By Rey Anthony H. Chiu, 27th January 2016;
New findings from a marine group have shed more light on the details surrounding the dead dolphin that washed ashore earlier in Pangdan, Jagna.
According to necropsy reports published on Balyena.org and shared to the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP), the Dolphin was a female Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) and not a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops sp.) as earlier reported.
Police and municipal fisheries and aquatic resources authorities earlier erroneously identified the Dolphin as a Bottlenose, measuring an overall length of 2.2 meters and a girth of 37 centimeters.
It had inflicted wounds on its body, more prominent of them has been an identified Cookiecutter Shark bite about five inches from its dorsal fin.
While observers believed the abrasions on the left side of the animal could have caused the death, Balyena.org in their necropsy report stated that the animal had a severe infection of roundworms (nematodes) in its stomach and tapeworms (cestodes) in its blubber and muscles.
“The parasitic infection caused ulcerations in the stomach and most likely led to blood loss and eventually to perforation and peritonitis,” the report which was shared by MWWP showed.
Balyena.org, a non-profit non stock organization conducting Dolphins and Whale research in the Philippines, also added that the two Cookiecutter Shark bites were not the cause of death.
Contrary to what most people think, these oval bites are not fatal.
Cookiecutter Shark bites on cetaceans are fairly common, Balyena.org, in a separate post on their Facebook account, shared.
These sharks, Isistius brasiliensis, or the Cigar Shark, are a member of the Family Dalatiidae or “Sleeper Shark” family.
It is named after the cookie-shaped wounds that it leaves on the bodies of larger fish and marine mammals.
These are also known as the Cigar Shark because of its dark brown and long, cylindrical body shape. It lives in the deep-waters of warmer areas worldwide. Because it emits a greenish glow, it is also known as the Luminous Shark.
The Cookiecutter Shark is considered a “facultative ectoparasite which means it feeds on the flesh of other species causing them harm but not death and it is not dependent on these species for survival.”
The Fraser’s Dolphin that stranded in Pangdan is the second which Balyena.org found there.