Join hosts Dr. Justin Gregg and Laura Teasdale as they talk with scientists and experts about everyone’s favorite marine mammal: the dolphin. With a sprinkling of comedy to season the science, The Dolphin Pod is an enlightening and entertaining deep dive into the world of dolphin science. The Dolphin Pod is family-friendly, teen-approved podcast fun! After a 10 year hiatus (so Justin could be a stay-at-home dad), The Dolphin Pod returned with new episodes in 2019. If you love The Dolphin Pod, please consider becoming a DCP member, making a donation to DCP, or contacting us to sponsor an episode. A big thank you to those who supported our 2018/2019 fundraising campaign and to the Holly Jolly Foundation for their support of 2022/2023 episodes.
Learn all about dolphin vocalizations and dolphin sounds in this week’s episode, featuring real audio recorded this summer from wild dolphins at our research field site at Mikura Island in Japan.
>Hello everyone! The Dolphin Pod is back on the air after a short break. I’ve just returned from a research trip to Mikura Island in Japan where the Dolphin Communication Project is involved in a long term study of a group of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins that live around the island.
You may recall from The Dolphin Pod episode titled “Herman’s Dolphin Prodigies” that dolphins have proven themselves to be capable of understanding the human pointing gesture. Dr. Louis Herman and his research team have shown that dolphins, when given a pointing arm and finger gesture to indicate an object, understand that this gesture is a cue to the location of an object. This might sound like a very boring, elementary skill, but the ability to follow a pointing gesture is very rare in the animal kingdom.
Dolphins have been observed creating and playing with intricate bubble rings. Learn all about bubble ring play in dolphins in this week’s episode.
Many animals, especially young animals, spend a lot of time playing. This is especially true of large mammals that we often rank high on the intelligence scale; dogs, apes, humans –and, of course, dolphins. One variety of play tends to stand out as particularly complex; playing with objects. Dolphins, like dogs, will often use objects that they find in their environment for games like keep-away or tug of war.
In just a few days, the Dolphin Communication Project will begin our research on Mikura Island in Japan for our summer 2007 field season. The tiny, dormant volcanic island of Mikura lies 200 km south of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean. The island is home to 300 human beings and about 180 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. These dolphins live in the shallow waters around the island.
Today is Earth Day 2007. According to the Earth Day Network Web site, the focus of this year’s Earth Day is “A Call for Action on Climate Change”. Climate change is a topic that is in the news a lot lately, but one rarely finds a connection between climate change and dolphins. However, there is one species of cetacean that is on the front lines of this battle against climate change: the narwhal.
This week’s episode of The Dolphin Pod is not actually about dolphins, but this little gem was simply too precious to ignore. OK, imagine for a second that you are a whale researcher, and your task is to investigate the health of an endangered population of North Atlantic right whales. There are only about 350 individual whales of this species left in the world today. Their numbers have not increased over several decades.
Scientists think that dolphin’s teeth aren’t just for grabbing – a hypothesis that is gaining considerable support suggests that dolphin teeth might be used as an antenna. Not an antenna for picking up radio or television signals (dolphins probably aren’t too bothered if they miss an episode or two of Survivor), but for detecting sonar signals. Learn more about the strange properties of dolphin teeth in this week’s episode.
Not all teeth are created equal. Some animal teeth are for grinding and chewing (like the human molars), some for tearing and cutting (like the human incisors).
In today’s episode, we will shed light on the ancient history of the word ‘dolphin’.
Have you ever wondered what the word for ‘dolphin’ was in other languages? Well, I’ve got a dictionary in front of me that provides simultaneous translations in 26 languages. Let’s have a quick look through, shall we? Let’s see…
Hey hold on a second, I think there might be a bit of a pattern here.
Space. The final frontier. Only the bravest of us dare to venture into the cold darkness of space. Those intrepid, courageous men and women, who have voyaged beyond earth's atmosphere, have doubtless been subjected to a surge of powerful emotions as they gaze upon planet earth from such a great height. These emotions can only be described as…. nausea, dizziness, queasiness, disorientation, sickness, wobbliness, lightheadedness, wooziness, and are often accompanied by … vomiting!
I am talking about what astronauts often refer to as Space Sickness.
If you are a regular listener to the Dolphin Pod, then you'll be aware of the power and versatility of a dolphin's echolocation system. If you are inclined to be jealous of the sensory systems of other animals, you could do worse than to envy dolphin biosonar. It is pretty cool stuff. At least, you can rest assured that humans outshine dolphins when it comes to vision, right? Not so fast my simian friend - while it is true that humans and other primates do have well-developed visual systems, our dolphin friends are not far behind.