Data from: The importance of delineating networks by activity type in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida
Gazda, Stefanie et al. (2015), Data from: The importance of delineating networks by activity type in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4r668
Network analysis has proved to be a valuable tool for studying the behavioural patterns of complex social animals. Often such studies either do not distinguish between different behavioural states of the organisms or simply focus attention on a single behavioural state to the exclusion of all others. In either of these approaches it is impossible to ascertain how the behavioural patterns of individuals depend on the type of activity they are engaged in. Here we report on a network-based analysis of the behavioural associations in a population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cedar Key, Florida. We consider three distinct behavioural states—socializing, travelling and foraging—and analyse the association networks corresponding to each activity. Moreover, in constructing the different activity networks we do not simply record a spatial association between two individuals as being either present or absent, but rather quantify the degree of any association, thus allowing us to construct weighted networks describing each activity. The results of these weighted activity networks indicate that networks can reveal detailed patterns of bottlenose dolphins at the population level; dolphins socialize in large groups with preferential associations; travel in small groups with preferential associates; and spread out to forage in very small, weakly connected groups. There is some overlap in the socialize and travel networks but little overlap between the forage and other networks. This indicates that the social bonds maintained in other activities are less important as they forage on dispersed, solitary prey. The overall network, not sorted by activity, does not accurately represent any of these patterns.
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