Dolphin Communication Project

RIMS is currently involved in a joint project with Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski of the Dolphin Communication Project. The goal of this project is to shed light on how dolphins communicate and the meaning of their interactions. The study uses specially developed underwater video and acoustic recording equipment that localizes the sound sources of individual dolphins and facilitates examination for any relationships between dolphin sounds and behaviors.

"The RIMS dolphin group is unique in their management with more than 19 animals housed together yielding a situation quite close to that of the wild dolphin groups I've studied over the years. The natural lagoon enclosure is large with varying depths: I routinely see the dolphins in subgroups similar to our wild dolphin study groups - mom/calf pairs, juveniles, etc. My research comparing individual dolphin interactions (e.g., pectoral fin contact) has shown no significant differences between these captive bottlenose dolphins and the wild bottlenose and spotted dolphins observed. This is exciting because we are able to collect many more hours of observation per dolphin at RIMS, which leads to more intricate questions possible for study."


-Kathleen Dudzinski, Ph.D.
Scientist & Educator
Director, Dolphin Communication Project
www.dolphincommunicationproject.org

Tactile Contact Exchanges Between Dolphins:

Self-rubbing and social-rubbing (pectoral fin contact between dolphin pairs) were compared for observations conducted on three dolphin study groups: wild dolphin groups in The Bahamas and around Mikura Island, Japan, and a third group of captive dolphins at the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences, Roatan, Honduras.

- Kathleen M. Dudzinski
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.
University of Southern Mississippi, U.S.A.


- Justin Gregg
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.


- Kelly Melillo-Sweeting
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.

- Briana Seay
University of Southern Mississippi, U.S.A


- Alexis Levengood
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.


- Stan A. Kuczaj II
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.
University of Southern Mississippi, U.S.A.

Comparative Studies of Captive and Wild Dolphins

Pectoral Fin Contact Between Dolphin Dyads at Zoo Duisburg, with Comparison to Other Dolphin Study Populations.


- Kathleen M. Dudzinski,
- Nicole Danaher-García
- Justin D. Gregg
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.

Comparing Object Play in Captive and Wild Dolphins

Examining the role of play as related to individual and group social development is important to understanding a species. The purpose of our study was to examine whether there is a difference in the frequency of object play exhibited by dolphins from two groups – one captive and one wild.


- Whitney E. Greene
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, U.S.A.


- Kelly Melillo-Sweeting and Kathleen M. Dudzinski
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.

Pectoral Fin Contact

Pectoral Fin Contact Between Dolphin Dyads at Zoo Duisburg, with Comparison to Other Dolphin Study Populations.

- Kathleen M. Dudzinski,
- Nicole Danaher-García
- Justin D. Gregg
Dolphin Communication Project, U.S.A.

Vocalizations Associated with Pectoral Fin Contact

Pectoral fin contact in bottlenose dolphins is a form of tactile communication. Acoustic
communication associated with pectoral fin contact is an additional level of communication that may change or enhance the tactile message between two individuals. In this study, we examine the types of vocalizations associated with pectoral fin contact in captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). 

- Janan Evans-Wilent
Connecticut College 2011

The Role of Kin and Non-Kin in Non-Mother-Calf Associations

Kinship is an important factor in the relationships of many social animals, including
cetaceans. Yet, the occurrence and function of kin (aside from the mother) in delphinid calf
associations, alloparenting, and/or calf rearing has hardly been investigated in the literature.

- Alexis Lauren Levengood
University of St Andrews 2013

Bottlenose Dolphin Whistles: Age and Sex Differences

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have a complex communication system
composed of a variety of sounds including narrow-band frequency modulated whistles. These
have typically been studied in the context of a signature whistle framework, and reported whistle variation has been largely ignored in the literature.

- Brittany McIntosh
University at Buffalo 2014

Wildlife Acoustics

Dolphin Communication Project

Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences

Roatan, Bay Islands

Honduras

+504 9556-0212

©2018 by Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences.