Wild Spotted Dolphins | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

For thousands of years, people
have regarded dolphins as
intelligent and friendly. There are stories from the ancient
Greeks describing dolphins that
have saved the lives of sailors lost at sea. Few animals in the
ocean have ever been so revered
by people. But what are wild dolphins
really like? I mean what do
they do all day? And what do they think of people? Join me
as I set out to learn the truth
about wild spotted dolphins. We’re in the Bahamas, heading
north to a shallow area called
White Sand Ridge. This area of open ocean has very
shallow water, only about 30
feet deep. It’s a favorite place for Atlantic Spotted
dolphins to hang out. I’m aboard a boat called the
Dream Too, run by Captain Wayne
Scott Smith. Scott as his friends call him,
is famous for his interactions
with wild dolphins. For over twenty years, he has been
taking people to swim with wild
dolphins. His personal relationships with
some of the dolphins are
legendary. I have come here
along with some other divers to
attempt the experience of a
lifetime━swimming with wild
dolphins! The hardest part about swimming
with wild dolphins is finding
them in the first place. In fact, the only way to find
them, is to let them find us!
We head out into the White Sand Ridge area and drive the
boat around until the dolphins
arrive. There! Dolphins are incredible
playful. In fact, they maybe
the most playful animals on
earth. One of their favorite games is
riding in the bow wave of boat The boat creates a pressure
wave on its bow and the
dolphins get a free ride. It’s
almost like underwater surfing We have managed to find a
friendly pod of dolphins. This
pod is having a lot of fun playing in our bow wave. Now is the time to get ready to
go into the water with the
dolphins. Capt Scott puts the boat in neutral, and we all
jump off the back deck. Go?
Alright! Woohoo! The dolphins come racing over
to investigate us and suddenly
we are surrounded by dolphins, each squeaking and clicking in
excitement. In total confusion,
the dolphins zip past this way and that and we don’t
even know which way to look. Soon I can tell that the
dolphins really like
excitement. They seem to swim
with the people that act the silliest
underwater. They also love the
underwater scooter that members
of the crew use to keep their
attention. But there is no doubt that the
dolphins like Scott the best.
When he gets in the water, several of the dolphins go to
him and stay with him. He has
been swimming with the dolphins for 20 years, and knows over
100 dolphins by sight. He has
given them names and can tell them apart by their unique
spot patterns and scars. Even though these are called
“Spotted” dolphins, not all of
them have spots. The younger ones have almost no
spots at all. They don’t start
to get spots until they are about 4 years old. But as they get older, they get
more and more spots, until they
have so many spots, you can’t tell where one ends and
the next one begins. No two dolphins have the same
spot pattern, so they can be
used like fingerprints to
identify individual dolphins. For over 20 years, Scott has
been taking pictures of the
dolphins and keeping track of
who is who. In his extensive photo
album, he has pictures of the
same dolphin taken years apart. SCOTT: There’s about
eighty-eight of them in this
catalog, but I maintain a
catalog and computer of over 125 of
them. A lot of the animals,
umm, their spot pattern changes as they get older. It’s very
difficult to keep track of the
animals. It’s almost like I have to take pictures of them
yearly so I can keep track of
the spot changes. When they age, some look like the
older ones I can still
recognize them. It’s a lot easier to keep track
of the dolphins that have what
Scott called “Permanent IDs━ these are scars that don’t
change much over time, like the
dorsal fin on this dolphin. Some of the dolphins that Scott
has been following have gone
from being calves to mothers to grandmothers! No matter what their age, the
dolphins seem to love to play.
For dolphins, goofing off is a very important activity. But why are dolphins so
playful? My theory is that they
can play because they don’t have to spend much time looking
for food. Dolphins have a special sense
called echolocation. By making
clicking sounds and listening to the echoes that bounce back,
dolphins can visualize in
complete darkness, as well as detect fish hiding under the
sand. One of the favorite foods of
spotted dolphins are razor
fish, which dive into the sand
for safety when a threat
approaches. By using their
echolocation, the dolphins can
detect them hiding out of sight under
the sand. Dolphins also eat squid that
they hunt at night in deep
water off the continental shelf. Because the dolphins don’t have
to spend much time looking for
food, they have plenty of time to play. Dolphins are so smart that they
invent games to play with each
other. Scott once noticed that the dolphins were playing
“keep away” with seaweed, and
he thought he would try to join the fun. Now, the dolphins play keep
away with him using a bandana.
He calls it the bandana game. Scott waves the bandana in the
water to get the dolphin’s
attention. Soon they take it from him and the game is to
try to get it back! I find it incredibly amazing
that these wild animals will
interact with me like this. Can you imagine a lion or a bear
out in the wild playing games
with people? These dolphins are the underwater equivalent.
This kind of thing only happens
in the ocean. It’s one of the reasons I love the ocean
so much. We only get the bandana back
when the dolphins get bored and
decide to stop playing.
Otherwise they’re just too fast for us! After a week of excitement
playing the bandana game with
the dolphins, I’ve learned one important lesson━dolphins swim
a lot better than I do. But
they do seem to love to play, and they will even spend time
playing with people. Although I
must bid my new friend goodbye and head for home, I’ll
be back, because this is one
adventure that I need to
experience again! WHOO!! That was great! ( ♪ music )

99 thoughts on “Wild Spotted Dolphins | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. I've seen wild Dolphins in real life, they decided to come up beside my fishing boat (catch and release) and kick the chum around, you sir though have gone swimming with them!

  2. Another top quality video thanks blue world team! I use my projector and watch these videos on my ceiling as I lay in bed, this is so perfect!

  3. Hi Jonathan! Do you remember me? It's Snakegamin! I have been your fan for 2 years now and i never missed your videos! I just wanna say you have been improving your channel every day and im very proud! You teach me everything about the ocean to make us smart, a smartie-pants! You are one of my favourite animal biologist and ill never stop watching your videos, keep it up!

  4. They are truly wonderful creatures, I would love to visit the Bahamas and make some dives with them. Another great video Jonathan.

  5. an old upload today, eh? don't mind, your work was always fantastic, whether it was square-screened or rectangle-screened ;D
    "we managed to find a friendly pod of dolphins" is there such thing as a rude pod of dolphins? ;P i mean ik orcas may not want to cuddle the life out of you 24/7 but..XD

  6. That's incredible what their doing with that Bandana, and their in the open Ocean where they should be and not held in an Aquarium, clearly they don't need training like some puppy dog.
    Great stuff.
    Steve in Scotland.

  7. I've been watching BlueWorld for about 4mos now and I absolutely love it. during my lunch hour this is what I watch, it's so relaxing and educational at the same time. Thank you

  8. You have the best job ever and I wish I could have that job but i live in Cleavland And im a kid so……

    And also its been my dream to be a marine bioligist and go scuba diving with you and get certified

  9. im gloomy……………………..but this isn't time to be gloomy……..because this is a new blue world video…..?

  10. I just simply love BlueWorldTV ! Every video is filled with so much love and effort ! Even though this video is not the newest one it´s still a pleasure to watch it ! Hope you keep this channel up 🙂

  11. Johnathan, your videos are an absolute treasure – they are every bit as good as Dr. Cousteau's – and that is high compliment indeed. I dive today because as a little girl, I marveled at "The Undersea world of Jacques Cousteau" Youngsters today find the same wonder in yours. Yes, you are a treasure, and an important part of the oceans eco system. Kudos.

  12. Amazing how dolphins interact with humans. Maybe we underestimate how intelligent some animals truly are.

  13. I can't believe they use their finns to hold the bandana! I swear, if some of these animals had thumbs & could speak… we may not be quite the rulers of this world, like we think we are;)

  14. 9 Sharks not like Dolphins 🙂
    Great video! I share some time with wild dolphins in the red sea and they are amazing creatures.

  15. I love your dolphin ? videos! I live vicariously through you and your crew, Jonathan! Thank you for taking me places I can’t go, but can experience in my mind!

  16. Is it easy doing what you do????? I want to swin with sharks. But that one is the great white shark

  17. I wonder if you have seen a dolphin asleep given that they have an odd sleeping pattern compared to other mammals that live on land.

  18. This is wonderful. This channel is gr8 becoz ur educating ppl bout the ocean. I recently found out bout the Japanese dolphin killing coves, the most horrendous act of torture and murder ive ever seen. Thy claim dolphins r stupid and that they r pests that steal their fish. Ofc this is total ignorance n total barbaric cruelty. But with channels like ures it proves without question these r intelligent, caring, loving beautiful, magnificent creatures that deserve the respect if all ppl. So ty again ?

  19. Here in Portugal in my city called SETUBAL , in River Sado , theres a resident family of Dolphins 27 members ,in my city we have the woods " Serra da Arrabida " and a clear blue river called " Rio Sado ", and ocean.all together in same city

  20. This was my favorite episode, and possibly the reason why I want to snorkel or scuba dive with dolphins

  21. I should have discovered this channel before!!! It's really awesome, I'm from Spain and my dream is to become a marine biologist, so I admire your work and I hope your videos will help me a lot!!! Kind regards??

  22. i can recognize the voice..of this vedio just like my kabayan??in solomon gold in the philippines.all the time in watching.This is great…mabuhay ka.God bless.

  23. you are amazing and fearless I am a fan of yours and I am going to my first PADI open water course so if it is ok with you can I you tell me some good dive sites for beginners and that is not too deep as I am not a tec diver

  24. it looked great too, though i have to disagree this can only happen underwater, my childhood dogs were brothers and they would play keepy off each other and me,ive seen YT videos of foxes, pigs, cows, cats,chickens, donkeys, ducks, birds, monkeys all doing very similar stuff

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