Randall S. Wells

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There is a need for biological information to support current stock designations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Gulf of Mexico. The existence of many inshore, resident “communities” raises questions as to the relationship these dolphins may hold with dolphins inhabiting neighboring inshore and coastal areas. In this study, population(More)
Since 1987, large-scale mortalities of dolphins have been reported along the Atlantic coast of North America, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Mediterranean Sea. Autopsied bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, which were collected from the large-scale mortality along the Atlantic coast in 1987 to 1988, exhibited opportunistic infections indicative of(More)
Data from behavioural observations and acoustic recordings of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were analysed to determine whether signature whistles are produced by wild undisturbed dolphins, and how whistle production varies with activity and group size. The study animals were part of a resident community of bottlenose dolphins near(More)
Several major unusual mortality events occurring in recent years have increased the level of concern for the health of bottlenose dolphin populations along the United States Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Trace element concentrations were examined in a population of free-ranging dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, in order to develop a benchmark for(More)
Mother-calf whistle exchanges were recorded from temporarily captured free-ranging bottlenose dolphins from 1975 to 1989. This is part of a long-term research project studying social structure and behavior of a community of approximately 100 dolphins in waters near Sarasota, Florida. Analysis of whistle exchanges from 12 mothercalf pairs shows that(More)
The environmental distribution and the biomagnification of a suite of perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs), including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and C8 to C14 perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs), was investigated in the food web of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Surficial seawater and sediment samples, as well as zooplankton, fish, and(More)
Enhanced oxygen reserves in the blood facilitate diving in marine mammals. For pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), a developmental period of 4 to 24 months is required for blood oxygen stores to reach adult capacities. We investigated whether a similar developmental period for the blood occurs in cetaceans (dolphins and whales), a group of mammals that are(More)
Recordings of manatee ~Trichechus manatus spp.! vocalizations were made in Florida and Belize to quantify both intraspecific and geographic variation. Manatee vocalizations were relatively stereotypical in that they were short tonal harmonic complexes with small frequency modulations at the beginning and end. Vocalizations ranged from almost pure tones to(More)
Vocal learning is relatively common in birds but less so in mammals. Sexual selection and individual or group recognition have been identified as major forces in its evolution. While important in the development of vocal displays, vocal learning also allows signal copying in social interactions. Such copying can function in addressing or labelling selected(More)
Polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAs) have been used for decades in industrial and commercial products and are now detected worldwide. Concentrations of two major PFA groups, carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and sulfonic acids (PFSAs), were assessed in plasma of bottlenose dolphins from the Gulf of Mexico (Sarasota Bay, FL) and the Atlantic Ocean (Delaware Bay, NJ,(More)