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Records of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops spp., in New Caledonian waters

Abstract : Observations of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops spp. were made opportunistically between 1993 and 2009 in New Caledonian waters (eastern Coral Sea, southwestern Pacific). Two morphotypes, defined from pigmentation patterns, were observed: morphotype-B individuals possessed a distinctive, extensive pale-grey blaze that indents the darker-grey dorsal cape towards the basis of the dorsal fin while morphotype-A individuals lacked it. Morphotype-A bottlenose dolphins occurred in pods of 2-10 individuals whereas pods of morphotype-B bottlenose dolphins comprised up to ~30 individuals. All morphotype-A bottlenose dolphin sightings were made in inshore waters, and all morphotype-B bottlenose dolphin sightings were made offshore. Wounds inflicted by large sharks, including the tiger shark, were documented for morphotype-A bottlenose dolphins. Leisure-boat traffic is likely to be the cause of additional injuries to bottlenose dolphins in the New Caledonian lagoon. Pigmentation patterns and correlated habitat preferences of morphotype-A and B bottlenose dolphins were consistent with those of, respectively, T. aduncus and T. truncatus in the western Coral Sea and elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
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Contributor : Philippe Borsa Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, October 15, 2012 - 7:50:39 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 23, 2018 - 6:10:03 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 3:37:19 AM


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  • HAL Id : ird-00708068, version 2



Philippe Borsa, Serge Andréfouët, Matthieu Juncker. Records of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops spp., in New Caledonian waters. Marine Biodiversity Records, 2012, 5, pp.e53. ⟨ird-00708068v2⟩



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