Dolphins of Shark Bay premieres at GU
A packed room greeted the United States premiere of BBC documentary “The Dolphins of Shark Bay” in White-Gravenor. The documentary features Professor Janet Mann, who splits her time between teaching in the Georgetown biology and psychology departments and studying dolphins at an isolated research center on the West Coast of Australia. In Shark Bay, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site, Mann and her team study around 1600 dolphins.The film, which was produced by Big Wave/BBC and which will also be released under a version edited by Discovery, provides the first detailed view of a newborn dolphin and the first underwater footage of dolphins wearing sponges to protect themselves while hunting.
“The Dolphins of Shark Bay” follows the family of 33-year-old female Puck, who is pregnant with her eighth child, Samu, when the film begins. As the researchers follow the family, Puck gives birth to Samu and must protect him from tiger sharks throughout his infancy and childhood.
The filmmakers captured groundbreaking and exquisite footage of dolphin family life, including the only known example of hydroplaning, a practice where adult female dolphins and their daughters catch fish close to the beach and “hydroplane” onto the shore in order to hunt.
Mann noted that she felt that her research was “pretty accurately” represented in the movie, and although the filmmakers did take some licenses, including using footage of other dolphins and saying that it was of Puck’s family, she felt comfortable with the script and the final product.