[MARMAM] New publication: Social structure of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) off northern Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Joana Augusto augustojoana at gmail.com
Wed Apr 26 07:56:08 PDT 2017

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of this new paper in Behaviour:

Augusto, J. F., Frasier, T. R. and Whitehead, H. (2017). Social structure
of long-finned pilot whales (*Globicephala melas*) off northern Cape Breton
Island, Nova Scotia. Behaviour. DOI:10.1163/1568539X-00003432

Cetacean social structures include fluid and stable elements. Long-finned
pilot whales (Globicephala melas) live in units that interact forming
labile groups. In this study conducted off Cape Breton Island, between
1998–2011, we confirm unit membership predicts associations between
individuals. We determine how units are structured and interact. We
delineated 21 nearly-stable social units, with an average 7 members. For
units where multiple individuals are sexed, both sexes are present. Most
units showed long-term stability, while one showed evidence of splitting.
Three units shared individuals with the largest unit (K, average size =
29). Splitting is likely triggered by size and difficulties maintaining
associations between all individuals. Pilot whales face many pressures
driving sociality at a range of temporal and social scales producing a
multilevel society. While we have produced a more detailed model of
long-finned pilot whale social structure, there are still unanswered
questions, particularly whether units are strict matrilines.

This article is available at:
or by request

Joana Augusto

Joana Augusto, M.Sc.
PhD candidate
Whitehead Lab
Biology Dept.
Dalhousie University
http://whitelab.biology.dal.ca/  <http://whitelab.biology.dal.ca/>
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