There has long been a superstition among mariners that porpoiseswill save drowning men by pushing them to the surface, or protect them fromsharks by surrounding them in defensive formation. Marine Studio biologistshave pointed out that, however intelligent they may be, it is probably amistake to credit dolphins with any motive of lifesaving. On the occasions whenthey have pushed to shore an unconscious human being they have much more likelydone it out of curiosity or for sport, as in riding the bow waves of a ship. In1928 some porpoises were photographed working like beavers to push ashore awaterlogged mattress. If, as has been reported, they have protected humans fromsharks, it may have been because curiosity attracted them and because the scentof a possible meal attracted the sharks.
[Day 1745 2019-07-07]
Lesson 18-2 Porpoises
Porpoises and sharks are natural enemies. It is possible that upon such an occasion a battle ensued, with the sharks being driven away or killed.
Whether it be bird, fish or beast, the porpoise is intrigued with anything that is alive. They are constantly after the turtles, who peacefully submit to all sorts of indignities. One young calf especially enjoyed raising a turtle to the surface with his snout and then shoving him across the tank like an aquaplane. Almost any day a young porpoise may be seen trying to turn a 300-pound sea turtle over by sticking his snout under the edge of his shell and pushing up for dear life.