dolphin tagged posts

Engineers unlock secrets to swimming efficiency of whales, dolphins

Are captive dolphins happy?

Someday, underwater robots may so closely mimic creatures like fish that they’ll fool not only the real animals themselves but humans as well. That ability could yield information ranging from the health of fish stocks to the location of foreign watercraft. Such robots would need to be fast, efficient, highly maneuverable, and acoustically stealthy. In other words, they would have to be very much like bottlenose dolphins or killer whales.

“We’re interested in developing the next generation of underwater vehicles so we’re trying to understand how dolphins and whales swim as efficiently as they do,” says Keith W. Moored, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics in Lehigh University’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science...

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What did the dolphin say to the porpoise?

Dolphin and porpoise communicating via high pitched clicks

A dolphin in Scotland’s Firth of Clyde may be exchanging messages with porpoises. The dolphin, named Kylie, usually makes clicking sounds with a frequency of around 100KHz. But after interacting with a group of local porpoises he changed his tune. Research from the University of Strathclyde found that Kylie’s clicking became higher than normal, and closer to that of his new found friends, who generally make sounds at 130KHz.

He has made his home around a navigational buoy between Fairlie and the Isle of Cumbrae, in western Scotland.

University of Strathclyde PhD student Mel Cosentino has been analysing the sounds.

“We have some more recording to do with Kylie when he is on his own and when he is with the group of porpoises,” she said.

“We want to see whether he is imitating the porpoise...

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Dolphin ‘happiness’ measured by scientists in France

Are captive dolphins happy?

Scientists working with dolphins at a marine park near Paris have attempted to measure how the animals feel about aspects of their lives in captivity.,In what researchers say is the first project to examine captivity “from the animals’ perspective”, the team assessed what activities dolphins looked forward to most. They found that the marine mammals most keenly anticipated interacting with a familiar human.

The results, they say, show that “better human-animal bonds equals better welfare”.

The study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, was part of a three-year project to measure dolphin welfare in a captive setting.

Lead researcher Dr Isabella Clegg worked at Parc Astérix, a theme park with one of France’s largest dolphinariums.

With colleagues at the University of ...

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New species of dolphin identified

New Species of Dolphin

A team of researchers says it has identified a new species of humpback dolphin. Physical and genetic evidence suggests that cetaceans found in waters off northern Australia are distinct within the humpback family. This general group grows up to 2.4m in length and inhabits coastal waters from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The evidence for the distinct species in northern Australia is outlined in the academic journal Molecular Ecology.

“Based on the findings of our combined morphological and genetic analyses, we can suggest that the humpback dolphin genus includes at least four member species,” said co-author Martin Mendez, from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Latin America and the Caribbean programme.

Dr Mendez added: “This discovery helps our understanding of the evolutionary history...

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