Biology Bulletin

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 430–440 | Cite as

Individual patterns of tonal (whistling) signals of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates) kept in relative isolation

  • A. V. AgafonovEmail author
  • E. M. Panova


The results of study of the subaqueous acoustic signaling of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiopsis truncatus) in a dolphinarium are shown. Individual patterns of whistling signals of four individuals were described and analyzed. To determine which animal produced the sound, the method of “relative isolation” was used. It was found that the pattern included whistles specific for a particular individual (“signature whistles”). The percentage of these whistles in the patterns varied considerably among individuals. The signatures had variable frequency and duration. The phenomenon of “imitation” was typical for animals at higher positions in the hierarchy: generating “signatures” specific for other individuals. Besides the signatures, variable signals and whistles with simple frequency contours were found in the patterns.


Biology Bulletin Bottlenose Dolphin Small Pool Relative Isolation Individual Pattern 
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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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