Posted by: coastlinesproject | December 31, 2016

Turks, interesting dolphin behavior.

Hi All,
We are getting a late start this morning however, before we are even in the boat we get a call that three dolphins are near Little Water Cay. John is breaking all speed records as we fly to the marina. There are speed bumps or humps as they call them in Turks along the road to the marina. We sailed over them like they were moguls on a slalom course! Spy Hop has never left the marina so quickly. As we rip out of Leeward and turn right toward Little Water Cay we see a boat milling around in the other direction. It had all the characteristics of a boat with dolphins. We turn around and as we pull up, I see two dorsals. I get in and Bo and Whizzer swim right to me. I have never seen so much flipper footsie in one day. It’s as if they were holding hands in this case pecs – Such a sign of affection. Bo then rubbed her pec on Whizzer’s head. It looked like she was massaging his melon (dolphin head). Bo then swam to the bottom and lay there like the other day. She blew a big bubble. Just as she did that, JoJo appears. He doesn’t swim close to either of them. This was no happy greeting. I think she was warning him to stay away. This time I had my camera and it was working! You will see all of this and it happened twice only the second time Whizzer blew the bubble. I assume this has something to do with timing, whether its Bo not wanting to mate or maybe not wanting JoJo be with Whizzer, I don’t know. In any case I have seen JoJo calf sit for Whizzer and be very affectionate with Bo. I’m not sure what’s up but I feel it’s a timing issue. JoJo eventually leaves following another boat. Wish I knew what was going on! I feel for JoJo. He always gets so excited and happy to see other dolphins. https://vimeo.com/197467831
Once JoJo leaves, Bo and Whizzer move off the bottom and continue their activities. This included Whizzer finding a nice shell with weed growing on it and bringing it to the surface.
The next video has the tale end of Bo and Whizzer playing with a ballon fish. It was very deep and murky so you can’t see much of it. They had followed the little white ballon fish off and on for quite awhile, sort of nudging it along like a soccer ball! If my free diving skills were better I could have gotten more! They continued along to a reef where they spent a long time scratching in the finger coral. It is a little like an under water ballet, they are so graceful. When they finish scratching, they move off with lots more flipper footsie. Whizzer turns over and gets quite the stimulation from Bo. The researcher Ken Norris’s quote “Sex is to dolphins as a hand shake is to humans” came to mind. https://vimeo.com/197541659

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