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Craniometry of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Adriatic Sea.

Martina Đuras ; Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Dušica Divac Brnić ; Pantovčak 38, Zagreb, Croatia
Tomislav Gomerčić ; Department of Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Ana Galov ; Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 669 Kb

str. 649-666

preuzimanja: 637



The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a cetacean distributed worldwide with an external morphology that varies between different populations. An endangered population of bottlenose dolphins inhabits the Adriatic Sea and is legally protected. The skulls of 95 adult bottlenose dolphins (47 females and 43 males, 5 of unknown sex) were morphometrically analyzed. They originated from bottlenose dolphins stranded dead from 1990 to 2011 in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea. For each animal a total of up to 53 skull measurements and meristic characters were taken using slide calipers to the nearest 0.01 cm. Sexual dimorphism within the Adriatic population was analyzed while the average morphometric values of Adriatic specimens were compared with published values for the genus Tursiops from different geographical areas. Male Adriatic bottlenose dolphins were significantly larger in terms of 19 craniometric characteristics compared to females. The male skull is wider along the rostrum, at the level of the braincase and at the orbital region. Their braincase is higher and longer and their teeth are higher. Comparison of morphometrical values between Adriatic bottlenose dolphins and populations from other seas confirms geographical polymorphism within the species T. truncatus. Our study showed that the skull size follows Bergmann’s rule, with larger skulls found in colder waters, while smaller skulls are found in populations from temperate and tropical seas. Our results represent referent craniometrical values for the Adriatic bottlenose dolphin and should be used when implementing morphometry in population conservation.

Ključne riječi

bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, Adriatic Sea, geographical polymorphism, cranial morphometry

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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