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Injury to an Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) Caused by Needlefish Impalement
Abstract: Specific interactions between dolphins and other marine species may result in the injury or death of the individuals involved. This case report describes a perforating injury to an Atlantic white-sided dolphin, Lagenorhynchus acutus, by a garpike, Belone belone gracilis, of the family Belonidae (needlefishes) in Asturias, Spain. On postmortem examination, the dolphin had a full-thickness perforation of its right thoracic wall, with penetration and abscess formation in the right lung due to a needlefish’s lower jaw. The wound appeared to be recently acquired, based on the absence of reactive fibrosis. No other gross abnormalities were identified. Results from bacterial and viral analysis on the spleen, liver, kidney, and left lung were negative. Most likely, death occurred as a result of an open pneumothorax produced by the traumatic penetrating injury to the right lung.
Key Words: ATLANTIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN; LAGENORHYNCHUS ACUTUS; GARPIKE; BELONE BELONE GRACILIS; NEEDLEFISH; BELONIDAE; IMPALEMENT; PNEUMOTHORAX
Document Type: Research article
Page Numbers: 184 – 186