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Posts tagged dolphins

Dolphins Can Sense Magnets

Dolphins can now add magnetic sense to their already impressive resume of abilities, new research suggests.

When researchers presented the brainy cetaceans with magnetized or unmagnetized objects, the dolphins swam more quickly toward the magnets, the new study found. The animals may use their magnetic sense to navigate based on the Earth’s magnetic field, the researchers said. Read more

A dolphin has found a 130 year-old torpedo! Is there anything Flipper can’t do? Find out more from DNews’ Anthony!

Octopus Gets Handsy on Dolphin’s Privates

An octopus got the joyride of its life last week when it somehow became stuck on the belly of a bottlenose dolphin in the Ionian Sea. More specifically, the tentacled sea creature had a seat on the dolphin’s genital slit.

Researchers with the Ionian Dolphin Project, part of the Tethys Research Institute, were observing a foursome of dolphins near the island of Kalamos off the west coast of Greece. Suddenly, one of the dolphins leapt out of the water with something strange dangling from its stomach. It wasn’t until the researchers examined their photos of the leap that they realized the unidentified object was an octopus.

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Image: Octopus gets a tentacle-hold on this dolphin’s genitals. Credit: Joan Gonzalvo/Tethys Research Institute, via The Ionian Dolphin Project

A Dolphin Death Whodunit In Peru

The Peruvian government claims that nearly 900 dolphins died of natural causes. A separate study disagrees.

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Are Dolphins Doomed?

With sick and dead dolphins washing up on shores around the world, experts are worried and a bit baffled.

Several mass deaths of dolphins have occurred over the past few years and while experts are worried about the die-off they say we are not witnessing a global population crash.

But what is behind the resent mass strandings and deaths is complicated and, inevitably, involves humans.

For example, the bottlenose dolphin die-off in Gulf of Mexico started in early 2010, even before BP’s massive oil spill in April 2010. Disease was linked to some of the hundreds of Gulf dolphin deaths, but not all of them. The ultimate cause remains mysterious.

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Thousands of Dolphins Dying in Gulf Waters

The dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico are in the midst of a massive die-off. The reasons why remain a complicated and mysterious mix of oil, bacteria, and the unknown.

Normally an average of 74 dolphins are stranded on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico each year, especially during the spring birthing season. But between February 2010 and April 1, 2012, 714 dolphins and other cetaceans have been reported as washed up on the coast from the Louisiana/Texas border through Franklin County, Florida, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 95 percent of the mammals were dead.

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Dolphins - Living Loose in the Ocean

A fascinating society of bottlenose dolphins have an extremely complex, free and open lifestyle.

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Dolphins Greet Each Other With Signature Hellos

Bottlenose dolphins swap signature whistles with each other when they meet in the open sea, a new study reports, suggesting that these marine mammals engage in something akin to a human conversation.

Earlier research found that signature whistles are unique for each dolphin, with the marine mammals essentially naming themselves and communicating other basic information.

A signature dolphin whistle in human speak, might be comparable to, “Hi, I’m George, a large, three-year-old dolphin in good health who means you no harm.”

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Image Credit: Corbis

Why Are Dolphins Beaching Themselves?

From New England to Peru, an unprecedented number of dolphins have been beaching themselves in recent weeks, and experts are grappling as to why.

On Cape Cod alone, 177 short-beaked common dolphins have stranded and 124 have died, according to an Associated Press report. The report goes on to say that the total is nearly five times the average of 37 common dolphins that have stranded annually there during the last 12 years.

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Dolphins Mimicking Whales

Bottlenose dolphins at the Planète Sauvage aquarium in Port-Saint-Père, France sound like they are mimicking recorded humpback whale songs, reported Science. Whale songs, seagull calls, music and other sounds, play over loudspeakers in the park as the dolphins perform.

Researchers discovered the dolphin’s nocturnal practice sessions by accident. Martine Hausberger of the University of Rennes 1 and her colleagues wanted to know more about the sounds dolphins make at night, so they hung underwater microphones in the performing dolphins’ tank overnight.

Big Question for 2012: Will We Talk to the Animals?

This year, enormous strides have been made in understanding non-human animal vocalizations. But will we ever be able to hold meaningful conversations with another species, such that both sides understand each other?

Consider what we’ve learned about dolphins recently.

Whale and dolphin playing together or is this a photoshop job?

This picture showed up on the Facebook page for The Whale and Dolphin People Project, an unconventional group that aims to be “a game-changer campaign to stop the killing of whales & dolphins by changing their status from animal to people.”

The caption beneath the picture explains what may be going on:

It was taken by Lori Mazzuca in Hawaii. She said that the dolphin and humpback whale were playing gently together. The game seemed to be about how long the dolphin could stay atop the whale’s head while the whale swam. When the dolphin finally slipped off it joined another dolphin and they began to leap with joy.

Slightly suspicious of Photoshopping, I asked around among some whale and dolphin experts. Without a video, it’s impossible to know what these two animals were thinking, the scientists said.

Emily Sohn looks into the mystery of this Whale and Dolphin pic.

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