Dolphin Cognition and Behavior: A Comparative Approach

By Ronald J. Schusterman; Jeanette A. Thomas et al. | Go to book overview

How can we distinguish units from the various repertoires in the signaling of dolphins? It is very difficult to make naturalistic observations of these social, highly mobile marine creatures. But we now have some knowledge of widespread characteristics of the repertoires as they appear in communication of species more accessible to naturalistic observation. As a first step in assessing dolphin communication, it may be appropriate to use this knowledge in devising test situations (such as the few suggested above) designed to detect particular kinds of units: for example, quavered variants, formalized greeting interactions, rhythmical "singing" sequences. The results will not permit full interpretation of any single unit but could provide considerable guidance in subsequent studies of signaling.


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