On Friday, we went bananas for starting our day with bananas! After our field report, we practiced photo-ID skills and were introduced to Lil’ Jess (#35). Our main class session was on play. Dr. M shared some great information, including some awesome videos. How did the elephants not pop the pool?! We discussed fighting and the difference between play fighting and real fighting. Play fighting may prepare individuals for real aggressive interactions. Play may also be a sign of higher cognitive abilities as it may prepare you for future scenarios and maintain and develop cognitive abilities.
After lunch, we grabbed our snorkel gear from the boat because we learned we would not be going on the boat in the day’s high winds. Then it was to the Bimini Museum after a quick introduction to Dr. Dudzinski who had just arrived by plane! We saw Colleen’s great ability to remember things she reads as we split into teams and went on our information scavenger hunt. Elinor saw one of her relatives – Bill McCoy – featured in the museum! Back in class, we discussed our answers, with Kel adding tidbits of how Captain Al’s family was a part of building the island. Some of us are fans of Silence of the Lambs and thought it was cool that the last scene was filmed right here in Bimini – less than a ¼ mile from our hotel! We were excited to read about Ernest Hemingway’s time in Bimini and the Fountain of Youth – is the real one on South Bimini? We explored the old jail; it was cool and creepy at the same time.
Next up was snorkeling along the beach! A lizard crawled on Amira –she thought it was awesome! In the water, we saw an octopus, a scrawled filefish, barracuda, a southern stingray and a yellow stingray. We all made it to the Galant Lady. Some of us explored inside the old ship; there were a lot of fish taking refuge around and inside the ship. Back on land, we saw a little Jack Russell terrier and got ready for class.
Photo-ID practice took us all the way to dinner. But just after beginning, our wonderful professor Dr. M let us escape and chase after the ice cream truck! The locals in the road helped us flag down the truck driver before he got too far. Back to the photo-ID, we worked on photographs taken earlier this month. We ID’d Split Jaw (#22) twice. The first time he was very easy to recognize. The second time he was much harder and we were convinced that Kel had given us a photo that was not in the catalog, not thinking that she would give us the same animal twice. We also matched Prince William (#64) and Speedy (#78), two other males.
Dinner was yummy taco-burrito-things before our Friday film. We enjoyed the 3rd episode (Social) of BBC’s Inside the Animal Mind. It was very interesting to see the Bimini dolphins, and DCP’s research, on screen, and to see how the study of animal social lives is done in other species.
Colonel Potcakes (EKU 2015)