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A dolphin called Arnie with a shell

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...
Humpback whale. Image: Christopher Swann

A story about whales and humans

As well as working for WDC, I write books for young people. Stories; about the...
Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
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...

Mistaken Identity…

Our fundamental knowledge about the wonderful Bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth/East Coast of Scotland and especially those individuals in the WDC Adopt a Dolphin programme comes from the ability to be able to identify individuals within the population – the dorsal fin on the dolphins back being the biggest and easiest part of a dolphin to readily photograph as you can see in the photo below. The dark adult alongside the young, lighter coloured dolphin has some notches out of the rear edge of the dorsal fin and some scratches as well – all these marks and notches are made by interacting with each other and makes each dolphins dorsal fin totally unique. I was showing the photo below to some visitors recently and one person remarked on the “Mum and Baby” photo and I had to explain that just because a young dolphin has an adult beside it – that doesn’t neccessarily mean that the adult is its Mum…

The adult next to young ID#1198 isn’t actually Mum (Zephyr) at all, but is in fact ID#105 “Sundance”, one of the big powerful male dolphins and possibly even this youngsters father, so, appearances can be deceptive sometimes…