BARBATE – Two dolphins of a tropical species never before seen in Europe washed up in Barbate in November.
On November 11, police in Barbate, Cádiz, received calls in which people told officers that two living dolphins were stranded on Hierbabuena beach in this coastal town on the Costa de la Luz. Last week, the Environment Department of the Junta de Andalucía issued a press release.
When specialists from the regional government arrived on the scene, there was little they could do for the animals. They were already dead. Yet they discovered something strange. The two dolphins, both adult males, had longer than normal snouts. The specialists then identified them as Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris). That is a species that normally occurs in tropical waters. They are most commonly seen in Central America. This is the first time that this species of dolphin has ended up on the European continent.
The bodies of the two spinner dolphins have been taken to the Strait of Gibraltar Marine Environment Management Center for examination. An autopsy will be performed there and the exact cause of death will be determined.
Why so far from natural habitat?
They also want to solve the mystery of what these dolphins were doing so far from their natural habitat. Normally they are found in deep waters away from shore. How did they end up in such shallow waters near the Strait of Gibraltar where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea?
Spinner dolphins are known for their acrobatics and behavior in the air above the water. A spinner dolphin emerges from the water and twists its body as it rises into the air. When it reaches its maximum height, the dolphin descends back into the water and lands on its side. A dolphin can make two to seven spins in one jump. These spiders can perform various functions, ranging from communication to removing ectoparasites.
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