Trump OKs seismic tests in Atlantic that can harm thousands of dolphins & whales

Trump's about to make a bunch of whales, turtles, and dolphins go deaf.

The Trump administration is about to take a preliminary step toward oil and natural gas drilling off the Atlantic shore, by approving requests from energy companies to conduct “deafening seismic tests that could harm tens of thousands of dolphins, whales and other marine animals,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Read the rest

Dolphins forced to simplify calls due to human noise pollution in the oceans

As a result of noisy ship engines and the racket of ocean mining, bottlenose dolphins have slowly reducing the complexity and changing the frequency of their calls. According to new research from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and published in the journal Biology Letters, "the noise-induced simplification of dolphin whistles may reduce the information content in these acoustic signals and decrease effective communication, parent–offspring proximity or group cohesion." From YaleEnvironment360:

“It’s kind of like trying to answer a question in a noisy bar and after repeated attempts to be heard, you just give the shortest answer possible,” Bailey said. “Dolphins simplified their calls to counter the masking effects of vessel noise.”

Dolphins are highly social animals and use their calls to stay together as a group, talk as they feed, and call out their names when they meet new members of their species. Each animal has a distinctive whistle, which typically uses complex sound patterns with variations in pitch and frequency.

photo: US Navy Read the rest

Watch a dolphin knock a stand-up paddleboarder right off his board

Andrew Hill was stand-up paddleboarding off Gracetown, Western Australia when a pod of dolphins interrupted his fun.

“Eight or nine of them decided to catch that wave and surf straight at me, which has happened lots of times in the past to me and generally they just take off to one side left or right,” Hill told PerthNow. “It's good to see dolphins. Surfers like seeing dolphins, but obviously I'd prefer them to stay a little bit further away than they did yesterday.”

I'm sure they'd prefer the same of Mr. Hill.

Read the rest

Girl calls over dolphins using a comb and a toothpick

Using a black plastic comb and a simple wooden toothpick, a girl beckoned some captive dolphins from the other side of their windowed prison.

Her dad, Brad Meszaros, writes:

My daughter tried several different ways to have the Seaworld dolphins come to her. She tried different toys, a cell phone, tapping the glass, and different movements, none of these worked consistently for her. She did some online research and found the comb method and thought she’d give it a try. The next time she went to SeaWorld, she played the comb for the dolphins and they loved it!

Clever, but SeaWorld? Seriously...? Are we still taking our kids there?

(Digg) Read the rest

Gorgeous slo-mo footage of dolphins chasing a boat

Damian Christie captured video of these frolicking bottlenose dolphins chasing his boat through the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. Read the rest

Recordings of various dolphin species' calls

Spectrograms of dolphin calls are closer to written English than the signatures I'm able to scrawl on credit card machines in grocery stores. We really should stop messing with these people—who knows what they might be up to?

Voices in the Sea has recordings of twelve different species. Don't miss the selection of videos of acoustic research. Read the rest

Video Shows Dolphin Stealing iPad from Woman at Orlando SeaWorld

Team dolphin all the way, you guys.

A woman at SeaWorld Orlando was trying to take a photograph of the marine mammal show with her iPad, when a dolphin popped up out of the water and grabbed it from her.

"As you can see, the dolphins can reach your loose items," a voice can be heard saying over a loudspeaker. Read the rest

Pregnant woman to have dolphin as midwife

Dorina Rosin, a "spiritual healer," plans to give birth in the sea with the aid of dolphins. Among other benefits, Rosin and partner Maika Suneagle believe that their baby will speak dolphin. Read the rest

Hamas claims Israel is using dolphins as spies

According to an article in the Palestinian daily al-Quds, Israel has "recruited a watery pet, the dolphin, known for his friendship with humans, to use for operations to kill Qassam Brigade Naval Commandos." Read the rest

Dolphins that fish on land.

Amazing video of dolphins that have learned how to dine in style. This hunting behavior, according to Discovery, hasn't been found in any other pod on Earth.

Read the rest

WATCH: Cool Welsh dog helps save baby dolphin

Leia is a beautiful dog whose sharp eyes spotted a struggling fellow mammal on the beach. Leia's owner recorded his rescue of the little guy. Read the rest

The woman who lived (and had sex) with a dolphin

In 1964, Margaret Howe Lovatt, working with psychedelic dolphin researcher John Lilly, began to live with one of the animals full-time as part of a NASA-funded study about interspecies communication; a new documentary about Lovatt, titled "The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins," airs on BBC4 later this month. Above, a clip of Lovatt talking about how she developed a deep intimate relationship with Peter the dolphin that veered into the sexual. At the time, a sexploitative article in Hustler, the high weirdness of the experiments itself that included giving LSD to dolphins, and myriad other unpleasant issues, brought the project to a very sad end.

"The dolphin who loved me: the Nasa-funded project that went wrong" (The Observer) Read the rest

Dolphins imitate with echolocation

Mary Bates, for Wired:

In 2010, researchers at the Dolphin Research Center (DRC) in Grassy Key, Florida, showed dolphins can imitate behaviors without using their eyesight. ... Now, a follow-up study shows not only how Tanner accomplished this task using sound, but also that he used a deliberate, problem-solving approach to imitation. The research was published in the journal Animal Cognition.

Read the rest

Dolphins love themselves (in that way)

Check out Scicurious' report on a recent research paper entitled "Spontaneous Ejaculation in a Wild Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)" — in which we learn that dolphins can masturbate (yes, even without hands), but, frankly, they don't always need to. That's because male dolphins can have what amount to wet dreams ... sudden, unexpected orgasms that happen in their sleep. And, um, there's video. If you're into that kind of thing. Read the rest

Dolphins have names

Rebecca Morelle: "Research has revealed that the marine mammals use a unique whistle to identify each other. A team from the University of St Andrews in Scotland found that when the animals hear their own call played back to them, they respond." [PNAS and BBC] Read the rest

Dolphins on acid (and other bad ideas)

How dosing dolphins with LSD (and giving dolphins hand jobs) helped shape our modern pop culture beliefs about dolphins as sources of healing — beliefs that, according to neuroscientist Lori Marino, can endanger both dolphins and the humans who come to them for help. Read the rest

Investigating the Gulf Coast dolphin murders

Along the Gulf Coast, people are killing (and sometime gruesomely mutilating) dolphins in record numbers. At National Geographic, Rena Silverman goes in-depth on the killings, which investigators now believe are the work of multiple people who are not connected to one another. Xeni wrote about it last year, when that was apparently less clear. Is it less or more disturbing that this isn't likely to be an isolated dolphin serial killer? Read the rest

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