09.11.2019 – Do cetaceans drink? Can dolphins cry?
A tour with four species is simply a perfect affair! Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and a Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) were the key to the weekend.
Two questions we had today on board of Ribeira Brava, I would like to pick up.
* How does a marine mammal provide itself with the necessary fluid?
If cetaceans drink saltwater, it will cause irreparable damage to their kidneys. How do they get to the required fluid intake then? Fish in the ocean, however, absorb saltwater. Saltwater fish are able to excrete most of the salt through their gills and a lesser amount through the urine. They thus contain liquid that is not mixed with salt and is well tolerated by the organism of marine mammals.
* Can dolphins cry?
Mourning behavior has been observed frequently in cetaceans, but they do not have the ability to cry. If one sees a tear-like substance rolling out of the eye of a marine mammal, this is an oily liquid that protects the eye of dolphins and whales from the high salt content in the sea. Their grief is so very quiet.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Pilot whales, Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whale