Dolphins Hunt Together

Watch spinner dolphins corral their quarry and work together to feed in these animations. Kelly Benoit-Bird used acoustic data of dolphins feeding at night near Hawaii. She reported her findings in the following journal article: Benoit-Bird, K.J. & Au, W.W.L. 2009 “Cooperative prey herding by a pelagic dolphin, Stenella longirostris.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 125: 539-546, which is available on her website.

Click on the orange text below to see the animations.

Top view: Top view of data from a multibeam sonar observations of dolphin foraging. This animation is a composite of three observations overlapping in foraging stage to permit a visualization of a complete foraging bout. Each frame is the composite of six successive sonar echoes, providing higher resolution and three-dimensional information while minimizing noise in the data. The strong air cavity echo from each dolphin is represented by the dots. Isosurfaces of prey scattering strength identified from spatial statistics are shown in purple with lighter colors representing higher scattering. The travel of the vessel has been removed and the data is shown at 8 times real time.

Side view: Side view of data from a multibeam sonar observation of a foraging dolphins. This animation is a composite of three observations overlapping in foraging stage to permit a visualization of a complete foraging bout. Each frame is the composite of six successive sonar echoes, providing higher resolution and three-dimensional information while minimizing noise in the data. The strong air cavity echo from each dolphin is represented by the dots. Blue dots show dolphins behind the center of the circle and yellow represent dolphins in front of this plane. Isosurfaces of prey scattering strength identified from spatial statistics are shown in purple with lighter colors representing higher scattering. The travel of the vessel has been removed and the data is shown at 8 times real time.

3-d view: Dolphin positions recorded from a multibeam sonar observation of a foraging dolphin group. This animation is a composite of three observations overlapping in foraging stage to permit a visualization of a complete foraging bout. Each frame is the composite of six successive sonar echoes, providing higher resolution and three- dimensional information while minimizing noise in the data. The strong air cavity echo from each dolphin is represented by the dots. The travel of the vessel has been removed and the data is shown at 8 times real time.

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