This afternoon we went to Cabo Girao, where a very large group of the Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) awaited us. About 200-300 animals socialized, jumped, communicated with each other. At this level, dolphins are very much like us. As with us humans, communication takes place via sounds, as well as via non-verbal communication.
The tail slap we observed is a way of expressing their displeasure. Leaps are also used for communication. So they can be an expression of joy, dominance, impressing, or pass on acoustic information to other members of the group. The animals can slide elegantly into the water or with a loud splash. This sound is carried through the water and reaches the other dolphins’ sensitive ears. The following messages come into question with such a sound: We meet / change of direction / fish and maybe other information.
A bottle was also floating in the sea, which we quickly fished out. If it was a message in a bottle from the dolphins, what would the message have been for us? People stop littering the sea?
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sighting of the day
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins