The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, spearheaded by Dr. Randall Wells, is a 35-year study of the bottlenose dolphins that live in Sarasota Bay. As the world’s longest-running dolphin study, the joint Mote Marine Laboratory and Chicago Zoological Society program has set the standard for similar studies throughout the world and shown that dolphins have wilder, more complex and intriguing lives than those of the grinning playful animals shown on TV and in the movies. “A dolphin’s smile is deceiving. It’s a fact of anatomy, not an indication of attitude. We must remember dolphins are wild animals, with complex behavioral adaptations resulting from many millions of years of evolution,” says Wells.

Mote Magazine, 2005