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Bottlenose dolphins © Christopher Swann

On the anniversary of the massacre of 1,423 dolphins, what’s changed?

One year ago today, 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, including mothers with calves and pregnant females,...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
A dolphin plays in front of the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay

Sharing our Spey Bay stories – tell us yours

2022 is Scotland's Year of Stories, a year in which stories inspired by, created or...
Orcas in Australia

Did orcas help rescue entangled humpback whale?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
An orca named 'Hulk' off Caithness, Scotland

My amazing week watching orcas in Scotland

Orca Watch's 10th anniversary event in the far north of Scotland was exhilarating with a...

Faroes dolphin hunt review – disappointing is an understatement

I wasn't alone in hoping that substantial changes would be made as a result of...
Minke whale - V Mignon

We told them this would happen! Time to halt cruel whale experiments

An ill-conceived and so far ill-fated joint US/ Norwegian experiment to test minke whales' reaction...
Sponging dolphin in Shark Bay

Dolphins who catch fish with shells

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...

Mistaken Identity…

Our fundamental knowledge about the wonderful Bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth/East Coast of Scotland and especially those individuals in the WDC Adopt a Dolphin programme comes from the ability to be able to identify individuals within the population – the dorsal fin on the dolphins back being the biggest and easiest part of a dolphin to readily photograph as you can see in the photo below. The dark adult alongside the young, lighter coloured dolphin has some notches out of the rear edge of the dorsal fin and some scratches as well – all these marks and notches are made by interacting with each other and makes each dolphins dorsal fin totally unique. I was showing the photo below to some visitors recently and one person remarked on the “Mum and Baby” photo and I had to explain that just because a young dolphin has an adult beside it – that doesn’t neccessarily mean that the adult is its Mum…

The adult next to young ID#1198 isn’t actually Mum (Zephyr) at all, but is in fact ID#105 “Sundance”, one of the big powerful male dolphins and possibly even this youngsters father, so, appearances can be deceptive sometimes…

About Charlie Phillips

Field officer - Adopt a Dolphin