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Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...

The Dolphin Enigma- A Poem by Matthew Scott

The Dolphin Enigma

What is dolphin? Defined by science or subject to interpretation? There are many intangible qualities that make up dolphin. A dolphin is elusive to our eyes and thought. What is it like to be dolphin? Will we ever know? We cannot experience echolocation, our eyes are not on the sides of our heads, we cannot replicate the grace and speed they have through the water. An underwater camera is a poor proxy for dolphin. We cannot imagine their world, just as we cannot imagine the world of a worm. When we understand the dolphin we will understand ourselves. Free and perfectly formed, majestic and dangerous. When we can touch our hand to our hearts and say we understand dolphin; that will be when we have thought of their intelligence, their beauty and their worth. When we respect and protect the dolphin, we will save humanity. This level of caring is beyond the average thought process.

Movement. Sleek, streamline, passive, artful. They are perfectly built for their environment. They glide through the ocean with perfectly stylised bodies. They lead with their head; they follow instincts, they sense their environment with perfect precision without sight. They follow the food and follow basic animalistic rights. Food means security; when will your next meal come? From a cupboard? No. Searching the oceans, following patches of food through the endless abyss.

Next sociality. Fission fusion societies. They have close bonds. They need each other to survive. They work in teams to eat. Are we like that, are our friendships based on the question of life? They travel with family and stick together. They travel between pods and form bonds with other outcasts. Do we accept outcasts?

Next captivity. How can we keep these majestic creatures, creatures who have taken millions of years to evolve into perfect specimens, in cages? What is humanity if this is entertainment. What has gone wrong with the world if people follow money over basic human-dolphin respect. Endlessly swimming in circles, their only highlight is eating pennies that naïve tourists throw at them. Would you eat pennies?

We feel emotion. We feel pain. We feel happiness and sadness. We can sense our own life quality and compare it to others. We judge people and hate people and base everything we do on pleasing others and impressing those we respect. Is dolphin much different? Yes. Dolphin is playful and carefree. Dolphin is intolerant and crass. Dolphin doesn’t care what any of you think of it. Dolphin is dolphin.

This is why striving to be dolphin should be our goal. We collect our thoughts when we should act on instinct. We cower under societal pressures while dolphin jumps in the rain. When we understand dolphin, we make our quality of life better. When we act like dolphin we save the human race and improve our individual life quality.

Let us take this journey into dolphin enlightenment together. Respect these creatures. Strive to be one of these creatures and we will find ourselves along the dark road of life. When we save the dolphins, we save ourselves. Think on that.