[MARMAM] New Publication: Ontogenetic allometry and body composition of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from the U.S. mid-Atlantic (Sarah Mallette)

Sarah Mallette sarahmallette at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 2 13:49:57 PST 2016


We are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in Marine Mammal Science. 

Mallette, S. D., McLellan, W. A., Scharf, F. S., Koopman, H. N., Barco, S. G., Wells, R. S. and Ann Pabst, D. (2016), Ontogenetic allometry and body composition of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) from the U.S. mid-Atlantic. Marine Mammal Science, 32: 86–121. doi: 10.1111/mms.12253

ABSTRACT: Growth in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was investigated through examination of sex-specific, ontogenetic changes in the mass of 38 discrete body compartments, utilizing stranded dolphins in good body condition (n = 145). Ontogenetic allometry and the body composition technique were used to quantitatively describe growth patterns. Although adult males were significantly larger than adult females in total body mass (TBM) and total length, overall patterns of growth were remarkably similar between sexes. The integument, locomotor muscle, and vertebral column together represented 50%–58% of TBM across all life history categories, although their relative contributions varied ontogenetically. Young dolphins invested the greatest percentage of TBM in integument, while locomotor muscle was the single largest body component in adults. In both sexes (1) most muscle groups displayed positive allometry, (2) most skeletal elements displayed negative allometric or isometric growth, (3) most abdominal viscera associated with digestion displayed positive allometry, and (4) the brain displayed negative allometric growth. Reproductive tissues exhibited the highest rates of growth in both sexes, and increased as a percentage of TBM with maturity. This study provides an integrated view of bottlenose dolphin growth and a quantitative baseline of body composition for future monitoring of this sentinel species of ecosystem health. 

This publication is available online:  

Please contact me by email and I will be happy to send you a copy:  sarahmallette at yahoo.com 


Sarah Mallette

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