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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 120:9-15 (2016)  -  DOI:

Pathology in skeletons of Peale’s dolphin Lagenorhynchus australis from southern South America

Analía A. San Martín1,2,*, Silvina V. Macnie1, R. Natalie P. Goodall1,2,†, Claudia C. Boy1,2 

1Museo Acatushún de Aves y Mamíferos Marinos Australes (AMMA), Sarmiento 44, (9410), Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
2Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC) - CONICET, Bernardo Houssay 200, (9410), Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Peale’s dolphin Lagenorhynchus australis is frequently seen off the coast of southern South America, where it feeds among coastal kelp beds and occasionally strands. We searched for macroscopic evidence of skeletal lesions in 78 specimens of Peale’s dolphin from 2 museum collections, which contain almost all of the species’ skeletons known in collections worldwide. Thirty-two specimens (41%) had some type of osteological abnormalities. In 21 cases (66%), congenital deformations were the most predominant abnormality found. Acquired lesions included (1) induced trauma: abnormal curvature (n = 5 specimens) and fractures (n = 2); (2) infectious diseases: spondylo-osteomyelitis (n = 3); and (3) degenerative diseases: exostoses (n = 8) and spondylosis deformans (n = 4). It is noteworthy that all of these animals died incidentally in gillnet entanglement and were presumably healthy at the time of death. The effect that different osseous lesions may have on an animal’s quality of life may depend on the area of the spine affected and the number of vertebrae involved.

KEY WORDS: Cetacean · Stranding · Congenital anomalies · Tierra del Fuego

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Cite this article as: San Martín AA, Macnie SV, Goodall RNP, Boy CC (2016) Pathology in skeletons of Peale’s dolphin Lagenorhynchus australis from southern South America. Dis Aquat Org 120:9-15.

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