Time-Activity Allocation in Maternal and Allomothering Behaviors in Captive Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins

von | | | 6. Februar 1996

Vortrag von Joline Lalime am 06.02.1996 in der „Alten Apotheke“


Quantitative knowledge about behavioral relationships of dolphins, including distribution of time activity budgets, age and sex of young, and patterns of association of small captive cetaceans is important because of the success of dolphinariums in breeding dolphin, even when they are directly and indirectly exposed to the public. Therefore, I conducted a comparative study of the aforementioned relationships for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) at Dolphins Plus in the Florida Keys, a facility with a swim-with-the-dolphin-program. I addressed the following questions:

  1. Does age of young affect time activity allocation with the mother and allomother?
  2. Does the age of a calf influence association coefficients with other calves?
  3. Does the presence of humans influence the time- activity allocation of the dolphins?
  4. Does chastisement of the calf by the mother or allomother differ with the number of humansswimming and
  5. Does chastisement of the calf by the mother and allomother differ whit age?

Results suggested that, as calf age increased, the amount of time spent with the mother decreased, and time with the allomother increased. A Pearson correlation matrix of associations of calves with other dolphins showed no significant correlations. However, association coefficients indicated higher frequencies of association between calves at 4 and 10 mth old compared to 0.25 mth. There were no differences between 4 and 10 mth. The number of people around the pools was negatively correlated with mothering, whereas, there were no other correlations between human presence, mothering or allomothering. The number of people swimming was positively correlated with calf-calf association, indicating higher frequencies of association among young with increased numbers of people in the pool. Chastisement was not significantly correlated with the number of humans swimming nor with age of calves. Comparison of calves in similar swim programs would provide a larger sample size to answer the questions more fully.


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