Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, July 2013
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
35 news outlets
blogs
17 blogs
twitter
391 tweeters
facebook
69 Facebook pages
googleplus
15 Google+ users
reddit
2 Redditors

Readers on

mendeley
228 Mendeley
citeulike
2 CiteULike
Title
Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, July 2013
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1304459110
Pubmed ID
Authors

Stephanie L. King, Vincent M. Janik, King SL, Janik VM, S. L. King, V. M. Janik

Abstract

In animal communication research, vocal labeling refers to incidents in which an animal consistently uses a specific acoustic signal when presented with a specific object or class of objects. Labeling with learned signals is a foundation of human language but is notably rare in nonhuman communication systems. In natural animal systems, labeling often occurs with signals that are not influenced by learning, such as in alarm and food calling. There is a suggestion, however, that some species use learned signals to label conspecific individuals in their own communication system when mimicking individually distinctive calls. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a promising animal for exploration in this area because they are capable of vocal production learning and can learn to use arbitrary signals to report the presence or absence of objects. Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another. Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back. Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin's learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 391 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 228 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 12 5%
Switzerland 3 1%
Japan 3 1%
Germany 2 <1%
France 2 <1%
Chile 2 <1%
Italy 2 <1%
Mexico 2 <1%
Brazil 2 <1%
Other 16 7%
Unknown 182 80%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 59 26%
Researcher 49 21%
Student > Bachelor 33 14%
Student > Master 26 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 13 6%
Other 48 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 147 64%
Psychology 22 10%
Environmental Science 15 7%
Computer Science 6 3%
Linguistics 5 2%
Other 33 14%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 808. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 September 2016.
All research outputs
#2,210
of 7,434,193 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#93
of 43,982 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#36
of 124,371 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#2
of 902 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,434,193 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 43,982 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 22.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 124,371 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 902 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.