Bubble ring formation appears to be a planned event by dolphins. The technique used to form bubble rings differs
in dfferent populations of dolphins and may represent a way in which their "culture" is transmitted within their specific
group. Rings may be produced by tail flicks, in vertical or in horizontal body positions. Tail flicks may be used to produce
a vortex of air which is formed into a ring by the dolphin by various means, including the tail itself or by blowing air into
the vortex using the blowhole. Some groups of dolphins appear to prefer to form bubble rings near the bottom of their environment
so as to have more time to modify and play with the ring. Bubble ring formation may be a form of behavioral enhancement -
a way to spend time at play. It takes time and skill to perfect.
In the following video, Bottlenose dolphins in a captive environment are shown making bubble rings by using tail
flukes to create a vortex. It appears as if they are not blowing additional air into the rings. These dolphins are in an approximately
10 foot deep pool and do not prefer making their rings at the bottom. In at least one case these animals try to playfully
pass through the rings they produce.
Understanddolphins.com contains information condensed from a number of reputable technical sources,
peer reviewed journal articles, and respected dolphin research facilities, as well as from my personal experiences and observations
as a dolphin VIP Tour Guide and Educator.
I have made every attempt to support the information presented in this site with video and still
photographic images. On a regular basis I plan to produce more of these images and will continue to update the site with these
as well as with any new and scientifically verified information which becomes available.