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By: Rachel Smolker
274 pages, Col photos
In 1982, Rachel Smolker turned her lifetime fascination with dolphins into a groundbreaking research project. Frustrated by the limitations of observing dolphins in captivity, she moved to Monkey Mia, a remote beach on the west coast of Australia where "tame" wild dolphins regularly interact with humans. Gradually, Smolker and a team of fellow scientists extended the human-dolphin community to include dolphins that did not come toward the shore. By 1990 they could recognise and chart the behaviour of more than 250 individuals. Smolker's highly engaging chronicle offers a close look at dolphin society and the individuals that inhabit it. From the intriguing differences between the sexes to the nature of mother-infant relationships, to the wide repertoire of sounds used for social communication, the author reveals the inner workings of dolphin life. She profiles single dolphins and shows them to have personalities ranging from the playful to the moody to downright silly.
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