|Title:||Crossing the equator: a northern occurrence of the pygmy right whale||Authors:||Cheng-Hsiu Tsai
James G. Mead
|Keywords:||Cetacea;Mysticeti;Biogeography;Stranding||Issue Date:||17-Dec-2018||Publisher:||BioMed Central||Journal Volume:||4||Journal Issue:||30||Source:||Zoological Letters||Abstract:||
Here we document the first stranding record of the pygmy right whale in the Northern Hemisphere—on the coast of The Gambia, Africa (NE Atlantic Ocean, around latitude 13° N)—a location in stark contrast to its current distribution exclusively south of the equator. The original specimen is now missing and untraceable, but a photo found in the files of the Marine Mammal Program, Smithsonian Institution shows sufficient diagnostic features that allow it to be taxonomically identified as the pygmy right whale, Caperea marginata, including: small body size; streamlined overall body shape; generally dark skin coloration; arched rostrum along the lateral margin; triangular and narrow rostrum in dorsal view; lack of head callosities; some fringes on the dorsal surface of the tongue; small and relatively posteriorly positioned dorsal fin; and small and dark-colored flipper. On the whole, a stranding of the pygmy right whale in the Northern Hemisphere, although likely to be a chance event, calls for more detailed studies of how climate change and ocean currents affect the evolution and distribution (re-patterning) of marine mammals and, ultimately, the entire marine ecosystem.
|Appears in Collections:||生命科學系|
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