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Title: Boto (Inia geoffrensis-Cetacea: Iniidae) aggregations in two provisioning sites in the lower Negro River-Amazonas, Brazil: Are they related?
Authors: Gravena, Waleska
Hrbek, Tomas
Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira da
Farias, Izeni P.
Keywords: Adult
Animals Experiment
Animals Tissue
Microsatellite Marker
Sex Determination
Social Structure
Toothed Whale
Issue Date: 2019
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: PeerJ
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 2019, Número 4
Abstract: The Negro River currently has seven floating houses where tourists can feed and interact with botos, each with its own history of how these aggregations were formed. Some keepers say these groups are familial, even reporting individuals being born into the group. However, behavioral studies have shown that botos are solitary, only forming groups at feeding areas and during the mating season. In the present study we used 12 microsatellite and molecular sex markers to characterize relationships within and between two boto aggregations (ten and seven botos each) in the lower Negro River. Molecular sexing revealed that all botos sampled from both aggregations were males. This may be explained by habitat preference, as male botos are primarily found in the main channels of large rivers, whereas females prefer more protected areas, such as flooded forests and its channels and lakes. Most of the animals were unrelated within each aggregation, demonstrating that these aggregations are not normally formed due to kinship bonds, but are exclusively for feeding, as botos learn that these places provide easy access to food. This study provides important information that helps us understand how human interaction is affecting the social structure and behavior of these animals. © 2019 PeerJ Inc.. All rights reserved.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.7717/peerj.6692
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