“Rainbow” returns with a new calf

Written by Keith_Rittmaster. Posted in bottlenose dolphin photo ID

“Rainbow”, #789 in our dolphin photo-identification catalog, is one of our best known bottlenose dolphins.

First photographed in October, 1989, we’ve see her 62 times since then, most years during the months of October-April. On September 27, 2012 between Radio Island and Pivers Island we spotted her for the first time this season with a new calf. In the photo below, notice the calf has 2 small notches near the base of its dorsal fin’s trailing edge. It is rare that such a young calf acquires notches, and this may provide us with a unique opportunity to track a calf after it leaves a known mom. Just beyond Rainbow’s dorsal fin you can see the open blowhole of a nearby dolphin.

Rainbow & calf, 27Sept2012b

Bottlenose dolphin Rainbow and calf. Photo by Keith Rittmaster, NC Maritime Museum


A young bottlenose dolphin dead with multiple entanglements

Written by Keith_Rittmaster. Posted in Marine Mammal Stranding Network, monofilament recycling

            On October 7th, 2011, Kat Fourhman of the NC Aquarium at Roanoke Island responded to a stranding of a dead bottlenose dolphin on the shore of Roanoke Sound near Manteo, NC.  Paul Doshkov of Cape Hatteras National Seashore assisted with the investigation.  It was a 175cm (5’ 9”) male.  At that size he would have been around 2 years old, still nursing, growing fast.  Monofilament line from 2 different types of gill nets surrounded the rostrum and left pectoral fin. 

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