Sunday, June 29, 2008

Risso's Dolphins in Santa Barbara Channel
A pod of about 50 Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) were active in the Santa Barbara Channel yesterday. They seemed content to casually hang around our boat for a while and there was also a small group of Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) traveling along with them. At first glance, one of the Risso's appeared to have a dolphin slipstreaming alongside her, but as it turns out, it was a Risso's calf that was probably close to being a newborn. Here are a few

Mother and c
alf (calf is on left, very small):

Dorsal fin of a Risso's dolphin (this scarring is the result of the teeth of other Risso's; all of the Risso's have this type of scarring):

And some other marine mam
mals spotted along the way--a California sea lion who was bowriding right along with a large pod of common dolphins: