Marine Biology

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 165–169

Compositional topography of melon lipids in the Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin Tursiops truncatus: Implications for echo-location


  • C. Litchfield
    • Department of BiochemistryRutgers University
  • R. Karol
    • Department of BiochemistryRutgers University
  • A. J. Greenberg
    • Department of BiochemistryRutgers University

DOI: 10.1007/BF00389480

Cite this article as:
Litchfield, C., Karol, R. & Greenberg, A.J. Mar. Biol. (1973) 23: 165. doi:10.1007/BF00389480


Major variations in lipid composition exist within the fatty melon tissue of the Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin Tursiops truncatus. Topographical lipid analyses indicate a central “inner melon” core surrounded by distinctive “outer melon”, “under melon”, and blubber tissues. Acoustical considerations suggest that this melon-lipid topography may aid in collimation of the ultrasonic pulses used by the dolphin for echolocation.

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© Springer-Verlag 1973