[MARMAM] New Publication on foraging ecology of bottlenose dolphins

Laura Eierman lee27 at cornell.edu
Mon May 5 07:18:49 PDT 2014

Dear MARMAM subscribers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new paper about the
foraging ecology of bottlenose dolphins:

Eierman, L.E. and Connor, R.C. (2014), Foraging behavior, prey
distribution, and microhabitat use by bottlenose dolphins *Tursiops
truncatus* in a tropical atoll. Marine Ecology Progress Series
503:279-288. doi: 10.3354/meps10721

The study of habitat use by top predators is important for
understanding community interactions and is necessary for sound
ecosystem management. In marine systems, top predators such as sharks
and cetaceans have a strong impact on the structure and function of
communities. While the observation of habitat use and foraging
behavior of most marine predators is logistically difficult,
bottlenose dolphins *Tursiops truncatus* offer less of a challenge due
to visible surface behavior and well-documented populations. We
examined bottlenose dolphin behavior in relation to microhabitat
classes at Turneffe Atoll, Belize. The dolphins were found to feed
proportionally more in boundary microhabitats, areas where dense
seagrass beds adjoined open sand flats, than in other microhabitats.
Fish density, particularly schools of grunts (family Haemulidae), were
higher in the boundary microhabitat than in seagrass or sand
microhabitats. Extensive acoustic recordings yielded few fish calls,
suggesting that passive listening for soniferous fish was not the
dominant means of diurnal prey detection. The dolphins’
disproportionate use of boundary microhabitats for feeding was likely
due to the abundance and accessibility of prey.

a PDF can be downloaded at:


or requested by email: l
<https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/marmam>ee27 at cornell.edu

Laura Eierman
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