[MARMAM] new paper on Cuvier's beaked whale

John Woodside jwoodside at alum.mit.edu
Fri Dec 8 09:41:08 PST 2006

During the last years, and especially after several mass strandings 
linked to high level military sonar use, there has been a growing 
attention of the cetological community and significant research effort 
as well on Ziphius cavirostris and other ziphiid species. We hope that 
the following paper that has been published recently may be of interest 
to the members of this list.

Woodside, J.M., David, L., Frantzis, A., and Hooker, S.K., 2006, Gouge 
marks on deep-sea mud volcanoes in the eastern Mediterranean: Caused by 
Cuvier’s beaked whales? Deep Sea Research I, 53:1762-1771.

Enigmatic seafloor gouge marks at depths of 1700-2100 m have been 
observed from submersible during geological survey work studying mud 
volcanoes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The marks consist of a 
central groove (about 10 cm deep and 12 m long), superimposed on a 
broader bowl-shaped depression (12 m long by about 50 cm wide) with 
raised rims (up to 10 cm high) to either side of the central groove. We 
discuss the potential biological causes of these marks, and conclude 
that they are probably created by Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius 
cavirostris) during foraging dives to these depths. The mud volcanoes 
have a comparatively rich and diverse benthic ecology associated with 
methane-rich fluid seeps and thus could be the base of food chains that 
reach top predators like the deep-diving whales. The characteristic high 
acoustic backscatter of the mud volcanoes would facilitate their 
detection by the echolocation system of these whales.

You can find the full text of the paper at the Deep Sea Research I 
(Science Direct) website:
(click on November (volume 53 issue 11) and go to article number 4)

or at the following link:

or please contact one of the authors:
J.M. Woodside (jwoodside at alum.mit.edu)
L. David (lea.david2 at wanadoo.fr)
A. Frantzis (afrantzis at otenet.gr)
S.K. Hooker (s.hooker at st-andrews.ac.uk)

J.M. Woodside
Centre for Marine Earth Sciences
Faculty of Earth And Life Sciences
Vrije Universiteit
De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam
the Netherlands
         Telephone:  +31 (0)20 598 7370
         TeleFAX:    +31 (0)20 598 9941
         email: 	    jwoodside at alum.mit.edu

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