Seasonal changes in vocalization during behavior of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin


Journal Article

Four vocalizations (whistles, buzzes, quacks, and pops) were quantified during three behavioral categories (socializing, traveling, and feeding) of the bottlenose dolphin in the Newport River Estuary, North Carolina. This study tested the hypothesis that specific vocalizations of dolphins in this area are associated with specific behavioral categories during the summer and fall. Approximately twice the total number of vocalizations per unit time occurred during the fall as compared to the summer. Each type of vocalization had a distinctive and consistent acoustical structure. The relative frequency of the different vocalization types was significantly dependent on the behavior of the dolphins. Pops were consistently associated with feeding, quacks with socializing, and buzzes with traveling. Whistles, the most common vocalization, were associated with traveling and feeding during the summer and socializing in the fall. Dolphins spent more time involved in undirected activity (socialization) during the summer but spent more time traveling in search of food and feeding during the fall in preparation for migration out of the estuary and movement south. © 1993, Estuarine Research Federation. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jacobs, M; Nowacek, DP; Gerhart, DJ; Cannon, G; Nowicki, S; Forward, RB

Published Date

  • January 1, 1993

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 241 - 246

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0160-8347

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/1352496

Citation Source

  • Scopus