Dolphins are what we call charismatic megafauna, which means that people view them as charismatic.
People get excited about some animals more than they get excited about others.
One, two, three, big circle. Go, watch out there.
But thats okay, because then we can use that to get them to conserve in general.
So, if they are conserving the dolphins that means were conserving their habitat
which means we are conserving all the animals that live in that habitat as well.
Hi, guys. My name is Dr. Kelly Jaakkola. I am a cognitive researcher, right now work with dolphins.
You want to do a high five? No? This one? You cant really reach. I know it is hard to reach up here.
For other people, they might get inspired by the dolphins beauty or their athleticism etcetera.
I know. Very nice. I know. Oh, you want to come play too? What do you think?
For me it was watching them think.
Wow, now its your turn? Now its your turn?
So, Dolphin Research Center is a non-profit education and research facility in the Florida Keys.
And there are a number of questions that you cant answer in the wild.
Youll see situations where they seem to be cooperating.
They seem to be doing the same thing at the same time.
But you cant tell from just looking at that whether or not theyre understanding cooperation
or if theyre just doing something at the same time.
In this study we set up a game.And the game was, we had two buttons and to win the game,
the dolphins had to press the buttons at the same time within a one second window which is really, really close.
So, in order to show that they understand cooperation, you have to sometimes send them at different times.
And, one, two, three, go.
Okay, so, Reese was sent first.And you see he doesnt go immediately to his button.
And now Delta was sent and well see, and they did it!
By the end of this study, they were pressing an average of a third of a second apart which is really tight coordination.
The most obvious next step is okay, well how are they doing it?
Are the dolphins using some sort of verbal communication?
Maybe they are using synchrony, so maybe they sync up with each other and swim together etcetera.
Other questions we can look at are:are there ways that that cooperation in the wild might be disrupted?
So, for example, if they are using a kind of vocal communication, then noise pollution might get in the way of that.
Alright, are you guys ready? Any sort of facility has to have a way of supporting their animals.
And for us, that largely comes from the visitors that walk through the door.
One of the big roles that marine mammal facilities play
is getting people to make a connection in order to get people to conserve and then care.
And its that moment of connection that is the start of conservation mindedness.
You know, its fine to give people information. Information is great.
But that information is only useful if people care enough to actually go out and do something.
You guys wanna kiss for the camera? Are you ready? Can you do a kiss for the camera?