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Evaluation of live fish as an echolocation enrichment for the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) kept in zoos and dolphinarias rarely get an outlet for their echolocation abilities as their pool environment is often quite barren. Not much research has been carried out on enrichments promoting echolocation for dolphins in human care. In the present study a setup with live fish was compared to a setup with air-filled floats (providing strong sonar targets, similar to the swim bladders of large fish) and a control setup. A PCL (porpoise click logger) was used to record the echolocation click trains produced by the dolphins and aimed at the three setups. Behavioural data was also collected from video footage. Both the PCL data and all the behavioural observations indicated that the fish setup was more interesting than the float and the control setup, for the dolphins to echolocate towards. However, there were some contradictions with some parameters, where the floats and control seemed to be more interesting. This was probably due to the location of the PCL hydrophone in relation to the floats and fish, and not because the dolphins had a real bigger interest in these setups. To increase the possibility for dolphins to perform more echolocation in human care and increase their welfare, live fish can be recommended as echolocation enrichment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
Echolocation, Bottlenose dolphins, Sonar, Enrichment, Live fish, Goldfish, Welfare, Zoo animals
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131465ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX—16/3223--SEOAI: diva2:972645
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Subject / course
Available from: 2016-10-14 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2016-10-14Bibliographically approved

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