SEXUAL DIMORPHISM IN BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS FROM THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA

Authors

  • Sandra L. Hersh,

    1. Division of Biology and Living Resources, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149-1098
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    • 1

      Current address: 8842 S.W. 16th Street, Miami, Florida 33165.

  • Daniel K. Odell,

    1. Division of Biology and Living Resources, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149-1098
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    • 2

      Current address: Sea World of Florida, 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, Florida 32821.

  • Edward D. Asper

    1. Sea World of Florida, 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, Florida 32821
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Abstract

Skulls of 69 bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops) from the Indian/Banana River on the east coast of Florida were examined for evidence of sexual dimorphism. The only sexual dimorphism shown by t-tests on 28 morphological and four meristic skull characters was that males have, on average, more teeth than females in all four arcades. Results of covariance analysis, employed to account for variation in size, indicate minor dimorphism in parietal width of the skull. Twenty body measurements of 29 Tursiops originating in the same area were also analysed for differences between males and females. Statistical results indicate the possibility of sexual dimorphism in the length from the snout to the umbilicus and in flipper width. No evidence was found for differences in overall skull or body length between the sexes.

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