Distress Call of the Bottlenose Dolphin: Stimuli and Evoked Behavioral Responses

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Science  11 Jan 1963:
Vol. 139, Issue 3550, pp. 116-118
DOI: 10.1126/science.139.3550.116


Analysis of the many different vocal productions of pairs of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Montagu) and the related behavior patterns shows that one pair of specific short (0.2 to 0.6 second) whistles was consistently stimulated by physical distress. This call stimulated nearby animals to push the head of the distressed animal to the surface to breathe. After the animal breathed, a vocal exchange preceded other forms of aid.