Research

Katherine A. Wright

Oceanic anthropogenic noise, such as naval sonar, can cause temporary hearing loss in cetaceans, but it is not known to what extent hearing loss affects cetacean behaviours such as feeding. This study used a captive deaf Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) to test the hypothesis that hearing loss would decrease a dolphin’s ability to acquire food by preventing echolocation (using echoes to locate fish). Reaction time (time to acquire dropped fish) and success rate (percentage of [...]

Juliana K. McCarthy, Holli C. Byerly, Robin J. Bates, Jill L. Richardson

Several studies have examined the consumption patterns and energy requirements of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), yet little is known about how these values change with respect to reproductive status and small-scale changes in water temperature. This study involved a comparative assessment of the caloric intake of two resident, Atlantic bottlenose dolphin populations, with respect to sex, reproductive state, and water temperature in ambient seawater facilities (Dolphins Plus [...]

Juliana K. McCarthy, Holli C. Byerly, Robin J. Bates, Jill L. Richardson

Several studies have examined the consumption patterns and energy requirements of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), yet little is known about how these values change with respect to reproductive status and fluctuations in water temperature (e.g. Kastelein, Vaughan, Walton, & Wiepkema, 2002). This study involved a comparative assessment of the caloric intake of two, resident, Atlantic bottlenose dolphin populations, with respect to gender, reproductive state, and water [...]

Brittany K. Johnson, Holli C. Byerly

Aversion can affect an animal’s performance, causing stress or decreasing participation. Operant conditioning (e.g., shaping, desensitizing) in small approximations, gives animals the ability to overcome fear to a stimulus. This study quantified time and number of trials (N = 47) required to shape an aversive stimulus into a reinforcer. Data were collected based on observable behavioral changes (e.g., breaking station, latency, avoidance behavior), using a 3-point scale. Levels of aversion [...]

Hada M. Herring, Holli C. Byerly, & Jill L. Richardson

Critical to the success of any training program is a clear understanding of when and why nontarget behaviors occur, which can be modified via applied behavior analysis. This may be particularly relevant when working with animals with special needs. In this study, two rescued, hearing impaired Tursiops truncates were systematically observed during training sessions to assess associations between the occurrence and frequency of non-target behaviors and SDs, other behaviors, time of day, session [...]