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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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AI-generated image in response to prompt 'cubist painting of dolphins swimming just under the surface of the water'

Rebecca Cohen x DALL-E

Cohen RE, Frasier KE, Baumann-Pickering S, Hildebrand JA

Spatial and temporal separation of toothed whales in the western North Atlantic

A diverse group of toothed whale species inhabits the offshore waters of the western North Atlantic, presumably competing for overlapping prey resources, but how they subdivide their shared habitats is not well understood. Cohen and colleagues used long-term passive acoustic data from eleven sites spanning the shelf-break region to quantify acoustic presence, characterize seasonal, lunar, and diel activity patterns, and quantify overlap for ten odontocete species. Their results demonstrated strong species-specific regional preferences and illustrated complex activity patterns arising in response to interacting seasonal, lunar, and diel cycles. Patterns of spatiotemporal separation were apparent between species with similar foraging ecology. This work provides new insights into activity patterns and habitat partitioning among sympatric toothed whale species.


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