Young humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae feeding in Santa Catarina coastal waters, Southern Brazil, and a ship strike report

Guilherme Augusto Bortolotto*, Cristiane Kiyomi Miyaji Kolesnikovas, Andrea S. Freire, Paulo César Simões-Lopes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae are cosmopolitan and highly migratory animals that rarely feed in low latitude waters during their breeding seasons. The western South Atlantic humpback whale population breeds off the Brazilian coast, from Natal (4°S) to Cabo Frio (23°S) and migration to their feeding grounds is known to be undertaken through offshore waters.

Results
Here we report on an unusual stranding of a young humpback whale that was feeding in the coastal waters of Santa Catarina state (27°S), in October 2014. Evidence of a ship strike and that the animal had fed in no more than a few hours before death are also presented. Additionally, it is the first time that Peisos petrunkevitchi, a sergestid shrimp species, is described as prey for large whales.

Conclusions
Although more information is required before we can further discuss whether the area could provide an important source of food for young humpback whales, the present ship strike highlights a possibly important threat in case this ecological feature is confirmed in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Number of pages6
JournalMarine Biodiversity Records
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Distribution
  • Large whale
  • Migration
  • Peisos petrunkevitchi
  • Prey
  • Western South Atlantic

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