Vomiting Behavior of the Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) and Squid Meals

Abstract: We describe and illustrate the vomiting behavior of the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), an eliminative behavior poorly known for cetaceans in the wild. The vomiting may be conveniently described in six behavioral phases: opening beak, closing beak (water intake), swallowing water, pausing, opening beak about to void, and voiding offal and water. Spinners vomit after a meal rich in squids, and, therefore, we relate this eliminative behavior to the presumably irritating remains of this meal type (squid beaks). The vomits are a rich and predictable food source for plankton-eating reef fishes.

Key Words: Stenella longirostris, Delphinidae, eliminative behavior, feeding habits, pelagic squid prey, West Atlantic

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.30.2.2004.271

Page Numbers: 271-274

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