Dolphins are brilliant marine animals belonging to the toothed whale family, including orcas and pilot whales. They are distributed worldwide, usually in shallow waters on continental shelves, and carnivores primarily consume fish and squid.
Dolphins vary in color, although they are typically grey with darker backs than the rest of their bodies. Dolphins are regularly being observed in cooler areas beyond their historical ranges as the seas and oceans are warm due to climate change.
Dolphin’s primary food sources are preferring deeper, colder waters as ocean temperatures rise. Scientists are afraid that dolphins may struggle to adapt rapidly enough to locate new feeding sites to sustain their populations. Some dolphins that dwell in brackish waters, regions where rivers and oceans mix, are also losing habitat as ocean levels rise due to global warming.
Intelligence of Dolphins
Intelligence of Dolphins
Dolphins are thought to be one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet, with many cognitive talents that set them apart. Many studies believe that intelligence is a mix of observation, communication, and problem-solving abilities. Dolphin intelligence may be seen in the way they communicate and use tools.
Dolphins socialize and hunt in large part through communication. They can echolocate with a succession of clicks, helping them to detect other dolphins or similar species, as well as prey, even in low-light circumstances in the water. Dolphins have a sophisticated way of communicating with one another. Dolphins may appear to communicate similarly to humans from the outside.
However, experts are currently looking at how dolphins interact and what information they may pass on to one another. Since they are intelligent, they have been a friend of humans for a long time because they know what to do when something terrible happens.
Dolphins as our lifeguards
There are several tales and news reports of dolphins assisting and rescuing humans even though humans have murdered countless dolphins throughout the years and continue to do so! I know, it’s terrible. Dolphins rushed towards victims of shark attacks, deterring sharks with high-speed strikes. Dolphins allegedly hauled drowning swimmers to the surface to breathe.
Why they do this is and likely always will be a mystery. As of kindred animals, dolphins may detect parallels in humans and realize that we are susceptible to drowning and predator attacks.
Let’s talk about few incidents that dolphins became our lifeguards.
New Zealand Coastline
A crew of lifeguards practicing off Ocean Beach near Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island recently described how a pod of bottlenose dolphins protected them. The lifeguards claimed that dolphins encircled them for around 40 minutes. The presence of a 3-meter great white shark in the region has prompted this altruistic behavior. The dolphins circled the lifeguards repeatedly, growing increasingly agitated and tail slapping as they went, while the shark came as near as 2 meters to the swimmers. Eventually, the dolphins were able to fend off the shark, and the lifeguards could swim the 100 meters back to shore safely.
This is not the first time such an occurrence has been reported. There have been several accounts about dolphins assisting or rescuing people dating back to the 1800s. A Risso’s dolphin known locally as Pelorus Jack used to guide ferry steamers off the New Zealand coast in the late 1800s — before he was murdered by whalers.
Another account came from WDCS’s own Alexandra Morton, a well-known orca researcher in Canada. Alex recounted being lost in her boat in heavy fog off the coast of British Columbia one day. As she got disoriented and concerned, a group of orcas she recognized from her vast research material emerged out of the fog. She chose to accompany them across the strait, and after a while, they brought her out of the fog and to safety. Alex is certain that these orcas aided in her rescue on purpose!
Given that we have killed whales and dolphins mercilessly over the ages, pushing certain species to extinction, and that they still face a slew of man-made dangers today, it is extremely touching – even humbling – to believe that dolphins will defend us in this way.
Dolphins and humans have a long relationship, dating back to prehistoric times when fishers and sailors would witness pods of dolphins leap out of the ocean alongside their ships. These magnificent animals are currently experiencing several problems and dangers to their habitats. So, we must try to protect these amazing animals in every possible way.