Amazing sightings after long days at the office!

The weather has not been kind in the last few days, with the exception of Saturday 7th, so we stayed in the office. The activities that we’ve conducted have been varied: introductive presentations for Beatrice and Giovanni, but also a presentation on the genetic of bottlenose dolphins given to us by our intern coordinator Patrizia. We also carried out analyses on skin lesions. I worked on the comparison between Delfini del Ponente’s catalogue and an external catalogue from a Spanish research group.

We haven’t just been at the office, however. On Saturday 7th, I and Joe were on board the whale-watching boat Corsara for an opportunistic survey. After a “slow” start without any sightings, we spotted a group of striped dolphins in which there were also some juveniles/calves. After a while Francesca, the marine biologist on board, spotted four individuals of Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). Since for me it was the first time seeing this species in real life this was an unforgettable experience. And it was even more special in relation to the fact that usually the individuals of this species are solitary and are rarely seen in groups. Really an amazing sighting!

For those of you who are not familiar with this cetacean species, Cuvier’s beaked whales are super adapted to the aquatic environment and also to deepwater habitats. They search for their prey at depths of more than 2000 metres and can dive for more than 3 hours! I can barely hold my breath for a few seconds, can you imagine being under the water for hours and at those depths?

And finally, we were also able to go out on our first survey on the zodiac with the new team. Again, the Sanctuary did not let us down: we were able to spot two groups of bottlenose dolphins with which we spent a lot of time.

In the next few days, the weather should remain good, so we are hoping to have many more amazing sightings!

Talk to you soon,