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Diet studies based on contents from two separate stomach compartments of northeast Atlantic minke whales Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Lindstrøm, U.; Haug, T.; Nilssen, K.J. (1997). Diet studies based on contents from two separate stomach compartments of northeast Atlantic minke whales Balaenoptera acutorostrata. Sarsia 82: 63-68
In: Sarsia. University of Bergen. Universitetsforlaget: Bergen. ISSN 0036-4827, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Lindstrøm, U.
  • Haug, T.
  • Nilssen, K.J.

Abstract
    Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) have a multichambered stomach system. Recent diet studies of northeast Atlantic minke whales have been based on reconstructed contents of the forestomach. In this study, however, a comparison of contents from two stomach compartments, the forestomach and the remaining stomach chambers, respectively, was carried out. The aim was to investigate whether these two stomach compartments differed with regard to total estimated content weight and diet composition, and what possible implications that might have for the analyses of minke whale diets. A total of 148 fore- and remaining stomachs, sampled in 1992 and 1993, were analysed. The estimated initial forestomach contents weighed significantly more than the initial contents estimated from the remaining stomachs. This was probably a result of several factors such as minke whales being caught at various states of satiation, the rapid digestion of some otoliths in the remaining stomachs and the influence of prey types on meal sizes leading to large variations in forestomach content weights. In spite of these differences between estimated fore- and remaining stomach content weights, there was negligible difference between the two compartments with regard to frequency of occurrence and percentage weight of prey. The results obtained seem to indicate that the contents from the forestomachs are sufficient to adequately describe minke whale diets.

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