[MARMAM] New paper: A biologging perspective to the drivers that shape gregariousness in dusky dolphins

Heidi Pearson hcpearson at alaska.edu
Tue Dec 3 16:28:00 PST 2019

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I pleased to announce publication of the
following paper on dolphin gregariousness in Behavioral Ecology and
Sociobiology. You may find the abstract below and the full article may be
accessed here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00265-019-2763-z
You may also contact me for reprint requests.

Pearson HC, Jones PW, Brandon TP, Stockin KA, Machovsky-Capuska GE. 2019. A
biologging perspective to the drivers that shape gregariousness in dusky
dolphins. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 73:155.

Knowledge of proximate (causation and development) and ultimate (evolution
and survival function) causes of gregariousness is necessary to advance our
knowledge of animal societies. Delphinids are among the most social taxa;
however, fine-scale understanding of their intra-specific relationships is
hindered by the need for underwater observations on individuals. We
developed a non-invasive animal-borne camera system with the goal of
examining influences on gregariousness in dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus
obscurus). We analyzed video and diving records from 11 individual dusky
dolphins off Kaikoura, New Zealand. We examined the influence of biologger
attachment on dolphin behavior and tested hypotheses regarding the effects
of physiology, predation, and inter-individual variation on conspecific
interactions. Dolphins did not exhibit increased rates of descent or ascent
in the minutes immediately following biologger attachment, indicating a
lack of behavioral response. Respiration rate was positively related to
dive depth and duration, suggesting that diving is energetically expensive
for this species. Gregariousness was negatively related to dive depth
providing evidence that the physiological constraints of diving are likely
to limit social behavior. Calves were not observed more frequently in
infant (vs. echelon) position with increasing depth, highlighting the
likelihood of other anti-predation strategies (e.g., dilution effect) in
mother-calf pairs. We found that gregariousness differed between
individuals within similar social groups, suggesting the importance of
collecting data at the individual level. The evidence presented herein
suggests that the further development of animal-borne camera systems will
yield further insight into the mechanisms underlying delphinid social

best regards,

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: 11066 Auke Lake Way, 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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