Dolphin of Ponta Humphrey
Updated: Oct 3, 2020
This week we explore the life of local #dolphinsofponta Humphrey who is an Indo-pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea). This particular species of coastal dolphin tends to prefer the shallows and are vulnerable to human activities which include increased vessel traffic and coastal developments. Humpback dolphins are distinguishable from their cousins by being lighter grey in colouration, have a longer more elongated rostrum and you guessed it - a hump. Unlike other places in Africa where these dolphins occur in groups, in the southern most reaches of Mozambique humpback dolphins are normally seen in their ones and two’s and the company of bottlenose dolphins!
Humphrey made it onto the data base in the September of 2003. By 2006 she had graced us with whom we believe was her first calf, a little boy who goes by the name Herme who is now part of PhD candidate Sasha Dines work in decoding humpback dolphin vocalisations - a collaboration with @SeaSearch that DERC is very excited about.
In 2014 Humphrey was photographed with another calf who stayed close to her side with brother Herme seen in their company on a number of occasions (video below) - a wonderful example of the complex social structure that exists within their species. By the October of 2018 Humphrey was photographed heavily pregnant, however the following month, through December was spotted with no calf. She has been conspicuous in her absence since then and so far we have not had her show up on our visual data! We estimate Humphrey to be around 24 years old and hope the next time we see her she is with child.
Sometimes the water gets very, very green.....
Did you know that 'beaching' behaviour for foraging in this species has been observed in Mozambique! Back in 1994 Vic Peddemors and Grant Thompson published a report on this unique behaviour seen at Ilha Margaruque in the Bazaruto Archipelago.
To find out how you can go about adopting one of our special finned friends please visit the site of the Society of Dolphin Conservation in Germany.
Don’t forget to checkout our partners at the World Cetacean Alliance to find out more about our vision of A World where cetaceans are only found in the wild, are respected and fully protected!