North Myrtle Beach tourist Lillian Carter captured this outstanding video of a dolphin playing offshore of our coast.
The video was uploaded to Facebook on January 16th.
It is common for dolphins to be seen off the coast of the Grand Strand in January and February.
According to Biosphere online:
Bottlenose dolphins of the United States migrate up and down the Atlantic coast, heading north in the spring, and south again in the autumn. The seasons are a factor, it seems, but how exactly do the dolphins know when to make their migratory move?
New findings from the University of Georgia suggest that bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) use water temperature as their cue to turn around and begin the long journey in the other direction. These water temperatures are affected by conditions centered around North Myrtle Beach weather for those playing offshore.
Over 1000 dolphins were identified and their every move was tracked. They were recognised by their dorsal fins, as each one is completely unique in shape and they also develop characteristic scratches and notches over time. Just like a human fingerprint, these features allow identification of individual dolphins, so each dolphin could be tracked throughout their migrations.
The researchers found that dolphins tended to begin migration when water temperatures dropped, moving south to warmer waters. It is still unclear whether the move south is simply for warmth, or whether it is due to other factors, such as increased numbers of prey.
The amount of salt in the water also affected whether dolphins hung around – the dolphins were at their lowest abundance when salinity was high.