Spatial and temporal variation in body mass and the blubber, muscle and visceral fat content of North Atlantic common minke whales

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Thorvaldur Gunnlaugsson

Abstract

The exponent for predicting total body mass from length has been studied in many species and here data on common minke whales from areas in the North Atlantic is added from both Icelandic and Norwegian research catches. The exponent was found to be not significantly different from 3. In addition seasonal changes in body mass and in the parts of blubber, muscle and visceral fat are reported. The exponent for how blubber mass increases with length is lower than 3. In all cases a significant increase over the season was detected, in particular for the mature animals, and also in girth measurements, particularly at the posterior part of the body. Pregnant females had significantly more blubber than other whales. These results agree with studies on blubber thickness measurements and tissue energy content of Icelandic baleen whales and observed changes in the ecosystem around Iceland during the research period.

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How to Cite
Gunnlaugsson, T. (2020). Spatial and temporal variation in body mass and the blubber, muscle and visceral fat content of North Atlantic common minke whales. IWC Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 21(1), 59 - 70. https://doi.org/10.47536/jcrm.v21i1.150
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