Harvey, B. S., Dudzinski, K. M., Kuczaj, S. A. 2017. Associations and the role of affiliative, agonistic, and socio-sexual behaviors among common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Behavioural Processes 135, 145-156.
Little is known about the specific behavioral exchanges that occur on a day-to-day basis between dyads of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This study assesses the proportion of time dyads spend in proximity (within ∼2 m) and the proportion of time spent in affiliative, agonistic, or socio-sexual contexts within and between age/sex dolphin pairings to better understand their social relationships. Observations of bottlenose dolphins housed at the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences provided 10.5 h of underwater footage from which to examine association coefficients and inter-individual interactions. These data suggest similar patterns to previous studies on bottlenose dolphins: mother-calf dyads shared the highest coefficients of association, followed by male-male, female-female, and male-female dyads. Four classes of association coefficients were defined for the population including low, medium, mediumhigh and high. This study is the first to quantitatively assess association patterns concurrently with affiliative, agonistic, and socio-sexual behaviors for bottlenose dolphins. The predominant relationships were affiliative.