Friday, September 19, 2014

Resident dolphins in the Azores

This morning we enjoyed the company of the three species of dolphins that are resident to the Azores: common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso's dolphins. Each one of these species is very different to the others. The common dolphin is the most encountered species and is the most beautifully marked of the three - on their sides they have an hourglass pattern of pale yellow that crosses over to grey near the tail, a dark dorsal, white belly and beautiful markings around the eyes. The bottlenose dolphin is the same kind as the famous Flipper and is great to watch because of their strength and large size - in some regions they can grow up to 4 m in length and weigh up to 650 kg! And finally, the Risso's dolphin is peculiar in its appearance and behaviour. They are typically more shy than the other species and over their lifetime they acquire a lot of scratches that turn into white scars. Check out our photos from today to see how different these species are: 

Common dolphins

Common dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins wave surfing

Bottlenose dolphins (mother and calf)

Watching bottlenose dolphins

Our swimming boat

Risso's dolphins

Risso's dolphins

Watching Vila Franca Islet from aboard our catamaran

Vila Franca Islet - now very quiet as the season of being open to the public has ended

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