[MARMAM] New publication: First Leucistic Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Sighting Registered in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

Hector Perez hector.perez at prescott.edu
Sun Sep 22 21:00:35 PDT 2019

Dear MARMAM colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors I'm excited to announce our publication (short note) in Aquatic Mammals, which describes the first leucistic event of Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) registered in the Gulf of California.

Pérez-Puig, H., Heckel, G., & Meltzer, L. (2019). First Leucistic Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Sighting Registered in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Aquatic Mammals, 45(5), 507–512. https://doi.org/10.1578/AM.45.5.2019.507

Short summary: As with all mammals, coloration patterns of the skin, and of the eyes in cetaceans, depends almost entirely on the quantity of melanin in the organism. Leucism can result when the production of melanin is minimal but not completely absent; the deficiency of pigmentation of the skin results in an abnormally white appearance, while the eyes maintain a normal color. Abnormal pigmentation has been recorded in at least 25 cetacean species, including bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Few sightings of those cetaceans with abnormally white pigmentation have been recorded in Mexico. The majority of bottlenose dolphin sightings with this abnormally white pigmentation have been recorded on the Atlantic coasts from Texas to North Carolina. Therefore, the sighting reported and described herein represents the second odontocete in Mexico and the first confirmed sighting of a leucistic bottlenose dolphin in the Gulf of California. This atypical coloration has never been reported in other studies on this species in the same or adjacent regions in the Gulf of California.

For more information, the article is now available to the public on The Aquatic Mammals Web site using the following link:


For a PDF copy, please you can also send a email: hector.perez at prescott.edu

Best regards,


M.C. Héctor Pérez Puig
Investigador Residente - Programa de Mamíferos Marinos

Centro de Estudios Culturales y Ecológicos Prescott College A.C.

Resident Researcher - Marine Mammal Program

Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies

   w. www.prescott.edu/kino-bay-center/index.html<http://www.prescott.edu/kino-bay-center/index.html>
   e. hector.perez at prescott.edu<mailto:hector.perez at prescott.edu>
   t. (01662)-242-0024
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