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Not surprisingly, they found higher levels of pesticides in dolphins near the Keys, which were more likely to be exposed to urban runoff.
Last year, for example, in a study that looked at dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon, researchers discovered that elevated mercury levels in dolphins accurately reflected high amounts in the nearby human population. The high amounts of mercury likely come from the miles of mangrove that line the coast and form countless islands, said Florida International University marine ecologist and co-author Jeremy Kiszka.
Mercury in the Everglades has long been linked to smoke stacks and fertilizer used in farming and led to declines in birds — as well as repeated health warnings over eating fish.
Bottlenose dolphins also use sound for communication, including squeaks and whistles, as well as sounds emitted through body movements, such as leaping from the water and slapping their tails on the water surface.
Numerous investigations of bottlenose dolphin intelligence have been conducted, examining mimicry, use of artificial language, object categorization, and self-recognition.