Intricate communication strategies seen in male dolphin alliances

A bottlenose dolphin. File pic. Source Getty ImagesMore

"However with male bottlenose dolphins, it's the opposite - each male retains a unique call, even though they develop incredibly strong bonds with one another".

Scientists from the University of Western Australia, University of Zurich and the University of MA studied 17 adult male dolphins in Shark Bay, finding they, much like humans, use names to keep track of multiple relationships.

"[The] signature whistle is a rare example of a non-human mammal using a learned vocal label that can be considered somewhat comparable to a human name", the study said.

Pairs and trios of dolphins joined together to form larger alliances of 10-14 to help each other defend females from competing alliances or to steal females from those other groupings. Analysis determined that males in an alliance kept their distinct vocal labels, which suggests that these calls may serve a objective similar to an individual name.

Dr King said these "names" help males keep track of their many different relationships; who their friends are, who are their friends' friends, and who are their competitors. "Dolphins use them to introduce themselves or even copy others as a means of addressing specific individuals", King continued.

"Convergence onto shared or similar identity signals has been documented in allied male bottlenose dolphins", the study said.

"Retaining individual names is more important than sharing calls as it allows dolphins to negotiate a complex social network of cooperative relationships".

Dolphin alliances in Shark Bay are also characterised by high levels of synchronous behaviour.

It's a well-known fact in the marine biology community that male bottlenose dolphins sometimes form long-lasting cooperative alliances with each other.

Interestingly, researchers also found no evidence of any genetic relatedness influencing signature whistle similarity between males.

Dolphins are intelligent creatures that communicate with high-frequency whistles and are capable of forming strong relationships.

A bottlenose dolphin signature whistle. It allows male dolphins to recognise many different friends and rivals in their social network.

"At the moment we're looking more closely into the relationships among the males in an alliance to find out whether or not they're equally strong between all the individuals involved", explains Krützen. Each male dolphin will still retain their individual names despite being in the group.

The bottlenose dolphin is the best-studied dolphin species, so researchers aren't sure yet if this behavior also exists in other species - but it very well might.

So how do these males keep track of all these different relationships, and how do they maintain such strong social bonds?

Scientists recorded the dolphins' chatter to identify individual males then checked to see if they all used a unique "word" call when communicating with other males about a dolphin with which they shared a relationship. That is something that would be worth investigating.

She found that dolphins responded to recordings of their own signature whistle, but not those of other dolphins.

Related News:

  • Emmanuel Macron Says 'Things Moving Forward' After G7 Trade Spat

    Russian Federation was booted from the then-G8 in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea, which world leaders condemned as "illegal". It's like the gig is up", he said during the press conference. "We're getting them straightened out, slowly but surely".
    Warriors rout Cavaliers to complete NBA Finals sweep

    Warriors rout Cavaliers to complete NBA Finals sweep

    He has taken Cleveland to the NBA Finals now five times , and this now looks certain to be his fourth loss in those. LeBron James , most definitely, does not want to get swept in the NBA Finals for a second time .
    E3 2018: EA's New Game Unravel 2 Is Out Now

    E3 2018: EA's New Game Unravel 2 Is Out Now

    However, there appears to be one major difference this time around: there are now two playable Yarny characters. Ahead of the official reveal, the ESRB offered "Everyone" ratings for Unravel 2 .
  • Lyon say Nabil Fekir transfer negotiations with Liverpool have ended

    Lyon say Nabil Fekir transfer negotiations with Liverpool have ended

    Fekir is one of the best attacking players in Europe who would be a great signing or Liverpool in the summer transfer window. After all, Linda Pizzuti Henry did not have to reply to the Liverpool fan's message - she chose to do so.
    Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin won't Fight

    Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin won't Fight

    On Monday, De La Hoya explained at length why he feels Golovkin's financial demands are without merit. Oscar De La Hoya , the head of Golden Boy Promotions and Alvarez's longtime promoter, said as much.
    Redmond O'Neal, son of Farrah Fawcett, charged with attempted murder

    Redmond O'Neal, son of Farrah Fawcett, charged with attempted murder

    Farrah Fawcett's and Ryan O'Neal's son, Redmond O'Neal, has been arrested for holding up a Los Angeles 7-Eleven. When an employee confronted him, the suspect "became belligerent" and pulled out a folding knife, police said.
  • Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champion

    Justify wins Belmont to become 13th Triple Crown champion

    Running from the rail post and facing horses who are better rested could derail Justify's bid for horse racing's Triple Crown . Gronkowski , named for the National Football League player, finished second, having been last for much of the race.
    Downed power lines sparked deadly California fires

    Downed power lines sparked deadly California fires

    The Cherokee Fire , in Butte County, started the evening of October 8 and burned a total of 8,417 acres, destroying 6 structures. The Norrbom, Adobe, Partrick, Pythian and Nuns fires were part of a series of fires that merged in Sonoma and Napa counties.
    Western Conference finals Game 7: Rockets vs. Warriors

    Western Conference finals Game 7: Rockets vs. Warriors

    When the Warriors get rolling, the only thing that appears capable of slowing their progress is their own complacency. Kevon Looney started again in place of Iguodala, but coach Steve Kerr went to McGee after the break.
  • U.N. Imposes Sanctions on 6 for Trafficking Libyan Migrants

    U.N. Imposes Sanctions on 6 for Trafficking Libyan Migrants

    The black-listed culprits committed serious human rights abuses against migrants, including women and children. The sanctions were a result of a Dutch proposal backed by the United States, France, Germany and Britain.

    Bioware's Anthem Will Be Released On Feb. 22nd For Consoles And PC

    EA is once again separating itself from the crowd by holding its own EA Play event at the Hollywood Palladium ahead of E3 2018 . BioWare's Jonathan Warner was asked by a fan if Anthem would be getting a beta period like Mass Effect: Andromeda , last year.
    Marcelo Has His Say On Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid Future

    Marcelo Has His Say On Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid Future

    We started talking about football and I saw a smile on his face and that is what I want to see. I guess it wasn't necessary to get at this point.

Most liked

High school golfer self-reports violation, loses state title
Wynja told her coach, and the two took the news to tournament directors. A Sioux Falls golfer's act of integrity is grabbing national headlines.

CrossFit Inc. has fired Russell Berger
Since the cancellation, the coaches at the affiliate have rescheduled the workout for another location for the evening of June 7. In a statement to The Washington Post , Mr Berger said he regretted putting CrossFit in a "difficult position" .

Khloé Kardashian Attends Tristan Thompson's Game
According to the insider, her famous sisters are doing their best to stand by Khloe, but are finding it hard with her so far away. Babe that's not wisdom at all because you're assuming you know who I'm talking about and you're assuming you know my feelings.

Eddie Jones clashes with South Africa fans after England's 42-39 loss
England had amassed a scarcely-believable 24-3 lead by the 18th minute. I thought they attacked well and we'll keep working on it'.

Fans Left Outraged At 'Farcical' Tyson Fury Comeback Fight
The fight ended two rounds later when Fury's Swiss opponent pulled out of the fight - prompting boos from the crowd. Tyson Fury won his heavyweight comeback after opponent Sefer Seferi was retired by his corner after four rounds.

Command & Conquer Returns As Free-To-Play Mobile Title, Rivals
The game will require combinations of factions to succeed, using tanks, aircraft, and behemoths to fight for control. Getting to it and firing two missiles at the enemy's base will net players a win.

Hyundai Grandmaster concept previews a full-size SUV
Hyundai unveiled the HDC-1 Le Fil Rouge concept at the Geneva International Motor Show last March. The name Grandmaster is inspired by the game of chess.

Kim has a 'one-time shot'
He added that he wants to accomplish more than that, "but I think that will take a little bit of time ". Still, questions remain about what a deal on the North's nuclear weapons could look like.

G7 agrees to fight protectionism as Trump threatens allies on trade
The president has repeatedly threatened to terminate NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, unless it's revised. Trump has asked countries to end tariffs and trade barriers in his push for "fair and reciprocal" trade.

Florida Failed on Background Checks for an Entire Year
A Putnam spokesman said Friday that the employee responsible for the problem had been fired. Wilde did report the log-in failure, investigators say, but failed to follow up.

Jeff Horn Vs. Terence Crawford Betting: Odds For Welterweight Bout
You can't just be looking for the knockout all the time, and I just have to fight the best fight I can and rely on even scoring. Crawford (32-0-0) became the undisputed junior welterweight champion a year ago after knocking out Julius Indongo .

Democrats urge US House vote on net neutrality rules as end nears
A spokeswoman for Ryan did not immediately respond when asked to comment on the letter . But House Democrats will have a harder time bringing the bill to the floor.

Sea of Solitude is coming in early 2019
How can she return to being human? Sea of Solitude is slated for an early 2019 release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In " Sea of Solitude ", Kay becomes one of these monsters, and must find her way back to her normal self.

Trump, Trudeau tariff phone call gets testy after War of 1812 mention
Kudlow insisted Wednesday the NAFTA talks are still ongoing, but he wouldn't say whether a deal could be reached this year. These unintended consequences are kicking in even before Canada and other countries retaliate against the steel tariffs.

Respawn's Star Wars Game Is Called Jedi Fallen Order
As the name suggests, it's a Jedi-themed game, but that's pretty much all we know at this point, aside from its release date: Fall 2019.