Dolphins are very playful and social animals. There are many different ways they play including Tail walking, Jumping, chasing birds and Wave riding (either in natural waves or the waves created by boats – see bow riding).
They often tend to start playing when one group of dolphins joins up with another group. It is not just the young dolphins that are seen playing, adult dolphins are often observed leaping out of the water as well. The adults also appear very playful when they are mating and interacting with one another.
Dolphins are very intelligent animals and have been observed creating their own games with sea weed, fish and jelly fish. On many occasions I have seen the dolphins pick up a piece of sea weed in their mouth and observed them throwing fish and jelly fish (See Fishing).
In the wild, there are many things that appear to spark the dolphin’s interest. We often see the dolphins chasing after the cormorants and seagulls (see birds and dolphins) and on many occasions have observed Port River Dolphin, “Wave” tail walking or leaping out of the water very close to the birds. It appears as if she is trying to surprise them. She has certainly surprised me and some of the other dolphin watchers several times when she has tail walked or leapt out of the water right next to where we are standing.