First Dolphin Birth photographed in water - Ponta do Ouro!
22 August 2012.
I was honored to be in the space of Mindi while she was calving! Here is what happened.
We located the large pod a little north who were just hanging out. After observing for a while we slipped into horribly green water yet again. I found myself trying hard to understand the sight before me and went from being intrigued at what I thought was an oversized penis to a large and dark remora. As my eyes finally focused through the murky water as i gazed upon the tail of Mindies emerging newborn. Instinctively I raised my arm and called the boat so as not to interfere with her birthing process by having guests in the water. She seemingly slowed as if knowing I was feeling extremely humbled to bear witness to this event. I had though that this would have been a group pod event with more dolphins around her, however she was only in the company of two other individuals. I managed to get a couple of images before swimming b…
Xenobalanus Globicipitis aka the Stalked Barnacle So, just what exactly are those ribbon like things that can sometimes be seen of the flukes, pecs and dorsal tips of our Dolphins of Ponta. Well quite simply put they are a type of barnacle, the stalked variety to be exact. We are all pretty much familiar with the barnacles that are often seen on Humpback whales, these however are of the softer veriety. The Xenobalanus is a parasitic organism and only attaches to the host for transportation purposes. Over the past 20 odd years in Ponta do Ouro, we have had many observations of dolphins who have this particular stalked barnacle. Photographed here is the child of Spring, who was first photographed in 2012 as a calf that had evidence of fishing line entanglement. Three years later the little one is now no longer at moms side as mom readies herself for the next generation of Spring's! The deformation of the pectoral is a great identification mark.
And every now and then we catch the boys pokipodding - a casual termed coined by the dolphin encountours team to describe what is non-reproductive sexual behaviour. Here Skellitor, Sicle, Igor, Noodle and one other male can be seen shoving and poking around. In the beginning Skellitor can be seen pinning Igor to the sand until another male arrives.