Adding to the value of these recordings is the fact that we have so much detailed, long-term, background information about the animals, including their sex, age, relatedness to other animals, and social associations over periods of decades in some cases. For example, we have recorded over 100 mother-calf pairs (some of the mothers have been recorded with multiple calves). This whistle archive is unique and immensely valuable for studies of many aspects of dolphin communication, including whistle structure, development, stability, and functions, and we have used these whistles as stimuli in a long-term set of ongoing playback experiments (see subsequent article by Sayigh and Janik). Numerous student thesis projects have used the archive, including those of 8 undergraduates, 5 masters, and 7 PhDs, and this work has resulted in numerous conference presentations and publications. We plan to continue collecting whistle recordings during health assessments and look forward to much exciting new research ahead.
This article appeared on page 9 in the December 2015 issue of Nicks n Notches.