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How is it that the bottlenose dolphin came to be and still are living in this isolated habitat of the Black Sea?
Mediterranean connection during the Holocene
The Bosphorus, taken from the International Space Station Map of the Dardanelles The Black Sea is connected to the World Ocean by a chain of two shallow straits, the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. The Dardanelles is 55 m (180 ft) deep and the Bosphorus is as shallow as 36 m (118 ft). By comparison, at the height of the last ice age, sea levels were more than 100 m (330 ft) lower than they are now.
originally posted by: TheAlleghenyGentleman
a reply to: dreamingawake
So why only dolphins and not seals?
Critically endangered Mediterranean monk seals were historically abundant in Black Sea, and are regarded to have become extinct from the basin since in 1997. Monk seals were present at the Snake Island until 1950s, and several locations such as the Danube plavni nature reserve and Doğankent were last of hauling-out sites in post-1990. Very few animals still thrive in the Sea of Marmara.
Various species of pinnipeds, sea otter, and beluga whales were introduced into Black Sea by mankind and later escaped either by accidental or purported causes. Of these, grey seal and beluga whales have been recorded with successful, long-term occurrences.
Distribution and Numbers The Mediterranean monk seal is the most endangered pinniped species worldwide and is currently on the brink of extinction. Although formerly found all over the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and northwest African coast, the species' numbers have now been reduced to perhaps less than 600. Whereas the former distribution was continuous throughout its range, the present distribution is discontinuous, with probably little exhange between the separated populations (Johnson et al., 2006). The remaining seals are found in remote and undisturbed areas around the north-east Mediterranean Sea (Greece and Turkey) and northwest African coast (Mauritania), with a few individuals along the Mediterranean coast of Morocco and the Portuguese Desertas Islands of Madeira (Johnson et al., 2006).
For centuries Mediterranean monk seals have been killed by fishermen who see the seals as competitors or accuse them of destroying their fishing gear. In the past the seals were also killed by those who believed that sealskin and seal parts were able to provide protection from a variety of medical problems.