[MARMAM] New paper: Context specificity of Atlantic spotted dolphin acoustic signals in the Canary Islands

Elena Papale elena.papale at iamc.cnr.it
Sun May 15 07:02:44 PDT 2016

Dear colleagues,
on behalf of my co-authors I'm pleased to announce the publication of  
our paper titled:

"Context specificity of Atlantic spotted dolphin acoustic signals in  
the Canary Islands"

Full citation: Elena Papale, Monica Perez-Gil, Juliana Castrillon,  
Enrique Perez-Gil, Leire Ruiz, Antonella Servidio, Marisa Tejedor,  
Cristina Giacoma & Vidal Martín (2016): Context specificity of  
Atlantic spotted dolphin acoustic signals in the Canary Islands,  
Ethology Ecology & Evolution, DOI: 10.1080/03949370.2016.1171256


The behavioural context provides opportunities for studying the use  
and characteristics of acoustic signals. We analysed the  
context-specific use of acoustic signals in a population of Atlantic  
spotted dolphins around the Canary archipelago. We calculated the  
whistle diversity, the mean value of whistle stereotypy and the  
repetition rate of both tonal and burst-pulsed sounds. Eleven  
parameters of frequency, signal duration and modulation were measured  
from each whistle. Results showed that whistle diversity and whistle  
and chirp repetition rates were negatively correlated with group size,  
but only whistle diversity and the mean number of stereotypy were  
related to behavioural activity. Whistles were more complexly  
modulated during high behavioural activity than when engaged in  
moderate movements. Furthermore, during socialising and feeding, the  
highest mean value of stereotypy was displayed, and the parameters of  
non-stereotyped whistles had lower variability. Our results suggest  
the use of a complex communication system to improve the efficiency of  
communication through context-specific signal combinations, the usage  
of different signals and their modulation pattern. Our study produces  
evidence to support the hypothesis that acoustic plasticity and  
differences in call characteristics may be indicative of behavioural  
and social acoustic environment.

A PDF version of the paper is available online at:

or via email request to: elena.papale at iamc.cnr.it



Elena Papale, PhD
Institute for Coastal Marine Environment
National Research Council
Via del Mare 3
91021 Torretta Granitola (TP)
elena.papale at iamc.cnr.it
elenabiancapapale at gmail.com

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