Food Habits of the Franciscana Pontoporia Blainvillei (Cetacea: Platanistidae) from South America
Abstract:The stomachs of 11 franciscanas, Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais & D'Orbigny, 1844), captured offshore between Punta del Diablo and Playa la Coronilla, Uruguay, during February 1969, were examined for food. Of nine with fish remains, seven also contained other items: three, both squid and shrimp, and four, squid only. Two stomachs were empty. By utilizing the 132 fish otoliths from these nine stomachs, it was determined that at least 79 individuals were involved. Midshipmen, Porichthys porosissimus, and cutlassfish, Trichiurus lepturus together accounted for 81 per cent of the piscine diet (72 and 9 per cent, respectively), while six other species (Macrodon ancylodon, Menticirrhus sp., Stromateus brasiliensis, Urophycis sp., a pomadasyid, and an unknown) made up the remaining 19 per cent.
The squids, identified from their beaks, were Lolliguncula brevis, but the shrimp could not be determined except to family Penaeidae.
Based upon known habits and habitats of the prey species, the franciscanas had been feeding at, or near, the bottom in the area of capture, and selectivity obviously plays an important role in their feeding behavior.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 1971
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