[MARMAM] New publication on dolphins personality and social network

Bruno Diaz Lopez bruno at thebdri.com
Mon Mar 30 11:29:37 PDT 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to share with all of you the following paper recently published in Animal Behaviour. This new study provides additional evidence of the existence of social personalities in bottlenose dolphins and contributes to the understanding of the role of personality in determining the extent to which marine mammals associate with others. 

Diaz Lopez, B., 2020.When personality matters: personality and social structure in wild bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Animal Behaviour 163,73-84.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2020.03.001


There is increasing evidence that animal personality can affect many aspects of an individual's behaviour, life history and fitness. However, there have been few studies about the link between personality and social organization in the context of wild mammals in their own natural environments. This article reports on ecologically relevant data, linking experimental data from the wild to long-term social association data in a socially and cognitively complex mammal species (bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus). Here, I used behavioural data to describe personality differences between bottlenose dolphins and social network analysis to assess the relationship between personality and social structure. First, I measured the reaction of photo-identified individuals over time and across contexts as a trade-off between a novelty-seeking behaviour (boldness) and a novelty-averse behaviour (shyness). Second, I applied social network analysis to understand the link between the observed shy–bold continuum and social organization, while controlling for other factors that could contribute to affiliation. This study presents for the first time consistent individual differences in behavioural response to novelty, as a proxy for the shy–bold continuum, in wild bottlenose dolphins. Bold individuals had a central role in the social network with stronger associations than shy individuals, suggesting that bold individuals may play an important role in group cohesion, group stability and the spread of information through the network. Together, these findings provide insights into how a social network is structured by personality in wild bottlenose dolphins, with potential fitness consequences. Furthermore, this study provides additional evidence of the existence of social personalities in nonhuman animals and contributes to the understanding of the role of personality in determining the extent to which mammals associate with others.

The article can be found at: http://dlvr.it/RSq1Z9

Please contact me for a pdf copy if needed.

With all best wishes in these uncertain days,

Bruno Diaz Lopez Ph.D
Chief biologist and Director
The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove 36980, Pontevedra, Spain
0034 684248552

Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. Mention us on Twitter.

This email is confidential to the intended recipient(s) and the contents may be legally privileged or contain proprietary and private informations. It is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed. If you are not an intended recipient, you may not review, copy or distribute this email. If received in error, please notify the sender and delete the message from your system immediately. Please note that neither the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI nor the sender accept any responsibility for any viruses and it is your responsibility to scan the email and the attachments (if any). Thank you for your cooperation.

More information about the MARMAM mailing list