We believe that understanding dolphins is foundational to learnding how we can protect dolphins - and that's why our team of researchers study the dolphins in our care.
Our acoustics studies seek to understand how dolphins communicate using sound. Utilizing our hydrophone system and other technology, our researchers can record and analyze the vocalizations between dolphins. Our acoustic projects include studying mother/calf interactions, whistle rates as indicators of stress, and use of vocalizations to complete a cooperative tasks. By studying the importance of acoustic communication between dolphins, researchers can better understand how noise pollution could harm dolphins in the wild.
Our behavior research projects seek to better understand the types, diversity, and causes of dolphin behavior. In order to study Dolphin Behavior, our teams observe the dolphins in our care, quantifying and analyzing specific behaviors and patterns to draw conclusions on the behavior observed. While the majority of our Behavior studies focus on Mom/Calf interactions, we have also examined cooperative behaviors, parental investment in dolphin calves, and responses to novel stimuli. Our studies contribute to our global understanding of Bottlenose dolphin behavior, which helps resource managers better understand the needs of dolphins in the wild and in human care.
Cognition research examines how animals perceive, process, and act on stimuli or information. Cognition studies help us better understand how a dolphin's mind works. In an effort to understand this, our researchers must get creativeand discover the best methods to test how dolphins solve problems. Our cognition studies have examined how well dolphin's memory is and how dolphins work cooperatively to solve a novel task or puzzle. Dolphin cognition studies can help researchers draw conclusions on dolphin behavior and responses to a changing environment. Cognition research also provides stimulating enrichment for our resident dolphins thus improving their welfare.
Animal Welfare is used to describe the well-being of animals in human care. As caregivers to permanent residents, we feel it is our responsibility to study and advance the welfare standards for dolphins in managed care. Our welfare studies seek to validate what contributes to good welfare of cetaceans, information that can then be used to improve the lives of dolphins under human care and, comparatively, in the wild. Our research team also works to study the welfare, behavior, and conservation of local populations of bottlenose dolphins through our Photo Identification program.
In cooperation with our veterinary staff, our research team works on a variety of medical projects which contribute to a greater understanding of dolphin husbandry and veterinary care. Our studies in this field seek to establish baseline data for diagnostics, advance routine diagnostics and treatments for dolphins, and share findings from unique case studies. Our hope is that veterinarians and caregivers around the world utilize our veterinary research to assist dolphins in managed care and stranded marine mammals.
When you think "research on dolphins" you may imagine some sort of invasive medical testing laboratory - but that's not what dolphin research looks like in real life! Instead, we accomplish all of our research with non-invasive methods, many dedicated hours from our staff scientists, and - suprisingly - equipment you can buy at your local stores.
Ultimately, we could use your help to keep our research projects going.
If you'd like to contribute to our scientific investigations, there are two easy ways to do so. The first is to purchase something off of our Research Wish List on Amazon. Otherwise, you can donate directly to support our ongoing research studies.
View Our Research Wish List on Amazon