Limits...
Quantifying the energy stores of capital breeding humpback whales and income breeding sperm whales using historical whaling records

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Cetacean energy stores are known to vary according to life history, reproductive status and time of year; however, the opportunity to quantify these relationships is rare. Using a unique set of historical whaling records from Western Australia (1952–1963), we investigated energy stores of large cetaceans with differing life histories, and quantified the relationship between total body lipid and length for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) (n = 905) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) (n = 1961). We found that total body lipid increased with body length in both humpback and sperm whales, consistent with size-related energy stores. Male humpback whales stored 2.49 kl (15.6 barrels) (31.9–74.9%) more lipid than male sperm whales of equivalent length, to fuel their annual migration. Relative lipid stores of sperm whales (males) were constant throughout the year, while those of humpback whales varied with reproductive class and sampling date. Pregnant female humpback whales had higher relative energy stores than non-pregnant females and males (26.2% and 37.4%, respectively), to fuel the energy demands of gestation and lactation. Those that reached the sampling site later (en route to their breeding grounds) carried higher lipid stores than those that arrived earlier, possibly reflecting individual variation in residency times in the Antarctic feeding grounds. Importantly, longer pregnant females had relatively larger energy stores than the shorter pregnant females, indicating that the smaller individuals may experience higher levels of energetic stress during the migration fast. The relationships we developed between body lipid and length can be used to inform bioenergetics and ecosystem models when such detailed information is not available.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Location of Cheynes Beach Whaling Station (green asterisk), on the southwest coast of Western Australia, showing catch positions of humpback whales and sperm whales processed there between 1952 and 1963.
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RSOS160290F1: Location of Cheynes Beach Whaling Station (green asterisk), on the southwest coast of Western Australia, showing catch positions of humpback whales and sperm whales processed there between 1952 and 1963.

Mentions: Data were sourced from catch records that detailed 3000 individual whales processed at Cheynes Beach Whaling Station (35°05′ S, 117°56′ E): 961 humpback whales caught between 1952 and 1963; 2039 sperm whales caught between 1955 and 1963 (electronic supplementary material, table S1 in appendix S1). Humpback whales were captured over the continental shelf, in waters generally less than 50 m deep (median = 13 m), while sperm whales were captured over the continental slope in waters generally 200–3000 m deep (median = 1067 m) (figure 1).Figure 1.


Quantifying the energy stores of capital breeding humpback whales and income breeding sperm whales using historical whaling records
Location of Cheynes Beach Whaling Station (green asterisk), on the southwest coast of Western Australia, showing catch positions of humpback whales and sperm whales processed there between 1952 and 1963.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383807&req=5

RSOS160290F1: Location of Cheynes Beach Whaling Station (green asterisk), on the southwest coast of Western Australia, showing catch positions of humpback whales and sperm whales processed there between 1952 and 1963.
Mentions: Data were sourced from catch records that detailed 3000 individual whales processed at Cheynes Beach Whaling Station (35°05′ S, 117°56′ E): 961 humpback whales caught between 1952 and 1963; 2039 sperm whales caught between 1955 and 1963 (electronic supplementary material, table S1 in appendix S1). Humpback whales were captured over the continental shelf, in waters generally less than 50 m deep (median = 13 m), while sperm whales were captured over the continental slope in waters generally 200–3000 m deep (median = 1067 m) (figure 1).Figure 1.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Cetacean energy stores are known to vary according to life history, reproductive status and time of year; however, the opportunity to quantify these relationships is rare. Using a unique set of historical whaling records from Western Australia (1952–1963), we investigated energy stores of large cetaceans with differing life histories, and quantified the relationship between total body lipid and length for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) (n = 905) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) (n = 1961). We found that total body lipid increased with body length in both humpback and sperm whales, consistent with size-related energy stores. Male humpback whales stored 2.49 kl (15.6 barrels) (31.9–74.9%) more lipid than male sperm whales of equivalent length, to fuel their annual migration. Relative lipid stores of sperm whales (males) were constant throughout the year, while those of humpback whales varied with reproductive class and sampling date. Pregnant female humpback whales had higher relative energy stores than non-pregnant females and males (26.2% and 37.4%, respectively), to fuel the energy demands of gestation and lactation. Those that reached the sampling site later (en route to their breeding grounds) carried higher lipid stores than those that arrived earlier, possibly reflecting individual variation in residency times in the Antarctic feeding grounds. Importantly, longer pregnant females had relatively larger energy stores than the shorter pregnant females, indicating that the smaller individuals may experience higher levels of energetic stress during the migration fast. The relationships we developed between body lipid and length can be used to inform bioenergetics and ecosystem models when such detailed information is not available.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus