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Reactions of three bottlenose dolphin dams with calves to other members of the group in connection with nursing
University of Algarve, Faculty of Sea Sciences and Environment, Faro, Portugal, Kolmården Wild Animal Park, Research and Education Center, 618 92 Kolmården, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2005 (English)In: Zoo Biology, ISSN 0733-3188, E-ISSN 1098-2361, Vol. 24, no 6, 543-555 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The suckling behavior of three bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) mother-calf pairs at the Kolmården Wild Animal Park, Sweden, was followed from birth until the calves were 1 year old, with emphasis on the behavior of the mothers toward other dolphins present in pool. The results show that 80.44% of the sucklings occurred when the dams were not accompanied by another member of the group. This preference declined, as the calf grew older, for all three dams. Three factors influenced this company preference in relation to nursing and contributed to the total variance in a detectable way: the month post partum, company preference, and the mother's ID, i.e., which mother was involved. The time between the category "dam leaves company" and the beginning of nursing increased over the months for all three dams. These results indicate that another dolphin is not automatically an asset to a dam with a newborn, and that, in human care, ample space and limited number of pool mates must be provided to allow the dam the necessary privacy in connection with nursing. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 24, no 6, 543-555 p.
Keyword [en]
Husbandry, Maternal behavior, Suckling behavior, Tursiops truncatus
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-50389DOI: 10.1002/zoo.20071OAI: diva2:271285
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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