[MARMAM] New paper: Analysis of the natural markings of Risso's dolphins in the central Mediterranean Sea
mariani.monica at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 20 09:23:17 PDT 2016
We are pleased to announce the publication of the following
paper in the Journal of Mammology:
Mariani, M., A.
Miragliuolo, B. Mussi, G. F. Russo, G. Ardizzone, and D. S. Pace. 2016. Analysis
of the natural markings of Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Journal of
Mammology 2016. doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyw109.
Risso’s dolphins are known for the
persistency of their natural markings, possibly due to the loss of pigment during the healing process of skin
wounds. Nonetheless, the actual longevity and reliability of each mark type has
never been assessed. In this paper, we used photographs to investigate the
etiology of skin marks in the species, analyze their distribution and temporal
variability, and discuss implications for photo identification. Nineteen mark
types were described on the dorsal fin of Risso’s dolphin, including 2 new to
the literature: the snake-like mark and the protruding fat. Longevity of skin
marks ranged from 6 years for the protruding fat to several decades for scrapes
and dots. Persistent and reliable marks were notch, tooth-rake, and thick
single and parallel scrapes. Mark change was sufficiently low that all mark
types could be used for photo identification, provided that backlit or
underexposed images were discarded as photographs taken under suboptimal light
conditions proved to be unreliable. Finally, mark distribution and variability
were unequal between age classes; juveniles were less marked and showed a
higher rate of mark change than older individuals so that, even if they
possessed enough notches to be classified as reliably marked, they could be
confidently matched over a time interval of up to 3 years.
Full text and pdf file are available at https://jmammal.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/07/18/jmammal.gyw109.
For further information on this article please write to mariani.monica at hotmail.com or postmaster at oceanomaredelphis.org .
Monica Mariani and co-authors
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