Animal Cells and Systems (2013)

DOI: 10.1080/19768354.2013.851116


A total of 116 finless porpoises, Neophocaena asiaeorientalis, were collected in the Yellow Sea off Korea. About 111 specimens were incidentally caught by stow nets on anchors from March to June 2010, and five were stranded in February 2011. Age was determined by counting dentinal growth layer groups (GLGs) in thin-sectioned teeth, and sexual maturity rating (SMR) was classified by investigating ovaries and testis macroscopically and microscopically. Immature females were ranged 1–4 years old and 92.6–141.2 cm in total body length (TBL), pubertal ones were all 5 years old and 125.4–136.0 cm, and mature ones ranged 5–19 years old and 131.6–155.2 cm. Age at attainment of sexual maturity of females was 4–5 years old. Parturition season estimated based on TBL of eight fetuses was from April to August with a peak in April to May. The first age at parturition was 5 years old. Among 62 males, immature males were 1–4 years old and 87.9–154.6 cm, pubertal ones were 3–5 years old and 121.5–134.5 cm, and mature ones were 4–19 years old and 125.3–229.0 cm. Males reached sexual maturity at 4–5 years old. Testicular mass and the diameters of seminiferous tubules were dramatically increased with SMR and regressed in testis of the individuals stranded in February. It suggested that male finless porpoises have aspermatogenic period between October and February. It is presumed that the breeding season would be May–September with a peak in May–June.