Abstract: pilot whale diving and night-time behavior (fwd)

From: Pita Admininstrator (pita@whale.wheelock.edu)
Date: Mon Jul 22 2002 - 15:34:49 EDT

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    New publication:

    Baird, R.W., J.F. Borsani, M.B. Hanson and P.L. Tyack. 2002. Diving and
    night-time behavior of long-finned pilot whales in the Ligurian Sea.
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 237:301-305.


    Pilot whales Globicephala spp. have long been thought to be deep divers,
    yet little information is available on dive depths. During August 1999 we
    obtained detailed dive data from suction-cup attached time-depth
    recorder/VHF radio tags deployed on 5 long-finned pilot whales G. melas.
    Pilot whales were tagged for short periods (average 5 h/ind.) in deep
    (>2000 m) waters of the Ligurian Sea, off the NW coast of Italy. During
    the day all 5 whales spent their time in the top 16 m of the water column,
    and visible surface activities consisted primarily of rest and social
    behaviors. Tags remained attached after dark on 2 whales and shortly after
    sunset both whales made several deep dives (max. 360 and 648 m). Velocity
    on these deep dives was greater than during shallow dives either during
    the day or at night, suggesting that these deep dives function primarily
    for foraging. Our results confirm the supposition that long-finned pilot
    whales can dive deep, particularly within 2 h after sunset, which is the
    time that vertically migrating prey become more readily available as they
    move closer to the surface.

    PDF copies or reprints can be obtained from rwbaird@is.dal.ca or

    Anyone interested in more information on the use of suction-cup attached
    time-depth recorders with cetaceans can find several additional PDF
    publications and reports at: http://is.dal.ca/~whitelab/rwb/robin.htm

    Robin W. Baird, Ph.D.
    Post-doctoral Fellow, Biology Department, Dalhousie University
    Cetacean and Sea Turtle Team, NMFS, NOAA Beaufort Lab
    101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, NC 28516 USA
    Phone: 252-728-8601
    Fax: 252-728-8784
    e-mail: robin.baird@noaa.gov or rwbaird@is.dal.ca

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