Sunday, November 30, 2014

Risso's dolphins and common dolphins

This morning we had some fantastic encounters with Risso's dolphins and common dolphins. We had many individuals of both species spread out across a large area and there were even times that their areas were overlapping so that we got to see mixed groups of both species. We could really see the differences in the appearance of the two - Risso's dolphins are larger, very white and have a rounded head with no prominent beak whereas the smaller common dolphins have yellow sides and a long beak. We could also observe the different types of behaviour of these two species - the Risso's dolphins were calmer and going on deep dives to feed whereas the common dolphins were more curious and playful towards us and we saw them chasing fish right at the surface. There were also some sperm whales lurking out there somewhere as our lookout on land had spotted them, however we never did end up finding them from aboard the boat. Nevertheless it was a very nice morning with the Risso's dolphins and common dolphins.

The first group of Risso's dolphins we encountered calmly surfacing together

Common dolphin surfacing in a calm blue ocean

Common dolphin leaping out of the water with a mouth full of fish

Risso's dolphins

Four Risso's dolphins in a row

Risso's dolphins raising their flukes to start a dive

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