March 4, 2024

Affiliative Behavior After Aggressions in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)


Chisato Yamamoto and Nobuyuki Kashiwagi


Document: Article

Abstract: Affiliative behavior in social animals may have several functions such as maintaining social bonds, reducing tensions, or restoring relationships. Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) engage in several affiliative behaviors, including parallel swimming, contact swimming, and flipper rubbing. Dolphins affiliate with former opponents after aggression, suggesting that this is a function of tension reduction. This study investigated how affiliative behaviors occur after aggression. Parallel swimming occurred more frequently than expected after aggression, while contact swimming and flipper rubbing occurred less frequently than expected. Parallel swimming and contact swimming occurred immediately after aggression; in contrast, flipper rubbing tended to occur more than one minute after aggression. These results suggest that common bottlenose dolphins engage in parallel swimming and contact swimming when social tension increases. The function may differ among these affiliative behaviors, and dolphins may engage in specific affiliations after aggression.

Key Words: affiliative behavior, aggression, parallel swimming, common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1578/AM.49.3.2023.288

Page Numbers: 288-293


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