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Zoologia (Curitiba)

Print version ISSN 1984-4670


TARDIN, Rodrigo H. O.; ESPECIE, Mariana A.; LODI, Liliane  and  SIMAO, Sheila M.. Parental care behavior in the Guiana dolphin, Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea: Delphinidae), in Ilha Grande Bay, southeastern Brazil. Zoologia (Curitiba) [online]. 2013, vol.30, n.1, pp.15-23. ISSN 1984-4670.

Parental care is any form of parental behavior that increases offspring fitness. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to analyze the intensity of parental care in the Guiana dolphin, Sotalia guianensis (van Bénéden, 1864). The objectives of this study are as follows: 1) to quantify the degree of parental care in S. guianensis in Ilha Grande Bay, Rio de Janeiro; 2) to investigate the influence of behavioral state and group size on the degree of parental care; and 3) to evaluate the differences between the intensity of parental care provided to calves and juveniles. Our results indicate that the intensity of parental care is high in S. guianensis and that care is more intense in larger groups. It is possible that these differences serve to maximize hydrodynamic gains and to minimize risks. Our results suggest that parental care is more intense during travel. A possible reason for this greater intensity is that the feeding dynamics show a more random pattern than other behavioral states. Moreover, the results indicate that calves receive more intense care than juveniles. These results suggest that parent-offspring conflict is possible in the study population.

Keywords : Adult-offspring relationship; parent-offspring conflict.

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