Social fluidity….increasing betweenness levels

During our great and enlightening journal club discussions, in which each student leads the discussion on one of the seminal articles for their own project, we learned some new categories used to estimate the extent of the social role that a given individual can exert over a group. One of this categories is known as “betweenness” and it measures how often a given individual is found in between clusters. An individual with a high level of “betweenness” is then expected to be an “information broker” in cetacean societies. Another related category is known as “degree.” The degree of an individual is the measurement of its influence on its peers.

The betweenness and degree levels of our SRKWs has never been fully studied. However, during our research we were lucky enough to catch some of these interactions. Our photographic record revealed some of these events, in which matrilines across pods mixed with each other or individual whales joined different matrilines. 

Some of the biggest “wonderers” observed during our 5 weeks at sea were J27 (male), J1 (male), K21 (male), L 77 (female), L72 (female). 

Here are some of those images:

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