Amazing week on the sea: New-born bottlenose dolphins, migration of fin whales & lots of common dolphins
July 4, 2018
Bottlenose dolphins are one of two species of cetaceans, that are listed on Annex II of Habitat Directive and require protection and conservation efforts.
Therefore we are absolutely thrilled to announce two newborns of Bottlenose dolphins, spotted alongside their mothers few days ago in the Bay of Gibraltar.
Dolphins are mammals, which mean that they nurse their young. A mother dolphin’s anatomy has to be different from the body of a mother that nurses on land. A female dolphin has two inverted nipples that sit within its mammary slits, near its belly. The mother voluntarily ejects milk and calf has a specially adapted tongue allowing it to form a straw shape for ingesting the milk without ingesting any salt water.
At some point, both mom and baby dolphin need to surface for air, so the feeding practice is quicker than it is for most land mammals. For that reason, dolphin milk is dense with nutrients and richer and fattier than the milk of most mammals on land.
A mother may nurse her calf for up to three years, usually weaning her youngest when she is pregnant with another. Scientists believe that the nursing process is an important part of a young dolphin’s life and a way to strengthen the bond between mother and child.
Fin whale migration has started!
For past days we have been able to see Fin whales passing east side of Gibraltar on daily basis. They are the world's second largest animal after the blue whale. Growing up to 27 metres long and weighing as much as 120 tonnes, the slender body of the fin whale is capable of speeds of up to 37km/h. Although the species is mostly observed as single animals, fin whales are also sometimes seen in pairs, or little groups. During our research program held on Monday 2nd of July, we have been able to observe a group of 8 individuals.
To protect the cetacean species sighted in our waters, we would like to kindly ask all boaters to follow the cetacean protocol.