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Relating behavioral context to acoustic parameters of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) vocalizations

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dc.contributor.advisor Peter Lloyd Tyack. en_US Thomas, Rebecca Elizabeth en_US
dc.contributor.other Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US 2005-09-27T20:18:10Z 2005-09-27T20:18:10Z 2001 en_US 2001 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Joint Program in Oceanography (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Biology, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), 2001. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis presents methods to analyze the function of vocalizations of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. The thesis uses the social interaction as the basic unit of analysis, and maintains a deliberate focus on quantitative and replicable analyses throughout. A method for determining identity of the vocalizing animal in a lagoon was developed. This method combined passive acoustic localization with video sampling to determine which animal vocalized. It fills an urgent need for unbiased identification of vocalizations of undisturbed dolphins where details of social interactions can be followed without affecting the behavior of the subjects. This method was implemented in a captive lagoon with 6 dolphins: two adult females, their two male calves, and a juvenile male and a juvenile female. This thesis also reviews the current state of analysis of the bottlenose dolphin acoustic repertoire, highlighting the need for a detailed, quantitative, and consistent study of the entire vocal repertoire. It does not attempt to do a comprehensive repertoire study, but uses several new quantitative methods to parameterize vocalizations and relate these to behavior from dolphins. Vocalizations within the lagoon tended to occur around the time of onset of behaviors produced by the focal dolphin. A comparison of vocalizations during affiliative and agonistic interactions revealed that the association of group vocalizations with the behavior of a focal animal was related to agonistic but not affiliative interactions. en_US
dc.description.abstract Using the localization/video method, vocalizations in a time window around submissive behaviors were localized and classified as having come from either dolphins engaged in the interaction or dolphins not engaged in the interaction. Vocalizations were emitted by interactants more often than expected, and by non-interactants less often than expected. Use of different vocalization types was found to vary depending on the context of the agonistic interaction. In addition, the sequence of vocalizations with respect to behaviors within the interaction mattered, with more vocalizations occurring after than before submissive behaviors. These results demonstrated that group-based analyses of vocalizations are insufficient and one must use techniques designed to focus on the level of the interaction in order to study communication and social behavior in dolphins. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Rebecca Elizabeth Thomas. en_US
dc.format.extent 220 leaves en_US
dc.format.extent 18327971 bytes
dc.format.extent 18327728 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Biology. en_US
dc.subject Joint Program in Oceanography. en_US
dc.subject Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.title Relating behavioral context to acoustic parameters of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) vocalizations en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Biology. en_US
dc.contributor.department Joint Program in Oceanography. en_US
dc.contributor.department Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 50047801 en_US

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