|Dolphins at Play
Dolphins are such successful hunters that
they usually have a lot of time to just play
around. Both in captivity and in the wild,
dolphins have shown that they can catch on
to a game quickly. They also tend to invent
new games on their own. It has been observed
that these games even have develop rules,
and that individuals caught breaking the
rules may be scolded.
During birth: When a female dolphin
(cow) is giving birth, two or three other
females usually assist in the process.
Protection of young: Dolphins often
swim in formations keeping the calves in the
center of the pod for safety.
Mother and calf relations: Most
calves remain with their mothers for at
least two or three years, often even longer.
It seems that there is much vocal
communication between the mother and calf as
well as physical communication.
Children's Classic Literature
When the word dolphin is mentioned, one of the first
things people think of is "Flipper ". This portrayal
of dolphins is inaccurate because it gives dolphins
too many human characteristics. In captivity,
dolphins can be trained to understand and interpret
some words and actions, but they cannot understand
us word for word like in the TV show.
Even though dolphins may not understand us
completely, they might have their own languages. In
fact, many people believe that dolphins communicate
with vocal languages. With these communication
skills comes a complex social structure, and
dolphins have been observed to work together in a
variety of situations. §
A major characteristic of many dolphins is their
curiosity and playfulness. Dolphins are known for
activities like bow-riding, wake-riding, lobtailing,
spyhopping, and interacting with humans. These
behaviors are not characteristic of all dolphins.
Some species are usually very solitary. We know
little about these dolphins because they are
difficult to study. Like humans, there is a wide
variety of dolphins, each one with its own