MARATHON, Florida Keys – Does bottlenose dolphin work together to perform and complete tasks? "Yes," says a survey of marine…
MARATHON, Florida Keys – Does bottlenose dolphin work together to perform and complete tasks?
“Yes,” says a survey of marine mammal researchers at the Dolphin Research Center in Florida Keys.  The almost year-long project reveals that dolphins cooperate to perform a task together.
The research, conducted in collaboration with a university in Western Australia researchers, studied pairs of dolphins swimming over a Florida Keys lagoon to reach and press the black underwater buttons. The buttons were connected to an overhead computer to record the actions and time difference when both dolphins pressed the buttons.
“We wanted to see if dolphins could actively cooperate,” says Dr. Kelly Jaakkola (YAH & # 39; -ko-lah), DRC’s Research Director. “The game was that the dolphins had to swim across the lagoon and push the buttons at the same time … specifically within a second time window.”
In some tests the dolphins were sent together, noted Jaakkola. In others, it was a delay to send a partner. The other would wait so that both pressed their buttons at the same time.
“The Dolphins did not only succeed with this test, they were amazing,” she said. “At the end, the difference in time between the pressures was only 370 milliseconds.
” It’s about a third of a second, “added Jaakkola.” That kind of precision shows that they did not just cooperate … then they actively coordinated an exact way to synchronize their behaviors. “
What is known as” behavioral synchronization “as shown by bottle dolphins in the wild when coordinating their swimming or feeding is likely to be a general cognitive ability that they can apply for many activities,” said Jaakkola.
DRC scientist is also studying whether dolphins use vocal signals or other means of coordinating actions.
The study results were published in a biological research journal by The Royal Society, a British-based scientific academy.
Bottlenose dolphins can understand their partners role in a cooperative task.