How dolphins learn

Dolphin Discovery

Dolphins are one of the most interesting creatures that live the sea. Studying them in the wild, allows us to start understanding their incredibly behaviors, and their complex and well-structured system of life. And studying them under the human care helps us to know better about their intelligence and sociability. They use to live and travel around all the seas, and are very social animals. In a park, they tend to interact with people and are able to be easily trained; as they establish a very close relationship with their trainers.

A dolphin baby, like a newborn cow, is called “calf”, as both of them are mammals. In the wild, mothers teach their young dolphins to use the sonar, to forage, where to find food and how to hunt a fish, to socialize in their pod, to protect from other dolphins and avoid predators, amongst other important things to survive. Through imitation of their family, they also learn diving, jumping, and communicating. Some researchers have established that the first week is an imprinting period for calves. Mother avoids separate from its calf until he have learned to recognize her.

Dolphin Discovery

Is well-known that dolphins are one of the most intelligent species and under human care, they are trained through programs of rewards and they easily learn to jump through a hoop, for example, because dolphin knows that making the right thing, he will be rewarded with a fresh and delicious piece of fish. Dolphins learn to make activities that in wild they would not execute, but their good relationship with humans let them learn a lot of things.

Their complex system of communication has always intrigued the scientists, who have tried to decipher the sounds by means of which the dolphins interchange ideas, because it has been verified that they warn the others where there is food, or if some member of the pod is in danger. It is assured that they even designate to each one of them with a particular sound… a “name”!

The parks around the world, like Dolphin Discovery in all its locations (Mexican Caribbean, Vallarta, Tortola, Anguilla & Hawaii), have the objective of respect and take care about these marvelous mammals and have developed programs for their study, and most important, to preserve them to keep enjoying their presence in the world. A famous scientist, specialist on marine mammals said:  “when we are in the ocean, we are in their home. We always have to remember that”.

~ by Cristina Mendoza on March 2, 2007.

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