Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dolphins Make Amazing Bubble Art at SeaWorld

It’s common knowledge that dolphins are some of the most intelligent animals in the world; they can be trained to perform amazing tricks and tasks, and if size is any indicator, the simple fact that the adult bottlenose dolphin’s brain is 25% heavier than a human brain says a lot about how smart they are.

Since research on the dolphin mind is limited, though, scientists have never been able to make any conclusive claims about whether the animals are truly intelligent or not. However, the happy-go-lucky residents at SeaWorld Orlando are proving just how brainy they are with a new skill that they learned all on their own.

It’s been known for some time that dolphins are able to communicate with one another. However, what’s less commonly known is the fact that dolphins can apparently learn from one another; several of the dolphins at SeaWorld Orlando have demonstrated this ability by the fact that they now know how to blow beautiful underwater bubbles using their blowholes. And not only can they blow bubbles, but they can also manipulate and play with them. It’s an amazing and breathtaking thing to see, and the skill is getting a lot of attention from trainers, spectators, and media outlets alike.

“If you had a balloon at home and you flex and play with the end of it to make different sounds – [the dolphins] can do that with their blowhole…They angle their heads so that it comes up perfectly straight to create a ring,” said SeaWorld’s dolphin trainers.

What makes it all even more amazing is that a few years ago, only one dolphin had this bubble-making capability; apparently, however, that dolphin taught the others. Three months ago, the trainers noticed that many more of the animals had picked up the skill, and today, they can be seen blowing bubbles, elongating them or making them smaller, and even spinning them and swimming through them.

“It’s like a little halo at first and then they just push it and it gets smaller,” said a trainer. “They either take their rostrum or head and move it in a circle to make [the bubble] bigger.”

The dolphins even try to “steal” bubbles from one another, and one dolphin will pop his bubble creation if another dolphin tries to take it away – as if to say, “No, that’s my toy, you can’t take it.”

This amazing story has been featured on ABC News, and in response to the interest, SeaWorld even put out a new blog to keep up with dolphin news. But park fans and dolphin lovers can go in person and see the animals’ amazing talent for themselves at SeaWorld. There, in Dolphin Cove, the animals can be seen frolicking, blowing bubbles, and playing with them in the underwater viewing area.

So if you haven’t been to SeaWorld in a while, you’ll want to get your SeaWorld tickets from DWTickets.com in order to see this amazing dolphin skill. It’s an incredible sight to see, and who knows? You might even discover the secret of how they do it!


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