Recent Early View Papers in the Journal

Diet of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) in southern Spanish waters
Camilo Saavedra, Manuel García-Polo, Joan Giménez, José Luis Mons, Juan José Castillo, Carolina Fernández-Maldonado, Renaud de Stephanis, Graham John Pierce, María Begoña Santos
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12945

Stomachs contents of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded in southern Spain between 2007-2014 were analyzed. Results suggest that the species feeds mainly on mesopelagic and neritic fish, but also on oceanic squids. Lanternfish were the most abundant and important preys. Higher number of mesopelagic lanternfish were found in dolphins from the Mediterranean Sea, while more demersal fish were found in those from the Atlantic, where a more varied diet was also observed. The observed dietary (spatial and temporal) variation reflect differences in the prey availability derived from topographic and oceanographic differences on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar.

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Improving detectability of dolphin signature whistles for capture-recapture analysis: an examination of array configuration using real-world data
Jack Fearey, Simon H. Elwen, Greg Distiller, Tess Gridley
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12941

A method to estimate the abundance of bottlenose dolphin populations using individually unique acoustic signals, signature whistles, has recently been proposed. In this study, we investigate how to effectively detect these whistles. The probability to capture an individual’s signature whistle is compared across varying configurations of acoustic receivers and recording cycles. Our results indicate that the location of the acoustic receiver is more important than the number of receivers used, and that it is possible to use a duty cycle to extend the recorders lifespan, without greatly sacrificing the ability to detect individuals.

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Quantifying the response of Blainville’s beaked whales to U.S. naval sonar exercises in Hawaii
Eiren K. Jacobson, E. Elizabeth Henderson, David L. Miller, Cornelia S. Oedekoven, David J. Moretti, Len Thomas
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12944

Beaked whales are a group of whales that are particularly affected by underwater noise like sonar. People are interested in knowing how beaked whales respond to quiet and to loud sonar. To investigate this, we used underwater microphones in Hawaii to listen for the echolocation clicks these whales make when searching for food. We found that beaked whales are affected not only by sonar emitted by navy ships, but also by other navy training activities. Very loud (like a jet taking off nearby) sonar resulted in an 87% decrease in feeding activity.

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Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) distribution modeling on their Nordic and Barents Seas feeding grounds
Diandra Duengen, Elke Burkhardt, Ahmed El-Gabbas
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12943

Understanding the distribution of large whales is essential for protective regulations, especially in vulnerable regions such as the Arctic Ocean. Unfortunately, information on such distribution is limited, not least because of the region’s remoteness. Here, we used species distribution models to identify fin whale’s suitable habitats in the Nordic and Barents Sea feeding grounds and identified the most important environmental variables describing their distribution. Results underline that species distribution models are powerful and cost-effective tools to predict habitat suitability, particularly in inaccessible regions.

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Feeding tactics of resident Bryde’s whales in New Zealand
Sahar Izadi, Natacha Aguilar de Soto, Rochelle Constantine, Mark Johnson
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12918

Predators typically feed on proportionally sized prey, but baleen whales take large mouthfuls of small zooplankton and fishes. Unlike most whales, Bryde’s whales live year-round in warmer waters with variable quality prey. Suction-cup tag data and drone footage of Bryde’s whales in New Zealand revealed specialized feeding tactics depending on whether they were eating zooplankton or fish. The whales use head-slaps and side-lunges to catch zooplankton, and vertical surfacing to catch fish; this probably allows them to capture more prey. Bryde’s whales’ flexible diet and ability to change their behavior may be key to successfully living in warmer waters.

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Vocalization of Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera edeni) in the Beibu Gulf, China
Zhi-Tao Wang, Peng-Xiang Duan, Mo Chen, Zhi-Gang Mei, Xiao-Dong Sun, Zhi-Wen Nong, Mei-Han Liu, Tomonari Akamatsu, Ke-Xiong Wang, Ding Wang
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12917

Bryde’s whale vocalizations were recorded in the Beibu Gulf, China. Bouts of frequency modulated repetitive and diversified calls were recorded. Repetitive calls probably functioned as contact calls. Repetitive calls were divided into biphonation downswept tonals and downswept tonals. Diversified calls were probably associated with acoustic exchanges between or among conspecifics. Diversified calls occasionally contained inflection points, frequency jumps, and break point features. Most vocalizations in the current study were different than those previously reported for this species, providing new information on the acoustic repertoire of Bryde’s whales.

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Comparative electrocardiogram in two anesthetized pinnipeds, the South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) and the Southern sea lion (Otaria byronia), with analysis of ECG parameters allometry
Mariela Dassis,Carolina De León,Alejandro Diaz,Edgardo M. Rodríguez,Diego H. Rodríguez,Gisela V. Giardino, Eduardo F. Castro
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12915

The cardiac conduction systems of South American sea lions and fur seals were found to be evolutionarily conserved, and cardiac cycle duration was directly related to body weight. We found that atrial-ventricular coordination, which is crucial for optimal hemodynamic efficiency, remained close to expected theoretical values in anesthetized animals. For both species, body mass could be used to estimate electrocardiogram duration parameters, which is particularly useful given the difficulty of animal handling and cardiac recordings in natural colonies.

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Tagging, ranging patterns, and behavior of franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) off Argentina and Brazil: Considerations for conservation
Randall S. Wells, Marta J. Cremer, Leonardo G. Berninsone, Diego Albareda, Krystan A. Wilkinson, M. Andrew Stamper, Renan L. Paitach, Pablo Bordino
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12879

Franciscanas are the most endangered cetaceans in the Southwestern Atlantic, where they are exposed to human activities such as artisanal gillnet fishing and coastal development. A need for information on ranging patterns and behavior led to efforts to attach satellite-linked tags to franciscanas in three bays in Argentina and Brazil during 2005-2013. Residency, with small home ranges, occurred at each site. Movements were influenced by tides. The dolphins used the entire water column, exposing them to gillnets regardless of net depth. Definable ranges facilitate relating specific geographically based threats to appropriate population units, increasing the potential for effective conservation.

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Acoustic-based estimates of Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) density and abundance along the U.S. West Coast from drifting hydrophone recorders
Jay Barlow,Jeffrey E. Moore,Jennifer L. K. McCullough,Emily T. Griffiths
https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12872

The abundance of Cuvier’s beaked whales off the U.S. West Coast was estimated from an acoustic survey conducted in 2016. This is the most common species of beaked whale and has a worldwide distribution. This survey differed from all previous surveys in its use of drifting acoustic recording devices to estimate whale abundance. The estimated number of these whales in the 1 million square kilometer study area is 5,500. This number is slightly higher than the average estimate from 7 prior visual surveys but is considerably more precise.

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