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The Dolphin Alliance Project

The Dolphin Alliance Project is seeking to understand what dolphins are doing with the largest brains after humans (taking body size into account) at the best place in the world to learn about dolphin intelligence in the wild. Forty years of research on Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in World Heritage listed Shark Bay, Western Australia, has revealed the most complex non-human society known, with multi-level male alliances and cultural behavior that includes tool use. FIU researchers are part of an international effort to use new technology to better understand the remarkable dolphin society in Shark Bay. 

A trio of allied males on a glassy-calm day in Shark Bay.

Socializing dolphins in Shark Bay

Some dolphins in Shark Bay use sponges as tools to protect their snouts while probing the bottom for prey.

Dolphin researcher Simon Allen took this spectacular shot from a drone, showing one of our research boats following a dolphin in the spectacular setting of Shark Bay.

Drones are an example of the new technology that is enabling us to learn much more about the Shark Bay dolphins. Here we see two male alliances together, a pair and a trio,  each behind their female consort

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