In March 2006, a dead, male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was found in the salt marsh in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. During necropsy, an enterolith was found completely obstructing the intestinal lumen. Further examination of the enterolith revealed a stingray spine nidus. Most terrestrial enteroliths are composed primarily of struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate); however, the majority of the enterolith discovered in the stranded dolphin was composed of calcium phosphate carbonate. This case provides an interesting comparison of the variation in the mineral composition between terrestrial and marine enteroliths.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1