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jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Dolphins 5

Length of Segment: 00:01:15

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin is the most conspicuous dolphin in Florida. Large populations of them can be found in bays, estuaries, and other near-shore waters around the state. They sometimes even enter larger Florida rivers for a short distance. Bottlenose dolphins can also be found off-shore, and there is some evidence that the off-shore and near-shore populations remain fairly isolated from one another. Off-shore bottlenose dolphins average larger than those near shore, have smaller flippers, and their blood chemistry suggests that they're better adapted for living in cooler waters and capable of deeper diving. Off-shore dolphins also tend to live in larger groups, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. These larger groups and the larger individual size of off-shore dolphins may aid in their defense against sharks. Near-shore bottlenose dolphins are smaller and have larger flippers, suggesting that they may be able to more easily get rid of excess body heat and also maneuver more easily in their shallow water environment. Near-shore dolphins also live in smaller groups, usually including between two and fifteen individuals.

'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.

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