Dolphin Politics in Shark Bay: A Journey of Discovery by Richard Connor Lecture

Dolphin Politics in Shark Bay: A Journey of Discovery by Richard Connor Lecture



do you think everyone thanks for six-thirty appreciate that and Jocelyn thank you for bringing the bill to make that happen so I named the director of education science for 20 and I'm happy to welcome all of you here and I would certainly like to introduce our presenter before I do that I don't want to tell you about a couple of upcoming programs you know first of all you probably noticed while you were out there having your snacks and maybe a drink or two that we have a new exhibit called whales today this lower section down here is known as the biology and behavior section upstairs at the top of the stairs focusing on communication and then in the Turner gallery is the cultures over whaling so think of it as as what we know if you go upstairs how we know it and then in the other gallery who's been learning it and knowing it since thousand years ago or more so definitely you know if you have time to come back and check that out upcoming on the weekend of April 27th and 28th the biennial will in history symposium are interested in athletic is available on the website or through the front desk and actually subtitle for that is gaps in analysis and new perspectives on whaling world cultures and contemporary issues so there will be diving into things themes we have not discussed before and also on Sunday April 28th later that day because the Sunday April 28th portion of the whaling history symposium ends at about noon well those the group of contemporary dances from tilted collaborative dance project of Cambridge to interpret the newly installed exhibition whales today through improvisational movements a couple of other things if you haven't done so already be great if you to put your phones off or on vibrate and then Richards book is available for sale or for purchase at the front desk by the throw front desk staff when the presentation is over widget said he laying around he'll sign it what if you like it sign and with that I'd like to introduce us speaker so dr. Richard Conner received his BA in biology from UC Santa Cruz in 1982 and his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1990 following postdoctoral stints at Harvard the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution the University of Michigan and the Center for Advanced Study in the behavioral sciences that's at Stanford University he moved the UMass Dartmouth in 1996 where he is a professor of biology is off more than 80 scientific articles on health and behavior and the evolution of cooperation in mutualism Co aided co-edited the two thousand volumes of Asian societies and published two books the lives of whales and dolphins that's with Don Nicolas at the Petersen in 1994 and dolphin politics in Shark Bay a journey of discovery which we'll be hearing about momentarily dr. Connors dolphin research has been featured in numerous print media including the New York Times and in television documentaries such as the Olfa a National Geographic television what's not on the body was that Richard also has a keen interest in fine arts so he's come with him he combines arts and science just like we do and he actually managed a personal collection for someone not too far away so long you know he's not on one active person so anyway with that I'd like to introduce dr. Richard Connor goodbye my green mammal students on tours in chapala 19,000 red mammals and like to think that waving museum for had to be here tonight and like to think of you folks for coming out to hear me talk about these amazing dolphins on the other side of the planet and that place called shark bed so the question I'm often asked is how they develop an interest in dolphins I'm not really sure it goes back to my childhood but some time in my teens I think that it just crystallized around the question of what they're doing with these big brains so when you take body size Newtown after humans dolphins have the biggest brains of the planet brains are expensive so what are they doing move I went to find out I wanted to find a place where I could watch wild dolphins at close range you know you're all familiar with how Jane Goodall famously habituated a group of chimpanzees and Gumby National Park in Tanzania to her presence used bananas for a while to do that so she could watch just watch them socialize with each other at close range I went to find something like that with dolphins to tall task because the mtar for a terrestrial mammal to watch it in a grinder Court in Shark Bay in Western Australia or for decades several dolphins and coming to a beach they're very interactive people in each – somewhat familiar Coppertone commercial for the sixties and for satellite view shock Bay's a huge feature resume in a little bit it's 90 it's 90 miles deep 250 miles across and is bisected by the parent Peninsula and the monkey my campground where these dolphins come in the beach right here Shark Bay it's it's a marine biologist paradise so largest seagrass beds in the world and the seagrass beds support a lot of everything not just dolphins dugong sea turtles the water fish and this will see sharks aptly named and shirt based I mean is separated from the Indian Ocean by submerged dune to barrier islands and so we don't get a lot of ocean swell it's a windy place but when the wind drops is a sheet of glass that you're floating around and a big aquarium you know watching dolphins and other great lines really spectacular this is the Beast it's the indo-pacific bottlenose dolphin intercept Duncan to tell it's a bit smaller than the ones you're familiar with along the east coast of the US it's also as you can see more beautiful and they're smarter and more elegant all right from an aerial view this is monkey – that campground is the beach of the dolphins come in and you can see why monkey mind is their only place on the east side of this peninsula or deeper water comes right in the shore there so for decades fishermen launching boats some point at tossing fish the Dolphins and that's how the interaction got start so in 1982 you know we learned about this place in 1981 1982 shoestring budget little grant from York explorers club student loans and king blades sold my coin collection no went after theory hitchhiked up from Perth we had you know a hand roll black and white film no boat so we were pretty much to trying right here to the beach watching these tame dolphins which is pretty interesting but for two days in October that year when the biggest class we're going to borrow a little Danny and go out and our minds were blown there were dolphins everywhere with one group to another and we've learned that these several dolphins that came into monkey my Beach to take Fisher people were part of an enormous Society of dolphins offshore dolphins are completely tamed comfortable our presence we could sit there and watch them socialize feed whatever they wanted to do and how to do from the sitcom day like that just amazing and we learned early on that these dolphins have what's called a fission fusion rooting powder that means groups they're not all together one day bomb individuals come together they split up and they give that all day long and it's very much like like us so if you think about your day to day right you're changing social groups coming together splitting up with others the dolphin social life is very much like that that's very dynamic and this is how we identify the shapes and scars on their dorsal fins which they conveniently pop up out of the water like little identification flags they wave at us I'm Charlie I'm sue every time they take the breath it allows us to study them in real-time is fantastic now the Finns aren't stable all the time they can change so it still amazes me to this day none of those glassy calm days in 1982 the two days but that handle a black-and-white film I got a picture of real lunch if there's a star in my book as this guy master dolphin politician he runs throughout the book clever guy and there he is 30 years later in 2012 this somewhat modified fan got a little tiff here in there right amazing so out in our boats on this incredible beautiful out back to the sea we can watch all kinds of dolphin behavior we can watch them feed in all sorts of ways here this dolphin is just caught a fish they catch a huge variety of fish spilling fish solitary finish they chase fish along the surface dish they're leaving the Pro Bowl on the seagrass beds for fish red fish blue fish all kinds but what's very interesting about our dolphins in fact other dolphins even bring mammals and sea otters is the extent to which individuals kind of specialize and how they fish within populations so particular individuals kind of specialize in different ways to get in fish and that's very unusual for a terrestrial mammal so at the top of the peninsula where there was this steep Beach some of the dolphins do this hydroplaning behavior then strain feed and perceive fish this has been filmed a lot National Geographic that's always very spectacular and it's safe for them to do it there because again it's this deep beach and they can wiggle awfully get in trouble but probably the most famous of the sort of foraging tactics specializations we see is this button area you know we first learned there's a some dolphin out with a funny growth when it snows an original smoker or I first went out with out there a couple years later and saw this actually that was a tumor and then it didn't have you know got a closer look and solid it was a marine sponge you should probably know there are animals that look like plants they're filter feeders and they grow up from the sea floor and these are crown shape sponges and you know some dolphins pluck them off from the sea floor and they fit over there closed snout like the glove held on by water pressure they swim around like that may go down the bottom and we think they use the sponge is a tool to protect their snouts when they're you know poking around this embracive bottom it's a mostly female behavior some males do it and it's learned from their moms right so it's kind of a cultural of the night herons passed along and it's performed in the deeper channels and it's actually it seems like the easiest thing to so sure somebody if I'm a visitor it's a crappy day I can just say boom Channel there's a bunch barrier so it's actually quite common and took this picture in 2010 or 11 and this is the original sponge long as we called her when the first punchers that we photographed in in the mid-1980s and here she is 25 years later still doing her spongy the channel now they often come together to socialize rest in groups this is one of the recent interesting groups because Shark Bay as I said is happening names these seagrass beds or low everything including sharks and especially tiger sharks so in 1994 I had a 19 year old come on in as an assistant named Ike I toss he stayed up into his PhD there he's now the Dean of the marine sciences at Florida International University and force PhD one of the projects he did was he never the violent count shark bite scars on our dolphins and he discovered that over 70% of the dolphins have been bitten at least once sometimes more than once so you know how people are saying hey force dolphins around what are you're safe that's so sure this is a very gentle very gentle show you something unpleasant so ok this is a nursing from its mom they'll nurse for two or three years in a few cases for older females they made nurse for seven to eight years and there's kind of comical because the the baby is about as big as it is the mother in that case something along side so females typically give birth the first time when they're 12 after a one-year gestation period and they all start engaging their adult Alliance behavior around 13 to 15 years of age and if they're lucky they can live to be in their 40s this female wasn't quite so lucky so but you can see she was polled because look at all those speckles on her belly our dolphin starts to get speckles around their genitals when they're about eight to nine and as they get older this bed will spread and cover so she's pretty old then we got a tooth and you can slice it and spin it and count the Rings like a tree so she was about thirty five this was a very famous dolphin named Holly Penn who came in to the beach with decades and entertained hundreds of thousands of tourists and then I showed up and my field for a field season in 1995 where the rain just comes up to me in a hole Ethan's surfacing in a really odd fashion so I went down there and yes she was she was popping up to the surface like a cork no newborn babies do this because they don't have well develop muscle ensure their little Butterball's and then to pop to the surface and seeing an old female do this you know any that couldn't be good so she did that for a couple of weeks in the she didn't come in one day initially dawn so we also knew that she'd sink the gases would accumulate she reflow after day we've waited today and we found her not far from monkey Maya as you see probably having just gone ashore so we got her and took her back and had her shipped down to Perth for a necropsy and we were stunned at the result that came in pretty quickly a stingray spine had penetrated the left ventricle of her heart so these spines are serrated there was no sign of external Windley so it had gotten into her and just with her body movements it had slowly slowly slowly migrated and once it hit was inside her as trajectory was clear and her fate was sealed and she basically died of congestive heart failure and he continually drowned so it was very sad and you know the flags at half funky Meyer for Ellen Ellen so primates groove each other you're probably familiar with that they groom each other and touch each other what we do to form and maintain and you know repair social relationships after a tiff or a final argument so they do look at a lot of this well dolphins you know pet each other with their flippers and they do a lot of this it's very important and maintaining the bonds and the males do this a lot but I specialize in females also pet a lot but they also have a special way they touch each other so you'll see one thing they'll come up and just rest her unmoving flipper against the side of another a little bit behind and they'll surface like this you know for just a few surface things to twenty minutes and when they surface it looks like they're just glued together and they often do this when they're being harassed by obnoxious males so I think it's like one female giving another support in a stressful situation it's really fun to see and then you see this you know play behavior go get rowdy a flop all over each other body to body contact and here one male is mounting another man so dolphins have lots of social sets and they have incorporated sex as a social tool in the full range of social behavior from when they're being aggressive to where they're being very friendly it's just a social toad and that's really unusual interests mammals the closest might be the bonobo bonobos yes so they're kind of chimpanzee they're not like the common chimpanzee did a very different social organization and I call them pity chimps because they're you know they're kind of a lot of social sex so you can think of dolphins is aquatic bonobos maybe bonobos or in terrestrial dolphins so someone I showed up you know for my PhD research the mid-eighties I just wanted to do something but in successful technique in primatology I want to go out and follow dolphins and of course for your PhD got to find something to specialize in so I was just had my eyes open for the first interesting thing that emerged and you'll see that was the mail politics but to understand what males are doing you have to know if he knows we're doing because females are doing all the work raising the babies they may also help it off so the females sort of maximize their reproductive success in their life they have to worry about getting enough food for themselves in their their infants and protecting their members and so from assay of summarize females in shark bay the key word here is variation they very enormous Lee in the size of groups we see them and their range sizes so here we see all these shapes or their home ranges of individual females and they very tiny order of magnitude so in reqtest Bay right near monkey Maya Joey's friend have a little home eight to seven square corners blue all over the place over 100 square kilometers so hugely variable when we think this variation relates to the different ways they get finished you know so if you're a sponge carrier you're out there the channel working all day you have to do this activity alone so the splendors just tail out on the bottom actually kind of frustrating to watch but anyway so okay so they're alone and when they do socialize it's usually with another sponge carrier now female like blue that was this huge range is probably focusing more on building finish these are big mobile patches of food the Dolphins will travel over larger areas to find them ended up being groups feeding and they'll be socializing resting so she has much more of a social life so in all this fission-fusion dynamic are watching the daters we saw some very consistent associations between adult mammals they travel around side by side on these pillars and trios that something were really stable so stable that we started calling out abbreviations for their names so the trio males trips bite and see this there's TV scene Chuck bottom look at Lambeth their CEO so this was a puzzle obviously because if males are simply competing for access to females in estrus because only one male concider Academy then why are they together in these groups they should simply be rivals so that was our first question we found out there when a female's cast about two and a half years old she starts cycling again the males and working in these pairs of trios will aggressively sequester her and keep her with them in these console ships it can last for minutes to weeks and here we see two males flanking and behind female there there's the female in the middle there now while this is going on offshore we had three males coming in taking fish to the beach snubbing sicko and bebe they featured a lot in my book they were characters that they were bringing in all these emails from least we didn't go much at the time we didn't know this thing else didn't want to be there area they weren't used to hanging around shallows people on the water and so they kept them in there aggressively and here's nervious garden today and studies mainly also interested when the fish bunkers are coming down to his attention some fish buckets while he's trying to keep an eye on this female and you'll see there's also a vocalization felt pups which we discovered as a threat they used to keep the female close can you hear that [Applause] let's do it for a little bit and back to this place his priorities you know so here we are offshore work with the payer bottom looking pointer and they have a female into calf and she's hanging out by pointer here and me and maybe Bob looks not too happy about that he's a bit of way what you're going to see is pound with grants to them and he produces a well known threat it's a vertical hinge ER and it's accompanied by a crack sound and then he rushes of the female making that popularization you know this crack right so we will see these captures offshore where two or three males may capture a female in a group or a solitary males chasing the female there and sometimes the female trying to get away from the males and so we've just come upon this group here and we've just ordered out they have with you know clam and you'll see what happens so at the same time we're sorting out the function of these associations of two or three males together we're also noticing that each pair or trio of males was often seen in the company of another pair or trio of X and again if they're simply competing for access to s for females they shouldn't be friends and here you see this is actually Tripps bike Cena's TBC traveling with him CBO each of the trios decide together you see this synchrony and you know often one male you know we called him the odd male out he wasn't a synchronous as the others and he wasn't with them as much and so here they are glassy calm day three males and three more now here comes trip spiciness that pretty synchronous shop on hook plan whoo-hoo bubbles tool off there he's the other mail out right that was pretty consistent for that now I always say hey that August 19th 1987 was the most exciting day ever in the history of our project because that is the day we discovered the function of these relationships between alliances is today we discovered alliances and alliances what we call second-order alliances and it was a perfect day it was glassy calm seve siccola Beebe work inserting with holy finger the shallows it really excited about her they were displaying and tricks and bike of TBC fame came right into the showers which they'd never done before and they approached within four meters of snubby Sickler baby with ho info and yet we're excited I think doesn't mean speak fight you know cameras and video cam trach and nothing happens nothing happens innately but I think maybe this shows know so get my book well show and find them at my offshore and they've joined up with the real notch and hi who have the female much already then the two alliances start moving back towards monkey mind together and as they got closer and closer you know the heart rate starts to line up as we have with distinctly what's going to happen here and they just charged right to the beach with the torch there the dolphins the place exploded fighting and chasing right down the park cast of bows to the mooring lines emerging at the other end of the park we catch up to them there yeah we had a video cameras but it was the person's first time using a brand new cameras and then work out so that well but I got a little clip here after they've just come off and we're realizing the whole even is with trip spices launch of hi and I just want you to hear my reaction to this discovery the first time we really saw this this is like science fiction I want you to hold that mark because it was so mind-blowing what we saw this day it was like because I've too amazing to be real I'm gonna explain why but before I do that I want to show you another day where snow be sick let me they were attacked by the same nails but this time they had their buddies way to chain with them in this case depicted chasing and fighting lasted for 70 minutes to cover five miles just finish it with a brief clip of the fighting here and you end up his fight the end they tried to bite each other but they're real serious weapons are those the flutes and those tail stalks was peed on those are powerful so we're just going to see maybe these the dolphins trying to avoid blows and deliver blows I was afraid you know they're gonna render the motor it so quickly but fortunately fortunately they didn't so we discovered these second-order Lance's and now today we know that we consider these second Reliance's to be the core nano social human shark bay they ranged in size from four to fourteen males and they can be stable for decades and they don't seek out their their pick their their first order alliance partners members of the pairs of trios from within these second order lionesses and some of them can be quite stable as you start with TDC in CBL but in other cases you know after a concert shift males may switch partners a lot of variation there so so going back to that science-fiction comment I just want to think about this comparing that to chimpanzees so here you have the three top ranking males in the chimpanzee community and males in the chimpanzee Community cooperative defend a community territory right against other males out there but within the within the community they compete to be the alpha male the top ranking male who gets more access to estrus females unlike a lot of other mammals they don't just do this to be the biggest toughest guy who can fight the best they use coalitions to do this and they cultivate Alliance and coalition partners using friendly behavior and all kinds of tactics they were captured beautifully in France the vols book chimpanzee politics and in fact the title of my book is sort of a nod to his book and so it's really complicated it's a soap opera and these males have to be really concerned about males from another because if you're out if you're caught alone out near the boundary of your territory you can be killed by these neighboring paths so they're dangerous but imagine imagine there's a third community there and imagine the males from this community go over here and talk to these guys and gremlins say hey you know let's get together we can attack them and take their territory 100 trees no female with anyway but imagine the same time males this community of trying to negotiate the same business with these guys against these guys right you'd have the same kind of complex interactions between alliances that you have between individuals within the community but you don't have that chimpanzees their relationships between communities are purely hostile it's simply us against them but you do have that in humans multi-level nested male alliances with complex interactions at all levels that in modern society we've extrapolated grranimals nation-states and you also have that in the dolphins the pair and trio of dolphins together so I knew the Crimea vision what was going on there so when I saw this you know just mind-blowing that she has some stunning convergence and this complex nested mass formation between humans and dolphins sea animals with the two biggest brands and then we have this incredible synchrony that you've seen or they'll surface synchrony dive superintendency Lincoln synchronously and there's again there's one other species that use this kind of synchrony in their alliances and coalition's right so we also see amazing synchronous Blaze's performed around females so yeah they were worse with females and distinct clothes during his concert ships but they may also need to impress them to increase the chance that they'll be the father of the offspring some synchronous displays are you know we see them over and over but others are one-offs so in this case you have there's the female to male performing synchronous belly slaps going in opposite directions I think she's are creative I don't think they're going oh let's do number 16 you know so I think they're creative with these is amazing we do know the Dolphins are phenomenal imitation here with Herman's research site in Hawaii they've simply given the Dolphins the command do with the human dose and you see pretty good facsimile crying so do better to trust oh man lots of humans at this kind of movement imitation and they're also phenomenal imitating than the local domain so they can imitate sounds of each other they've been computer-generated sounds so what you want to see here is a triple synchronous bleep two males coming towards you one going away I've slowed it down so you can see the one going away so jerky but this to come at you precedent and here is a more common one called a rooster straw weight and shade before we sing this rooster struts you'll see why we give it this manner hey it's funny to us was very serious to them it is beautiful in the community it's very impressive I never get tired of seeing and just to show you that not all displays it before synchronicity I'm going to show you a solo display by the male picante there's member the Blues Brothers so you know we give all these second Reliance's names right so usually based on some key male in the group that just you know gives us a chance to have a humorous name so Primo's group of seven we named the prima donnas crock was a member of 14 Parker spaniels where the grand poobahs the bull again is the blue spoilers and so on and each of these groups seem to have you know that guy some character who's just getting in trouble at the time causing trouble just larger the life kind of and in the cocker spaniels @cb and the Blues Brothers it's big content with this rooster stroke like none other right other singing he's impressive himself yeah flourish at the end and I'm gonna take us a little bit into the creepy realm we're out there with the wild crowd before teen males allows he did HIV cloudy and there you have a couple of females with them in there really rowdy and then I started hearing this this yeah you know and kind of sounds like a group chant just before they attack somebody listen closely right so wow we have a lot to learn about Dolphin vocalizations so in the early 2000s we decided to increase a study area up and down the east side of potentially look at the overall pattern of alliance formation and we even did a fantastic data 120 alliance forming males and you can't do that any population anything it was amazing and so each of these shapes again is the home range the second order alliance twelve of them we studied or Alone's create or typically older males who used to be a larger groups and they've sort of disappeared and if you're nervous just like I show you the females is kind of a mosaic of overlapping ranges there's not one male group or anything that covers the whole area so this showed that these guys lived in an open society which this was amazing because this is nothing like it again on terra firma so in terrestrial social mammals live in what we call closed or semi closed groups think of a wolf pack a baboon troop the chief NC community you're a member or you're not right yes individuals can can change groups but they have to go digital hazing process and within these groups everybody knows everybody else and they know their business and they know their dominance relationships generally and you know you know you'll pick on that little one because she has a big sister right so think about the situation for these dolphins so they overlap a lot other dolphins they know really well we have the edge of their of their range maybe they don't get there very often maybe they come across an another male who they easily defeated three or four years ago but maybe he's got more Alliance partners now and then they're not really sure so I wonder about the uncertainty and how that makes their social lives even more complicated it's fun to think about and of course nothing like this one term trust romanticize confuses them during this period we also discovered a remarkable third level of Alliance formation so just like the 1980s we're seeing these pairs in trios hanging out together wondering what they were doing we started seeing second-order alliances spending time together arrestee traveling socializing occasion so the seven-member prima donnas seem to be friends with a 14-member cocker spaniel and to get the function of this turned out to be identical they were attacking other groups to steal their females or defend against such attacks so i'ma show you this can be chaotic you can have over 30 males chasing fighting all directions and so what the Freedman was out there trying to direct in the boat trying to track of all this chaos okay these are brothers at the back the way you do this is you have like two cameras going to want among the hundred drive that you're taking blanks in between counters and groups in trying to get you know a thousand photographs you have to sort about labels video and someone to figure out what happened but an amazing situation so given that the function of the second third or alliances is identical you can ask why form a third level of Alliance I think it's an insurance policy so when I describe these circular alliances to people four to fourteen males together I think people get the idea that they're always in their second or alliances moving around billiard balls bouncing up other alliances in the bay and it truly is amazing when you see a second or alliance of fourteen all together with their you know constantly females and catching over twenty animals but they're often spread apart from each other and so you know if you have a female and your mates aren't close by your second or Alliance and you run into Bibles if the hoops you probably have other friends and so I think that is why they form friendships with other groups and we've seen situations where members of the second reliance are attacked that way and it was really second glance come to help them okay when we look at the habitats that were working in here you know up here it's a pretty open what we call deep water 15 16 meters none of the rest for what we call their deep water down here off monkey mind in the East it's really what we call subdivided habitat with these really shallow events you cannot you cannot assure it really about top ground out there and they have channels between them very different kind of habitats this turned out to be really important because you know we were wondering why are our dolphins so much more complex than other dolphins you know the longest running studied service in Florida Pablos dolphins they have male pairs know trio's no second alliances and no third or alliances I think it comes down to the seagrass beds they just support a lot of dolphins and it may be no more complicated then if you're going to run into your enemies you better be with your friends to explain why they have a more complex alliance formation but it's difficult to test these ideas because the animals are different some of the other ways the service to the dolphins are much larger proportionally difference in size in females and males is different in and so on and so on so how fortunate that we discovered variation right with in ours our study area in this huge social network so in this subdivided area down here you find more pairs combine with trios you find the males don't actually consort females as much and they don't have as many use of battle scars you go up north and they have more battle scars that are fresh they concert females Morrigan they are really stuck on their trios I think there's probably just a higher density of dolphins up here is you go down and here you get the super salty waters with nothing going on at all this might be sort of a marginal transition zone right but now we you know we don't have these compounding variables like we have between sharp in Sarasota so we can start getting empties hypotheses you know I think there's a higher density up here but they also have to do with how far sound travel isn't open what we're the subdivided habitats down south and the guys at North are so stuck on their trios you know we were amazed when it 14 on the Wow crowd we study so much by 2009 they'd shrunk down to just a animals what does that mean means to tree goes to pretty stable tree isn't a pair that the pair didn't work together yeah Ajax over there foraging by himself Cape Rose in 2009 and and Myrtle off by himself and krill was part of a trio come back in 2010 Ajax buying the self off Cape Rose but now myrtles part of the trio curls off by himself come back in 2011 hey Jack still by himself from parque de broglie's but now it's switched again and burbles by himself and curls part of the trio and then toward the mating season that year we got there there's knocking while crowd members in three trios Ajax Myrtle and a demolished fin are the trio together who is this who's the stranger side-by-side synchronous with these guys so you know get to work in Whitney actually was able to match up a complex series of scratches on both sides of the pen it was shocking Sharky the last surviving member of a group called the sharpies that overlapped for decades in their race throughout crowd they were generally rivals they knew each other he was the last survivor there was a vacancy in the rock crowd he moved in it was like you've been there his whole life synchronistic on something female it's just amazing alright in this with giving you an incredible sneak preview of what I'm thinking is the most ambitious dolphin projects in history right we're going to do a shark bay and take advantage of this astonishingly huge and complex society to learn as much as we can this huge brand and I'm calling this the dolphin decades start next year we can raise the 2 million 24 mm start and and what we want to do is is map out the alliances of 150 to 200 bales and instead of doing that one project at a time sequentially we want to look at them from all angles at once their behavior their genetics their ecology that prey and predators and their communication and first key part of this is is team we have amazing team together now so top left there Michael Crutzen is the director of the anthropology Institute at the University of Zurich once our genetics lab down here Stephanie came we just recruited a few years ago she's just taking a position at the University of Bristol the dolphin communication people in the world sign an Allen who just this we published a really important they were senior author on the effects of this 2011 bring heat wave and impacted traffic really impacted our dolphins and we don't have any more of those and he's also a population violence and behavioral biologist and then Mike Hite house you know that 19 year old kid I got started as an assistant 1994 now the Dean of marine sciences he runs a community ecology lab FIU they've done a lot of work on all the other animals in Shark Bay fish and so on we'll need that component so we absolutely amazing the thing of these super driving us is the technology so it really got me thinking to do this project because in every sphere of our research the technology has advanced we didn't answer questions we couldn't touch ten years ago right so we can now look the lies sounds underwater the pastor put a hydrophone of the water you hear the dolphins talking but you don't have this talking now we know who's talking drones we can watch the baby from above I'm gonna show you some cool drone clips in just an amendment all right this little black box is a sort of a newfangled echo sounder with such an incredible resolution that looks like you're watching a video of fish underwater we're going to be able to film this mewling watched office feeding and real-time map their habitats RVs and the genetics has advanced so much we can do much more refined in an analysis of relatedness pedigrees so all spheres is just just incredible what we can do now when to bring this all together these 150 to 200 magnets a little bit about what Stephanie Kings doing so she has this hydrophone array and not only should keep you track the dog's behavior but she's keeping track of their relationship to the boat in order to localize who's saying what so you hear that she wouldn't hear a dolphin whistle and that's gonna be keyless or so and then the little more aggressive thing and then here's amazing so here's how she doesn't she's got four hydrophones one in each corner of the boat so the sounds would arrive and at different times and the microphones and she could triangle echo that so it's not this group of dolphins and thought these dolphins is this dolphin that made that whistle right and and so already she's published an important paper showing you the whistles in these what we've known for decades is that each dolphin has turbo whistle it's like their maintenance called a signature listen right she's already used members of three different second-order alliances cocker spaniels rascals and prima donnas there are their names show them on spectrograms so imagine we can learn the names of all 152mm else in the sky is the limit with what we can do so now a few video our drone clips amazing stuff first time showing this stuff just from last year so here are three members of the nine-member hooligans attending each other you just see the impending stroke each other sort of affirming their alliance relationships okay this we didn't see this from the boat this only showed up in the drone footage gang of rowdy male is charging along now when males have a disagreement then hit each other up and down they sparking each other we call it a tip and it may or may not escape a fight so watching the drunk footage we saw the two terminals evidently had an issue they drop behind the group they have no tip and they didn't escalate and they went synchronous and rejoined so you'll see this here they're just swimming along there they are having a few words to recognize and then the group okay this is incredible so the Crockers family's opinion on there's a friendly but you know they can still have issues and this Mayo the midget bison only has an issue that's DS remember the crux panels thing which invites named after these national bugs at finest during June and July okay here come the Crockers and this is d pending with a friend I think he's nervous I think he knows what's going to happen here and you'll see him sort of slip on to the other side that he's going to hide behind this other guy biggest having any of it because right boom and they chased it away and everybody did you get a report DEET and we can see these incredible synchronicity on displays in the drum beautiful choreographed displays we call these butterfly displays and this this is a can you see the dolphins over here I can't see it this one will go but you have a triangle around one of the center so the middles are out the deeper water they have to spread out the floor is a llama but they need to keep them on the female and one way they do that is to keep with the cinema triangle and here they're just coming up after a dive and you'll see this triangle start to close her the center and how are they coordinating is some other things we're gonna learn in the dolphin decade and how there has to be some and you're going to see the Royal Mail from the Northeast coming in he's got to get back down to die we didn't catch any fish you know last dive so you get back down there and the other two get behind the female they'll come together and cut spread out the shield eyed and they'll dive do you catch any yeah I got and there they go it's not amazing alright we've been in it for a long time and so we've been helped by a lot of people and here's a list of organizations and foundations that have funded this why I want to you know the Newark Explorers Club gave us that first little grant National Geographic on a highlight because they've been there all along major support from yesterday research council is squished National Science Foundation an accordion foundation the monkey my dolphin Resort has been amazing for a very long time supporting us for this big ambitious project going forward is the 501c3 foundation and we'll see how we go then and I think we've done gone a long way found out a lot about what they're doing with these big brains more than any other place in the world really and and with this new technology I think you can we're going to blow it out of the water there's so much we can learn so with that I will take your questions we have my apartment for questions so we just ask that you wait if you have a question until one leg isn't brand new that way everybody gets to hear that question I have a question about the female does she get to choose which of the three to be the father of her child or do they attack her is it a personal imminent actor that's a fantastic question I wish we did the answer there's this too kind of answers I can give it to two approaches the first is how equitably the male say in the tria of share making it chances and so over time we're trying to go to the sample size up eternities you know genetically because all the social sites you can use may need to see who the father is and to see if males share portunities equally or not with an alliance and the other question is how females might be choosing there may be kind of costly for them to choose giving all the aggression but in addition to sort of choosing by who they spend time with there's another potential mechanism is called internal or cryptic female choice so if she mates with several males she may have a way to favor a particular sperm that's being studied even a lot of animals obviously kind of hard for us to do that but that could be a way that she's choosing who father's her offspring so we trust him thank you there's a lot of debate about dolphins in captivity and two questions how many are in captivity around the world at this point and where what's your feeling about that please that's a good question too I have no idea how many are in captivity and obviously I think when they are they need to be you know treated very well and if I just think about bottlenose dolphins does he get a lot of variation and how well they're looked after and so that's really really important I'm not one of the people that thinks all dolphins should be out of captivity because there's a very important work on their communication and cognitive abilities that we have yet to do if you think about when the first sort of Ginola dolphins activity movement started back about 1970 if we had done if they would follow through and got them all out of captivity there's so much we wouldn't know we wouldn't know about that imitation we wouldn't know about their ability to imitate séances recently Stephanie came just again had a paper from the Florida Keys showing the dolphins have an amazing ability to cooperate with each other so you know there's Studies on cognition are going fast and all kinds of other species and I think we need to keep pace with the dolphins I think somebody could give harming dolphins and their habitats somewhere around the world could say why you say Delta to smart was the proven chimps can do this dogs can do that parrots can do this young adults can do if they're all out of captivity what we wouldn't know it's the kind of things you can't do in the wild so I think it's important that under the right conditions we have some that can be considered cognitive abilities what hope they have yeah they have little cone-shaped teeth unlike us you know we have all different kinds of T's like incisors and canines and molars they just have one comment little cone-shaped teeth that did look trick each other with a nickel scratches but they don't begin their jaws like that powerful so that's not their main weapon I mean weapons boom dead tail use alliances to protect against predators like sharks that's a great question and you know we don't know there is safety in numbers why animals one groups white generally just being any group without any cooperation reduces your chance of being captured by a predator beyond that if they cooperate you know I don't know you know again it's amazing to me than other thousands of hours who's been watching them and all the shark bite scars we've never seen a shark bite a dolphin but it shows you is that really important fence in the end will not I almost like it's you know pretty rare so we spent a lot of time watching them it's a tiny fraction of their lives and it gets me also we watch them carrying on a social behavior Molloy's me a way to think of you know whirling with them a little bit of time and they're just carrying on like that all the time you know makes me try to think about and two questions if I may the first thing about you know it seems in all at least the clips that you've shown it's a preponderance of males with the sole female at what point of the females know your childbearing and they just kind of relegated off to be older females by themselves my other question is just related to local there were a ton of juvenile white sided dolphins and keep waiting Bay this summer which was unique for us and I wondered if you knew of that and had any comments about why that wasn't I didn't know about and you know there's been some unusual occurrences like that big mass stranding of common dolphins of years back and so you know there's a lot of information coming out about you know changing resources out there movement of fish populations lobster populations so you know things are changing so you know I don't know and the other question was about there's no females you don't seem to be a preponderance of males because obviously that's what you're studying but we're all the other females that they no longer childbearing and therefore they're off though the females are there that are there and on equal numbers but you think about if females only going to come into estrus every several years and so the other females are kind of out of circulation the male searches – the ones that are in estrus so we might have equal numbers but the ratio of males to females and when you consider just females in a given year that are in estrus it's going to be very male biased and that may play an important role or white males are operating at 23 to be with the females so you know the female is still our females continue to reproduce throughout their life – not kilowatts for example Channel menopause like humans where they stop reproducing you know 36 or so but me decades beyond that and they become grandma's you know our dolphins continue to repave as I look at the two brains of human and the dolphin it appears that the cerebellum is much larger in the dolphin am i correct in what do you think that means I don't know they have a huge serve and their brains are organized very different ways long separate evolutionary history the blood supply is very different than arrangement of cortex they have is completely different there's a long history of anatomist s– looking at their brains and where they're structured and saying that's like a hedgehog or something you know they're happy you know the right sort of evolutionary perspective to think about it big brains are metabolic expensive so you've got to be doing something with it and I think what we're seeing it's a long history of primatology of thinking that the really big brains were driven by complex social interactions so your reproductive success determine how well you go she ate those social relationships the need to cooperate the same individuals your reproductive competition with and if you think about we spend most of our time thinking about our complex social lives and all other stuff so what I think the exciting thing we found with rubbing these dolphins we have no prior knowledge what to expect and what we find astonishing complex social lives and you talk about that you know these white-sided dolphins the cool thing about Shark Bay is that they are sort of made for our brains right think about it either in these little groups they live slowly we can watch them we can learn about them and Shore and deal call Sharla find huge schools of common dolphins and white-sided dolphins but it's very hard for us to figure them out so we have the special place at Shark Bay or this really complex society is right there for our brains to do we can handle it we can we can look at them alarm dolphins vs. porpoises are they the same are they cousins or what's the difference well if you go back on fishermen used to call a lot more kisses including the Dolphins but technically the purpose family is just several species like the harbor porpoise and the these probability unfortunately seem to be extinct Paquita which is the gulf of california and there's no 37 species of dolphins the dolphin family right so the porpoise family is actually most closely related to another family that includes the narwhal a beluga and then they're related next to the dolphin family and I can't keep track of how many dolphin species there are always changing ideas on now it's 30 something we have time for two more questions I've always been fascinated by the synchronized dancing that they do it's like they're putting on a show for us and it is a great question and I suspect I mean when they're just surfacing synchronously it can be they just sort of been trained on each other like we did in music but I think some of these more complex synchronous displays it's probably going to be something more like follow the leader so Lou Herrmann trained in captivity there's another reason you know you can do these studies in captivity around while he trained dolphins to think of their own new trick where I hear they're repeating a study done to 60s on command reported behavior you've not been conditioned to perform he also had trained them to perform trained behavior synchronously and he got the bright idea to bury the two commands he gave the Dolphins to come and perform you behavior synchronously and they hit a bunch of new same when his behaviors ever produced and the most bizarre when he described to me was the Dolphins kind of circled a little bit and then left straight up into the air in the apex of the leaves they spat water out of their mouth there are five questions you set the own dolphins they have like lots of babies did it just leave them behind after today that's a great question will the baby stay with their mothers a few years a nurse from them and then after that it buries so the the female babies grow up as juveniles and adults and typically continue to socialize with their moms and and other females the male's go off and start hanging out with other males to do their Alliance thing but you know they still share their home range with their mothers so they run it over once in a while so but they have sort of different trajectories after they finished nursing for a month well thank you very much to dr. Richard Clark [Applause] stay all about marijuana dust if you're interested in purchasing that and keep the degree as Bob mentioned in the beginning to sign some copies he's also down here to answer the rest of their questions if you're interested in being out for a little bit thank you

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