GROWTH OF BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) FROM THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON SYSTEM, FLORIDA, U. S. A.

Authors

  • Megan K. Stolen,

    1. University of Central Florida, Department of Biology, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32816-2368, U. S. A.
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    • 1

      Current address: Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, 6295 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32821-8043, U. S. A.; e-mail: mstolen@hswri.org.

  • Daniel K. Odell,

    1. Corporate Zoological Operations, Busch Entertainment Corporation, 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, Florida 32821-8097, U. S. A.
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  • Nélio B. Barros

    1. Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, 6295 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32821-8043, U. S. A.
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    • 2

      Current address: Center for Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Research, Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, Florida 34236-1096, U. S. A.


Abstract

Gompertz growth models were fitted to total lengths and ages from tooth sections of 199 stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon system, eastern Florida. Based on the model, dolphins from this population are estimated to be born at 119 cm and reach asymptotic length at 250 cm. No apparent pubescent growth acceleration was noted for either sex. Males appeared to grow to slightly longer lengths than females. There were small size differences between Indian River dolphins and those in Texas and Sarasota, indicating general size similarities between North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico bottlenose dolphins stocks.

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