Research

Melissa Lopes, Jill L. Borger-Turner, Holli C. Eskelinen, & Stan A. Kuczaj II

Responses to novelty differ among individuals and may be influenced by age, sex, and/or the presence of offspring. In this study, 20 captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were exposed to a large novel object, consisting of PVC pipes and either a matte or reflective surface. The variation and changes in responses to these stimuli were recorded during 10 exposure trials. Adult females were most likely to interact with the object, and females with dependent calves tended to [...]

Mary K. Lawrence, Jill L. Borger-Turner, Holli C. Eskelinen, Ted N. Turner

The create SD elicits the performance of any behavior in a non-specific, non-repeat contingency and, as such, involves a choice response on the part of the animal. The goal of this study was to identify the influence of Reinforcement Theory, response class, and primacy and recency on the create responses of three Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Two-months of training sessions (i.e. “Pre-Assessment”, PA), followed by create requests (i.e. “Create Assessment”, CA, n = 119), [...]

Brittany L. Jones, Holli C. Eskelinen, & Stan A. Kuczaj II

The manner in which dolphin calves acquire their whistle repertoire is largely unknown. This paper focuses on whistle development in four bottlenose dolphin calves during the first thirty days of life in order to increase our understanding of the early emergence of whistle-like vocalizations. The acoustic parameters of whistle-type vocalizations (i.e., whistles and whistlesquawks) that coincide with a bubblestream emission from the focal calf and/or its mother are investigated. Mother and calf [...]

Brittany L. Jones, Holli C. Eskelinen, & Stan A. Kuczaj II

The characteristics of vocal development in dolphin neonates are largely unknown. This study focused on whistle production in four bottlenose dolphin calves during the first thirty days of life in order to further clarify the understanding of the early emergence of whistle-type vocalizations. Hydrophone and video coupled data were utilized to assess acoustic parameters of whistle-type vocalizations (i.e., whistles and whistle-squawks) that coincided with a bubblestream emission from the focal [...]

Holli C. Eskelinen, Samantha Tufano, Jill Borger-Turner

Stress is an inevitable component of life, and marine mammals are exposed to a variety of natural and anthropogenic stressors. Though physiological and behavioral responses to stress are integral to coping with adaptive challenges, prolonged activation of the stress response, typically measured by assessing glucocorticoid levels in blood, saliva, excreta, and/or integumentary structures, can lead to adverse health effects. Therefore, identifying non-invasive techniques to detect, measure, and [...]