European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 182–187

Biological aspects of Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) recorded in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea

Authors

    • Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
  • Martina Ðuras Gomerči
    • Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
  • Tomislav Gomerči
    • Department of Biology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
  • Hrvoje Luci
    • Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
  • Merel Dalebout
    • School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Auckland
    • Biology DepartmentDalhousie University
  • Ana Galov
    • Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Zagreb
  • Darinka Škrti
    • Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
  • Snježana  urkovi
    • Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
  • Snježana Vukovi
    • Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
  • Ðuro Huber
    • Department of Biology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Zagreb
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10344-006-0032-8

Cite this article as:
Gomerči, H., Ðuras Gomerči, M., Gomerči, T. et al. Eur J Wildl Res (2006) 52: 182. doi:10.1007/s10344-006-0032-8

Abstract

The paper describes two stranded ziphiids from Croatia: a subadult female (length 430 cm, body mass 610 kg) that was stranded in 2001 and an adult male (length 510 cm, body mass ∼1,000 kg) that was stranded in 2002. Both were confirmed to be Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris Cuvier, 1823) from analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences and osteological features. There are no previous records of Cuvier’s beaked whales from the Croatian part of the Adriatic. The external shape of the head of the female specimen appears to be significantly different from the heads of Cuvier’s beaked whales from other seas. The Croatian specimen exhibited embedded pieces of gravel in the gum tissue around the tip of the lower and upper jaws, which was observed for the first time in a Cuvier’s beaked whale. The presence of the female in shallow coastal waters for several weeks and her boat-positive behaviour are apparently also first records of this kind for the species. The female was found to have ingested several plastic bags which likely caused her death. These are the northernmost findings of this species in the Adriatic Sea.

Keywords

DNA identification External morphology Osteometry Behaviour

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006