Observing Aggressive Behavior

39 spotted dolphins rough-housing (sort of)

We began the day with no dolphins but had a sighting of a seemingly large group (announced to us by another research boat about 3.5 miles north of us) slowly moving to the SW. We hopped into the dinghy to see for ourselves. We radioed to the other boat asking permission to approach within a half mile. There are only a few boats out here now observing the dolphins but it is etiquette to remain outside a half mile unless permission is granted. All was okay. As it turned out, we observed a group of about 40 dolphins all spread out into subgroups of about 5-6 dolphins. There was a bit of the aggressive behavior I have documented in the past. Squawks, intense whistles, click trains, bubble emissions, hits and rams and chases. This observation, however, did not seem to escalate that much. Maybe just a small or not too serious argument. Neat to watch though and we recorded about 9 minutes of video. In the afternoon, the dolphins were all over the place. As far as the eye could see but in very loose groups and spaced a 100 to 2 or 300 meters apart. They seemed to be feeding. Snacking on the small eyed flounders above the sand or chasing (and catching) flying fish and needle fish at the surface. The dolphins had absolutely no interest in us: they did not even bowride on the dinghy when we approached close. So, we watched and recorded their behavior from the surface. Afterall, our dinner time was swiftly approaching too. Till tomorrow Kathleen