Dolphin Guide | Dolphineers | Dolphins

Persuasive Thesis Statement on the Dolphins of Pern:
Even though I am an Offworlder, this should prove I am right because of extensive knowledge and field research. It is meant to be a guide for the curious and any Dolphineer.

Dolphineer Guide
by
Miguel Enrique Carlos Arturo Aurelio,
Marine Biologist/Sr. Journeyman


CHAPTERS
  1. Short History
  2. Physical Characteristics
  3. Diet
  4. Echolocation
  5. Metasynth
  6. Communication
  7. Dolphin to Dolphin Dynamics
  8. A Rare Bond
  9. Dolphineer Staff at DSW
  10. Rules Around the Pod
  11. Typical Lessons
  12. Bibliography
I. Short History

Joining the human exodus to Pern, were 25 metasynth enhanced volunteers. Eager to explore new seas, this sentient species slept in the cryogenic chambers for the 15 Earth years it took to make the trip to the new planet. These first dolphins were a must-have for the marine biologists, collecting data and specimens from their new home. However, as time went by and survival became the main focus, the dolphins were forgotten and left to fend for themselves. To propagate and grow, spreading out and populating the seas of Pern. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 1st & 2nd Edition)

When the colonists had to abandon the Southern Continent the majority was done by sea. Known as the Dunkirk Crossing, this was the last major undertaking between dolphins and humans. Galeforce winds destroyed cargo vessels carrying desperately needed supplies for the evacuation northward and the dolphins helped by rounding up lost cargo that would save many human lives. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 2nd Edition)

Until recently, the dolphins' true nature remained unknown to humans. They were called shipfish by sailors, who created their own lore about them, but otherwise remained unbothered. But the dolphins did not forget. Though we had broken our side of the contract, the dolphins kept up theirs by swimming along vessels and rescuing those lost at sea. The resemblance of clicks and squees to human words was swept aside as coincidental or hallucinations, which saddened the dolphins who missed contact with the sea captains and mariners at port. Dolphin bells were discovered, their use having mystified people for generations, and along with the Offworlder presence, the true relationship between the species became apparent. Though much is still being learned today, we are a far cry better off now then we were before.


II. Physical Characteristics

Pern Dolphins are descendants of Earth's Atlantic Bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus). As such, their physical characteristics remain mostly unchanged. However, due to the cleaner air and unpolluted waters, they have been known to live longer and grow larger than the generalized information found below.

Dolphin
Anatomy
  • Body - The dolphin is a mammal, meaning it gives birth to live young, produces milk for their young, breathes air and even has fur- Which are really only sparce, tiny whiskers. They have a streamlined, otherwise hairless body that can reach a length of 9'. Dolphins have rubbery skin and a thick layer of blubber that helps protect them from the cold and seals small wounds, helping them weigh 350-500lbs, with the males being larger then the females. Dolphins are constantly shedding their skin, which normally means that healthy dolphins do not collect such things as barnacles or other external parasites. However here on Pern, especially aggressive parasites have become a problem and need to be removed with vigorous scraping. Such as the blood fish. This potentially deadly parasite attaches itself to any open wound or scratch with a circular mouth that obtains a suction before penetrating the wound with a sucker-like proboscis, burrowing deep into the host animal's body, threatening internal organs and infection. Though the puncture itself is relatively small, it needn't be large to do serious damage that could result in the dolphin's death. In a range of blue-gray coloring, a dolphin also sports a white underbelly, which helps to camoflauge it from beneath, as well as above. Clocked reaching swim speeds of 30 miles per hour, the normal cruising speed is around 20 to 24 mph. They can dive down to 70 ft (or as deep as 1,000'!) and remain under water for up to 15 minutes. They sleep at night, just below the surface of the water, rising for air every three or four minutes. 
  • Head - Located at the top of their domed head, also called the melon, is the blowhole, which is essentially one large nostril, and yet they have no sense of smell. But despite this, the taste buds are well developed and allow them to detect underwater chemical traces. The melon is the acoustical lens for concentrating sound waves- called echolocation. They use their 100 sharp, connical (conelike) teeth that wear down with age, for grasping prey- not for chewing. A dolphin's eyes are adapted with a special lens that can expand and contract, allowing for focused vision in and out of the water. Small openings located behind the eyes are the ear holes. However, it is the vibrations along the lower jaw to the inner-ear that make up their hearing capacity. 
  • Tail/Flippers/Dorsal Fin - A dolphins flippers have five finger-like bones inside, and along with their dorsal fin, are used for steering. This dorsal fin is made of cartiladge and curves backwards. Notches, scars, and shape of these fins can help in identifying individual dolphins. The fin, or fluke, is fanned out sideways, rather then perpendicular like a fish, allowing them to push up and down in the water and aid them in leaping and diving. They also use these powerful, horizontal flukes for slapping the water to stun their prey, or even to chase them down at up to 45 mph.

III. Diet

Here on Pern, a dolphins diet consists of fish, such as flat fish, large schools of fingerlings, and various varieties of yellowfin. They will also consume drowned Thread, as water kills the silvery spore.


IV. Echolocation

Though dolphins can see, they rely most importantly on their echo-system, otherwise known as sonar. The squeaks and clicks that they make are an essential part of the hunting process, sounds that humans cannot hear. These ultrasounds pass through the water, bumping into solid objects, relaying a picture of the object back to them.


V. Metasynth

Dolphins have always demonstrated a keen intelligence, complex problem solving capabilities, advanced foresight, imitation and memorization, as well as multi-tasking abilities. But with the introduction of metasynth, their genetic makeup was altered and their capacity for understanding became phenomenal, also allowing them to learn human speech. And not just comprehension of the spoken word. Despite having a tongue and palate not designed for forming human words, they were able to adapt using the adequate faculties they already possessed. Another gift of the metasynth was the enhancement it provided to their memories. For the first time ever, dolphins had developed an understanding of time, history and event recall. And with the human aspect, came human names. They readily accepted these new names and developed an oral tradition of passing variations of these names onto their offspring.


VI. Communication

Dolphins are capable of creating an enormous array of sounds. Much of which the human ear is incapable of hearing. These consist of a variety of clicks, squees and rapid creaks which have been evolved into another form of communication- that of dolphin speak. Each dolphin has a unique signature whistle for which others can identify them with. A calf will learn its mother's whistle soon after birth.

It is thought that dolphins can use this form of sonar to see inside the bodies of living things. Such as to determine if a predator has recently eaten or if they are hunting. This is also how it has become practice to use Pern dolphins to confirm pregnancy or locate tumors and/or unusual growths not seen by the naked eye.

Another form of communication is called sounding. This is a natural form of long-distance communication enabling a dolphin or pod to send complex messages around the oceans to other dolphins and pods. In this way, a dolphin off the Southern coast can receive word within minutes from another off the coast of Tillek Head, by sounding to the next pod hundreds of dragonlengths distant. That pod will repeat the sounding until it reaches it destination, and pick up the reply when it arrives. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 2nd Edition)

They are also very sensitive to emotion, and use touch as part of their communication process. Called contact position, this is when two dolphins will touch one another with their pectoral fins. Either fin to fin, or one fin on the other's body. Rubbing and petting are a very important means of communicating.

It is important
V. Metasynth

Dolphins have always demonstrated a keen intelligence, complex problem solving capabilities, advanced foresight, imitation and memorization, as well as multi-tasking abilities. But with the introduction of metasynth, their genetic makeup was altered and their capacity for understanding became phenomenal, also allowing them to learn human speech. And not just comprehension of the spoken word. Despite having a tongue and palate not designed for forming human words, they were able to adapt using the adequate faculties they already possessed. Another gift of the metasynth was the enhancement it provided to their memories. For the first time ever, dolphins had developed an understanding of time, history and event recall. And with the human aspect, came human names. They readily accepted these new names and developed an oral tradition of passing variations of these names onto their offspring.


VI. Communication

Dolphins are capable of creating an enormous array of sounds. Much of which the human ear is incapable of hearing. These consist of a variety of clicks, squees and rapid creaks which have been evolved into another form of communication- that of dolphin speak. Each dolphin has a unique signature whistle for which others can identify them with. A calf will learn its mother's whistle soon after birth.

It is thought that dolphins can use this form of sonar to see inside the bodies of living things. Such as to determine if a predator has recently eaten or if they are hunting. This is also how it has become practice to use Pern dolphins to confirm pregnancy or locate tumors and/or unusual growths not seen by the naked eye.

Another form of communication is called sounding. This is a natural form of long-distance communication enabling a dolphin or pod to send complex messages around the oceans to other dolphins and pods. In this way, a dolphin off the Southern coast can receive word within minutes from another off the coast of Tillek Head, by sounding to the next pod hundreds of dragonlengths distant. That pod will repeat the sounding until it reaches it destination, and pick up the reply when it arrives. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 2nd Edition)

They are also very sensitive to emotion, and use touch as part of their communication process. Called contact position, this is when two dolphins will touch one another with their pectoral fins. Either fin to fin, or one fin on the other's body. Rubbing and petting are a very important means of communicating.

It is important
V. Metasynth

Dolphins have always demonstrated a keen intelligence, complex problem solving capabilities, advanced foresight, imitation and memorization, as well as multi-tasking abilities. But with the introduction of metasynth, their genetic makeup was altered and their capacity for understanding became phenomenal, also allowing them to learn human speech. And not just comprehension of the spoken word. Despite having a tongue and palate not designed for forming human words, they were able to adapt using the adequate faculties they already possessed. Another gift of the metasynth was the enhancement it provided to their memories. For the first time ever, dolphins had developed an understanding of time, history and event recall. And with the human aspect, came human names. They readily accepted these new names and developed an oral tradition of passing variations of these names onto their offspring.


VI. Communication

Dolphins are capable of creating an enormous array of sounds. Much of which the human ear is incapable of hearing. These consist of a variety of clicks, squees and rapid creaks which have been evolved into another form of communication- that of dolphin speak. Each dolphin has a unique signature whistle for which others can identify them with. A calf will learn its mother's whistle soon after birth.

It is thought that dolphins can use this form of sonar to see inside the bodies of living things. Such as to determine if a predator has recently eaten or if they are hunting. This is also how it has become practice to use Pern dolphins to confirm pregnancy or locate tumors and/or unusual growths not seen by the naked eye.

Another form of communication is called sounding. This is a natural form of long-distance communication enabling a dolphin or pod to send complex messages around the oceans to other dolphins and pods. In this way, a dolphin off the Southern coast can receive word within minutes from another off the coast of Tillek Head, by sounding to the next pod hundreds of dragonlengths distant. That pod will repeat the sounding until it reaches it destination, and pick up the reply when it arrives. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 2nd Edition)

They are also very sensitive to emotion, and use touch as part of their communication process. Called contact position, this is when two dolphins will touch one another with their pectoral fins. Either fin to fin, or one fin on the other's body. Rubbing and petting are a very important means of communicating.

It is important
V. Metasynth

Dolphins have always demonstrated a keen intelligence, complex problem solving capabilities, advanced foresight, imitation and memorization, as well as multi-tasking abilities. But with the introduction of metasynth, their genetic makeup was altered and their capacity for understanding became phenomenal, also allowing them to learn human speech. And not just comprehension of the spoken word. Despite having a tongue and palate not designed for forming human words, they were able to adapt using the adequate faculties they already possessed. Another gift of the metasynth was the enhancement it provided to their memories. For the first time ever, dolphins had developed an understanding of time, history and event recall. And with the human aspect, came human names. They readily accepted these new names and developed an oral tradition of passing variations of these names onto their offspring.


VI. Communication

Dolphins are capable of creating an enormous array of sounds. Much of which the human ear is incapable of hearing. These consist of a variety of clicks, squees and rapid creaks which have been evolved into another form of communication- that of dolphin speak. Each dolphin has a unique signature whistle for which others can identify them with. A calf will learn its mother's whistle soon after birth.

It is thought that dolphins can use this form of sonar to see inside the bodies of living things. Such as to determine if a predator has recently eaten or if they are hunting. This is also how it has become practice to use Pern dolphins to confirm pregnancy or locate tumors and/or unusual growths not seen by the naked eye.

Another form of communication is called sounding. This is a natural form of long-distance communication enabling a dolphin or pod to send complex messages around the oceans to other dolphins and pods. In this way, a dolphin off the Southern coast can receive word within minutes from another off the coast of Tillek Head, by sounding to the next pod hundreds of dragonlengths distant. That pod will repeat the sounding until it reaches it destination, and pick up the reply when it arrives. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 2nd Edition)

They are also very sensitive to emotion, and use touch as part of their communication process. Called contact position, this is when two dolphins will touch one another with their pectoral fins. Either fin to fin, or one fin on the other's body. Rubbing and petting are a very important means of communicating.

It is important
V. Metasynth

Dolphins have always demonstrated a keen intelligence, complex problem solving capabilities, advanced foresight, imitation and memorization, as well as multi-tasking abilities. But with the introduction of metasynth, their genetic makeup was altered and their capacity for understanding became phenomenal, also allowing them to learn human speech. And not just comprehension of the spoken word. Despite having a tongue and palate not designed for forming human words, they were able to adapt using the adequate faculties they already possessed. Another gift of the metasynth was the enhancement it provided to their memories. For the first time ever, dolphins had developed an understanding of time, history and event recall. And with the human aspect, came human names. They readily accepted these new names and developed an oral tradition of passing variations of these names onto their offspring.


VI. Communication

Dolphins are capable of creating an enormous array of sounds. Much of which the human ear is incapable of hearing. These consist of a variety of clicks, squees and rapid creaks which have been evolved into another form of communication- that of dolphin speak. Each dolphin has a unique signature whistle for which others can identify them with. A calf will learn its mother's whistle soon after birth.

It is thought that dolphins can use this form of sonar to see inside the bodies of living things. Such as to determine if a predator has recently eaten or if they are hunting. This is also how it has become practice to use Pern dolphins to confirm pregnancy or locate tumors and/or unusual growths not seen by the naked eye.

Another form of communication is called sounding. This is a natural form of long-distance communication enabling a dolphin or pod to send complex messages around the oceans to other dolphins and pods. In this way, a dolphin off the Southern coast can receive word within minutes from another off the coast of Tillek Head, by sounding to the next pod hundreds of dragonlengths distant. That pod will repeat the sounding until it reaches it destination, and pick up the reply when it arrives. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 2nd Edition)

They are also very sensitive to emotion, and use touch as part of their communication process. Called contact position, this is when two dolphins will touch one another with their pectoral fins. Either fin to fin, or one fin on the other's body. Rubbing and petting are a very important means of communicating.

It is important
V. Metasynth

Dolphins have always demonstrated a keen intelligence, complex problem solving capabilities, advanced foresight, imitation and memorization, as well as multi-tasking abilities. But with the introduction of metasynth, their genetic makeup was altered and their capacity for understanding became phenomenal, also allowing them to learn human speech. And not just comprehension of the spoken word. Despite having a tongue and palate not designed for forming human words, they were able to adapt using the adequate faculties they already possessed. Another gift of the metasynth was the enhancement it provided to their memories. For the first time ever, dolphins had developed an understanding of time, history and event recall. And with the human aspect, came human names. They readily accepted these new names and developed an oral tradition of passing variations of these names onto their offspring.


VI. Communication

Dolphins are capable of creating an enormous array of sounds. Much of which the human ear is incapable of hearing. These consist of a variety of clicks, squees and rapid creaks which have been evolved into another form of communication- that of dolphin speak. Each dolphin has a unique signature whistle for which others can identify them with. A calf will learn its mother's whistle soon after birth.

It is thought that dolphins can use this form of sonar to see inside the bodies of living things. Such as to determine if a predator has recently eaten or if they are hunting. This is also how it has become practice to use Pern dolphins to confirm pregnancy or locate tumors and/or unusual growths not seen by the naked eye.

Another form of communication is called sounding. This is a natural form of long-distance communication enabling a dolphin or pod to send complex messages around the oceans to other dolphins and pods. In this way, a dolphin off the Southern coast can receive word within minutes from another off the coast of Tillek Head, by sounding to the next pod hundreds of dragonlengths distant. That pod will repeat the sounding until it reaches it destination, and pick up the reply when it arrives. (Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, 2nd Edition)

They are also very sensitive to emotion, and use touch as part of their communication process. Called contact position, this is when two dolphins will touch one another with their pectoral fins. Either fin to fin, or one fin on the other's body. Rubbing and petting are a very important means of communicating.




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