dolphins tagged posts

Dolphins exposed to ‘cocktail of pollutants’ in English Channel

Dolphins living in the English Channel are exposed to a “cocktail of pollutants”, say scientists. A study found some of the highest recorded levels of toxic chemicals and mercury in the bodies of bottlenose dolphins off the French coast.

Researchers say more needs to be done to tackle the “invisible” problem of lingering pollutants in the oceans.

The Channel is home to one of the last remaining large European populations of bottlenose dolphins.

Researchers took tissue samples from more than 80 dolphins living in waters off Normandy and Brittany.

They found high concentrations of mercury in skin and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in blubber.

Other industrial chemicals, such as dioxins and pesticides, were also found in blubber samples, which together may act as a “cocktail of pollutan...

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Dolphins celebrate new year on … er, puffer fish?

Dolphin

One of the cleverest creatures in the animal kingdom has discovered an unconventional way to get high. And, so, maybe the New Year celebrations were a lot of Puff!.

Some dolphins are (ahem) puffing on puffer fish, which release nerve toxins when provoked that can cause a narcotic effect, reports London’s The Sunday Times. Underwater footage from a new two-part BBC1 documentary series, “Dolphins: Spy in the Pod,” shows young dolphins milking the fish of their toxins and then passing the fish to other dolphins.

“This was a case of young dolphins purposely experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating,” Rob Pilley, a zoologist and a producer on the series, told the Times...

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Dolphin radar could help detect bombs

Dolphin

British engineers have taken inspiration from dolphins for a new type of radar that could help detect roadside bombs more easily. The device sends out two pulses instead of one, mimicking how dolphins pinpoint their prey. The twin inverted pulse radar (TWIPR) can distinguish between the electronics at the heart of an explosive and other “clutter” such as pipes or nails. Experts said the system “showed promise”.

The radar device has been developed by a team led by Prof Tim Leighton, of the University of Southampton, and scientists from University College, London.

Strong signal

Prof Leighton took his inspiration from the way dolphins are able to process their sonar signals to pinpoint prey in bubbly water.

Some dolphins blow bubble nets around schools of fish to force them to cluster toge...

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