[MARMAM] New paper: Tursiops whistles

Laura May-Collado lmaycollado at gmail.com
Tue Oct 14 11:49:07 PDT 2008


The following paper is available at
http://www.asmjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-toc&issn=1545-1542

Journal of Mammalogy, 89(5):1229Ð1240, 2008

A COMPARISON OF BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN WHISTLES

IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN: FACTORS PROMOTING

WHISTLE VARIATION

LAURA J. MAY-COLLADO* AND DOUGLAS WARTZOK

George Mason University, Department of Environmental Science & Policy, MSN
5F2, 4400 University Drive,

Fairfax, VA 22030, USA (LJM-C)

Florida International University, Department of Environmental Science, 11200
SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199, USA (DW)

Whistles are narrowband, frequency-modulated sounds produced by many
cetaceans. Whistles are extensively

studied in delphinids, where several factors have been proposed to explain
between- and within-species variation.

We examined factors associated with geographic variation in whistles of
common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops

truncatus) by assessing the role of ambient noise, noise from boats, and
sympatry with other dolphin species,

and reviewing and comparing whistle structure across populations in the
western and eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Whistles of adjacent populations differed, particularly in frequency
parameters. A combination of factors may

contribute to microgeographic whistle variation, including differences in
ambient noise levels (dolphins produced

relatively higher frequency whistles in the noisiest habitat), and
differences in number of boats present

(when multiple boats were present, dolphins whistled with greater frequency
modulation and whistles were

higher in maximum frequency and longer than when a single boat was present).
Whistles produced by adjacent

populations were relatively similar in structure. However, for clearly
separated populations, the distance between

them did not relate directly to whistle structure. We propose that
plasticity in bottlenose dolphin whistles

facilitates adaptation to local and changing conditions of their habitat,
thus promoting variation between

populations at different geographic scales.

Key words: ambient noise, boat traffic, Costa Rica, Panama, Sotalia,
sympatry, Tursiops

-- 
Laura J. May-Collado, Ph.D.
Affiliate Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental Science & Policy
George Mason University
Email: lmaycollado at gmail.com
Personal Home Page: www.delphinids.com
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