Some dolphins are party animals, some are not

Some people are betting at mixing than others, and research shows that dolphins are just the same. Research into bottlenose dolphin behaviour in Cardigan Bay has confirmed that they too have individuals who are social brokers par excellence!  The research provides vital information to help guide the future management of the Bay, which has been designated a Special Area of Conservation in order to give added protection to the dolphins.

Edita Magileviciute, who is Sightings Officer for the Sea Watch Foundation, compared the interactions recorded by the organisation over five years between more than two hundred bottlenose dolphins living in Cardigan Bay in West Wales. On average a bottlenose dolphin has 20 others they associate frequently with during a year – although some can have many more while others have far fewer.

She found that certain dolphins play a key role within their social groups and that one in particular seems to be a constant link between the different social groupings. This dolphin, known as Flint is amongst a number which researchers in the Bay can recognize from its markings recorded as part of an intensive photo ID project which has been running for six years.

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