Meet “Trigger”

Written by Tursiops. Posted in bottlenose dolphin photo ID

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) acquire cuts and notches on their dorsal fins through normal day-to-day activities.  Some notches are caused by dolphins biting each other.  Others are a result of entanglement or boat strikes.  Photos of these notches allow us to identify individual dolphins, a process known as photo-ID.  Using photo-ID, we study residency patterns, migrations, associations, reproduction, and the impacts of entanglement.

Trigger (#2630) has a very identifiable dorsal fin most likely reflecting damage inflicted by a boat propeller.  Trigger is a winter-time regular in the water of Gallants Channel and Taylor’s Creek in Beaufort, NC.  He (actually we don’t know the gender) spends summers near Manteo.  In the sighting table below the photos, the blue cells represent months in which we have seen Trigger in Beaufort.  As you can see, we have only seen Trigger during the months of October-April, and have seen him every winter since 2000, except 2008.

 

First Look: World’s Rarest Whale

Written by Tursiops. Posted in Cetacean Studies

Spade-toothed beaked whaleSpade-Toothed Beaked Whale

There’s a new post over at OurAmazingPlanet.com with stranding images of the world’s rarest whale: the spade-toothed beaked whale.

The whales stranded themselves in 2010 but are so similar to Gray’s beaked whales, they’ve only been confirmed as spade-toothed beaked whales recently. The stranding occured in New Zealand.

UPDATE

Click here to read the actual article published in the journal Current Biology by Kirsten ThompsonC. Scott BakerAnton van HeldenSelina PatelCraig Millar and Rochelle Constantine.

A word about strandings

There are many reasons that whales strand themselves, not all are understood. It can be a heartbreaking moment to discover a marine mammal stranding. But we do learn a lot about whale species when this happens. If you discover a stranded marine mammal (dead or alive) contact your local marine mammal stranding network immediately.

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