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An Acad Bras Cienc. 2004 Jun;76(2):381-5. Epub 2004 Jun 8.

Analysis of whistles produced by the Tucuxi Dolphin Sotalia fluviatilis from Sepetiba Bay, Brazil.

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  • 1Departamento de Ciências Ambientais, Instituto de Florestas, UFRRJ, Seropédica, RJ, Brasil.


From July 2001 to June 2002, we recorded a total of 2 h 55 min of Tucuxi Dolphin Sotalia fluviatilis vocalizations from Sepetiba Bay, Brazil (22 degrees 35'S-44 degrees 03'W). A total of 3350 whistles were analyzed quantitative and qualitatively and were divided into 124 types, by visual inspection of sonograms. The following parameters were measured: Initial Frequency, Final Frequency, Minimum Frequency, Maximum Frequency, Duration, Number of Inflections, Frequency at the Inflection Points, Frequency at 1/2, 1/4, and 3/4 of whistle duration, Presence of Frequency Modulation and Harmonics. Ascending type whistles (N = 2719) were most common, representing 82% of the total. Dolphin behavior and average group size observed during recording influenced the whistle's quantitative and qualitative parameters. The results demonstrate the great diversity of whistles emitted and indicate a functional role of these vocalizations during the observed behaviors.

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