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Keywords:

  • shared codas;
  • sperm whales;
  • Physeter catodon;
  • codas

Abstract: Codas (patterned click sequences) produced by sperm whales (Physeter catodon) were recorded during four research cruises in the southeast Caribbean. Two coda patterns comprised more than 50% of the codas analyzed from 46 h of recording. These two patterns were called “shared” codas because they were produced by numerous whales throughout the area, both as repeated sequences by individual whales, at times simultaneously by two or more whales, and occasionally in overlapping series. Analyses of both the absolute timing and the relative timing of click intervals indicate equivalent variability in the temporal patterns of similar shared codas, whether produced by the same or different whales. The shared codas appear to have a function that is different from individual identification as hypothesized previously for some coda patterns.