Table_1_Diversity and Consequences of Social Network Structure in Toothed Whales.DOCX (688.52 kB)
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Table_1_Diversity and Consequences of Social Network Structure in Toothed Whales.DOCX

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posted on 14.07.2021, 04:38 by Michael N. Weiss, Samuel Ellis, Darren P. Croft

Toothed whales (suborder Odontoceti) are highly social, large brained mammals with diverse social systems. In recent decades, a large body of work has begun investigating these dynamic, complex societies using a common set of analytical tools: social network analysis. The application of social network theory to toothed whales enables insight into the factors that underlie variation in social structure in this taxon, and the consequences of these structures for survival, reproduction, disease transmission, and culture. Here, we perform a systematic review of the literature regarding toothed whale social networks to identify broad patterns of social network structure across species, common drivers of individual social position, and the consequences of network structure for individuals and populations. We also identify key knowledge gaps and areas ripe for future research. We recommend that future studies attempt to expand the taxonomic breadth and focus on standardizing methods and reporting as much as possible to allow for comparative analyses to test evolutionary hypotheses. Furthermore, social networks analysis may provide key insights into population dynamics as indicators of population health, predictors of disease risk, and as direct drivers of survival and reproduction.

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