Question: Dear Kim,
My name is Stephanie Anderson and I am in the 6th grade. I live in North
Carolina and hurricane Isabel hit our beaches today. My question is: Do
dolphins know when hurricanes are coming? Do they try to get away from
them? There was a news report last night that showed a pod of dolphins
playing in the waves before the storm really hit. I was worried about them
becoming stranded or even caught in the rotation of the storm. Dolphins
are my favorite animal. I went to dolphin camp last summer at The Dolphin
Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida. I hope you will answer my question.
Dolphins are very aware of their environment and what natural threats may
affect them. They live in a world of sound and sound travels farther under
the water than in air so they can hear water motion from events like
hurricanes well in advance. Dolphins may swim away from the bad weather but
they are designed to live in the water and they can hold their breath for
long periods of time making it less dangerous for them to be in a hurricane.
As you saw they love playing in the waves. The effects of the hurricane
underwater are much less severe than at the surface. Even so heavy winds
can make their lives more difficult because a heavy sea state makes the
water very noisy and this can affect their ability to communicate or
echolocate, young dolphins (calves) canšt hold their breath as long as their
parents so frequent trips to the surface can be hazardous, or in areas where
dolphins feed the weather may effect the production and distribution of
their food sources.
Below are some links to similar questions asked on WhaleNet:
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