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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...

Under The Skin…

We are into the bottlenose dolphin calving season up here in the Moray Firth and I often get asked about the discoloured, sometimes unsightly marks and blotches that often appear on young (and not so young) dolphins skin. These skin “lesions” as they are called appear to take on many different “types”, colours and shapes – both on adult dolphins and more noticeably on youngsters that have much paler skin. In the case of ID#1168, the not quite year old calf of ID#744 “Bonnie” in the photo below, he or she has lots of little markings here and there over all the body surface but there is a large grey patch on the rear flank that is more easily seen. This patch is already beginning to vanish compared to earlier photos as are other marks and so is the yellow staining on the dorsal fin and around the mouth. We often find that after a year or two the young dolphin looks much “cleaner” and we believe that skin lesions are not painful or irritating but are just something that these dolphins live with throughout their lives. Their skin has a tough environment to cope with – very cold water, differing salinities, sustaining tooth rake and bite marks from each other and collision damage plus bacterial infection too.  photo ID1168BonniesCalf.jpg Best Wishes, Charlie.