Risso’s dolphin match from Cornwall

On the 6th April, Marine Discovery Penzance, based in Cornwall, encountered this Risso’s dolphin during a boat-based survey. Luckily, it is a lovely clear image showing all of the cuts and scars across his back and dorsal fin, this allowed us to look through our Photo-Identification Catalogue and match him up with a dolphin photographed in Manx waters in 2014. This is the first time a match has been made between the Isle of Man and Cornwall.

This is the photograph taken by Marine Discovery Penzance.

RD_penzance

And these are the photo’s taken by us in 2014

RD_53_r

RD_53_l

If you look closely at the dorsal fin you can see the same white line across the front of the fin, a zig zag pattern near the top of the fin and the large cut near the base of the fin.

Most Risso’s dolphins have lots of cuts and scars across their bodies. These are caused by fighting and also by their prey. They eat squid and octopus who lash out at the dolphins in defence. As a general rule, the heavier marked individuals are the males who often fight with each other. Over the years, the scars build up and very old individuals can be completely white in colour.

 

 

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