Study: Dolphins work together to complete tasks

November 24, 2018

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — A year-long study conducted in the Florida Keys shows that bottlenose dolphins work together to perform and complete tasks.

The research was performed by Dolphin Research Center in collaboration with a University of Western Australia scientist. It studied pairs of dolphins swimming across a Florida Keys lagoon to reach and press black underwater buttons. The buttons were wired to a computer to record actions and the time difference when both dolphins pushed the buttons.

Dr. Kelly Jaakkola, DRC’s director of research, said Friday that in some tests, the dolphins were sent together. In others, there was a delay in sending one partner. The first dolphin would wait, and both pressed their buttons simultaneously.

Jaakkola said the study showed that dolphins actively coordinate to synchronize their behaviors.