[MARMAM] New publication on dolphin conceptive estrus behavior

Holley Muraco holleymuraco at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 26 12:52:38 PST 2015

Dear all

We are pleased to share a new paper on dolphin conceptive estrus behavior
published in Animal Behavior and Cognition. 


Conceptive Estrus Behavior in Three Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)


Holley Muraco1,*Stan A. Kuczaj II2


1Mississippi State University

2University of Southern Mississippi 

*Corresponding author (Email: holley at muraco.biz)


Abstract - Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a highly promiscuous
species that routinely engage in socio-sexual interactions, yet relatively
little has been reported about actual estrus behavior. For this study of
three female dolphins located at two aquarium facilities, 20 reproductive
behaviors were investigated during three conceptive estrous cycles with
known endocrinology. Reproductive behaviors increased with estradiol levels
and peak occurrences of behaviors were observed during the luteinizing
hormone (LH) surge. Two novel behaviors were observed: (1) genital tracking,
an investigatory-type behavior, and (2) immobility, a novel form of standing
heat estrus. These behaviors appeared to communicate reproductive readiness
and increased copulation success. A total of 314 occurrences of estrus
behavior were recorded in 10 hours of footage from the three focal females,
and copulation spanned from day -9 to day 0 in one dominant female. Sexual
interactions during estrus included female-to-female, immature
male-to-female, mature male-to-immature male and masturbation with toys.
During estrus, focal females received more behavioral attention than they
initiated, and passive and active dorsal fin mounting between females was
the most frequent behavior. These dolphins showed behavioral patterns
similar to those reported in estrus cows where genitals are nuzzled, females
mount and are mounted by other females, and standing heat intensity
increases as LH levels rise. 

Keywords - Dolphin, Behavior, Estrus, Reproduction, Conception, Copulation,


Citation - Muraco, H., & Kuczaj, S. A. II. (2015). Conceptive estrus
behavior in three bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Animal Behavior
and Cognition, 2(1), 30-48. doi: 10.12966/abc.02.03.2015 


The full paper can be downloaded at this link:



Holley Muraco

Zoological Reproductive Physiologist

Email:  <mailto:holley at muraco.biz> holley at muraco.biz

Blog:  <http://www.zooreproduction.com/blog/>

Twitter: @HolleyMuraco


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