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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Records for Pygmy Sperm Whale, Kogia Breviceps (Physeteridae), from Atlantic Canada with Notes on Diet and Parasites

Authors
item Mcalpine, Donald - NEW BRUNSW. MUSEUM,CANADA
item Murison, Laurie - NEW BRUNSW. MUSEUM,CANADA
item Hoberg, Eric

Submitted to: Marine Mammal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 13, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The biodiversity of parasitic helminths in North American verte- brates is poorly known. Parasitic helminths can be pathogens of marine mammals and can be zoonotic and infect humans. Knowledge of the distribution of helminthic parasites provides insights into ecological interactions in marine communities. New records are reported for parasites of pygmy sperm whales in eastern Canada. Such information is significant in documenting the potential for infection by anisakine nematodes and tapeworms in humans.

Technical Abstract: Records for pygmy sperm whales are presented for eastern Canadian waters based on recently stranded animals. Morphometric attrib- utes, food-habits and parasites are documented for 3 whales from New Brunswick, Canada. Ectoparasites included Penella balenopterae. Endoparasitic helminths included cestodes (Phyllobothrium delphini and Scolex pleuronectus), and an acantho- cephalan (Bolbosoma vasculosus). This is the third record of S. pleuronectus from marine mammals, and it has not been observed previously in Kogia breviceps. These records represent the first information for parasites of pygmy sperm whales in eastern Canada

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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