Two sympatric dolphin species, Stenella frontalis and Tursiops truncatus, resident to Little Bahama Bank, Bahamas were found to mostly forage independent of one another, but occasionally foraged in mixed groups. Analysis of over 20 years of data revealed the degree of overlap to be minimal with spatially distinct regions identified for both species, environmental segregation based on depth, bottom type, temperature, and time of day. Results based on observational data indicated significant differences in group size and selected prey.
For S. frontalis, lactating females had the most distinct diet, which differed from that of non-reproductively active (NRA) females. Pregnant females had ambiguous prey use results, but diet differences were revealed through nutritional analysis. Lactating females had a higher intake of all nutrients (% moisture, % lipid, % protein, and calories) than pregnant females but lower than NRA females. Mother and calf pairs selected prey for caloric and moisture values. The influence of calves on foraging groups was reflected through discrete differences in all nutrients. Males and females appeared to select the same major prey, but female prey use was much more diverse.
|Advisor:||Herzing, Denise L.|
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||MAI 50/02M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Biological oceanography, Behavioral Sciences|
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