Today the ocean gave us a wintry sea with some waves, a bit more saltwater in our ears and fortunately also a curious Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), and two schools of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) moving together through the blue expanse. It was a ride for little and big adventurers who enjoyed the whole experience.
Thanks to our spotter Carlos, who found the animals in between the waves – a thank you to our captain, Filipe, who so prudently maneuvered the boat – a thank you to nature, with all its wild beauty and, of course, thanks our enthusiastic guests.
Today I came across an interesting topic. It’s about the self-cleaning mechanism of marine mammals. Although a gel is used, it’s not a shower gel! 🙂
Marine mammals whose skin serves as a separation and exchange surface are exposed to permanent colonization pressure from biofouling organisms. Bacteria, clams, algae and crabs use the skin of the dolphins like a colonization substrate. But these unwanted fellow travelers are detrimental to the host. Slowing down makes for worse competition in hunting, courtship or protection. In the course of evolution, a number of very effective purification mechanisms have evolved in marine life to counteract the functional decline caused by colonization.
Physical mechanisms ensure a reduced adhesion of parasites. For marine mammals, for example, renewal of the skin cells takes place approximately every two hours. Also, breaches and leapy observed with dolphins and whales can serve to allow a reduction of unwanted guests.
Another very effective cleaning mechanism is the delivery of enzymatic substances. The surface tension of these slimes makes it difficult for marine microorganisms to attach. An outstanding anti-fouling effect! Due to the gel-like film on the skin of the dolphin, the water can flow without resistance on the body of the marine mammal. What a great teacher nature always is!
Christmas is around the corner! If you do not have a present for your loved ones, you could put an environmentally friendly shower gel under the Christmas tree. 🙂 Lobosonda wishes all guests a peaceful Christmas!
by Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Loggerhead turtle, Bottlenose dolphins, Pilot whales