Bottlenose Neonate? Check!

Bimini 2009 5 Oct Tt Neonate 

I spent my day off on the boat. I didn’t mean to see dolphins, but there they were! It was a large group of bottlenose dolphins. They were fairly scattered and traveling slowing. We quickly noticed that there was a tight smaller group. As I began capturing ID photographs, I noticed not just a bottlenose calf, but a neonate (right, photo)! A neonate is a newborn dolphin. They are recognized by “fetal folds,” which are basically wrinkles from having been folded up in utero. This is the first time I have seen a neonate bottlenose dolphin in the wild! The wrinkles will stretch out as the calf grows in the first few weeks of life. The youngster was closely flanked by two different adults, so I cannot tell who the mother is, but it was an exciting day in Bimini!