Marine Mammal Sci (1998)

DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.1998.tb00754.x


(…) In the preceding communication K. A. Tolley states (twice) that Gao and Gaskin (1996) committed “serious interpretive errors that neither support their results nor the recent literature.” Needless to say, we read her arguments carefully and with considerable interest. After detailed reappraisal of our methods, data, and results, we cannot find a convincing case for the existence of such errors, only that the data might have been less contentious if our sample sizes had been larger. This is a general problem in almost all marine mammal studies, as journal authors and readers are only too well aware. We are not claiming that our conclusions are necessarily correct; as scientists, we are merely presenting our findings. Tolley also claims that our results contradict data in recent literature, some published by our laboratory. We suggest that her comparisons are not scientifically valid, and in one case, genetics, quite wrong. (…)