Last time Liana proved her passion for plant-life, but will this week’s ARKive team member believe botany is best or animals are awesome?
Ellie Dart – Online Outreach Manager
Favourite species? Dusky dolphin
Why? The dusky dolphin stole my heart when I was in New Zealand eight years ago. I love the dusky dolphin’s playful character, its social nature and its ability to put on an impromptu acrobatics show.
It was a cold snowy morning when a group of 100 or more dolphins started swimming alongside our boat. I’d never seen so many dolphins at one time. Wetsuits on, we jumped into the sea with them. I think my heart actually skipped a couple of beats – perhaps it was the shock of the ice cold water, or perhaps it was their power that took my breath away.
They were bigger up close than they looked from the boat, and the speed at which they moved was to begin with, verging on terrifying, as they rocketed towards us, before playfully curving around. But within seconds, I felt at home with them, splashing around in the water (though my movements were significantly less graceful than theirs). Everywhere I looked there were dolphins – twirling to the side of me, diving underneath me and shooting out of the water and over my head. These dolphins know how to have fun and showed me a truly unforgettable morning.
Favourite dusky dolphin image(s) on ARKive:
The dusky dolphin is classified as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. Threats to this species are thought to include entanglement in gillnets and illegal harpooning for meat.