Just as an aside, I wanted to alert anyone who's interested to the programme I watched with the girls (when they were meant to be doing their homework!) on dolphins last night as part of BBC 2's Natural World series. Not only was the photography stunning and set in the extraordinarily remote and beautiful Shark Bay in Australia, but the insight into these remarkable animals is unmissable.
I always knew how intelligent they are but this programme revealed whole new levels of knowledge on the social framework of dolphin communities - with one of the central characters being a female who they have been watching for 23 years I think it was (one of the girls spoke just at the wrong moment!). This soulful matriarch, with her family of at least 8 I believe, could teach lessons to many a human mother, that is for sure.
The other point of interest for me was that, by strange coincidence, I have just finished reading Bill Bryson's book on Australia, Down Under, in which he makes a visit to Shark Bay to view some unique and fascinating things called Stromatolites which are the oldest known form of life on the planet. Having read the passages he wrote on this with great interest it was good to see the physical reality and beauty of Shark Bay on screen.
If you have enough broadband width to watch BBC iPlayer (sadly I don't), then make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or pour yourself a glass of wine and click on the link below (or the one in the opening paragraph). And in the process of writing this post, I also came across a great site which had an article on Shark Bay, the dolphin project and the ecological significance of Shark Bay. It's worth reading. Here are the links again:
BBC 2 Natural World