Research

Corinne Butzen & Holli C. Byerly

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncates) have been shown to use human-given social cues in an object-choice task that used two dolphins of the same age. Therefore, I studied the influence of age and personality on dolphins’ understanding of human given social cues. Five Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, aged two to thirty-three years, were used in an object choice task where a reward was concealed under one of two containers on opposite ends of a training platform. A human experimenter [...]

Kuczaj, S.A., Byerly, H.C., Richardson, J.L., Sayre, S.C., & Perisho, S.

Acoustic signals are an important aspect of a young dolphin’s life. For example, dolphin mothers may use a distress whistle to warn a wandering infant to return. However, the maternal use of nonurgent calls to maintain proximity to a calf has not been systematically investigated. Given that some situations are more precarious than others, dolphin mothers likely use a variety of signals to communicate with their calves. In this study, two mother dolphins were trained to produce their calves, a [...]

Byerly, Holli C., Richardson, Jill L., & Kuczaj, Stan A.

The rearing and socialization of bottlenose dolphins calves has been described as an exclusively female role, whether via direct maternal care or allomaternal parenting. This study focused on the role of paternal care and male socialization of a calf in a captive setting, with an emphasis on male kinship bonding with his offspring. Observations were collected postpartum on an adult male and his female calf multiple times per day over the course of the first year of the calf’s life, including [...]

Sarah C. Sayre & Marylou Wright

Zoological facilities and aquariums have housed disabled animals for years, but they are rarely integrated into educational shows or public interactions. As the prevalence of disabled animals in human care increases, their trainers and zookeepers are challenged with the task of creating new and innovative animal care, training, and enrichment techniques (Hepting 2006). The training staff at Dolphins Plus (Key Largo, Florida) has developed unique integration programs for two, special needs [...]

Sarah C. Sayre, Stacey J. Anderson, Jill L. Richardson, & Nancy J. Cooper

Castaway, a wild, deaf offshore Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, stranded on Nov. 12th, 2006 in Vero Beach, FL. Diagnosed as deaf shortly after her arrival at the Marine Mammal Conservancy (MMC) (Jan 30th, 2007), Castaway was thereafter deemed non-releasable by National Marine Fisheries Service. Husbandry and training personnel from both MMC and Dolphin’s Plus, Inc. began the process of formal training for her future in a managed care facility. Castaway’s neurological impairment, compounded with [...]