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dc.contributor.authorVisser, Fleur
dc.contributor.authorKok, Annebelle C.M.
dc.contributor.authorOudejans, Machiel G.
dc.contributor.authorScott-Hayward, Lindesay A.S.
dc.contributor.authorDeRuiter, Stacy L.
dc.contributor.authorAlves, Ana C.
dc.contributor.authorAntunes, Ricardo N.
dc.contributor.authorIsojunno, Saana
dc.contributor.authorPierce, Graham J.
dc.contributor.authorSlabbekoorn, Hans
dc.contributor.authorHuisman, Jef
dc.contributor.authorMiller, Patrick J.O.
dc.identifier.citationVisser , F , Kok , A C M , Oudejans , M G , Scott-Hayward , L A S , DeRuiter , S L , Alves , A C , Antunes , R N , Isojunno , S , Pierce , G J , Slabbekoorn , H , Huisman , J & Miller , P J O 2017 , ' Vocal foragers and silent crowds : context-dependent vocal variation in Northeast Atlantic long-finned pilot whales ' , Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology , vol. 71 , 170 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 251551717
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 5e209a64-9f3f-4603-8501-f05fed388270
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85033440235
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-2212-2135/work/39245041
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000414674800001
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-3402-533X/work/73700890
dc.descriptionThis study was financially supported by the US Office of Naval Research, The Netherlands Ministry of Defence, the Norwegian Research Council and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.en
dc.description.abstractVocalisations form a key component of the social interactions and foraging behaviour of toothed whales. We investigated changes in calling and echolocation behaviour of long-finned pilot whales between foraging and non-foraging periods, by combining acoustic recordings and diving depth data from tagged individuals with concurrent surface observations on social behaviour of their group. The pilot whales showed marked vocal variation, specific to foraging and social context. During periods of foraging, pilot whales showed more vocal activity than during non-foraging periods (rest, travel). In addition to the expected increase in echolocation activity, call rates also increased, suggesting that pilot whales communicate more during foraging. Furthermore, calls with multiple inflections occurred more often immediately before and after foraging dives and during the early descent and late ascent phases of foraging dives. However, these calls were almost never detected at diving depths of the tagged whale beyond 350 m. Calls with no or few inflections were produced at all times, irrespective of diving depth of the tagged whale. We discuss possible explanations for the distinct vocal variation associated with foraging periods. In addition, during non-foraging periods, the pilot whales were found to be more silent (no calling or echolocation) in larger, more closely spaced groups. This indicates that increased levels of social cohesion may release the need to stay in touch acoustically. Significance statement: Social toothed whales rely on vocalisations to find prey and interact with conspecifics. Species are often highly vocal and can have elaborate call repertoires. However, it often remains unclear how their repertoire use correlates to specific social and behavioural contexts, which is vital to understand toothed whale foraging strategies and sociality. Combining on-animal tag recordings of diving and acoustic behaviour with observations of social behaviour, we found that pilot whales produce more calls during foraging than during non-foraging periods. Moreover, highly inflected calls were closely associated to the periods around and during foraging dives. This indicates enhanced communication during foraging, which may, for example, enable relocation of conspecifics or sharing of information. Whales reduced their vocal activity (calling and echolocation) at increased levels of social cohesion, indicating that in certain behavioural contexts, closer association (i.e. more closely spaced) may release the need to stay in touch acoustically.
dc.relation.ispartofBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiologyen
dc.rights© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.en
dc.subjectAcoustic tagsen
dc.subjectAnimal communicationen
dc.subjectPilot whaleen
dc.subjectSocial behaviouren
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.subjectQL Zoologyen
dc.subjectEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematicsen
dc.subjectAnimal Science and Zoologyen
dc.titleVocal foragers and silent crowds : context-dependent vocal variation in Northeast Atlantic long-finned pilot whalesen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modellingen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Sea Mammal Research Uniten
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Marine Alliance for Science & Technology Scotlanden
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Bioacoustics groupen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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