It’s a Dolphin, I think

While working on my Coastal Systems field assignment at Pine Island Beach in Hernando County, I noticed a fin breaching the water’s surface. As I observed the fin, I knew it was a dolphin. Armed with my Canon 400mm lens I was able to take tons of photos. I was looking for specific action shots, like tail splashes and so forth, but after reviewing a particular photo, a question arose. 

Straight at ya

A dolphin or shark?

 

 

At first glance, you really don’t know. 

How to determine if that fin belongs to a shark or dolphin is by the fin’s trailing edge, the part of the fin facing the tail. While sharks dorsal fin, the fin on the top of the body, will have a straighter edge than the dolphin’s dorsal fin. Dolphin dorsal fins’ trailing edge is more curved.

!D2

Happy Dolphins! Just look at that belly!

Also, the tail can help identify if it’s a shark or dolphin. Dolphins’ tails move up and down, and sharks are side to side.

I know this isn’t the greatest video, but I still would like to share it. This the first time I was able to capture this feeding behavior on video.

Stay safe!


Links:

https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/mammals/aquatic/dolphin/

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/11/dolphins-kick-fish-to-feed-florida/

 

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