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Two free dolphin-related events in Islamorada will have interested participants marveling about the behavior and intelligence of these mammals. Today, the History of Diving Museum at mile marker 83 bayside continues its Immerse Yourself! series March 20 at 7 p.m. by presenting “Dolphin Behavior: What do dolphins do all day?”
Barb Berry and Sharon Baldyga identify and study the Florida Bay Bottlenose Dolphin in Islamorada. They have identified 340 individual dolphins and 60 mother-calf pairs by their dorsal fin. The team observes and documents the behavior and their day-to-day activities. This information allows the team to track the relationships between dolphins, how long and how often they interact with each other, patterns of home territories and the range of territories. Berry and Baldyga will share and discuss their findings.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Extended hours tonight are until 7p.m. allowing visitors to enjoy the museum's exhibits before the free lecture.
Call 305-664-9737 or visit www.divingmuseum.org for more information.
Ten days later, Hal Goforth is to visit Hooked on Books Sat., March 30, at 1 p.m. to sign his new book, Defender Dolphins, the true story of dolphins utilized during the Vietnam War.
Defender Dolphins: The Story of Project Short Time is the never-before-told eyewitness account of a unique and daring secret project during involving the first-ever military use of dolphins.
Even though the facts contained in Defender Dolphins were declassified in 1992, no one has attempted to document the amazing project — until now. Myths and lies have filled the void, calling into question the integrity of the program that saved lives in Vietnam, added to scientific knowledge, and laid a foundation for modern-day partnerships with trained dolphins, many of them descendants of the original defender dolphins. Ten years in the making, Defender Dolphins corrects the misconceptions by spelling out the true story.
No one is in a better position to tell the dramatic story of the world's first military dolphins than Capt. (Ret) Harold W. Goforth, Jr., the U.S. Navy's first Marine Mammal Officer. For two years he lived and breathed dolphin training, deploying with the revolutionary Dolphin Swimmer Defense System to Vietnam until his tour ended in 1971. A marine scientist and professor of marine sciences and exercise physiology, Goforth spent 10 years researching Defender Dolphins: The Story of Project Short Time.
He and his wife, Sharon, divide their time between San Diego and South Florida.
Hooked on Books at mile marker 81.9 oceanside on the Overseas Highway in Islamorada, can be reached at 305-517-2602, or visit www.hookedonbooksfloridakeys.com.