Dolphin dorsal fins become marked mainly through natural interactions free of any intentional nick/notch formation, meaning the markings are formed randomly. Even so, we do find “twins” among animals in the wild community.
One of the most challenging aspects of dorsal identification is positively identifying a fin over time as changed markings to the fin can make a dolphin look, sometimes, significantly different. While some fins are dramatically changed, others are more subtle.
This month we have some exciting information to share! We recently obtained some very interesting historical facts regarding one of the wild dolphins identified in our study as “Peanut.”
On the evening of November 29, 2017, Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) Rescue personnel received a call from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab (MMPL) regarding a live stranded dolphin in a mudflat close to a residential area of Hernando Beach.
Like a human fingerprint, no two dorsal fins are the same. Each dorsal fin has its own unique shape, height, thickness, markings and notches. In addition, a dolphin’s dorsal fin acquires various scars and markings during the dolphin’s lifetime.