Friday, July 19, 2024

Ocean’s Inspiration: Delightful Dolphins

Written By Raksha Raj (Grade 11)


The Earth’s vast oceans, seas and other water bodies, swarming with life, remind us of the intricate connections between nature and water. Among the variegated marine creatures, dolphins stand out, mesmerizing and motivating us with their noteworthy traits. These marine mammals exemplify a blend of intelligence, social cooperation, playfulness and adaptability, offering various lessons that connect deeply within our own lives.

Intelligence

Dolphins are highly intelligent marine creatures. Their intelligence level, in terms of problem-solving abilities, social understanding and cognitive skills, can be compared to primates and even a 4-6year old kid!

Dolphins solve complex problems through thorough planning. For example, bottlenose dolphins have been observed using collaborative techniques to corral and capture fish by working together to create a “net” of bubbles underwater, which creates a barrier that traps the fish. They then take turns to swim through the net to catch the disoriented fish.

Dolphins also often use sponges to protect their snouts while hunting on the seafloor, which demonstrates ‘use of tools’- a trait once thought to be exclusive to only humans.

Social bonds and Playfulness

Dolphins are naturally social creatures, living in groups of about twelve individuals. This group is also called a pod. Dolphins communicate with the other pod members using a variety of whistles, clicks and body language. They have also been seen working together to catch fish, caring for the sick or injured pod member and even assisting humans in distress. This strong sense of social bonding and cooperation can serve as an example to humankind, reminding us the importance of teamwork, empathy and support.

Dolphins are also very playful mammals. One can often spot the dolphins propelling out of the water, and arching gracefully before diving back in. Dolphins also engage themselves in games with each-other and sometimes with humans. This playfulness not only entertains everyone, but also plays a crucial role in their social development and cognitive skills. Dolphins’ joy and vitality inspires us to be playful and charismatic, which boosts our creativity, reduces stress and improves our overall well-being.

Adaptability and Tenacity

Dolphins gracefully traverse a diverse array of habitats, from shallow coastal waters to the deep oceans. They can even survive on land for a few hours. Dolphins also show a notable ability to recover from sickness and injuries, often with the help of their pod members.

Their adaptability to different habitats and changing conditions and persistence inspires us to remain resolute, steadfast and nurturing amidst the tumult of challenges and the winds of change.

Conservation and Oversight

Environmental threats such as pollution, climate change, habitat degradation and human activities like overfishing, bycatch, increased boat traffic, underwater noise pollution and oil spills can lead to disruption of dolphins’ behaviours, impact their health negatively and even lead to their death.

Dolphins serve as indicators of ocean health, and hence, we should put efforts to protect the dolphins and their habitats.

In a nutshell, dolphins inspire us in countless ways, igniting our imagination, fostering empathy and deepening our connection to the natural world.


Featured Image Courtesy – Live Science



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