Taxonomy and distribution of bottlenose dolphins in Australian waters: an osteological clarification.

Jedensjö, M.; Kemper, C.M.; Milella, M.; Willems, E.P.; Krützen, M. (2020). Taxonomy and distribution of bottlenose dolphins in Australian waters: an osteological clarification. Canadian journal of zoology, 98(7), pp. 461-479. Canadian Science Publishing 10.1139/cjz-2018-0270

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Species relationships in the genus Tursiops are controversial. We carried out a comprehensive osteological study of 264 skulls, including type specimens, and 90 postcranial skeletons of Tursiops spp., to address taxonomic uncertainties in Australia using two-dimensional measurements (2D), and three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (3DGM), tooth counts, and categorical data. Analyses provided support for the presence of two forms, aligned to T. aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1832) and T. truncatus (Montagu, 1821), including type specimens. Tursiops australis (Charlton-Robb et al. 2011) fell well within T. truncatus for both methods. Thirteen Tursiops spp. specimens, no T. australis specimens, were of intermediate size (2D) and could not be assigned to either species. For 3DGM data there was a strong allometric influence and few non-allometric differences between species. Length and width of the cranium and rostrum were important discriminating variables. Tursiops aduncus was smaller, had more teeth, fewer vertebrae, and more erosion on the pterygoids and frontals than T. truncatus. Overall cranium shape was round in T. aduncus and angular in T. truncatus. Skull length of T. aduncus was smaller in low than in high latitudes. This study highlights the importance of large sample size, multiple analytical methods and extensive geographical coverage when undertaking taxonomic studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Milella, Marco

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0008-4301

Publisher:

Canadian Science Publishing

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marco Milella

Date Deposited:

01 Jul 2020 11:32

Last Modified:

01 Jul 2020 11:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1139/cjz-2018-0270

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.144058

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/144058

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