acta ethologica

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 61–68 | Cite as

Day and night sounds of the Guiana dolphin, Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea: Delphinidae) in southeastern Brazil

  • Lucimary S. Deconto
  • Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho
Original Paper


Many cetaceans are known to be acoustically active at night. However, for most dolphin species, there is little information about their nocturnal acoustic activities. To study the acoustic repertoire of Sotalia guianensis, diurnal and nocturnal sounds (whistles, burst pulses, low-frequency narrowband (LFN) sounds, and clicks) were identified in the Cananéia estuary (25° 01′ S–25° 13′ S/47° 52′ W–48° 06′ W), south of the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, during April, June, and November of 2012. The emission rate of these sounds was compared between daytime and nighttime using the chi-squared statistical test. The mean values of the acoustic parameters of whistles, burst pulses, LFN sounds, and clicks were compared using the t test. Whistles, burst pulses, and LFN sounds were more frequent at night, as these individuals require greater acoustic communication in the absence of light, mainly for social communication. Echolocation emission rates were similar in both day and nighttime. Dolphin sound structure also varied throughout the day, with dolphins emitting lower-frequency sounds at night. Low-frequency sounds, with longer wavelengths, provide many advantages for dolphins active at night because such sounds propagate greater distances. This study demonstrates that the sounds produced by S. guianensis are dependent on the time of day, with social communication sounds being more influenced by the presence of light.


Whistles Clicks Burst pulses Low-frequency narrowband Bioacoustics Diel 



We thank the Projeto Boto-Cinza team of the Instituto de Pesquisas Cananéia for the assistance in data collection. Thanks to Marta J. Cremer, Univille and Projeto Toninhas, loan by hydrophone. Financial support was provided by the Pós-Graduação em Sistemas Costeiros e Oceânicos, Universidade Federal do Paraná, and Programa Petrobras Ambiental, Petrobras. Lucimary Steinke Deconto has been supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), and Emygdio Leite de Araujo Monteiro-Filho has been supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ISPA 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucimary S. Deconto
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Sistemas Costeiros e Oceânicos do Centro de Estudos do Mar, Setor de Ciências da TerraUniversidade Federal do ParanáPontal do ParanáBrasil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia, Departamento de Zoologia, Setor de Ciências Biológicas, Centro PolitécnicoUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrasil
  3. 3.Instituto de Pesquisas CananéiaCananéiaBrasil
  4. 4.Departamento de Zoologia, Setor de Ciências Biológicas, Centro PolitécnicoUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrasil

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