[MARMAM] New publication: Skeletal abnormalities in humpback whales - Brazil

Kátia R. Groch kgroch at terra.com.br
Sat Nov 17 08:59:02 PST 2012

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a new publication in Diseases of Aquatic


Groch KR, Marcondes MC, Colosio AC, Catão-Dias JL (2012) Skeletal
abnormalities in humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae stranded in the
Brazilian breeding ground. Dis Aquat Organ 101:145-158


ABSTRACT: Skeletal tissues of 49 humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae that
stranded between 2002 and 2011 along the Abrolhos Bank seashore and its
adjacent waters in Brazil were studied. Twelve (24.5%) animals presented
pathological changes in one or more bones. Degenerative changes and
developmental malformations were most frequent (10.2% each), followed by
inflammatory/infectious and traumatic lesions (8.2% each). Infectious
diseases led to severe lesions of the caudal vertebrae of 2 whales. In one
of these individuals, the lesions involved 6 caudal vertebrae, leading to
ankylosis of 3 vertebrae. Degenerative changes were observed in the
vertebral columns of 3 animals, involving the joints of 13 ribs of 1
individual, and in the humerus of 1 whale. Traumatic lesions, such as
osseous callus in the ribs, were observed in 4 animals. In 1 whale, the rib
showed severe osteomyelitis, possibly resulting from the infection of
multiple fractures. Developmental abnormalities such as spina bifida on 3
cervical vertebrae of 1 whale, fusion of spinal processes on thoracic
vertebrae of 1 individual and fusion of the first 2 ribs unilaterally or
bilaterally in 4 animals were found. Chronic infectious conditions found in
the axial skeleton may have restrained spinal mobility and had detrimental
effects on the general health of the animals, contributing to stranding and
death. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic study on skeletal
lesions in stranded humpback whales. 

Available at:  <http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/dao/v101/n2/p145-158/>

DOI: 10.3354/dao02518


PDF copies are available upon request to  <mailto:kgroch at terra.com.br>
kgroch at terra.com.br  

Please, contact me if you have any questions.

Kind regards,




Méd. Vet. Kátia R. Groch

Laboratório de Patologia Comparada de Animais Selvagens - LAPCOM

Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia 

Universidade de São Paulo


Email: katia.groch at usp.br

Cel: (11) 98440-7442 



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