Journal of the Marine Biology Association UK
The stomach contents of 16 bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus (Cetacea: Odontoceti) stranded in the Spanish Mediterranean coast were examined. Remains and size of prey were analysed and correlated with the ecological characteristics and behavioural patterns of this dolphin. Fish and cephalopods represented the main diet components, and hake Merluccius merluccius was the most important prey. The food habits were considered as mainly demersal according to the characteristics of the prey. The study suggested ontogenic and sexual differences in feeding behaviour based on diet composition and hake size. The potential causative factors, particularly as they relate to dolphin social structure, are discussed.
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