[MARMAM] Species identification from bones

Gísli Víkingsson gisli at hafro.is
Fri Sep 7 03:55:29 PDT 2007

Dear Marmamers

My institute, the Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, is the 
scientific authority in Iceland with regard to CITES, and
thus has the obligation to issue statements on whether a potential 
export poses a threat to the species in question.
We have run into problems in species identification when tourists want 
to bring home with them single bones they have found on the beach.
I am not aware of any key (or other compiled source of information) to 
species identification of cetaceans from bones (perhaps with the 
exception of skulls)
and would therefore like to ask if any of you know of such 
identification aid. I am aware of the potential of genetic species 
identification, but it seems like an overkill
(in terms of expences and time) when someone wants to bring home a 
dolphin rib or a vertebra they found in Iceland.
Also I would appreciate any advice from persons in the same position 
with regard to CITES permits how they handle cases like this in other 

Best regards
Gísli A. Víkingsson
Head of whale research
Marine Research Institute
gisli at hafro.is

Gísli A. Víkingsson
Head of whale research
Marine Research Institute
PO Box 1390
121 Reykjavík

Tel. (+354) 575 2000
Fax (354) 575 2001
Email gisli at hafro.is

If you have troubles with emails at the above address you may try gisliviking at gmail.com

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