Evidence suggests vocal production learning in a cross-fostered Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus)
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Vocal learning is a rare skill in mammals, and we have limited information about the contexts in which they use it. Previous studies suggested that cetaceans in general are skilled at imitating sounds, but only few species have been studied to date. To expand this investigation to another species and to investigate the possible influence of the social environment on vocal learning, we studied the whistle repertoire of a female Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) that was stranded at an early age and was subsequently raised in a group of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We show that this cross-fostered animal produced vocal signals more akin to those of its Tursiops poolmates than those of Risso’s dolphins in the wild. This is one of very few systematic cross-fostering studies in cetaceans and the first to suggest vocal production learning in the Risso’s dolphin. Our findings also suggest that social experience is a major factor in the development of the vocal repertoire in this species.
Favaro , L , Neves , S , Furlati , S , Pessani , D , Martin , V & Janik , V M 2016 , ' Evidence suggests vocal production learning in a cross-fostered Risso’s dolphin ( Grampus griseus ) ' Animal Cognition , vol 19 , no. 4 , pp. 847-853 . DOI: 10.1007/s10071-016-0961-x
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-016-0961-x
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