Saturday, 29 June 2013

Choking on Fish is a significant cause of death for Dolphins in Indian River Lagoon, Florida.

Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are predatory Ceteceans, which primarily hunt small Fish. They are intelligent, social animals, which hunt in packs and are capable of developing new hunting methods to deal with novel prey items.

In a study published in a paper in the journal PLoS One on 19 June 2013, a group of scientists led by Megan Stolen of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute looked at causes of death among stranded Dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon and adjacent areas of the Atlantic Ocean over a 14 year period from 1997 to 2011. During this period they found that 14 of 350 Dolphin deaths in the lagoon were a direct result of choking on fish (4% of the total), while none of the 186 dead Dolphins recovered from the open ocean had died in this way. Dolphins that have died in this way have been found before, but this is extremely rare; of 19 recorded cases of Dolphins choking on Fish known globally, 14 are from this location and discussed in this study. 

The body of a Bottlenose Dolphin with a Fish lodged in its esophagus. In this case the Fish is a Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus). Stolen et al. (2013).

In all cases the Fish were lodged in the esophagus of the Dolphins, compressing or displacing the larynx, and preventing the Dolphins from breathing. In five cases the Fish were found with their tales still protruding from the Dolphin's mouth. In seven cases the Fish were held in place close to the larynx by strong dorsal spines. Eight of the Dolphins were male, two Female and one to badly decomposed to be identified. Twelve of the Dolphins were adults, two juveniles.

In five of the cases the Fish were associated with fishing tackle; two of the Fish had lures attached, and one Fish had a line attached with hooks that had become embedded in the Dolphin's esophagus. In the remaining two cases lines and lures were present, but not attached to the fish, making it hard to say with confidence that they had come from this Fish which had killed the Dolphin.

All the fish were between 19 and 40 cm in length; well within the normal range of Fish consumed by Bottlenose Dolphins. Eight of the fish could be identified to specific level; six Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), one Black Chin Tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron) and one striped mojarra (Diapterus plumieri). Two other fish were tentatively identified as Tilapia (Cichlidae) and one as a Jack (Carangidae).

Sheepshead are a common Fish on the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the US, but are not normally considered an important prey item for Dolphins. They are spiny members of the Perch order (Perciformes) and have a deeper body profile than the Fish usually favored by Dolphins, suggesting that they are a rather risky prey item, which Dolphins would normally avoid. Why the Dolphins of Indian River Lagoon are targeting this Fish is unclear.

The Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), a deep-bodied, spiny, Perciform Fish. Wikimedia Commons/Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission.

Tilapia (which are also Perciformes) are not native to Florida, but have been introduced via Fish farms and are becoming increasingly common in the lagoons. They are similar in shape to familiar prey Fish, but again have prominent spines which may facilitate them becoming lodged in the throats of Dolphins.

The Black Chin Tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron), a spiny non-native Fish. Jacques Panfili/Fishbase.

The precise reason for the high number of choking mortalities among Dolphins in Indian River Lagoon cannot be stated with confidence. One case could clearly be attributed to fishing tackle associated with the Fish, and in four other cases tackle was present but could not be established as the cause of death. Three Dolphins died as a result of consuming an unfamiliar, introduced fish, but far more died after consuming native Fish that Dolphins usually avoid; the reason for this change in feeding behavior is not clear.

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.


  1. I Never Believed in Chester Brian Loan Company Until now.....(
    Hello All, I was really so downcast after losing so much and facing financial difficulties, no one to help me and all i could do was to just seat and watch my business going down and almost losing my son to an illness. But never the less i meet an old college mate who told me about the loan he got from Chester Brian Loan Company and until now the company have assisted so many of his friends seeking a loan. So i told him that getting a loan any more is not my style because of the disappointment from my bank and other loan company i trusted but he insisted i apply for it and now i can now boost of restoring my company back to its full glory. i will keep on testifying on behalf of Chester Brain Loan because they have made me to be a man again. So if interested in acquiring a loan of any kind email them today via: { } OR text (803) 373-2162 .Am Harvey Lee from United States of America.

  2. Dear Donor,

    This is to certify that Dr. Donya Hocket the representative doctor of Kokilaben Hospital here by gives the patient the full confidence and trust on us because we are here to make sure that your satisfaction is our priority. The Patience is to be rest assured and guaranteed that he/she has nothing to be scared off during this transaction because all necessary documentations are in order in accordance with the transplant policy of act 21 of the Decree 2005 Constitution


    1: The patient is to ensure that he/she is qualified to sell his/her Kidney to avoid any form of acquisition during the operation

    2: The patient must be above the age of 12 years and any age below would be disallowed from the offer

    3: The patient must be a legal citizen of his/her country

    4: The patient is to ensure that he/she does not have any form of Business habit on smoking

    5: The patient must keep to our terms and conditions to ensure that the transaction is done swiftly

    6: Donor: The patient must be duly register with the W.H.O (World Health Organization) before any further commitment to the Operation can begin which will cost you (Rs. 7,999)

    7: The patient will ensure that he/she has a next of kin.

    8: Transfer of patient money to his/her bank $225,000 USD =(14,567,143.98INR) Half of the money will be paid first to the patient before the operation on him/her will Commence after which the balance will be paid after the completion of the operation

    Surgery will be done in Indian, but this is optional for donors that don't want to travel but want surgery done in their country.Our Hospital Kokilaben Hospital will arrange here all the donation Paper work and your visa and your travel Tickets.One third [1/3] transferable into your account by our major bank in

    You have to provide your banking information so that we can deposit half of the payment into your bank account and after the operation,you will get the full amount after operation by cash in the hospital

    Donor Information needed Bank details/ID Proof

    Bank Name:
    Account Name:
    Address of your bank
    Phone # of your bank:
    Account Number:
    IFSC Code:

    Note: Transfer of patient money to his/her bank: Half of the money will be paid first to the donor before the operation on him/her will commence after which the balance will be paid after the completion of the operation.$450,000,00 which $225,000 USD =(14,567,143.98INR) would be the half as first installment

    Dr. Donya Hockett


    I'm Nathan Davidson a businessman who was able to revive his dying business through the help of a Godsent lender known as Jason Raymond the CEO of FUNDING CIRCLE INC. Am resident at 1542 Main St, Buffalo, NY.. Well are you trying to start a business, settle your debt, expand your existing one, need money to purchase supplies. Have you been having problem trying to secure a Good Credit Facility, I want you to know that FUNDING CIRCLE INC. is the right place for you to resolve all your financial problem because am a living testimony and i can't just keep this to myself when others are looking for a way to be financially lifted.. I want you all to contact this Godsent lender using the details as stated in other to be a partaker of this great opportunity Email: OR Call/Text +14067326622

  4. Assalamu alaikum warohmatullahi wabarokatu...
    Mohon maaf bilah kedatangan saya mengganggu. Perkenalkan nama saya Widia Ningrum asal magelang seorang mantan PRT duluh kerja di kota malaka malaysia selama 8 tahun lamanya. Singkat cerita..saya sangat berterima kasih kpd MBAH KARTABAYA atas bantuan beliau melalui pemasangan nomer togel 6D Nya alhamdulillah saya menang RM,257.000 uang indo kurang lebih 770 juta. saya tidak menyangka kalau saya bisa sesukses ini dan ini semua berkat bantuan MBAH KARTABAYA, saya yang dulunya bukan siapa-siapa bahkan saya juga selalu dihina orang alhamdulillah kini sekarang saya sudah punya rumah dan usaha sendiri itu semua atas bantuan beliau. Saya tidak tau harus berbuat apa untuk membalas kebaikan beliau karna banyakNya orang yg saya telpon dari google untuk minta bantuanNya tidak ada satu pun yg berhasil malah hutang saya tambah banyak. Beliau juga bisa membantu melalui pesugihan uang gaib tanpa tumbal, Pelet, Pelaris, Nomer togel 4D/5D/6D.. Bagi anda yg diluar negri maupun dalam negri butuh bantuan beliau jangan takut atau maluh segerah hubungi MBAH KARTABAYA di nomer 085280923347 / +6285280923347 Semua akan berubah Karna kesuksesan ada pada diri kita sendiri. Yakin dan percaya bahwa itu semua akan tercapai berkat bantuan dari mbah dan muda2han anda cocok dan beliau bisa membantu anda seperti saya. Sekian dan terima kasih atas tumpangannya semoga dengan adaNya pesan singkat ini semua bisa merubah nasib...


  5. Are you interested in selling one of your kidney for a good amount kindly Contact us now as we are looking for kidney donor, Very urgently who are B+ve , O+ve and A+ve. Donor should be 18 years or above. Interested Donor should contact us now.
    Dr. Micheal Varghese
    call number: +919500703584
    WhatsApp: +919500703584

  6. Halo,
    Saya seorang pemberi pinjaman Pinjaman Asing yang saya memutuskan untuk memberikan pinjaman jangka pendek, sederhana dan panjang kepada orang-orang jujur ​​yang walaupun pendapatan bulanan mereka berjuang untuk memenuhi keperluan asas mereka. Sama ada anda seorang broker yang ingin membantu pelanggan mencari pembiayaan peribadi atau pelabur yang ingin memaksimumkan pulangan anda, saya lelaki awak!

    Kami mempunyai sejumlah besar "Modal Persendirian" dan secara agresif mencari pinjaman ekuiti hartanah. Hubungi saya jika anda mahu keputusan!


    • Pinjaman Untuk Semua
    • Pinjaman Tunai Keluar Semua Jenis Hartanah
    • Bangunan Multi-keluarga / Pangsapuri
    • Pinjaman Untuk Pelabur
    • Pinjaman Jambatan / Pembiayaan Mezzanine
    • Pinjaman untuk Pembeli Asing
    • Pinjaman Komersial
    • Tanah / Pembinaan
    • Produk Komersial / Multifamily Baru, dengan kadar faedah yang rendah sebanyak 2%
    • Jumlah Pinjaman: 2,000 euro - Di atas

    Gonzalez Andres Financial Company
    Laman web:

  7. Specialist hospital that buy kidney @ Rate of $448000
    Do you wish to sell your kidney in exchange of money? If yes.
    Contact Dr Jack Martins today to get a reliable and good transaction.
    Contact via below information
    Email :
    call me @ +919654506410
    WhatsApp number: +918122208392