Our Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) often create a good mood among our guests. This agile, small species of dolphin is usually very curious and often becomes the stars of tour. A small subgroup was quite active. While some animals were very interested in us, others were preoccupied with themselves and spring love. I hope this activity was successful, and we can look forward to newcomers next year.
There are stars and superstars! The Blainville beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) were clearly the SUPERSTARS today! Our spotter first led us to an area where he had sighted the Beaked whales. But when we got there, there wasn’t a whale to be seen anywhere. Waiting and patience did not lead to any result either. That’s why we went to the Spotted dolphins first. Our second attempt at observation with the otherwise shy, small whale species turned out to be a very special experience. Apparently they had forgotten to be shy and rather adopted a Spotted dolphin behavior. Riding bow waves, escorting the boat, curious approaches are definitely not their classic behaviors. Today, however, we were blessed with such a wonderful, surprising closeness that one could only be amazed.
Beaked whales live in small groups consisting of an adult male and several females. The male has tusks in the upward curved lower jaw on both sides, which can prove to be quite useful in defending the females. Even our male, a really great guy, seemed to have had quite a few fights behind him. At least the scratches on the head speak for it. All his behavior today showed very clearly that he takes good care of his ladies.
When sorting the photos, two things caught my eye. The tusks are occupied by countless small barnacles, which looks very rustic. The second discovery is unfortunately not so nice, because in the tusks of the state Beaked whale, unfortunately, a piece of fishing line was tangled. Fortunately not a very long piece, but definitely something that doesn’t belong there.
Fishery also has its disadvantages. In addition to over fishing, lost equipment can sometimes be a deadly danger for marine life. Fortunately, our beaked whale was doing well.
At the end of the tour there was a group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), but they behaved more cautiously.
What a nice sea experience. And our superstars with their great guy of the day will certainly be remembered for a very long time.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Blainville beaked whales, Bottlenose dolphins