• Atlantic Naturalist

|18-06-2019 am| Bottlenose dolphins interacting with a Sperm whale and 150 Striped dolphins

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

The morning was full of activity. 11 Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were found in the South of Faial island.


Tail of a Sperm whale

We could see many sperm whales diving close to the houses south of Faial.

There was a lot of Cory's Shearwaters (Calonectris borealis).

A Sperm whale diving in the middle of the Cory's shearwaters

These birds run on the surface of the water before taking off.

Cory's shearwater in detail

There was a huge pod of over 150 Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba).


Striped dolphins

The pod was swimming fast.


Striped dolphins

And it had calfs and juveniles.


Adult and calf

The Sperm whales came to the surface and we moved again to their area. But what we found was better: two Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were interacting with a Sperm whale. The whale was trying to drive away the dolphins developing singular cross-species interaction behaviours.


The Sperm whale

One of the dolphins

The tail of the Sperm whale

Poop and splashes of the Sperm whale

Dorsal part of the Sperm whale's head

Lateral part of the Sperm whale's head

Finally the Sperm whale got rid of the Bottlenose dolphins. From the response of the sperm whale, we derive agonistic behaviour from the resident bottlenose towards the seasonal resident sperm whale. Such as been recorded before, also with Rissos' dolphins towards sperm or pilot whales for instance. A bit like local surfers do! An amazing sighting!



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