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BioMed Central Page 1 of 20

Summary: BioMed Central
Page 1 of 20
(page number not for citation purposes)
BMC Evolutionary Biology
Open AccessResearch article
Phylogenetic review of tonal sound production in whales in relation
to sociality
Laura J May-Collado*1,2, Ingi Agnarsson3 and Douglas Wartzok1
Address: 1Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199, USA, 2Universidad de Costa
Rica, Escuela de Biología, Apto. 2060 San Pedro, Costa Rica and 3Department of Biology, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3908, USA
Email: Laura J May-Collado* - lmayc002@fiu.edu; Ingi Agnarsson - ingi@gwu.edu; Douglas Wartzok - wartzok@fiu.edu
* Corresponding author Equal contributors
Background: It is widely held that in toothed whales, high frequency tonal sounds called 'whistles'
evolved in association with 'sociality' because in delphinids they are used in a social context.
Recently, whistles were hypothesized to be an evolutionary innovation of social dolphins (the
'dolphin hypothesis'). However, both 'whistles' and 'sociality' are broad concepts each representing
a conglomerate of characters. Many non-delphinids, whether solitary or social, produce tonal
sounds that share most of the acoustic characteristics of delphinid whistles. Furthermore,
hypotheses of character correlation are best tested in a phylogenetic context, which has hitherto


Source: Agnarsson, Ingi - Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico


Collections: Biology and Medicine