Research

Megan M. Strobel, Michael T. Walsh, Dorian S. Houser, Katie T. Moore, David A. Mann, James J. Finneran, Pat Clough, Lydia A. Staggs, Michelle R. Davis, and Holli C. Eskelinen

Marine mammals are auditory-based predators, with a vast majority of their brain devoted to auditory processing1 for echolocation. Hearing loss, and especially deafness, in these animals presents a unique and severe impedance to survivability in the wild due to an inability to find food, navigate, socialize and explore the ocean. In 2010 Mann et al2 demonstrated that 57% of stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and 36% of stranded rough toothed dolphins (Steno bradanensis) studied [...]

Natalie E. Noll1, Daniel Vanderhart, Marina Ivančić, and Michael Renner

Computed Tomography (CT) scans have been utilized as a key diagnostic tool in assisting in the identification, cause and treatment of thoracic and pulmonary disease in cetaceans for many years. Computed tomography (CT) is a cross-sectional diagnostic imaging modality that allows detailed examination of the entire thorax without the superimposition of radiography1,2. Thoracic disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in bottlenose dolphins that are in wild populations, [...]

Nancy J. Cooper, Jill Borger-Turner, Holli Eskelinen, Natalie Noll, & Michael Renner

Since its inception in 1972, computerized tomography revolutionized the ability to diagnose, treat, and monitor injuries and pathology in humans. Computerized tomography (CT) involves serial, radiological, cross-sectional scans, resulting in detailed, three-dimensional images of internal anatomy (Wellington & Vinegar, 1987). This tool was adopted for use in domestic veterinary medicine in 1989 and later utilized in post-mortem assessments of wild, stranded cetaceans (Schwarz & Saunders [...]

Kelley A. Winship, Brittany L. Jones, Audra Ames, Holli C. Eskelinen, & Stan A. Kuczaj II

Although many species have proven capable of cooperating to achieve common goals, the role of communication in cooperation has received relatively little attention, despite its importance. Analysis of communication between partners is vital in determining whether actions are cooperative rather than serendipitous or learned via trial and error (Chalmeau and Gallo 1996). Wild cetaceans often produce sounds while cooperating in foraging, play and mating contexts, but the role of these sounds in [...]

Kelley A. Winship, Ali Taylor, Holli C. Eskelinen, Stan A. Kuczaj II

Dolphins engage in diverse foraging strategies that can involve cooperation, tools, and even the use of behaviors to prepare prey items for consumption. However, the development of such behaviors by individual animals has rarely been studied, and so it is typically unknown if the behaviors were serendipitous or learned through observation, teaching, or trial and error. We investigated the emergence of innovative strategies by providing dolphins with a hollow PVC cylinder with caps on either end [...]