[MARMAM] New publication on juvenile social development in bottlenose dolphins

Ali G aligalezo at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 10:28:45 PDT 2020

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our new
article in Behavioral Ecology:

*Juvenile social dynamics reflect adult reproductive strategies in
bottlenose dolphins*
Allison A Galezo, Vivienne Foroughirad, Ewa Krzyszczyk, Céline H Frère,
Janet Mann

The juvenile period is a challenging life-history stage, especially in
species with a high degree of fission–fusion dynamics, such as bottlenose
dolphins, where maternal protection is virtually absent. Here, we examined
how juvenile male and female bottlenose dolphins navigate this vulnerable
period. Specifically, we examined their grouping patterns, activity budget,
network dynamics, and social associations in the absence of adults. We
found that juveniles live in highly dynamic groups, with group composition
changing every 10 min on average. Groups were generally segregated by sex,
and segregation was driven by same-sex preference rather than opposite-sex
avoidance. Juveniles formed strong associations with select individuals,
especially kin and same-sex partners, and both sexes formed cliques with
their preferred partners. Sex-specific strategies in the juvenile period
reflected adult reproductive strategies, in which the exploration of
potential social partners may be more important for males (which form
long-term alliances in adulthood) than females (which preferentially
associate with kin in adulthood). Females spent more time alone and were
more focused on foraging than males, but still formed close same-sex
associations, especially with kin. Males cast a wider social net than
females, with strong same-sex associations and many male associates. Males
engaged in more affiliative behavior than females. These results are
consistent with the social bonds and skills hypothesis and suggest that
delayed sexual maturity in species with relational social complexity may
allow individuals to assess potential associates and explore a complex
social landscape without the risks associated with sexual maturity (e.g.,
adult reproductive competition; inbreeding).

The full article is available online at

Feel free to email me at aligalezo at gmail.com for a PDF of the article.


Allison Galezo
PhD Candidate, Duke University, Alberts Lab
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