A new study from the Zoological Society of London found that highly acrobatic spinner dolphins absorb a lot of nitrogen during their daily routines.
And when they swim to the shallows to do their business, they provide vital nutrients to the corals, building reef productivity and resilience just by answering the call of nature in their favorite lagoon.
A team in the Maldives used a combination of visual observations and underwater recordings, some hailing from tourist whale watching trips, to monitor the spinner dolphins. Around 105 spinners live in this area.
They noticed that the dolphins enter atoll lagoons (ring-shaped coral reefs) in the morning, where they then spend half the day resting, before leaving in the afternoon to hunt and forage in the deeper waters at night.
During the first half of the day, conservationists estimated that one dolphin pod would excrete around 288kg - or about the weight of 3-4 human adults - of reef-enhancing nitrogen into the shallow lagoons.
Source: EuroNews Green