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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

The Development Of Socio-Sexual Behavior In Beluga Whales (Delphinapterus Leucas), Malin K. Lilley Apr 2019

The Development Of Socio-Sexual Behavior In Beluga Whales (Delphinapterus Leucas), Malin K. Lilley

Dissertations

The reproductive success of the beluga whale is critical for a species facing extinction in its endangered Cook Inlet, Alaska population. To date, little is known about the mating behavior of these whales in wild populations. On the other hand, observations of beluga whales in human care allow researchers to better understand many aspects of their daily lives and life histories that are difficult to assess in wild populations. Thus far, a catalog of socio-sexual behavior has been established based on observations of belugas; however, the developmental trajectory of socio-sexual behavior is not well-understood. The present study explored how socio-sexual ...


Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus) Vocal Responses To Sonar And Spectrally Pink Background Noise, Maria Zapetis Apr 2019

Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus) Vocal Responses To Sonar And Spectrally Pink Background Noise, Maria Zapetis

Dissertations

As human populations rise, the level of man-made noise increases globally. Naval sonar and boat traffic are underwater sound sources of particular concern to marine mammal welfare. To better understand the impact of these noise increases on cetaceans, studies can explore animals’ behavioral changes in response to noise. Studies have investigated the ‘dose-response’ relationship between the received sound pressure level of sonar signals and the behavior of cetaceans in the wild, but exposure studies in controlled environments are limited. The studies in this dissertation examined bottlenose dolphin vocal modifications during various experimental noise treatments. Acoustic recordings previously obtained for bottlenose ...


Vocalizations Of North American River Otters (Lontra Canadensis) In Two Human Care Populations, Sarah Walkley Apr 2018

Vocalizations Of North American River Otters (Lontra Canadensis) In Two Human Care Populations, Sarah Walkley

Master's Theses

There is a dearth of information regarding the vocal repertoire of North American river otters (Lontra canadensis). This indicator species is cosmopolitan yet elusive, making recordings methodologically difficult in the wild. Therefore, this exploratory study uses video and audio recordings of two populations of North American river otters in human care to broaden the known vocal repertoire of river otters in various social contexts. The populations consist of a male-female pair at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center and a male-male pair at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. This study is the first to examine the vocalizations produced in a ...


Personality In California Sea Lions (Zalophus Californianus) And Harbor Seals (Phoca Vitulina): Methodological Convergence And Species-Specific Emotional Repertoires., Amber De Vere Feb 2018

Personality In California Sea Lions (Zalophus Californianus) And Harbor Seals (Phoca Vitulina): Methodological Convergence And Species-Specific Emotional Repertoires., Amber De Vere

Dissertations

Despite the wide acceptance of animal personality as a valid area of study, research on marine mammal personality remains remarkably scarce. What literature does exist predominantly focuses on bottlenose dolphins (Frick, 2016; Highfill & Kuczaj, 2007; Kuczaj, Highfill & Byerly, 2012; Lilley, de Vere, Yeatre & Kuczaj, 2018; Moreno, Highfill & Kuczaj, 2017). There is also strong evidence for individual differences in grey seals (Robinson et al., 2015; Twiss & Franklin, 2010; Twiss, Culloch & Pomeroy, 2011; Twiss, Cairns, Culloch, Richards & Pomeroy, 2012), and preliminary research has provided evidence of broad personality factors in pinniped species using behavioral coding (de Vere, Lilley & Highfill, 2017) and trait rating methods (Ciardelli, Weiss, Powell & Reiss, 2017). Several aspects of personality are not well documented across many taxa, including age-related patterns, the species-relevance of emotional trait words, potential issues associated with the non-human Dominance factor, and the convergent validity of multiple methods. The current study therefore aimed to address these issues in two pinniped species, California sea lions and harbor seals, and provides the first cross-method validation of personality dimensions in these taxa. There was some evidence that pinniped trainers could reliably rate the emotional states experienced by these species. Trait rating assessments produced three personality factors for each species; these exhibited good cross-method convergence in California sea lions, but not harbor seals. Dominance rankings were correlated with one behavioral and one rating factor in each species, although this was somewhat confounded by the extremely close correspondence of dominance and age.


Escorting Of Mother-Calf Pairs Of Humpback Whales (Megaptera Novaeangliae) In The Colombian Pacific During The Breeding Season, Natalia Botero Acosta Dec 2017

Escorting Of Mother-Calf Pairs Of Humpback Whales (Megaptera Novaeangliae) In The Colombian Pacific During The Breeding Season, Natalia Botero Acosta

Dissertations

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) belonging to the “breeding G-stock” annually migrate from the Antarctic Peninsula and southern Chile to the southeastern Pacific to reproduce. Associations between mother-calf pairs and escorts were examined in the Gulf of Tribugá, northern Colombian Pacific, using photo-identification and behavioral/spatial sampling. Research hypotheses included: 1. The association between cows and escorts is short-lived, consistent with a male reproductive strategy, 2. The presence of escort(s) elicits a behavioral response from mother-calf pairs and, 3. The patterns of spatial distribution reflect the spatial segregation of maternal females. Groups were classified as mother-calf pairs (Mc), mother, calf ...


Evaluating Social Network Dynamics Of Bigg’S Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca) And Vessel Traffic Within A Transboundary Region: Implications For Conservation Management, Courtney Smith Dec 2017

Evaluating Social Network Dynamics Of Bigg’S Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca) And Vessel Traffic Within A Transboundary Region: Implications For Conservation Management, Courtney Smith

Dissertations

The social lives of animals are defined by group dynamics based on the nature and strength of associations and movements between individuals, often resulting in highly complex and interconnected social networks. However, understanding of how environmental variables may shape this structure is poorly understood. Within the inland waters of Washington State and southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, mammal-eating Bigg’s (transient) killer whales occur in relatively small, but stable social groups. Group size and occurrence in recent years has increased, coinciding with a growing whale watching industry. Given the central importance of the social network within killer whale population dynamics ...


Effects Of Wave Action On The Structure Of Fish Assemblages Across An Exposure Gradient, Lauren Liddon Jul 2017

Effects Of Wave Action On The Structure Of Fish Assemblages Across An Exposure Gradient, Lauren Liddon

Master's Theses

Disturbance affects the function and diversity of ecosystems. Increased wave exposure to salt marsh can disturb sediments and cause a loss of habitat. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of increased wave exposure on diversity, abundance, and functional ecology of estuarine fishes. If increased wave exposure is acting as a disturbance to these habitats, ecological theory (Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis) predicts that diversity will peak at intermediate frequencies and intensities of disturbance. Fish were sampled from 10 sites monthly for 6 years. The sites were assigned to different exposure categories (Open, Intermediate, and Sheltered) using an exposure ...


Efficacy Of Cognitive Enrichment For Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus): Evaluation Of Planning Abilities Through The Use Of A Novel Problem Solving Task, Lisa Kay Lauderdale May 2017

Efficacy Of Cognitive Enrichment For Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus): Evaluation Of Planning Abilities Through The Use Of A Novel Problem Solving Task, Lisa Kay Lauderdale

Dissertations

Environmental enrichment is a key component to improving the psychological and physiological well being of animals in human care. Enrichment can be achieved through a variety of modalities, including the addition of objects and scents, or by providing the animals with additional challenges. The effectiveness of specific enrichment should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the desired result is achieved. Environmental enrichment devices (EED’s) can be utilized to present novel problems to animals in human care. When confronted with a novel problem, dolphins can plan their behavior to create a more efficient strategy then previously modeled ...


Do Pinnipeds Have Personality? Coding Harbor Seal (Phoca Vitulina) And California Sea Lion (Zalophus Californianus) Behavior Across Contexts, Amber J. De Vere May 2017

Do Pinnipeds Have Personality? Coding Harbor Seal (Phoca Vitulina) And California Sea Lion (Zalophus Californianus) Behavior Across Contexts, Amber J. De Vere

Master's Theses

Personality has now been studied in species as diverse as chimpanzees (King & Figueredo, 1997) and cuttlefish (Carere et al., 2015), but marine mammals remain vastly underrepresented in this area. A broad range of traits have been assessed only in the bottlenose dolphin (Highfilll & Kuczaj, 2007), while consistent individual differences in a few specific behaviors have been identified in grey seals (Robinson et al., 2015; Twiss & Franklin, 2010; Twiss, Culloch & Pomeroy, 2011; Twiss, Cairns, Culloch, Richards & Pomeroy, 2012). Furthermore, the context component of definitions of personality is not often assessed, despite evidence that animals may show individual patterns of consistency (Kuczaj, Highfill & Byerly, 2012). The current study therefore aimed to assess underlying personality factors and consistency across contexts in two unstudied marine mammal species, using behavioral coding.

Two California sea lion and three harbor seal personality factors were extracted using exploratory factor analysis. Two factors were broadly similar across species; the first, Boldness, resembled human Extraversion, and to some extent Openness. The second factor was labeled Routine Activity, and contained some Conscientiousness-like traits. Excitable-Interest emerged as a third factor in seals, but had low reliability. Species-specific patterns were also identified for interactive behaviors across two contexts. However, there was substantial individual variation in the frequency of these behaviors, as well as some animals who did not conform to species-level trends. This study therefore provides novel evidence for broad personality factors and ...


Sparking A Dolphin's Curiosity: Individual Differences In Dolphins' Reactions To Surprising And Expectation-Violating Events, Malin Katarina Lilley May 2017

Sparking A Dolphin's Curiosity: Individual Differences In Dolphins' Reactions To Surprising And Expectation-Violating Events, Malin Katarina Lilley

Master's Theses

Non-scientific literature consistently describes dolphins as “curious animals,” but there has been little systematic research on curiosity in dolphins. Curiosity in humans and certain non-human animal species, including birds and non-human primates, has been studied by examining individual differences in exploration and reactions to novel stimuli. Additionally, research has explored how human infants and non-human animals react when an event violates their expectations. The present study explored dolphins’ reactions to spontaneously surprising and expectation-violating stimuli. The reactions of dolphins, 15 bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and 6 rough-toothed (Steno bredanensis), at Gulf World Marine Park were analyzed in response to events that ...


The Effect Of Boat Type On Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Trucatus) Behavior In The Mississippi Sound, Maria Zapetis May 2017

The Effect Of Boat Type On Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Trucatus) Behavior In The Mississippi Sound, Maria Zapetis

Master's Theses

Increases in oceanic shipping are a global phenomenon, and a leading cause of concern for marine animal welfare. While it may be difficult to assess the effect of boat traffic on all species in all contexts, it is vital to report anthropogenic impacts where longitudinal data is available, and doubly so where a dearth of information exists. The purpose of this study is to describe how dolphin behavior changed in the presence of boats in the Mississippi Sound between 2006 and 2012, and more specifically, to detail how different boat types impacted dolphins’ behavioral states. This study is unique in ...


Occurrence Of Atlantic Tarpon, Megalops Atlanticus, Leptocephali In The Mississippi Sound Estuary, Patrick M. Graham, James S. Franks, Jason D. Tilley, Dyan P. Gibson, Evan J. Anderson Jan 2017

Occurrence Of Atlantic Tarpon, Megalops Atlanticus, Leptocephali In The Mississippi Sound Estuary, Patrick M. Graham, James S. Franks, Jason D. Tilley, Dyan P. Gibson, Evan J. Anderson

Gulf and Caribbean Research

No abstract provided.


Stopover Ecology Of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus Colubris) During Autumn Migration, Theodore Joseph Zenzal Jr May 2016

Stopover Ecology Of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus Colubris) During Autumn Migration, Theodore Joseph Zenzal Jr

Dissertations

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is one of the smallest Nearctic-Neotropical migrants and the only species of hummingbird that breeds in Eastern North America, yet few studies have investigated the biology of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds when they stopover during migration. Given their small size, high metabolism, aggression, and specialized diet, hummingbirds may represent a migrant that operates on the physiological edge. Therefore it is important to understand the factors that influence their stopover as well as the decision to resume migration. Towards this end, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were captured during autumn migration along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico to ...


The Uas-Gal4 System In D. Melanogaster: An Insight Into The Influence Of Micrornas On The Developmental Pathways Of The Wing, Emily R. Wilson May 2016

The Uas-Gal4 System In D. Melanogaster: An Insight Into The Influence Of Micrornas On The Developmental Pathways Of The Wing, Emily R. Wilson

Honors Theses

By examining genetic pathways in D. melanogaster, a better understanding of the homologous regulatory mechanisms in humans can be utilized to further enhance knowledge of the roles of microRNA within development. This study utilizes the UAS-Gal4 system in order to produce a mutant phenotype capable of being visually studied and analyzed, focusing on the developmental pathway of the wing in D. melanogaster. Dissections of the wandering third instar larvae yielded wing disc tissue expressing the downregulation of loquacious and CG17386.


Parasites From The Red Lionfish, Pterois Volitans From The Gulf Of Mexico, Alexander Q. Fogg, Carlos F. Ruiz, Stephen S. Curran, Stephen A. Bullard Jan 2016

Parasites From The Red Lionfish, Pterois Volitans From The Gulf Of Mexico, Alexander Q. Fogg, Carlos F. Ruiz, Stephen S. Curran, Stephen A. Bullard

Gulf and Caribbean Research

No abstract provided.


Effects Of Pre-Release Physical Stressors On Post-Release Success Of Hatchery-Reared Spotted Seatrout, Taylor Westbrook Guest May 2015

Effects Of Pre-Release Physical Stressors On Post-Release Success Of Hatchery-Reared Spotted Seatrout, Taylor Westbrook Guest

Master's Theses

Alteration of habitat associated with coastal development and increased demand for food and recreation can result in the depletion of fisheries resources such as the Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), the Gulf of Mexico’s most popular recreational fish. Stock enhancement, or the release of cultured fish to supplement wild populations, is one potential tool for managing important fisheries resources. Although much effort has gone into marine stock enhancement, the effectiveness of stocking is not well established, and techniques for ensuring success have not been developed. Although the basic biology of the Spotted Seatrout is well known, comparatively little is known ...


Dialect Use Within A Socially Fluid Group Of Southern Resident Killer Whales, Orcinus Orca, Courtney Elizabeth Smith Dec 2014

Dialect Use Within A Socially Fluid Group Of Southern Resident Killer Whales, Orcinus Orca, Courtney Elizabeth Smith

Master's Theses

Resident killer whales, Orcinus orca, of the Northeastern Pacific form stable kinship-based matrifocal associations and communicate with group-specific repertoires of discrete calls (dialects) that reflect these associations. The gradual fission of matrilines is usually consistent with dialect variations among groups that may manifest as differences in call usage at the repertoire level or subtle structural differences of the calls themselves. Therefore, matrilines that are more closely related tend to be more acoustically similar. Within the endangered community of Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs), recent evidence shows that one particular group (L pod) exhibits the lowest rate of intrapod association and ...


Effects Of Animal Management Changes On The Activity Budgets And Walking Rates Of Zoo Elephants, Angela Dawn Mackey Aug 2014

Effects Of Animal Management Changes On The Activity Budgets And Walking Rates Of Zoo Elephants, Angela Dawn Mackey

Dissertations

The current study aimed to assess the effects of two management strategies, weekly rototilling of the enclosure and the provision of unpredictable foraging opportunities, on the daily behavior of six elephants housed at the San Diego Zoo. Observations took place from January to June 2013 and were conducted throughout a 24- hour period. The study was divided into three phases, each two months in duration. During the first phase (baseline) no changes were made to the current management routine of the elephants. In Phase 2, rototilling of the elephant enclosures was increased from once monthly to once per week, while ...


Revision Of 13 Genera Of Haploporidae (Trematoda), Eric Edward Pulis May 2014

Revision Of 13 Genera Of Haploporidae (Trematoda), Eric Edward Pulis

Dissertations

The Haploporidae is a family of digeneans united by the combination of the possession of a hermaphroditic sac and a single testis or, rarely, two tandem testes. The major divisions in the Haploporidae have been based on the organization, development, and nature of the male and female reproductive systems. Overstreet and Curran (2005) has been the only attempt to organize the genera of the Haploporidae in a subfamilial framework. In the present work the validity of the subfamily Waretrematinae by Overstreet and Curran (2005) is assessed by morphological and molecular methods, based on original descriptions, type and vouchered, specimens and ...


Personality Assessment In African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana), Kristina Marie Horback May 2012

Personality Assessment In African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana), Kristina Marie Horback

Dissertations

The following study assessed personality in twelve African elephants using both observational behavior coding and standardized trait rating methods, thus demonstrating consistent individual differences across time and contexts. During the summer of 2010 and 2011, over 640 hours of behavioral data were collected onsite at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA. Four coding-based personality traits were determined after analysis: PLAYFUL, CURIOUS, TOLERANT, and, AGGRESSIVE. This data was then compared to survey ratings completed by the animal keeper staff during both summers. Four rating-based personality traits resulted from this analysis: PLAYFUL, CURIOUS, TIMID, and, AGGRESSIVE. All eight composite ...


Movement Ecology Of An Intercontinental Migratory Bird During Spring Stopover, Emily Beth Cohen Dec 2011

Movement Ecology Of An Intercontinental Migratory Bird During Spring Stopover, Emily Beth Cohen

Dissertations

Movement ecology is a component of nearly all aspects of animal behavior and an animal’s decision to move is likely influenced by a complex combination of exogenous and endogenous factors. Therefore, an examination of the causes and consequences of organismal movement provides a conceptual framework for understanding complex behavioral strategies. My dissertation research is focused on the movement ecology of an intercontinental migratory songbird during spring migration. I adopted experimental approaches to study the factors influencing how a songbird migrant, red-eyed vireos (Vireo olivaceus), makes decisions in unfamiliar landscapes from the initiation of spring stopover.

I simulated the arrival ...


The Effects Of Dolphin Education Programs On Visitors' Conservation-Related Knowledge, Attitude And Behavior, Lance Joseph Miller May 2009

The Effects Of Dolphin Education Programs On Visitors' Conservation-Related Knowledge, Attitude And Behavior, Lance Joseph Miller

Dissertations

Zoological institutions typically exhibit dolphins in educational programs such as dolphin shows and interaction programs. The goal of these programs is to entertain visitors while increasing their conservation-related knowledge, attitude and behavior towards dolphins and the marine environment. The purpose of the current study was to examine dolphin shows and interaction programs in terms of their effectiveness in meeting these goals. A multi-institutional study was conducted at six different facilities throughout the United States. A repeated measures design was used to examine the knowledge, attitude and behavior of visitors before, immediately after and three months following participation in dolphin shows ...