'Whales' and dolphins may work together
False killer whales and bottlenose dolphins in New Zealand form long-term partnerships that might help them fend off predators or find food, researchers suggest.
Masters student Jochen Zaeschmar, and colleagues, from Massey University’s Coastal-Marine Research Group, report their findings in a recent issue of Mammal Review.
"There is a long-term association between, not just the two species, but between actual individuals," says Zaeschmar.
False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are actually a rare type of dolphin that are sometimes found together with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
But, until now there has been little research to investigate whether this association is just a matter of coincidence, or whether there is something more to it.
Read more via ABC Science
*Rebloggable by request
Treehugger recently posted 10 Reasons Why Dolphins Are Undeniably Awesome. This is all nice and well but this does overlook some key aspects of dolphins that should be recognized. Good luck trying to sleep tonight when you start thinking about dolphins.
1. They gang rape females As Miriam wrote before XXfactor, “Dolphin sex can be violent …
It’s not so much the act of swimming with them (although since they are so closely related, there is a chance of disease transmission on both sides), but the fact that these highly social, wide-ranging, emotional animals are in small confined spaces.
The majority of dolphins caught are either caught wild from the Solomon Islands, or from the infamous Taiji of ‘The Cove’ fame. These dolphins are separated from their pod or family, and they have the capacity to understand this.
Then they are trained to do tricks, and as with any non-domesticated animals, you basically have to drive them into submission. They are held in the same space, a fraction of their natural range, with the same stimuli day in, day out. They can literally get depressed.
Recently, 25 dolphins were imported into the Philippines, from the Solomon Islands and Malaysia, to be trained by Ocean Adventure Park, and shipped off to the shiny new ‘Marine Life Park’ at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore. This is the same resort that wanted to house a whale shark in it’s aquarium. There were massive protests from animals rights groups in Singapore and Philippines, and they even took it to court, but the dolphins got sent to Singapore anyway. En route, one of them died.
For me it’s not just about animal rights, though I believe it says something about our collective mindset as a species treating the only other species with similar intelligence so badly.
It’s about their role in the ecosystem. They are apex predators, top of the food chain, and bioindicators of the state of our oceans. We rely on the oceans as a source of protein, a carbon sink, a biomedical source and much more. We need to look at the bigger picture and start investing in our future.
The documentary ‘The Cove’ is a good place to start if you are really interested in the subject.
by Dr. Robin W. Baird
The (even) dark(er) side of the shark fin trade…
Photo by Paul Hilton
An absolutely horrendous story posted on Paul Hilton Photography’s website back in February 2012 (28th). It tells the tale of some Indonesian fishermen illegally fishing dolphins and whales to use as bait to then fish sharks.
Bottlenose dolphin pod (Tursiops sp.) on Flickr.
Witnessed this pod surfing in the waves from Point lookout, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland.
Dolphin mega-podapocalypse off coastal California.
Mega-podapocalypse is right!
Good news, everyone!
The Irrawaddy River Dolphin is a freshwater dolphin species. Prior to January 2012, it was thought that there were less than 100 left in the world, living in freshwater rivers and lagoons in southeast Asia. But about a month ago, 6,000 more of these dolphins were found around Bangladesh. Hope for the future!!
Source- Wildlife Conservation Society
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I recommend that you become familiar with it. We never know when those Volgons are going to show up.
Incidentally, the quote from the anti-captivity dolphin post was the dolphins, a far more intelligent species, final message to humans before abandoning earth just before it’s destruction, after having tried to warn us for decades. Ironicallythe entire opening sequence of the film (yuck - read the books) is dolphins doing tricks in captivity.