[MARMAM] New publication on the function of dolphin leaps

Heidi Pearson hcpearson at alaska.edu
Mon Jun 5 15:50:45 PDT 2017

Dear colleagues,

I'm pleased to announce the following paper that was recently published in

Pearson HC. 2017. Unravelling the function of dolphin leaps using the dusky
dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) as a model species. Behaviour 154:

The article is available on the journal's website:
Alternatively, you may contact me for a pdf: hcpearson at alaska.edu

The prevalence of leaping across delphinids indicates it has an adaptive
benefit. I examined leaping behaviour in dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus
obscurus) according to signalling, social facilitation, and prey capture
hypotheses. I quantified the effect of leaping on group behaviour and
fission-fusion and the behavioural context of leaping. I observed dolphins
in Admiralty Bay, New Zealand during 171 focal follows totalling 157 h.
Data were analysed using generalized estimating equations. Clean leaping
had a positive effect on party fission (p<0.01) and foraging behaviour
(p<0.001). Coordinated leaping caused a short-term wane in foraging
behaviour (p<0.01) and had a positive effect on party fusion(p<0.05).Noisy
leaping had a negative effect on perpetuating resting and traveling
cessation (both p<0.001). The signalling hypothesis was the most strongly
supported.The social facilitation and prey capture hypotheses were
moderately supported.Leaping may provide adaptive benefits such as reduced
scramble competition,increased foraging efficiency, and social bonding.


Heidi Pearson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marine Biology
Department of Natural Sciences, University of Alaska Southeast &
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Address: 11120 Glacier Hwy, AND 1, Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: 907.796.6271
E-mail: hcpearson at alaska.edu
Website: https://online.uas.alaska.edu/online/portfolio/HCPEARSON
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