A kind of dolphin assumed to be the bottlenose species was discovered to be new to science. Named Tursiops australis, currently it is thought there are only about 150, living in Australian waters. “What makes this even more exciting is this dolphin species has been living right under our noses, with only two known resident populations living in Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria,” said one of the researchers. (Source: Care2.com)
In Wales scientists observed a mother dolphin tossing a dolphin calf out of the water repeatedly. Such behavior had never been documented by the researchers. They speculated it could have been playing. Also they thought it might be a forms of discipline or teaching. It was noted with some concern dolphins sometimes act aggressively towards porpoises resulting in injury or even death. However, the scientists observed later that the mother and calf were together with a dolphin pod acting normally.
Since August 12th, near San Francisco six harbor porpoises have washed ashore dead. Their injuries have been identified as being similar to ones dolphins inflict upon porpoises. Scientists aren’t completely clear why dolphins attacked these porpoises, but one idea holds it was young, male dolphins defending their territory. About 1,000 to 2,000 harbor porpoises live in California coastal waters, and some recently returned to Northern California waters. Dolphins may be acting aggressively towards the more numerous newcomers.
A dolphin living in captivity at the Brookfield Zoo died in a strange accident when it apparently swam headfirst into another dolphin. There are less than ten dolphins living there, so it was quite a blow to the staff who worked with them. The death highlights issues tied to dolphin captivity – namely due to lack of space, because dolphins are capable of swimming many miles a day in the open ocean. They are also intelligent and curious, so confined spaces must boring, or even depressing for them.
Following Hurricane Irene a 6-8 foot dolphin was found in a creek near the Chesapeake Bay. It was assumed the increased water levels in the creek and area due to the hurricane encourage the dolphin to explore new territory. It isn’t stranded, and is free to leave the creek and venture back out in to the bay, but observers speculated it might be feeding on trapped fish.
Image Credit: Public Domain