Subject: Abstract:Changes in associations with age

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 1 Dec 1994 14:50:46

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Date: Thu, 01 Dec 1994 14:47:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org>
Subject: Abstract:Changes in associations with age
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Date:         Thu, 1 Dec 1994 08:43:37 +0001
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         "Phillip J Clapham (Genetics)"
              <pjc2@molecular-studies.biology.cambridge.ac.uk>
Subject:      ABSTRACT
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Clapham, P.J.  1994.  Maturational changes in patterns of association in
male and female humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae.  J. Zool. Lond.
234: 265-274.
 
The patterns of association of juvenile male and female humpback whales,
Megaptera novaeangliae, in the southern Gulf of Maine were studied for
evidence of maturational changes.  Both males and females became less
solitary with age.  In males, time spent alone changed from a mean of
55.8% of observations at age one to 26.8% at age six.  Females were alone
in a mean of 49.9% of observations at age one, but in only 20.5% by age
six.  However, females that produced calves at five, six or seven were
associated with no whales but the calf in 73.8% of observations.  Males
exhibited a clear age-related trend of increasing associations with
adults, notably with adult females which constituted approximately 80% of
the associates of males aged six years or more.  Females showed a similar
trend of increasing associations with adults of both sexes.  Tests of
association data for whales of known age with similar data for adults of
the same sex showed that the association patterns of young males and
females became statistically indistinguishable from those of adults by
the ages of five and four, respectively.  The data suggest that the
observed changes in social behaviour are closely linked to the attainment
of sexual maturity and preparation for adult roles.  The different
patterns of males and females after maturity may reflect differing
reproductive and life-history strategies.