Dolphin Behavior

Dolphins are believed to be the most intelligent of all animals.  Comparatively, a dolphin is as intelligent as a two-year-old human.

Dolphins can leap above the water surface and perform acrobatic figures (e.g. the spinner dolphin). Scientists aren't quite certain about the purpose of this behavior, but it may be to locate schools of fish by looking at above water signs, like feeding birds. They could also be communicating to other dolphins to join a hunt, or attempting to dislodge parasites. Perhaps they just do it for fun. Play is a very important part of dolphins' lives and they can often be observed playing with seaweed or playfighting with other dolphins. They have even been seen harassing other creatures, like seabirds and turtles. Frequently dolphins will accompany boats, riding the bow waves.

They are also famous for their willingness to occasionally approach humans and playfully interact with them in the water. There have been reports of dolphins protecting swimmers against sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers.

Dolphins are social animals, which live in pods (also called "schools") of up to a dozen animals. In places with a high abundance of food, schools can join temporarily, forming an aggregation called a superpod; such groupings may exceed 1000 dolphins. The individuals communicate using a variety of clicks, whistles and other vocalizations. They also use ultrasonic sounds for echolocation.

Membership in schools is not rigid; interchange is common. However, the animals can establish strong bonds between each other. This leads to them staying with injured or ill fellows for support.

Because of their high capacity for learning, humans have employed dolphins for any number of purposes. Dolphins trained to perform in front of an audience have become a favorite attraction, for example Sea World. Dolphin/Human interaction is also employed in a curative sense at places where dolphins work with autistic or otherwise disabled children. The military has employed dolphins for various purposes from finding mines to rescuing lost or trapped persons

Dolphins in balance

Q: How does a group of dolphin's make a decision?
A: Flipper coin!

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