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African Journal of Marine Science

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Cephalopods in the diet of sperm whales caught commercially off Durban, South Africa

MR Clarke, MAC Roeleveld

Abstract


A collection from stomach contents of 30 sperm whales Physeter catodon comprised a total of 46 cephalopods belonging to six families. Nine species were identified, including Ommastrephes bartramii, which is recorded for the first time in the diet of sperm whales caught off South Africa, and Todarodes filippovae, which has only previously been identified from whale stomachs to genus. Sexed individuals of all species were female and most were gravid. Comparisons are made with a much larger collection of beaks from the same source and the species identity of some of these can now be established or confirmed.



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