Prey, parasites and pathology associated with the mortality of a juvenile gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) stranded along the northern California coast

M. D. Dailey, F. M D Gulland, Linda J Lowenstine, P. Silvagni, D. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

An eastern Pacific gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) stranded off Pelican Point, Tomales Bay, California, USA, was examined for physiological parameters, prey, parasites and associated pathology. The whale was emaciated, and hematological examination revealed an elevation in hematocrit, serum sodium, potassium, electrolyte values and hypoglycemia. Parasites recovered included 5 species, 1 ectoparasite (Cyamus scammoni), and 4 helminths (Anisakis simplex, Ogmogaster antarcticus, Ogmogaster pentalineatus, Bolbosoma balanae) with the latter causing multifocal transmural abscesses. Histological examination indicated severe acute lung congestion, minimall multifocal, lymphocytic, interstitial myocarditis, and mild hepatocellular and Kupffer cell hemosiderosis. The prey taxa present in the stomach indicated the whale was feeding on hard bottom communities prior to death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Volume42
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 31 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cetacean stranding
  • Eschrichtius robustus
  • Hematology
  • Pacific gray whale
  • Parasites
  • Pathology
  • Prey species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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