[MARMAM] Corrected version - Abstracts - Aquatic Mammals, vol. 33, no. 2

Dagmar Fertl dfertl at geo-marine.com
Fri Aug 10 18:13:55 PDT 2007

The previous posting inadvertently omitted the authors of one of the
articles. This is the corrected version. 


Apologies, to those of you on both listserves who will receive
cross-postings. The following are the contents and abstracts for the most
recent issue of Aquatic Mammals. This journal was established by the
European Association for Aquatic Mammals (EAAM) in 1974. The EAAM and the
Board of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums sponsor the


Aquatic Mammals accepts a wide variety of papers on the care, conservation,
medicine, and science of marine mammals.  Dr. Jeanette Thomas of Western
Illinois University is the editor and Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski of Mystic
Aquarium is the co-editor. These abstracts are posted as a courtesy to the
Marmam editors and the sponsoring societies, as well as the managing editor
of Aquatic Mammals.


Please find below, the addresses (including email) of the authors to whom
reprint requests and other inquiries should be directed. Thank you for your
continued interest in these postings, as well as other publication postings
to the listserves.


With regards,


Dagmar Fertl

Geo-Marine, Inc.

dfertl at geo-marine.com

http://www.geo-marine.com <http://www.geo-marine.com/> 



Stamation, K.A.*, D.B. Croft, P.D. Shaughnessy, and K.A. Waples. 2007.
Observations of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding during
their southward migration along the coast of southeastern New South Wales,
Australia: Identification of a possible supplemental feeding ground. Aquatic
Mammals 33(2):165-174.

*School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New
South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, 2052, Australia; E-mail:
<mailto:k.stamation at optusnet.com.au> k.stamation at optusnet.com.au


There is anecdotal evidence of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)
feeding in southeast­ern New South Wales (NSW) waters on their southward
migration (Paterson, 1987). This paper reports the frequency of feeding
whales observed from waters just north of Narooma (36° 5' S, 149° 55' E) to
just south of Eden (37° 16' S, 150° 17' E). Observations were made from
commercial whale-watching vessels from late September to early November in
2002, 2003, and 2005; and from two land-based whale-watching sites, Montague
Island (36° 15' S, 150° 14' E) and Green Cape (37° 16' S, 150° 03' E), in
the same period for 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Feeding pods were seen on
24.5% of all whale-watching trips and during 14% of all observations made
from land-based sites. Whales fed on schools of small pelagic fish as well
as the coastal krill species (Nyctiphanes australis). The number of feeding
pods observed in 2005 was more than four times that observed in the two
previous years and most likely was due to the warmer current systems
operating in the area in 2005. All observations from land-based sites were
made when no vessels were in the vicinity of the focal pod. Feeding
behaviour did not alter in the presence or absence of vessels; however, the
time between feeding lunges increased when the move­ments of the vessel were
not consistent with NSW whale-watching regulations and when more than one
vessel was present. While many of the reports of humpback whales feeding in
mid- to low-lati­tude waters in both the southern and northern hemisphere
classify this behaviour as a rare oppor­tunistic event, it is probable that
southeastern NSW is a significant supplemental feeding ground for migrating
whales, especially when oceanographic conditions are optimal for food






Hobbs, J-P.A.*, A.J. Frisch, J. Hender, and J.J. Gilligan. 2007.
Long-distance oceanic movement of a solitary dugong (Dugong dugon) to the
Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Aquatic Mammals 33(2):175-178.

*Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University,
Townsville, Queensland, 4811, Australia; E-mail: Jean-Paul.Hobbs at jcu.edu.au


In this paper, we report on the arrival of a small (2 m long) male dugong
(Dugong dugon) to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (12° 12' S, 96° 54' E), Indian
Ocean. The dugong arrived in June 2002 after travelling more than 1,000 km
across deep open ocean, during which time it would have been vulnerable to
predation and presumably unable to feed. This is the longest recorded dugong
move­ment and demonstrates that dugongs have the capacity to make
long-distance oceanic move­ments to colonise distant, unoccupied locations.
The solitary dugong has remained at the Cocos Islands for at least four
years and exhibits unusual habitat use and behaviour; it frequently occupies
deep water on the edge of the coral reef and inter­acts with SCUBA divers. 

Dendrinos, P.*, E. Tounta, A.A. Karamanlidis, A. Legakis, and S. Kotomatas.
2007. A video surveillance system for monitoring the endangered
Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). Aquatic Mammals 33(2):179-184.


*Mom/Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal, Solomou
Str. 18, 10682 Athens, Greece; email: p.dendrinos at mom.gr


The components and specifications of a surveillance system developed in a
pilot study to monitor Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) are
presented. The system consisted of two B/W CCD cameras, infrared
illuminators, a CCTV video web server, and photovoltaic solar panels, and it
was operated under harsh outdoor conditions for three and a half months. It
enabled the recording of rarely observed aspects of the Mediterranean monk
seals' social and reproductive behaviour, as well as provided a method to
document demographic parameters of the local seal population. Advantages of
the system include its non-invasive nature and its autonomous operation,
while the primary disadvantage is the high initial cost, which should
decrease as technology continues to improve. This system could prove to be a
valuable tool in the conservation of critically endangered seal species such
as the Mediterranean monk seal. 

Greig, T.W., J.A. Bemiss, B.R. Lyon, G.D. Bossart, and P.A. Fair. 2007.
Prevalence and diversity of antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli found in
bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon,
Florida, and Charleston Harbor area, South Carolina. Aquatic Mammals


National Ocean Service Center for Coastal Environmental Health and
Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson, Charleston, SC 29412, USA; email:
Thomas.grieg at noaa.gov


A total of 724 Escherichia coli isolates sampled from 38 wild bottlenose
dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Charleston Harbor area, South
Carolina, and the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, were screened for resistance
to 25 antibiotics. The percentages of animals harboring at least one
resistant isolate differed significantly between sampling locations. No
resistance was detected in E. coli from dolphins at either site for six of
the 25 antibiotics tested. Resistance to penicillin was most common followed
by cephalothin, ampicillin, and amoxicillin. Within-animal isolate
variability was examined in addition to between sampling locales. Isolates
from animals sampled in the Charleston Harbor area exhibited a greater
complexity of resistance patterns and within individual diversity compared
to isolates sampled from animals in the Indian River Lagoon. Causes related
to the observed heterogeneity are discussed.


Larson, S., and C.J. Casson. 2007. Reproductive hormone levels within
captive female northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) with and without
chemical contraceptives. Aquatic Mammals 33(2):195-201.


*Seattle Aquarium, 2483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA 98101-2059, USA;
email: shawn.larson at seattle.gov


Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) are hold in only a few institutions
within the United States and the world. The Seattle Aquarium was the first
institution to successfully breed and raise captive Northern fur seals from
conception to adulthood. The captive group that was the focus of this study
consisted of one adult male and five adult females. One female was related
to the adult male and was placed on chemical contraceptives to prevent
inbreeding. Another female was exposed to a chemical spill in the wild while
in utero, had some health problems throughout the study period, and never
became pregnant. The remaining three females were though to be
reproductively normal throughout most of the study period, although one
became pregnant and gave birth. Serum estrogen, progerstone, and testerone
levels were measured using standard competitive binding antibody radio ad
enzyme immunoassay techniques. Individual animal longitudinal data are
reported for samples collected over the 7-year study period. The hormone
data revealed changes associated with chemical contraceptives, pregnancy,
and animals becoming sexually mature and senescent.

Green, S.R.*, E. Mercado, III, A.A. Pack, and L.M. Herman. 2007.
Characterizing patterns within humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
songs. Aquatic Mammals 33(2):202-213.


*Department of Pyschology, University at Buffalo, State University of New
York, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA; email: srgreen at buffalo.edu


Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce long songs that
contain predictably repeated sound patterns. Other animals (including
humans) identify patterns in acoustic sequences based on regularities in
transitions between sounds. The present study examined transitional
probabilities within humpback whale songs to determine whether relative
acoustic changes from unit to unit are sufficient for identifying repeating
patterns within humpback whale songs. To identify such patterns, four
humpback whale songs were analyzed by first classifying song units using a
self-organizing map, and then calculating transitional probabilities based
on these classifications. Two separate analyses of transitional
probabilities were conducted: one involved units classified based on their
absolute acoustic features (e.g., duration, peak frequency, and amplitude)
as well as changes in these features relative to adjacent units, and the
other used units classified based on the relative changes alone. Both
analyses revealed repeated sequences of units within humpback whale songs,
but the analysis based on relative changes alone yielded a larger number of
predictable transitions. This finding suggests that relative acoustic
changes within humpback whale songs may provide robust indicators of
repeating patterns.

Bossart, G.D.*, G. Hensley, J.D. Goldstein, K. Kroell, C.A. Manire, R.H.
Defran, and J.S. Reif. 2007. Cardiomyopathy and myocardial degeneration in
stranded pygmy sperm whales (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm
whales. Aquatic Mammals 3(2):214-222.


*Center for Coastal Research, Marine Mammal Research and Conservation
Program, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, 5600 U.S. 1 North, Fort
Pierce, FL 34946, USA; email: GBossarst at hboi.edu


Cardiomyopathy (CMP) has been documented as a disease associated with
stranded pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm whales in the
United States and Asia. In this study, hearts from 27 pygmy and two dwarf
sperm whales stranded in the coastal U.S. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico
from 1999 to 2006 were analyzed. Gross and microscopic examinations were
conducted according to a standardized protocol designed to ensure systematic
examination of tissue and data recording. Hearts were weighed and specific
measurements made for selected tissues. Fourteen (48.3%) pygmy sperm whales
had a microscopic diagnosis of CMP, 12 (41.4%) showed evidence of mild
myocardial degeneration (MCD), one (3.4%) had moderate myocarditis and two
(6.9%) had no pathological lesions. One dwarf sperm whale had CMP, and the
other had mild MCD. The majority of stranded Kogia spp. with cardiac lesions
came from the southeast Atlantic region (19/27, 70.3%). Cardiomyopathy and
MCD lesions were found predominantly among adult whale. An excess of males
was found for CMP and MCD (approximately 75% of both groups). The
predominant histological lesions found in both disorders were anisokaryosis
with karyomegaly and nuclear rowing, followed in frequency by interstitial
edema. Cardiac weight, ventricular wall thickness, and valve circumference
were compared between pygmy sperm whales with CMP and those with MCD. The
largest differences were found for heart weight and intraventricular septum
wall thickness, but none of the differences were statistically significant.
Further adjustments for sex and body length did not alter the results. In
this aggregate, these findings suggest that CMP in Kogia spp. is a chronic,
progressive condition that represents a continuum from MCD to the more
severe forms of the disorder. The etiology of this complex disorder remains

Gerpe, M.*, D. Rodriguez, V. Moreno, R. Bastida, and J. Aizpun. 2007.
Copper, zinc, cadmium, and mercury in southern sea lions (Otaria flavescens)
from Argentina. Aquatic Mammals 33(2):223-228.


*Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET),
Argentina; email: msgerpe at mdp.edu.ar or msgerpe at hotmail.com


Copper, zinc, mercury, and cadmium were studied in the muscle, liver, and
kidney of three adults and one juvenile Southern sea lion (Otaria
flavescens) found dead on the beaches of Argentina. Heavy metal
concentrations were determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry; cold
vapor and air/acetylene flame techniques were applied for mercury and for
the rest of the metals, respectively. Previous acid digestion was made with
nitric/sulphuric (Hg) and percholoric/nitric (Cd, Zn, Cu) mixtures. Quality
was checked with a Certified Reference Material. Mercury concentrations were
highest in the liver, whereas cadmium levels were highest in the kidney. The
juvenile and adults presented the same tissue distribution pattern for all
studied metals. Hepatic mercury concentrations ranged from 23.2 μg/g
(juvenile female) to 47.6 μg/g (adult male), with renal cadmium
concentrations between 0.8 μg/g and 5.7 μg/g, respectively.

Esteves, M.A.*, and L.A. Oviedo. 2007. Potential morphotype of common
dolphin (Delphinus spp.) on the northeast coast of Venezuela. Aquatic
Mammals 33(2):229-234.


*Proyecto Delphinus, Isla de Margarita, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela 6010


Records of the common dolphin on the northeast coast of Venezuela have been
widely documented. The complex topography and bathymetry of this area and
the enhanced productivity due to upwelling processes promote the occurrence
of occurrence of common dolphin populations. It has not been clear, howeve,r
whether the species involved is Delphinus delphis or D. capensis. The aim of
this contribution is to review taxonomically Delphinus spp. from the
northeast coast of the country through skull morphometric analysis. A sample
of 30 skulls comprised of specimens collected in Nueva Esparta State (n=28)
and Sucre State (n=2) in Venezuela were analyzed using the morphometric
parameters rostrum length (RL) and zygomatic width (ZW), including the ratio
of the measurements RL/ZW. Only skulls identified as mature individuals
(n=16) were included in the analysis. The data were compared with published
records of South Atlantic dolphins from Brazil and West Africa. Rostral
length showed significant differences within the Venezuelan sample (p<0.05)
and between the dolphins from Brazil and West Africa. Zygomatic width also
showed clear differences (Venezuela to Brazil, p <0.05; Venezuela to West
Africa, p < 0.05). In contrast, no differences were found for the RL/ZW
ratio (Venezueal to Brazil, p=0.21; Venezuela to West Africa, p=0.33).
Observations in the study area during sightings of common dolphins noted
small females with calves. These observations suggested the occurrence of a
small morphotype of common dolphin on the northeast coast of Venezuela, a
semi-enclosed basin. Habitat conditions in this kind of ecosystem could lead
to morphologic differences between smaller coastal forms and larger
off-shore forms, an effect that could be related to feeding ecology. 

Bossart, G.D.*, L. Hansen, J.D. Goldstein, D. Kilpatrick, S. Bechdel, E.
Howells, K. Kroell, M. De Sieyes, M.K. Stolen, W.K. Durden, J.S. Reif, R.H.
Defran, and S.D. McCulloch. 2007. Pathologic findings in a rare mass
stranding of melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra) in Florida. Aquatic
Mammals 33(2):235-240.


*Center for Coastal Research, Marine Mammal Research and Conservation
Program, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, 5600 U.S. 1 North, Fort
Pierce, FL 34946, USA; email: GBossarst at hboi.edu


Pathologic findings associated with the mass stranding of five melon-headed
whales (Peponocephala electra) along the Atlantic coast of Florida are
reported. Four of the five whales were freshly dead, and the fifth was
moderately decomposed. Body weights ranged from 160 to 180 kg, and all
whales had mild to moderate weight loss evidenced by postnuchal depression
and pronounced scapulae and peduncular vertebrae. All whales had from 10 to
21 ovoid dermal scars consistent with healed cookie-cutter shark (Isistius
brasiliensis) wounds. Gastric compartments of all whales contained from 6 to
20 squid beaks with no other solid food items present. The peritoneum of all
whales contained many parasitic cestode cysts consistent with Monorygma spp.
In all cases, the alimentary tract had gross and microscopic lesions. Colons
had an unusual microscopic lesion diagnosed as particularly florid examples
of the collagenous stage of microcscopic colitis known as collagenous
colitis as reported in humans. The lesion was characterized by a diffuse,
irregular, moderate thickening of the colonic wall due to deposition of
subepithelial collagen between the muscularis mucosae and basement membrane
of the surface epithelium in the lamina propria. The surface epithelium and
collagen layer had mild multifocal infiltrates of neutrophils and
eosinophils and mildly increased numbers of lymphocytes and plasma cells.
Additionally, mild to moderate myocardial degeneration was a consistent
finding in all cases. Less consistent lesions included erosive esophagitis,
ulcerative gastritis, granulomatous gastritis, ulcerative dermatitis, and
Nasitrema-associated suppurative sinusitis. The case of the mass stranding
was not determined; however, all whales exhibited pathological changes
consistent with pre-existing chronic disease with inanition that developed
prior to the stranding event.

Luque, S.P.*, J.W. Higdon, and S.H. Ferguson. 207. Dentine deposition rates
in belugas (Delphinapterus leucas): An analysis of the evidence. Aquatic
Mammals 33(2):241-245.


*Department of Biology, Memorial University, St. John's NL A1B 3X9, Canada;
email: sluque at mun.ca


Accurately determining the age of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) has been
difficult and the source of considerable uncertainty in demographic studies
of this species. Previous studies have predominantly assumed that two growth
layer groups (GLGs) are deposited annually in beluga teeth; however, recent
evidence from aquarium-raised individuals and radiocarbon dating assays of
teeth lends support to the hypothesis that one dentinal GLG is deposited
annually in beluga, rather than to the competing hypothesis claiming the
rate is twice as large. We present the allometric relationship between
female age and length at maturity among delphinoid cetaceans and suggest
that estimates of beluga age at maturity based on one GLG per annum are in
better agreement with this relationship than estimates base on the competing
hypothesis. Our results, and a reanalysis of previously published evidence,
give further support to the one annual GLG hypothesis; however, a change in
the pattern of deposition rate at sexual maturity remains a possibility, and
research is needed to determine whether changes in dentine deposition rates
during life stages of beluga.


Gregg, J.D.* 2007. Book review: Rational animals? Editors: Susan Hurley and
Matthew Nudds. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-852826-4. Aquatic
Mammals 33(2):246-247.


*School of Psychology, Aras an Phiarsaigh, Trinity College, Dublin 2,
Ireland; email: justin at dolphincommunication.com


Simmonds, M.* 2007. Book review: A guide to the identification of the whales
and dolphin of Ireland. Editors: Jim Wilson with Simon Berrow. Irish Whale
and Dolphin Group. ISBN o-9540552-2-5. Aquatic Mammals 33(2):248-249.


*The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), Brookfield House, 38 St.
Paul Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 1LJ, UK; email:
mark.simmonds at wdcs.org


Ecott, T.* 2007. Book review: Sensuous seas: tales of a marine biologist.
Eugene H. Kaplan. Princeton University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-691-12560-0.
Aquatic Mammals 33(2):250.


*no mailing address provided; email: timecott at hotmail.com


Reynolds, J.E., III.* 2007. Book review: The Florida manatee: biology and
conservation. Roger L. Reep and Robert K. Bonde. University Press of
Florida, Gainesville, Florida. ISBN 81302949X. Aquatic Mammals 33(2):251.


*Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida 34236, USA (no email address


Fertl, D.* 2007. Book review: Marine conservation biology: the science of
maintaining the sea's biodiversity. Editors: E.A. Norse and L.B. Crowder.
Island Press, Washington, D.C., 2005. ISBN 1559636629. Aquatic Mammals


*Geo-Marine, Inc., 2201 K Avenue, Suite A2, Plano, TX 75074, USA; email:
dfertl at geo-marine.com

Price, S.* 2007. Book review: Horns, tusks, and flippers: the evolution of
hoofed mammals. Editors: Donald R. Prothero and Robert M. Schoch. Johns
Hopkins University, Baltimore and London, 2002. ISBN 0-8018-7135-2. Aquatic
Mammals 33(2):254.


*National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), 2024 W. Main Street,
Suite A200, Erwin Mills Building, Durham, NC 27705, USA; no email address


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