Age estimates based on aspartic acid racemization for bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) harvested in 1998-2000 and the relationship between racemization rate and body temperature

TitleAge estimates based on aspartic acid racemization for bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) harvested in 1998-2000 and the relationship between racemization rate and body temperature
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRosa C., Zeh J., George J.C, Botta O., Zauscher M., Bada J., O'Hara T.M
JournalMarine Mammal Science
Volume29
Pagination424-445
Date Published2013/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0824-0469
Accession NumberWOS:000321496100012
Keywordsage at sexual; age determination; Balaena mysticetus; balaenoptera-acutorostrata; baleen; bowhead whale; growth; length; maturity
Abstract

Fifty-two eyes were collected and analyzed to estimate ages of 42 bowhead whales using the aspartic acid racemization aging technique. Between-eye and within-eye variance components for the ratio of the D and L optical isomers (D/L ratio) were estimated via analysis of variance using multiple measurements from nine whales with both eyes sampled and analyzed. For whales with more than one (D/L)(act) value, an inverse variance weighted average of the values was used as (D/L)(act) for the whale. Racemization rate (k(Asp)) and D/L ratio at birth (D/L)(0) were estimated using (D/L)(act) from 27 bowhead whales with age estimates based on baleen or ovarian corpora data and two term fetuses. The estimates were k(Asp) = 0.977x10(-3)/yr and (D/L)(0) = 0.0250. The nonlinear least squares analysis that produced these estimates also estimated female age at sexual maturity as ASM=25.86yr. SE(age) was estimated via a bootstrap that took into account the SE of (D/L)(act) and the variances and covariance of k(Asp) and (D/L)(0). One male exceeded 100yr of age; the oldest female was 88. A strong linear relationship between k(Asp) and body temperature was estimated by combining bowhead data with independent data from studies of humans and fin whales. Using this relationship, we estimated k(Asp) and ASM for North Atlantic minke whales.

DOI10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00593.x
Short TitleMar. Mamm. Sci.
Integrated Research Themes: 
sharknado