[MARMAM] New paper: Evidence of signature whistles produced by Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Mozambique

Rachel Probert rachelprbrt at gmail.com
Sat Jul 8 01:18:01 PDT 2023

Dear MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to share our recent publication
titled "Evidence of signature whistles produced by Indian Ocean bottlenose
dolphins (*Tursiops aduncus*)
 in Mozambique"


Individually distinctive signature whistles are used by common bottlenose
dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*) during social interactions and to
facilitate group cohesion. There is evidence from a few populations that
Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (*T. aduncus*) also use signature
whistles. We investigated this from a coastal resident population of *T.
aduncus* in Mozambique. Video-audio data were collected during recreational
swim-with activities over 12 years, where potential signature whistles were
identified from 28 individuals. Of the 405 whistles documented, 75% were
produced in SIGID bouts. Visual assessment of individual signature whistle
contours demonstrated temporal stability for up to 8 years. Overall, most
signature whistle types had upsweep frequency modulation and were emitted
as multiloop whistles. Comparing all whistle contours to each other
indicated low discrimination between individuals, with contours frequently
categorised together. However, sex differences in the frequency
characteristics of whistles were identified, with females whistling at
lower frequencies than males. Our results indicate either a shared whistle
repertoire or identity encoding with subtle contour features, requiring
acute auditory perception and discrimination to decipher caller identity.
More widespread geographic investigation into signature whistle use may
demonstrate variation in acoustic communication systems for bottlenose
dolphins, which are thus far not well understood.

Rachel Probert

*Rachel Probert*
*PhD candidate, Marine Biology, Bioacoustics*
Sea Search Research and Conservation, Muizenberg, Cape Town
School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus,

Cell: +27767831809

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