[MARMAM] NEW PUBLICATION: Inter‐group alliance dynamics in Indo‐Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)

Whitney Friedman whitney.friedman at thrivingoceanscollective.org
Thu Jul 6 15:15:22 PDT 2023

Dear MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to share with you our new paper
entitled "Inter‐group
alliance dynamics in Indo‐Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)",
published in *Animal Cognition*.

This open-access paper can be viewed and downloaded here:

The social intelligence hypothesis holds that complex social relationships
are the major selective force underlying the evolution of large brain size
and intelligence. Complex social relationships are exemplified by
coalitions and alliances that are mediated by affiliative behavior,
resulting in differentiated but shifting relationships. Male Indo-Pacific
bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, form three alliance levels or
‘orders’, primarily among non-relatives. Strategic alliance formation has
been documented *within* both first- and second-order alliances and
*between* second-order alliances (‘third-order alliances’), revealing that
the formation of strategic inter-group alliances is not limited to humans.
Here we conducted a fine-scale study on 22 adult males over a 6-year period
to determine if third-order alliance relationships are differentiated, and
mediated by affiliative interactions. We found third-order alliance
relationships were strongly differentiated, with key individuals playing a
disproportionate role in maintaining alliances. Nonetheless, affiliative
interactions occurred broadly between third-order allies, indicating males
maintain bonds with third-order allies of varying strength. We also
documented a shift in relationships and formation of a new third-order
alliance. These findings further our understanding of dolphin alliance
dynamics and provide evidence that strategic alliance formation is found in
all three alliance levels, a phenomenon with no peer among non-human

How to cite this paper:

Friedman, W.R., Krützen, M., King, S.L., Allen, S.J., Gerber, L., Wittwer,
S. and Connor, R.C. (2023), “Inter-group alliance dynamics in Indo-Pacific
bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)”, *Animal Cognition*, pp. 1–12, doi:

Whitney Friedman
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