Scientists in the Field
Spiral Notebook
The Dolphins of Shark Bay
by Pamela Turner
July 5, 2012
The Dolphins of Shark Bay
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The wild bottlenose dolphins of Shark Bay, Western Australia have provided one surprise after another. First, the discovery that some Shark Bay dolphins use sponges as tools. Next, the revelation that male dolphins form complex alliances to kidnap fertile females.  Now researcher Dr. Janet Mann reports that dolphins in Shark Bay show the first strong evidence of culture in a non-human species. Read more here.

The Dolphins of Shark Bay, an upcoming Scientists in the Field, dives into the true lives of these extraordinary animals.  Why do some Shark Bay dolphins use tools? Why do males join forces to “pirate” females? How should we define culture, and is it really unique to humans? How does all of this relate to the ultimate question: why are dolphins so intelligent?

The Dolphins of Shark Bay by Pamela S. Turner (author of Gorilla Doctors, The Frog Scientist, and Project Seahorse) is coming in fall 2013.

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About Pamela Turner

Pamela S. Turner lives in Oakland, California with her children and her husband. She has a B.A. in social science from UCAL-Irvine and a Master’s of public health from UCAL-Berkeley. She has written numerous books for young readers, including Hachiko and the Scientists in the Field titles Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes, The Frog Scientist, Project Seahorse, The Dolphins of Shark Bay and her forthcoming work, Crow Smarts. Visit her website at


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