Rest, nurture, sex, release, and play: diurnal underwater behaviour of the spinner dolphin at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, SW Atlantic

José Martins Silva-Jr, Flávio J. L. Silva and Ivan Sazima

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 161-176, Volume 9, Issue 4 – April 2005

At Fernando de Noronha Archipelago in the South West Atlantic, spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) regularly congregate in large groups in a bay with clear, shallow water, allowing their behaviour to be observed and recorded at close quarters. We present an overview of the diurnal underwater activity of the Noronha spinners while in the bay. Apart from well-known types of behaviour such as resting, mating, and playing, we present and illustrate others such as suckling, defaecating, and vomiting which are less well-known and documented. Heterospecific interactions and associations are also discussed. An ecologically new role for cetaceans, as a food supplier for reef fishes, is herein proposed for the Noronha spinners.

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