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Daily patterns in aerial activity by spinner dolphins in Fernando de Noronha

  • R.C. De Carli (a1), F.J.L. Silva (a1) (a2) and J.M. Silva (a3)

Activities displayed by animals are usually cyclic, and fluctuations in behavioural repertoires can be observed on a daily or seasonal timescale. The present study describes daily and seasonal variations in the aerial events – such as leaps, spins and slaps with body parts – by spinner dolphins in Baía dos Golfinhos, Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park, in Brazil. To measure aerial events by dolphins, we compiled and analysed data collected from January 2006 to December 2010. A total of 113,027 aerial events were recorded during 1431 days of land-based daytime observations. Our results show that the frequency of aerial events was positively correlated with the number of dolphins in the bay. The relative frequency of aerial events was higher in the rainy season, when compared with the dry season. Aerial activities also varied throughout the day, with dolphins being more active in the morning, specifically from 8:00 a.m. to 8:59 a.m., regardless of the season.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: R.C. De Carli, Centro Golfinho Rotador, Rua Eurico Cavalcanti de Albuquerque no 5, Fernando de Noronha, PE 53990-000, Brazil email:,
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
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