WHY ARE THESE RISSO’S DOLPHINS DOING HEADSTAND??
Melissa Cronin/ The Dodo

Researchers captured some pretty unusual dolphin behavior on film in the southern Egyptian Red Sea recently — a small pod of Risso’s dolphins with their flukes standing straight up in the air, waving in the breeze. The bizarre behavior, filmed by the Red Sea Dolphin Project is baffling researchers. Mark Palmer, Associate Director of the International Marine Mammal Project at the Earth Island Institute gave a few theories, based on the similar behavior of other marine mammals:

They are using the wind to push their flukes and “sail” along, like right whales in Argentina have been observed doing 
- They could be female dolphin raising their tails out of the water to prevent males from mating with them, like gray whales are known to do
- They could be trying to warm their flukes in the sun — sea lions will often stick their flippers above the water to warm them, and then circulate the warm blood through their bodies in the cold water 
- They could simply being doing it to have fun

WHY ARE THESE RISSO’S DOLPHINS DOING HEADSTAND??

Melissa Cronin/ The Dodo

Researchers captured some pretty unusual dolphin behavior on film in the southern Egyptian Red Sea recently — a small pod of Risso’s dolphins with their flukes standing straight up in the air, waving in the breeze. The bizarre behavior, filmed by the Red Sea Dolphin Project is baffling researchers. 
Mark Palmer, Associate Director of the International Marine Mammal Project at the Earth Island Institute gave a few theories, based on the similar behavior of other marine mammals:

  • They are using the wind to push their flukes and “sail” along, like right whales in Argentina have been observed doing 
  • - They could be female dolphin raising their tails out of the water to prevent males from mating with them, like gray whales are known to do
  • - They could be trying to warm their flukes in the sun — sea lions will often stick their flippers above the water to warm them, and then circulate the warm blood through their bodies in the cold water 
  • - They could simply being doing it to have fun
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