Dolphin Observations and Data Collection in Golfo Dulce

DolphinVideo   

Today we were able to bring the notes from David’s lecture yesterday into the field and gather our data about the dolphins of Golfo Dulce. We were split into three main groups with Chris, Caly and I as the leaders. Chris collected the information about the environment every 30 minutes, Caly took notes of the dolphin’s behaviors in intervals of two and five minutes, while I wrote down the information about the encounter of the dolphins. It took a couple hours to find our first group of dolphins. It was cool to see the dolphins up close. Quickly the work became challenging, the dolphins were distracting and the heat became a burden. After about an hour of the encounter the dolphins, we headed to a small beach to experience the water. We snorkeled to see some fish and only a couple corals at the beach. Coming back, I did not have a good time. As much as a good nap feels after being in the sun, I experienced the removal of my lunch over the side of the boat. We pulled to CEIC and were free to prepare for the next lesson on sharks taught by Hazel. She thought that it would be best that we learned a little extra before diving into a shark dissection. We learned basic anatomy to understand and be able to distinguish the pieces of the body. We then headed for our dissection of a young juvenile scalloped hammerhead shark. Personally, after my morning I did not really want to participate, but when would I get another chance like this. I put my gloves on and dove in after the shark was opened. We fiddled around with the insides of the baby shark and determined which organ was which. Making it easy to move on, cut a sample for David and keep cutting into the shark. We split into the heart cavity, then cracked the skull to view the brain. After finding most of the fun things you can in a shark, David put it away properly and we were ready for our next lessons on coral. There were a lot of things on coral preparing us for tomorrow’s snorkels. We learned what threatens them, what they are and what they can do for the surrounding organisms. The day was full of work, but was fun and full of new things about sharks, dolphins and coral.
~Mendi