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Title: Age and growth of the estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) (Cetacea, Delphinidae) on the Paraná coast, southern Brazil
Authors: Weber Rosas, Fernando Cesar
Barreto, André S.
Monteiro-Filho, Emygdio L.A.
Keywords: Age Determination
Estuarine Environment
Growth Rate
Issue Date: 2003
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Fishery Bulletin
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 101, Número 2, Pags. 377-383
Abstract: Teeth of 71 estuarine dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) incidentally caught on the coast of Paraná State, southern Brazil, were used to estimate age. The oldest male and female dolphins were 29 and 30 years, respectively. The mean distance from the neonatal line to the end of the first growth layer group (GLG) was 622.4 ±19.1 μm (n=48). One or two accessory layers were observed between the neonatal line and the end of the first GLG. One of the accessory layers, which was not always present, was located at a mean of 248.9 ±32.6 μm (n=25) from the neonatal line, and its interpretation remains uncertain. The other layer, located at a mean of 419.6 ±44.6 μm (n=54) from the neonatal line, was always present and was first observed between 6.7 and 10.3 months of age. This accessory layer could be a record of weaning in this dolphin. Although no differences in age estimates were observed between teeth sectioned in the anterior-posterior and buccal-lingual planes, we recommend sectioning the teeth in the buccal-lingual plane in order to obtain on-center sections more easily. We also recommend not using teeth from the most anterior part of the mandibles for age estimation. The number of GLGs counted in those teeth was 50% less than the number of GLGs counted in the teeth from the median part of the mandible of the same animal. Although no significant difference (P>0.05) was found between the total lengths of adult male and female estuarine dolphins, we observed that males exhibited a second growth spurt around five years of age. This growth spurt would require that separate growth curves be calculated for the sexes. The asymptotic length (TL∞), k, and t0 obtained by the von Bertalanffy growth model were 177.3 cm, 0.66, and -1.23, respectively, for females and 159.6 cm, 2.02, and -0.38, respectively, for males up to five years, and 186.4 cm, 0.53 and -1.40, respectively, for males older than five years. The total weight (TW)/total length (TL) equations obtained for male and female estuarine dolphins were TW = 3.156 × 10-6 × TL 3.2836 (r=0.96), and TW = 8.974 × 10-5 × TL 2.6182 (r=0.95), respectively.
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