Dolphins and whales belong to the Cetacea group which is divided into toothed whales and baleen whales. Dolphins belong to the former group while the blue whale, fin whale, right whale and humpback whale belonging to the latter group. Intelligent and social, dolphins often leave people wonderstruck with their impressive agile theatrical skills. There are as many as 40 different dolphin species worldwide, many of which you may be lucky enough to see if you join us a dolphin volunteer researcher. These creatures are known for their friendliness and newborns tend to stick close to their mothers for sometimes as many as 8 years. Emotional bonds extend further, with dolphins known to tend to the sick, the old and the injured.
Whales do all their habitual activities in the open ocean including feeding, mating, giving birth, suckling and raising their young. Females are very protective of their young, a bond that is considered the strongest in whale social structure. Whales are a wonder to see in nature, often breathtaking in their sheer size and incredibly pleasurable for volunteers to research and watch. These species are also essential to marine ecosystems – did you know whale poo plays are role in offsetting carbon in the atmosphere? This is because it stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which pulls carbon from the atmosphere.