ACOUSTIC DATA ANALYSIS OF SHARED GROUP CALLS OF SHORT-FINNED PILOT WHALES IN THE CANARY ISLANDS

Student: 
Marie-Kell de Cannart d''Hamale
Room: 
room 1
session: 
Session 8, August 27, 16:00-17:30

In many social species, acoustic communication is strongly correlated with behavioral and social context. All Odontocetes belonging to the Delphinidae family produce clicks and other types of acoustic signals, such as burst pulses, tonal or pulsed calls, and whistles. Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorynchus) off Tenerife live in stable and complex social societies communicate with a complex vocal repertoire including a wide range of sounds. This study investigates the possibility of a shared acoustic repertoire between individuals of specific short-finned pilot whale groups, in a bid to understand the structure and dynamics of shared calls between individuals of the same social group. A combination of visual and automatic categorization procedures was conducted to investigate whether multiple individuals of the same group produced identical calls, if calls were shared between groups and if the calls were individually related. We furthermore hypothesized that the complexity of the calls was proportionate to the vocal learning ability of the short-finned pilot whales, leading to believe that simpler calls were more easily shared between individuals. The outcome of this research underlines the importance of collecting a large amount of data and parameters needed for such a thorough and in-depth analysis of the social lives and vocal behavior of short-finned pilot whales.