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Spotlight On
Dolphin Research

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Research Assistants With Fins

The Pacific white-sided dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium aren’t just fun, frolicking animals; they’re also rescued animals that are now serious research assistants. They’re helping researchers understand how they use their sonar (echolocation) to locate objects in the water. The discoveries from this study may one day help support dolphin-friendly fishing practices that will prevent dolphins from becoming entangled in nets in the future. In this program, learn more about this groundbreaking research and find out for yourself what it feels like to be entangled in a net.

Dolphin Research
Eye Cup Study

Rare Access

We still know very little about Pacific white-sided dolphins. Until recently, they were too far offshore for researchers to study on a regular basis, and even now that they’ve returned to coastal waters, we still have a lot to learn. Having Pacific white-sided dolphins at the Aquarium gives researchers a chance to better understand them. It also gives our visitors the rare chance to see them up close and make intimate connections with them.
Find out how our research impacts marine mammals in the wild.

Dolphins Versus Porpoises

Dolphins and porpoises may look similar at a casual glance, but there are some differences that set them apart. Porpoise teeth are shaped like spades and each tooth has a sharp edge; dolphin teeth are shaped like cones and are pointed. Porpoises tend to be smaller than dolphins and usually don’t have pronounced beaks. In B.C. waters, dolphins produce sounds that we can hear, whereas porpoises communicate at frequencies beyond the range of human hearing.
Uncover more information about dolphins and porpoises through AquaFacts.

Daisy the Porpoise Daisy the harbour porpoise

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Sea otters hold hands to rest in groups called “rafts”.
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