Tag Archives: dolphin

Fisherman Accidentally Records Close Up Of Pod Of Swimming Dolphins On Underwater Camera

 went albacore tuna fishing with his buddies, and even brought an underwater setup for his GoPro camera. The fishing went well, but then things took a turn for the even better. 

A few dolphins appeared. And then an entire pod. The camera caught an amazing up-close and personal view of the mysterious mammals gliding along.

And the way they look at the camera. There’s just something more to dolphins than most other creatures of the sea.  

The video is titled The Blue, and went viral over the weekend, amassing over 1,425 likes and 175 comments


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2012/08/12/fisherman-accidentally-records-close-up-of-pod-of-swimming-dolphins-on-underwater-camera/

Drone Records Amazing Footage Of Enormous Dolphin And Whale Pod Stampede

Drones Records Amazing Footage Of Dolphin And Whale Pod Stampede

This awe-inspiring video by Dolphin Safari has gone viral over the weekend with over 430,000 hits so far! 

Captain Dave Anderson of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, California recorded an huge pod stampede of dolphins and whales using a drone. 

Literally thousands of dolphins, and a couple whales too, can be seen migrating together down the coast off San Clemente, California.

The captain even captured a heartwarming close-up of a newborn Humpback whale calf snuggling with its mom.


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2014/03/03/drones-records-amazing-footage-of-dolphin-and-whale-pod-stampede/

Cunning Orcas Seen Ambushing And Headbutting Dolphins In Patagonia

Killer whales (Orcinus Orca) are well known for their ingenious hunting techniques, which range from generating artificial waves in order to knock seals off ice floes to deliberately beaching themselves in order to catch coastal sea lions. However, orcas in the waters off Patagonia appear to have now raised the sneakiness stakes, after researchers observed a never-before-seen method of ambushing dolphins.

Until now, virtually nothing was known about the diet or predation methods of orcas in the region during the months of February to April, when the sea lion hunting period reaches its yearly low. While it had previously been hypothesized that Patagonian killer whales may have fed on dusky dolphins at this time, the recent sighting which was reported in the journal Aquatic Mammals provides the first confirmation of that assumption. Moreover, the way in which the prey is caught highlights the incredible guile and adaptability of orcas.

The paper describes the dramatic pursuit of a dolphin by a pod oforcas on March 3,2013, during which the killer whales deliberately herded their victim towards a catcher, who had been silently waiting further ahead for the dolphin to arrive. Falling into the trap, the dolphin was then attacked by the catcher, who launched it five meters (16 feet) above the surface of the water by headbutting it from below. The authors then recount how the injured dolphin, with its intestines popping out of a bleeding cut on its belly, was shared between the catcher and her calf.

Interestingly, the calf was observed repeatedly tossing the prey up into the air, leading the researchers to suggest that the young orca was attempting to learn the behavior of its mother, indicating that the technique may in fact be taught.

A similar incident was then observed a year later, on March 24,2014, when the same ambush technique was employed by a different pod of orcas in the region, resulting in a dolphin being flung about two meters (6.4 feet) and knocked unconscious. That the meat was then shared around suggests that the division of food may play an important role in maintaining social coherence within pods of orcas.

The scientists behind this discovery have compared the orcas behavior to the coordinated hunts performed by chimpanzees in order to catch red colobus, yet insist that such sophistication has not been observed in other social hunters. At the same time, the sighting indicates the importance of dolphin meat in the diet of Patagonian orcas outside of the sea lion hunting season. However, it is not known if similar hunting and feeding patterns apply to orcas in other areas.

Regardless, the ability of these South American-based killer whales to lay traps for other marine mammals confirms their position as the oceans most cunning predator.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/cunning-orcas-seen-ambushing-and-head-butting-dolphins-patagonia

Toddler Plays Catch With Dolphin

Toddler Plays Catch With Dolphin

Is there anything cuter than a baby playing catch or fetch with a dog? Actually, there is! In this adorable clip, a toddler plays a game of catch with a dolphin. Some people pay big bucks to hang out with dolphins, and this little guy is playing ball with one. Lucky kid!

 This video has over a quarter million hits!


Via LaughingSquid

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2014/10/14/toddler-plays-catch-with-dolphin/

Rare Albino Dolphin Spotted Off Florida’s East Coast

Our eyes often play tricks on us, and it’s common for whitecaps—foam produced when the crests of waves break—to fool us into thinking we have seen something in the water that’s not really there. But a recently spotted flash of white, peeking through the dark ripples of Florida’s Indian River, turned out to be much more than an illusion: It was a rare albino dolphin.

The animal, which was a bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), was caught on film back in December by Danielle Carter, a wildlife volunteer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The short video shows the snow-white dolphin breaking the surface several times near a shoreline of mangroves in an estuary off Florida’s east coast. Although the video has been posted online, the FWC declined to disclose the exact location to prevent people from harassing it.



According to Blair Mase, a marine mammal stranding coordinator, the dolphin was probably herding fish, such as sea trout or mullet, into the shallow waters to feed. Although the footage doesn’t give away much more, Mase thinks that the animal is likely a subadult, meaning it is probably a few years old. While the animal has a distinct white coloration that is suggestive of albinism, it is possible that the dolphin is not a true albino.

Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that causes a lack of melanin in the body, which is the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair and eyes. Depending on the degree of albinism, individuals may have white or light skin and pale blue or red eyes. Sometimes, animals do possess melanin, but it is only expressed in certain regions of the body. These white animals look like albinos at first glance, but they are not true albinos and have dark eyes.

Most forms of albinism are recessive, meaning that individuals must inherit one abnormal gene from each parent in order to have the condition. Albinism in animals is rare, and marine mammals are no exception. Although the condition has been observed in 20 species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), there have only been 14 previous sightings of albino bottlenose dolphins in the last 50 years.

“These are animals that we see along our coastline in our estuaries, and to hear about one that’s albino is quite unique,” Mase tells Live Science. “But it does attract a lot of attention, and that is one of our concerns.” NOAA advises that people should stay 50 yards away from dolphins in the wild and shouldn’t spend more than 30 minutes viewing them in order to avoid any distress.

While the dolphin appears to be healthy, albinism can often cause problems for animals in the wild. The lack of pigment means that albinos are prone to sunburn, and their distinct color often makes them much more visible to predators.

[Via Live Science and Florida Today]

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/rare-albino-dolphin-spotted-floridas-east-coast

How Noise Pollution Is Changing Animal Behaviour

Noise pollution, generally an unintended byproduct of urbanisation, transport and industry, is a key characteristic of human development and population growth. In some cases, it is produced intentionally, for example when seismic surveys are being carried out using powerful airgun arrays to explore and map the seafloor, or active sonar, which uses sound waves to detect objects in the ocean.

All of this noise whether intentional or not has the ability to alter the acoustic environment of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. This can have a dramatic effect on the animals that live in them, perhaps even driving evolutionary change as species adapt to or avoid noisy environments.

Rising noise levels

The dramatic and comparatively recent rise in noise levels is marked in both magnitude and extent, with an estimated 30% of the European population exposed to road traffic noise levels greater than 55dB (decibels) at night, well above the 40dB target recommended by the World Health Organisation. Even remote natural areas do not escape the reach of anthropogenic, or manmade, noise. One study across 22 US national parks demonstrated that this kind of noise was, on average, audible more than 28% of the time.

Noise is not just irritating; we have known for some time that it can have direct human health impacts. Indeed, chronic exposure to noise levels above 55dB dramatically increases the risks of heart disease and stroke, while aircraft noise has been shown to impact the development of reading skills in children attending schools close to busy airports. The WHO estimates that in Europe at least a million healthy life years are lost every year due to traffic noise.

Changing behaviours

But what are the implications for wildlife, particularly given how important sound production and hearing are for a range of behaviours, such as locating food, avoiding predators and finding a mate? For example, bats and dolphins rely on high frequency sonar to detect highly mobile prey, while great tits, red deer and grasshoppers are among the many species that advertise their dominance and desirability using vocalisations. Elephants can even use sound to determine the threat presented by different human groups.

Scientific interest in the effects of noise pollution on wildlife has intensified over the past decade and we are now developing a better understanding of how noise can impact behaviour, population and community level processes across a range of animal species. Using experimental and observational approaches to characterise and explore the specific effects of different noise sources, the evidence generated from these studies is considerable, particularly among songbirds and marine mammals, which rely heavily on sound and vocal communication.

We now know, for example, that the foraging, vocal behaviour and physiological stress of cetaceans whales, dolphins and porpoises can be impacted by ship noise. This is of particular concern for species such as the endangered North Atlantic right whale that inhabits coastal US waters that experience very high levels of shipping traffic. Furthermore, in addition to shifts in distribution and vocal behaviour, military sonar has also been linked to the stranding of cetaceans.

The impacts are not just limited to marine mammals, considerable negative effects of noise are also documented in marine and freshwater fish and invertebrates. These include recent studies that have demonstrated compromised anti-predator behaviour in crabs and eels exposed to ship noise.

In terrestrial habitats, bird diversity and abundance has been shown to decline as a result of chronic noise levels around cities and along roadways. A number of species have demonstrated adjustments to their vocal behaviour in an attempt to adapt to the cacophony of human noise. Urban great tits for example, are able to raise the frequency of their calls to reduce acoustical masking by predominantly low-frequency urban noise, while European robins adjust the timing of their singing to coincide with quieter periods in the city. Meanwhile, black-chinned hummingbirds and house finches appear to actively select noisy areas near active gas wells to avoid nest predation by more disturbance sensitive species.

Bioacoustics, the field that measures sounds of our kind. Arya Falanesca/www.shutterstock.com

Roads are a major source of terrestrial noise due to their spatial extent and the volume of traffic. A 2003 study calculated that 83% of the lower 48 states of the US was within about 1km of a road. I have been working with colleagues at Colorado State University and the National Park Service to explore the effects of road noise on the prairie dog, a social mammal.

Our research demonstrated that prairie dogs, which commonly live in habitats near roads and urban areas, significantly reduced their foraging and increased their vigilance behaviour when exposed to road noise. Such shifts in behaviour could have impacts on their long-term population health particularly in combination with other stressors such as disease and habitat loss.

Road noise has also been shown to impair the foraging efficiency of bats and alter vocal communication in frogs and invertebrates.

Difficulties of measurement

Studying noise isnt an easy thing to do. First of all, sound levels cannot accurately be measured and defined using a single absolute scale, such as those used for temperature, rainfall and wind speed. For simplicity we often just refer to a decibel level, but this does not take into account the duration and frequency of the acoustical signal. The specific effects of noise also need to be disentangled from the sources of disturbance that often accompany it, including human presence, habitat fragmentation and chemical pollution.

The need to further understand the complex biological effects of noise and establish scientifically relevant thresholds of noise exposure is a priority for human health and wildlife conservation. Rapid development, urbanisation and population growth are set to continue into the future. As a result we need to ensure a collaborative effort between scientists, industry and government to protect natural soundscapes where possible, while also promoting new technology and approaches that mitigate the effects of noise.

Man made noise is a relatively recent phenomenon, particularly in evolutionary terms, but scientific studies have demonstrated that it has the potential to adjust behaviour, alter physiology and even restructure animal communities. Ultimately, such a strong selection pressure could drive evolutionary change. These are complex questions that are now being explored by experts across a range of disciplines from animal behaviour to bioacoustics.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/environment/how-noise-pollution-changing-animal-behaviour

Girl Dances For Dolphin At Aquarium

Fun Dipped Productions published this video in June, but it has only exploded across the web now. The video is also popular in GIF form on Tumblr and Google+.

Gymnast Bonnie Anna performed some tumbles and cartwheels for a dolphin through the aquarium glass. Not only did the marine mammal truly seem interested in the girl, some have hypothesized it is even laughing. 


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2013/07/23/girl-dances-for-dolphin-at-aquarium/

Smart Dolphin Answers Questions And Choose Favorite Snack Using Echolocation Computer

Smart Dolphin Answers Questions And Choose Favorite Snack Using Echolocation Computer

BBC Earth reports that a few specially trained dolphins can now choose their favorite foods and make choices with a special echolocation computer system

The Echo Location Visualization and Interface System, or ELVIS, projects different shapes on a special screen underwater that the dolphins can fire their biological sonar at.

The computer calculates the strength of the signal, which clearly indicates to the trainers which fish the dolphin wants for a snack. 


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2013/12/18/smart-dolphin-answers-questions-and-choose-favorite-snack-using-echolocation-computer/