News and discussion for the marine mammals of the order Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises).
Banner image by Matthew Allen / Flickr
I took this video from Race Point Beach near Provincetown Massachusetts last weekend.
Hi friends! I just wanted to describe and experience I had this morning with some wild dolphins and maybe get some insight about their behavior.
So this morning, my family and I were on an anchored sailboat and decided to take a swim to the nearby beach in Magen’s Bay, USVI. As we jumped off the boat and began our trek, what seemed to be a juvenile bottlenose dolphin completely V-lined it towards us. At first it seemed to be very curious. It hesitantly approached us and then began swimming around us. After it deduced that we were no threat, just 4 clunky mammals struggling about in the water, it started to begin to play with us (I think.) It was swimming through us, around us, twirling, rubbing against us, jumping around us, and even surfacing to look us in the eyes. It was really really really cute. We heard it chirping and clicking underwater, and it seemed to figure out that we couldn’t really hear under water. So then it started chirping at us through its blowhole.
I started to get a bit scared and concerned because it was just so big and so powerful. I saw mama watching us from afar, just making sure we didn’t hurt her baby…. Probably yelling at her son to come back and stop talking to strangers! However, the juvenile dolphin, probably weighing more than me (125lbs F), started swimming between my legs multiple times. It kinda had like a boner. I got a little scared because I heard stories about dolphin behavior and how they are very sexual and communicate through sex and stuff and I was worried about the dolphin trying to do that with me. It was also hitting us with its tail. It wasn’t really hard enough to hurt, just hard enough to move us a little. I know these guys are really strong and could probably really injure us if they wanted to.
I swam back to the dingy and the lil guy followed and jumped and swam around the boat for a bit. I didn’t want to get hurt or humped haha. In the end, the dolphin swam back to its mama and they swam away. Guess he got bored lol! I thought he was a big guy, then I saw him next to mama. that’s when I realized that he was likely a juvenile, being significantly smaller than mama.
It was really an awesome experience. I never felt like I was at the mercy of a wild animal before. At any moment, it could’ve bitten me or hit me really hard and knock me unconscious. That was a little bit scary. Well, a lot a bit scary at the time.
I guess I just Wana know if that was playful or aggressive behavior. The lil guy was a bit relentless and the tail slaps against us were kinda rough. This did induce an adrenaline rush in me and I was so relieved to get onto the dingy.
Overall, this was such an amazing and unique experience. Thanks for reading !
EDIT: the dolphin approached us. We didn’t even see it. It just came up to us. It also did not slap its tail against the water at all. It was rubbing and thrusting its tail against us and I’m not sure what that means. Also, we weren’t touching it, it was touching us.
Was recently gifted this print. Every other species is obvious except for this beaked whale (?) in the center... Might not be a 1:1 match of any real species, being decorative.
I love Cetacea, more specifically my love lays with the Mysticeti, and I am looking to learn more. However I cannot find any good "hard" resources, like scientific papers and higher level textbooks for my to sink my teeth into. Anyone able to offer a guiding hand?
Apologies if not the right forum. I'm looking to contribute to a conservation organization or program working on the urgent and imminent catastrophe of the Vaquita porpoise, of which recent reports in the past few months state there are 10 or less in the wild. Research online doesn't unveil too much, aside from a very suspect organization called Sea Shepherd. Wondering if other avenues were available.
Feeling melancholy. Wondering if there's any way a sad Canadian can do what they can from a million miles away. Thanks
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Whales and Dolphins, plus sea grass, ghost nets, litter and marine protection areas
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Hi! Does anyone know anything or have books/webpages/resources about indigenous legends involving magical and shapeshifting dolphins in South America? Is the available information just scarce? I looked online in Spanish and English and only found some mentions and overviews of these stories within articles about the dolphins' natural history (which is also interesting).
I'd be glad to hear about any other interesting whale histories or facts if anyone has some.
Hello! I was hiking today and found a carcass on the beach in Pacifica, CA. It was headless, and there was a mild amount of gore. I was wondering (out of curiosity) if there was anyone who could identify it, which is much harder without the head.
I've put the pictures behind an IMGUR link, just so that nobody accidentally sees them. It's not horrible, but there is mild gore.
Rice’s whales are a newly discovered species found exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico. There are believed to be only 50 remaining.
According to new research published in Scientific Reports, Rice’s whales are more vulnerable than previously thought because they are "picky eaters" — and have a highly specialized diet, primarily eating Ariomma bondi, more commonly called silver-rag driftfish.
This is not a good thing. Partly because silver-rag driftfish live in a region heavily impacted by people and industrial activity, and if they disappear, there would be cascading consequences for Rice's whales. The study's main takeaway is that a conservation strategy to protect this disappearing species must also protect its habitat and what it eats.
Read more: https://go.fiu.edu/engangered-whales
Thanks for reading /cetacea!