Reference of Blubber Depth and Muscle Depth of Captive Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - Abstract
The reports on evaluation and formulation of blubber depth, and muscle depth of common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with age and sex differences were scarce recently. Twenty-one healthy common bottlenose dolphins (male: 5; female: 16) in managed care were selected to study the association of blubber depth, muscle depth, body weight, plasma biochemistry, sex hormone within four years (2018-2021).The blubber depth and muscle depth of five anatomic sites (umbilical, dorsal, renal, uterovesical, and hepatic locations) were scanned and measured via ultrasonography. The results showed that umbilical blubber depth and umbilical muscle depth presented sex and age-related variations. For adults, there were significant differences in umbilical blubber depth between females and males. For females, the umbilical blubber depth and muscle depth revealed significant differences between the adults with pubescents; for males, the umbilical blubber depth and ratio of umbilical muscle depth to blubber depth demonstrated significant differences between adults and pubescents. Umbilical blubber depth of the adults (2.76 ± 0.34 cm) was the highest at five sites comparing umbilical with dorsal, renal, uterovesical, and hepatic blubber depth, respectively. The dorsal muscle depth was the thickest one. In summary, this study establishes baselines of the blubber depth, muscle depth with sex, age and anatomical sites variations in managed common bottlenose dolphins.