The Amazing Dolphins of The Bahamas
The Bahamas: Ground Zero for Dolphin Lovers
Dophins, the mammalian cousins of humans, constitute a major attraction of The Bahamas. The crystal clear waters, combined with the shallow sea, allow for unequaled observation of these amazing creatures. They are known to be capable of altruism and empathy, along with complicated tasks and collaborative strategies requiring sophisticated intellect. Scientists are still working to try to decipher their sophisticated language. Unsurprisingly, their brains are quite large in relation to their body size.
Another reason why The Bahamas in particular is a dolphin lovers’ Mecca is because of the unique association of different dophin species in these seas. World-wide, dolphins break down into 39 different types of ocean species, as well as four species of river dolphins. In The Bahamas, one mainly finds the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, and the Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis. A recent scientific study revealed that these two species spend about 15% of their time in mixed groups.
In The Bahamas, the mothers of the bottlenose dolphin species and those of the spotted dophins have been observed in interspecies babysitting, which is almost unheard of in nature. At other times, the bottlenose dolphins and the spotted dolphins have been observed cooperating, playing, or fighting. Although scientists are not sure exactly why the dolphins are fighting, they believe it may be related to inter-species mating competition. The bottlenose dolphins sometimes use their bigger size to take advantage of spotted females and even to mount spotted males by force. But the smaller spotted males have their own Ace card: they are capable of perfect synchronization, and can swarm and turn in a tactical fashion to protect themselves.
Dolphins belong to the Cetacea clade, which includes dolphins, whales, and porpoises. This botanical classification is defined as meat-eating, finned, aquatic marine mammals. In this clade, there are no other examples of interspecies interaction to the extent of bottlenose dolphins and spotted dolphins in The Bahamas. Indeed, a visit to this island nation is a must for those in love with humans’ finned cousins.
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