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Abstract: Neonatal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) produce many sounds just after birth, including whistles and pulsed sounds. Herein, we report the possible function of the sounds produced by two captive-born, neonatal bottlenose dolphin as revealed by behavioural observations. Typical sucking sounds were observed during 71 to 81% of all suckling bouts. Since the neonates produced more sounds at the beginning of the suckling sequence than expected, it appeared that they might use the sounds as care-solicitation signals or begging signals. These sounds contained a higher proportion of whistles than sounds in other contexts, which implied that the proportions of sound types, especially whistles, were important for neonatal dolphins and their mothers to initiate the nursing sequence.
Key Words: BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN; TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS; NEONATES; VOCALIZATION; WHISTLES; BURST-PULSE; BEGGING; SUCKLING BEHAVIOUR; CARE-SOLICITATION SIGNALS
Document Type: Research article
Page Numbers: 258 – 265