Findings from the camera footage have been published in the journal Marine Biology.
"For the first time, these cameras have given us the opportunity to see what dolphins do on their own terms," said study co-author Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska in a statement. "There were no wildlife crews, no invasive underwater housings, and the dolphins remained largely unaffected by our cameras."
"From the surface, researchers can only see about 10 percent of what is going on in an animal's life," explained University of Alaska Southeast dolphin specialist Heidi Pearson. "With these video cameras, we can 'see' from the animals' perspective and begin to understand the challenges they face as they move throughout their habitat."
For example, Pearson added, the dolphin-view data will help conservationists better understand how stress factors such as shipping vessels and development of coastal lands affect the animals' daily lives.
What's more, the footage will add to researchers' information about the world around the dolphins.
"Dolphins are marine top predators that are considered bio-monitors of marine environments, so gaining a better understanding of their lives will help us to better comprehend the health of marine environments, including prey species like fish and squid that are highly consumed by humans," said Machovsky-Capuska.
The team next hopes to fine-tune the cameras for use on sharks as well as other species of dolphin.
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