By Karen Pryor
Wild dolphins are an elusive topic for behavioral stories: how will you "do a Jane Goodall" on animals often noticeable simply as a glimpse of rolling dorsal fins heading for the horizon? during this strange booklet, of the best-known scientists within the marine-mammal box have assembled an spectacular number of discoveries approximately dolphins. The contributions variety from a graduate student's first paper to senior scientists summarizing a life of learn. The dolphins they've got studied diversity from tiny spinners to majestic pilot whales, from killer whales to the conventional bottle-nosed dolphin. The study strategies range simply as greatly: the researchers have dolphins in boats, tracked them from shore, dived between thousands of them (plus a number of sharks) in tuna fishing nets. they've got used desktops and airplanes, genetic research and synthetic language, and realized to learn the lifestyles heritage of a dolphin from the cross-section of a unmarried tooth.Pryor and Norris are winning writers in addition to scientists; the booklet is peppered with pleasing essays, via one or either editors, at the interesting background of dolphin examine. Dolphin Societies not just surveys the main attention-grabbing contemporary examine on dolphin habit but in addition provides lay readers a desirable examine the medical brain at paintings.
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Additional resources for Dolphin societies: discoveries and puzzles
Norris We had three purposes in organizing this book. First, we wanted to report on the considerable progress currently being made in research on dolphins in the wild. Second, we wanted to show that we learn most about cetaceans when we study them both in the wild and in captivity; captive animals offer us understanding that cannot be acquired at a distance, and such understanding is fundamental to caring about cetaceans. Finally, we hope to inspire both the scientist and the general reader by the wide variety of imaginative ways in which a single difficult problem is being tackled: how to study the behavior and social structure of animals that are constantly on the move and mostly invisible.
So, by the late 1960s, a few Western naturalists had hitched up their field pants and begun to seek out the best means and the best places to observe wild dolphins. They chose sea cliffs, they developed little radios that could be affixed to dolphin fins, and they began to watch dolphins underwater. Probably the first concerted attempt was that of the South African team of Graham Saayman and C. K. Tayler. Saayman, a primate biologist, knew that one way to study social behavior was to start recording patterns, whatever one can see; in time, from the arid precincts of one's recorded measurements and numbers, an understanding might emerge.
On August 5, mating was noted in this group of harbor porpoises. In addition, a harbor porpoise with a dorsal fin similar to that of a bottlenose dolphin was seen three times. These data allow us to assume that a local population of harbor porpoises inhabits the southern part of the peninsula. Herds of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) consisting of from several individuals up to several hundred were encountered frequently. During migratory movements, groups of two to four animals were clearly distinguishable and were often observed leaping in sequence, one after the other.
Dolphin societies: discoveries and puzzles by Karen Pryor