An Introduction to Marine
Mammals: With a focus on India

12/21/2013

Mridula Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Terra Marine Research Inst...
Roadmap
Marine Mammal Basics
Why Marine Mammals are Unique
Marine Mammal Types
Cetaceans
Cetaceans of India
Studying Marin...
Mammals BASICS
Nurse young
Have hair
Warm blooded
Four-chambered
heart
Parental Care
Lungs to breathe
Same core body
tempe...
Marine Mammal BASICS
Nurse young
Have hair
Warm blooded
Four-chambered heart
Parental Care
Lungs to breathe
Same co...
Marine Mammal Basics Cont.…
Gestation period range: 10-17.5 months

1 – 3 year birth interval
breeding – migration (onl...
Hippopotamus - Whales & Dolphins

Bears - Seals

Manatees & Dugongs ELEPHANTS

12/21/2013

6
Whale Evolution

VIDEO
12/21/2013

7
What makes marine mammals
unique ?
Breath holding (High Myoglobin)
Live and reproduce for the most part in water
Deep dive...
• Above and below
water
• No eyelashes
• More rods then
cones/some color
vision

http://cetus.ucsd.edu/voicesinthesea_org/...
~78 SPECIES OF WHALES, DOLPHINS, PORPOISES

12/21/2013

10
4 species (manatees and dugong)

12/21/2013

11
~33 species of seals, sea lions, walrus

12/21/2013

12
Sea Otters

Marine - related to weasels,
12/21/2013
badgers, river otters

Polar Bears

Depend on ocean for food
13
Marine Mammals of the World – Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order – Cetacea – Whales and...
Taxonomy – Family

Whales, Dolphins, and
Porpoises (Cetaceans)

Balaenidae
Neobalaenidae
Eschrichtiidae
Balaenopteridae
Ph...
Cetaceans: Whales and
Dolphins, and Porpoises
Two Sub-Orders--Odontocetes (Toothed Whales)

Mysticetes (Baleen Whales)

12...
Marine Mammals of India
•
-

KNOWN 20-25 species found in India
Ganges River Dolphins
Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins
Irraw...
Baleen whales or Mysticetes
Have 2 blow holes
Females are larger than
males
Mostly solitary, but
cooperate during feeding!...
12/21/2013

19
Mysticete External Morphology

12/21/2013

20
Tooth brush or baleen!!

12/21/2013

21
Baleen size and feeding technique
Gray whale – shortest baleen
sediment or bottom feeding. Biggest reason
for organic sedi...
12/21/2013

23
Know a whale from its blow!
Right Whale Blow

Characteristic V- shaped
12/21/2013

24
Family: Balaenopteridae

Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus
• Rorquals (2 genera, 8
species)
• 7 separated cervical
vertebr...
Toothed Whales or Odontocetes
One blowhole
Killer whales sexually
dimorphic
Strong social bonds
Known for their human/chim...
Odontocete
External Morphology

12/21/2013

27
Female
(Lagenorhynchus obscurus)

12/21/2013

28
Male
(Lagenorhynchus
obscurus)

12/21/2013

29
Family: Physeteridae
Produces
ambergris – a
valuable
substance in
perfumes.

•
• Sperm whale (Physeter
macrocephalus): 1 s...
Family: Kogiidae
• Pygmy and dwarf sperm
whales (1 genus, 2
species)
• Blunt, shark-like head

Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia br...
Family: Ziphiidae

A rare photograph of Blainville’s beaked whale
(Mesoplodon densirostris)

• Beaked whales (6 genera, 20...
Family: Platanistidae
Platanista
gangetica
India’s
National
Aquatic
Animal
•

•
•
•

Two captive Susus (Platanista sp.)
In...
Family: Delphinidae

Common dolphin
(Delphinus delphis)
12/21/2013

• 36 species, 17 genera
• Range from 1.5-10 m
in lengt...
Family: Phocoenidae
• The porpoises: 3 genera with 6
species
• Porpoises are distinguished
from other Odontocetes by their...
Dolphin and Porpoise
features
Porpoise Features

spade shaped teeth

triangular dorsal fin

12/21/2013
no beak

Dolphin Fe...
What can we hope to see in
waters near Karwar and Goa

12/21/2013

37
12/21/2013

38
What can we learn from
studying dolphins and whales
and how do we study them?

12/21/2013

39
Photo Identification
• Identifying unique
individuals by markings
on their dorsal fin
• Saddle-patches plus dorsal
fin for...
Dorsal Fins

Top
chopped

Trailing edge

Leading Edge
12/21/2013

Top Notch

Unusual
pigmentation/
scars
41
What can we use this for?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Movement patterns (migrations)
Habitat use and Distributions
Site fidelit...
Other Techniques

• Biopsy
• Radio Tracking and
Satellite Tagging
• Boat-based studies
• Theodolite tracking
(Hill-based)
...
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
They are like “humans”
Top of the food chain
‘TIGERS OF THE SEA’
Sentinels of Ocean
Health and Climate...
The End

12/21/2013

Thank you!

45
Back Up Slides

12/21/2013

46
WHOI CSI
• http://csi.whoi.edu/interactive/harborporpois
e2d (harbor porpoise body)
• http://csi.whoi.edu/interactive/pinn...
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Introduction to Marine Mammals_Mridula Srinivasan_2013

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At the Timi-Kurm Festival, this presentation was used as an aid to explain marine mammals.

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Introduction to Marine Mammals_Mridula Srinivasan_2013

  1. 1. An Introduction to Marine Mammals: With a focus on India 12/21/2013 Mridula Srinivasan, Ph.D. Terra Marine Research Institute 2013 Timi-Kurm Festival 1
  2. 2. Roadmap Marine Mammal Basics Why Marine Mammals are Unique Marine Mammal Types Cetaceans Cetaceans of India Studying Marine Mammals 12/21/2013 2
  3. 3. Mammals BASICS Nurse young Have hair Warm blooded Four-chambered heart Parental Care Lungs to breathe Same core body temperature 12/21/2013 3
  4. 4. Marine Mammal BASICS Nurse young Have hair Warm blooded Four-chambered heart Parental Care Lungs to breathe Same core body temperature 12/21/2013 4
  5. 5. Marine Mammal Basics Cont.… Gestation period range: 10-17.5 months 1 – 3 year birth interval breeding – migration (only whales) – feeding – calving – lactation – weaning – resting/playing 12/21/2013 5
  6. 6. Hippopotamus - Whales & Dolphins Bears - Seals Manatees & Dugongs ELEPHANTS 12/21/2013 6
  7. 7. Whale Evolution VIDEO 12/21/2013 7
  8. 8. What makes marine mammals unique ? Breath holding (High Myoglobin) Live and reproduce for the most part in water Deep divers May drink salt water, get water from prey Longest migrations Blubber/fur (insulation) 12/21/2013 8
  9. 9. • Above and below water • No eyelashes • More rods then cones/some color vision http://cetus.ucsd.edu/voicesinthesea_org/videos/videos.html (VOICES OF THE SEA) 12/21/2013 9
  10. 10. ~78 SPECIES OF WHALES, DOLPHINS, PORPOISES 12/21/2013 10
  11. 11. 4 species (manatees and dugong) 12/21/2013 11
  12. 12. ~33 species of seals, sea lions, walrus 12/21/2013 12
  13. 13. Sea Otters Marine - related to weasels, 12/21/2013 badgers, river otters Polar Bears Depend on ocean for food 13
  14. 14. Marine Mammals of the World – Classification Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order – Cetacea – Whales and Dolphins Order – Sirenia – Manatees and Dugongs Order – Carnivora – Polar bear, seals, sea lions, otters 12/21/2013 14
  15. 15. Taxonomy – Family Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises (Cetaceans) Balaenidae Neobalaenidae Eschrichtiidae Balaenopteridae Physeteridae Kogiidae Platanistidae Pontoporiidae Lipotidae Iniidae Monodontidae Phocoenidae Delphinidae 12/21/2013 Ziphiidae Seals, Sea Lions, and Walrus (Pinnipeds) Phocidae Otariidae Odobenidae Manatees and Dugongs (Sirenia) Trichechidae Dugongidae Polar Bears and Sea Otters (Carnivores) Ursidae Mustelidae 15
  16. 16. Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins, and Porpoises Two Sub-Orders--Odontocetes (Toothed Whales) Mysticetes (Baleen Whales) 12/21/2013 16
  17. 17. Marine Mammals of India • - KNOWN 20-25 species found in India Ganges River Dolphins Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Irrawaddy Dolphins Dwarf Sperm Whales Bottlenose dolphins Dugongs Beaked whales Finless Porpoise Humpback Whales Sperm Whales 12/21/2013 17
  18. 18. Baleen whales or Mysticetes Have 2 blow holes Females are larger than males Mostly solitary, but cooperate during feeding! Long migrations Use low frequency sounds (<10KHz)to communicate long distances 4 families with a total of 14 species 12/21/2013 18
  19. 19. 12/21/2013 19
  20. 20. Mysticete External Morphology 12/21/2013 20
  21. 21. Tooth brush or baleen!! 12/21/2013 21
  22. 22. Baleen size and feeding technique Gray whale – shortest baleen sediment or bottom feeding. Biggest reason for organic sediment turnover in the oceans. Right and bowhead whales – thickest and longest baleen – skim feeders Humpback and blue whales ( rorqual whales) – intermediate length baleen mid-water column feeding, gulp or lunge feeders 12/21/2013 22
  23. 23. 12/21/2013 23
  24. 24. Know a whale from its blow! Right Whale Blow Characteristic V- shaped 12/21/2013 24
  25. 25. Family: Balaenopteridae Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus • Rorquals (2 genera, 8 species) • 7 separated cervical vertebrae • Small dorsal fin behind 12/21/2013 midline • 30-100 gular grooves • Short baleen plates, 200+ per side 25
  26. 26. Toothed Whales or Odontocetes One blowhole Killer whales sexually dimorphic Strong social bonds Known for their human/chimp equivalent Cognition and Intelligence Use echolocation to feed and communicate Use high frequency sounds to communicate 10kHz-100KHz 10 families with at least 71 species 12/21/2013 26
  27. 27. Odontocete External Morphology 12/21/2013 27
  28. 28. Female (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) 12/21/2013 28
  29. 29. Male (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) 12/21/2013 29
  30. 30. Family: Physeteridae Produces ambergris – a valuable substance in perfumes. • • Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus): 1 species • • 18-25 conical teeth on lower jaw only • Dorsal hump; no fin • 12/21/2013 All cervical vertebrae except first are fused Males 15-18 m; females up to 11 m Feeds primarily on deep-water 30 squid at depths of up to 600m
  31. 31. Family: Kogiidae • Pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (1 genus, 2 species) • Blunt, shark-like head Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) • Small, sub-terminal lower jaw • 24-32 conical teeth in lower jaw • Diet primarily deep-sea cephalopods and slow moving fish Breaching Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia simus) 12/21/2013 31
  32. 32. Family: Ziphiidae A rare photograph of Blainville’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) • Beaked whales (6 genera, 20 known species) • Protruding rostrum with arched jaws • Small dorsal fin past midline • Cuvier’s beaked whale – Deepest diving record – 1,800 12/21/2013 meters in 45 minutes Northern Bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) aboard a whaling ship • 1-2 pairs of teeth on lower jaw in most species • Non-notched flukes • Feeds primarily on deepsea squid • Also has spermaceti 32
  33. 33. Family: Platanistidae Platanista gangetica India’s National Aquatic Animal • • • • Two captive Susus (Platanista sp.) Indus (bhulan) & Ganges (susu) Broad, paddle-like pectoral fins • river dolphins (1 species) • 2-3 m in length Long, narrow beak with no • Range limited to the Indus and whiskers Ganges river basins. No dorsal fin; low dorsal hump Small eyes and poor vision 12/21/2013 33
  34. 34. Family: Delphinidae Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) 12/21/2013 • 36 species, 17 genera • Range from 1.5-10 m in length, 50-9000 kg • Conical, functional teeth in both jaws • All but genus Lissodelphis have dorsal fin 34
  35. 35. Family: Phocoenidae • The porpoises: 3 genera with 6 species • Porpoises are distinguished from other Odontocetes by their small body size 12/21/2013 Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) Finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) • The porpoises are an elusive and relatively poorly known group. They feed on small pelagic and mesopelagic fish and squid. Their lifespans are relatively short (~20 years), and they usually spend their time in small, fluid social 35 groups.
  36. 36. Dolphin and Porpoise features Porpoise Features spade shaped teeth triangular dorsal fin 12/21/2013 no beak Dolphin Features cone shaped teeth curved or hooked dorsal fin often prominent beak 36
  37. 37. What can we hope to see in waters near Karwar and Goa 12/21/2013 37
  38. 38. 12/21/2013 38
  39. 39. What can we learn from studying dolphins and whales and how do we study them? 12/21/2013 39
  40. 40. Photo Identification • Identifying unique individuals by markings on their dorsal fin • Saddle-patches plus dorsal fin for killer whales 12/21/2013 40
  41. 41. Dorsal Fins Top chopped Trailing edge Leading Edge 12/21/2013 Top Notch Unusual pigmentation/ scars 41
  42. 42. What can we use this for? • • • • • • • • • • • Movement patterns (migrations) Habitat use and Distributions Site fidelity Population estimates and Abundance Association patterns (social behavior) Predation & Predator Effects Behavior – Feeding, Mating, Social, Play Behavioral Ecology Environmental and Human Effects Wildlife Management and Policy Environmental Regulations 12/21/2013 LOCAL, REGIONAL, NATIONAL, GLOBAL SCALES 42
  43. 43. Other Techniques • Biopsy • Radio Tracking and Satellite Tagging • Boat-based studies • Theodolite tracking (Hill-based) • Unmanned systems • Acoustic tracking – listening to whales • Aerial and Ship surveys • Modeling 12/21/2013 43
  44. 44. WHY SHOULD WE CARE? They are like “humans” Top of the food chain ‘TIGERS OF THE SEA’ Sentinels of Ocean Health and Climate Change They keep ecosystems in check National Aquatic Animal – Ganges River Dolphin 12/21/2013 44
  45. 45. The End 12/21/2013 Thank you! 45
  46. 46. Back Up Slides 12/21/2013 46
  47. 47. WHOI CSI • http://csi.whoi.edu/interactive/harborporpois e2d (harbor porpoise body) • http://csi.whoi.edu/interactive/pinnipedskulld orsal2d (pinniped skull) • http://csi.whoi.edu/interactive/odontocetesku lllateral2d (dolphin skull lateral) 12/21/2013 47

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