Sunday 25 May 2008

Since I've been here I've been trying to gather information about any stranded whales and dolphins from everyone I meet. Beach cast animals provide a wealth of information to researchers, especially for those species that are very poorly known.

Naude Dreyer (of Mola Mola tours) told me of a group of bottlenose dolphins that had stranded in the WB lagoon some time ago and the carcass of one animal was still there.

I went down to the location (near the salt pans) with Keith Wearne on Saturday and we managed to find the remains, it had clearly been there a while and was fairly dessicated. We managed to recover the skull, one tooth and a few other bone fragments. These will be useful for confirming the species from skull morphometrics, the age of the animal from the tooth and DNA can be collected from the bones if needed.

We will continue to try to collect as much information as possible on stranded cetaceans (both current and historic) during our field season.

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