Dear All,

We are pleased to announce the publication of our new article in Bioacoustics:

Zwamborn EMJ, Whitehead H. 2016. Repeated call sequences and behavioural 
context in long-finned pilot whales off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. 
Bioacoustics, 1-15.

Repeated calls are part of the vocal repertoire of a diverse array of species, 
often presented in sequences that take time and effort on the part of the 
signal producer. Rhythmic repeated call sequences make up a significant portion 
of long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) vocal production, yet the 
function of these sequences has not been investigated until now. In this study, 
we explored the relationship between behavioural context and the presence of 
these vocal sequences using recordings of a population of pilot whales found 
off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. We used a binomial logit-link generalized 
linear model to look for possible predictors of the presence of repeated call 
sequences. They were more common in recordings of socializing whales than in 
those of whales in other behavioural states, and least common in resting 
whales. These vocal repetitions were also more common with larger group size. 
These results suggest that sequences function in maintaining contact and 
cohesion within this social species, possibly also serving in individual or 
group identification. The context of repeated call sequences indicate that they 
are not primarily mother-calf interactions, as they are heard just as commonly 
from groups without young. Future studies of pilot whale repeated call 
sequences should include individual-level behaviour and detailed acoustic 
calling context.

Please direct all questions to:



Elizabeth Zwamborn MSc
Whitehead Lab
Biology Dept.
Dalhousie University
Halifax, NS <>
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