[MARMAM] New publication on Tursiops taxonomy in Australian waters

Maria Jedensjö m_jedensjo at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 29 05:53:39 PDT 2020

Dear all,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the following publication in Canadian Journal of Zoology:

Taxonomy and distribution of bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops) in Australian waters: an osteological clarification.

Abstract: Species relationships in the bottlenose dolphin (genus Tursiops Gervais, 1855) are controversial. We carried out a comprehensive osteological study of 264 skulls, including type specimens, and 90 postcranial skeletons of Tursiops spp. to address taxonomic uncertainties in Australia using two-dimensional (2D) measurements, and three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (3DGM), tooth and vertebral counts, and categorical data. Analyses provided support for the presence of two forms, aligned to the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1832)) and the common bottlenose dolphin

(Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821)), including type specimens. The Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis Charlton-Robb, Gershwin, Thompson, Austin, Owen and McKechnie, 2011) fell well within T. truncatus for both 2D and 3DGM methods. Thirteen Tursiops spp. specimens, no T. australis specimens, were of intermediate size (2D) and could not be assigned to either species. For 3DGM data, there was a strong allometric influence and few non-allometric differences between species. Length and width of the cranium and rostrum were important discriminating variables. Tursiops aduncus was smaller, had more teeth, fewer vertebrae, and more erosion on the pterygoids and frontals than T. truncatus. Overall cranium shape was round in T. aduncus and angular in T. truncatus. Skull length of T. aduncus was smaller in low than in high latitudes. This study highlights the importance of large sample size, multiple analytical methods, and extensive geographical coverage when undertaking taxonomic studies.

The full citation is:

Jedensjö, M., Kemper, C.M., Milella, M., Willems, E. and Krutzen, M., 2020. Taxonomy and distribution of bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops) in Australian waters: an osteological clarification. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 98: 461–479.

A full copy of the manuscript can be downloaded from https://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjz-2018-0270, or a pdf can be emailed upon request from Maria (m_jedensjo at hotmail.com<mailto:m_jedensjo at hotmail.com>).

Kind regards,
Maria Jedensjö (on behaf of all co-authors)

University of Zürich, Switzerland

South Australian Museum, Adelaide

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