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Author Archives: Roselyn Onuche

Dec
13
2017

Do you dream of owning a dolphin in the USA? Then you’ll need to read this.

A Dolphin With A Boy: Owning a dolphin

Have you ever wondered if you could own and keep your very own dolphin right there in your backyard? Or have you been dreaming of the possibility of creating your own miniature marine park as part of your home or business premises.

Imagine having a playful bottlenose dolphin in a nice pool on your grounds. That would delight your kids and visitors and stand you out as being really cool wouldn’t it?

But what are the legalities involved in owning a dolphin in the USA? Is it even legal to keep such

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Dec
10
2017

The Guiana Dolphin is a relatively smaller-sized animal that can live in both freshwater and salt water.

Guiana Dolphin

A Guiana Dolphin (Photo: Instituto Boto Cinza, cc by-s.a. 2.5)

The Guiana Dolphin is a relatively small-sized cetacean dwelling in the Atlantic Ocean around parts of South and Central America.

Interestingly, though it’s a member of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae) along with species like the Orcas (killer whales) and the bottlenose dolphins, it can live both in salt and freshwater.

The Guiana dolphin is similar in appearance to the bottlenose dolphin although it is lighter in

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Dec
07
2017

Can Dolphins Detect Pregnancy In Women? Is This True Or False?

A pregnant woman in the sea: Can dolphins detect pregnancy?

A pregnant woman in the sea

In addition to many any of the amazing attributes and characteristics of dolphins, people working closely with dolphins observe that they can detect pregnancy in women.

What do the experts have to say about this though?

Remember that one of the most important attributes of dolphins is their echolocation. By emitting sound waves that bounce off nearby objects, dolphins and many other sea mammals

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Dec
01
2017

Have you ever wondered why dolphin pods even exist in the first place? The reasons are explained below.

Dolphin Pods

Dolphins are no doubt one of the world’s most loved and well-known aquatic mammals. These highly intelligent beings can live for up to 50 years or more and typically range in size from 2.3 meters to the largest dolphins, the killer whales (Orcas), that measure averagely 8 meters (26 feet).

These are very social creatures, hardly ever seen alone. And, they travel in groups better known

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Nov
25
2017

The military of different countries regularly use dogs in their operations. But did you know Military Dolphins exist?

Common Bottlenose Dolphin : Military Dolphins

K-Dog Has Been Trained By The US Navy To Find Mines And Boobytraps Underwater (PD US Navy/Wikimedia Commons)

Dogs are not the only animals that are trained for military purposes. For centuries now, humans have recognized that dolphins are some of the most intelligent mammals around. Especially species like the common bottlenose dolphin.

So, the military harnesses these abilities to train them to accomplish various military tasks.

Another reason the military decided to work with dolphins is that they see that they can easily

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Nov
21
2017

The Melon-Headed Whale is actually a dolphin and it’s commonly seen in the company of other species in the wild.

Melon-Headed Whale at the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

Pod of Melon-Headed Whales at the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (Photo: USFWS, Public Domain)

The Melon-Headed Whale is actually a dolphin belonging to the oceanic dolphin family; the Delphinidae. Along with other close species like the false killer whale, the pygmy killer whale, and the pilot whale, it’s also referred to as “blackfish.”

These creatures prefer to swim in very deep waters so they are rarely seen by humans.

The melon-headed whale has a somewhat small and slim, torpedo-shaped body. With a rounded cone-like head hence the name “melon-headed.” Their bodies are uniformly light gray

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Nov
19
2017

The South Asian River Dolphin is the group term for 2 subspecies of endangered and ‘blind’ dolphins in parts of Asia.

Ganges Subspecies Of The South Asian River Dolphin

Ganges Subspecies Of The South Asian River Dolphin (Photo: NOAA, Public Domain)

The South Asian River Dolphin refers to two variants of dolphins; the Ganges River dolphin and the Indus River dolphin.

Both dolphins are freshwater, or river, cetaceans typically found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan and split into two subspecies. As their names imply, the Ganges river dolphin is

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Nov
14
2017

Could Killer Whales Replace Polar Bears As Top Predators At the North? That’s the question scientists are now pondering.

Could killer whales replace polar bears as apex predators in the Far North?

A Polar Bear Swimming Underwater

Are we seeing an era where Killer Whales (Orcas) replace the polar bears as top predators at the North Pole? Well, maybe not just yet but the prospect is becoming more and more realistic as global warming gradually becomes a big problem.

Global warming can be largely regarded as a man-made phenomenon at this point and no

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Nov
09
2017

The Dusky Dolphin is one of the most acrobatic of all cetacean species.

Wild Dusky Dolphin Named Nox

A Wild Dusky Dolphin Named “Nox” (Photo: AllenMcC/Wikimedia Commons, cc 3.0)

The Dusky Dolphin is an oceanic species dwelling in the coastal waters of the Southern Hemisphere. Its common name comes from its dark body coloration and it’s most closely related to the Pacific white-sided dolphin.

This is a small-to-medium sized dolphin with a dark gray or black back and a distinctively two-toned dorsal fin. Also, it has a long, lighter-gray patch on its fore side that leads all the way to a

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Nov
04
2017

Dolphins could be described as man’s best friend in the waters. But how do they act when we’re not looking? 

One of the Dusky Dolphins With Suction Camera Attached

One Of The Dusky Dolphins With Suction Camera Attached (Photo: University Of Sydney)

Dolphins typically like to hang out with humans, we all know that. They’re playful, friendly, and acrobatic when they spot friendly humans around them. But does their behavior change when we are not looking?

A team of scientists set out to find out that information.

Secret Life Of Dolphins: What Scientists Seek To Learn

Researchers fitted tiny cameras onto 8 wild dusky dolphins and were able to capture almost 10 hours of footage showing the marine mammals doing things humans had rarely witnessed before.

This research is the first of its kind and showed mothers of the species interacting with their calves, playing in kelp seaweed forests, and so on. Also, scientists witnessed some unusual displays of affection between pod members, specifically a habit of rubbing flippers.

The team was made up of researchers from the University of Sydney (the Charles Perkins Centre) and the University of Alaska Southeast.

Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the University Of Sydney reports that they did not use invasive underwater housings or wildlife crews. And the dolphins were in no way affected by the cameras.

Cameras Used

The project deployed cameras loaded with memory boards, high frequency transmitters, and satellite transmitters. Each one had a battery designed to last for about 6 hours.

However, attaching the cameras on to the dolphins was quite challenging. For one thing, unlike other species like Orcas or even common bottlenose dolphins, dusky dolphins are relatively small. Also, they are fast, so getting close enough to them in a bobbing boat was tough.

In addition, their small size meant that there’s  limited surface on the animal’s body and just a small window of time to quickly deploy the tag as the dolphins swim past.

They were able to successfully attach the devices using suction cups, long poles, and Velcro pads. The project lasted between December 2015 and January 2016 and took place in the waters around New Zealand.

 “For the first time, these cameras have given us the opportunity to see what dolphins do on their own terms,” – Dr. Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska, School of Veterinary Science and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.

You can read more about the results as published in the Marine Biology Journal or watch a brief video extract from the footage below.

 

 

Plans To Capture Other Marine Species

The exercise was so revealing that the group hopes to repeat the procedure with other marine creatures like sharks for instance.

But what does all this seek to achieve?

  • Rather than being an avenue to just satisfy our curiosity about what these creatures do when we are not looking, there are some conservation benefits too. For example, getting a better idea about the kind of challenges the creatures face in their natural
  • In areas with a lot of human activity (like shipping routes, tourism, etc.), this kind of footage could pinpoint the impact on the dolphins.
  • Help to better comprehend the health and balance of marine environments including the dolphins’ prey that humans also fish. This includes different species of fish and squid that humans consume in large quantities.

Ultimately, collecting this data will help us better understand how our own activities impact marine creatures and their ability to feed, grow, mate, and raise their young.

 

 

References:

1. http://www.usyd.edu.au/

2. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2017/03/06/secret-life-of-dolphins-new-zealand/

3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170221110740.htm

Video Link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuMGWinKUkw

Photo Credit:

http://www.usyd.edu.au/