[MARMAM] Fiordland bottlenose dolphins: behaviour

David Lusseau d.lusseau at Dal.Ca
Sun Jun 25 18:09:19 PDT 2006

Dear all,
I am pleased to announce the release of the following accepted manuscript on the
journal Behavioural Processes' website:

Why do dolphins jump? Interpreting the behavioural repertoire of bottlenose
dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

Only a limited number of studies have tried to determine the purpose of surface
behavioural events performed by dolphins. To date only one study has attempted
to aggregate the behavioural events observed in a population in contextual
groups using co-occurrence as the grouping factor. In the present study I tried
to characterise the behavioural repertoire of a bottlenose dolphin population
(Tursiops sp.) present in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. I first looked at the
relationship between events performed by individuals depending on the
behavioural state of their schools. I then assessed the likelihood for events
to co-occur. Four main behavioural categories (orientation, travel, social
displays and fights) emerged from this analysis. Aerial events (jumps) did not
fall into one category, showing that different aerial behaviours play different
roles. Moreover, it appears that dolphins used side-flopping and upside-down
lobtailing to communicate motivation. Side-flops occurred when the focal
schools finished a behavioural bout and started to travel, while upside-down
lobtails occurred when the focal schools instigated a behavioural bout after
travelling. This non-vocal communication can take place over a few meters to
hundreds of meters. Having signals that are effective over very short ranges
avoids unwanted signalling to prey, predators, or conspecifics.

It is available at:
(Journal: Behavioural Processes, section: Article in Press)

I will make it also available at lusseau.org in the coming week.

best wishes,

David Lusseau, PhD
Killam Postdoctoral Fellow

Dalhousie University
Department of Biology
1355 Oxford Street
Halifax, NS B3H 4J1

Tel: (902) 494 3723
E-mail: d.lusseau at dal.ca
website: http://www.lusseau.org

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