Monday, November 18, 2013

Bottlenose dolphins - lots of photo-ID's to do

Today, during the morning, we went in sea with just one of our zodiacs. Despite the greyish light we had a nice and fun tour in the company of common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. The several pods of common dolphins were mostly spread out, yet we managed to have some curious bowriding. The highlight of this tour were the bottlenose dolphins. We spotted 3 different groups of this species, making up a total of about 150 individuals. Our biologists were snapping away trying to get as many dorsal fin photos as possible, so that we may be able to identify the individuals later. For sure we are going to have a lot of photo identification work to do just from this day. Every single  bottlenose dolphin dorsal fin is like a fingerprint (no two dolphins are alike). With the years of research (since 2008) that Futurismo has been conducting (including cataloging the individuals of this species) we are able to learn more about them over time. To date we have already identified more than 300 bottlenose dolphins.

 Examples of 6 bottlenose dolphin ID photos we obtained this morning. Can you tell the difference between these 6 different individuals?

One of many great jumps by the bottlenose dolphins today


Large group of bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins bowriding

On board our zodiac "Alfredo baleeiro"

Yellow-legged gull, seen feeding together with one of the groups of common dolphins

Common dolphin looking at us

Common dolphin leaping out of the water

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