Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce our latest publication:

Luís, A. R., Alves, I. S., Sobreira, F. V, Couchinho, M. N., & dos Santos, M. 
E. (2018). Brays and bits: information theory applied to acoustic communication 
sequences of bottlenose dolphins. Bioacoustics, 0(0), 1-11.

Acoustic call sequences are important components of vocal repertoires for many 
animal species. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) produce a wide variety 
of vocalizations, in different behavioural contexts, including some conspicuous 
vocal sequences - the 'bray series'. The occurrence of brays is still 
insufficiently documented, contextually and geographically, and the specific 
functions of these multi-unit emissions are yet to be understood. Here, 
acoustic emissions produced by bottlenose dolphins in the Sado estuary, 
Portugal, were used to provide a structural characterization of the discrete 
elements that compose the bray series. Information theory techniques were 
applied to analyse bray sequences and explore the complexity of these calls. 
Log-frequency analysis, based on bout criterion interval, confirmed the bout 
structure of the bray series. A first-order Markov model revealed a distinct 
pattern of emission for the bray series' elements, with uneven transitions 
between elements. The order in these sequential emissions was not random and 
consecutive decreases in higher order entropy values support the notion of a 
well-defined structure in the bray series. The key features of animal signal 
sequences here portrayed suggest the presence of relevant information content 
and highlight the complexity of the bottlenose dolphin's acoustic repertoire.

The paper is now available online - Brays and bits: information theory applied 
to acoustic communication sequences of bottlenose 


Ana Rita Luís

MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre
ISPA - Instituto Universitário
Rua Jardim do Tabaco, 34
1149-041 Lisboa

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