Ashley Cook

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2019


The acoustic repertoire of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in south Abaco, Bahamas Abstract of a Master’s degree internship report at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Supervised by: Dr. Jill Richardson, Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. Charlotte Dunn. Number of pages in text: 68 Quantifying and characterizing vocalizations emitted by a species is a necessary first step in understanding signal function and assessing intraspecific variability within and across geographic areas. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) produce a wide variety of sounds used for communication among conspecifics and for interacting with their environment. In this study, recordings of a resident population of free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins made on a moored Loggerhead DSG-ST acoustic recording device and a 10 m hydrophone array during nearshore boat-based surveys in south Abaco, Bahamas from 2008-2018 were analyzed. Results demonstrated that the dolphins inhabiting this region emit a variety of signal types consisting of: whistles, signature whistles, burst pulses, low frequency narrow-band sounds, and brays. Acoustic parameters of these sounds are described and comparisons in whistle parameters to other regions are discussed. We also report on emissions akin to moans and a potential novel signal type. This study provides baseline data for a relatively undisturbed population of bottlenose dolphins and contributes to the knowledge of the acoustic repertoire of this species.


Department: MBE

MPS Track: MMS

Location: Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization

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