Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:


Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-45404

Connor, R C; Watson-Capps, J J; Sherwin, W B; Krützen, M (2011). A new level of complexity in the male alliance networks of Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.). Biology Letters, 7(4):623-626.

[img] PDF - Registered users only

View at publisher


Male bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia form two levels of alliances; two to three males cooperate to herd individual females and teams of greater than three males compete with other groups for females. Previous observation suggested two alliance tactics: small four to six member teams of relatives that formed stable pairs or trios and unrelated males in a large 14-member second-order alliance that had labile trio formation. Here, we present evidence for a third level of alliance formation, a continuum of second-order alliance sizes and no relationship between first-order alliance stability and second-order alliance size. These findings challenge the ‘two alliance tactics’ hypothesis and add to the evidence that Shark Bay male bottlenose dolphins engage in alliance formation that likely places considerable demands on their social cognition.


17 citations in Web of Science®
17 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™



2 downloads since deposited on 18 Feb 2011
1 download since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Anthropological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Deposited On:18 Feb 2011 15:51
Last Modified:07 Jan 2014 16:27
Publisher:The Royal Society
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0852
PubMed ID:21047850

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page