Tag Archives | Dolphins

Researcher Recalls ‘Sensual’ Relationship With Dolphin, And Yes, It’s Exactly What You Think

"He really seems to like you, sir. I mean,he really, really likes you." PIC: USN (PD)

“He really seems to like you, sir. I mean,he really, really likes you.”
PIC: USN (PD)

Sensual is one way to put it. Giving a handjob to a dolphin is another. Be sure to click through and read the rest of the story at The Observer. Just wash your hands, first.

For Lovatt, though, it often wasn’t these formal speech lessons that were the most productive. It was just being together which taught her the most about what made Peter tick. “When we had nothing to do was when we did the most,” she reflects. “He was very, very interested in my anatomy. If I was sitting here and my legs were in the water, he would come up and look at the back of my knee for a long time. He wanted to know how that thing worked and I was so charmed by it.”

Carl Sagan, one of the young astronomers at Green Bank, paid a visit to report back on progress to Frank Drake.

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Dolphin Translator Relays First Word

dolphinsCan we handle what dolphins have to tell us? CNET News reports:

Scientists at the Wild Dolphin Project (WDP) who have been developing a dolphin translator may have succeeded in getting their software to work.

WDP director Denise Herzing was swimming in the Caribbean with a pod of dolphins she has been tracking for 25 years, wearing a prototype of a dolphin translator called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT), developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Thad Starner, when one of the dolphin’s whistles was translated as the word “sargassum” — a type of seaweed.

Humans have for some time been communicating with dolphins on a rudimentary level. The animals are capable of responding appropriately to commands and learning to recognise symbols.

The whistle picked up by CHAT, translated into human speech, was not a whistle from the dolphins’ natural repertoire. Instead, Herzing and her team invented a series of whistles and ascribed them to certain things — one of which was sargassum — and trained the dolphins to repeat the whistles when they encountered those things.

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Dolphins May Use Pufferfish To Get High

It’s probably not true, but some think that footage from a new documentary captures a pod of dolphins using pufferfish venom to get high.

The BBC will be airing a cool new underwater documentary on Thursday called Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, where carefully disguised cameras were used to film the daily lives of everyone’s favorite marine mammals. But the most interesting detail seems to have been leaked on Sunday: during the documentary, some of the dolphins reportedly used a pufferfish to get stoned.

“Even the brightest humans have succumbed to the lure of drugs and, it seems, dolphins are no different,” said The Sunday Times. The article goes on to describe how the team got footage of dolphins gently harassing a pufferfish, which led to the dolphins entering “a trance-like state after apparently getting “high” on the toxin.”

Read more at Discover Magazine.

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A Plan To Have Humans Give Birth To Dolphins And Then Eat Them

Is this what will give your life meaning? In his project I Wanna Deliver A Dolphin, designer Ai Hasegawa envisions solving food shortages, the endangered species crisis, and our urge to reproduce by having us give birth to dolphins via synthetic placentas…and then consume their meat.
The struggle to raise a child in decent conditions is becoming harder due to gross overpopulation and an increasingly strained global environment. Would a woman consider incubating and giving birth to an endangered species such as a shark, tuna or dolphin? This project imagines a point in the future, where humans will help this species by the advanced technology of synthetic biology. A ‘dolp-human placenta’ that allows a human female to deliver a dolphin is created, and thus humans can become a surrogate mother to endangered species. Furthermore, gourmets would be able to enjoy the luxury of eating a rare animal: an animal made by their own body.
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Do Dolphins And Humans Share A Special Bond?

dolphinAre the dolphins trying to tell us something, if we would only listen? Via Aeon Magazine, Justin Gregg ponders:

The science makes one fact undeniably clear: wild dolphins of some species are noted for seeking out social encounters with humans. The phenomenon of lone sociable dolphins — for whom human contact appears to substitute for the company of their own kind — is documented extensively in the scientific literature. Among the better-known examples are Pita from Belize, Davina from England, Filippo from Italy, Tião from Brazil, and JoJo from Turks and Caicos.’

But should this kind of social contact also be considered friendly? There, the record is more ambiguous. Of the 29 well-studied dolphins just mentioned, 13 of them exhibited ‘misdirected sexual behaviour’. A number of these dolphins made a habit of abducting people — dragging them out to sea, preventing them from returning to shore, even pinning them to the seabed.

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Pregnant Couple Prepares For ‘Dolphin-Assisted’ Birth

p125228-Cozumel-Our_dolphin_friendsIs amongst dolphins the best way for an infant to emerge into the world? I can see this going horribly wrong. Via Fox News:

A pregnant woman and her husband have traveled to Hawaii where they plan on having a “dolphin-assisted birth,” a water delivery among dolphins. Heather and Adam Barrington, of South Carolina, are preparing for the July arrival of their first child through a series of prenatal and postnatal swims with a pod of dolphins at The Sirius Institute in Pohoa, Hawaii.

The Sirius Institute describes itself as a “a research consortium with the purpose of ‘dolphinizing’ the planet.” They recently set up the Dolphin Attended, Water, Natural and Gentle Birth Center (DAWN), due to what they claim is an increasing demand on their web site for people looking to give birth near dolphins. The Sirius Institute claims that giving birth with dolphins is part of an ancient native Hawaiian practice.

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India To Recognize Dolphins As “Non-Human Persons”

non-human persons

Are we moving beyond the human/animal binary? Via Environment News Service:

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment anywhere in the country. In a policy statement released Friday, the ministry said:

“[Their] unusually high intelligence as compared to other animals means that dolphin should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose.”

The grassroots Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization, FIAPO, was pleased with the decision. FIAPO spokesperson Puja Mitra called the decision “a huge victory for the dolphins!”

Ric O’Barry, director of the U.S.-based Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project, said, “Not only has the Indian government spoken out against cruelty, they have contributed to an emerging and vital dialogue about the ways we think about dolphins – as thinking, feeling beings.”

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Killer Secret-Agent Dolphins Go AWOL in Ukraine

Sasha Goldstein reports for the NY Daily News:
They’re trained to kill — but these dolphins can’t resist their animal instincts. Three of five dolphins taught by the Ukrainian navy to attack enemy combatants are reported missing after failing to return to a Crimean port following a training exercise earlier this month, the local media reports. The dolphins are believed to be out chasing tails.
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Wild Dolphins Give Treasured Gifts To Humans

A peace offering from our aquatic brethren? Discovery reports:

On 23 occasions over the past several years, wild dolphins were observed giving gifts to humans at the Tangalooma Island Resort in Australia. The gifts included eels, tuna, squid, an octopus and an assortment of many other types of different fin fish. While these gifts might not be your choice for Christmas, some of the items that were offered to humans are highly valued food sources for cetaceans such as dolphins.

The wild dolphins that were observed giving gifts to human in Australia were regular visitors to a provisioning program at the Tangalooma Island Resort. Dolphins of diverse ages and both sexes engaged in the gift-giving behavior, and scientists are not entirely sure of what is motivating their behavior.

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Ukraine Trains Dolphins With Friggin’ Pistols on Their Heads

Picture: tolomea/Flickr (CC)

Another nightmarish future has opened up with this latest aquatic advancement…

Via Robert Beckhusen via WIRED’s Danger Room Blog:

Killer dolphins with knives and pistols attached to their heads. It might sound crazy, but that’s reportedly one element of the Ukrainian navy’s restarted marine mammal program.

The program reportedly includes training dolphins to search for mines and marking them with buoys. But Ukraine also plans to train the dolphins “to attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads,” according to RIA Novosti. A source inside the Ukrainian navy told the agency that the exercises, which are being conducted at the state oceanarium in Sevastopol, are “counter-combat swimmer tasks in order to defend ships in port and on raids.”

Now they’ll be trained to kill, allegedly. If so, it won’t necessarily be the first time. Russian commandos trained to fight dolphins in case the animals were ever used against them.

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