Multiple Insights into the Reproductive Game of a Male and a Female Harbour Porpoises: How to Become Mature
IAAAM 1999
Geneviève Desportes1; Sabrina Labberté1; Kirsten Andersen1; Jacob H. Kristensen2; Bodil Korsgaard3; Ursula Siebert4; Jörg Driver5; Mats Amundin6
1Fjord and Belt Centre, Breguør, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark; 2Fjord and Belt Centre, Breguør, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark Institute of Biology, University of Odense, Odense, Denmark; 3Institute of Biology, University of Odense, Odense; 4Research and Technology Center Westcoast, University of Kiel, 25761 Büsum, Germany; 5Veterinary Clinic, Bosselweg 10, 25764 Reinsbuttel, Germany; 6Kolmården Delphinarium, Kolmården S-618 92, Sweden


A male and a female harbour porpoise, by-caught in the same pound net, were brought to the Fjord and Belt Centre, Kerteminde, Denmark, in April 1997 and kept there for research purposes in a semi-natural environment. They were estimated to be 2-3 years old and immature. This offered a unique opportunity to study the transition from puberty to reproductive maturity in terms of behaviour and physiological changes.

A combination of different methods were used: on line behavioural recordings using a behaviour study software; analyses of video recordings, recordings of acoustic activity through click detectors, radio immunoassay titration of plasma testosterone, progesterone and estrogen, cytological analysis on vaginal and prepucial smears, body temperature monitoring, and ultrasound imaging of genital tracts.

With findings supporting each other, each of the techniques shed a different light on the maturation process, the appearance and development of sexual behaviour and the relative responsiveness of the participants. Vaginal cytology revealed that intromission became successful in the summer of 1998, although mating attempts had been ongoing since September 1997, but without resulting in a diagnosed pregnancy. The pubertal male of a reproductively highly summer seasonal species using the first winter to "test" himself may or may not be an artefact of captivity.

Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Geneviève Desportes
Fjord and Belt Centre
Breguør, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark

Ursula Siebert
Research and Technology Center Westcoast
University of Kiel
Büsum, Germany

MAIN : Poster Session : Reproductive Game
Powered By VIN