[MARMAM] New Publication: The role of touch in captive and semi-captive Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus)

Karen Lucchini lucchini.karen at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 13:04:29 PST 2021

Dear colleagues,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the recent publication of our article on Antillean manatees’ tactile communication in the Behaviour:

Lucchini, K., Umeed, R., Guimaraes, L., Santos, P., Sommer, I. & Bezerra, B. (2021) The role of touch in captive and semi-captive Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus). – Behaviour, 1(aop): 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-bja10069 <https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-bja10069>

Tactile signals have been neglected in aquatic animal studies despite being a major communication modality. We investigated Antillean manatees’ tactile behavioural repertoire and budget in captivity (7-females and 4-males) and semi-captivity (4-males) in Brazil. We detected 17 tactile behaviours (14.03% of the activity budget) with social, self-maintenance, or environmental exploration functions. The observation method influenced the detection of self-maintenance behaviours — focal animal and ad libitum detected more of these behaviours than scan sampling. Age, sex, housing, and centre routines influenced the tactile repertoire. The captive females and semi-captive males tactile patterns differed, suggesting that sex and animal-pool density play a role in tactile patterns. We recommend carefully choosing the observation method when investigating functional categories of manatee tactile behaviours. The monitoring and stimulation of manatee tactile behaviours should integrate rehabilitation and reintroduction practices. Environmental enrichment may stimulate tactile behaviours related to habitat exploration, key behaviours in aiding manatee navigation.

Please, do not hesitate to contact me at lucchini.karen at gmail.com <mailto:lucchini.karen at gmail.com> or karen.lucchini at ufpe.br <mailto:karen.lucchini at ufpe.br> I would be happy to answer any further questions about the study and provide a pdf copy of the article.


Best regards,

Karen Lucchini

MSc. in Animal Biology - Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation Lab
Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE)
BSc. in Biological Sciences - São Paulo State University (UNESP)
http://lattes.cnpq.br/0466847532755310 <http://lattes.cnpq.br/0466847532755310>
https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-lucchini-041371174/ <https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-lucchini-041371174/>


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