1...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Measuring and Validating Levels of Steroid Hormones in the Skin of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    the Skin of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) Thea Bechshoft Aarhus University Bioscience Roskilde Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358...of, in skin from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), a) the influence of age and sex on progestagens, estrogens, and androgens, b) the...skin by use of an ACTH challenge in bottlenose dolphins ” (Award Number: N000141310771). The dolphins will be sampled as part of an ongoing out- of water

  16. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Whistle source levels of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Frankel, Adam S; Zeddies, David; Simard, Peter; Mann, David

    2014-03-01

    Whistles of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) in the eastern Gulf of Mexico were recorded and measured with a calibrated towed hydrophone array. Surveys encountered groups of both bottlenose (N = 10) and spotted dolphins (N = 5). Analysis of those data produced 1695 bottlenose dolphin whistles and 1273 spotted dolphin whistles with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Whistle frequency metrics were lower in bottlenose than spotted dolphins, while whistle duration was longer in spotted dolphins, data that may help inform automatic classification algorithms. Source levels were estimated by determining the range and bearing of an individual dolphin from the array and then adding the predicted transmission loss to the calculated received level. The median bottlenose dolphin source level was 138 dB re 1μPa at 1 m with a range of 114-163 dB re 1μPa at 1 m. The median spotted dolphin source level was 138 dB re 1μPa at 1 m with a range of 115-163 dB re 1μPa at 1 m. These source level measurements, in conjunction with estimates of vocalization rates and transmission loss models, can be used to improve passive acoustically determined dolphin abundance estimates in the Gulf of Mexico.

  2. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    duration, and/or repetition rate of their acoustic signals as a strategy to help reduce the probability of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003...behavior are unknown. To date, the only empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound production as well as the metabolic cost of increasing the...previous work was on whistle and social sound production in bottlenose dolphins (Holt et al. 2011 a, b, Noren et al. 2011). There is currently no

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Multiple single case reports of asphyxiation in dolphins caused by fish lodged in the esophagus exist. However, the significance of this cause of mortality in a single population has not been documented. We performed a retrospective evaluation of pathology records from stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon to evaluate the impact of this cause of death on this population. From 1997 to 2011, asphyxiation due to choking was identified as the cause of death in 14 of 350 cases (4%). Sampling of an unrelated but adjacent population over this same period yielded 186 necropsy cases of bottlenose dolphins with no cases of asphyxiation. Asphyxiated animals presented with a fish lodged in the cranial esophagus associated with a dislocated and obstructed or compressed larynx. There was no clear sex predilection. Affected animals included 12 adults and two juveniles. The fish species involved included sheepshead, black chin tilapia and striped mojarra. In five cases, recreational fishing gear was also present. Cetacean choking is related to selection of prey fish species with strong dorsal spines and may be secondarily associated with fish attached to fishing gear. Prey abundance and dolphin behavior may influence these selections. Environmental alterations leading to changes in prey availability or increased interactions with fishing gear may change the significance of fatal choking in dolphin populations. PMID:23840535

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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.

  8. Isolation of Vibrio vulnificus from Internal Organs of a Suddenly Expired Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-01-01

    were recovered from internal organs of another bottlenose dolphin which had expired under similar conditions from blastomycosis . Based on these results...recovered - - from internal organs of another bottlenose dolphin which F: V1/.)I. had expired under similar conditions from blastomycosis . ’t .4/ Based

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. The social structure of Golfo Dulce bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the influence of behavioural state

    PubMed Central

    Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Alejandro

    2016-01-01

    Ecological factors such as habitat and food availability affect the social structure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.). Here, we describe the social structure of bottlenose dolphins (T. truncatus) in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, a semi-enclosed, fjord-like tropical embayment resembling a pelagic system. We also examine behaviour-linked social strategies by comparing social structure relative to behavioural state: feeding versus non-feeding. We analysed 333 sightings over 210 days from boat-based surveys. Despite the uniqueness of the area, the 47 analysed adults had a social structure similar to other populations: a well-differentiated fission–fusion society with sex-specific patterns of associations and aggression. These results indicate that differences in social structure relative to other populations were a matter of degree. Association strength of dyads was highly correlated across behavioural states, indicating constraints on social fluidity. Males displayed a marked difference in lagged association rate and females displayed a small difference in association homogeneity between states. We suggest this difference in population-wide social connections between behavioural states, particularly for males, was due to mating strategies, a pressure which is strongest during non-feeding behaviour and relaxed during feeding. This finding highlights the importance of considering behavioural state when examining individual bonds and the behavioural plasticity for which the bottlenose dolphin is well known. PMID:27853584

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

    Blubber tissue samples from bottlenose dolphins collected during the summers of 2003 and 2004 were screened for 13 (17, 28, 47, 66, 71, 85, 99, 100, 138, 154, 153, 183, 190) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from dolphin populations in the Indian River Lagoon, FL (n = 58) and the Charleston Harbor estuary, SC (n = 53). Within each population, we investigated contaminant levels of PBDEs and the effects of factors including age, sex, the interaction of age and sex, and location. Six PBDE congeners (28, 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154) were routinely detected in all samples using gas chromatography/mass spectometry methods. Significantly higher (p dolphins (X = 5,860 ng/g lipid; range = 429-22,780 ng/g lipid) when compared to Indian River Lagoon dolphins (X= 1,260 ng/g lipid; range = 195-3,790 ng/g lipid). PBDE 47 was the major congener representing approximately 61% of the SigmaPBDE in both dolphin populations, followed by BDE100, BDE154, BDE99, BDE153, and BDE28, respectively. Significantly higher (p < 0.0001) mean SigmaPBDE were observed in adult male dolphins compared to pregnant and adult female dolphins at both sites, with gender differences two-fold in the Indian River Lagoon and twelve-fold for Charleston. For Charleston dolphins, the juveniles in addition to the adult males also had significantly higher levels compared to pregnant and adult females. This study establishes baseline levels of PBDEs in bottlenose dolphins for these two areas and is the first assessment of PBDEs in free-ranging dolphins. The levels of PBDEs in Charleston dolphins represent some of the highest measured in marine mammals and warrants further investigation of these emerging, bioaccumulative chemicals and their potential deleterious effects.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wells, Randall S

    2009-11-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    Levels in Cetacean Skin by use of an ACTH Challenge in Bottlenose Dolphins 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S...Novel Method of Measuring Cortisol Levels in Cetacean Skin by use of an ACTH Challenge in Bottlenose Dolphins Thea Bechshoft Aarhus University...method (Bechshoft et al. Submitted) using skin samples collected from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphins will be sampled as part

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Dredging displaces bottlenose dolphins from an urbanised foraging patch.

    PubMed

    Pirotta, Enrico; Laesser, Barbara Eva; Hardaker, Andrea; Riddoch, Nicholas; Marcoux, Marianne; Lusseau, David

    2013-09-15

    The exponential growth of the human population and its increasing industrial development often involve large scale modifications of the environment. In the marine context, coastal urbanisation and harbour expansion to accommodate the rising levels of shipping and offshore energy exploitation require dredging to modify the shoreline and sea floor. While the consequences of dredging on invertebrates and fish are relatively well documented, no study has robustly tested the effects on large marine vertebrates. We monitored the attendance of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to a recently established urbanised foraging patch, Aberdeen harbour (Scotland), and modelled the effect of dredging operations on site usage. We found that higher intensities of dredging caused the dolphins to spend less time in the harbour, despite high baseline levels of disturbance and the importance of the area as a foraging patch.

  2. Recurrent umbilical cord accidents in a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus.

    PubMed

    García-Párraga, Daniel; Brook, Fiona; Crespo-Picazo, José Luís; Alvaro, Teresa; Valls, Mónica; Penadés, Mariola; Ortega, Joaquín; Corpa, Juan Manuel

    2014-02-19

    Three successive umbilical cord accidents (UCAs) were diagnosed in the same female bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus during consecutive gestations. In 2 of these, transabdominal ultrasonographic examination revealed coiling of the UC around the peduncle of the foetus. All 3 foetuses were male, died in utero during the last third of gestation and were spontaneously aborted. The 3 UCs were elongated, flattened and congested. For 3 subsequent pregnancies, a different sire was used for mating, handling protocols and treatments were adjusted, and 3 live female calves were successfully delivered. UC lengths were normal. UCAs are associated with excessively long UCs and are not uncommon in humans and horses but are unusual in other species. We believe this is the first detailed report of recurrent UCAs in a dolphin.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Central nervous system mucormycosis caused by Cunninghamella bertholletiae in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Isidoro-Ayza, Marcos; Pérez, Lola; Cabañes, F Javier; Castellà, Gemma; Andrés, Marina; Vidal, Enric; Domingo, Mariano

    2014-07-01

    In May 2012, an adult, male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was found stranded and dead on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. At necropsy, several areas of malacia were macroscopically observed in the periventricular parenchyma of the cerebrum. Microscopically a severe, diffuse, pyogranulomatous, and necrotizing meningoencephalomyelitis was associated with numerous intralesional highly pleomorphic fungal structures. After culture, the fungus, Cunninghamella bertholletiae, was identified by culture and PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of central nervous system mucormycosis due to Cunninghamella bertholletiae in a cetacean.

  7. 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...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Gregory D. Bossart, V.M.D., Ph.D. Georgia Aquarium 225 Baker Street NW Atlanta, GA 30313 phone: 404-581...PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Georgia Aquarium ,225 Baker Street NW,Atlanta...WORK COMPLETED SUBTASK 1 - Collection of samples from Group 1 (managed-care Georgia Aquarium bottlenose dolphins) to characterize multiple stress

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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 ...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-12

    3. DATES COVERED (From Jul 2012-Sep 2013 To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Determining the molecular and genetic basis for diabetes in Navy bottlenose...thereby reduces hepatic glucose production. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Gluconeogenesis, CREB ZF, Fasting, Diabetes 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: a...Number: N000141210617 Award Title: Determining the molecular and genetic basis for diabetes in Navy bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Unusual causes of fatal upper aerodigestive tract obstruction in wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

    PubMed

    Byard, Roger W; Tomo, Ikuko; Kemper, Catherine M; Gibbs, Susan E; Bossley, Mike; Machado, Aaron; Hill, Mark

    2010-09-01

    Necropsy examination of dolphins living in Gulf St Vincent, Australia is routinely undertaken to enable the evaluation of disease processes and to provide rapid medicolegal assessment of any inflicted and/or accidental injuries. Two Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) are reported to demonstrate conditions that may result in unexpected death involving upper airway compromise by quite unusual mechanisms. In the first case an adult male was found with extensive soft tissue trauma suggesting human interaction. At necropsy, death was due instead to upper airway obstruction from an impacted Slender-spined Porcupine Fish (Diodon nichthemerus) in the posterior pharynx and upper esophagus. In the second case, an adult male dolphin was found to have died, following several weeks' illness, from upper airway obstruction due to extensive respiratory tract papillomatosis within the blowhole. Given the infectious etiology of this condition the local population will be monitored for similar lesions. These cases demonstrate rare causes of upper airway obstruction in wild dolphins that were identifiable only after detailed necropsy examination. The possibility of human involvement in the deaths could be excluded.

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

    PubMed

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

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

  18. Chemical residues in Dolphins from the US Atlantic coast including atlantic bottlenose obtained during the 1987/88 mass mortality

    SciTech Connect

    Kuehl, D.W.; Haebler, R.; Potter, C.

    1991-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) collected during the 1987/88 mass mortality event along the Atlantic coast of the United States have been analyzed for anthropogenic chemical contaminants. Average contaminant concentrations in adult males were higher than the average concentrations measured in adult females. Females could be divided into two groups by contaminant concentrations, one with low concentrations, and another with concentrations 4.4 times (PCBs) to 8.9 times (p,p'-DDE) greater. Contaminant concentrations in bottlenose were generally greater than the concentrations measured in either common (Delphinus delphis) or white-sided (Lagernorhynchus acutus) dolphins from the western North Atlantic Ocean. A subset of animals screened for unusual chemical contaminants showed that numerous polybrominated chemicals were present, including polybrominated biphenyls and diphenyl ethers not previously found in marine mammals from U.S. coastal waters.

  19. Inbreeding tolerance and fitness costs in wild bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-07

    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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    N0001412IP20006 / N0001411IP20081 http://www.chbr.noaa.gov Gregory D. Bossart, V.M.D., Ph.D. and Al Dove, Ph.D. Georgia Aquarium 225 Baker Street NW...managed-care Georgia Aquarium bottlenose dolphins) to characterize multiple stress markers This subtask was completed in 2012. A 12 month sample...collection period of dolphins from Georgia Aquarium (group 1) was completed in August 2012. Samples were obtained from 9 individual dolphins with

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    N0001411IP20081 / N0001412IP20006 http://www.chbr.noaa.gov Gregory D. Bossart, V.M.D., Ph.D. Georgia Aquarium 225 Baker Street NW Atlanta, GA 30313... Aquarium bottlenose dolphins) to characterize multiple stress markers A 12 month sample collection period of dolphins from Georgia Aquarium was...Group 1 Georgia Aquarium dolphins and the Group 2 Navy animals and analyses of these will follow completion of the Group 3 IRL samples. SUBTASK 10

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-03

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

  10. Short Communication: New Recognition Of Enterovirus Infections In Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus)

    PubMed Central

    Nollens, Hendrik H.; Rivera, Rebecca; Palacios, Gustavo; Wellehan, James F. X.; Saliki, Jeremiah T.; Caseltine, Shannon L.; Smith, Cynthia R.; Jensen, Eric D.; Hui, Jeffrey; Lipkin, W. Ian; Yochem, Pamela K.; Wells, Randall S.; St. Leger, Judy; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    An enterovirus was cultured from an erosive tongue lesion of a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The morphology of virions on negative staining electron microscopy was consistent with those of enteroviruses. Analysis of 2613 bp of the polyprotein gene identified the isolate as a novel enterovirus strain, tentatively named bottlenose dolphin enterovirus (BDEV), that nests within the species Bovine enterovirus. Serologic evidence of exposure to enteroviruses was common in both free ranging and managed collection dolphins. Managed collection dolphins were more likely to have high antibody levels, although the highest levels were reported in free ranging populations. Associations between enterovirus antibody levels, and age, sex, complete blood counts, and clinical serum biochemistries were explored. Dolphins with higher antibody levels were more likely to be hyperproteinemic and hyperglobulinemic. PMID:19581059

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Dolphin hearing during echolocation: evoked potential responses in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Li, Songhai; Nachtigall, Paul E; Breese, Marlee

    2011-06-15

    Auditory evoked potential (AEP) responses were recorded during echolocation in an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) trained to accept suction-cup EEG electrodes and detect targets by echolocation. AEP recording was triggered by the echolocation clicks of the animal. Three targets with target strengths of -34, -28 and -22 dB were used at a target distance of 2 to 6.5 m for each target. The results demonstrated that the AEP appeared to both outgoing echolocation clicks and echoes during echolocation, with AEP complexes consisting of alternative positive and negative waves. The echo-related AEP amplitudes were obviously lower than the outgoing click-related AEP amplitudes for all the targets at the investigated target distances. However, for targets with target strengths of -22 and -28 dB, the peak-to-peak amplitudes of the echo-related AEPs were dependent on the target distances. The echo-related AEP response amplitudes increased at further target distances, demonstrating an overcompensation of echo attenuation with target distance in the echo-perception system of the dolphin biosonar. Measurement and analysis of outgoing click intensities showed that the click levels increased with target distance (R) by a factor of approximately 10 to 17.5 logR depending on target strength. The results demonstrated that a dual-component biosonar control system formed by intensity compensation behavior in both the transmission and receiving phases of a biosonar cycle exists synchronously in the dolphin biosonar system.

  14. The Orexin System in the Enteric Nervous System of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    This study provides a general approach to the presence and possible role of orexins and their receptors in the gut (three gastric chambers and intestine) of confined environment bottlenose dolphin. The expression of prepro-orexin, orexin A and B and orexin 1 and 2 receptors were investigated by single immunostaining and western blot analysis. The co-localization of vasoactive intestinal peptide and orexin 1 receptor in the enteric nervous system was examined by double immunostaining. Also, orexin A concentration were measured in plasma samples to assess the possible diurnal variation of the plasma level of peptide in this species. Our results showed that the orexin system is widely distributed in bottlenose dolphin enteric nervous system of the all gastrointestinal tract examined. They are very peculiar and partially differs from that of terrestrial mammals. Orexin peptides and prepro-orexin were expressed in the main stomach, pyloric stomach and proximal intestine; while orexin receptors were expressed in the all examined tracts, with the exception of main stomach where found no evidence of orexin 2 receptor. Co-localization of vasoactive intestinal peptide and orexin 1 receptor were more evident in the pyloric stomach and proximal intestine. These data could suggest a possible role of orexin system on the contractility of bottlenose dolphin gastrointestinal districts. Finally, in agreement with several reports, bottlenose dolphin orexin A plasma level was higher in the morning during fasting. Our results emphasize some common features between bottlenose dolphin and terrestrial mammals. Certainly, further functional investigations may help to better explain the role of the orexin system in the energy balance of bottlenose dolphin and the complex interaction between feeding and digestive physiology. PMID:25144456

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    N0001411IP20081 http://www.chbr.noaa.gov Gregory D. Bossart, V.M.D., Ph.D. Georgia Aquarium 225 Baker Street NW Atlanta, GA 30313 phone: 404-581-4304...managed-care Georgia Aquarium bottlenose dolphins) to characterize multiple stress markers In August and September 2011 samples from 6 dolphins were...sampled from Georgia Aquarium and a scheduled collection developed for the remainder of the study collection period. Hematological and immune analyses

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Discrimination of amplitude-modulated synthetic echo trains by an echolocating bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have an acute ability to use target echoes to judge attributes such as size, shape, and material composition. Most target recognition studies have focused on features associated with individual echoes as opposed to information conveyed across echo sequences (feature envelope of the multi-echo train). One feature of aspect-dependent targets is an amplitude modulation (AM) across the return echoes in the echo train created by relative movement of the target and dolphin. The current study examined whether dolphins could discriminate targets with different AM envelopes. "Electronic echoes" triggered by a dolphin's outgoing echolocation clicks were manipulated to create sinusoidal envelopes with varying AM rate and depth. Echo trains were equated for energy, requiring the dolphin to extract and retain information from multiple echoes in order to detect and report the presence of AM. The dolphin discriminated amplitude-modulated echo trains from those that were not modulated. AM depth thresholds were approximately 0.8 dB, similar to other published amplitude limens. Decreasing the rate of modulation from approximately 16 to 2 cycles per second did not affect the dolphin's AM depth sensitivity. The results support multiple-echo processing in bottlenose dolphin echolocation. This capability provides additional theoretical justification for exploring synthetic aperture sonar concepts in models of animal echolocation that potentially support theories postulating formation of images as an ultimate means for target identification.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    2014-02-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-06

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Estimated communication range and energetic cost of bottlenose dolphin whistles in a tropical habitat.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Frants H; Beedholm, Kristian; Wahlberg, Magnus; Bejder, Lars; Madsen, Peter T

    2012-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) depend on frequency-modulated whistles for many aspects of their social behavior, including group cohesion and recognition of familiar individuals. Vocalization amplitude and frequency influences communication range and may be shaped by many ecological and physiological factors including energetic costs. Here, a calibrated GPS-synchronized hydrophone array was used to record the whistles of bottlenose dolphins in a tropical shallow-water environment with high ambient noise levels. Acoustic localization techniques were used to estimate the source levels and energy content of individual whistles. Bottlenose dolphins produced whistles with mean source levels of 146.7 ± 6.2 dB re. 1 μPa(RMS). These were lower than source levels estimated for a population inhabiting the quieter Moray Firth, indicating that dolphins do not necessarily compensate for the high noise levels found in noisy tropical habitats by increasing their source level. Combined with measured transmission loss and noise levels, these source levels provided estimated median communication ranges of 750 m and maximum communication ranges up to 5740 m. Whistles contained less than 17 mJ of acoustic energy, showing that the energetic cost of whistling is small compared to the high metabolic rate of these aquatic mammals, and unlikely to limit the vocal activity of toothed whales.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    known as an ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone ) challenge, in a group of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphins will be sampled as part...of an ongoing study of stress hormones conducted by Dr. Dorian Houser in collaboration with the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (MMP). The ACTH

  10. Proteomic Analysis of Non-depleted Serum Proteins from Bottlenose Dolphins Uncovers a High Vanin-1 Phenotype.

    PubMed

    Sobolesky, Philip; Parry, Celeste; Boxall, Baylye; Wells, Randall; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Janech, Michael G

    2016-09-26

    Targeted approaches have been widely used to help explain physiological adaptations, but few studies have used non-targeted omics approaches to explore differences between diving marine mammals and terrestrial mammals. A rank comparison of undepleted serum proteins from common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and pooled normal human serum led to the discovery of 11 proteins that appeared exclusive to dolphin serum. Compared to the comprehensive human plasma proteome, 5 of 11 serum proteins had a differential rank greater than 200. One of these proteins, Vanin-1, was quantified using parallel reaction monitoring in dolphins under human care and free-ranging dolphins. Dolphin serum Vanin-1 ranged between 31-106 μg/ml, which is 20-1000 times higher than concentrations reported for healthy humans. Serum Vanin-1 was also higher in dolphins under human care compared to free-ranging dolphins (64 ± 16 vs. 47 ± 12 μg/ml P < 0.05). Vanin-1 levels positively correlated with liver enzymes AST and ALT, and negatively correlated with white blood cell counts and fibrinogen in free-ranging dolphins. Major differences exist in the circulating blood proteome of the bottlenose dolphin compared to terrestrial mammals and exploration of these differences in bottlenose dolphins and other marine mammals may identify veiled protective strategies to counter physiological stress.

  11. Proteomic Analysis of Non-depleted Serum Proteins from Bottlenose Dolphins Uncovers a High Vanin-1 Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Sobolesky, Philip; Parry, Celeste; Boxall, Baylye; Wells, Randall; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Janech, Michael G.

    2016-01-01

    Targeted approaches have been widely used to help explain physiological adaptations, but few studies have used non-targeted omics approaches to explore differences between diving marine mammals and terrestrial mammals. A rank comparison of undepleted serum proteins from common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and pooled normal human serum led to the discovery of 11 proteins that appeared exclusive to dolphin serum. Compared to the comprehensive human plasma proteome, 5 of 11 serum proteins had a differential rank greater than 200. One of these proteins, Vanin-1, was quantified using parallel reaction monitoring in dolphins under human care and free-ranging dolphins. Dolphin serum Vanin-1 ranged between 31–106 μg/ml, which is 20–1000 times higher than concentrations reported for healthy humans. Serum Vanin-1 was also higher in dolphins under human care compared to free-ranging dolphins (64 ± 16 vs. 47 ± 12 μg/ml P < 0.05). Vanin-1 levels positively correlated with liver enzymes AST and ALT, and negatively correlated with white blood cell counts and fibrinogen in free-ranging dolphins. Major differences exist in the circulating blood proteome of the bottlenose dolphin compared to terrestrial mammals and exploration of these differences in bottlenose dolphins and other marine mammals may identify veiled protective strategies to counter physiological stress. PMID:27667588

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Relaxin as a hormonal aid to evaluate pregnancy and pregnancy loss in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Bergfelt, Don R; Blum, Jason L; Steinetz, Bernard G; Steinman, Karen J; O'Brien, Justin K; Robeck, Todd R

    2017-02-01

    This study was conducted to critically evaluate weekly and monthly circulating concentrations of immunoreactive relaxin throughout pregnancies that resulted in live births, stillbirths, and abortions in aquarium-based bottlenose dolphins. A relaxin RIA was used to analyze serum collected during 74 pregnancies involving 41 dolphins and 8 estrous cycles as well as 8 non-pregnant dolphins. Pregnancies resulted in live births (n=60), stillbirths (n=7), or abortions (n=7). Relative to parturition (Month 0), monthly changes (P<0.0001) in relaxin was indicated by relatively low concentrations during early pregnancy (Months -12 to -9) which subsequently increased (P<0.05) during mid- (Months -8 to -5) to late (Months -4 to -1) pregnancy; relaxin was highest (P<0.05) at the time of parturition. Post-parturition (Month 1), concentrations decreased (P<0.05). During the first 4weeks post-ovulation, relaxin concentrations were not different between pregnant and non-pregnant dolphins (status-by-week interaction, P=0.59). Status-by-month interaction (P<0.0002) involving different pregnancy outcomes was due, impart, to an increase in relaxin during early pregnancy (P<0.05) that was comparable among dolphins with live births, stillbirths, and abortions except concentrations were lower (P<0.05; 52%) at mid-pregnancy in association with pregnancy loss. Thereafter, concentrations increased (P<0.05) during late pregnancy in dolphins with stillbirths but not in dolphins with abortions. In conclusion, this study provided new information on the pregnancy-specific nature of relaxin, critical evaluation of the fundamental characteristics of relaxin during pregnancy and pregnancy loss, and clarification on the strengths and limitations of relaxin as a diagnostic aid to determine pregnancy status and assess maternal-fetal health in bottlenose dolphins.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Solubility of ammonium acid urate nephroliths from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Argade, Sulabha; Smith, Cynthia R; Shaw, Timothy; Zupkas, Paul; Schmitt, Todd L; Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Sur, Roger L

    2013-12-01

    Nephrolithiasis has been identified in managed populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus); most of these nephroliths are composed of 100% ammonium acid urate (AAU). Several therapies are being investigated to treat and prevent nephrolithiasis in dolphins including the alkalization of urine for dissolution of nephroliths. This study evaluates the solubility of AAU nephroliths in a phosphate buffer, pH range 6.0-8.0, and in a carbonate-bicarbonate buffer, pH range 9.0-10.8. AAU nephroliths were obtained from six dolphins and solubility studies were conducted using reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection at 290 nm. AAU nephroliths were much more soluble in a carbonate-bicarbonate buffer, pH range 9.0-10.8 compared to phosphate buffer pH range 6.0-8.0. In the pH range 6.0-8.0, the solubility was 45% lower in potassium phosphate buffer compared to sodium phosphate buffer. When citrate was used along with phosphate in the same pH range, the solubility was improved by 13%. At pH 7 and pH 8, 150 mM ionic strength buffer was optimum for dissolution. In summary, adjustment of urinary pH alone does not appear to be a useful way to treat AAU stones in bottlenose dolphins. Better understanding of the pathophysiology of AAU nephrolithiasis in dolphins is needed to optimize kidney stone prevention and treatment.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Mutations and polymorphism in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821) albumin gene: First identification of mutations responsible for inherited bisalbuminemia.

    PubMed

    Gili, Claudia; Bonsembiante, Federico; Beffagna, Giorgia; Mazzariol, Sandro; Gelain, Maria Elena

    2017-02-24

    Hereditary bisalbuminemia is an asymptomatic and heterozygous condition in a range of species characterized by the presence of two serum albumin fractions with different electrophoretic mobility resulting in a bicuspid pattern on serum electrophoresis. Bisalbuminemia has been diagnosed by electrophoresis in two bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) families, but causative mutations and the inheritance pattern have not been identified. The aims of this work are: to investigate polymorphisms of the bottlenose dolphin albumin gene and to identify mutations causative of bisalbuminemia; to identify the inheritance pattern in two bottlenose dolphin families. Coding regions of the albumin gene were screened for mutations in 15 bottlenose dolphins kept under human care from two distinct families. Eighteen albumin mutations (three synonymous and 15 non-synonymous) were identified. Two non-synonymous variations co-segregated with bisalbuminemic phenotype: p.Phe146Leu in exon 4 and p.Tyr163His in exon 5. The amino acid change in exon 5 was associated with the secondary and/or tertiary structure variation of the protein and has been reported as causative of bisalbuminemia in humans. Pedigree analysis of the dolphin families showed an autosomal codominant inheritance pattern. In this work, the mutations potentially responsible for bisalbuminemia were identified and confirmed the autosomal codominant trait in bottlenose dolphins.

  3. Acoustic features of objects matched by an echolocating bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Delong, Caroline M; Au, Whitlow W L; Lemonds, David W; Harley, Heidi E; Roitblat, Herbert L

    2006-03-01

    The focus of this study was to investigate how dolphins use acoustic features in returning echolocation signals to discriminate among objects. An echolocating dolphin performed a match-to-sample task with objects that varied in size, shape, material, and texture. After the task was completed, the features of the object echoes were measured (e.g., target strength, peak frequency). The dolphin's error patterns were examined in conjunction with the between-object variation in acoustic features to identify the acoustic features that the dolphin used to discriminate among the objects. The present study explored two hypotheses regarding the way dolphins use acoustic information in echoes: (1) use of a single feature, or (2) use of a linear combination of multiple features. The results suggested that dolphins do not use a single feature across all object sets or a linear combination of six echo features. Five features appeared to be important to the dolphin on four or more sets: the echo spectrum shape, the pattern of changes in target strength and number of highlights as a function of object orientation, and peak and center frequency. These data suggest that dolphins use multiple features and integrate information across echoes from a range of object orientations.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Habitat-driven population structure of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in the North-East Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Louis, Marie; Viricel, Amélia; Lucas, Tamara; Peltier, Hélène; Alfonsi, Eric; Berrow, Simon; Brownlow, Andrew; Covelo, Pablo; Dabin, Willy; Deaville, Rob; de Stephanis, Renaud; Gally, François; Gauffier, Pauline; Penrose, Rod; Silva, Monica A; Guinet, Christophe; Simon-Bouhet, Benoit

    2014-02-01

    Despite no obvious barrier to gene flow, historical environmental processes and ecological specializations can lead to genetic differentiation in highly mobile animals. Ecotypes emerged in several large mammal species as a result of niche specializations and/or social organization. In the North-West Atlantic, two distinct bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) ecotypes (i.e. 'coastal' and 'pelagic') have been identified. Here, we investigated the genetic population structure of North-East Atlantic (NEA) bottlenose dolphins on a large scale through the analysis of 381 biopsy-sampled or stranded animals using 25 microsatellites and a 682-bp portion of the mitochondrial control region. We shed light on the likely origin of stranded animals using a carcass drift prediction model. We showed, for the first time, that coastal and pelagic bottlenose dolphins were highly differentiated in the NEA. Finer-scale population structure was found within the two groups. We suggest that distinct founding events followed by parallel adaptation may have occurred independently from a large Atlantic pelagic population in the two sides of the basin. Divergence could be maintained by philopatry possibly as a result of foraging specializations and social organization. As coastal environments are under increasing anthropogenic pressures, small and isolated populations might be at risk and require appropriate conservation policies to preserve their habitats. While genetics can be a powerful first step to delineate ecotypes in protected and difficult to access taxa, ecotype distinction should be further documented through diet studies and the examination of cranial skull features associated with feeding.

  7. 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

  8. The vitamin D3 transcriptomic response in skin cells derived from the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin has attracted attention due to the evident impact that environmental stressors have taken on its health. In order to better understand the mechanisms linking environmental health with dolphin health, we have established cell cultures from dolphin skin as in vitro tools for molecular evaluations. The vitamin D3 pathway is one mechanism of interest because of its well established chemopreventative and immunomodulatory properties in terrestrial mammals. On the other hand, little is known of the physiological role of this molecule in aquatic animals. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3), the bioactive and hormonal form of vitamin D3, exerts its biological function by binding to the vitamin D receptor (VDR), a ligand-activated regulator of gene transcription. Therefore, we investigated the transcriptomic changes induced by 1,25D3 administration in dolphin skin cells. Identification of specific genes activated by 1,25D3 has provided clues to the physiological function of the vitamin D3 pathway in the dolphin. We found that exposure of the cells to 1,25D3 upregulated transactivation of a vitamin D-sensitive promoter. cDNA microarray analysis, using a novel dolphin array, identified specific gene targets within this pathway, and real-time PCR (qPCR) confirmed the enhanced expression of select genes of interest. These transcriptional changes correlated with an increase in VDR levels. This is the first report of the presence and activation of the vitamin D3 pathway in a marine mammal, and our experimental results demonstrate a number of similarities to terrestrial animals. Conservation of this pathway in the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin is consistent with the importance of nonclassic functions of vitamin D3, such as its role in innate immunity, similar to what has been demonstrated in other mammals. PMID:19454332

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Environmental changes and anthropogenic factors modulate social play in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Serres, Agathe; Delfour, Fabienne

    2017-02-21

    Social play varies among species and individuals and changes in frequency and duration during ontogeny. This type of play is modulated by environmental changes (e.g., resource availability). In captivity, cetaceans and their environment are managed by humans, and training sessions and/or public presentations punctuate the day as well as other frequent or occasional events. There is a lack of research on the effects of environmental events that occur in captivity and might affect dolphins' behavior. We studied the context in which nine bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) played socially and the events that could potentially impact this social interaction. The dolphins' social play behavior was significantly more frequent and lasted longer in the morning than in the afternoon and was present before and after interactions with their trainers with a non-significant tendency to be more frequent before and after a training session than a public presentation. In an experimental paradigm using familiar environmental enrichment, our results demonstrated that environmental enrichment tended to increase social play duration whereas temporary noisy construction work around the pool and display of agonistic behaviors by members of the group significantly decreased it. These results contribute to better understand the social play distribution in captive bottlenose dolphins and the impact of different events within their daily lives. Since play decreases or disappears when animals are facing unfavorable conditions, the evaluation of social play may relate to the animals' current well-being. We suggest that social play has potential to become an indicator of bottlenose dolphins' current welfare state.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The orbital Harderian gland of the male atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): a morphological study.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, G G; Feria-Velasco, A; Tarpley, R L; Bitzer-Quintero, O K; Rosales-Corral, S A; Velázquez-Brizuela, I E; López-Navarro, O G; Reiter, R J

    2007-06-01

    The ultrastructure of the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin Harderian gland (HG) has been described but some questions remain unanswered. The purpose of this work was to define the gland's structure, ultrastructure and the differences between cells (types I and II) of the male dolphin using optic, fluorescence and electron transmission microscopy. Three different cells were observed under optic and fluorescence microscopic examination, while only two cell types (types I and II) were distinguished by electron transmission microscopy. Type I (oval nuclear envelope) exhibited three different cell populations and type II (indented nuclear envelope) exhibited two different cell populations. Although, we observed both types of vesicles in both types of cells they differed, principally, in quantity. The glands also possessed prominent duct systems, with three orders of complexity. The dolphin orbital HG appears to function as a mixed heterologous gland with two types of cells that exhibit both types of vesicles and other distinguishable differences.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Assessing the effectiveness of environmental enrichment in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Fabienne, Delfour; Helen, Beyer

    2012-01-01

    Environmental enrichment is often used to improve well-being and reduce stereotyped behaviors in animals under human care. However, the use of objects to enrich animal environments should not be considered to be effective until its success has been scientifically demonstrated. This study was conducted at Asterix Park in France in April 2009. The study investigated the use of 21 familiar objects with a group of six bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphin trainers introduced four different objects into the dolphin pool every day on a rotating basis. Using a focal-object sampling method, we collected and analyzed data from twenty-one 15 min sessions. The results revealed a positive correlation between interest behaviors and interactive behaviors. Some dolphins had "favorite toys". However, only 50% of objects elicited manipulative behaviors. These findings demonstrate that dolphins do not treat all objects provided to them as "toys". Behavioral changes in the animals subsequent to the introduction of objects do not necessarily indicate an enrichment effect of the objects; rather, the motivation for the dolphins' behaviors toward the objects must be investigated. The animals' behavior must be considered in light of the social context and of the animals' individual behavioral profiles. The relevance of a constructivist approach to evaluating the effectiveness of enrichment programs is discussed.

  2. Organochlorine residues in the blubber and liver of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded in the Canary Islands, North Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Carballo, Matilde; Arbelo, Manuel; Esperón, Fernado; Mendez, Mariña; de la Torre, Ana; Muñoz, Maria Jesus

    2008-04-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chlorinated pesticides: dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), chlordanes (CHLs), dieldrin, and hexaclorobenzene (HCB) were detected in the blubber and liver of 11 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Canary Islands (North Atlantic Ocean). Samples were obtained from stranded dolphins over the period 1997-2005. Among the organochlorines analyzed, PCBs and DDTs were predominant in the two tissues, followed in decreasing order by chlordane, trans-nonachlor > cis-nonachlor > dieldrin and HCB. The sum 11 PCBs in the blubber ranged between 301 and 33,212 ng g(-1) ww (990 and 136,679 ng g(-1) lw). Highly chlorinated PCBs such us CB153, CB180, and CB138 were the prominent congeners, accounting for 51% of the total PCBs. The sum DDT concentration in the blubber ranged between 147 and 21,050 ng g(-1) ww. (490-105,250 ng g(-1) lw) The main DDT metabolite was p,p'-DDE, representing 83% of DDTs in the blubber. In general, the levels of PCBs and DDTs detected were similar to those found in bottlenose dolphins in the North of Europe. The 2,3,7,8-TCDD toxic equivalent (TEQ) in blubber and liver was calculated for the toxicity assessment of mono-ortho substituted PCBs congeners (CB105, CB118, CB156). It is important to mention that TEQ values and p,p'-DDE concentration in adult male specimens are approaching the levels associated with adverse effects found in marine mammals. The information provided represents the first tissue loads of organochlorine compounds in small cetaceans from this area.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars Dana L. Wetzel...biomarkers to examine whether significant sublethal responses to sonar-type sounds occur in bottlenose dolphins exposed to such sounds. The...investigate samples collected from trained dolphins before exposure to simulated mid-frequency sonar signals, immediately after exposure, and one week post

  5. Seasonal variation and tidal influences on estuarine use by bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fury, Christine A.; Harrison, Peter L.

    2011-07-01

    In order to show that dolphins use estuary habitats differently depending on the season and tidal state, possibly in response to prey distribution, temperature, risk of stranding and accessibility, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus) were observed year-round during a 3-year study in the Clarence River estuary (CR) and Richmond River estuary (RR) in northern New South Wales, Australia. Peak dolphin sightings occurred during the spring season and one or 2 h prior to high tide. The spatial distribution of the dolphins in each estuary was analysed using the distance in kilometres that the dolphins travelled upstream with seasons and tidal phase as determinants. A General Linear Model showed that in the CR the dolphin spatial distribution in the estuary was not determined by season ( F = 0.434, df = 3, P = 0.729) but was by tidal phase ( F = 9.943, df = 3, P < 0.001) and the interaction between season and tidal phase ( F = 3.398, df = 9, P < 0.002). However, in the RR the spatial distribution of the dolphin use of the estuary was not determined by either season ( F = 1.647, df = 3, P = 0.194) or tidal phase ( F = 0.302, df = 3, P = 0.824). In the CR, the spatial distribution of the dolphins was largest on high and flood tides. This pattern of spatial distribution may occur because the CR is a relatively shallow estuary and this increased spatial distribution may reflect a lower stranding risk and an increase in accessibility of shallow areas during periods of higher tide. These areas could also provide access to their preferred prey items of sea mullet ( Mugil cephalus) and sand whiting ( Sillago ciliata).

  6. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    Dolphins Marla M. Holt and Dawn P. Noren NOAA NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center 2725 Montlake Blvd. East Seattle, WA 98112 phone: (206) 860...Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center,2725 Montlake Blvd. East,Seattle,WA,98112 8. PERFORMING

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Janik, V M

    2000-01-01

    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

  12. Biomagnification of perfluoroalkyl compounds in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) food web.

    PubMed

    Houde, Magali; Bujas, Trevor A D; Small, Jeff; Wells, Randall S; Fair, Patricia A; Bossart, Gregory D; Solomon, Keith R; Muir, Derek C G

    2006-07-01

    The environmental distribution and the biomagnification of a suite of perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs), including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and C8 to C14 perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs), was investigated in the food web of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Surficial seawater and sediment samples, as well as zooplankton, fish, and bottlenose dolphin tissue samples, were collected at two U.S. locations: Sarasota Bay, FL and Charleston Harbor, SC. Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents were also collected from the Charleston area (n = 4). A solid-phase extraction was used for seawater and effluent samples and an ion-pairing method was used for sediment and biotic samples. PFCs were detected in seawater (range <1-12 ng/L), sediment (range <0.01-0.4 ng/g wet weight (ww)), and zooplankton (range 0.06-0.3 ng/g ww). The highest PFC concentrations were detected in WWTP effluents, whole fish, and dolphin plasma and tissue samples in which PFOS, C8 and C10-PFCAs predominated in most matrices. Contamination profiles varied with location suggesting different sources of PFC emissions. Biomagnification factors (BMFs) ranged from <1 to 156 at Sarasota Bay and <1 to 30 at Charleston. Trophic magnification factors (TMFs) for PFOS and C8-C11 PFCAs indicated biomagnification in this marine food web. The results indicate that using plasma and liver PFC concentrations as surrogate to whole body burden in a top marine predator overestimates the BMFs and TMFs.

  13. The whistles of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bazua-Duran, Carmen

    2001-05-01

    This work presents the description and geographic comparison of whistles from bottlenose dolphins recorded in three coastal areas in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (Galveston and Corpus Christi Bays and Madre Lagoon), one oceanic area in the northern Gulf, and one coastal area in the southern Gulf (Terminos Lagoon). The 1499 whistle contours analyzed were categorized into 289 whistle types, of which 120 types were unique to a specific area. From the remaining 169 types, more types were common between Madre and Corpus Christi than between Galveston and either Corpus Christi or Madre, results in agreement with the dolphin mixing patterns between these three areas. Whistles from the oceanic area were more similar to those of Madre, suggesting that contact between coastal and oceanic dolphins in the northwestern part of the Gulf may be through Madre Lagoon. Terminos and Galveston whistles, the areas furthest apart, were very similar, indicating that contact between dolphin groups may not be the only parameter determining whistle repertoire similarities. Dolphin whistle similarities may also depend on comparable habitat use and population structure. The new signal type curve shows that more than 250 whistles are needed for each area in order to adequately describe the whistle repertoire.

  14. 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.

  15. Estimated communication range of social sounds used by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Quintana-Rizzo, Ester; Mann, David A; Wells, Randall S

    2006-09-01

    Bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, exhibit flexible associations in which the compositions of groups change frequently. We investigated the potential distances over which female dolphins and their dependent calves could remain in acoustic contact. We quantified the propagation of sounds in the frequency range of typical dolphin whistles in shallow water areas and channels of Sarasota Bay, Florida. Our results indicated that detection range was noise limited as opposed to being limited by hearing sensitivity. Sounds were attenuated to a greater extent in areas with seagrass than any other habitat. Estimates of active space of whistles showed that in seagrass shallow water areas, low-frequency whistles (7-13 kHz) with a 165 dB source level could be heard by dolphins at 487 m. In shallow areas with a mud bottom, all whistle frequency components of the same whistle could be heard by dolphins travel up to 2 km. In channels, high-frequency whistles (13-19 kHz) could be detectable potentially over a much longer distance (> 20 km). Our findings indicate that the communication range of social sounds likely exceeds the mean separation distances between females and their calves. Ecological pressures might play an important role in determining the separation distances within communication range.

  16. Exposure to Novel Parainfluenza Virus and Clinical Relevance in 2 Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Populations

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Rebecca; Smith, Cynthia R.; Saliki, Jeremiah T.; Caseltine, Shannon; St. Leger, Judy; Yochem, Pam; Wells, Randall S.; Nollens, Hendrik

    2008-01-01

    Parainfluenza virus (PIV) is a leading cause of respiratory infections in humans. A novel virus closely related to human and bovine parainfluenza viruses types 3 (HPIV-3 and BPIV-3), named Tursiops truncatus parainfluenza virus type 1 (TtPIV-1), was isolated from a dolphin with respiratory disease. We developed a dolphin-specific ELISA to measure acute- and convalescent-phase PIV antibodies in dolphins during 1999–2006 with hemograms similar to that of the positive control. PIV seroconversion occurred concurrently with an abnormal hemogram in 22 animals, of which 7 (31.8%) had respiratory signs. Seroprevalence surveys were conducted on 114 healthy bottlenose dolphins in Florida and California. When the most conservative interpretation of positive was used, 11.4% of healthy dolphins were antibody positive, 29.8% were negative, and 58.8% were inconclusive. PIV appears to be a common marine mammal virus that may be of human health interest because of the similarity of TtPIV-1 to BPIV-3 and HPIV-3. PMID:18325253

  17. Exposure to novel parainfluenza virus and clinical relevance in 2 bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations.

    PubMed

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Rivera, Rebecca; Smith, Cynthia R; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Caseltine, Shannon; St Leger, Judy; Yochem, Pam; Wells, Randall S; Nollens, Hendrik

    2008-03-01

    Parainfluenza virus (PIV) is a leading cause of respiratory infections in humans. A novel virus closely related to human and bovine parainfluenza viruses types 3 (HPIV-3 and BPIV-3), named Tursiops truncatus parainfluenza virus type 1 (TtPIV-1), was isolated from a dolphin with respiratory disease. We developed a dolphin-specific ELISA to measure acute- and convalescent-phase PIV antibodies in dolphins during 1999-2006 with hemograms similar to that of the positive control. PIV seroconversion occurred concurrently with an abnormal hemogram in 22 animals, of which 7 (31.8%) had respiratory signs. Seroprevalence surveys were conducted on 114 healthy bottlenose dolphins in Florida and California. When the most conservative interpretation of positive was used, 11.4% of healthy dolphins were antibody positive, 29.8% were negative, and 58.8% were inconclusive. PIV appears to be a common marine mammal virus that may be of human health interest because of the similarity of TtPIV-1 to BPIV-3 and HPIV-3.

  18. Associations and the role of affiliative, agonistic, and socio-sexual behaviors among common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Harvey, Briana Seay; Dudzinski, Kathleen Maria; Kuczaj, Stan Abraham

    2017-02-01

    Little is known about the specific behavioral exchanges that occur on a day-to-day basis between dyads of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This study assesses the proportion of time dyads spend in proximity (within ∼2m) and the proportion of time spent in affiliative, agonistic, or socio-sexual contexts within and between age/sex dolphin pairings to better understand their social relationships. Observations of bottlenose dolphins housed at the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences provided 10.5h of underwater footage from which to examine association coefficients and inter-individual interactions. These data suggest similar patterns to previous studies on bottlenose dolphins: mother-calf dyads shared the highest coefficients of association, followed by male-male, female-female, and male-female dyads. Four classes of association coefficients were defined for the population including low, medium, medium-high and high. This study is the first to quantitatively assess association patterns concurrently with affiliative, agonistic, and socio-sexual behaviors for bottlenose dolphins. The predominant relationships were affiliative.

  19. The Metabolic Cost of Click Production in Bottlenose Dolphins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    of their acoustic signals as a strategy to help reduce the probability of masking from environmental sounds (NRC 2003). Although accumulating...date, the only empirical data on the metabolic cost of sound production as well as the metabolic cost of increasing the amplitude of acoustic signals...dolphins producing whistles and other communicative sounds (Holt et al. 2011 a, b, Noren et al. 2011). There is currently no information on energy

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2012-01-07

    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.

  2. Scanning electron microscopy of the orbital Harderian gland in the male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Ortiz, G G; Feria-Velasco, A; Pacheco-Moisés, F P; Rodríguez-Reinoso, S; Cruz-Ramos, J A; Rosales-Corral, S A; Reiter, R J

    2009-08-01

    The ultrastructure of the Harderian gland of Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We found the following surface features: the typical round appearance of the ascinar glandular unit with a finely granular surface, a thin cortex and immediately below two types of cells: type I cells (characterized by small lipid vacuoles) and type II cells (characterized by large lipid vacuoles). It has been suggested that different cells forms represent a single cell type in varying activity states. Additionally, a coalescent tubular complex, a small balloon-like structures and large globular structures were observed. These structures may be reservoirs of secretion products.

  3. Major pathologic findings and probable causes of mortality in bottlenose dolphins stranded in South Carolina from 1993 to 2006.

    PubMed

    McFee, Wayne E; Lipscomb, Thomas P

    2009-07-01

    Although cause-of-death information on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be located in the literature, few citations include mortality data over a long period of time covering a broad geographic region. This study describes major pathologic findings and probable causes of death of bottlenose dolphins over a 14-yr period (1993-2006) for the coastal region of South Carolina. Probable causes of death for 97 cases were determined based on gross pathology and histopathology. In an additional 30 cases, probable cause of death was apparent from gross pathology alone, and carcass condition precluded histopathology. Of the 97 dolphins examined grossly and histologically, 30 (31%) likely died of infectious disease and 46 (47%) of noninfectious disease; the cause of death was unknown in 21 (22%). Bacterial infections accounted for the large majority of fatal infections and emaciation was the leading cause of noninfectious mortality. Twelve dolphins were killed by human interactions. Of the 30 dolphins diagnosed from gross examination alone, 23 likely died from human interaction and seven were killed by stingray-spine inflictions. Although the absence of consistent use of microbiology, biotoxin analysis and contaminant testing decreases the conclusiveness of the findings, this study has broad implications in establishing baseline data on causes of death of bottlenose dolphins for future studies and for the detection of emerging diseases.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

    2015-11-07

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Fatal Sarcocystis canis-like hepatitis in an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in Hong Kong

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unlike most species in the genus Sarcocystis, Sarcocystis canis has a broad intermediate host range. Its life cycle is incompletely known and most reports are from the USA. Here we report fatal hepatitis in a 4 year old male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) from Hong Kong associate...

  10. [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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Source parameters of echolocation clicks from wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus and Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Wahlberg, Magnus; Jensen, Frants H; Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Beedholm, Kristian; Bejder, Lars; Oliveira, Cláudia; Rasmussen, Marianne; Simon, Malene; Villadsgaard, Anne; Madsen, Peter T

    2011-10-01

    The Indian Ocean and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus and Tursiops truncatus) are among the best studied echolocating toothed whales. However, almost all echolocation studies on bottlenose dolphins have been made with captive animals, and the echolocation signals of free-ranging animals have not been quantified. Here, biosonar source parameters from wild T. aduncus and T. truncatus were measured with linear three- and four-hydrophone arrays in four geographic locations. The two species had similar source parameters, with source levels of 177-228 dB re 1 μPa peak to peak, click durations of 8-72 μs, centroid frequencies of 33-109 kHz and rms bandwidths between 23 and 54 kHz. T. aduncus clicks had a higher frequency emphasis than T. truncatus. The transmission directionality index was up to 3 dB higher for T. aduncus (29 dB) as compared to T. truncatus (26 dB). The high directionality of T. aduncus does not appear to be only a physical consequence of a higher frequency emphasis in clicks, but may also be caused by differences in the internal properties of the sound production system.

  14. Depth dependent variation of the echolocation pulse rate of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Simard, Peter; Hibbard, Ashley L; McCallister, Kimberly A; Frankel, Adam S; Zeddies, David G; Sisson, Geoffrey M; Gowans, Shannon; Forys, Elizabeth A; Mann, David A

    2010-01-01

    Trained odontocetes appear to have good control over the timing (pulse rate) of their echolocation clicks; however, there is comparatively little information about how free-ranging odontocetes modify their echolocation in relation to their environment. This study investigates echolocation pulse rate in 14 groups of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) at a variety of depths (2.4-30.1 m) in the Gulf of Mexico. Linear regression models indicated a significant decrease in mean pulse rate with mean water depth. Pulse rates for most groups were multi-modal. Distance to target estimates were as high as 91.8 m, assuming that echolocation was produced at a maximal rate for the target distance. A 5.29-ms processing lag time was necessary to explain the pulse rate modes observed. Although echolocation is likely reverberation limited, these results support the hypotheses that free-ranging bottlenose dolphins in this area are adapting their echolocation signals for a variety of target detection and ranging purposes, and that the target distance is a function of water depth.

  15. Could relatedness help explain why individuals lead in bottlenose dolphin groups?

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Characterization of a parainfluenza virus isolated from a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Nollens, Hendrik H; Wellehan, James F X; Saliki, Jeremiah T; Caseltine, Shannon L; Jensen, Eric D; Van Bonn, William; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2008-04-30

    A novel member of the parainfluenza virus family was identified in a bottlenose dolphin with respiratory disease. The case animal was a 19-year old male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) that presented with signs of respiratory illness, including raspy, foul-odored breaths and cream-colored exudate from the blowhole. Focally extensive pyogranulomatous bronchointerstitial pneumonia with moderate numbers of intralesional yeast organisms was identified on histopathological examination. Other significant microscopic findings included multifocal erosive and ulcerative tracheitis and laryngitis consisting of active laryngeal lymphatic tissue and dilated glands with eosinophilic fluid. The cause of death was attributed to respiratory disease of unknown etiology. In addition to the postmortem isolation of Candida glabrata and mixed bacteria from lung tissue, a virus was isolated from two antemortem affected lung aspirates collected over a 2-month period and two postmortem samples (mediastinal lymph node and left lung tissue homogenate). The morphology of the virions on negative staining and transmission electron microscopy was consistent with that of paramyxoviruses. Two genomic fragments, comprising 532 and 419 nucleotides from the open reading frames that code for the viral polymerase and fusion protein, respectively, were amplified by polymerase chain reaction using degenerate primers. Phylogenetic analyses of the two viral RNA segments showed that the isolate comprised a novel virus strain, tentatively named T. truncatus parainfluenza virus type 1 (TtPIV-1). The virus is monophyletic with, but genetically distinct from, the various bovine parainfluenza virus type 3 strains.

  18. Evaluation of anti-Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae IgG response in bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus to a commercial pig vaccine.

    PubMed

    Nollens, Hendrik H; Giménez-Lirola, Luis G; Robeck, Todd R; Schmitt, Todd L; DiRocco, Stacy; Opriessnig, Tanja

    2016-10-27

    Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is the causative agent of erysipeloid in humans and of erysipelas in various animals, including bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus, in which an infection has the potential to cause peracute septicemia and death. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of using an off-label porcine (ER BAC PLUS®, Zoetis) E. rhusiopathiae bactrin in a bottlenose dolphin vaccination program by determining the anti-E. rhusiopathiae antibody levels in vaccinated dolphins over a 10 yr period. Serum samples (n = 88) were analyzed using a modified fluorescent microbead immunoassay from 54 dolphins, including 3 individuals with no history of vaccination and 51 dolphins with an average of 5 vaccinations, 3 of which had previously recovered from a natural E. rhusiopathiae infection. A mean 311-fold increase in the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody index was measured in a subsample of 10 dolphins 14 d after the first booster vaccination. Serum IgG antibody titers were influenced by number of vaccines received (r2 = 0.47, p < 0.05) but not by age, gender, history of natural infection, adverse vaccine reaction, vaccination interval or time since last vaccination. The commercial pig bacterin was deemed effective in generating humoral immunity against E. rhusiopathiae in dolphins. However, since the probability of an adverse reaction toward the vaccine was moderately correlated (p = 0.07, r2 = 0.1) with number of vaccines administered, more research is needed to determine the optimal vaccination interval.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Sociability of female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Understanding evolutionary pathways toward social convergence.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Heidi C

    2011-01-01

    On the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) occasionally pass through Admiralty Bay in large, fast-traveling groups of 100 or so individuals. Watching such a group race and splash through the water is reminiscent of a stampeding herd of ungulates, cetaceans' closest terrestrial ancestors. At other times, smaller social groups of bottlenose dolphins appear in the bay and provide a glimpse of the behavioral complexity that dolphins share with their distant relatives, the primates (Fig. 1). Despite being evolutionarily separated for 95 million years and evolving in vastly different environments, cetaceans and primates share striking similarities in behavior, socioecological problem-solving, life-history patterns, and cognitive capacity. By comparing attributes shared by primates and cetaceans, distraction from phylogenetic "noise" is minimized and our understanding of evolutionary pathways is enhanced. In particular, cetaceans provide a powerful outgroup for studying the evolution of primate social organization.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a Model to...overarching goal is to develop indicators and methods to quantify chronic stress in bottlenose dolphins . Much research has focused on the stimuli...noise, pollutant or toxin exposure, presence of predators, loss of prey, and/or habitat changes. The stress response is complex and difficult to

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a Model to...indicators and methods to quantify chronic stress in bottlenose dolphins . Much research has focused on the stimuli which induce stress in marine...exposure, presence of predators, loss of prey, and/or habitat changes. The stress response is complex and difficult to study experimentally in marine

  9. Complex social structure, alliance stability and mating access in a bottlenose dolphin 'super-alliance'.

    PubMed

    Connor, R C; Heithaus, M R; Barre, L M

    2001-02-07

    Large brain size in mammals has been related to the number and complexity of social relationships, particularly social alliances within groups. The largest within-group male alliance known outside of humans is found in a social network (> 400) of Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Shark Bay Western Australia. Members of this dolphin 'super-alliance' cooperate against other alliances over access to females. Males within the super-alliance form temporary trios and occasionally pairs in order to consort with individual females. The frequent switching of alliance partners suggests that social relationships among males within the super-alliance might be relatively simple and based on an equivalence rule', thereby allowing dolphins to form large alliances without taxing their 'social intelligence'. The equivalence model predicts that the 14 males in the super-alliance should not exhibit differences in alliance stability or partner preferences. However, data from 100 consortships do not support the equivalence hypothesis. The 14 males exhibited striking differences in alliance stability and partner preferences suggesting that the super-alliance has a complex internal structure. Further, within the super-alliance, alliance stability correlates with consortship rate, suggesting that differentiated relationships within the super-alliance are based on competition for access to females.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-23

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

  11. 'O father: where art thou?'--Paternity assessment in an open fission-fusion society of wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Krützen, Michael; Barré, Lynne M; Connor, Richard C; Mann, Janet; Sherwin, William B

    2004-07-01

    Sexually mature male bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay cooperate by pursuing distinct alliance strategies to monopolize females in reproductive condition. We present the results of a comprehensive study in a wild cetacean population to test whether male alliance membership is a prerequisite for reproductive success. We compared two methods for inferring paternity: both calculate a likelihood ratio, called the paternity index, between two opposing hypotheses, but they differ in the way that significance is applied to the data. The first method, a Bayesian approach commonly used in human paternity testing, appeared to be overly conservative for our data set, but would be less susceptible to assumptions if a larger number of microsatellite loci had been used. Using the second approach, the computer program cervus 2.0, we successfully assigned 11 paternities to nine males, and 17 paternities to 14 out of 139 sexually mature males at 95% and 80% confidence levels, respectively. It appears that being a member of a bottlenose dolphin alliance is not a prerequisite for paternity: two paternities were obtained by juvenile males (one at the 95%, the other at the 80% confidence level), suggesting that young males without alliance partners pursue different mating tactics to adults. Likelihood analyses showed that these two juvenile males were significantly more likely to be the true father of the offspring than to be their half-sibling (P < 0.05). Using paternity data at an 80% confidence level, we could show that reproductive success was significantly skewed within at least some stable first-order alliances (P < 0.01). Interestingly, there is powerful evidence that one mating was incestuous, with one calf apparently fathered by its mother's father (P < 0.01). Our study suggests that the reproductive success of both allied males, and of nonallied juveniles, needs to be incorporated into an adaptive framework that seeks to explain alliance formation in male bottlenose dolphins.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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.

  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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-02-01

    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.

  18. Coordinated breathing in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as cooperation: integrating proximate and ultimate explanations.

    PubMed

    Perelberg, Amir; Schuster, Richard

    2008-05-01

    In this study, coordinated breathing was studied in 13 common bottlenose dolphins because of its links with spontaneous coordinated behaviors (e.g., swimming, foraging, and playing). A strong link was shown between dyadic coordination levels and age/sex categories when both association patterns and spatial formation are considered. This is consistent with a significant influence of social relationships on cooperating and contrasts with an economic perspective based on immediate material outcomes alone. This cooperation bias is explained by linking proximate processes that evoke performance with ultimate evolutionary processes driven by long-term adaptive outcomes. Proximate processes can include 2 kinds of immediate outcomes: material reinforcements and affective states associated with acts of cooperating that can provide positive reinforcement regardless of immediate material benefits (e.g., when there is a time lag between cooperative acts and material outcomes). Affective states can then be adaptive by strengthening social relationships that lead to eventual gains in fitness.

  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. Stimulus control and auditory discrimination learning sets in the bottlenose dolphin1

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Louis M.; Arbeit, William R.

    1973-01-01

    The learning efficiency of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin was evaluated using auditory discrimination learning-set tasks. Efficiency, as measured by the probability of a correct response on Trial 2 of a new discrete-trial, two-choice auditory discrimination problem, reached levels comparable to those attained by advanced species of nonhuman primates. Runs of errorless problems in some cases rivaled those reported for individual rhesus monkeys in visual discrimination learning-set tasks. This level of stimulus control of responses to new auditory discriminanda was attained through (a) the development of a sequential within-trial method for presentation of a pair of auditory discriminanda; (b) the extensive use of fading methods to train initial discriminations, followed by the fadeout of the use of fading; (c) the development of listening behavior through control of the animal's responses during projection of the auditory discriminanda; and (d) the use of highly discriminable auditory stimuli, by applying results of a parametric evaluation of discriminability of selected acoustic variables. Learning efficiency was tested using a cueing method on Trial 1 of each new discrimination, to allow the animal to identify the positive stimulus before its response. Efficiency was also tested with the more common blind baiting method, in which the Trial 1 response was reinforced on only a random half of the problems. Efficiency was high for both methods. The overall results were generally in keeping with exceptations of learning capacity based on the large size and high degree of cortical complexity of the brain of the bottlenose dolphin. PMID:16811670

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. 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

  4. Feeding ecology of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops aduncus) incidentally caught in the gillnet fisheries off Zanzibar, Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amir, Omar A.; Berggren, Per; Ndaro, Simon G. M.; Jiddawi, Narriman S.

    2005-05-01

    The stomach contents of 26 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops aduncus) incidentally caught in gillnet fisheries around Unguja Island (Zanzibar) between February 2000 and August 2002 were examined. The relative importance of each prey species was assessed through indices of relative importance. In total, 1403 prey items comprising 50 species of bony fish and three species of squid were identified from food remains. Five species of fish, Uroconger lepturus, Synaphobranchus kaupii, Apogon apogonides, Lethrinus crocineus, Lutjanus fulvus, and three species of squid, Sepioteuthis lessoniana, Sepia latimanus and Loligo duvauceli, were the most important prey species. Based on an index that included frequency of occurrence, percentage by number and by weight, Uroconger lepturus proved to be the most important prey species of mature dolphins whereas Apogon apogonides was the preferred prey of immature dolphins. These results indicate that Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Zanzibar forage on a relatively large number of prey species, but that only a few small- and medium-sized neritic fish and cephalopods contribute substantially to the diet. Further, the ecology and behavior of the preferred fish prey species indicate that the dolphins forage over reef or soft bottom substrata and near the shore.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2016-08-09

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

  7. Fine-scale spatial variation of persistent organic pollutants in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Biscayne Bay, Florida.

    PubMed

    Litz, Jenny A; Garrison, Lance P; Fieber, Lynne A; Martinez, Anthony; Contillo, Joseph P; Kucklick, John R

    2007-11-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are long-term residents and apex predators in southeast U.S. estuaries and are vulnerable to bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Dart biopsy samples were collected from 45 dolphins in Biscayne Bay (Miami, FL), 34 of which were matched using fin markings to a photo identification catalogue. Blubber samples were analyzed for 73 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, six polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners, and organochlorine pesticides including dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) and metabolites, chlordanes, and dieldrin. Total PCBs (sigma 73PCBs) were present in the highest concentrations and were 5 times higher in males with sighting histories in the northern, metropolitan area of Biscayne Bay than males with sighting histories in the southern, more rural area [geometric mean: 43.3 (95% confidence interval: 28.0-66.9) vs 8.6 (6.3-11.9) microg/g wet mass, respectively]. All compound classes had higher concentrations in northern animals than southern. The differences in POP concentrations found on this small geographic scale demonstrate that differential habitat use can strongly influence pollutant concentrations and should be considered when interpreting bottlenose dolphin POP data. The PCB concentrations in northern Bay dolphins are high as compared to other studies of estuarine dolphins and may place these animals at risk of reproductive failure and decreased immune function.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Individual-Based Model Framework to Assess Population Consequences of Polychlorinated Biphenyl Exposure in Bottlenose Dolphins

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Ailsa J.; McConnell, Bernie J.; Rowles, Teri K.; Aguilar, Alex; Borrell, Asuncion; Schwacke, Lori; Reijnders, Peter J.H.; Wells, Randall S.

    2006-01-01

    Marine mammals are susceptible to the effects of anthropogenic contaminants. Here we examine the effect of different polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) accumulation scenarios on potential population growth rates using, as an example, data obtained for the population of bottlenose dolphins from Sarasota Bay, Florida. To achieve this goal, we developed an individual-based model framework that simulates the accumulation of PCBs in the population and modifies first-year calf survival based on maternal blubber PCB levels. In our example the current estimated annual PCB accumulation rate for the Sarasota Bay dolphin population might be depressing the potential population growth rate. However, our predictions are limited both by model naivety and parameter uncertainty. We emphasize the need for more data collection on the relationship between maternal blubber PCB levels and calf survivorship, the annual accumulation of PCBs in the blubber of females, and the transfer of PCBs to the calf through the placenta and during lactation. Such data require continued efforts directed toward long-term studies of known individuals in wild and semi-wild populations. PMID:16818247

  14. Passive acoustic localization of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin using whistles and echolocation clicks.

    PubMed

    Freitag, L E; Tyack, P L

    1993-04-01

    A method for localization and tracking of calling marine mammals was tested under realistic field conditions that include noise, multipath, and arbitrarily located sensors. Experiments were performed in two locations using four and six hydrophones with captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Acoustic signals from the animals were collected in the field using a digital acoustic data acquisition system. The data were then processed off-line to determine relative hydrophone positions and the animal locations. Accurate hydrophone position estimates are achieved by pinging sequentially from each hydrophone to all the others. A two-step least-squares algorithm is then used to determine sensor locations from the calibration data. Animal locations are determined by estimating the time differences of arrival of the dolphin signals at the different sensors. The peak of a matched filter output or the first cycle of the observed waveform is used to determine arrival time of an echolocation click. Cross correlation between hydrophones is used to determine inter-sensor time delays of whistles. Calculation of source location using the time difference of arrival measurements is done using a least-squares solution to minimize error. These preliminary experimental results based on a small set of data show that realistic trajectories for moving animals may be generated from consecutive location estimates.

  15. 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

  16. Fine-scale genetic population structure in a mobile marine mammal: inshore bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay, Australia.

    PubMed

    Ansmann, Ina C; Parra, Guido J; Lanyon, Janet M; Seddon, Jennifer M

    2012-09-01

    Highly mobile marine species in areas with no obvious geographic barriers are expected to show low levels of genetic differentiation. However, small-scale variation in habitat may lead to resource polymorphisms and drive local differentiation by adaptive divergence. Using nuclear microsatellite genotyping at 20 loci, and mitochondrial control region sequencing, we investigated fine-scale population structuring of inshore bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) inhabiting a range of habitats in and around Moreton Bay, Australia. Bayesian structure analysis identified two genetic clusters within Moreton Bay, with evidence of admixture between them (F(ST) = 0.05, P = 0.001). There was only weak isolation by distance but one cluster of dolphins was more likely to be found in shallow southern areas and the other in the deeper waters of the central northern bay. In further analysis removing admixed individuals, southern dolphins appeared genetically restricted with lower levels of variation (AR = 3.252, π = 0.003) and high mean relatedness (r = 0.239) between individuals. In contrast, northern dolphins were more diverse (AR = 4.850, π = 0.009) and were mixing with a group of dolphins outside the bay (microsatellite-based STRUCTURE analysis), which appears to have historically been distinct from the bay dolphins (mtDNA Φ(ST) = 0.272, P < 0.001). This study demonstrates the ability of genetic techniques to expose fine-scale patterns of population structure and explore their origins and mechanisms. A complex variety of inter-related factors including local habitat variation, differential resource use, social behaviour and learning, and anthropogenic disturbances are likely to have played a role in driving fine-scale population structure among bottlenose dolphins in Moreton Bay.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-14

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2014-06-07

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Robeck, T R; Dalton, L M

    2002-12-01

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

  9. Don't forget the porpoise: acoustic monitoring reveals fine scale temporal variation between bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise in Cardigan Bay SAC.

    PubMed

    Nuuttila, Hanna K; Courtene-Jones, Winnie; Baulch, Sarah; Simon, Malene; Evans, Peter G H

    2017-01-01

    Populations of bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise inhabit Cardigan Bay, which was designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), with bottlenose dolphin listed as a primary feature for its conservation status. Understanding the abundance, distribution and habitat use of species is fundamental for conservation and the implementation of management. Bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise usage of feeding sites within Cardigan Bay SAC was examined using passive acoustic monitoring. Acoustic detections recorded with calibrated T-PODs (acoustic data loggers) indicated harbour porpoise to be present year round and in greater relative abundance than bottlenose dolphin. Fine-scale temporal partitioning between the species occurred at three levels: (1) seasonal differences, consistent between years, with porpoise detections peaking in winter months and dolphin detections in summer months; (2) diel variation, consistent across sites, seasons and years, with porpoise detections highest at night and dolphin detections highest shortly after sunrise; and (3) tidal variation was observed with peak dolphin detections occurring during ebb at the middle of the tidal cycle and before low tide, whereas harbour porpoise detections were highest at slack water, during and after high water with a secondary peak recorded during and after low water. General Additive Models (GAMs) were applied to better understand the effects of each covariate. The reported abundance and distribution of the two species, along with the temporal variation observed, have implications for the design and management of protected areas. Currently, in the UK, no SACs have been formally designated for harbour porpoise while three exist for bottlenose dolphins. Here, we demonstrate a need for increased protection and species-specific mitigation measures for harbour porpoise.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Intra- and Interspecific Interactions as Proximate Determinants of Sexual Dimorphism and Allometric Trajectories in the Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinidae)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Feeding adaptation, social behaviour, and interspecific interactions related to sexual dimorphism and allometric growth are particularly challenging to be investigated in the high sexual monomorphic Delphinidae. We used geometric morphometrics to extensively explore sexual dimorphism and ontogenetic allometry of different projections of the skull and the mandible of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Two-dimensional landmarks were recorded on the dorsal, ventral, lateral, and occipital views of the skull, and on the lateral view of the left and the right mandible of 104 specimens from the Mediterranean and the North Seas, differing environmental condition and degree of interspecific associations. Landmark configurations were transformed, standardized and superimposed through a Generalized Procrustes Analysis. Size and shape differences between adult males and females were respectively evaluated through ANOVA on centroid size, Procrustes ANOVA on Procrustes distances, and MANOVA on Procrustes coordinates. Ontogenetic allometry was investigated by multivariate regression of shape coordinates on centroid size in the largest homogenous sample from the North Sea. Results evidenced sexual dimorphic asymmetric traits only detected in the adults of the North Sea bottlenose dolphins living in monospecific associations, with females bearing a marked incision of the cavity hosting the left tympanic bulla. These differences were related to a more refined echolocalization system that likely enhances the exploitation of local resources by philopatric females. Distinct shape in immature versus mature stages and asymmetric changes in postnatal allometry of dorsal and occipital traits, suggest that differences between males and females are established early during growth. Allometric growth trajectories differed between males and females for the ventral view of the skull. Allometric trajectories differed among projections of skull and mandible, and were related to dietary

  15. Intra- and Interspecific Interactions as Proximate Determinants of Sexual Dimorphism and Allometric Trajectories in the Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinidae).

    PubMed

    de Francesco, Maria Carla; Loy, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Feeding adaptation, social behaviour, and interspecific interactions related to sexual dimorphism and allometric growth are particularly challenging to be investigated in the high sexual monomorphic Delphinidae. We used geometric morphometrics to extensively explore sexual dimorphism and ontogenetic allometry of different projections of the skull and the mandible of the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Two-dimensional landmarks were recorded on the dorsal, ventral, lateral, and occipital views of the skull, and on the lateral view of the left and the right mandible of 104 specimens from the Mediterranean and the North Seas, differing environmental condition and degree of interspecific associations. Landmark configurations were transformed, standardized and superimposed through a Generalized Procrustes Analysis. Size and shape differences between adult males and females were respectively evaluated through ANOVA on centroid size, Procrustes ANOVA on Procrustes distances, and MANOVA on Procrustes coordinates. Ontogenetic allometry was investigated by multivariate regression of shape coordinates on centroid size in the largest homogenous sample from the North Sea. Results evidenced sexual dimorphic asymmetric traits only detected in the adults of the North Sea bottlenose dolphins living in monospecific associations, with females bearing a marked incision of the cavity hosting the left tympanic bulla. These differences were related to a more refined echolocalization system that likely enhances the exploitation of local resources by philopatric females. Distinct shape in immature versus mature stages and asymmetric changes in postnatal allometry of dorsal and occipital traits, suggest that differences between males and females are established early during growth. Allometric growth trajectories differed between males and females for the ventral view of the skull. Allometric trajectories differed among projections of skull and mandible, and were related to dietary

  16. 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

  17. Epidermal diseases in bottlenose dolphins: impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors.

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, B; Arnold, H; Bearzi, G; Fortuna, C M; Gaspar, R; Ingram, S; Liret, C; Pribanić, S; Read, A J; Ridoux, V; Schneider, K; Urian, K W; Wells, R S; Wood, C; Thompson, P M; Hammond, P S

    1999-01-01

    Experimental studies have highlighted the potential influence of contaminants on marine mammal immune function and anthropogenic contaminants are commonly believed to influence the development of diseases observed in the wild. However, estimates of the impact of contaminants on wild populations are constrained by uncertainty over natural variation in disease patterns under different environmental conditions. We used photographic techniques to compare levels of epidermal disease in ten coastal populations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exposed to a wide range of natural and anthropogenic conditions. Epidermal lesions were common in all populations (affecting > 60% of individuals), but both the prevalence and severity of 15 lesion categories varied between populations. No relationships were found between epidermal disease and contaminant levels across the four populations for which toxicological data were available. In contrast, there were highly significant linear relationships with oceanographic variables. In particular, populations from areas of low water temperature and low salinity exhibited higher lesion prevalence and severity. Such conditions may impact on epidermal integrity or produce more general physiological stress, potentially making animals more vulnerable to natural infections or anthropogenic factors. These results show that variations in natural environmental factors must be accounted for when investigating the importance of anthropogenic impacts on disease in wild marine mammals. PMID:10380684

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2015-09-22

    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.

  20. 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.

  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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  5. Contrasting relatedness patterns in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) with different alliance strategies.

    PubMed

    Krützen, Michael; Sherwin, William B; Connor, Richard C; Barré, Lynne M; Van de Casteele, Tom; Mann, Janet; Brooks, Robert

    2003-03-07

    Male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay have one of the most complex male societies outside humans. Two broad mating strategies have been identified in males. In the first strategy, there are two types of alliances: stable 'first-order' pairs and trios that herd individual females in reproductive condition, and 'second-order' teams of two first-order alliances (five or six individuals) that join forces against rivals in contests for females. In the alternative strategy, a 'super-alliance' of ca. 14 individuals, males form pairs or trios to herd females, but in contrast to the stable alliances, these pairs and trios are highly labile. Here, we show that males in stable first-order alliances and the derived second-order alliances are often strongly related, so that they may gain inclusive fitness benefits from alliance membership. By contrast, members of the super-alliance are no more closely related than expected by chance. Further, the strength of the association of alliance partners within the super-alliance, as measured by an index of joint participation in consorting a female, was not correlated with their genetic relatedness. Thus, within one population and one sex, it appears that there may be simultaneous operation of more than one mode of group formation.

  6. Morphology of the lymphoid organs of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

    PubMed Central

    COWAN, DANIEL F.; SMITH, TOBY L.

    1999-01-01

    The anatomy of the lymphoid organs was studied during the course of detailed dissections of 50 beach-stranded bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Constant lymph nodes occur in 4 groups, based on their location and structure. These groups are somatic, including nodes of the cervical region and pelvic recess; lung-associated, included marginal, diaphragmatic and hilar nodes; visceral, including the mesenteric, pancreatic, pericolic and porta hepatis nodes; and aortic arch nodes. Lymphatic drainage of the lung is primarily to the marginal and diaphragmatic nodes. The mesenteric node mass is well-endowed with capsular and trabecular smooth muscle, and a network of muscle fascicles within the organ implies an important contractile function in the circulation of lymph. In addition to constant nodes, occasionally nodes are found in relation to the thoracic aorta, the kidney, and under the scapula. Gut-associated structures include dorsal and ventral oropharyngeal tonsils, mucosal aggregates in the straight segment of the intestine (colon) and anal tonsils; this gut-associated lymphoid tissue tends to involute with age, being greatly reduced by puberty. Formed lymphoid organs include the thymus and the spleen, the latter being relatively small in relation to body size. None of these structures is unique among cetaceans, but the anal tonsils are particularly well developed in T. truncatus. The lymphoid aggregates in the colon resemble the arrangement in the vermiform appendix, which is lacking in most cetaceans, and may have functions analogous to that organ. PMID:10445819

  7. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) prefer to cooperate when petted: Integrating proximate and ultimate explanations II.

    PubMed

    Perelberg, Amir; Schuster, Richard

    2009-02-01

    Cooperation poses theoretical problems because the behaviors of individuals can benefit others. Evolutionary and game-theory explanations that focus on maximizing one's own material outcomes are usually supported by experimental models with isolated and anonymous subjects. Cooperation in the natural world, however, is often a social act whereby familiar individuals coordinate behaviors for shared outcomes. Social cooperation is also associated with a cooperation bias expressed as a preference for cooperation even when noncooperation is immediately more beneficial. The authors report on evidence for such a bias in a captive group of bottlenose dolphins that voluntarily preferred to receive petting from human guides by using a pairwise coordinated approach, even though this was more difficult, and total petting amount was thereby reduced. To explain why this bias occurs, the authors propose an integrated behavioral-evolutionary approach whereby performance is determined by two kinds of immediate outcomes: material gains and intrinsic affective states associated with cooperating. The latter can provide reinforcement when immediate material gains are reduced, delayed, or absent. Over a lifetime, this proximate mechanism can lead to cooperative relationships whose long-term ultimate consequences can be adaptive.

  8. The acoustic field on the forehead of echolocating Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Au, Whitlow W L; Houser, Dorian S; Finneran, James J; Lee, Wu-Jung; Talmadge, Lois A; Moore, Patrick W

    2010-09-01

    Arrays of up to six broadband suction cup hydrophones were placed on the forehead of two bottlenose dolphins to determine the location where the beam axis emerges and to examine how signals in the acoustic near-field relate to signals in the far-field. Four different array geometries were used; a linear one with hydrophones arranged along the midline of the forehead, and two around the front of the melon at 1.4 and 4.2 cm above the rostrum insertion, and one across the melon in certain locations not measured by other configurations. The beam axis was found to be close to the midline of the melon, approximately 5.4 cm above the rostrum insert for both animals. The signal path coincided with the low-density, low-velocity core of the melon; however, the data suggest that the signals are focused mainly by the air sacs. Slight asymmetry in the signals were found with higher amplitudes on the right side of the forehead. Although the signal waveform measured on the melon appeared distorted, when they are mathematically summed in the far-field, taking into account the relative time of arrival of the signals, the resultant waveform matched that measured by the hydrophone located at 1 m.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Aerobic microorganisms associated with free-ranging bottlenose dolphins in coastal Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean waters.

    PubMed

    Buck, John D; Wells, Randall S; Rhinehart, Howard L; Hansen, Larry J

    2006-07-01

    Our abilities to assess health risks to free-ranging dolphin populations, to treat live-stranded or captive dolphins, and to evaluate the risks of disease transmission between humans and dolphins have suffered from a lack of basic information on microorganisms associated with normal, presumably healthy free-ranging individuals. In order to provide these data, we sampled free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off Florida, Texas, and North Carolina during 1990-2002. Blowhole and anal/fecal samples yielded 1,871 bacteria and yeast isolates and included 85 different species or groups of organisms. Vibrios, unidentified pseudomonads, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus spp., and a large group of nonfermenting gram-negative bacteria represented >50% of isolates. Vibrio alginolyticus and Vibrio damsela were the most commonly recovered bacteria from both anal/fecal and blowhole samples. Many organisms occurred sporadically in dolphins that were sampled repeatedly, but some were consistently isolated from individual animals and may indicate the carrier state. Vibrios were common, but some geographic variability in the presence of these and other organisms was noted. Potential pathogens of significance to humans and other animals were recovered.

  13. 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

    2014-05-07

    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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ardente, AJ; Garrett, TJ; Wells, RS; Walsh, M; Smith, CR; Colee, J; Hill, RC

    2016-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins managed under human care, human beings and Dalmatian dogs are prone to forming urate uroliths. Limiting dietary purine intake limits urate urolith formation in people and dogs because purines are metabolized to uric acid, which is excreted in urine. Managed dolphins develop ammonium urate nephroliths, whereas free-ranging dolphins do not. Free-ranging dolphins consume live fish, whereas managed dolphins consume different species that have been stored frozen and thawed. Differences in the purine content of fish consumed by dolphins under human care versus in the wild may be responsible for the difference in urolith prevalence. Commercially available purine assays measure only four purines, but reported changes in purines during frozen storage suggest that a wider range of metabolites should be measured when comparing fresh and stored fish. A method using high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry was developed to quantify eight purine metabolites in whole fish and squid commonly consumed by dolphins. The coefficient of variation within and among days was sometimes high for purines present in small amounts but was acceptable (≤ 25%) for guanine, hypoxanthine, and inosine, which were present in high concentrations. This expanded assay identified a total purine content up to 2.5 times greater than the total that would be quantified if only four purines were measured. Assuming additional purines are absorbed, these results suggest that additional purine metabolites should be measured to better understand the associated risk when fish or other purine-rich foods are consumed by people or animals prone to developing uroliths. PMID:27904786

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    Understand Variation in Stress and Reproductive Hormones Measures in Relation to Sampling Matrix, Demographics, and Environmental Factors Lori... reproductive function along the HPA axis, all of which may cumulatively lead to decreased survival and/or inability to reproduce. For this reason...2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE The Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a Model to Understand Variation in Stress and Reproductive Hormones

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Restricted dispersal in a continuously distributed marine species: common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in coastal waters of the western North Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Rosel, P E; Hansen, L; Hohn, A A

    2009-12-01

    The marine environment provides an opportunity to examine population structure in species with high dispersal capabilities and often no obvious barriers to genetic exchange. In coastal waters of the western North Atlantic, common bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, are a highly mobile species with a continuous distribution from New York to Florida. We examine if the highly mobile nature coupled with no obvious geographic barriers to movement in this region result in a large panmictic population. Mitochondrial control region sequences and 18 microsatellite loci indicate dolphins are partitioning the habitat both latitudinally and longitudinally. A minimum of five genetically differentiated populations were identified among 404 samples collected in the range of New Jersey to northern Florida using both genetic marker types, some inhabiting nearshore coastal waters and others utilizing inshore estuarine waters. The genetic results reject the hypothesis of a single stock of coastal bottlenose dolphins put forth after the 1987-1988 epizootic that caused a large-scale die-off of dolphins and suggest instead the disease vector was transferred from one population to the next as a result of seasonal migratory movements of some populations. These coastal Atlantic populations also differ significantly from bottlenose dolphin samples collected in coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico, implying a long-term barrier to movement between the two basins.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Expression and localization of aquaporin-1 on the apical membrane of enterocytes in the small intestine of bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Miwa

    2010-02-01

    The small and large intestines are primary sites for water intake in mammals. To reveal how water is absorbed in the intestines of cetaceans, histological and molecular-biological studies were performed on the small intestine of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. In histological studies using fresh specimens, obvious villi and deep crypts of Lieberkühn, lined by abundant enterocytes with microvilli and goblet cells, were observed in the mucosa. Expressions and immunolocalizations of aquaporin-1 (AQP1), a member of the water-selective channel termed AQP, were also investigated in the intestine. By reverse transcriptional polymerase chain reaction and rapid amplification of cDNA ends using RNA extracted from the dolphins' small intestines, the full length of mRNA for AQP1 was sequenced. The deductive amino acid sequence for an open reading frame showed high homologies with other mammals' AQP1, and water permeability of the protein was certified by cRNA injection to Xenopus oocytes. Immunohistochemistry showed AQP1 distribution on the apical membrane of the enterocytes, especially in the crypts. These data suggest that AQP1 is a channel protein responsible for water absorption in the small intestine of dolphins.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Effect of cryopreservation methods and precryopreservation storage on bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Robeck, T R; O'Brien, J K

    2004-05-01

    Research was conducted to develop an effective method for cryopreserving bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) semen processed immediately after collection or after 24-h liquid storage. In each of two experiments, four ejaculates were collected from three males. In experiment 1, three cryopreservation methods (CM1, CM2, and CM3), two straw sizes (0.25 and 0.5 ml), and three thawing rates (slow, medium, and fast) were evaluated. Evaluations were conducted at collection, prefreeze, and 0-, 3-, and 6-h postthaw. A sperm motility index (SMI; total motility [TM] x % progressive motility [PPM] x kinetic rating [KR, scale of 0-5]) was calculated and expressed as a percentage MI of the initial ejaculate. For all ejaculates, initial TM and PPM were greater than 85%, and KR was five. At 0-h postthaw, differences in SMI among cryopreservation methods and thaw rates were observed (P < 0.05), but no effect of straw size was observed. In experiment 2, ejaculates were divided into four aliquots for dilution (1:1) and storage at 4 degrees C with a skim milk- glucose or a N-tris(hydroxymethyl)methyl-2-aminoethane sulfonic acid (TES)-TRIS egg yolk solution and at 21 degrees C with a Hepes-Tyrode balanced salt solution (containing bovine albumin and HEPES) (TALP) medium or no dilution. After 24 h, samples were frozen and thawed (CM3, 0.5-ml straws, fast thawing rate) at 20 x 10(6) spermatozoa ml(-1) (low concentration) or at 100 x 10(6) spermatozoa ml(-1) (standard concentration). The SMI at 0-h postthaw was higher for samples stored at 4 degrees C than for samples stored at 21 degrees C (P < 0.001), and at 6-h postthaw, the SMI was higher for samples frozen at the standard concentration than for samples frozen at the low concentration (P < 0.05). For both experiments, acrosome integrity was similar across treatments. In summary, a semen cryopreservation protocol applied to fresh or liquid-stored semen maintained high levels of initial ejaculate sperm characteristics.

  14. Toxic element concentrations in the bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's (Grampus griseus) dolphins stranded in eastern Adriatic Sea.

    PubMed

    Bilandžić, Nina; Sedak, Marija; Ðokić, Maja; Ðuras Gomerčić, Martina; Gomerčić, Tomislav; Zadravec, Manuela; Benić, Miroslav; Prevendar Crnić, Andrea

    2012-09-01

    Concentrations of cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) were measured in muscle, liver and kidney of three cetacean species, the bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's (Grampus griseus) dolphins from the Croatian waters of the Adriatic Sea. In all three dolphin species Cd levels decreased in tissues in the order: kidney > liver > muscle, while As and Pb decreased in the order: liver > kidney > muscle for striped and Risso's dolphins, but with the order reversed for liver and kidney in the bottlenose dolphin for Pb. Levels of Hg consistently followed the order: liver > muscle > kidney, with mean concentrations in the liver being 11-34 times higher than in the other tissues. The highest mean concentrations of trace elements were measured in Risso's dolphins at 14.9 μg/g wet weight, for Cd in the kidney, and concentrations in the liver of 2.41, 1,115 and 0.63 μg/g for As, Hg and Pb, respectively. Statistically significant differences between the three dolphin species were determined for Cd, Hg and Pb in liver tissues, for As in muscle and for Cd in kidney. Significant correlations of metals between tissues were determined in all three species. The results presented give an indication of the environmental condition with regard to the content of toxic metals along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Experimental measurements of lung resonant frequencies in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and white whale (Delphinapterus leucas)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finneran, James J.

    2003-04-01

    An acoustic backscatter technique was used to estimate in vivo whole-lung resonant frequencies in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and a 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 subjects' lungs while insonified with pure tones at frequencies from 16 to 100 Hz. Whole-lung resonant frequencies were estimated by comparing pressures measured near the subjects' lungs to those measured from the same location without the subject present. Experimentally measured resonant frequencies and damping ratios were much higher than those predicted using equivalent volume spherical air bubble models. The experimental technique, data analysis method, and discrepancy between the observed and predicted values will be discussed. The potential effects of depth on the resonance frequencies will also be discussed.

  19. A new Synthesium species (Digenea: Brachycladiidae) from the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in Southwestern Atlantic waters.

    PubMed

    Ebert, Mariana B; Mülller, Maria I; Marigo, Juliana; Valente, Ana L S; Cremer, Marta J; da Silva, Reinaldo J

    2017-03-14

    A new species of Synthesium from the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus in South Brazilian waters is described. Morphological and molecular identification was performed, and phylogenetic analyses were carried out using the ribosomal small subunit and internal transcribed spacer 1 and the mitochondrial NDH dehydrogenase subunit 3 and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 genes. The main characteristics of the new species are the subterminal round-shaped oral sucker, the anterior distribution of vitellaria reaching the level of the ovary and the oval-shaped testes. The results obtained with the molecular markers supported the inclusion of the specimens into the genus Synthesium. The nucleotide divergence detected for the mitochondrial genes among the new species and others of the same genus supported the erection of a new species. This is the ninth species assigned to the genus and the third Synthesium species recorded in the South Atlantic Ocean.

  20. 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.

  1. Estrous cycle characterisation and artificial insemination using frozen-thawed spermatozoa in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

    Robeck, T R; Steinman, K J; Yoshioka, M; Jensen, E; O'Brien, J K; Katsumata, E; Gili, C; McBain, J F; Sweeney, J; Monfort, S L

    2005-05-01

    The reproductive endocrinology of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, was characterized to facilitate the development of artificial insemination using cryopreserved spermatozoa. Specific objectives were: (i) to determine the excretory dynamics of urinary luteinizing hormone (LH) and ovarian steroid metabolites during the estrous cycle; (ii) to evaluate the effect of an exogenously administered synthetic progesterone analog (altrenogest) on reproductive hormone excretion; (iii) to correlate follicular growth and ovulation (as determined by transabdominal ultrasound) to urinary LH and ovarian steroid metabolites; (iv) examine the in vivo fertilisation capacity of cryopreserved semen, and (v) to develop an intrauterine insemination technique. Based on urinary endocrine monitoring of natural estrous cycles (2 consecutive cycles) and nine post altrenogest cycles in ten females, estrous cycles were found to be 36 days long and comprised of an 8 day and 19 day follicular and luteal phase, respectively. Peak estrogen conjugates (EC; 5.4+/-3.8 ng/mg creatinine (Cr)) occurred 8 h prior to the LH surge (70.9+/-115.7 ng/mg Cr). The time of ovulation, as determined by ultrasonography, occurred 32.1+/-8.9 h and 24.3+/-7.0 h after the onset of the LH surge and LH peak, respectively. Mean preovulatory follicular diameter and circumference were 2.1+/-0.5 cm and 6.5+/-1.5 cm, respectively. Of the 27 estrous synchronisation attempts, 13 resulted in an ovulatory cycle, with ovulation occurring 21 days post-altrenogest treatment. Intrauterine (4 of 5) and intracornual (1 of 3) inseminations conducted across eight estrous cycles resulted in five pregnancies (63%), one pregnancy resulted from the use of liquid stored semen, whereas four were achieved using cryopreserved semen. These data provide new information on female bottlenose dolphin reproductive physiology, and demonstrate that the combination of endocrine monitoring and serial ultrasonography contributed to successful AI

  2. The distribution and stratification of persistent organic pollutants and fatty acids in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) blubber.

    PubMed

    Ellisor, Debra; McLellan, William; Koopman, Heather; Schwacke, Lori; McFee, Wayne; Kucklick, John

    2013-10-01

    Blubber has been used for decades to monitor exposure of marine mammals to persistent organic pollutants (POPs). However, little is known about POP variability as a function of blubber depth and across the body of the animal. Remote blubber biopsy sampling (e.g, projectile biopsy) is the most common technique used to acquire samples from free-swimming animals, yet such techniques may result in variable sampling. It is important to understand whether blubber stratification or body location affects POP concentration or the concentration of other important blubber constituents such as fatty acids (FA). To investigate the influence of sampling depth and location on POP concentration, full depth blubber samples were taken from one stranded bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) at six different body sites to assess variation in FA distribution and contaminant storage with body location. Three of the samples from different body locations were separated into histologically distinct layers to examine the effect of blubber depth and body location on POPs and FAs. In this individual, both POPs and FAs were heterogeneous with blubber depth and body location. POP concentrations were significantly greater in ventral (average ΣPBDEs 1350 ng/g lipid) and anterior (average ΣPCBs 28,700 ng/g lipid) body locations and greater in the superficial blubber layer (average ΣPCBs 35,500 ng/g lipid) when compared to the deep (8390 ng/g lipid) and middle (23,700 ng/g lipid) layers. Proportionally more dietary FAs were found in dorsal blubber and in middle and deep layers relative to other locations while the reverse was true for biosynthesized FAs. Stratification was further examined in blubber from the same body location in five additional stranded bottlenose dolphins. Although FAs were stratified with blubber depth, lipid-normalized POPs were not significantly different with depth, indicating that POP concentrations can vary in an individual with blubber depth though the direction of

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Auditory filter shapes for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) derived with notched noise.

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

    Auditory filter shapes were estimated in two bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and one white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) using a behavioral response paradigm and notched noise. Masked thresholds were measured at 20 and 30 kHz. Masking noise was centered at the test tone and had a bandwidth of 1.5 times the tone frequency. Half-notch width to center frequency ratios were 0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.375, and 0.5. Noise spectral density levels were 90 and 105 dB re: 1 microPa2/Hz. Filter shapes were approximated using a roex(p,r) function; the parameters p and r were found by fitting the integral of the roex(p,r) function to the measured threshold data. Mean equivalent rectangular bandwidths (ERBs) calculated from the filter shapes were 11.8 and 17.1% of the center frequency at 20 and 30 kHz, respectively, for the dolphins and 9.1 and 15.3% of the center frequency at 20 and 30 kHz, respectively, for the white whale. Filter shapes were broader at 30 kHz and 105 dB re: 1 microPa2/Hz masking noise. The results are in general agreement with previous estimates of ERBs in Tursiops obtained with a behavioral response paradigm.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Junko; Ohta, Mitsuaki

    2007-02-01

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

  9. Spatial variation in the accumulation of POPs and mercury in bottlenose dolphins of the Lower Florida Keys and the coastal Everglades (South Florida).

    PubMed

    Damseaux, France; Kiszka, Jeremy J; Heithaus, Michael R; Scholl, George; Eppe, Gauthier; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Lewis, Jennifer; Hao, Wensi; Fontaine, Michaël C; Das, Krishna

    2017-01-01

    The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an upper trophic level predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of southern Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE). The objective of this study was to assess contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in skin and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, DDXs, HCHs, HCB, Σ PCDD/Fs and Σ DL-PCBs) in blubber samples of bottlenose dolphins from LFK (n = 27) and FCE (n = 24). PCBs were the major class of compounds found in bottlenose dolphin blubber and were higher in individuals from LFK (Σ 6 PCBs LFK males: 13,421 ± 7730 ng g(-1) lipids, Σ 6 PCBs LFK females: 9683 ± 19,007 ng g(-1) lipids) than from FCE (Σ 6 PCBs FCE males: 5638 ng g(-1) ± 3627 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs FCE females: 1427 ± 908 ng g(-1) lipids). These levels were lower than previously published data from the southeastern USA. The Σ DL-PCBs were the most prevalent pollutants of dioxin and dioxin like compounds (Σ DL-PCBs LFK: 739 ng g(-1) lipids, Σ DL-PCBs FCE: 183 ng g(-1) lipids) since PCDD/F concentrations were low for both locations (mean 0.1 ng g(-1) lipids for LFK and FCE dolphins). The toxicity equivalences of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs expressed as TEQ in LFK and FCE dolphins is mainly expressed by DL-PCBs (81% LFK - 65% FCE). T-Hg concentrations in skin were significantly higher in FCE (FCE median 9314 ng g(-1) dw) compared to LFK dolphins (LFK median 2941 ng g(-1) dw). These concentrations are the highest recorded in bottlenose dolphins in the southeastern USA, and may be explained, at least partially, by the biogeochemistry of the Everglades and mangrove sedimentary habitats that create favourable conditions for the retention of mercury and make it available at high concentrations for aquatic predators.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  12. 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

    2012-08-07

    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.

  13. 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. .

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Auditory Masking Patterns in Bottlenose Dolphins from Anthropogenic and Natural Noise Sources

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    124(1), 625-633. 11 Erbe, C. (2008). Critical ratios of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) and masked signal duration. Journal of the Acoustical...each of the three whistle-like sounds in FIG 2. For example, when the sound in FIG. 2A was presented, the dolphin was trained to swim and touch a...nylon rope (FIG. 3). If the sound in FIG. 2B was presented, the dolphin swam and touched a water filled aluminum bottle. All three signals had identical

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Low-frequency acoustic pressure, velocity, and intensity thresholds in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and white whale (Delphinapterus leucas).

    PubMed

    Finneran, James J; Carder, Donald A; Ridgway, Sam H

    2002-01-01

    The relative contributions of acoustic pressure and particle velocity to the low-frequency, underwater hearing abilities of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) were investigated by measuring (masked) hearing thresholds while manipulating the relationship between the pressure and velocity. This was accomplished by varying the distance within the near field of a single underwater sound projector (experiment I) and using two underwater sound projectors and an active sound control system (experiment II). The results of experiment I showed no significant change in pressure thresholds as the distance between the subject and the sound source was changed. In contrast, velocity thresholds tended to increase and intensity thresholds tended to decrease as the source distance decreased. These data suggest that acoustic pressure is a better indicator of threshold, compared to particle velocity or mean active intensity, in the subjects tested. Interpretation of the results of experiment II (the active sound control system) was difficult because of complex acoustic conditions and the unknown effects of the subject on the generated acoustic field; however, these data also tend to support the results of experiment I and suggest that odontocete thresholds should be reported in units of acoustic pressure, rather than intensity.

  7. Low-frequency acoustic pressure, velocity, and intensity thresholds in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and white whale (Delphinapterus leucas)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

    The relative contributions of acoustic pressure and particle velocity to the low-frequency, underwater hearing abilities of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) were investigated by measuring (masked) hearing thresholds while manipulating the relationship between the pressure and velocity. This was accomplished by varying the distance within the near field of a single underwater sound projector (experiment I) and using two underwater sound projectors and an active sound control system (experiment II). The results of experiment I showed no significant change in pressure thresholds as the distance between the subject and the sound source was changed. In contrast, velocity thresholds tended to increase and intensity thresholds tended to decrease as the source distance decreased. These data suggest that acoustic pressure is a better indicator of threshold, compared to particle velocity or mean active intensity, in the subjects tested. Interpretation of the results of experiment II (the active sound control system) was difficult because of complex acoustic conditions and the unknown effects of the subject on the generated acoustic field; however, these data also tend to support the results of experiment I and suggest that odontocete thresholds should be reported in units of acoustic pressure, rather than intensity.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. [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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    Between 1990 and 2007, carcasses of opportunistically collected short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis; n=238), Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus; n=167), and common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus; n=15) were examined for parasites and life history data. Three species of lung nematodes (Halocercus lagenorhynchi, Stenurus ovatus, Pharurus alatus) were identified in surface nodules, subsurface lesions, or airways. Nematode burdens were light to heavy and, in many cases, would have compromised the dolphins' health. The number of dolphins infected was related to species, year, season, age class, and geographic region. Nematodes were found in all three species but were more prevalent in short-beaked common dolphins (mean annual prevalence=26%) than in bottlenose dolphins (12%). There was a significant increase in prevalence of nematodes in short-beaked common dolphins in 2005-06 (63%) compared to 1990-2004 (14%), with a peak in April-June. More young short-beaked common dolphins were infected than subadults and adults and, during the unusual infection event, there were more dependent calves (<130 cm) than juveniles. There were also more infections in dependent bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops spp.) calves but no increase in overall prevalence was detected during 2005-06. Because neonates of both short-beaked common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins were infected, mother-to-calf transmission is suspected for these species in South Australia. Numbers of infections in short-beaked common dolphins were higher in Gulf St Vincent than elsewhere in South Australia, particularly in 2005-06. The cause of the unusual infection event in short-beaked common dolphins is unknown. We discuss the influence of dolphin diet, life history, and external factors.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-18

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    The objectives of this study were to validate a relaxin and progesterone RIA for use in bottlenose dolphins, and quantify and characterize both hormones in extracts of placental tissue and serum collected during pregnancy and the post-partum period, and compare the results between dolphins with live and stillborn calves. In Experiment 1, validation of a heterologous relaxin and progesterone RIA involved specific displacement of antibody-bound radiolabeled human relaxin or progesterone in response to increasing volumes of pooled pregnant dolphin serum and amounts of respective hormone standards added to a fixed volume of serum. The displacement curves were considered parallel and additive relative to respective standard curves. In Experiment 2, immunoreactive relaxin and progesterone were detected in placental extracts and, in corresponding serum samples, concentrations of both hormones were higher during the pre-partum than post-partum periods. Circulatory concentrations of progesterone decreased (P < 0.05) from relatively high concentrations during early and mid-pregnancy to intermediate concentrations by late pregnancy (month effect, P < 0.0001) in dolphins with live births, whereas, in dolphins with stillbirths, the decrease in progesterone began earlier (month-by-birth status interaction, P < 0.007); mean concentrations were lower at mid- (37%, P < 0.06) and late (25%) pregnancy. Temporally, relaxin increased (P < 0.05) progressively from relatively low concentrations during early pregnancy to high concentrations during late pregnancy (month effect, P < 0.0001) and was not different between birth statuses (birth status effect, P = 0.76; month-by-birth status interaction, P = 0.17). Even though the interaction did not reach significance, mean relaxin concentrations were 42%, 29%, and 34% lower at early, mid-, and late pregnancy, respectively, in dolphins with stillbirths than in those with live births. In conclusion, the pregnancy-specific increase in serum

  18. Perfluoroalkylphosphinic Acids in Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Relation to Other Perfluoroalkyl Acids.

    PubMed

    De Silva, Amila O; Spencer, Christine; Ho, Ki Chung D; Al Tarhuni, Mohammed; Go, Christopher; Houde, Magali; de Solla, Shane R; Lavoie, Raphael A; King, Laura E; Muir, Derek C G; Fair, Patricia A; Wells, Randall S; Bossart, Gregory D

    2016-10-18

    Perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPIAs) are perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that are used for their surfactant properties in a variety of applications, resulting in their presence in environmental waters; however, they have not been widely studied in biota. A survey of PFPIAs was conducted in fish, dolphins, and birds from various locations in North America. Northern pike (Esox lucius) were collected at two locations in 2011 near Montréal Island in the St. Lawrence River, Canada, double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were collected from bird colonies in the Great Lakes in 2010-2012, and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL and Charleston Harbor, SC were sampled in 2004-2009. PFPIAs had a detection frequency of 100% in all animals. This is the first report of PFPIAs in fish, dolphin, and bird plasma. Total PFPIA levels (mean ± standard deviation, 1.87 ± 2.17 ng/g wet weight (ww), range of 0.112-15.3 ng/g ww) were 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than those of perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCA) and perfluoroalkanesulfonates (PFSA) in the same samples. The predominant congeners were 6:8 PFPIA (cormorants and pike) and 6:6 PFPIA (dolphins). Total PFPIAs in cormorants from Hamilton Harbour (5.02 ± 2.80 ng/g ww) were statistically higher than in other areas and taxonomic groups. The ubiquity of PFPIAs warrants further research on sources and effects of these unique compounds.

  19. 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.

  20. Temporary shift in masked hearing thresholds of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, and white whales, Delphinapterus leucas, after exposure to intense tones.

    PubMed

    Schlundt, C E; Finneran, J J; Carder, D A; Ridgway, S H

    2000-06-01

    A behavioral response paradigm was used to measure masked underwater hearing thresholds in five bottlenose dolphins and two white whales before and immediately after exposure to intense 1-s tones at 0.4, 3, 10, 20, and 75 kHz. The resulting levels of fatiguing stimuli necessary to induce 6 dB or larger masked temporary threshold shifts (MTTSs) were generally between 192 and 201 dB re: 1 microPa. The exceptions occurred at 75 kHz, where one dolphin exhibited an MTTS after exposure at 182 dB re: 1 microPa and the other dolphin did not show any shift after exposure to maximum levels of 193 dB re: 1 microPa, and at 0.4 kHz, where no subjects exhibited shifts at levels up to 193 dB re: 1 microPa. The shifts occurred most often at frequencies above the fatiguing stimulus. Dolphins began to exhibit altered behavior at levels of 178-193 dB re: 1 microPa and above; white whales displayed altered behavior at 180-196 dB re: 1 microPa and above. At the conclusion of the study all thresholds were at baseline values. These data confirm that cetaceans are susceptible to temporary threshold shifts (TTS) and that small levels of TTS may be fully recovered.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

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

  2. 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,

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Auditory and behavioral responses of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) to impulsive sounds resembling distant signatures of underwater explosions.

    PubMed

    Finneran, J J; Schlundt, C E; Carder, D A; Clark, J A; Young, J A; Gaspin, J B; Ridgway, S H

    2000-07-01

    A behavioral response paradigm was used to measure masked underwater hearing thresholds in two bottlenose dolphins and one beluga whale before and after exposure to impulsive underwater sounds with waveforms resembling distant signatures of underwater explosions. An array of piezoelectric transducers was used to generate impulsive sounds with waveforms approximating those predicted from 5 or 500 kg HBX-1 charges at ranges from 1.5 to 55.6 km. At the conclusion of the study, no temporary shifts in masked-hearing thresholds (MTTSs), defined as a 6-dB or larger increase in threshold over pre-exposure levels, had been observed at the highest impulse level generated (500 kg at 1.7 km, peak pressure 70 kPa); however, disruptions of the animals' trained behaviors began to occur at exposures corresponding to 5 kg at 9.3 km and 5 kg at 1.5 km for the dolphins and 500 kg at 1.9 km for the beluga whale. These data are the first direct information regarding the effects of distant underwater explosion signatures on the hearing abilities of odontocetes.

  9. 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

    2015-04-15

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Dolphins as animal models for type 2 diabetes: sustained, post-prandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia.

    PubMed

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie; Carlin, Kevin; Ridgway, Sam

    2011-01-01

    There is currently no known natural animal model that fully complements type 2 diabetes in humans. Criteria for a true natural animal model include the presence of a fasting hyperglycemia, evidence of insulin resistance, and pathologies matching that reported in humans. To investigate the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as a comparative model for type 2 diabetes in humans, hourly plasma and urine chemistry changes, including glucose, were analyzed among five healthy, adult dolphins for 24 h following ingestion of 2.5-3.5 kg of mackerel or 2-3 L of 10% dextrose in ionosol. Fasting and 2 h post-prandial insulin levels were also determined among five adult dolphins to assess the presence of hyperinsulinemia. Finally, a case-control study compared insulin and glucagon levels among dolphins with and without iron overload, a condition associated with insulin resistance in humans. Both protein and dextrose meals caused significant increases in plasma glucose during the 0-5 h post-prandial period; dolphins fed dextrose demonstrated a sustained hyperglycemia lasting 5-10 h. Fasting plasma insulin levels among healthy dolphins mimicked those found in humans with some insulin resistance. Dolphins with hemochromatosis had higher post-prandial plasma insulin levels compared to controls. We conclude that bottlenose dolphins can demonstrate metabolic responses consistent with type 2 diabetes, specifically sustained hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Understanding more about how and why dolphins have a diabetes-like metabolism may provide new research avenues for diabetes in humans.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [Viruses of whales and dolphins].

    PubMed

    Birkun, A A

    1996-01-01

    DNA- and RNA-genome viruses of whales and dolphins belong to families Poxviridae, Herpesviridae, Adenoviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Togaviridae, Picornaviridae. Virological, serological and pathomorphological signs of infection have been registered in Odontoceti (bottle-nosed dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, striped dolphin, harbona porpoise, white-beaked dolphin, common dolphin, sperm whale, pilot whale, white whale) and Musticeti (sei whale, fin whale, gray whale, and bowheaded whale). A brief characteristic of diseases is presented. No relations of some viruses with pathologic states of Cetacea were found.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Atypical residency of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) to a shallow, urbanized embayment in south-eastern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Salgado Kent, Chandra; Donnelly, David; Weir, Jeffrey; Bilgmann, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) are typically considered highly mobile, offshore delphinids. This study assessed the residency of a small community of short-beaked common dolphins in the shallow, urbanized Port Phillip Bay, south-eastern Australia. The ability to identify common dolphins by their dorsal fin markings and coloration using photo-identification was also investigated. Systematic and non-systematic boat surveys were undertaken between 2007 and 2014. Results showed that 13 adult common dolphins and their offspring inhabit Port Phillip Bay, of which 10 adults exhibit residency to the bay. The majority of these adults are reproductively active females, suggesting that female philopatry may occur in the community. Systematic surveys conducted between 2012 and 2014 revealed that the dolphins were found in a median water depth of 16 m and median distance of 2.2 km from the coast. The shallow, urbanized habitat of this resident common dolphin community is atypical for this species. As a result, these common dolphins face threats usually associated with inshore bottlenose dolphin communities. We suggest that the Port Phillip Bay common dolphin community is considered and managed separate to those outside the embayment and offshore to ensure the community's long-term viability and residency in the bay. PMID:27703709

  5. Atypical residency of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) to a shallow, urbanized embayment in south-eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Mason, Suzanne; Salgado Kent, Chandra; Donnelly, David; Weir, Jeffrey; Bilgmann, Kerstin

    2016-09-01

    Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) are typically considered highly mobile, offshore delphinids. This study assessed the residency of a small community of short-beaked common dolphins in the shallow, urbanized Port Phillip Bay, south-eastern Australia. The ability to identify common dolphins by their dorsal fin markings and coloration using photo-identification was also investigated. Systematic and non-systematic boat surveys were undertaken between 2007 and 2014. Results showed that 13 adult common dolphins and their offspring inhabit Port Phillip Bay, of which 10 adults exhibit residency to the bay. The majority of these adults are reproductively active females, suggesting that female philopatry may occur in the community. Systematic surveys conducted between 2012 and 2014 revealed that the dolphins were found in a median water depth of 16 m and median distance of 2.2 km from the coast. The shallow, urbanized habitat of this resident common dolphin community is atypical for this species. As a result, these common dolphins face threats usually associated with inshore bottlenose dolphin communities. We suggest that the Port Phillip Bay common dolphin community is considered and managed separate to those outside the embayment and offshore to ensure the community's long-term viability and residency in the bay.

  6. Stress Hormones and Their Regulation in a Captive Dolphin Population

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Stress Hormones and Their Regulation in a Captive Dolphin ...understanding of how the stress response operates in marine mammals by evaluating markers of stress in a captive dolphin population. This research effort will...determine baseline levels of putative stress hormones and evaluate the functional consequences of increased stress in the bottlenose dolphin

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    and induce deleterious effects . Prolonged elevation of GC hormones can lead to chronic immune suppression and inhibition of other energy-expending...understanding of the effects of biological and chemical stressors on dolphin population health. Capture-release studies have been conducted in the...Florida Panhandle where we are investigating the effects of chronic algal toxin exposure, in southeast Georgia where we are examining the impacts of

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Body and self in dolphins.

    PubMed

    Herman, Louis M

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Dolphin Continuous Auditory Vigilance for Five Days

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    Brett Giroir, Amy Kruse between sleep and eye state in Cetaceans and Pinnipeds . Arch Ital. Biol. 142, 557-568.and Lisa Ely for support and encouragement...Brain Res. Suppl. Cockcroft, V. G. and Ross, G. J. B. (1990). Observations on the early 8, 227-238. development of a captive Bottlenose Dolphin calf. In...Soc. Am. 119, 3181-3192. mammal health: measures of the nervous and immune systems before and Flanigan, W. F., Jr (1974). Nocturnal behavior of captive

  19. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    stimulation experiments, an animal’s hormonal and physiological response to a simulated stressor can be evaluated. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is...1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Stress Hormones and Their Regulation in a Captive...will determine baseline levels of putative stress hormones and evaluate the functional consequences of increased stress in the bottlenose dolphin

  1. Accumulation of organotin compounds in tissues and organs of dolphins from the coasts of Thailand.

    PubMed

    Harino, Hiroya; Ohji, Madoka; Wattayakorn, Gullaya; Adulyanukosol, Karnjana; Arai, Takaomi; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki

    2008-01-01

    The concentration of organotin (OT) in seven species of dolphin (bottlenose dolphin, finless porpoise, Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin, long-beaked common dolphin, Pantropical spotted dolphin, spinner dolphin, and striped dolphin), which were stranded on the coasts of Thailand, were measured. Butyltin (BT) and phenyltin (PT) compounds in tissues and organs of the dolphins were in the range of 16-1,152 microg kg(-1) and <1-62 microg kg(-1), respectively. The highest concentration of tributyltin (TBT) was generally observed in the liver. Because of the lower concentration of TPT, a trend in body distribution was not observed. Monobutyltin (MBT) among all the BTs was the dominant species in tissues and most organs except the liver. However, dibutyltin (DBT) was predominant in the liver. Monophenyltin (MPT) was not detected in all dolphins in the study. The higher concentration of BTs was observed with the increase in body length of dolphins. On the other hand, no significant difference in the concentration of OTs between genders was observed. The concentrations of OTs in tissues and organs were compared among dolphin, whales, and dugongs stranded on the coasts of Thailand. The concentrations of BTs were high and in the order of whales > dugongs > dolphins and the concentrations of PTs in whales were higher than those in dolphins and dugongs.

  2. Post-mortem investigations on stranded dolphins and porpoises from Hong Kong waters.

    PubMed

    Parsons, E C; Jefferson, T A

    2000-04-01

    Stranded cetaceans reported from the territorial waters of Hong Kong during the period May 1993 to March 1998 were examined to establish factors that may have contributed to their death. During the current study, 28 Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins (Sousa chinensis), 32 finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides), and four bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were necropsied. Bacteria (15 species) were isolated from nine animals. Of these bacteria, 47% were of possible fecal origin reflecting the high level of sewage contamination in Hong Kong's waters. One finless porpoise displayed wounds caused by a shark attack, and two female finless porpoises presented prolapsed uteri. At least 10 finless porpoises showed evidence of moderate to heavy lungworm infections (Halocercus pingi), and this appears to have been a factor contributing to death in at least six animals. Evidence suggesting blunt traumatic injury (probably caused by boat collisions) was found in six cetaceans (three finless porpoises and three hump-backed dolphins). Signs of fishery-related mortality were detected in at least nine animals (six hump-backed dolphins, two finless porpoises, and one bottlenose dolphin). Of these two human-caused mortality types, pre-existing disease or bacterial infection were detected in 29% of cases. Results indicate that human factors may have played a significant role in the death of at least 15 animals (32% of hump-backed dolphins, 15% of finless porpoises, and 25% of bottlenose dolphins).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Big brains and blood glucose: common ground for diabetes mellitus in humans and healthy dolphins.

    PubMed

    Venn-Watson, Stephanie K; Ridgway, Sam H

    2007-08-01

    Healthy Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have a sustained postprandial hyperglycemia, producing a prolonged glucose tolerance curve and a transient, diabetes mellitus-like state during 6 to 72 h of fasting. To further assess dolphins as comparative models for diabetes in humans, we hypothesized that a suite of hematological and clinical biochemistry changes during the fasting state may mimic those reported in humans with diabetes. We conducted a retrospective analysis of covariance to compare fasting and nonfasting hematologic and serum biochemical data, including 1161 routine blood samples from 52 healthy bottlenose dolphins (age, 1 to 49 y; male and female) collected during 1998 through 2005. Most changes found in dolphins during the fasting state--including significantly increased glucose, platelets, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, and alkaline phosphatase; significantly decreased serum uric acid; and shifts toward a metabolic acidodic state (significantly increased blood CO2)--have been previously associated with diabetes mellitus in humans. Therefore, healthy bottlenose dolphins may be the first complete and natural comparative animal model for diabetes mellitus in humans. Similarities between dolphins and humans, including metabolic changes associated with high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets; large brain-to-mass ratios; high central nervous system demands for glucose; and similarly unique blood glucose-carrying capacities should be further assessed to better understand the potential evolutionary paths of diabetes mellitus in these 2 species.

  6. Distribution and development of the highly specialized lipids in the sound reception systems of dolphins.

    PubMed

    Zahorodny Duggan, Zoey P; Koopman, Heather N; Budge, Suzanne M

    2009-08-01

    Fat bodies in the heads of toothed whales, which serve to transmit and receive sound, represent extraordinary examples of physiological specialization in adipose tissues among mammals, yet we know surprisingly little about their biochemical composition. We describe the spatial distributions and development of unusual endogenous lipids (branched-chain ["iso"] molecules and wax esters) in the mandibular fat bodies of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) using an ontogenetic series (fetus to adult; n = 10). Although concentrations of iso-acids, iso-alcohols and waxes were lower in younger dolphins than in adults, the same relative spatial arrangement was present in all age classes, implying a set "pattern" of acoustic lipid distribution that is established very early in life. In all age classes, a small region of blubber overlying the lateral region contained unusually high concentrations of iso-acids, exhibiting a tenfold increase over "normal" adjacent blubber. Being chemically more similar to the acoustic fat bodies, this region may serve as an entry point for sound into the head. Developmental accumulations of some iso-acids and iso-alcohols occurred more rapidly than others, implying that not only are the spatial distributions of branched-chain molecules under extremely fine-scale control, but the regulatory mechanisms controlling acoustic lipid synthesis are also highly complex.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Culture in whales and dolphins.

    PubMed

    Rendell, L; Whitehead, H

    2001-04-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-25

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. Hearing loss in stranded odontocete dolphins and whales.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-11-03

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

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

  17. 50 CFR 229.35 - Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... a gillnet constructed with a mesh size greater than or equal to 7-inches (17.8 cm) stretched mesh... less than 7-inches (17.8 cm) stretched mesh. New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland State waters means the...) stretched mesh. South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida waters means the area consisting of all marine...

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tomonaga, Masaki; Uwano, Yuka; Saito, Toyoshi

    2014-01-16

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

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

    PubMed

    Finn, Julian; Tregenza, Tom; Norman, Mark

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) in tissues of humans, dolphins, and sharks from the United States.

    PubMed

    Johnson-Restrepo, Boris; Adams, Douglas H; Kannan, Kurunthachalam

    2008-02-01

    Concentrations of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and alpha-, beta-, and gamma-isomers of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) in human adipose tissue obtained in New York City, and in three marine top-level predators--bottlenose dolphin, bull shark, and Atlantic sharpnose shark--collected from coastal waters of Florida, USA. The overall mean concentrations (mean+/-SD) of TBBPA and HBCDs were 0.048+/-0.102 and 0.333+/-0.571 ng/g lipid wt in human adipose tissue samples, 1.2+/-3 and 7.38+/-18 ng/g lipid wt in bottlenose dolphin blubber, 9.5+/-12 and 77.7+/-128 ng/g lipid wt in bull shark muscle, and 0.872+/-0.5 and 54.5+/-88 ng/g lipid wt in Atlantic sharpnose shark muscle. Overall mean concentrations of HBCDs were 5-10-fold higher than mean TBBPA concentrations, in all of the samples analyzed. The highest concentrations of TBBPA and HBCDs were detected in the bull shark muscle at concentrations of 35.6 and 413 ng/g, lipid wt, respectively. Concentrations of TBBPA and HBCDs, after log-transformation, were significantly correlated with each other in human adipose tissue and bottlenose dolphin blubber, but not in bull shark muscle samples. In the human adipose tissue samples, the concentrations of HBCDs were 3-4 orders of magnitude lower than the concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) previously reported for the same set of tissue samples. Concentrations of HBCDs in human samples from the United States were 1-5-fold lower than the concentrations reported from several European countries. HBCD concentrations in bottlenose dolphins from the United States were 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than the concentrations reported for other cetacean species from Europe. The present report is the first to determine levels of TBBPA and HBCDs in humans, bottlenose dolphins, and sharks from the United States.

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

    PubMed

    Nishita, Miki; Shirakihara, Miki; Amano, Masao

    2015-11-26

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

  17. Vocal reporting of echolocation targets: dolphins often report before click trains end.

    PubMed

    Ridgway, S H; Elsberry, W R; Blackwood, D J; Kamolnick, T; Todd, M; Carder, D A; Chaplin, Monica; Cranford, T W

    2012-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) wore opaque suction cups over their eyes while stationing behind an acoustically opaque door. This put the dolphins in a known position and orientation. When the door opened, the dolphin clicked to detect targets. Trainers specified that Dolphin S emit a whistle if the target was a 7.5 cm water filled sphere, or a pulse burst if the target was a rock. S remained quiet if there was no target. Dolphin B whistled for the sphere. She remained quiet for rock and for no target. Thus, S had to choose between three different responses, whistle, pulse burst, or remain quiet. B had to choose between two different responses, whistle or remain quiet. S gave correct vocal responses averaging 114 ms after her last echolocation click (range 182 ms before and 219 ms after the last click). Average response for B was 21 ms before her last echolocation click (range 250 ms before and 95 ms after the last click in the train). More often than not, B began her whistle response before her echolocation train ended. The findings suggest separate neural pathways for generation of response vocalizations as opposed to echolocation clicks.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Neural time and movement time in choice of whistle or pulse burst responses to different auditory stimuli by dolphins.

    PubMed

    Ridgway, Sam H

    2011-02-01

    Echolocating dolphins emit trains of clicks and receive echoes from ocean targets. They often emit each successive ranging click about 20 ms after arrival of the target echo. In echolocation, decisions must be made about the target--fish or fowl, predator or food. In the first test of dolphin auditory decision speed, three bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) chose whistle or pulse burst responses to different auditory stimuli randomly presented without warning in rapid succession under computer control. The animals were trained to hold pressure catheters in the nasal cavity so that pressure increases required for sound production could be used to split response time (RT) into neural time and movement time. Mean RT in the youngest and fastest dolphin ranged from 175 to 213 ms when responding to tones and from 213 to 275 ms responding to pulse trains. The fastest neural times and movement times were around 60 ms. The results suggest that echolocating dolphins tune to a rhythm so that succeeding pulses in a train are produced about 20 ms over target round-trip travel time. The dolphin nervous system has evolved for rapid processing of acoustic stimuli to accommodate for the more rapid sound speed in water compared to air.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Resolving the Trophic Relations of Cryptic Species: An Example Using Stable Isotope Analysis of Dolphin Teeth

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Kylie; Charlton-Robb, Kate; Thompson, Ross

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the foraging ecology and diet of animals can play a crucial role in conservation of a species. This is particularly true where species are cryptic and coexist in environments where observing feeding behaviour directly is difficult. Here we present the first information on the foraging ecology of a recently identified species of dolphin (Southern Australian bottlenose dolphin (SABD)) and comparisons to the common bottlenose dolphin (CBD) in Victoria, Australia, using stable isotope analysis of teeth. Stable isotope signatures differed significantly between SABD and CBD for both δ13C (−14.4‰ vs. −15.5‰ respectively) and δ15N (15.9‰ vs. 15.0‰ respectively), suggesting that the two species forage in different areas and consume different prey. This finding supports genetic and morphological data indicating that SABD are distinct from CBD. In Victoria, the SABD is divided into two distinct populations, one in the large drowned river system of Port Phillip Bay and the other in a series of coastal lakes and lagoons called the Gippsland Lakes. Within the SABD species, population differences were apparent. The Port Phillip Bay population displayed a significantly higher δ15N than the Gippsland Lakes population (17.0‰ vs. 15.5‰), suggesting that the Port Phillip Bay population may feed at a higher trophic level - a result which is supported by analysis of local food chains. Important future work is required to further understand the foraging ecology and diet of this newly described, endemic, and potentially endangered species of dolphin. PMID:21364748

  10. Photographic mark-recapture analysis of local dynamics within an open population of dolphins.

    PubMed

    Fearnbach, H; Durban, J; Parsons, K; Claridge, D

    2012-07-01

    Identifying demographic changes is important for understanding population dynamics. However, this requires long-term studies of definable populations of distinct individuals, which can be particularly challenging when studying mobile cetaceans in the marine environment. We collected photo-identification data from 19 years (1992-2010) to assess the dynamics of a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) restricted to the shallow (<7 m) waters of Little Bahama Bank, northern Bahamas. This population was known to range beyond our study area, so we adopted a Bayesian mixture modeling approach to mark-recapture to identify clusters of individuals that used the area to different extents, and we specifically estimated trends in survival, recruitment, and abundance of a "resident" population with high probabilities of identification. There was a high probability (p= 0.97) of a long-term decrease in the size of this resident population from a maximum of 47 dolphins (95% highest posterior density intervals, HPDI = 29-61) in 1996 to a minimum of just 24 dolphins (95% HPDI = 14-37) in 2009, a decline of 49% (95% HPDI = approximately 5% to approximately 75%). This was driven by low per capita recruitment (average approximately 0.02) that could not compensate for relatively low apparent survival rates (average approximately 0.94). Notably, there was a significant increase in apparent mortality (approximately 5 apparent mortalities vs. approximately 2 on average) in 1999 when two intense hurricanes passed over the study area, with a high probability (p = 0.83) of a drop below the average survival probability (approximately 0.91 in 1999; approximately 0.94, on average). As such, our mark-recapture approach enabled us to make useful inference about local dynamics within an open population of bottlenose dolphins; this should be applicable to other studies challenged by sampling highly mobile individuals with heterogeneous space use.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Do Dolphins Rehearse Show-Stimuli When at Rest? Delayed Matching of Auditory Memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying vocal mimicry in animals remain an open question. Delphinidae are able to copy sounds from their environment that are not produced by conspecifics. Usually, these mimicries occur associated with the context in which they were learned. No reports address the question of separation between auditory memory formation and spontaneous vocal copying although the sensory and motor phases of vocal learning are separated in a variety of songbirds. Here we show that captive bottlenose dolphins produce, during their nighttime resting periods, non-dolphin sounds that they heard during performance shows. Generally, in the middle of the night, these animals produced vocal copies of whale sounds that had been broadcast during daily public shows. As their life history was fully known, we know that these captive dolphins had never had the opportunity to hear whale sounds before then. Moreover, recordings made before the whale sounds started being broadcast revealed that they had never emitted such sounds before. This is to our knowledge the first evidence for a separation between formation of auditory memories and the process of learning to produce calls that match these memories in a marine mammal. One hypothesis is that dolphins may rehearse some special events heard during the daytime and that they then express vocally what could be conceived as a more global memory. These results open the way for broader views on how animals might rehearse life events while resting or maybe dreaming. PMID:22232611

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Cross-Reactivity between Immunoglobulin G Antibodies of Whales and Dolphins Correlates with Evolutionary Distance▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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 γ 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 γ 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Dolphin biosonar signals measured at extreme off-axis angles: insights to sound propagation in the head.

    PubMed

    Au, Whitlow W L; Branstetter, Brian; Moore, Patrick W; Finneran, James J

    2012-08-01

    Biosonar signals radiated along the beam axis of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin resemble short transient oscillations. As the azimuth of the measuring hydrophones in the horizontal plane progressively increases with respect to the beam axis the signals become progressively distorted. At approximately ±45°, the signals begin to divide into two components with the time difference between the components increasing with increasing angles. At ±90° or normal to the longitudinal axis of the animal, the time difference between the two pulses measured by the hydrophone on the right side of the dolphin's head is, on average, ∼11.9 μs larger than the time differences observed by the hydrophone on the left side of the dolphin's head. The center frequency of the first pulse is generally lower, by 33-47 kHz, than the center frequency of the second pulse. When considering the relative locations of the two phonic lips, the data suggest that the signals are being produced by one of the phonic lips and the second pulse resulting from a reflection within the head of the animal. The generation of biosonar signals is a complex process and the propagation pathways through the dolphin's head are not well understood.

  11. Sustained Swimming Speeds of Dolphins.

    PubMed

    Johannessen, C L; Harder, J A

    1960-11-25

    Observations of fout large groups of dolphins suggest that they are able to swim at a sustained speed of 14 to 18 knots. The blackfish are able to maintain speeds of about 22 knots, and one killer whale seemed able to swim somewhat faster. This implies that the apparent coefficient of surface friction remains approximately constant for dolphins from 6 to 22 ft long, as is the case for rigid bodies.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Helicobacter cetorum sp. nov., a urease-positive Helicobacter species isolated from dolphins and whales.

    PubMed

    Harper, C G; Feng, Y; Xu, S; Taylor, N S; Kinsel, M; Dewhirst, F E; Paster, B J; Greenwell, M; Levine, G; Rogers, A; Fox, J G

    2002-12-01

    A novel helicobacter with the proposed name Helicobacter cetorum, sp. nov. (type strain MIT 99-5656; GenBank accession number AF 292378), was cultured from the main stomach of two wild, stranded Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus) and from the feces of three captive cetaceans (a Pacific white-sided dolphin [Lagenorhynchus obliquidens]; an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin [Tursiops truncatus]; and a beluga whale [Delphinapterus leucas]). The infected captive cetaceans were either subclinical, or clinical signs included intermittent regurgitation, inappetance, weight loss, and lethargy. Ulcers were observed in the esophagus and forestomach during endoscopic examination in two of the three captive animals. In the third animal, esophageal linear erosions were visualized endoscopically, and histopathological evaluation of the main stomach revealed multifocal lymphoplasmacytic gastritis with silver-stained spiral-shaped bacteria. Helicobacter cetorum is a fusiform gram-negative bacterium with a single bipolar flagellum. The isolates grow under microaerobic conditions at 37 and 42 degrees C but not at 25 degrees C. H. cetorum is urease, catalase, and oxidase positive, and it is sensitive to cephalothin. The isolates from the wild, stranded dolphins were sensitive to nalidixic acid, whereas the isolates from the collection animals were resistant. By 16S rRNA sequencing it was determined that H. cetorum represented a distinct taxon that clusters most closely with H. pylori. Further studies are necessary to determine the role of H. cetorum in the development of gastric ulcers and gastritis of cetaceans. This is the first description and formal naming of a novel Helicobacter species from a marine mammal.

  17. Sonar-induced temporary hearing loss in dolphins.

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-23

    There is increasing concern that human-produced ocean noise is adversely affecting marine mammals, as several recent cetacean mass strandings may have been caused by animals' interactions with naval 'mid-frequency' sonar. However, it has yet to be empirically demonstrated how sonar could induce these strandings or cause physiological effects. In controlled experimental studies, we show that mid-frequency sonar can induce temporary hearing loss in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Mild-behavioural alterations were also associated with the exposures. The auditory effects were induced only by repeated exposures to intense sonar pings with total sound exposure levels of 214 dB re: 1 microPa(2) s. Data support an increasing energy model to predict temporary noise-induced hearing loss and indicate that odontocete noise exposure effects bear trends similar to terrestrial mammals. Thus, sonar can induce physiological and behavioural effects in at least one species of odontocete; however, exposures must be of prolonged, high sound exposures levels to generate these effects.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Social and genetic interactions drive fitness variation in a free-living dolphin population

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Celine H.; Krützen, Michael; Mann, Janet; Connor, Richard C.; Bejder, Lars; Sherwin, William B.

    2010-01-01

    The evolutionary forces that drive fitness variation in species are of considerable interest. Despite this, the relative importance and interactions of genetic and social factors involved in the evolution of fitness traits in wild mammalian populations are largely unknown. To date, a few studies have demonstrated that fitness might be influenced by either social factors or genes in natural populations, but none have explored how the combined effect of social and genetic parameters might interact to influence fitness. Drawing from a long-term study of wild bottlenose dolphins in the eastern gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia, we present a unique approach to understanding these interactions. Our study shows that female calving success depends on both genetic inheritance and social bonds. Moreover, we demonstrate that interactions between social and genetic factors also influence female fitness. Therefore, our study represents a major methodological advance, and provides critical insights into the interplay of genetic and social parameters of fitness. PMID:21041638

  3. Social and genetic interactions drive fitness variation in a free-living dolphin population.

    PubMed

    Frère, Celine H; Krützen, Michael; Mann, Janet; Connor, Richard C; Bejder, Lars; Sherwin, William B

    2010-11-16

    The evolutionary forces that drive fitness variation in species are of considerable interest. Despite this, the relative importance and interactions of genetic and social factors involved in the evolution of fitness traits in wild mammalian populations are largely unknown. To date, a few studies have demonstrated that fitness might be influenced by either social factors or genes in natural populations, but none have explored how the combined effect of social and genetic parameters might interact to influence fitness. Drawing from a long-term study of wild bottlenose dolphins in the eastern gulf of Shark Bay, Western Australia, we present a unique approach to understanding these interactions. Our study shows that female calving success depends on both genetic inheritance and social bonds. Moreover, we demonstrate that interactions between social and genetic factors also influence female fitness. Therefore, our study represents a major methodological advance, and provides critical insights into the interplay of genetic and social parameters of fitness.

  4. Auditory Masking Patterns in Bottlenose Dolphins from Anthropogenic and Natural Sound Sources

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    biological sounds (snapping shrimp, humpback whale song, pinniped chorus, whale social sounds ), natural non- biological sounds (rain, ice-squeaks...Humpback whale , pinniped chorus, whale social sounds and C-tractor sounds were rejected because most of the spectral energy was below typical...in Comparative Psychoacoustics, Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, Switzerland. pp. 307-318. Erbe C. (2008) Critical ratios of beluga whales (Delphinapterus

  5. Auditory Masking Patterns in Bottlenose Dolphins from Anthropogenic and Natural Noise Sources

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    e.g., critical ratios ) are often used to describe and predict auditory masking. For this task, detection thresholds for a 10 kHz tone were measured in...unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 2 determine the relationship between noise metrics and masked tonal ...the residual errors (FIG 3) demonstrates that the two-parameter model produces much better fits than critical ratio predictions, while still being

  6. Development and Functions of Signature Whistles of Free-Ranging Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-09-01

    either in baby position (BP) or less than 1 meter from its mother for each of four focal calves during early, middle, late and yearling stages. Figure...the playback were lumped with those produced in the following post -trial period. Numbers in parentheses indicate turns 45 degrees or greater. Table...with those produced in the following post -trial period. P values correspond to 2 X 2 contingency tables (two-tailed) comparing the numbers of signature

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    GGT) and amylase . Fibrinogen concentration was determined by the method of Schalm using heat precipitation. 7 ACTH, Cortisol, Aldosterone and...bilirubin 0.09 0.03 0.07 0.05 0.10 0.00 Direct bilirubin 0.05 0.04 0.01 0.03 0.10 0.00 Indirect bilirubin 0.04 0.03 0.06 0.05 0.10 0.00 Amylase 2.87 0.28...0.03 0.10 0.00 0.00 .002 .010 .000 Indirect bilirubin 0.04 0.03 0.06 0.05 0.10 0.00 0.11 .688 .093 .185 Amylase 2.87 0.28 3.00 0.00 3.00 0.00 0.01