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John Jett, Ingrid N Visser, Jeffrey Ventre, Jordan Waltz, Carolina Loch
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 26, 2018: Archives of Oral Biology
J Z Abramson, M V Hernández-Lloreda, L García, F Colmenares, F Aboitiz, J Call
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 28, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Henry E Heffner, Rickye S Heffner
Branstetter and his colleagues present the audiograms of eight killer whales and provide a comprehensive review of previous killer whale audiograms. In their paper, they say that the present authors have reported a relationship between size and high-frequency hearing but that echolocating cetaceans might be a special case. The purpose of these comments is to clarify that the relationship of a species' high-frequency hearing is not to its size (mass) but to its "functional interaural distance" (a measure of the availability of sound-localization cues)...
January 2018: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
José Z Abramson, Mª Victoria Hernández-Lloreda, Lino García, Fernando Colmenares, Francisco Aboitiz, Josep Call
Vocal imitation is a hallmark of human spoken language, which, along with other advanced cognitive skills, has fuelled the evolution of human culture. Comparative evidence has revealed that although the ability to copy sounds from conspecifics is mostly uniquely human among primates, a few distantly related taxa of birds and mammals have also independently evolved this capacity. Remarkably, field observations of killer whales have documented the existence of group-differentiated vocal dialects that are often referred to as traditions or cultures and are hypothesized to be acquired non-genetically...
January 31, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Brandon E Chasco, Isaac C Kaplan, Austen C Thomas, Alejandro Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Dawn P Noren, Michael J Ford, M Bradley Hanson, Jonathan J Scordino, Steven J Jeffries, Kristin N Marshall, Andrew O Shelton, Craig Matkin, Brian J Burke, Eric J Ward
Many marine mammal predators, particularly pinnipeds, have increased in abundance in recent decades, generating new challenges for balancing human uses with recovery goals via ecosystem-based management. We used a spatio-temporal bioenergetics model of the Northeast Pacific Ocean to quantify how predation by three species of pinnipeds and killer whales (Orcinus orca) on Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) has changed since the 1970s along the west coast of North America, and compare these estimates to salmon fisheries...
November 20, 2017: Scientific Reports
F Alves, J R Towers, R W Baird, G Bearzi, S Bonizzoni, R Ferreira, Z Halicka, A Alessandrini, A H Kopelman, C Yzoard, M H Rasmussen, C G Bertulli, E Jourdain, A Gullan, D Rocha, K Hupman, M-T Mrusczok, F I P Samarra, S Magalhães, C R Weir, J K B Ford, A Dinis
Laterally bent dorsal fins are rarely observed in free-ranging populations of cetaceans, contrary to captivity, where most killer whale Orcinus orca adult males have laterally collapsed fins. This topic has been poorly explored, and data/information on its occurrence and possible causes are limited. The present study: (i) undertakes a review of the available information on bent dorsal fins in free-ranging cetaceans, and updates it with new records, (ii) reports on the proportion of bent fins in different study populations, and (iii) discusses possible causes...
November 17, 2017: Journal of Anatomy
M Chiarello, S Villéger, C Bouvier, J C Auguet, T Bouvier
Marine animals surfaces host diverse microbial communities, which play major roles for host's health. Most inventories of marine animal surface microbiota have focused on corals and fishes, while cetaceans remain overlooked. The few studies focused on wild cetaceans, making difficult to distinguish intrinsic inter- and/or intraspecific variability in skin microbiota from environmental effects. We used high-throughput sequencing to assess the skin microbiota from 4 body zones of 8 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and killer whales (Orcinus orca), housed in captivity (Marineland park, France)...
November 10, 2017: Scientific Reports
S Ellis, D W Franks, S Nattrass, M A Cant, M N Weiss, D Giles, K C Balcomb, D P Croft
An individual's ecological environment affects their mortality risk, which in turn has fundamental consequences for life-history evolution. In many species, social relationships are likely to be an important component of an individual's environment, and therefore their mortality risk. Here, we examine the relationship between social position and mortality risk in resident killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) using over three decades of social and demographic data. We find that the social position of male, but not female, killer whales in their social unit predicts their mortality risk...
October 25, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
John Jett, Ingrid N Visser, Jeffrey Ventre, Jordan Waltz, Carolina Loch
OBJECTIVES: Tooth damage as a result of oral stereotypies is evident in captive orca, yet little research on the topic exists. This study examines the associations between dental pathology, sex, facility, duration of captivity and other factors in captive orca. DESIGN: We evaluated mandibular and maxillary teeth from dental images of 29 captive orca owned by a US-based theme park. Each tooth was scored for coronal wear, wear at or below gum line and bore holes. Fractured and missing teeth were also noted...
September 29, 2017: Archives of Oral Biology
Stéphanie Chanvallon, Catherine Blois-Heulin, Pierre Robert de Latour, Alban Lemasson
Running comparative studies of laterality in mammals is a way to deepen our understanding of the evolution of the brain hemisphere functions. Studies on vision highlighted a possible task-sharing between hemispheres depending on the characteristics of the observers, the nature of the observed stimulus and the context of the observation, a phenomenon that could go beyond the monitoring of conspecifics. Cetaceans are predators that adapted to an aquatic habitat and display a clear crossing of fibers to the side of the brain opposite the eye of origin...
September 7, 2017: Scientific Reports
Jean-Pierre Desforges, Milton Levin, Lindsay Jasperse, Sylvain De Guise, Igor Eulaers, Robert J Letcher, Mario Acquarone, Erling Nordøy, Lars P Folkow, Trine Hammer Jensen, Carsten Grøndahl, Mads F Bertelsen, Judy St Leger, Javier Almunia, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz
Most controlled toxicity studies use single chemical exposures that do not represent the real world situation of complex mixtures of known and unknown natural and anthropogenic substances. In the present study, complex contaminant cocktails derived from the blubber of polar bears (PB; Ursus maritimus) and killer whales (KW; Orcinus orca) were used for in vitro concentration-response experiments with PB, cetacean and seal spp. immune cells to evaluate the effect of realistic contaminant mixtures on various immune functions...
September 25, 2017: Environmental Science & Technology
Alexander J Smith, Jeff W Higdon, Pierre Richard, Jack Orr, Warren Bernhardt, Steven H Ferguson
To understand beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) estuarine use in the Nelson River estuary, southwest Hudson Bay, we recorded and examined beluga movements and habitat associations for the July through August period in 2002-2005. We compared locations of belugas fitted with satellite transmitters ("tags") (2002-2005) and aerial-surveyed (2003 and 2005) belugas for years of differing freshwater flow from the Nelson River which is influenced by hydroelectric activity. Using the beluga telemetry location data, we estimated an early August behavioral shift in beluga distribution patterns from local estuarine use to a progressively more migratory behavior away from the estuary...
2017: PloS One
Adrianne L Jarvela Rosenberger, Misty MacDuffee, Andrew G J Rosenberger, Peter S Ross
Marine mammals are inherently vulnerable to oil spills. We developed a conceptual framework to evaluate the impacts of potential oil exposure on marine mammals and applied it to 21 species inhabiting coastal British Columbia (BC), Canada. Oil spill vulnerability was determined by examining both the likelihood of species-specific (individual) oil exposure and the consequent likelihood of population-level effects. Oil exposure pathways, ecology, and physiological characteristics were first used to assign species-specific vulnerability rankings...
July 2017: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Eve Jourdain, Dag Vongraven, Anna Bisther, Richard Karoliussen
Killer whales (Orcinus orca) have been documented preying on either fish or marine mammals in several regions, suggesting that this odontocete species has the ability to specialize on different types of prey. Off Norway, killer whales have been shown to rely on the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) as a main prey resource. Infrequent observations have revealed seals as an additional component of their diet, yet the extent of predation on marine mammals has remained largely unknown. Here, we present the findings of 29 years of photographic and observational data on seal-feeding killer whale groups identified in Norwegian coastal waters...
2017: PloS One
Samuel K Wasser, Jessica I Lundin, Katherine Ayres, Elizabeth Seely, Deborah Giles, Kenneth Balcomb, Jennifer Hempelmann, Kim Parsons, Rebecca Booth
The Southern Resident killer whale population (Orcinus orca) was listed as endangered in 2005 and shows little sign of recovery. These fish eating whales feed primarily on endangered Chinook salmon. Population growth is constrained by low offspring production for the number of reproductive females in the population. Lack of prey, increased toxins and vessel disturbance have been listed as potential causes of the whale's decline, but partitioning these pressures has been difficult. We validated and applied temporal measures of progesterone and testosterone metabolites to assess occurrence, stage and health of pregnancy from genotyped killer whale feces collected using detection dogs...
2017: PloS One
Sara Pedro, Conor Boba, Rune Dietz, Christian Sonne, Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid, Martin Hansen, Anthony Provatas, Melissa A McKinney
Sightings of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Greenland have increased in recent years, coincident with sea ice loss. These killer whales are likely from fish-feeding North Atlantic populations, but may have access to marine mammal prey in Greenlandic waters, which could lead to increased exposures to biomagnifying contaminants. Most studies on polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and organochlorine (OC) contaminants in killer whales have used biopsies which may not be representative of contaminant concentrations through the entire blubber depth...
December 1, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
Tim Rolvien, Michael Hahn, Ursula Siebert, Klaus Püschel, Hans-Joachim Wilke, Björn Busse, Michael Amling, Ralf Oheim
Although vertebral bone microarchitecture has been studied in various tetrapods, limited quantitative data are available on the structural and compositional changes of vertebrae in marine mammals. Whales exhibit exceptional swimming and diving behaviour, and they may not be immune to diving-associated bone pathologies. Lumbar vertebral bodies were analysed in three toothed whale species: the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), orca (Orcinus orca) and harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). The bone volume fraction (BV/TV) did not scale with body size, although the trabeculae were thicker, fewer in number and further apart in larger whale species than in the other two species...
May 9, 2017: Scientific Reports
Brian K Branstetter, Judy St Leger, Doug Acton, John Stewart, Dorian Houser, James J Finneran, Keith Jenkins
Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are one of the most cosmopolitan marine mammal species with potential widespread exposure to anthropogenic noise impacts. Previous audiometric data on this species were from two adult females [Szymanski, Bain, Kiehl, Pennington, Wong, and Henry (1999). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1322-1326] and one sub-adult male [Hall and Johnson (1972). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 51, 515-517] with apparent high-frequency hearing loss. All three killer whales had best sensitivity between 15 and 20 kHz, with thresholds lower than any odontocete tested to date, suggesting this species might be particularly sensitive to acoustic disturbance...
April 2017: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Jean-Pierre Desforges, Igor Eulaers, Luke Periard, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz, Robert J Letcher
In vitro investigations of the health impact of individual chemical compounds have traditionally been used in risk assessments. However, humans and wildlife are exposed to a plethora of potentially harmful chemicals, including organohalogen contaminants (OHCs). An alternative exposure approach to individual or simple mixtures of synthetic OHCs is to isolate the complex mixture present in free-ranging wildlife, often non-destructively sampled from lipid rich adipose. High concentration stock volumes required for in vitro investigations do, however, pose a great analytical challenge to extract sufficient amounts of complex OHC cocktails...
June 2017: Chemosphere
Brianna M Wright, John K B Ford, Graeme M Ellis, Volker B Deecke, Ari Daniel Shapiro, Brian C Battaile, Andrew W Trites
BACKGROUND: We sought to quantitatively describe the fine-scale foraging behavior of northern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca), a population of fish-eating killer whales that feeds almost exclusively on Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). To reconstruct the underwater movements of these specialist predators, we deployed 34 biologging Dtags on 32 individuals and collected high-resolution, three-dimensional accelerometry and acoustic data. We used the resulting dive paths to compare killer whale foraging behavior to the distributions of different salmonid prey species...
2017: Movement Ecology
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