The word “amazing” is one that’s all too commonly used by the Lobosonda team; we are whale-watchers after all and have amazing experiences with cetaceans every day. Our spotter or vigia, Carlos, who spends the entire day searching for animals at sea from land, is especially fond of the word and today he gave it a whole new meaning by taking out some guests on our traditional boat.
Gaining experience in all areas of the job is very important when it comes to collaborating as a team in our line of work. Switching to another position temporarily helps us empathise with the work of our colleagues as well as helps improve communication. Today our spotter used his sharp eyes on our traditional boat as captain and, under the guidance of another spotter on land, helped us have some incredible sightings with Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
These two closely related species have each played an important role when it comes to understanding the behaviour and social life of dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins are extremely adaptive, enjoy a wide distribution and are unfortunately the dolphin that is most found in captivity. This makes the Bottlenose the best known specie of dolphin. Spotted dolphins on the other hand have a distribution that is restricted to the waters in the lower altitudes of the Atlantic Ocean but have another characteristic that makes them unique; they are fearlessly curious. This makes spotted dolphins one of the easiest cetacean species to approach and study in the wild.
Our sightings of both species truly were amazing and once again demonstrated how wonderfully intelligent dolphins are and how imperative it is that we protect them and our oceans.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins