[MARMAM] Publication on signature whistles and changes in vocal emissions in a rough-toothed dolphin

Eric Angel Ramos eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com
Mon Oct 30 05:29:36 PDT 2023

Greetings MARMAM,

On behalf of my coauthors, I am pleased to share our new article out today
in *Frontiers in Marine Science* titled: *Signature whistle use and changes
in whistle emission rate in a rehabilitated rough-toothed dolphin*

Ramos EA, Jones BL, Austin M, Eierman L, Collom KA, Melo-Santos G,
Castelblanco-Martınez N, Arreola MR, Sanchez-Okrucky R and Rieucau G (2023)
Signature whistle use and changes in whistle emission rate in a
rehabilitated rough-toothed dolphin. Front. Mar. Sci. 10:1278299. doi:

The article is available Open Access here:

Acoustic signals play a crucial role in communication among animals,
particularly in dolphins. Signature whistles, one of their most extensively
studied vocalizations, enable dolphins to convey their identity to
conspecifics through individually distinct whistle contours. However, it
remains unclear whether rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis) also
produce signature whistles with individually identifying contours and, if
so, whether they are associated with stress and poor health, such as in
bottlenose dolphins. To bridge this knowledge gap, we recorded sounds
emitted by a live-stranded rough-toothed dolphin during its rehabilitation
in May 2017 at Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico. We assessed if the
dolphin produced a signature whistle and whether whistle rate,
inter-whistle interval, mean low and high frequencies, and blood chemistry
measures, changed significantly over time. While isolated from conspecifics
during rehabilitation, the dolphin generated a single, repeated, and
stereotyped whistle contour that met the previously established SIGnature
IDentification criteria for signature whistle emissions for bottlenose
dolphins. Whistle characteristics varied over the 11 recording days:
whistle rate and inter-whistle interval significantly decreased over time;
the number of whistles with preceding echolocation click trains decreased
over time; and mean low and high frequencies changed over recording days.
We conclude that this rough-toothed dolphin possessed what resembles a
signature whistle contour, and the emission of this contour underwent
significant changes throughout the rehabilitation process. While our study
presents evidence of a single rough- toothed dolphin producing a signature
whistle, further research is necessary to determine whether this vocal
behavior is prevalent across the species.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at
eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com

Best regards,

*Eric Angel Ramos, Ph.D.*
Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Vermont
Scientist at FINS (Fundación Internacional para la Naturaleza y la

Member of the IUCN SSC Sirenian Specialist Group for Mesoamerica

www.finsconservation.org <https://finsconservation.org/>
E-mail: eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com
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<https://twitter.com/EricAngelRamos> | Instagram
ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eric_Ramos> | ORCiD
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