Biology assignment #2
Tursiops australis, otherwise known as the Burrunan dolphin was recognized in 2011 south-east of Australia by Kate Charlton-Robb and colleagues. The Burrunan dolphin is a type of bottlenose dolphin. There are actually two new distinct species of Tursiops dolphins found in Australia that are under controversy. At one time, all Tursiops dolphins were recognized as belonging to T. truncates. However T. australis, T. truncates and T. aduncus are all distinctly recognized species found around Australia. Methods of study were primarily based on physical appearance of the dolphin. Cranial measurements were taken from 40 commonly used measurements, as well as tooth counts from 18 specimens of bottlenose dolphins from across Australia. Only fully grown specimens with a complete set of data were used. Adults were characterized by the fusion between maxillae and cranium bones. Another method of study was the used of external morphology. 18 external morphometrics were taken from 17 bottlenose dolphins from coastal Victoria. Beach-casted dolphins were previously measured in 2002-2009. Some animals were excluded due to incomplete data, such as bloating due to decomposition, or if the specimen was still a juvenile. A third method of study was mitochondrial DNA sampling. Skin samples of dead beach-casted dolphins were taken from coastal Victoria and placed in a mixture of substances to create a saline solution. When skin samples were unavailable, tooth samples were taken from museum specimens. Tooth samples were stored in sterilized Falcon tubes, and decontaminated by a solution of sodium hypochloride. Sections were decalcified for up to four days using Morse’s Solution until the tooth was flexible. Total DNA was taken from skin and tooth samples and they were analysed for quality and quantity of genomic DNA. Results from the examination of the craniums showed three different groups. The first group was an example of specimens collected from enclosed...
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