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Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

Body Language in Bottlenose Dolphins

When you are involved in watching and studying bottlenose dolphin behaviour for any length of time, you begin to notice certain body positions that occur every so often and one that fascinates me is an activity known as “S” posturing. What happens is, as you can see in my recent photo below of ID#1018 “Bodhi” (one of the cheeky sub-adult males) the dolphin breaches from the water and holds its body in a rigid “S” shape with the head raised and the pectoral fins held out stiffly from the body.  photo Bodhi S Posturing.jpg As the dolphin falls towards the water ready for re-entry, the dolphins head and chin is forcefully slapped on the water and this complete activity can be repeated many times. Theories for this type of dolphin “body language” favour a state of annoyance or irritation, directed at either another dolphin or possibly an unfamiliar inanimate object in the dolphins’ large territory, such as a boat. I love watching behaviour like this as I think that it just adds to the fascination that we have with these sensitive and highly intelligent marine mammals who have a very complicated social life and structure. This is yet another reason why no cetacean should ever be confined to a cramped and filthy tank.

Find out more facts about dolphins.

About Charlie Phillips

Field officer - Adopt a Dolphin