Hi JoeNice one!That is one interesting looking animal.Along with the striking facial markings check out the shape of the dorsal fin. Looks much more angular and less rounded than on common. and I don't think that is down to the camera angle or body position do you?
Hi JoeExperts I've shown this to have told me that it is a particularly boldly marked Short beaked Common Dolphin. They apparently even sometimes throw up all dark melanistic ones. What ever the case they all complimented you on a superb photo. :-)
Hi Martin This Dolphin wasn't the only one marked like this there were other with identical markings ?
Hi againWell of course I'm no expert Joe but even the experts are still learning about marine mammals! :-)It was only recently that they discovered two distinct populations of Orcas. One feeding predominately on pelagic fish the others feeding mainly on seals. So who knows perhaps there are separate (regional?)populations of Short-beaked Common Dolphin with different markings.I'd still like to see a side on profile shot of that dorsal fin. Then again the experts might tell me that the fins of SBCD can also vary in shape :-(CheersMartin.