Early April sees another paper out of our long-term dolphin research off Monkey Mia in the eastern gulf of Shark Bay. This research represents the fruition of an excellent Masters thesis by Bronte Moore.
Why is this interesting?
Allied male dolphins in Shark Bay use coercive vocalisations called “pops” to herd females. Pops are usually produced in trains by one male, but recent observations suggested multiple males might coordinate pop production...
Using acoustic localisation, we confirmed pops came from different bearings and that it was indeed two animals coordinating their pop trains (male A and male B). Further, males would match each other’s pop tempo and produce their pop trains in unison...
n humans, synchronised actions lead to increased feelings of bonding, foster cooperation and diminish the perceived threat of rivals. Male dolphins are also known for their remarkable motor synchrony...
Our study shows that acoustic coordination and synchrony is also important for allied male dolphins. We suggest that, like in humans, physical AND vocal coordination in dolphins promote cooperation and social bonding.
Full citation: Moore BL, Connor RC, Allen SJ, Krützen M, King SL. 2020 Acoustic coordination by allied male dolphins in a cooperative context. Proc. R. Soc. B 287: 20192944. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.2944
Watch this space for forthcoming updates on this remarkable dolphin population…