Author Archive

Stable isotopes reveal bottlenose dolphin dietary diversity

Mar 04, 2013 1 comment

The continued success of predator populations, such as the bottlenose dolphins of Sarasota Bay is dependent on prey availability. Because bottlenose dolphins frequently capture and consume prey underwater, assessing their diet by observation is difficult. When a dolphin dies and strands ashore its stomach contents contain the prey it most recently consumed. However, stomach contents [...]

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Historical ecosystem disturbance and recovery of Sarasota Bay recorded in bottlenose dolphin stable isotopes

Jan 17, 2012 2 Comments

Coastal estuaries such as Sarasota Bay are reservoirs of biological diversity; however, out of the thousands of species that inhabit Sarasota Bay, bottlenose dolphins are of special ecological importance for at least two reasons. They are large predators near the top of their food web and they are long-lived. Top predators are useful indicators of [...]

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: 2010-2011 Biopsy sampling of estuarine dolphins in the western Florida Panhandle potentially exposed to contaminants from the spill

Jan 17, 2012 No Comments

The 2010 MC-252 disaster (Deepwater Horizon spill) caused weathered oil to wash ashore along the north central Gulf coast and impacted estuarine communities of plants and animals. We assembled a collaborative team from three Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) institutions (faculty and graduate students from the University of Central Florida, researchers from the Sarasota Dolphin [...]

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Historical trends in Sarasota Bay bottlenose dolphin foraging habits revealed through carbon isotopes

Dec 21, 2010 No Comments

My contribution to dolphin conservation comes not from observing bottlenose dolphins directly in the warm Sarasota sun but rather by exploiting new mass spectrometric techniques that allow me to uncover various attributes of foraging habits by measuring tiny amounts of animal tissue. These techniques involve analysis of the stable isotopes of carbon. Different types of [...]

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Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill: Impacts on estuarine bottlenose dolphins in the West Florida Panhandle

Dec 21, 2010 No Comments

By Graham A.J. Worthy, PhD (UCF), Steve Shippee (UCF), Randall S. Wells, PhD (CZS/Mote Marine Laboratory), Martin Shannon (FFWRI), and Peggy Ostrom, PhD (MSU) We have assembled a collaborative team of researchers from the University of Central Florida, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to study the potential [...]

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Stable isotope values as indicators of bottlenose dolphin foraging habits

Jan 26, 2010 No Comments

This will be the first time that stable isotope analysis will be applied to individual annuli of bottlenose dolphin teeth.

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Stable isotopes in bottlenose dolphin teeth as tools in population differentiation

Jan 11, 2009 No Comments

Bottlenose dolphins are the most frequently-sighted cetaceans in coastal waters of the southeastern U.S. Records also indicate that they are the most common species to strand in this area. As such, they are widely represented in marine mammal museum collections throughout the region. In the most extensive of these collections, a wealth of associated biological [...]

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Bottlenose dolphin population differentiation and trophic studies using Carbon, Nitrogen, and Sulfur stable isotopes and stomach content analyses

Jan 16, 2007 No Comments

By Nélio Barros, PhD, Mote Marine Laboratory, Peggy Ostrom, PhD, Michigan State University, Craig Stricker, PhD, U.S. Geological Survey, and Randall S. Wells, PhD We used a combined approach of stable isotope and conventional stomach content analyses in dietary and population differentiation studies of bottlenose dolphins from central west Florida. Teeth obtained from dolphins stranded [...]

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Assessing the Trophic Ecology of Sarasota Bay Dolphins using Conventional Analyses and Stable Isotopes

Jan 15, 2004 No Comments

The movements and distribution of a predator are generally thought to reflect those of its prey, both in space and time. To better understand the trophic ecology of bottlenose dolphins in the Sarasota Bay area we used conventional (stomach content analyses) and novel technology (stable isotopic analyses), in addition to long-term behavioral observations of feeding. [...]

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