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Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale

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DOI

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Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale. / Cure, Charlotte; Doksaeter-Sivle, Lise; Visser, Fleur; Wensveen, Paulus Jacobus; Isojunno, Saana; Harris, Catriona M; Kvadsheim, Petter; Lam, Frans-Peter; Miller, Patrick.

In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 526, 22.04.2015, p. 267-282.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Cure, C, Doksaeter-Sivle, L, Visser, F, Wensveen, PJ, Isojunno, S, Harris, CM, Kvadsheim, P, Lam, F-P & Miller, P 2015, 'Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale' Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 526, pp. 267-282. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11231

APA

Cure, C., Doksaeter-Sivle, L., Visser, F., Wensveen, P. J., Isojunno, S., Harris, C. M., ... Miller, P. (2015). Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 526, 267-282. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11231

Vancouver

Cure C, Doksaeter-Sivle L, Visser F, Wensveen PJ, Isojunno S, Harris CM et al. Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 2015 Apr 22;526:267-282. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11231

Author

Cure, Charlotte ; Doksaeter-Sivle, Lise ; Visser, Fleur ; Wensveen, Paulus Jacobus ; Isojunno, Saana ; Harris, Catriona M ; Kvadsheim, Petter ; Lam, Frans-Peter ; Miller, Patrick. / Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale. In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. 2015 ; Vol. 526. pp. 267-282.

Bibtex - Download

@article{1ec079a7ef934c18adc07a8624c9f605,
title = "Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale",
abstract = "Anti-predator strategies are often defined as ‘flight’ or ‘fight’, based upon preyanatomical adaptations for size, morphology and weapons, as well as observed behaviours in the presence of predators. The humpback whale Megaptera nova eangliae is considered a ‘fight’ specialist based upon anatomy and observations of grouping behaviour and active defence when attacked by killer whales. However, the early stage of humpback whale anti-predator strategy, when the prey detects the presence of a distant potential predator that may not have perceived it, has never been described. Our aim was to experimentally examine this initial stage of anti-predator responses. Humpbacks are likely to hear well at the frequencies of killer whale vocalisations, thus the perception of killer whale sounds could trigger anti-predator responses. To address this hypothesis, we played mammal-eating killer whale sounds to 8 solitary or paired humpbackwhales in North Atlantic feeding grounds and monitored their behavioural responses. We found that predator sound playbacks induced a cessation of feeding, a change in the diving pattern and a clear directional and rapid horizontal avoidance away from the speaker. Interestingly, in mothercalfpairs with young calves, the directional horizontal avoidance was atypically alternated by 90 degree turns, which may serve as a mechanism to better track the pre dator or a stealth tactic when more vulnerable animals are present. These results provide experimental evidence that humpback whales can exhibit a strong horizontal avoidance as an initial stage of anti-predator defence, indicating that anti-predator responses may be more graded and mixed than previously recognized.",
keywords = "Anti-predator strategy, Predator sound playbacks, Multi-sensor tag, Behavioural responses, Horizontal avoidance, Baleen whale, Humpback whale",
author = "Charlotte Cure and Lise Doksaeter-Sivle and Fleur Visser and Wensveen, {Paulus Jacobus} and Saana Isojunno and Harris, {Catriona M} and Petter Kvadsheim and Frans-Peter Lam and Patrick Miller",
year = "2015",
month = "4",
day = "22",
doi = "10.3354/meps11231",
language = "English",
volume = "526",
pages = "267--282",
journal = "Marine Ecology Progress Series",
issn = "0171-8630",
publisher = "Inter-Research",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Predator sound playbacks reveal strong avoidance responses in a fight strategist baleen whale

AU - Cure, Charlotte

AU - Doksaeter-Sivle, Lise

AU - Visser, Fleur

AU - Wensveen, Paulus Jacobus

AU - Isojunno, Saana

AU - Harris, Catriona M

AU - Kvadsheim, Petter

AU - Lam, Frans-Peter

AU - Miller, Patrick

PY - 2015/4/22

Y1 - 2015/4/22

N2 - Anti-predator strategies are often defined as ‘flight’ or ‘fight’, based upon preyanatomical adaptations for size, morphology and weapons, as well as observed behaviours in the presence of predators. The humpback whale Megaptera nova eangliae is considered a ‘fight’ specialist based upon anatomy and observations of grouping behaviour and active defence when attacked by killer whales. However, the early stage of humpback whale anti-predator strategy, when the prey detects the presence of a distant potential predator that may not have perceived it, has never been described. Our aim was to experimentally examine this initial stage of anti-predator responses. Humpbacks are likely to hear well at the frequencies of killer whale vocalisations, thus the perception of killer whale sounds could trigger anti-predator responses. To address this hypothesis, we played mammal-eating killer whale sounds to 8 solitary or paired humpbackwhales in North Atlantic feeding grounds and monitored their behavioural responses. We found that predator sound playbacks induced a cessation of feeding, a change in the diving pattern and a clear directional and rapid horizontal avoidance away from the speaker. Interestingly, in mothercalfpairs with young calves, the directional horizontal avoidance was atypically alternated by 90 degree turns, which may serve as a mechanism to better track the pre dator or a stealth tactic when more vulnerable animals are present. These results provide experimental evidence that humpback whales can exhibit a strong horizontal avoidance as an initial stage of anti-predator defence, indicating that anti-predator responses may be more graded and mixed than previously recognized.

AB - Anti-predator strategies are often defined as ‘flight’ or ‘fight’, based upon preyanatomical adaptations for size, morphology and weapons, as well as observed behaviours in the presence of predators. The humpback whale Megaptera nova eangliae is considered a ‘fight’ specialist based upon anatomy and observations of grouping behaviour and active defence when attacked by killer whales. However, the early stage of humpback whale anti-predator strategy, when the prey detects the presence of a distant potential predator that may not have perceived it, has never been described. Our aim was to experimentally examine this initial stage of anti-predator responses. Humpbacks are likely to hear well at the frequencies of killer whale vocalisations, thus the perception of killer whale sounds could trigger anti-predator responses. To address this hypothesis, we played mammal-eating killer whale sounds to 8 solitary or paired humpbackwhales in North Atlantic feeding grounds and monitored their behavioural responses. We found that predator sound playbacks induced a cessation of feeding, a change in the diving pattern and a clear directional and rapid horizontal avoidance away from the speaker. Interestingly, in mothercalfpairs with young calves, the directional horizontal avoidance was atypically alternated by 90 degree turns, which may serve as a mechanism to better track the pre dator or a stealth tactic when more vulnerable animals are present. These results provide experimental evidence that humpback whales can exhibit a strong horizontal avoidance as an initial stage of anti-predator defence, indicating that anti-predator responses may be more graded and mixed than previously recognized.

KW - Anti-predator strategy

KW - Predator sound playbacks

KW - Multi-sensor tag

KW - Behavioural responses

KW - Horizontal avoidance

KW - Baleen whale

KW - Humpback whale

U2 - 10.3354/meps11231

DO - 10.3354/meps11231

M3 - Article

VL - 526

SP - 267

EP - 282

JO - Marine Ecology Progress Series

T2 - Marine Ecology Progress Series

JF - Marine Ecology Progress Series

SN - 0171-8630

ER -

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