Marathon, Florida Keys – Do dolphin bottles work together to perform and perform tasks?
"Yes," says a study by marine mammals at the Delfine Research Center in Florida Keys.
The long-running project reveals that the dolphins are cooperating to carry out a task together.
Studies conducted jointly with a scientist at the University of Western Australia are studying dolphin pairs that swim in the Florida Keys lagoon to reach and push black underwater buttons. The buttons were connected to a computer on the top surface to record the actions and the time difference when both dolphins pressed the buttons.
"We wanted to see if the dolphins can cooperate actively," said Dr. Yahoda-ko-lah, Research Director of the DRC. "The game was that the dolphins had to swim in the lagoon and push the buttons simultaneously … especially within a second window."
In some tests the dolphins were sent together, Yaacola said. In other cases, there was a delay in sending a partner. The other would wait for both to push their buttons at the same time.
"The dolphins do not succeed in this test alone, they are amazing," she said. "After all, the time difference between their push buttons is only 370 milliseconds.
"It's about a third of a second," Jaakkola added. "This kind of precision shows that they not only co-operate … and then actively coordinate in an over-accurate way to synchronize their behavior."
What is known as "behavioral synchronization" shown by wild dolphins in the wild when coordinating swimming or feeding them is probably a common cognitive ability that they can apply to many activities, Yaakoka said.
DRC researchers also investigate whether dolphins use vocal signals or other ways to coordinate actions.
The results of the study are published in a biological research journal of The Royal Society, a UK-based scientific academy.
Dolphin botanists can understand the role of their partner in the cooperative task.