Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Risso's Dolphin?

We are grateful to Nick Morgan for these camera-phone photos (which I have cropped) of a pair of dolphins heading up the Sound of Islay.  Shots were traken from Caol Ila. 

This was the first shot I received....  On the basis of this shot, I was (unsurprisingly) unconvinced that this is a Bottle-nosed dolphin - the body shape is not quite right, there is no sign of a beak and the flanks are marked.

I therefore asked Nick if he had any more shots, and he sent these two...

While these reinforce the impression (to my mind) that these are not Bottle-nosed, they do not perhaps give many more clues than the first as to their actual adentity....

Does anyone have any ideas?

Nick has a very experienced yachtsman friend who reckons they are Risso's.  I have never seen Risso's apart from pictures.  Any comments anyone?


1 comment:

  1. I don't think Risso's ever show such a clear demarcation between dark back and pale underparts. That's typical of Common Dolphin. However, what appears to be a blunt head in photos 1 and 2 is more Risso-like, but photo 3 shows more of a pointed head and I wonder if the blunt appearance in 1 and 2 isn't just a result of the angle with the animal pointing away from the camera. Send them to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.