Stressed and slim or relaxed and chubby? A simultaneous assessment of gray whale body condition and hormone variability

Abstract: To date, no study has evaluated associations between hormone variability and body condition in baleen whales, which limits the ability to understand physiological response to periods of prey limitation. As our oceans continue to change due to increased anthropogenic activities and climate change, a better understanding of connections between body condition and hormones will assist efforts to mitigate impacts at an individual and population level. In this study, we employed simultaneous multidisciplinary techniques to investigate the effects of body condition variability on hormones associated with stress (i.e., cortisol) and energy allocation (i.e., cortisol and thyroid hormones) in Eastern North Pacific (ENP) gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

Authors: Leila S. Lemos, Amy Olsen, Angela Smith, Jonathan D. Burnett, Todd E. Chandler, Shawn Larson, Kathleen E. Hunt, Leigh G. Torres,

Lemos, Leila S.; et al
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Marine Mammal Science; 2021; 1-11
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11 pages