Today there was a dolphin overabundance in the sea. Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) made the blue expanses unsafe. There were feeding situations in many areas. Whichever direction you looked, dolphins, dolphins, dolphins. In their curiosity, the Spotted dolphins also had to check out the bow of the Ribeira Brava. Sometimes they shot quickly through their element. Their tail is its jet propulsion, but the pectoral fins and dorsal fin are used for stabilization. In the case of dolphins, the dorsal fin is also used to identify individuals. The flipper, also called pectoral fins, has an additional pleasant use. The tactile dolphins can touch each other with them. These touches show their sympathy and belonging. It’s similar to ours, a touch, a hug connects. And belonging is not only a nice feeling, it is also an important element of survival, for humans and dolphins.
Humpback whales use their four to five meter long pectoral fins, for example, for communication. When they show flippering behaviors, hitting with their long pectoral fins on the surface of the sea creates a loud bang. The sound is transported faster and further underwater than it would be possible in the air. Other animals then get an idea where the flippering animal is located, for example. A female willing to mate can attract attention in this way. The long, very agile pectoral fins of the humpback whales have another advantage. Their agility supports the great maneuverability of these large whales. The tail of all marine mammals is also used for communication. Hitting the tail on the surface can express disagreement, or it can be used to determine the location.
The baleen whale (Balaenoptera) was quite reserved. Apparently he wanted to stay incognito. When looking closely at the dorsal fin, it became clear that it was not the Tropical whale that we had been able to observe for the past few days. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t a Tropical whale after all. The tail is often used for identification with whales, but the dorsal fin also provides a means of identification, especially when it was special markings.
As you can see, pectoral fin, dorsal fin and tail have their own particular uses and benefits.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Baleen whale, Loggerhead turtle
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins