1) Effort was not evenly distributed throughout the areas (% of

1). Effort was not evenly distributed throughout the areas (% of total effort: A = 3.5%, B = 10.2%, C = 31.8%, D = 51.4%, E&F = 3.1%, Elliser and Herzing 2012) due to physical attributes of the environment as well as rough weather that prohibited boat movement. This type of varied effort is typical in other social analysis studies in similarly sized study areas (Shane 2004, Lusseau et al. 2006, Kent et al. 2008). Atlantic

spotted SB203580 dolphins show the four developmental color phases described by Perrin (1970) for the pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) and adapted for Atlantic spotted dolphin by Herzing (1997). The four age classes include: two-tone (calves, ≤4 yr), speckled (juveniles, 4–9 yr), mottled (young adult, 10–16 yr) and fused (adult, ≥16 yr). This community is comprised of about 100 individuals in any given year, although over 330 have been identified over the past 28 yr total. All individuals have been identified in this community

Selleckchem PS-341 using their spotting patterns and coloration phases. Every identified individual is assigned to an age class and these data are updated each year. Individual identification was accomplished by comparing spotting patterns between individuals. Additional body marks were also used, including nicks and scars on the dorsal fin, flukes, and pectoral fins as well as marks or scars on the body. Females were sexed by observation of mammary slits or observation of nursing by a calf. Males were sexed by a gap between the genital slit and the anus, or observation of an erection. Sex was determined for 98.5% of the community and verified multiple times for all individuals seen more than once. These dolphins are habituated to the presence of boats and people in the water. Data for this study were collected from May to September each year between 1991 and 2002. Opportunistic observations were made in every other month (October–April) over the years and known individuals were resighted in these months, indicating

year round residency. Observations were conducted in all but rough weather conditions (over Beaufort 3 and/or intense rain Succinyl-CoA squalls) from 0700 to 2000 in shifts of one person/one hour, or two person/two hours. Observers scanned an arc of 180º while underway and 360º while anchored. A group was defined as all dolphins in sight, moving in the same direction and typically involved in the same activity (Shane 1990). Upon sighting, group size was determined from the surface. Individuals were considered associated when identified with the group. Two to five researchers then entered the water with underwater video and Nikon V 35 mm cameras to begin an encounter to document dolphin behavior and vocalizations. Encounters were only included for analysis if the group of dolphins were observable underwater for more than 2–3 min.

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