Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Dolphins, such as our bottlenose dolphins, are among the most social of mammals, and this is often seen by boaters who encounter groups of dolphins traveling together and often seeming to play as they swim through the bow waves of a boat. Bottlenose dolphins live in social groups called 'pods'. These are often family groups and group members may defend one another against sharks and aid sick or injured individuals. A group will sometimes drive schools of fishes, encircling them or corralling them near shore so that they're easier to capture. At times, pods join in larger groups and sometimes offshore one might find groups of more than 100 dolphins. Such groups mail off the movement of individuals among groups for the exchange of information about food resources and for cooperative feeding. Bottlenose dolphins sometimes gather in same-sex or age groups, and pairs of males are known to travel together for years, aiding one another in hunting and in seeking mates. Individuals can apparently live for as long as 50 years. We're beginning to learn a lot about bottlenose dolphin social behavior, but we've only just begun.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts of Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.