[MARMAM] Abnormal swelling in Stenella frontalis
Fabian Ritter, MEER e.V.
ritter at m-e-e-r.de
Fri Oct 23 07:57:13 PDT 2009
*During the 2009 field season off La Gomera we encountered a large
number of Atlantic spotted dolphins (/Stenella frontalis/), a species
present year-round in the Canary Islands. In one of the groups,
containing a large number of calves, we observed a young animal showing
an *e*xtrordinarily swollen genital area. The reasons for this
phenomenon remain unknown. Luckily, we managed to photograph the animal
during aerial behaviours. The according images can be seen at our website:
The calf was sighted early May 2009. It obviously was a female,
recognisable by the very visible nipples next to the genital slit. The
prominent swelling, however, was extraordinary. As the swellling
affected the genital area, and no injury could be seen, we initially
suspected a hormonal reason. And even if this was true, the question
would remain why a young calf showed this feature.
Denise Herzing, working with Stenella frontalis in the Bahamas, was so
kind to provode images of a normal female adult dolphin during lactation
as a comparison. These images also can be seen at our website.
With this we would like to ask our cetologist colleagues, if anyone has
seen something similar before, either in this or in a different species.
Also we would like to know the (potential) reasons for this unusual
symptom. Does anyone have an idea?
Any helpful information or comments should be directed to
<ritter at m-e-e-r.de>
With my best greetings,
T/F: +49-(0)30-644 97 230
e-Mail: ritter at m-e-e-r.de
The dolphins were having a great relaxed time
and there were no major answers they wished
to know the questions to...
(After Douglas Adams)
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