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(fwd) bioacoustics article in J. Animal Ecology

Subject: (fwd) bioacoustics article in J. Animal Ecology
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 10:47:07 -0800
 Whitehead, H. and L. Rendell.  2004.  Movements, habitat use and 
 feeding success of cultural clans of South Pacific sperm whales 
 Journal of Animal Ecology 73: 190-196
 This paper is available at:
 <a  href=""; 
 1. The population of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in 
 the South Pacific is divided into at least five sympatric vocal clans 
 that almost certainly reflect cultural variation.
 2.  We investigated differences in movements and feeding success 
 of groups from different clans off the Galápagos Islands and 
 northern Chile, using data from 87 days spent tracking
 groups of known clan.
 3.  Groups from different clans showed different use of habitat and 
 movement patterns.  Off the Galápagos Islands, 'Plus-one' clan 
 groups moved in relatively straight lines while 'Regular' clan groups 
 had more convoluted tracks and a more inshore distribution, 
 patterns which were consistent across years.
 4.  Groups from different clans had different defecation rates, 
 indicating between-clan variation in feeding success. Off the 
 Galápagos Islands, 'Plus-one' clan groups were more successful in 
 the depauperate ENSO ('El Niño/Southern Oscillation') conditions 
 of 1987. However, in the cooler conditions of 1989, groups of the 
 'Regular' clan had much higher feeding success than those of the 
 'Plus-one' clan.
 5.  Thus we suggest that cultural inheritance in sperm whales 
 incorporates foraging strategy as well as vocal patterns, and that 
 clan membership has fitness consequences.
 6.  That clans seem differentially affected by altered climate 
 conditions has implications for the effects of global warming on 
 sperm whales.
 7.  The results also support the hypothesis that culturally 
 determined differences in fitness may have affected genetic 
 evolution through the process of cultural hitchhiking.
 Key-words: Chile, cultural hitchhiking, ENSO, Galápagos, Physeter.

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