[MARMAM] New article about infanticide attacks and associated epimeletic behaviour in bottlenose dolphins

Bruno Diaz Lopez bruno at thebdri.com
Fri Jul 21 10:24:47 PDT 2017

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce that our latest article about infanticide attacks and associated epimeletic behaviour in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) has been published.

Díaz López, B., López, A., Methion, S., & Covelo, P. (2017). Infanticide attacks and associated epimeletic behaviour in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 1-9. doi:10.1017/S0025315417001266

Infanticide is considered a conspicuous expression of sexual conflict amongst mammals, including bottlenose dolphins. Although reported previously in this species, confirmed cases of infanticide and associated epimeletic behaviour are very rare and their socio-behavioural context remains poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence of epimeletic and infanticide behaviours in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins in Galicia, NW Spain. After describing the observed events, we include a complete description of the post-mortem examinations (where the carcasses were recovered) in order to confirm the cause of death. With evidences of blunt trauma in two of the presented cases, we confirm that the calves were intentionally killed by adult individuals. The aggressive interaction between adult individuals and the neonates together with the observed ante-mortem injuries bore a strong resemblance to the behaviours and traumatic injuries described in other cases of violent dolphin interactions in other parts of the world. The circumstances under which these infanticides occurred at our site fit the conditions proposed under the sexual selection hypothesis. The difficulties for researchers to observe this type of behaviour in the field and to find carcasses in good enough condition to determine the cause of death, emphasizes the importance of this type of study.

You can access the article at: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0025315417001266

If you cannot download the publication, you can request a pdf by emailing to: bruno at thebdri.com

Best wishes,

Bruno Díaz López
Chief biologist and Director
The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove 36980, Pontevedra, Spain
0034 684248552

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