Zoological Research (2010)


Underwater behavioral patterns of one Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) calf in captivity and those performed on the water surface by two calves in semi-natural environment were focally followed and continuously recorded until one year postpartum to construct the ethogram. The results indicate that 1) the three calves could display diverse and active behavioral patterns; 2) soon after birth, patterns critical for survival appeared first; 3) playful and social patterns predominated the ethogram; 4) most of the patterns were alike across age classes; 5) most of the patterns appeared at the calves’ early life stage. It is possible that the above characteristics are adaptively shaped by the aquatic and social life of this subspecies.