[MARMAM] New article published on Atlantic spotted dolphin aggression in The Bahamas

Cassie Rusche cassie at wilddolphinproject.org
Mon Feb 8 05:22:16 PST 2021


Dear MARMAM community,

My co-author and I are pleased to share our new publication: Aggressive
behaviors of adult male Atlantic spotted dolphins: Making signals count
during intraspecific and interspecific conflicts, which has been published
in Animal Behavior and Cognition.

You can download the article here:
https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.08.01.04.2021

Citation: Volker, C. L., & Herzing, D. L. (2021). Aggressive behaviors of
adult male Atlantic spotted dolphins: Making signals count during
intraspecific and interspecific conflicts. *Animal Behavior and Cognition,
8*(*1*), 36-51.

Abstract

Some species exhibit behavioral plasticity by altering their aggressive
behavior based on their opponent. Atlantic spotted dolphins (*Stenella
frontalis*) and bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*) are two
sympatric species resident to the northern Bahamas. We examined whether
groups of adult male spotted dolphins demonstrated behavioral plasticity
during two different types of aggressive interactions. We described and
compared the types of aggressive behaviors used during intraspecific
aggression and interspecific aggression with bottlenose dolphins. Between
the years 1991-2004, twenty-two aggressive encounters (11 intraspecific
(spotted only), 11 interspecific (spotted vs. bottlenose)) were
behaviorally analyzed. Twenty-three specific aggressive Behavioral Events,
further grouped into three Behavioral Types, were examined throughout these
encounters. Similarities and differences in the use of the Behavioral Types
occurred during intra- and interspecific aggression. Groups of male
Atlantic spotted dolphins altered their behavior during aggressive
encounters with male bottlenose dolphins. Spotted dolphins increased their
use of the Pursuit Behavioral Type and did not use the Display Behavioral
Type significantly more than the Contact Behavioral Type during
interspecific aggression. The increased use of a more overt and energy
intensive Behavioral Type, Pursuit, suggests that Atlantic spotted dolphins
altered their behavior during aggressive encounters with bottlenose
dolphins to compensate during fights with a larger species and/or to
effectively communicate with a different species.

Keywords: Sympatric, *Stenella frontalis*, *Tursiops,* spotted dolphin,
aggression, Bahamas

Kind regards,

Cassie Volker
Wild Dolphin Project
Research Assistant
(cassie at wilddolphinproject.org)
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