M.L. Dalebout's research while affiliated with UNSW Sydney and other places

Publications (188)

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Abstract available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The deep sea has been described as the last major ecological frontier, as much of its biodiversity is yet to be discovered and described. Beaked whales (ziphiids) are among the most visible inhabitants of the deep sea, due to their large size and worldwide distribution, and their taxonomic div...
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There are two recognized species in the genus Berardius, Baird's and Arnoux's beaked whales. In Japan, whalers have traditionally recognized two forms of Baird's beaked whales, the common “slate-gray” form and a smaller, rare “black” form. Previous comparison of mtDNA control region sequences from three black specimens to gray specimens around Japa...
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Seven Longman’s beaked whales (Indopacetus pacificus) stranded together in southern New Caledonia on 16 November 2013 (one adult male, two adult females, two subadult females, one calf, and one unknown). At this time, we have no evidence to suggest that this event was an “atypical” mass stranding associated with active naval sonar or other anthropo...
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We present genetic and morphological evidence supporting the recognition of a previously synonymized species of Mesoplodon beaked whale in the tropical Indo-Pacific, Mesoplodon hotaula. Although the new species is closely-related to the rare ginkgo-toothed beaked whale M. ginkgodens, we show that these two lineages can be differentiated by maternal...
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We investigated the species identity and local use of cetaceans on the Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati. Working with the Kiribati Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development and Fisheries Division, we visited the islands of Tarawa, Tabiteuea (North), Butaritari and Onotoa from June to July 2009, and collected 24 bones, bone fr...
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Records of beaked whales stranded in the Falkland Islands and at South Georgia were collated for the period 1866 to 2008. Thirty-eight records, involving at least seven species in four genera, were documented. Strap-toothed whales (Mesoplodon layardii Gray, 1865) were the most common species with 11 records, including two neonates. Andrews' beaked...
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Sperm whale social groups can be assigned to vocal clans based on their production of codas, short stereotyped patterns of clicks. It is currently unclear whether genetic variation could account for these behavioural differences. We studied mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation among sympatric vocal clans in the Pacific Ocean, using sequences extract...
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We present genetic and morphological data supporting the recognition of a previously described but unrecognised Mesoplodon beaked whale in the tropical Indo-Pacific. Currently known from at least seven specimens (Sri Lanka [1], Kiribati [1+], Hawai’i [3], Maldives [1], Seychelles [1]), this beaked whale is the sister-taxon to M. ginkgodens proper....
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Stable isotope ratios of carbon (partial differential(13)C) and nitrogen (partial differential(15)N) and total mercury (T-Hg) concentrations were measured in red meat samples from 11 odontocete species (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) sold in Japan (n = 96) and in muscle samples from stranded killer whales (n = 6) and melon-headed whales (...
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This chapter discusses forensic genetics that provide a powerful tool for the conservation and management of cetaceans and other marine mammals. Molecular methods have great power to detect trade in protected species and to monitor or estimate unregulated or undocumented trade in whales, dolphins, and porpoises. There has been an explosion of inter...
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Pilot whales (Globicephala spp.) provide an interesting example of recently diverged oceanic species with a complex evolutionary history. The two species have wide but largely non-overlapping ranges. Globicephala melas (long-finned pilot whale; LFPW) has an antitropical distribution and is found in the cold-temperate waters of the North Atlantic an...
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Whale meat products sold on Japanese markets originate from two stocks of North Pacific (NP) minke whales Balaenoptera acutorostrata scammoni: the depleted J-stock, which has been protected since 1986 but continues to be killed as fisheries ‘bycatch’, and the more abundant O-stock, which is hunted under special permit (scientific whaling). We inves...
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The cetacean fauna at the Tristan da Cunha archipelago has been assessed from ship-based, aerial and land-based obser-vations from 1983–2000, from strandings on Tristan da Cunha and Inaccessible Island between 1983 and 1995, and from whaling catch data from 1934 –1967. Five species (Eubalaena australis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Tasmacetus shep-herdi...
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With 14 species currently recognized, the beaked whale genus Mesoplodon (family Ziphiidae) is the most speciose in the order Cetacea. Beaked whales are widely distributed but are rarely seen at sea due to their oceanic distribution, deep-diving capacity, and apparent low abundance. Morphological differentiation among Mesoplodon species is relativel...
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This report summarizes the research conducted under two contracts from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA, using funding from the Office of Naval Operations (N45), Washington, DC, and the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. Small bone samples from over 500 Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) representing populations...
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Humpback dolphins (Sousa spp.) have a wide distribution in the tropical Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans and a confused taxonomy. Morphological assessments suggest three species groupings – Sousa teuszii (eastern Atlantic), Sousa plumbea (western Indo-Pacific), and Sousa chinensis (eastern Indo-Pacific) – but most taxonomies recognise only two spec...
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Abstract—There is little knowledge of the impact of illegal, 17 unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing on marine megafauna such as,18 whales, dolphins and porpoises, especially in the tropical Indo-Pacific 19 where this problem is rife. Here we present the results from the DNA,20 identification of a rare beaked whale (Mesoplodon ginkgodens),21 co...
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Surveys of commercial markets combined with molecular taxonomy (i.e. molecular monitoring) provide a means to detect products from illegal, unregulated and/or unreported (IUU) exploitation, including the sale of fisheries bycatch and wild meat (bushmeat). Capture-recapture analyses of market products using DNA profiling have the potential to estima...
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Levels of total mercury (T-Hg) were surveyed in red meat (n=73) and liver (n=3) from toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises (odontocetes) sold for human consumption in the coastal cities of South Korea. High concentrations of T-Hg were found in the liver products of finless porpoises (18.7 and 156 microg/wet g) and common dolphins (13.2 microg/wet...
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We used molecular evidence to examine the roles that vicariance mechanisms (mountain-building and drainage changes during the Pleistocene) have played in producing phylogeographical structure within and among South American fish species of the temperate perch family Percichthyidae. The percichthyids include two South American genera, Percichthys an...
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Small populations at the edge of a species' distribution can represent evolutionary relics left behind after range contractions due to climate change or human exploitation. The distinctiveness and genetic diversity of a small population of bottlenose whales in the Gully, a submarine canyon off Nova Scotia, was quantified by comparison to other Nort...
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We report the results of molecular monitoring of ‘whalemeat’ markets in the Republic of (South) Korea based on nine systematic surveys from February 2003 to February 2005. As Korea has no programme of commercial or scientific whaling and there is a closure on the hunting of dolphins and porpoises, the only legal source of these products was assumed...
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The paper describes two stranded ziphiids from Croatia: a subadult female (length 430cm, body mass 610kg) that was stranded in 2001 and an adult male (length 510cm, body mass ∼1,000kg) that was stranded in 2002. Both were confirmed to be Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris Cuvier, 1823) from analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences and osteo...
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The molecular diversity and phylogenetic relationships of two class II genes of the baleen whale major histocompatibility complex were investigated and compared to toothed whales and out-groups. Amplification of the DQB exon 2 provided sequences showing high within-species and between-species nucleotide diversity and uninterrupted reading frames co...
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We present the first description of phylogeographic structure among Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) worldwide using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences obtained from strandings (n = 70), incidental fisheries takes (n = 11), biopsy (n = 1), and whale-meat markets (n = 5). Over a 290-base pair fragment, 23 variable sites d...
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We surveyed the total mercury (T-Hg) and methyl mercury (M-Hg) levels in red meat products (n = 160) from small cetacean species sold for human consumption in markets throughout Japan from 2000 to 2003. Genetic identification showed that the red meat products originated from nine species: false killer whale, bottlenose dolphin, short-finned pilot w...
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An open access copy of this article is available from the publishers website. A pair of free-swimming Gray's beaked whales, Mesoplodon grayi, an adult female and a calf, were observed in Mahurangi Harbour, near Warkworth, on the North Island of New Zealand, over 5 consecutive days in June 2001. Beaked whales (family Ziphiidae) are seldom seen at se...
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DNA sequences from orthologous loci can provide universal characters for taxonomic identification. Molecular taxonomy is of particular value for groups in which distinctive morphological features are difficult to observe or compare. To assist in species identification for the little known family Ziphiidae (beaked whales), we compiled a reference da...