4 December 2022
Dolphins are very intelligent and engage in many kinds of play. Robin Agarwal photographed their antics while on a pelagic tour in Monterey Bay on 30 November 2022. For instance …
Dolphins enjoy making vortex rings of bubbles that rise to the surface and burst.
The dolphin will often then examine its [bubble ring] creation visually and with sonar. They also appear to enjoy biting the vortex-rings they have created, so that they burst into many separate normal bubbles and then rise quickly to the surface.
How did this dolphin get a cape of bubbles? Perhaps it swam up through a bubble ring.
Dolphins and whales are famous for leaping out of the water but this dolphin goes way beyond mere jumping. He leaps, turns, and sometimes enters the water tail first. Somersaults!
Another favorite dolphin game is to ride the pressure wave at the front of a fast moving boat. Called “bow riding,” the bow wave pushes dolphins fast forward without any flapping on their part.
Dolphins like this game so much that they rushed toward the whale watch boat. Robin Agarwal says of this photo, “Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Northern Right Whale Dolphins stampeding towards the boat to bow ride – my favorite sight in the world.”
Here they are bow riding with an “unusual swirl color morph” among them.
Dolphins just wanna have fun!
Check out great photos by Robin Gwen Agarwal on Flickr.
(photos by Robin Gwen Agarwal on Flickr Creative Commons license.)