Title

Associations and the Role of Affiliative, Agonistic, and Sociosexual Behaviors Among Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2017

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Little is known about the specific behavioral exchanges that occur on a day-to-day basis between dyads of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This study assesses the proportion of time dyads spend in proximity (within ∼2 m) and the proportion of time spent in affiliative, agonistic, or socio-sexual contexts within and between age/sex dolphin pairings to better understand their social relationships. Observations of bottlenose dolphins housed at the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences provided 10.5 h of underwater footage from which to examine association coefficients and inter-individual interactions. These data suggest similar patterns to previous studies on bottlenose dolphins: mother-calf dyads shared the highest coefficients of association, followed by male-male, female-female, and male-female dyads. Four classes of association coefficients were defined for the population including low, medium, medium-high and high. This study is the first to quantitatively assess association patterns concurrently with affiliative, agonistic, and socio-sexual behaviors for bottlenose dolphins. The predominant relationships were affiliative.

Publication Title

Behavioural Processes

Volume

135

First Page

145

Last Page

156

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