Sunday, May 1, 2011

A damp camp follower

How many people know the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise?

I certainly didn't though I knew they are different creatures. So I got busy with "Google" when I received this fabulous photograph.

I learned a lot - for instance, this happy gleaming boat follower, leaping along in the wake of a boat in Florida is a dolphin.Dolphins grow to be much longer, heavier and sleeker-looking than their counterparts.

Porpoises are shy and don't have a longish "beak" as this creature does, nor do they follow boats or appear very often in marine exhibits showing off various tricks. Porpoises don't often get caught in tuna fishing nets either since they swim at deeper levels. But both are mammals, breathing through the blow hole in the top of their heads.

Dolphins, unlike porpoises are the ones that whistle under water to connect with other dolphins - usually mother and calf. They live much longer than porpoises and the family group is broken into about 40 sub-groups.

Dolphins and porpoises are from different families of cetaceans but both are related to whales. All this is fascinating information, but not nearly as much fun as it would have been to be in the back of this boat taking the photograph of this particular dolphin on a warm summer-like evening heading to Rum Bay. Thanks Bob for sharing your "lucky" shot with everyone.

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