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Dolphin swims alongside RV Armstrong

Call of the Wild

An Atlantic white-sided dolphin jumps alongside the research vessel Neil Armstrong off the Massachusetts coast. These animals spend most of their lives in deep waters but are known to strand off Cape Cod, where mass strandings are common. WHOI scientists and their colleagues are developing a stranding “early warning system” based on the unique calls or "signature" whistles emitted by individual dolphins. Scientists have found that in the days before a stranding, dolphins use their signature whistles more frequently than other whistles. When combined with other stranding factors such as tides, lunar cycles and wind, signature whistles might provide a key to averting these strandings. (Photo by Amy Kukulya, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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