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Defining populations of the Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) using morphometry and ultrastructure of teeth

Benjamins, S. (1999) Defining populations of the Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) using morphometry and ultrastructure of teeth. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Abstract

The population structure of beluga whales (Deiphinapterus leucas) in the waters of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic has not yet been convincingly established. In this study, an attempt was made to use tooth morphometrics and ultrastructural characteristics to determine whether there was a significant difference between belugas taken in North and Southwest Greenland (Upernavik and Sissimiut municipalities, resp.). Also, a small dataset containing belugas from the Northern coast of Alaska was compared to the Greenland datasets. Morphometric data indicate that there is indeed a significant difference between belugas in North and South Greenland, as well as between those datasets and the one from Alaska. This might indicate that Greenlandic waters serve as wintering quarters for two different beluga populations, rather than one. The ultrastructural characteristics as a whole did not yield significant results but this is probably due to lack of focus in the studying process; it is expected that more detailed research will show the value of these characteristics.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:44
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:44
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/9388

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