Tuesday was another great day with Bimini Adventures’ group visiting from New York. To start the day, Kel gave the students a lecture on photo-identification and the importance being able to identify individuals. At the end of her presentation, Kel let the students practice identifying individuals. She gave them a photo and asked them to name the dolphin in it based off photos of a subset of individuals in DCP’s catalog. They were able to identify Trudy (#57) quickly from her distinctive dorsal fin. Others, like Addie (#84) took a bit more time. The students learned to be mindful of the year the photo was taken and how old the dolphin was at the time. Spotted dolphins will gain spots but they won’t lose them!
In the afternoon, we took to the boat. The coast was still insight when we had our first two sightings. Both groups were spotted dolphins. In the first group there were five adults; one of them was un-named #75. The second group had four older dolphins including Tim (#69). Neither group showed signs of doing anything but swimming faster than us, so we kept searching for other groups. As we started to head back home something appeared in the distance. Unsure if it was a fin or our eyes playing tricks on us we decided to go investigate. It turned out we had seen something because as we got closer more and more dorsal fins came into view. The final count was approximately fifteen spotted dolphins! In this group we were able to identify Tina (#14), Prince William (#64) , Speedy (#78), Split Jaw (#22) and, once again, possibly Niecey (#48). Of the fifteen at least three were calves, one of which we’ve been able to identify multiple times this season because of a notch in the peduncle. These guys stuck around long enough for Kel and visiting researchers and students to get some great video and photos. Overall it was another amazing day in Bimini!
Gotta name them all,
Kali, Ellyne & Kel