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Keywords:

  • feeding habits;
  • stable isotopes;
  • trophic level;
  • common dolphin;
  • Delphinus capensis;
  • Gulf of California

Abstract

Stable isotopic analyses of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur were performed on teeth of different ages and sexes of the longbeaked common dolphin, Delphinus capensis, from the Gulf of California. Similarities in diet are suggested between the sexes, with no significant differences in isotopic compositions being observed. Differences in the δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S signatures were found among the age groups (nursing calf, juvenile, subadult, and adult). These data suggest that this species is generally a coastal feeder, and that it changes its feeding habits with increasing age, drawing more nutrition from higher trophic level organisms later in life.