Archive for January 16th, 2012

Mekong Journals: 18

January 16, 2012 in Mekong Journals | Comments (0)


[In January 2003  I accompanied an expedition that was conducting a survey of river dolphins on a stretch of the Mekong River in Cambodia. The expedition was led by Isabel Beasley, who was then a PhD student specializing on Orcaella brevirostris: also known as the ‘Irrawaddy Dolphin’ this species is found in many Asian river systems and deltas. The journal I kept during the expedition will appear on this site as a continuous series of posts. This is part 18 of the series.]


Yesterday, in the boat, Isabel commented that among zoologists there are many who don’t take cetologists seriously: ‘how can you work on dolphins?’ She attributes this in large part to the baneful influence of one Ellis [perhaps Richard Ellis, author of ‘Imagining Atlantis’ etc.] who writes sham-spiritual books about dolphins and whales. But the dolphin-healing movements etc are also to blame.




She said that with some kinds of whales if you happen to be swimming above them, you can actually feel their echolocation beeps passing through your body. The frequencies are so low that they enter your body and seem to go right into you. And there can’t be any doubt that cetaceans do use echolocation to explore human bodies. Dolphins will often gather around a pregnant woman, singling her out in a group, prodding her with their noses and so on. This has often been observed.



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