Research

Ethan L. Kleinschmidt, Jill L. Richardson, Ted N. Turner, Todd R. Feucht

Aggression can lead to serious injury and is a normal component of behavior, allowing animals to cope with their environment (Konrad Lorenz, 1963). In group-living mammals, aggressive dominance behaviors often result from competition for scarce resources, which can explain much of the variation in resource acquisition and reproductive success (Samuels et al. 1997; Dewsbury 1982; Harcourt 1987; Silk 1987). However, in managed care, social aggression may be exacerbated by changes in social [...]

Nancy J. Cooper, Jill Richardson, Ted Turner, Holli Byerly

The science of applied behavioral analysis is fundamental to behavior modification and the maintenance of desired behaviors. In order to be effective, the cues applied to elicit a specific behavioral response and the criterion established to define the intensity, frequency, duration, and topography of the behavior must be thoroughly described and implemented consistently, among multiple animals and trainers. Without this consistency, animal trainers may inadvertently contribute to failed trials [...]

Alexandra Rivard, Jill L. Richardson, & Holli C. Byerly

Cataracts, a lens condition that causes clouding of the lens and an obstruction of vision, are commonly observed in wild, stranded, and captive pinnipeds. The development of cataracts is attributed to nutritional deficiencies, trauma, age, inadequate access to shade, and/or genetic risk factors. However, despite the well-documented prevalence of ocular diseases in pinnipeds, there is a paucity of information regarding the efficacy of corrective surgery, which presents a serious risk of death to [...]

Kuczaj, S.A., Highfill, L.E., & Byerly, H.C.

One of the tenets of personality is that an individual’s distinguishing behavioral characteristics are relatively stable over time and across contexts. Both humans and animals demonstrate such consistency, at least for certain personality traits. However, the relative extent to which personality is stable is rarely addressed in studies of animal personality, the focus typically being on stability rather than its absence. Here we present data on dolphin personality that suggest dolphin behavior [...]

Stan A. Kuczaj, Holli C. Byerly, Shaun Perisho, Brittany Jones, & Jill L. Richardson

When dolphin mothers were asked to retrieve their calves, they typically use acoustic signals to do so. Analyses of these signals revealed that individual mothers used different signals to recall their calves, and that the same mother used different signals to recall different offspring. The implications of these results for the notion that some dolphin signals may function as “names” will be considered.