[MARMAM] New publication : Environmental and anthropogenic factors modulate dolphins' social play

agathe serres agathe.serres11 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 00:36:17 PST 2017

Dear colleagues,

My co-author, Fabienne Delfour and I are pleased to announce the
publication of our work which focused on the impact of different
environmental and anthropogenic factors on social play in under human care
dolphins. The article is the following one:

Serres, A., Delfour, F., 2017. Environmental changes and anthropogenic
factors modulate social play in captive bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops
truncatus*). Zoo biology.
Version of record online : 21 Feb 2017, DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21355


Social play varies among species and individuals and changes in frequency
and duration during ontogeny. This type of play is modulated by
environmental changes (e.g., resource availability). In captivity,
cetaceans and their environment are managed by humans, and training
sessions and/or public presentations punctuate the day as well as other
frequent or occasional events. There is a lack of research on the effects
of environmental events that occur in captivity and might affect dolphins’
behavior. We studied the context in which nine bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops
truncatus) played socially and the events that could potentially impact
this social interaction. The dolphins’ social play behavior was
significantly more frequent and lasted longer in the morning than in the
afternoon and was present before and after interactions with their trainers
with a non-significant tendency to be more frequent before and after a
training session than a public presentation. In an experimental paradigm
using familiar environmental enrichment, our results demonstrated that
environmental enrichment tended to increase social play duration whereas
temporary noisy construction work around the pool and display of agonistic
behaviors by members of the group significantly decreased it. These results
contribute to better understand the social play distribution in captive
bottlenose dolphins and the impact of different events within their daily
lives. Since play decreases or disappears when animals are facing
unfavorable conditions, the evaluation of social play may relate to the
animals’ current well-being. We suggest that social play has potential to
become an indicator of bottlenose dolphins’ current welfare state.

The paper can be found here:

You can send any requests for copies of the PDF directly to
agathe.serres11 at gmail.com

Best regards,

Agathe Serres

Agathe Serres
Etudiante Master 2 Ethologie fondamentale et comparée
Université Paris 13, France
agathe.serres11 at gmail.com
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