[MARMAM] New publication: Geographic variations in common bottlenose dolphin's acoustic repertoire

Ana Rita Francisco Luís ALuis at ispa.pt
Tue Jun 8 02:34:29 PDT 2021

Dear MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to share our new publication in Nature Scientific Reports:

Luís, A.R., May-Collado, L.J., Rako-Gospić, N., Gridley, T., Papale, E., Azevedo, A., Silva, M. A., Buscaino, G., Herzing, D., & dos Santos. M.E. (2021).
Vocal universals and geographic variations in the acoustic repertoire of the common bottlenose dolphin. Sci Rep 11, 11847.

Acoustical geographic variation is common in widely distributed species and it is already described for several taxa, at various scales. In cetaceans, intraspecific variation in acoustic repertoires has been linked to ecological factors, geographical barriers, and social processes. For the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), studies on acoustic variability are scarce, focus on a single signal type-whistles and on the influence of environmental variables. Here, we analyze the acoustic emissions of nine bottlenose dolphin populations across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and identify common signal types and acoustic variants to assess repertoires' (dis)similarity. Overall, these dolphins present a rich acoustic repertoire, with 24 distinct signal sub-types including: whistles, burst-pulsed sounds, brays and bangs. Acoustic divergence was observed only in social signals, suggesting the relevance of cultural transmission in geographic variation. The repertoire dissimilarity values were remarkably low (from 0.08 to 0.4) and do not reflect the geographic distances among populations. Our findings suggest that acoustic ecology may play an important role in the occurrence of intraspecific variability, as proposed by the 'environmental adaptation hypothesis'. Further work may clarify the boundaries between neighboring populations, and shed light into vocal learning and cultural transmission in bottlenose dolphin societies.

The full article is available here:

Best regards,

Ana Rita Luís

MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre
ISPA - Instituto Universitário
Rua Jardim do Tabaco, 34
1149-041 Lisboa

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