Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Does size really matter? How synchrony and size affect the dynamic of aggression between two sympatric species of dolphin in the Bahamas
by Cusick, Jessica A., M.S., Florida Atlantic University, 2012, 123; 1517817
Abstract (Summary)

Bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and spotted ( Stenella frontalis) dolphins are sympatric species, resident to Little Bahama Bank, Bahamas. A unique, dynamic methodology quantified how interspecific aggression changed over time in terms of the individuals participating, context, and behaviors used. The timing of human observation relative to the onset of aggression did not result in differences in the proportion of behaviors observed. Highly intense behaviors were used most often. The synchronous state of spotted dolphin groups, not the presence alone, was a crucial factor in determining the onset and progression of aggression. When synchronous, spotted dolphins successfully dominated the larger bottlenose dolphins. Two levels of dominance were observed. Within a single encounter (“encounter level”), one species did dominate the other. When all aggressive encounters were considered collectively over the long term (“gross level”), one species did not dominate the other. The combination of contextual factors best determined the dynamic of interspecific aggression.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Herzing, Denise L., Hughes, Colin
Commitee:
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 51/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Zoology, Behavioral Sciences
Keywords: Stenella frontalis, Tursiops truncatus
Publication Number: 1517817
ISBN: 9781267481184
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