Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6 cetacean species in just one day

This morning we encountered 5 different cetacean species in just a few hours at sea! We started with 3 baleen whales which we thought to be sei whales, but upon looking closer at our photos later we discovered they were in fact fin whales. The second largest animal in the world! We didn't stay long with these whales as we had sperm whales to see. From our catamaran we encountered 7 or 8 different whales in total. It was a group that we know well, as we were able to recognise three of the individuals from the natural marks on the trailing edge of their flukes (tails). The dolphin species we encountered in the morning were bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. We got to observe some feeding behaviour of the last two species, together with Cory's shearwaters and common terns. From our catamaran we also spotted a baby loggerhead turtle.

Photos from this morning:

A young sperm whale with tooth rakes (possibly from an orca) on the underside of its flukes

"Left Tip" and "Bear Paw" diving together

The sperm whale "Orca" with a calf

Fin whale surfacing

Fin whale

A curious bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin face

A distinct bottlenose dolphin with the tip of its fin missing (useful for identifying the individual)

Bottlenose dolphins

Common dolphin propelling itself out of the water

Common dolphin leaping next to our catamaran

Common dolphin calf

Common dolphin calf

Common dolphins - mother and calf

Atlantic spotted dolphin (juvenile still lacking the spots)

Loggerhead turtle

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