Discovering Dolphins | What Sam Sees


[Music] hey everyone I’m Sam and I’m in Baltimore Maryland at the National Aquarium ready to learn about a super smart marine mammal that is surprisingly similar to human dolphin they’re truly a fun and lovable creature so let’s go behind the scenes to learn more about them and the amazing people who care for them [Music] [Music] the ocean is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful creatures all moving in their own rhythm and pace and dancing through the waves are the acrobats court jesters and aerial spinners of the sea dolphins today I get to go behind the scenes at the dolphin discovery exhibit in the National Aquarium I’m meeting up with Susie Walker and her team to check out the dolphins daily routine [Music] a typical day starts at 6:30 in the morning with breakfast it takes the team two hours to sort and weigh 200 pounds of fish that make up the Dolphins diet [Music] they are fed every hour and a half about 7 to 10 times a day in addition to their diet food is an important part of their learning through positive reinforcement the trainer’s use food in a series of play and reward sessions to teach certain behaviors and build trust with the Dolphins Suzy can you tell me a little bit about what you do here at the aquarium sure I am a trainer so that means that I help take care of our animals another part of it is teaching them behaviors that help us take care of them monitor their physical health ok and we can collect samples of blood or other things can you give me a little history on the Dolphins that you have here sure we have seven dolphins five of them are girls and two of them are boys and all of them except one were born here at dolphin discovery one of them was born at another requirement we provided a new home for her when she needed a new home so all of these guys were born and then human care let’s head to the first training session of the day with Taylor [Music] [Music] so they keep that blowhole closed while they’re underwater yeah level of marine mammals through my favorite cetaceans whales porpoises and dolphins so right now it’s recipes art will this dolphin and she’s 25 years so I see there’s a lot of teeth do they use them dolphins learn by imitating their trainers behaviors and gestures and like dogs they’re always ready for a treat [Music] [Applause] what do you mean by mimicry related okay okay – it might get a little left Wow the exhibit opens to the public daily to let them see how dolphins learn play and interact with each other [Music] these sessions help educate visitors about dolphins [Music] now that I’ve seen them in action I want to learn even more about their social behavior so some of those social behaviors that you see here would you see those also in the ocean yes they’re very touchy touchy animals and that’s kind of how they bond with each other so they’ll rub their flippers along each other’s bodies they’ll whistle and click to communicate with each other they’re very social with each other correct yes so they’d like to remain in pods you would say correct yes a typical pod size for a bottlenose dolphin is going to be a few individuals – maybe 20 whereas something like another species called a spinner dolphin it’s not unusual to see a hundred or 200 of them in a group at a time so each each species is a little different yes absolutely yes they look out for each other if they’re resting they don’t completely sleep like we do they sleep with one eye closed they sleep with one eye closed that’s so funny what’s interesting is we believe that they sleep with one half of their brain at a time so they’re never completely asleep why do they do that if you think about it when you’re out in the ocean and you’re kind of looking around you got to keep your eyes open you don’t want to have both your eyes closed you could run into something yeah do they use echolocation in huts yes what is that goal location echolocation is a way for them to find their way around if water is either dark or murky so what they do is they make these clicking sounds they go out into the water in front of them and they bounce off things in their path so the click bounces and then the dolphin can listen to the echo so they can kind of see through sound well currently our plan is to find a brand new home for them after careful consideration the National Aquarium has decided to build and relocate their dolphin colony to a more naturalistic seaside sanctuary and what’s going to be neat about this new home is that it will be in an ocean type habitat – dolphins in the wild face any threats right now yes pretty much every ocean animal out there our oceans are in trouble though we are trying to figure out how we can help we like to share our animals here at dolphin discovery with our guests so we think about our dolphins as ambassadors for their species so they are sort of being the voice for their time out in the ocean well thank you for sharing this experience with you’re welcome yes my pleasure we learned so much about dolphins today like they sleep with one eye open keeping half of their brain running dolphins are so important to our marine ecosystem they provide clues about the health and safety of other ocean creatures as well as humans they also see through sound using echolocation which helps them better navigate through the oceans and the dolphins that we met here today serve as ambassadors for dolphins all over the world so please be sure to take care of our oceans see you next time on what’s an seas [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music]

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