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Feeding habits of delphinids (Mammalia: Cetacea) from Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

  • C.L.C. Melo (a1) (a2), R.A. Santos (a3), M. Bassoi (a4), A.C. Araújo (a1), J. Lailson-Brito (a1), P.R. Dorneles (a1) (a5) and A.F. Azevedo (a1)...
Abstract

Stomach content analyses were performed in 28 dolphins stranded between 1994 and 2007 on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro State (23°06′S 44°18′W/22°14′S 41°54′W), Brazil, comprising six delphinid species: Stenella frontalis (N = 10), Steno bredanensis (N = 7), Tursiops truncatus (N = 4), Delphinus delphis (N = 5), Lagenodelphis hosei (N = 1) and Stenella coeruleoalba (N = 1). Fish otoliths and cephalopod beaks were used to identify the prey species and to estimate the original length and weight. Seven different cephalopod species from six families and 15 fish species belonging to 10 families were identified. Although the fish contribution could be underestimated, cephalopods constituted the group of higher importance, revealing that these invertebrates may represent an important source of energy for delphinids in the region. In this context, the squid Loligo plei should be highlighted due to its important contribution. Most preys were coastal and demersal, and such consumption could indicate coastal foraging habits of the quoted dolphin species. Although dolphins consumed many species of prey in common, they fed on different size-classes of prey. The foraging area of the dolphins could be the same region used by fishing operations, which would represent a risk for incidental capture.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: C.L.C. Melo, Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquaticos e Bioindicadores (MAQUA), Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524/4002E, Maracanã, 20550-013, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Brazil email: claudialucasmelo@gmail.com
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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