Mother-Calf Behavior in Delphinapterus leucas in the Second Year of Life
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A longitudinal investigation of two beluga whale mother-calf pairs located at SeaWorld San Antonio was conducted in order to examine and describe the calves’ change in swim positioning in relation to their mothers over time. Swim positions are considered to be indicators of behavioral development and a measure of the mother-calf relationship. While no formal research has been done on captive beluga calves for their second year of life, swim position developments have been previously recorded for their first year. Also, bottlenose dolphins have shown similarities in development to belugas and their developmental patterns have been documented as well. Results suggest that the patterns found in the previous research do not remain constant in the second year of life. There was a slightly significant increase in the mean duration of solo position, however there were no statistically significant changes in the mean durations of both echelon and infant swims.
Johnson, Jennifer (2012). Mother-Calf Behavior in Delphinapterus leucas in the Second Year of Life. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from