[MARMAM] New paper on common bottlenose dolphin body composition

Steph Adamczak sadamczak93 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 21:57:41 PDT 2021

My co-authors and I are pleased to share our new publication, "Body
composition of common bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida" as part
of a special issue in *Frontiers in Marine Science* highlighting research
from the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.

Abstract: Marine mammal body composition has been an important tool that is
used as a proxy for the health and condition of individuals within a
population. Common bottlenose dolphin (*Tursiops truncatus*) body
composition is influenced by variations in blubber thickness resulting from
changes in temperature, prey availability, health, and life-history traits.
We examined how environmental, ontogenetic, and reproductive variables
influenced the body composition of common bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota
Bay using data collected from a long-term monitoring project by the
Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP). We found that both sea surface
temperature (SST) and catch per unit effort (CPUE), used as a proxy for
prey availability, influenced body composition. There was a high degree of
seasonality in body composition, with higher values occurring in winter
when SST and CPUE were both low. Ontogeny also greatly influenced body
composition, as younger dolphins typically had thicker blubber than mature
individuals. Interestingly, young females allocated more energy to
allometric growth than deposition of blubber for body composition when
compared to young males. However, as females matured and their growth
slowed, they invested more in body composition. We found no significant
difference in body composition of females of varying reproductive states,
providing further evidence of their status as true income breeders. Our
work highlights that changes in body composition result from fluctuations
in environmental variables and that energy allocation to body composition
changes with ontogeny.

Available here:

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are unable to access the article
or have any questions!



Stephanie K. Adamczak, M.S.
Ph.D. Student, Department of  Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California Santa Cruz
sadamcza at ucsc.edu/sadamczak93 at gmail.com
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