The Socioecology of Humpback Dolphins (Sousa sp.)

  • Graham S. Saayman
  • Colin K. Tayler


Quantitative studies of free-swimming dolphins are of significance for a number of reasons. Whereas information concerning the Delphinidae, the family of smaller toothed whales, has accumulated rapidly during the last two decades, much of our knowledge of the behavior of dolphins has been derived primarily from qualitative observations of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) under captive conditions (Townsend, 1914; McBride and Hebb, 1948; McBride and Kritzler, 1951; Lawrence and Schevill, 1954; Tavolga and Essapian, 1957; Essapian, 1963; Tavolga, 1966). At present, however, very little is known concerning the basic requirements of dolphins in captivity (Dudok van Heel, 1972; Tayler and Saayman, 1973) and consequently much of what has been written concerning their social behavior and organization is speculative, if not erroneous.


Maintenance Activity Killer Whale Bottlenose Dolphin Common Dolphin Group Progression 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham S. Saayman
    • 1
  • Colin K. Tayler
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of Cape TownRondebosch, C.P.South Africa
  2. 2.Museum, Snake Park and OceanariumPort ElizabethSouth Africa

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