Season appears to influence the physiology of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). From 2000 to 2005, blood parameters of three captive bottlenose dolphins housed in northern Italy were examined to determine if seasonal variation was present. Seasonal variation was observed in the male dolphins, with both males exhibiting aminotransferase levels that were higher in autumn and lower in winter. Mean serum creatinine levels were higher during summer and lower during autumn in the adult male, and mean lactate dehydrogenase higher during summer and lower during spring in the juvenile male. Both males exhibited red blood cell counts and hemoglobin levels that were higher during autumn and lower during summer. This study contributes to the knowledge of baseline hematologic and biochemical values based on seasonality in bottlenose dolphins.
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