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Dietary plasticity of the oceanic striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, in the neritic waters of the Bay of Biscay
Spitz, J.; Richard, E.; Meynier, L.; Pusineri, C.; Ridoux, V. (2006). Dietary plasticity of the oceanic striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, in the neritic waters of the Bay of Biscay. J. Sea Res. 55(4): 309-320
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Continental shelves; Diets; Marine mammals; Neritic province; Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen, 1833) [WoRMS]; ANE, Biscay Bay [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Spitz, J.
  • Richard, E.
  • Meynier, L.
  • Pusineri, C.
  • Ridoux, V.

Abstract
    The striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, is an oceanic species that occasionally occurs in neritic habitats; in the Bay of Biscay it is abundant offshore and erratic in occurrence over the shelf. Given that prey assemblages differ widely among these habitats both in terms of taxonomic composition and of ecology, this would suggest that striped dolphins are able to shift from vertically migrating meso-pelagic prey to neritic or coastal prey types. We investigated the striped dolphin's dietary plasticity by examining the stomach contents of individuals stranded along the French Atlantic coast. 1109 prey items were identified belonging to 30 distinct taxa and their biomass was calculated. Fish accounted for 91% of the diet by number and 61% by mass; the rest was mostly cephalopods, crustaceans being present as trace. Specific composition included both oceanic (myctophid and sternoptychid fish; histioteuthid, gonatid and brachioteuthid cephalopods), neritic (gadids and anchovy; loliginid, sepiolid and sepiid cephalopods) and even coastal (atherinid fish) prey types, showing that these animals had changed their diet as they moved over the shelf.

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