Odontocete Cetaceans: Quantifying Behavioral Ecology and Response to Predators Using a Multi-Species Approach
Technical Report,01 Jul 2011,01 Mar 2016
DUKE UNIV DURHAM NC DURHAM United States
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The primary objective of this project was to improve knowledge of the baseline behavioral ecology of odontocete cetaceans and, specifically, understanding of how these animals respond to certain types of sound. Playback experiments were conducted to determine how short-finned pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus and Rissos dolphins Grampus griseus respond to the sounds of mammal-eating killer whales Orcinus orca, some of which have similarities to certain military sonars. A secondary objective of the project was to increase understanding of the baseline behavior of odontocete cetaceans and, in particular, to understand some of the drivers of variation observed in this baseline. This portion of the work focused on short-finned pilot whales, which exhibit considerable variation in their foraging behavior. Nevertheless, they are one of the most tractable study species of pelagic odontocetes.