[MARMAM] New note: Seasonal feeding on giant cuttlefish by bottlenose dolphins

Raudino, Holly Holly.Raudino at DPaW.wa.gov.au
Mon Mar 21 18:34:39 PDT 2016

Dear colleagues,

We invite you to read our recently published short communication on complex-prey handing by bottlenose dolphins. Summary at http://mucru.org/new-publication-complex-prey-handling-of-dolphins-on-giant-cuttlefish/

Full early view citation: Smith HC and Sprogis KR (2016) Seasonal feeding on giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) by Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO15075


We report on observations of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) feeding on giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) from March 2007 to April 2013 in the temperate waters off Bunbury, south-western Australia. Seventeen feeding events were observed during the cooler months between July and September in relatively shallow coastal waters, with 12 dolphins identified as adult females. We observed behavioural sequences of complex prey-handling of cuttlefish where dolphins' used multiple steps to remove the cuttlefish head, ink and cuttlebone before consuming the flesh of the cuttlefish mantle. Our study provides valuable information to the limited knowledge on the complex prey-handling by T. aduncus on cuttlefish in Australia, and is complementary to other known specialised foraging behaviours of bottlenose dolphins. This study also details a different behavioural sequence of cuttlefish prey-handling to that of the bottlenose dolphins in the Sado estuary, Portugal, where only the head is consumed, and to the Spencer Gulf, Australia, in that the dolphins in Bunbury carry the cuttlefish mantle over their rostrum before removing the cuttlebone. Information on S. apama in Bunbury is scarce, therefore studies on abundance, distribution and egg-laying sites are recommended in order to enable informed decision making and to understand the importance of S. apama to the diet of T. aduncus.

You can access the full paper here http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/ZO15075.htm or please email me directly for a pdf copy holly.raudino at dpaw.wa.gov.au<mailto:holly.raudino at dpaw.wa.gov.au>

Thanks in advance,
Holly & Kate

Holly Raudino, PhD
Research Scientist
Marine Science Program
Dept of Parks and Wildlife
* (08) 9219 9754
* holly.raudino at dpaw.wa.gov.au<mailto:holly.raudino at dpaw.wa.gov.au>
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Science and Conservation Division

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