These dolphins enjoy watching SpongeBob SquarePants—and it could be good for them

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country These dolphins enjoy watching SpongeBob SquarePants—and it could be good for them To keep captive dolphins entertained, marine facilities typically give them pool noodles and rings to play with. But a new study suggests these ocean mammals also enjoy a more human pastime: TV.Researchers at Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder in Key Largo, Florida, positioned large TV screens at underwater windows and played videos for groups of 11 bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and five rough-toothed (Steno bredanensis) dolphins. These included ocean or jungle scenes from the nature documentary Planet Earth and episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants (to test whether the dolphins preferred shows with more naturalistic ocean settings). Then they monitored the dolphins’ behavior for signs of interest, such as pressing their heads against the glass or nodding their heads, or signs of aggression, such as clamping their jaws or swimming with jerky movements.The dolphins didn’t have a favorite show: They were interested in the TV regardless of what was on, according to results the team will publish in Zoo Biology. Even hearing-impaired dolphins paid attention, indicating that moving pictures alone might captivate dolphins. Some animals—particularly the males—reacted more aggressively than others, the researchers noted. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Sofie BatesDec. 3, 2018 , 12:05 PM The team suggests dolphin keepers interested in trying this approach with the animals in their care should conduct trial sessions first. For dolphins that are unfit for release, TV could be another way to stimulate their brains. The researchers also cite another potential benefit: Monitoring how dolphins respond to different videos could provide new ways to study how they think.last_img read more