Dolphins Play With Marine Biologists Trying to Study Them

Let’s celebrate World Ocean Day with footage of baby dolphins at play! In order to study playful behavior, one marine biologist joined a pod of dolphins in the activity. Young dolphins use play to learn social behavior and increase their speed and agility. Similar to human childhood development, playing with others helps dolphins work together as a team. The video, from the Smithsonian Channel’s YouTube page, will make you wish you followed that childhood impulse to be a marine biologist when you grew up! 

Kelly Melillo Sweeting works for the Dolphin Communication Project. She studies how dolphins form social bonds and interact with each other. Good teamwork and communication is essential for dolphins throughout their life. Pods have to work together to hunt prey.

While it may count as work for Sweeting, the dolphins definitely involved her in playtime. The zippy underwater scooter she uses attracts their attention. Even the adults get in on the fun. Dolphins continue to use play throughout their lives. Games of tag and catch are favorite pastimes but also maintain valuable skills.   

A marine biologist snorkels with an underwater scooter as two dolphins swim around her
Smithsonian Channel

At Nerdist, we know World Ocean Day is really every day! And not just because our oceans are home to fun stories like barnacle penises and sparkly poop. Or amazing critters like sea spiders and giant squid. We also know that exploring the ocean, even virtually, will bring some zen to your life. And we could all use that! 

A marine biologist snorkels with an underwater scooter as two dolphins swim around her
Smithsonian Channel

There’s always more to learn about the world around us and the animals that also call it home. Some recent dolphin discoveries include that they recognize each other by the taste of their urine and that they enjoy the company of sloths. But really, who doesn’t?

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also forms social bonds through play. Melissa moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth. 

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