Risso's Dolphins

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by Desi, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I saw these out by West Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands National Park near Los Angeles.

    We had already seen a large pod of common dolphins as seen here: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nature-wildlife/350137-breaking-glass.html

    The common dolphins move fast. These Risso's dolphins were quite large and moved slowly in a small group. We thought they were whales, but an internet search closer to shore helped ID them.

    Per Wikipedia, they are the largest of the dolphin species. They are quite common, though they prefer deep water (which, I suppose, is why no one I know has ever heard of them). They start out grey, but become more white as they age. They pick up markings apparently from social interactions.

    We were under sail with very poor winds at the time, so I couldn't follow them and they seemed quite disinterested in us.

    Enjoy,

    Desi

    1.

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    Risso's dolphin by Desi595, on Flickr

    2.

    [​IMG]
    Rissos dolphins by Desi595, on Flickr


     
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  2. baturn

    baturn TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Wow! Beautiful! The markings look like they were drawn there by some pre-historic tribal artist.
     
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  3. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    Those are General Motors Test Dolphins, they use that paint scheme to camouflage them. See 2014 Camero
     
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  4. paigew

    paigew Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I was thinking the same thing as Brian...it looks like the markings were drawn art. Such gorgeous animals. Awesome photos!

    Save the dolphins! Boycott sea world (sorry had to ;) )
     
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  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Very interesting and a fantastic experience to see such rare animals. Considering those markings are quite striking and almost appeal to a tribal feeling and mythology I'm very surprised I've not heard of them more often.
     
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  6. LarryLomona

    LarryLomona Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Great shots.
     
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  7. CMfromIL

    CMfromIL No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They are quite common in Monterey Bay, CA. I've seen them several times, and they are very common during whale watching tours. The markings are from squid tentacles, one of their favorite foods. Must be pretty tasty to put up with all of the scars they leave behind!
     
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  8. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh cool....Squid!!
     

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