Liberal climate-change-believing scientists are still trying to cozy up to the horrible rapists of the sea, to get the dolphins to reveal their secrets and to finally start SPEAKING ENGLISH. (Good news: for $2,495, you can spend ten days without Internet or phone on a boat off the Bahamas hanging out with dolphins. Let's hope you get to see lots of brutal gang behavior and gay dolphin sex! I'm really tempted actually.)
Sad news from New Zealand today, as it seems that Moko the friendly dolphin has died. A lone bottle-nosed dolphin that had taken to swimming with humans in Mahia Bay south of the city of Gisborne, Moko became a popular tourist attraction and made headlines worldwide two years ago by guiding a pair of distressed pygmy sperm whales out of dangerous shallow water. His life was not without controversy, however. Over the past year, as Moko entered his adolescence, reports of increasingly aggressive behavior spread. Due to the sensitive nature of the following video, and since this is an obituary and all, we'll bury it below.
It's not noon yet, but what the hell, I'm gonna go with this one for headline of the day: "Dolphin who got stuck in California wetlands may be the victim of BULLYING"
Are you up on "conching?" It's like "planking" or "horse maning" except that it's done by dolphins instead of humans, and instead of being done solely for the purposes of display and photography (though it does make for some cool pictures) it also apparently helps the dolphins eat. It goes like this: dolphins trap small fish inside empty conch shells, and then bring the conch shells up to the surface of the water, and tip the fish into their mouths. Like we do with a pack of M&M's. But they use their beaks, instead of their hands. This behavior has been witnessed at least [...]
A moon off Saturn is is spouting water in such a way as to indicate the presence of, you know, a whole bunch of water. Cameras on NASA's Cassini probe (helmed by our favorite astronaut/rock star Dr. Carolyn Porco) first captured images of water vapor and ice particles shooting through cracks near the south pole of Enceladus, a small moon, about one-seventh the size of Earth's, six years ago. But physical samples of stuff, taken more recently with an on-board plasma spectrometer (I totally have to get one of those) reveal the presence of negatively charged water particles-usually evidence of liquid water activity such as crashing waves. [...]
"I have often thought, as I watched their complicated alliance relationships, that their social lives would be mentally and physically exhausting, and I’m glad I’m not a dolphin." —University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth Richard Conner talks Discovery's Jennifer Viegas about his study of a community of 120 bottlenose dolphins in Western Australia's Shark Bay. Male dolphins "engage in extensive bisexuality, combined with periods of exclusive homosexuality," and work in pairs, or sometimes trios, to "sequester and herd" individual females to mate with in mating season.
Cool! Dolphins apparently change their clicking and whistle sounds in the presence of other species of dolphins in order to better communicate with each other. Or so indicates the audio research of biologist Laura May-Collado of the University of Puerto Rico, who recorded pods of bottlenose dolphins and Guyana dolphins separately, and then as they came into contact with each other off the coast of Costa Rica. As Dr. May-Collado told BBC Earth News:
"I was surprised by these findings, as I was expecting both species to emphasise, perhaps exaggerate, their species-specific signals. Instead the signals recorded during these encounters became more homogenous. This was a very [...]