Accession Number:

ADA330452

Title:

A Systematic Approach to Measuring the Social Behavior of Bottlenose Dolphins.

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.,

Corporate Author:

WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1996-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

246.0

Abstract:

Research on cetacean social behavior is in transition from descriptive natural history to quantitative analyses. To expedite this change, an intellectual history of the field is provided, from the early whaler-naturalists to oceanarium observations, whale carcass studies, pseud-scientific inquiries into human-dolphin communication, and longterm field studies. Subsequent chapters illustrate use of systematic methodologies to better understand bottlenose dolphin social relations. Samuels and Gifford adapted a quantitative technique from primate behavioral research to study agonism among captive dolphins. Males were dominant to females females had stable, age-ordered dominance relations and two males had a changeable dominance relationship. Sex differences in dominance relations generated predictions about the behavior of wild dolphins that can be tested using this technique. Samuels, Richards and Mann investigated the association of wild juvenile dolphins with their mothers after weaning. Juvenile daughters continued to associate with their mothers, whereas juvenile sons rarely did so even though they remained in the same area as their mothers. Sex differences in juvenile association patterns appeared to foreshadow adult social networks. Samuels and Spradlin applied quantitative behavioral techniques to evaluate dolphin behavior in Swim-With-Dolphins programs. Two program types were defined by presence Controlled or absence Not-Controlled of explicit trainer regulation of dolphin-with-human interactions. In Not-Controlled programs, the behavior of dolphins and humans threatened human safety and dolphin well-being, whereas Controlled programs effectively minimized behaviors that posed risk to dolphins or humans.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Biology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE