New Study of Brazilian Humpback Whale Strandings

The paper “Humpback whales washed ashore in southeastern Brazil from 1981 to 2011: stranding patterns and microbial pathogens survey,” Biologia, 68(5): 992-999, Moura J.M., et al., is now available at This paper discusses the stranding of 58 humpback whales between 1981 and 2011 along the coast of the Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Three cases of entanglement were found, two of these involving calves with less than eight meters of body length. Stranding events were more frequent during winter and spring. No statistical differences were found between age categories, but 33% were classified as “dependent calf” (< 8 m length). Males stranded more often than females. Only one whale out of 16 specimens that had the stomach contents examined presented food remains, but comprising only two cephalopod beaks of the squid Doryteuthis sanpaulensis. Bacteriological survey of Vibrionaceae and Aeromonadaceae agents in three live stranded whales on the Brazilian coast indicated evidence of animal impairment that resulted or were associated with the cause of death and stranding event.

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