We had a wonderful morning together at sea today. We were happy to see Short-finned Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and an Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis). The Striped dolphins showed great leaps that served the purpose of maintaining their speed with less effort.
The group of Pilot whales near us had some newcomers to the sea with them. One of the little calves still had birthmarks, also known as fetal folds. These folds are caused by the “curled up” positioning in the uterus. In the case of Pilot whales, the calf is significantly lighter at birth than the adult animals. Pilot whales are pregnant for sixteen months. A remarkably long time.
Mothers in the sea give birth to their calves like other mammals, except that the offspring are born tail first. To ensure that the calf slides smoothly through the birth canal, the caudal fins are still curled up, and the dorsal fins are in contact with the body. As the newcomer slides into the sea, they will seek their way to the surface of the sea to breathe for the first time. If it doesn’t find its way up, Mama pushes it up. If mom is exhausted, the so-called midwife will help the little one upstairs.
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by Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Pilot whales, Striped dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphin
09:30 Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins, Common dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins
15:00 Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins