Diving behaviour of dugongs, Dugong dugon

Chilvers, B. Louise, Delean, Steve, Gales, Nicholas J., Holley, Dave K., Lawler, Ivan R., Marsh, Helene, and Preen, Anthony R. (2004) Diving behaviour of dugongs, Dugong dugon. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 304 (2). pp. 203-224.

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The diving behaviour of 15 dugongs (Dugong dugon) was documented using time–depth recorders (TDRs), which logged a total of 39,507 dives. The TDRs were deployed on dugongs caught at three study sites in northern Australia: Shark Bay, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Shoalwater Bay. The average time for which the dive data were collected per dugong was 10.4±1.1 (S.E.) days. Overall, these dugongs spent 47% of their daily activities within 1.5 m of the sea surface and 72% less than 3 m from the sea surface. Their mean maximum dive depth was 4.8±0.4 m (S.E.), mean dive duration was 2.7±0.17 min and the number of dives per hour averaged 11.8±1.2. The maximum dive depth recorded was 20.5 m; the maximum dive time in water >1.5 m deep was 12.3 min. The effects of dugong sex, location (study site), time of day and tidal cycle on diving rates (dives per hour), mean maximum dive depths, durations of dives, and time spent ≤1.5 m from the surface were investigated using weighted split-plot analysis of variance. The dugongs exhibited substantial interindividual variation in all dive parameters. The interaction between location and time of day was significant for diving rates, mean maximum dive depths and time spent within 1.5 m of the surface. In all these cases, there was substantial variation among individuals within locations among times of day. Thus, it was the variation among individuals that dominated all other effects. Dives were categorised into five types based on the shape of the time–depth profile. Of these, 67% of dives were interpreted as feeding dives (square and U-shaped), 8% as exploratory dives (V-shaped), 22% as travelling dives (shallow-erratic) and 3% as shallow resting dives. There was systematic variation in the distribution of dive types among the factors examined. Most of this variation was among individuals, but this differed across both time of day and tidal state. Not surprisingly, there was a positive relationship between dive duration and depth and a negative relationship between the number of dives per hour and the time spent within 1.5 m of the surface after a dive.

Item ID: 349
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-0981
Keywords: Diving behaviour, Dive depth, Dive duration, Dugong, Dugong dugon, Time–depth recorder
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Copyright 2004 Elsevier : This journal is available online - use hypertext links above.

Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2006
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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