Azores Adventures – Futurismo

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Striped dolphin

Stenella coeruleoalba

Striped dolphins have unique markings with a distinct stripe pattern running along the length of both sides of the body.  They are found throughout offshore temperate and tropical zones of the world’s oceans.  These dolphins travel in groups, typically numbering from a few dozen to 500 or more individuals. In the Azores, striped dolphins are…

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Dwarf and pygmy sperm whales

Kogia sima | Kogia breviceps

Dwarf sperm whales (Kogia sima) (pictured above) and pygmy sperm whales (kogia breviceps) are the only two species that belong to the Dogiidae family (also known as small sperm whales).  The dwarf sperm whales is the smallest species classified as a whale, even smaller than some dolphin species.  Relatively little is known about dwarm and pygmy…

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Rough-toothed dolphin

Steno bredanensis

The rough-toothed dolphin gets its name from the thin vertical wrinkles that run down the length of their teeth. They can be identified by their sloping head and long beak. Rough-toothed dolphins are not well studied, but they are known to exist in tropical to warm waters of the world’s oceans. They seem to favour…

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False killer whale

Pseudorca crassidens

The false killer whale got its name because it shares similar characteristics with the orca (also known as the killer whale), although they are not directly related.  Like orcas, they can attack dolphins and whales, including sperm whales; although they more commonly feed on large fish (such as tuna) and cephalopods (squid and octopus).  False…

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Orca/Killer whale

Orcinus orca

Orcas (also known as killer whales) are the largest members of the dolphin family. They are also referred to as killer whales because they kill and eat whales, as well as other types of prey (including other dolphins, seals, penguins and other birds, turtles, rays, sharks and other fish). Their preferred diet depends on the type of…

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Cuvier’s beaked whale

Ziphius cavirostris

Cuvier’s beaked whales are the among the most widely distributed of all the beaked whales. As with other beaked whale species, they dive to great depths (over 2,000 m) to feed on squid. When diving, the small flippers are tucked into the 'flipper pockets' and, like other beaked whales, there is no middle notch on…

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Beaked whale

Mesoplodon spp.

The beaked whale family is made up of at least 21 species. In the Azores we can see six different species: Sowerby’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon bidens) (pictured above), blainville’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), Cuvier’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon cavirostris), True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) and Gervais’ beaked whale (Mesoplodon europaeus). Little is known about beaked whales due…

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Northern bottlenose whale

Hyperoodon ampullatus

The northern bottlenose whale is one of the best studied species in the beaked whale family. This robust whale is characterised by a large bulbous forehead which is more pronounced in older males. As with other beaked whale species, northern bottlenose whales can dive to extensive depths (over 1,400 m) where they feed mainly on…

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Bryde’s whale

Balaenoptera edeni

The Bryde’s whale (pronounced broo-dess) is also known as the tropical whale because it is the only baleen whale species that lives year-round in warmer tropical waters. They are mostly encountered in waters above 16°C, in both offshore and coastal areas. At sea they can easily be confused with other baleen whales, particularly sei whales….

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Pilot whale

Globicephala spp.

Pilot whales are divided into two different species: short-finned (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and long-finned (Globicephala melas). Short-finned pilot whales are found in warmer temperate to tropical waters and it is this species that is most frequently sighted in the Azores. However, long-finned pilot whales that prefer cooler waters have also been sighted here, but it is almost impossible…

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