The dolphins that live in the Adelaide Port River are wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). They are wild and free and have chosen to call the Port River their home. The Port River is part of the Adelaide dolphin Sanctuary.
Dolphins are very social, intelligent, playful creatures. It is fascinating watching their different behaviours and the different ways they interact with one another.
There are many behaviours that we observe from our wonderful dolphin friends.
Logging – When dolphins are sleeping they rest on the surface of the water. This is called logging because they look like a log floating in the water. It is important that people on the water do not approach and harass dolphins when they are resting. Dolphins need about 8 hrs sleep per day.
Travelling – Dolphins can travel of speeds of up to 35Km per hour if they want to but generally we see them travelling slowly and surfacing regularly. Even when dolphins are travelling we see them interacting with one another, often they will swim side by side and will surface together.
Spy hopping – Spy hopping is where a dolphin lifts it head out of the water. This is often done when playing around with other dolphins. Spy hopping enables dolphins to look around and see what is happening above the surface of the water.
Tail Slapping – There are several possible reasons for tail slapping. I have observed mother dolphin’s tail slapping near and even on top of their calves. I believe this could be the mother’s way of reprimanding her calf. Other reasons dolphins may tail slap include, anger, frustration and it is also thought to be away in which they communicate as well.