Group size, partner choice and collaborative actions in male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)

Matrai, Eszter and Kwok, Shaw Ting and Boos, Michael and Pogány, Ákos (2021) Group size, partner choice and collaborative actions in male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). ANIMAL COGNITION. ISSN 1435-9448

[img] Text
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (1MB)


Due to the diversity of the phenomenon, dolphin cooperation has attracted considerable research interest in both wild populations and those under human care. Dolphins cooperate in various contexts, including group hunting, alloparental care, social learning, social play and alliance formation for securing mates. This investigation focused on the effect of group size and partner choice in a cooperative task using systematic group testing. A cooperative enrichment device was made of a PVC tube containing fish and ice that was temporarily sealed with two PVC caps with rope handles attached. The device was designed to be operated by pairs of dolphins, opened by simultaneous pull of its two handles. The analysis focused on two behaviours, cooperative opening and cooperative play with the device. Testing focused on an adult male dolphin group including four to six individuals and using a single or two devices. Altogether five group testing arrangements and a pairwise testing phase were conducted. Out of the six dolphins, five showed active involvement. All ten possible pairs of the five active dolphins were successful in opening and playing with the device cooperatively. Cooperation increased with group size, but the social networks showed no significant differences among group arrangements. However, the cooperative pairs showed a significant difference in success rate during pairwise vs group testing, while demonstrating a strong partner preference. This study provides the first evidence for partner choice with regards to cooperation in male dolphins.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: PARTNER PREFERENCE; Cognitive enrichment; Male-male collaboration; Alliance formation; Cooperative problem-solving;
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan > QL750-QL782.5 Animal behavior / etológia, állat-viselkedéstan
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2021 15:24
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 15:24

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item