Robert L. Brownell

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SINE (short interspersed element) insertion analysis elucidates contentious aspects in the phylogeny of toothed whales and dolphins (Odontoceti), especially river dolphins. Here, we characterize 25 informative SINEs inserted into unique genomic loci during evolution of odontocetes to construct a cladogram, and determine a total of 2.8 kb per taxon of the(More)
The world's river dolphins (Inia, Pontoporia, Lipotes and Platanista) are among the least known and most endangered of all cetaceans. The four extant genera inhabit geographically disjunct river systems and exhibit highly modified morphologies, leading many cetologists to regard river dolphins as an unnatural group. Numerous arrangements have been proposed(More)
Southall et al. (2006) concluded that a near mass stranding (MS) of melonheaded whales (MHWs), Peponocephala electra, in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii, on 3–4 July 2004, was likely related to the operation of mid-frequency sonars (MFS). However, subsequent authors argued that the nearly simultaneous entry of MHWs into Sasanhaya Bay, Rota (∼5,740 km away) made(More)
Gray whales are coastal migratory baleen whales that are benthic feeders. Most of their feeding takes place in the northern Pacific Ocean with opportunistic feeding taking place during their migrations and residence on the breeding grounds. The concentrations of organochlorines and trace elements were determined in tissues and stomach contents of juvenile(More)
Organochlorine (OC) contaminant concentrations in tissues and lipid profiles in blubber are summarised for 101 gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) from the eastern North Pacific stock. Samples were obtained from presumably healthy gray whales during a 1994 subsistence hunt in the Russian Arctic (n = 17) and also from biopsy sampling of live animals from the(More)
Few studies have examined systematic relationships of right whales (Eubalaena spp.) since the original species descriptions, even though they are one of the most endangered large whales. Little morphological evidence exists to support the current species designations for Eubalaena glacialis in the northern hemisphere and E. australis in the southern(More)
Right whales carry large populations of three 'whale lice' (Cyamus ovalis, Cyamus gracilis, Cyamus erraticus) that have no other hosts. We used sequence variation in the mitochondrial COI gene to ask (i) whether cyamid population structures might reveal associations among right whale individuals and subpopulations, (ii) whether the divergences of the three(More)
For many years, researchers have speculatedthat fin whales are year-round residents in theSea of Cortez (= Gulf of California). Previouswork by Bérubé and co-workers has shownthat the degree of genetic diversity among finwhales in the Sea of Cortez at nuclear andmitochondrial loci is highly reduced. However,the relatively unobstructed connection with(More)
Most species of baleen whales were subject to intensive overexploitation by commercial whaling in this and previous centuries, and many populations were reduced to small fractions of their original sizes. Here, we review the status of baleen whale stocks, with an emphasis on those that are known or thought to be critically endangered. Current data suggest(More)