Dolphins know how to take care of each other. They are known to establish long-term relationships with their fellow peers and demonstrate these wonderfully complex companionships through their behaviour. Good friends swim synchronised and engage in more body contact with one another than with the other members of the pod. This behaviour is very well-researched in both Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), two species that delighted our guests on board all our tours today. Both nurture life-long friendships that sometimes begin when they are still calves ands these are dependent on factors like common interests, life phase and gender. Research has shown that female dolphins prefer the company of fellow females, which is particularly important when raising calves while males form their own little gangs to help them with their reproductive success.
Watching the dolphins put their social lives and tightly knit companionships on display during our sightings today was magnificent and is once again proof of their intelligence and social complexity. We ended this fine day with a sighting of a mysterious baleen whale which, in contrast to todays dolphins, kept its distance and didn’t give our team a chance to identify it. Nonetheless the solitary, evasive whale helped us end the day in a wonderful contrast to the lovely companionship we witnessed amongst the dolphins.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Bottlenose Dolphins
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins
14:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins
17:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Unidentified baleen whale