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Title: Coordinated feeding tactics of the Guiana dolphin, Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea: Delphinidae), in Ilha Grande Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Author: Tardin, R.H.O.; Especie, M. A.; D'azeredo, F. T.; Simão, S.M.
Year: 2011
Is part of: Zoologia (Curitiba. Impresso), v. 28, p. 291 - 296

Citation: Tardin, R.H.O.; Especie, M. A.; D'azeredo, F. T.; Simão, S.M.; Coordinated feeding tactics of the Guiana dolphin, Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea: Delphinidae), in Ilha Grande Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Zoologia (Curitiba. Impresso), v.28, p. 291-296, 2011

Abstract: Differences in distribution, prey species, season and social learning opportunities influence the feeding tactics used by marine mammals. Here, we analyze the coordinated feeding behavior of the Guiana dolphin, Sotolia guianensis (Van Beneden, 1864, Delphinidae) and its relation to seasonality and the presence of calves. In a total of 201 feeding bouts, we observed four types of coordinated feeding tactics, which differed in frequency and in mean number of engaged individuals. Tactics in which dolphins used their bodies to herd and capture prey were the most frequent, presenting a higher frequency and engaging a higher number of individuals, suggesting that these tactics are better for capturing fishes which form larger schools. Furthermore, the seasons influenced the feeding behavior used by dolphins. During spring-summer, a longer duration of bouts and a larger number of individuals engaged in the feeding tactics was observed, which may be related to the seasonal spawning of larger schooling fish, such as Sardinella brasiliensis (Steindachner, 1879). Calves were present in 95% of all coordinated feeding tactic occurrences. This study indicates a complete preference of dolphins for coordinating their actions to capture prey and for the first time reports the presence of calves in the coordinated tactics and jumps. This broadens the current knowledge of the Guiana dolphin feeding tactics.

Funding: We sincerely thank Sergio C. Moreira from the Instituto Aqualie, Lauren Stanton for English language services, Bill Rossiter for the financial support provided by the Cetacean Society International (CSI) and two anonymous reviewers who made helpful comments to improve the language and the presentation of the manuscript. We also thank, Dona Elsa, Gilberto and Tic for their services and many trainee students from the Laboratorio de Bioacustica e Ecologia de Cetaceos, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ). Rodrigo H.O. Tardin is part of the Programa de Pos Graduacao em Ecoogia e Evolucao, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro and Mariana A. Especie is part of the Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Biologia Animal, UFRRJ Mariana F. Nery is also part of the Instituto de Ecologia y Evolucion, Valdivia, Chile. Personnel for this study were partially supported by the Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) (R.H.O. Tardin, Grant number E-26/151.047/2007); the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento (CNPq) (M.A.Especie, Grant Number 111555/2008-6), and the Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES) (R.H.O. Tardin, and M.A.Especie).
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