The dolphins love to show off different behaviors. A lot of times they add extra oomph to whatever they’re asked to do. This can include Tursi’s signature scream at the height of her aerials or holding an object on a flipper like we often see with Pandora and Calusa. However, there is one behavior that the dolphins have recently shown off that makes us giggle so much that we have to ask them for it over and over again. It’s called a shalligator!
As you know, dolphins are mammals so they move their tail up and down when they swim. To demonstrate the difference between a mammal and a fish we often ask the dolphins to show the crowd a shark behavior. As they swim away from the dock, they move their tail side to side to propel through the water.
The shark behavior is considered an imitation, as is their alligator impression where they chomp their mouths up and down very quickly. Sometimes the trainers get silly on the colder days, and to us anything below 85 is a little chilly, so they use the alligator behavior to say the dolphins are shivering.
However, thanks to the intelligence of all of the resident dolphins, they’ve been able to show off their shalligator! This behavior is a combination of both the shark and alligator impressions and results in a chomping side to side swimming machine. Santini, the DRC teacher’s pet, was one of the first dolphins to show this off and the rest have caught on.
At DRC, we follow trends and eagerly jump on the dolphin band wagon whenever any of our wonderful family members does something we love. However, the shalligator may be up there with some of the best behaviors. Not only is this a great one to watch, but it’s also super fun to say!