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Great Scott!

October 16, 2015

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Photo Credit: Tim Davenport/WCS

Wednesday, Oct. 21, is Back to the Future Day. And as you gather with friends and family, red vest in hand, to commemorate the classic trilogy, consider there's a little Marty McFly-like behavior in the animal world, too.

WCS Tanzania recently conducted a six-week survey of cetaceans in the area. Among the many local dolphins, they saw a lot of bow-riding, where a dolphin deliberately positions itself just ahead of the boat's bow to be propelled along effortlessly. For us, this called to mind Michael J. Fox's character on his skateboard clutching a nearby fender.

"There has been much speculation as to why they do this," Tanzania Program Director Tim Davenport wrote of the dolphins in the magazine Paa Tanzania, "but for anyone who has observed this spectacular behavior firsthand, and heard the accompanying clicks and whistles, it is hard to believe it can be anything other than the simple pleasure."

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