Population biology, social behavior and communication in whales and dolphins

Peter Tyack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


The baleen whales differ from the toothed whales and dolphins in life history and in social organization. Even though they grow to a larger size, young baleen whales tend to develop more rapidly than dolphins and toothed whales. Except for the mother-calf bond, most groups of baleen whales are short-lived, lasting only for hours, and individual-specific associations appear to be exceptions to the norm. Most toothed whales live in more structured groups, in which young animals have a long period of dependency and social learning. The communication signals described for different cetacean species have functions suited to the interactions that predominate in their societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1986


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