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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...

Why Do Some Dolphins Throw Fish Around?

As the North East Scotland population of dolphins are reckoned to be amongst the biggest and fattest of their species – they really need to find good food just about every day to help maintain their insulation layer and keep the cold out in the chilly waters around here. Now that the main salmon hunting season is here, I often get asked why dolphins sometimes throw salmon around and people wonder if they are “playing” with the fish. Dolphins need to feel that the fish that they are trying to swallow fit properly and comfortably down the throat without hindrance or obstacles otherwise the fish could become jammed or lodged there.

 photo Salmon Capture.jpg

Some dolphins eject fish to re-swallow more than others – Zephyr, in the photo above is very fussy about how the fish is positioned so she does this a lot. A lot of smaller fish that dolphins catch are swallowed quickly underwater – it’s only the bigger prey that we tend to see getting this sort of treatment. The dolphin has to be careful though as too much rough treatment could end up breaking the fish in half, which would expose sharp bones that could be a real problem. So the dolphins are not really playing as such, just making sure that it’s safe to eat. With the main migratory salmon run now underway I hope to see all six of the adopt a dolphin individuals engaging in this activity many times over the summer. Why not support us by adopting a dolphin? http://uk.whales.org/adoptions/dolphins