Pacific white-sided dolphins are a group-living species and appear to exchange “contact calls” to maintain group cohesion. The aim of this study was to find and characterize their contact calls. Calls were recorded from two females at Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN (OAK) and three females at Izu-Mito Sea Paradise (IMSP). Because they often produced pulsed calls consecutively, a “pulsed call sequence” was defined as three or more successive pulsed calls occurring within 325 ms, which was calculated using a bout analysis. The pulsed call sequences increased during separation periods and decreased during reunions and were used for vocal exchange, suggesting that the sequences are contact calls in Pacific white-sided dolphins. Most of the pulsed call sequences were classified into unique types; several stereotyped, repeated patterns were found. One sequence type was found at OAK and the two dolphins shared the type; they exchanged sequences with type matching. On the other hand, three sequence types were found in IMSP and the three dolphins shared all of the types; however, each dolphin preferentially used different types and frequently exchanged with their own favorite types but not with type matching. These results suggest that the sequence type may function as an individual and/or group identity.

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