I’m pretty sure that’s one of the big questions asked by the public since the last couple of decades, and it’s one I never thought I’d be asked. So, I was pretty excited to get a little help from some dolphins to shed some light on this mystery!
The two dolphins we worked with are actually members of the San Diego Zoo’s Dolphinfish species – which also includes the smaller Sulli. I have seen a few videos of dolphins swimming alongside the whales on the beach, but these are just pictures or videos. (They do share their food and go swimming together, but the video usually shows them together, at least I can confirm that one time when we walked alongside the two dolphins walking in the sea.)
The first is called Dora the Explorer, because she was one of their first members to move into the marine sanctuary that was established in 1988 for the animals in San Diego.
The second is a female named Alana who has a long nose, similar to that of the female Dora.
It took us a few days to get an accurate model, which is why we took a series of pictures of them together, rather than one big picture taken in low light.
This also is not the first time we’ve met dolphins together – we spent two months in 2014 together. It was amazing to see how far they’ve come since their first time together: one of the very first dolphins that came into the sanctuary was Dora, so they’ve definitely moved from being a little shy animals into being more outgoing!
We did go on two swims with Dora and Alana together, but I wouldn’t describe them as ‘swim together’. But we did use a special underwater camera fitted on our kayaks (they’re big enough to have their own underwater cameras): a very small underwater camera called an underwater camera. This means that you have the ability to see underwater what the dolphins are doing, giving them the potential to see even more detail than they can normally see with their eyes – something like seeing animals with a normal, non underwater camera would allow them to see.
If you’d like to take a closer look at these wonderful creatures, they’ll be at the San Diego Zoo until the end of the year – you can view some of their close encounters with us by viewing an interactive video, or checking out this link below:
The video shows a few encounters with the pair of swimmers, but most of the time has been spent