Dolphin Dialects of New Zealand

October 29 2018
sea

Dolphins are highly vocal animals and depend on sound to communicate, navigate and find food. Dialects are well known in birds but appear to be quite rare among marine mammals, so far have only been described in two marine mammal species: killer whales and sperm whales. In this project, I want to confirm the presence of dialects in New Zealand bottlenose dolphins across three populations of this species with varying levels of genetic and geographic isolation, and try to elucidate if there is a relationship between social associations and dolphins sound. The information from this project will contribute to fill the gaps on the vocal behaviour in bottlenose dolphins in NZ.

October 29 2018

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Expedition Background

Welcome to my Expedition! My name is Jessica Patiño-Pérez and I am a PhD student, originally from Colombia, studying dolphins’ sounds in New Zealand. For the past couple of years, I have been studying bottlenose dolphin’s social networks and acoustic behaviour. Here, I will be talking about dolphin sounds!


Dolphins are highly vocal animals and depend on sound to communicate, navigate and find food. Although, researchers have been studying dolphin vocal communication for a number of years, the complex system of dolphin vocal communication and drivers of vocal diversity remain uncertain.

Currently, I am recording dolphins’ vocalisation around New Zealand trying to find out the differences in bottlenose dolphin vocalisations among populations and the causes of these differences.

I will be sharing all the details of my expedition here, just stay tuned!

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Really cool project Jessica! Looking forward to read your updates. My project is also using passive acoustic monitoring, but on fish (https://openexplorer.nationalgeographic.com/expedition/fishsounds/).

Awesome, thanks for following my Expedition! I will keep on eye on yours as well. Good luck!

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