[MARMAM] New Publication on the social role of vocal complexity

Elena Papale elena.papale at ias.cnr.it
Thu Nov 12 01:33:14 PST 2020

Dear colleagues,
On behalf of my co-authors, I’m happy to announce the publication in 
Frontiers in Marine Science of the following article:
The Social Role of Vocal Complexity in Striped Dolphins. Papale E., 
Fanizza C., Buscaino G., Ceraulo M., Cipriano G., Crugliano R., 
Grammauta R., Gregorietti M., Renò V., Ricci P., Santacesaria F.C., 
Maglietta R. and Carlucci R.

Many gregarious species require complex patterns of communication for 
maintaining coordinated behaviors, articulated social structure and 
group cohesion. In mammal species, social complexity has been considered 
the driving force for the development of advanced acoustic communication 
systems. Striped dolphins are highly social, showing large group size 
with females maintaining strong bonds with kin. Here, we tested the 
hypothesis that more complex acoustic pattern plays a key role in social 
activity in the striped dolphins. The production rate of clicks, 
whistles and burst pulses, and the acoustic features of whistles have 
been related to the activity context (feeding, traveling, resting, and 
socializing). Furthermore, complex calls, consisting of a combination of 
frequency-modulated, and/or pulsed components were detected. Higher 
whistles and burst pulses production rates were recorded during 
socializing. Also, the social activity can be discriminated basing on 
the modulation of the whistle contour. Biphonic calls were especially 
recorded during social interaction events, suggesting that these 
phenomena can encode information about individual or group identity to 
conspecifics. Outcomes indicate the pivotal role of vocal complexity 
during social context and elicit further investigations of the 
communication system of small odontocetes from local to wider spatial 

The link can be found at 


Elena Papale, PhD
Institute for the Study of Anthropogenic Impacts
and Sustainability in the Marine Environment (IAS),
National Research Council,
Torretta Granitola (TP), Italy
Department of Life Science and Systems Biology
University of Torino, Torino, Italy

elena.papale at ias.cnr.it
elena.papale at cnr.it
elena.papale at unito.it
elenabiancapapale at gmail.com

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