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Satellite Reveals Secrets of Bermuda's Deep-Diving Dolphins in Groundbreaking Study.



California Scientists and Bermuda Schoolchildren Follow Offshore Dolphin Travels via GPS, Internet

SAN DIEGO San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. , May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Three wild dolphins living in the Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean [Lat.,=of Atlas], second largest ocean (c.31,800,000 sq mi/82,362,000 sq km; c.36,000,000 sq mi/93,240,000 sq km with marginal seas). Physical Geography
Extent and Seas
 off the coast of Bermuda are surprising scientists in San Diego and a worldwide audience following the dolphins' daily swims and dives via the Internet.
  (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050527/DCF039-a
           http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050527/DCF039-b )
  (Logo:   http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030718/DQLOGO )



Named JD, Chip and Bermudiana by field biologists, the three wild dolphins were briefly caught, fitted with satellite tags and released two weeks ago by researchers studying the offshore dolphin group. Their travels are tracked by global geographic satellite relay technology and posted daily on the research Web site at http://www.dolphinquest.org/. Time-depth recorders measure and report the dolphins' diving behavior.

Preliminary data shows Bermudiana, the only female of the three, diving to depths exceeding 600 meters (1,950 feet), by far the deepest dives recorded for the species. And while much of the dolphins' daily movements appear to be meanderings around the island, Chip and Bermudiana have recently raised eyebrows and questions by taking off on a week-long journey to nearly 200 kilometers (124 miles) northeast of Bermuda.

"There is so much that we don't know about the lives of wild dolphins. We're amazed every day," said Leigh Klatsky, research associate for Dolphin Quest and field leader for the Bermuda Wild Dolphin Tracking Project. "Previous studies of wild dolphins focused on shallow water See:
  • Shallow water blackout
  • Waves and shallow water
  • Shallow water equations
  • Shallow Water, Kansas
, near-shore populations. The Bermuda dolphin study is showing us that at least some groups of dolphins are, indeed, extraordinarily deep divers."

The dolphins may be making regular dives more than one-third mile below the ocean surface to feast on lantern fish lantern fish
n.
Any of numerous small deep-sea fishes of the family Myctophidae that have distinguishing phosphorescent light organs along each body wall and that often swim to the surface at night.
, squid and the myriad of creatures that converge in what scientists call the "deep scattering layer deep scattering layer  

See scattering layer.
" of ocean life, according to Klatsky, whose San Diego State University San Diego State University (SDSU), founded in 1897 as San Diego Normal School, is the largest and oldest higher education facility in the greater San Diego area (generally the City and County of San Diego), and is part of the California State University system.  masters thesis chronicled the first-ever field work involving Bermuda's offshore dolphins in 2003. The deep dolphin dives last for duration of 10 minutes and more.

Another question puzzling researchers is whether the dolphins, observed sporadically by Bermuda fishermen, are a stable, resident population living in proximity to the island year round. While scientists initially thought this to be the case, the more distant travels of two of the recently tagged dolphins may reveal a wider home range and more frequent ocean ramblings.

Klatsky and the Bermuda Wild Dolphin Tracking team will continue to monitor the comings and goings, and the ups and downs ups and downs  
pl.n.
Alternating periods of good and bad fortune or spirits.


ups and downs
Noun, pl

alternating periods of good and bad luck or high and low spirits
, of JD, Chip and Bermudiana, and expect to learn even more about the sleek marine mammal species. The satellite tracking tags are attached to the dolphins' dorsal fins and engineered to detach after three to four months of delivering location and depth data.

Bermuda schoolchildren are following the dolphins' progress on the Internet and incorporating the real time research reports into lessons in math and local marine life. The Bermuda Wild Dolphin Tracking Project is a collaboration between Dolphin Quest Bermuda and the Bermuda Zoological Society.

FOLLOW THE BERMUDA DOLPHINS

You can follow the daily movements of the three dolphins of the Bermuda Wild Dolphin Tracking Project online at http://www.dolphinquest.org/.

CONTACT: Jeff Jouett of Dolphin Quest, +1-619-405-0008.

CONTACT: Jeff Jouett of Dolphin Quest, +1-619-405-0008

Web site: http://www.dolphinquest.org/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 27, 2005
Words:556
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