Ancient Greek mariners listened to the sounds of dolphins through the hulls of their ships. People have been fascinated by dolphin sounds for millennia. Yet, we still don't know what 'they' are talking about! Dolphin sounds fall into several main categories: Whistles: which are unique to each individual animal - much like our own voices. It appears that dolphins use these 'signature whistles' like we use names. You often hear a loud whistle from a nearby dolphin, followed by a similar sounding whistle from another dolphin. Sort of like a sound 'handshake' or greeting. Clicks: which are generally used for some form of echolocation. Echolocation works like 'radar' and is used by dolphins to find food - like schooling fish. The dolphin makes a 'click' which travels through the water, bounces off an object like a fish, and then hears the echo. Chirps: which are tones of varying frequency - their purpose is not known. These dolphin sounds are well within the hearing range of people. While echo location clicks can range up to about 150,000 Hz (about 8 times higher than the normal human hearing range), a lot of these clicks occur at frequencies as low as about 2,000 Hz. So people can easily hear them with the proper hydrophone (underwater microphone). It is reported that cetaceans have a large portion of their brains devoted to auditory senses. Therefore they may be able to convert sound into an acoustic image in a section of their brains which allows them to 'see' in the darkness of the ocean, or in the murky waters of river deltas. There are many 'noise' sources in the ocean that could act to 'illuminate' objects with sound that cetaceans detect. For example, in shallow tropical and semi-tropical waters, snapping shrimp product continuous 'clicking' noises. These may allow cetaceans to 'see' fish without the need to use their own echo location - which might alert fish of their presence. Further out in the ocean, ambient sounds from wave action may serve the same purpose.
Now....  let's listen to a few dolphin sounds!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 For some more fun, check out the Flipper theme song! Check out Dolphin Downloads Here!

Dolphin Tale

I loved this movie, watched at least 4 times already.  It is one of the great ones for us dolphin lovers!

Inspired by a true story, Dolphin Tale is about courage, ingenuity, and never giving up. Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) is a young boy who’s struggling with school and doesn’t have many friends other than his cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell). When Kyle, a star swimmer, joins the army to earn money for college and is called to active duty, it looks like Sawyer is destined to spend his summer alone tinkering in the garage and attending summer school. Sawyer stumbles upon a dolphin that’s been severely injured, becomes fascinated by dolphins, and is suddenly intellectually engaged like never before.

In spite of his shyness, he forms a friendship with marine rescue doctor Clay (Harry Connick Jr.) and his daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and, more importantly, a special and very powerful bond with the rescued dolphin, who’s dubbed Winter. As the newly formed team struggles to save Winter’s life and ensure her continued safety, financial concerns, an accident that leaves Kyle crippled for life, and a hurricane all seem to join forces against them.

In the end, it is Sawyer’s determination, coupled with a little bit of luck and a lot of ingenuity from an army doctor (Morgan Freeman) who specializes in prosthetics, that helps make each member of the team, including Kyle and Winter, whole again. The talented cast does a great job of creating completely believable characters, but Gamble, Zuehlsdorff, Connick, Freeman, Stowell, and of course Winter, who plays herself, all deserve special mention.

While the story of an injured animal rescued and rehabilitated has certainly been told before, this film is emotionally powerful and will absolutely captivate children and adults alike. (Ages 5 and older) –Tami Horiuchi

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For the Love of Dolphins



Anytime dolphins are spoken of, these babies are sure to come to mind. Quickies:

• They prey on mainly small fish and squid.
• They can travel at speeds of 18 miles an hour.
• They can make up to 1,000 clicking sounds per second! That’s insane!
• That blowhole of theirs is their nose.

commersonsdolphinCOMMERSON’S DOLPHIN
This is probably not a picture that comes to your mind when you think ‘dolphin’. Quickies:

• These poor guys are hunted for crab bait.
• They have harlequin-shaped markings on their body.
• They’re only found on the southern tip of South America and an island off Africa.
• Live in groups of 1-3, but large schools are occasionally formed.

spinnerdolphinSPINNER DOLPHIN
Not the most famous dolphin out there, but a beautiful one. Quickies:

• They reside in tropical pelagic oceans all over the world.
• They are 1.7-2m long.
• It is unknown of their conservation status.
• They can be seen in schools from 5 to 200. But schools of 1,000 have been reported.

And save the best for last, the Dusky Dolphin. I’m not sure why I love this over the others, but I do. Quickies:

• They inhabit the coastal regions below the Tropic of Capricorn all the way to the sub-Arctic.
• They have an all white belly.
• Schools of them can range from 20 to 300.
• They are a very acrobatic species.

(Photos are from Flickr and are CC licensed for commercial use with attribution)


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