Πέμπτη, 17 Ιουλίου 2014

Getting to know dolphins



 If you feel the same way about dolphins that I do, then this booklet is for you!


If you feel the same way about dolphins that I do, then this booklet is for you.


A GUIDEBOOK FOR DOLPHIN DEFENDERS 
by Richard O'Barry

PART 1: Getting to know them

The word cetacean is used to describe all whales, dolphins and porpoises in the order Cetacea. This word comes from the Latin cetus meaning "a large sea animal," and the Greek word ketos, meaning "sea monster". There are many types of cetaceans, which are divided, according to how they feed, into two sub-orders, the Mysticetes (baleen whales) and the Odontocetes (toothed whales). Mysticetes feed by gulping large amounts of water containing hundreds or thousands of fish or plankton (like small crustaceans and krill), then forcing the water out in between the baleen plates, a strong, yet flexible material made out of keratin, used by whales to filter their prey from the sea water, leaving the prey inside to be swallowed whole. 

Odontocetes have teeth and feed mostly on fish and squid, although some orcas prey on other marine mammals. They use these teeth not for chewing, incidentally, but for grasping. One of their families, the Delphinidae, includes the Orca (killer whale) and the Bottlenose Dolphin, (Tursiops truncatus), the one like Flipper.

Dolphins in general are considered whales. The majority of dolphins held in captivity are Bottlenose dolphins. Τheir lives as a species going back 60 million years. They have wonderfully rich lives of their own until we yank them out of the sea. In the wild, they don't wear funny hats. Nor do they jump through hoops, dance on their tails, applaud themselves with their pectoral fins, or make squeaky sounds like Flipper the TV star. They live in temperate and tropical waters worldwide, weigh from 300 to 600 pounds (about 150 to 300 kilos) and grow to more than eight feet (about 2.5 meters) in length. They live in groups called "pods", made up of from several individuals to several hundred - males usually hanging out with males, females with females and their calves - and they swim up to 40 miles a day, navigating, socializing, mating, and foraging for schools of fish.

But when we see them at a dolphin show, what do we see? I'll tell you what I see. I see a dolphin eager to please and ready to do whatever the trainer wants him to. And why? Because he's hungry. Yes, dolphins perform tricks because that's when they're fed. One of the first things a trainer learns about dolphins is that they do not perform immediately unless they're hungry. This is why dolphins are fed during the show. You see the trainer blow a whistle and toss them a fish every time they do something right. And they know what they're supposed to do because they've been trained to expect a fish when they get it right. In fact they often start the show themselves when they get hungry. The trainers call their training method "positive reward". From the dolphins’perspective, however, it's food deprivation. If the dolphins get it wrong and the whistle is NOT blown, that means they won't be getting any fish reward.

If you understand the life of captive dolphins, you also begin to see the dolphin show with all its clowning around in another way. It's not clever anymore. It's abusive. When we understand that the dolphins are doing this because it's their only way of staying alive, we see it clearly for what it is: dominance. We're making dolphins do silly things, they would never do in nature, because we're amused by dominating helpless members of another species. The worst part is that it teaches children that it's okay to mock and disrespect one of nature's most fabulous of beings. The law permits this only because it's supposed to be educational. What a joke! But the joke is on us. These pathetic dolphins in captivity, wearing funny hats and leaping through hoops, are in no way like dolphins are in the wild. The saddest part is that we've allowed the entertainment industry not only to twist a beautiful species into a parody of itself but also allowed them to profit from it.

What happens to dolphins when the show is over and everybody is gone? Most of the dolphins do nothing at all. They languish in their tank or cage and wait for the next show, the next feeding. 





Posted also here


Relative links: 

Cetaceans - Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

- Whale, Dolphin or Porpoise - Characteristics of Different Types of Cetaceans 

All about whales and dolphins

- Dolphin Facts 

- Amazing Dolphin Facts 

- Dolphins 

Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

- Orca (Killer Whale) Orcinus orca  

- Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas)

- Life for captive whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals 


 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
Για σωστές μεταφράσεις στα Ελληνικά, προσέξτε:
* Οι σωστοί όροι και ονόματα των διαφόρων ειδών κητωδών: http://www.pelagosinstitute.gr/gr/eidi_kitodon/sostoi_oroi.htm *

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: