Research on the vocal culture of Orcinus orca in the Loro Parque, Tenerife: a pilot study

Ivaldi, Chiara (2012) Research on the vocal culture of Orcinus orca in the Loro Parque, Tenerife: a pilot study. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna
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This research is focussed on the study of Orcinus orca's communication system. The analysis of vocalizations emitted by marine mammals has started in the '80s and most studies have been carried out in the wild. In this regard the most studied animal has been common dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) as the numerous presence of captive individuals worldwide made researches easier to be carried out. Studies about Orcinus orca's vocalizations have mainly been carried out in the wild (most in British Columbia) because its maintenance in a controlled environment results to be very difficult, only 17 among parks and oceanaria worldwide have some Orcinus orca (45 overall among which 64% born in captivity). These researches showed that Orcinus orca emit three main different types of sounds, classified as: whistles, clicks and calls. Besides, it was discovered that different groups (pods) produce sounds belonging only to the relevant pod (dialects). It is rare to find two pods sharing some calls. The two pods usually live in adjacent areas and can form a clan. This study was carried out in a controlled environment in the Orca ocean structure (Loro Parque, Tenerife, Spain) where, at the moment (March 2012) 6 individuals are hosted. Here it was developed an automatic sound recording system. Thanks to the use of suitable mathematical algorithms that allow to isolate only "interesting" sound events that differ from the "background noise", it was possible to create a database. The visualization of the sound events collected in the database is carried out with the use of a software. By looking at this output and at the observation register we could match the animal to the sound produced. Three situations were detected and studied: 1) Chosen alone: the animal chooses to go to the recording pool but it is free to move to another pool with other individuals. 2) Put alone: the animal is put alone in the recording pool. 3) With other orcas: more animals are together in the recording pool. The statistic analysis show that animals emit more vocalizations when they are in the situation "Chosen alone". The research will continue in order to observe eventual differences in the individual repertoire of each Orcinus orca.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Ivaldi, Chiara
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Killer whales; Controlled environment; Bioacoustic
Data di discussione della Tesi
21 Marzo 2012

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