About Communication Between Man & Dolphins

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Communication between man and dolphins occurs with the use of hand signals, positive reinforcement and extended training periods. Use a whistle or fish to show a dolphin that it is behaving properly with information from a dolphin behavioral husbandry and rehabilitation coordinator in this free video on dolphins.

Part of the Video Series: Dolphin Facts
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Petra Cunningham-Smith. And I'm one of the dolphin trainers at Mote Marine Laboratory, an aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. Today we're going to talk about communication between man and dolphins. Here at Mote Marine Laboratory our communication takes place through our training sessions with our animals. Our animals are trained to respond to hand signals. And we use positive reinforcement as the method to communicate with our animals. In this way, we can ask our dolphins to cooperate in their own medical procedures. And to do aerial behaviors and other behaviors that we like to have our dolphins do. This training takes place over a course of time. And it's based on trust between the animals and their trainers. We use a whistle bridge, like the one I'm wearing here. In order to let the dolphins know that they have done a good job. And we also use fish as a primary reinforcer for our animals. And I'm Petra at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. And that's how we communicate with our dolphins here.

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