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Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are widely distributed and a high degree of morphometric and genetic differentiation has been found among both allopatric and parapatric populations. We analysed 145 samples along a contiguous distributional range from the Black Sea to the eastern North Atlantic for mitochondrial and nuclear genetic diversity, and(More)
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have a world-wide distribution, and show morphotypic variation among regions. Distinctions between coastal and pelagic populations have been documented; however, regional patterns of differentiation had not been previously investigated in a wider geographic context. We analysed up to nine different populations from(More)
The resolution of taxonomic classifications for delphinid cetaceans has been problematic, especially for species in the genera Delphinus, Tursiops and Stenella. The frequent lack of correspondence between morphological and genetic differentiation in these species raises questions about the mechanisms responsible for their evolution. In this study we focus(More)
A low level of genetic variation in mammalian populations where the census population size is relatively large has been attributed to various factors, such as a naturally small effective population size, historical bottlenecks and social behaviour. The killer whale (Orcinus orca) is an abundant, highly social species with reduced genetic variation. We find(More)
Despite the scarcity of geographical barriers in the ocean environment, delphinid cetaceans often exhibit marked patterns of population structure on a regional scale. The European coastline is a prime example, with species exhibiting population structure across well-defined environmental boundaries. Here we undertake a comprehensive population genetic study(More)
The diversity of exon-2 (peptide-binding region) of the DQB1 locus (Class II, major histocompatibility complex, MHC) was investigated on an extended sample of populations of three focal cetacean species (two sibling delphinid species and another in the same family). We tested the hypothesis that dolphin populations with a worldwide distribution across(More)
In the Mediterranean Sea, top predators, and particularly cetacean odontocetes, accumulate high concentrations of organochlorine contaminants and toxic metals, incurring high toxicological risk. In this paper we investigate the use of the skin biopsies as a non-lethal tool for evaluating toxicological hazard of organochlorines in Mediterranean cetaceans,(More)
Understanding the evolution of diversity and the resulting systematics in marine systems is confounded by the lack of clear boundaries in oceanic habitats, especially for highly mobile species like marine mammals. Dolphin populations and sibling species often show differentiation between coastal and offshore habitats, similar to the pelagic/littoral or(More)
Shark nets placed along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal to protect bathers from shark attacks result in an incidental by-catch of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) at twice the level suggested by the IWC as the maximum sustainable capture rate for a cetacean population. Observational data reported the presence of at least two putative populations, one a(More)
Mediterranean Sea common dolphins have recently been listed as ‘endangered’ in the IUCN Red list, due to their reported decline since the middle of the 20th century. However, little is know about the number or distribution of populations in this region. We analysed 118 samples from the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and eastern North Atlantic at nine(More)