|The fate of old bottle-nosed dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in nature as revealed by the condition of their skeletons|
De Smet, W.M.A. (1977). The fate of old bottle-nosed dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in nature as revealed by the condition of their skeletons. Aquat. Mamm. 5(3): 78-86
In: Aquatic Mammals. European Association for Aquatic Mammals: Harderwijk. ISSN 0167-5427, meer
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- De Smet, W.M.A. (1978). The fate of old bottle-nosed dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in nature as revealed by the condition of their skeletons, in: (1978). IZWO Coll. Rep. 8(1978). IZWO Collected Reprints, 8: pp. chapter 6, meer
Comparison of the skeletons of stranded or river-dwelling bottle-nosed dolphins with those of delphinarium specimens revealed that many of the former animals had suffered from various diseases.
Most wild specimens have broken or lost a part of their teeth or even all of them. In a few cases they show signs of bone erosion (probably by abscesses), bone neoformation, and in a single case a broken mandible. Teeth abrasion may start early in life. Also delphinarium specimens may have broken teeth.
Broken ribs can be found in half of the number of specimens. In the wild the ribs healed nicely, but in the delphinarium they hardly did. All the wild specimens show periosteitic phenomena to some degree. Delphinarium specimens are not excepted from them. In one of the old specimens foramina became partially occluded. Ankylosing hyperostosis is seen in two specimens.
It is advised that during autopsies attention is paid to the condition of the teeth, the solidity of the rib-cage and the general state of the skeleton.