[MARMAM] NEW PUBLICATION: Aggression varies with consortship rate and habitat in a dolphin social network

Rebecca Hamilton RAHAMILTON at Rollins.edu
Thu Oct 31 10:23:58 PDT 2019

Dear all,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce our recent publication based on long-term research in Shark Bay, Western Australia (www.sharkbaydolphins.org<http://www.sharkbaydolphins.org/>).

Hamilton RA, Borcuch T, Allen SJ, Cioffi WR, Bucci V, Krützen M, Connor RC (2019) Aggression varies with consortship rate and habitat in a dolphin social network. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 73: 141. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-019-2753-1

Abstract: Coalitions and alliances exemplify the core elements of conflict and cooperation in animal societies. Ecological influences on alliance formation are more readily attributed to within-species variation where phylogenetic signals are muted. Remarkably, male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia, exhibit systematic spatial variation in alliance behavior, not simply within a species or population, but within a single social network. Moving SE-NW along Peron Peninsula in Shark Bay, males ally more often in trios than pairs, consort females more often, and exhibit greater seasonal movements. Ecological models predict more male-male conflict in the north, but sufficient observations of aggression are lacking. However, dolphins often incur marks, in the form of tooth rakes, during conflicts. Here we report that the incidence of new tooth rake marks varies systematically in the predicted pattern, with greater marking in the north, where males form more trios and consort females at a higher rate. While our previous work demonstrated that alliance complexity has an ecological component, we can now infer that ecological variation impacts the level of alliance-related conflict in Shark Bay.

This paper builds on the following earlier publication:

Connor RC, Cioffi WR, Randić S, Allen SJ, Watson-Capps J, Krützen M (2017) Male alliance behaviour and mating access varies with habitat in a dolphin social network. Scientific reports 13;7:46354. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep46354<https://nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdoi.org%2F10.1038%2Fsrep46354&data=02%7C01%7Crhamilton%40umassd.edu%7Cd00fb3ffae564f09c9ab08d75e04c774%7C328d6c0d0f2f4b7693109762ba1c3e2d%7C0%7C0%7C637081246930225986&sdata=zXxP8DFzLx2VpWUkAi%2BZDHNQOpeFwwQsv9DFBGD%2BLBM%3D&reserved=0>

Please feel free to contact me at rhamilton at umassd.edu<mailto:rhamilton at umassd.edu> with any queries and safe travels to all attending WMMC19 next month!

Best wishes,

Becca Hamilton


Field Manager, Cedar Key Dolphin Project

MS in Biology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Email: rhamilton at umassd.edu

Website: www.rahamilton.weebly.com<http://www.rahamilton.weebly.com/>

Twitter: @BeccaAHamilton

Mob.: +44 (0)7307 985 359

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