Dolphins Inquiry Project #1 Lori Elpers September 22, 2009 Education 373.003
I went to Florida with my family. While we were there, we rented jet skies. While we were out on the jet skies, dolphins came next to us. We turned our jet skies off and they just kept swimming around us. They eventually went away, so we continued riding around. We soon found more dolphins around us. There was a boat near us with people in the water feeding the dolphins. Some of my relatives jumped in the water to swim with the dolphins.
Why were there so many dolphins?
Do dolphins sleep?
What are the laws about feeding dolphins?
Will dolphins actually hurt a human?
I thought dolphins were rare animals, about how many dolphins are there?
Laws about feeding
“ Feeding these marine mammals can make them less able -- or willing -- to search for food on their own. In addition food, if it's non-natural or contaminated, can pose a serious health risk and even death to the dolphins.” http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/pr95/aug95/noaa95-r142.html
“ Florida boaters who encourage the impressive antics of wild dolphins by feeding or swimming with the animals harm the dolphins and themselves -- and may be fined for breaking the law.” http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/pr95/aug95/noaa95-r142.html
“ Even more threatening is the danger that feeding or swimming with the dolphins will cause them to become habituated to humans and make them lose their natural wariness as wild animals.” http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/pr95/aug95/noaa95-r142.html
Dolphins and Humans
"Dolphins have a reputation for being friendly to humans, but the fact remains they are powerful, wild animals that can be very aggressive."
“ The dolphins will stay around the usual tourist for about five seconds and will be on his way if he/she has not received a frozen fish to keep him/her interested (it is illegal to feed wild dolphins).” http://www.waterplanetusa.com/interactions.php
“ Dolphins are often curious about children. Do not allow children to swim alone with dolphins. Dolphin's games are sometimes rough and aggressive; many children can become frightened in this situation.” http:// www.waterplanetusa.com/interactions.php
Species of Dolphins
“ There is some debate over how many different species of dolphins there really are. Some say there are 32 different species, while some say that there actually 33. It all depends on whether you think the White Whale counts as a dolphin or not. Some say that it does, some say that it doesn't.” http://www.dolphins-world.com/Dolphin_Species.html
“ Like every mammal, dolphins need to sleep. Since underwater life requires breathing control, dolphins have developed a special way to sleep. The two halves of the brain sleep independently, and never simultaneously. In this way, one side can always control breathing, while the other controls basic behavioral patterns.” http://www.dolphinreef.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=32
Facts about Dolphins
"The greatest threat to whales, dolphins and porpoises is entanglement in fishing gear, also known as bycatch. If current trends continue unabated, several cetacean species and many populations will be lost in the next few decades."
“ Fish and squid are the diet of the common dolphin, where the dolphins have been seen hunting and working together to herd the fish into tight balls.”
“ Baby dolphins are sucked forward by the motion of their swimming mothers -- giving them a needed assist -- when they position themselves to the right and behind their mothers.”
Things to do
“ Do not chase or pursue the dolphins. Anchor your boat and swim in the area around your boat. Not only is it a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to follow closer than 50 yards, you run the risk of disturbing important activities such as feeding, courtship and nursing.”
“ Always put out a dive flag when anyone is in the water. Remember approaching boaters cannot easily see snorkelers in the water and it is difficult for snorkelers to see or hear approaching boats when they are in the water. “
“ Do not feed the dolphins, either from the water or from a boat. Feeding dolphins disrupts their natural behavioral patterns and it puts young dolphins who are not "boat-wise" at risk from boating injuries. Dolphins can also become sick from eating contaminated fish. Feeding dolphins, like chasing them, is illegal and can cost you a hefty fine.”
“ If you are swimming and a dolphin approaches you, do not reach out and try to touch him. These dolphins are wild animals and rarely tolerate physical contact from humans. Trying to touch or grab a dolphin is illegal and is virtually guaranteed to scare them away.”
“ Dolphins interest in people is frequently based on curiosity. Diving, twisting, spiraling and making unusual sounds underwater often succeed in attracting a dolphin's attention. Be playful and active in a nonaggressive way.”
“ Spend as much time as possible underwater. Dolphins live underwater.”
“ Swim in a fluid and graceful a style as you can. Avoid using your hands for swimming as much as possible. Dolphins do not have hands and many dolphins avoid people who wave their arms in front of them. “
“ Remember, RESPECT is the key to any interaction. Dolphins must initiate any interaction and they have the right to terminate it. Most dolphin encounters last less than 1 minute. Do not pursue a dolphin either in the water or with your boat”
4.1.2-Recognize and describe that results of scientific investigations are seldom exactly the same. If differences occur, such as a large variation in the measurement of plant growth, purpose reasons for why these differences exist, using recorded information about investigations.
5.4.4-Expalin that in any particular environment, some kinds of plans and animals survive well, some do not survive as well, and some cannot survive at all.
6.1.7-Explain that technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.