European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 182–187 | Cite as

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

  • Hrvoje Gomerči
  • Martina Ðuras Gomerči
  • Tomislav Gomerči
  • Hrvoje Luci
  • Merel Dalebout
  • Ana Galov
  • Darinka Škrti
  • Snježana  urkovi
  • Snježana Vukovi
  • Ðuro Huber
Original Paper

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 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hrvoje Gomerči
    • 1
  • Martina Ðuras Gomerči
    • 1
  • Tomislav Gomerči
    • 2
  • Hrvoje Luci
    • 1
  • Merel Dalebout
    • 3
    • 5
  • Ana Galov
    • 4
  • Darinka Škrti
    • 1
  • Snježana  urkovi
    • 1
  • Snježana Vukovi
    • 1
  • Ðuro Huber
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  5. 5.Biology DepartmentDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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