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Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

SCU Marine Research

Talking to dolphins

STEPHANIE Henderson and Morgan Mingle have discovered that Jet the baby
dolphin at the Pet Porpoise Pool is disciplined regularly.

The two American students, completing a thesis dissertation, are researching
at the Pet Porpoise Pool to better understand how dolphins talk and
communicate.

Jet, the latest addition to Calamity’s brood, is the focus of the study as
there is a gap in the literature about dolphin communication before the age of
six months.

“Our school really does specialise in finding the gaps,” Miss Henderson
said.

“Jet likes to go off on his own, he is very adventurous and seems to be
disciplined fairly often,” Miss Mingle said.

“We can also tell when the calf is vocalising as there are lots of bubbles.
With adults you barely see bubbles.”

The Southwestern University (Texas) students have been in Coffs Harbour for
three weeks and have so far collected over a terrabyte of data from two
hydrophones and six cameras.

The project is an ongoing collaboration with Prof. Jesse Purdy, a comparative
psychologist with Southwestern and Dr Anna Brooks an SCU psychology
researcher.

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