Efficient coding in dolphin surface behavioral patterns


  • Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departament de Fisica Fonamental, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona 08028, Spain
    • Departament de Llenguatges i Sistemes Informàtics, TALP Research Center, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Campus Nord, Edifici B6 C/Jordi Girona Salgado 1-3, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David Lusseau

    1. Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS B3H 4J1, Canada
    Current affiliation:
    1. Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
    Search for more papers by this author


We show that the law of brevity, i.e. the tendency of words to shorten as their frequency increases, is also found in dolphin surface behavioral patterns. As far as we know, this is the first evidence of the law in another species, suggesting that coding efficiency is not unique to humans. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2009.