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Sociosexual Behavior of Nocturnally Foraging Dusky and Spinner Dolphins

  • Behavior


Dusky and spinner dolphins are small-bodied odontocetes that show variation in socioecology across their range. New Zealand dusky dolphins and Hawaiian spinner dolphins of deep nearshore waters feed nocturnally upon prey species associated with the deep scattering layer, leaving the daytime free for rest and social interaction, often close to shore. In this chapter, we investigate relationships between foraging ecology, diel activity patterns, and sociosexual activities of dusky and spinner dolphins in breeding and nonbreeding contexts. We review similarities and differences between dusky and spinner dolphins related to mating strategies and tactics, socioecology, and evolution. We examine the effects of breeding season and variation in male testis mass and female receptivity on mating behavior. We further explore the influence of sociosexual behavior on female social grouping and calf rearing.

Markowitz, T.M., Markowitz, W.J., Würsig, B. and Orbach, D.N., 2023. Sociosexual behavior of nocturnally foraging dusky and spinner dolphins. In Sex in Cetaceans: Morphology, Behavior, and the Evolution of Sexual Strategies (pp. 307-325). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Tim Markowitz

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