Whistle Contour Development in Captive-Born Infant Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Role of Learning

Brenda Mccowan, Diana Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whistles from captive-born infant bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were recorded during normal social interactions from birth over the 1st year of development and analyzed for acoustic structure, use, and context. Results indicate that 2 predominant whistle types were shared by all the infants across all social groups. The remainder of the whistle repertoire was composed of signals that were shared by several infants or across infant and adults and those that were individually unique. Ontogenetic changes were found in the structure, use, and contextual usage of whistle types in infants. Evidence for vocal plasticity and learning was found in the acoustic composition of infant whistle repertoires and in the use of whistle types. Results parallel those reported for the early stages of vocal learning in humans and songbirds, suggesting possible convergent strategies for vocal development and learning across divergent animal groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-260
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume109
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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