[MARMAM] New paper on long-finned pilot whale vocalizations

Elizabeth Zwamborn elizabeth.zwamborn at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 06:34:10 PDT 2017

Dear All,
We are pleased to announce the pre-publication of our new article in

Zwamborn EMJ, Whitehead H. 2017. The baroque potheads: modification and
embellishment in repeated call sequences of long-finned pilot whales.
Behaviour DOI:10.1163/1568539x-00003451


Vocal variation within calls that are generally stereotyped suggests
multiple simultaneous functions. These vocal cues may be especially
important for group-living species. We describe two fundamental call
transition types within repeated call sequences of long-finned pilot whales
(Globicephala melas): embellishment — discrete changes to a specific part
of a call — and morphing — non-discrete small changes across a call. Of
transitions between consecutive calls, 31% were embellished and 20%
morphed. Modifications between pairs of consecutive calls were often
followed by another modification of the same type, with sequences of
embellished transitions generally alternating between ornamentation and
simplification. Ten classes of embellishment varied in rate of occurrence
as well as temporal location within a call. Most common were the
addition/deletion of pulsed or tonal elements. Functions of these
modifications could include conveying information on location or the
emotional state of the signaller, or they could be products of vocal

Please direct all questions to: elizabeth.zwamborn at dal.ca



Elizabeth Zwamborn MSc
PhD Student
Whitehead Lab
Dalhousie University
Halifax, NS
http://whitelab.biology.dal.ca/  <http://whitelab.biology.dal.ca/>
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