It's a hard life for dolphins on the edge

2019-03-08 05:14:08

DOLPHINS that frequently swim in cold freshwater are more vulnerable to disease, according to an international team of marine biologists. Ben Wilson of the Sea Mammal Research Unit in St Andrews, Scotland, and his colleagues photographed bottlenose dolphins from 10 populations around the world. More than 60 per cent had skin lesions, but the lesions were more common and severe among dolphins living in colder and less saline waters, rather than directly related to pollution levels (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, vol 266, p 1077). The stress of coping with more extreme environmental conditions could make these animals more susceptible, says Paul Thompson of Aberdeen University,