Hrvoje LuciŠ: Age and gender related differences of bone mineral density of the humerus and antebrachial bones of the bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Adriatic Sea. Dissertation. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb. Zagreb. 2006.



This research was aimed to determinatate age and gender related differences of the hone mineral density in the humerus and antebrachial hones of bottlenose dolphin {Tursiops truncatus) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) Osteological preparations of the flippers of the 69 dolphins were used. Sample was consisted of 56 flippers of the hottlenose dolphins, of which there were 26 males and 30 females, and 13 flippers of the striped dolphins, 5 males and 8 females. Bone mineral content and hone mineral density (HMD) were measured by method of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry with the standard human osteodensitometer Data were statistically analysed with aim to establish correlation of bone mineral density, body measures and age of animals. Applied body measures were total body length, cranial and caudal length of the flipper and the greatest width of the flipper Age of animals was estimated by counting of dentinal layers of the teeth (GLG method) Differences of the BMD values of the males and females were not statistically significant! Bottlenose dolphin had greater BMD range and greater mean value of BMD then striped dolphin BMD of humerus and antebrachial bones could also be measured by applying protocol for small animals, but then results were in lower range than in human protocol. Statistical correlation of BMD, body measures and age of animals resulted with statistical formula for calculation of the approximate age of the dolphins This statistical model can be used as additional method to the standard GLG method for the age estimation of the dolphins. This model is especially useful in all whales when GLG method can't be applied This is the first record of the method for age estimation of whales by BMD and it has never been described in literature