Superpods of 600 dolphins are gathering off the coast of south africa.
bottlenose dolphins are known for hanging out in large pods, but finding more than 50 or 60 in a group is unusual. now, researchers studying indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins off the coast of south africa have found that populations there have skyrocketed, going from an average of just 18 dolphins per group in 2008 to 76 dolphins in 2016. and those are just the averages: some superpods in algoa bay, a shallow inlet off the eastern cape, were as big as 600 members. dolphin pods were larger in the bay (average size 325), than they were offshore (average size 135). the growth of the pods—and their location—is a mystery. researchers expected larger groups to be found farther north in the wild coast region, where the water is deeper. but instead, the researchers say the dolphins may be gathering in the shallows in large groups for protection against sharks; many white sharks, which have been known to attack dolphins, live in the area.
caption written by kimberly hickok on sciencemag.org
image: thibaut bouveroux
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There are only 76 southern resident killer whales left from a population that once had 98 individuals in 1995. noise from large vessels such as tankers, are highly disruptive and interfere with the whales ability to communicate, hunt, and navigate. pollution and chemicals that have been dumped into our oceans is slowly poisoning these whales as it builds up in their blubber over time. the lack of chinook salmon (approximately 80% of their diet) is also a major problem. there is simply not enough food to keep 76 whales at an optimum body weight— never mind increasing the population. one southern resident needs 18-25 adult salmon daily to survive, and clearly they are not getting enough food—as evident in the number of whales that have starved to death in the last few years. approximately 16 million salmon used to pass through the mouth of the columbia river each year— in 2016 only around 2 million made the journey to the ocean.
you can make a difference! do not eat farmed salmon as they spread diseases and parasites to wild salmon and k**l them! it's best to avoid salmon altogether! these whales need salmon! their lives literally depend on it! you have a choice to what you eat! these whales don't! no fish = no blackfish ! (click for more information on farmed salmon)
video courtesy of @coextinctionfilm with amazing footage from our dear friend @taslishaw and various others. to watch the full trailer to this upcoming documentary, please click the link in @coextinctionfilm bio
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