Regurgitation in wild dolphins (fwd)

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Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 12:38:30 EST

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    Subject: Regurgitation in wild dolphins

    Dear list members,

    Diving and swimming around the daily (very restricted) home-range of the
    solitary sociable Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin (T. aduncus) in Sinai, we
    regularly find regurgitated fish bones (mainly whole skulls and skull
    elements) in a very good state on the sandy bottom. On few occasions,
    we have obsereved her in the act of regurgitation, in which very clean
    bones (devoid of soft tissues) are ejected amongst a powdery-clouded
    (ground bones?)
    water jet.
    We would like to know if this is the normal pattern in dolphins, vomiting
    out large bony elements
    which are not mechanically disintegrated in the fore stomach, or is this a
    specific/individual behavior? We found several references discribing or
    alluding to
    regurgitation of food debris and foreign objects by captive bottlenose
    dolphins, ie:

    Caldwell and Caldwell (1987): Foregion objects ingestion by Atlantic
    Bottlenose Dolphins;
    Accident or Design. Abstrac: Seventh bien. conf. Biology of Marine Mammals.
    Dec. 1987, Miami.

    Harrison, RJ et al. (1970): The oesophagus and stomach of dolphins (Tursiops,
    Delphinus and Stenella). J. Zool. 160:377-390.

    But nothing in wild animals.

    We wonder if any of you had occasion to observe similar behavior in the
    wild, or can direct us
    to published information that we have missed. A summary of your responses
    will be posted to
    the list.

    Many thanks,

    Dan Kerem, Ph.D.
    IMMRAC (Israeli Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center)
    The Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies
    The University of Haifa
    Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905
    Tel: + 972-4-8249449 Fax: + 972-4-8240493

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