***These photos are shared for educational and scientific purposes, click "next" for individual pictures. Internal anatomy photos can be requested via PM. Viewer discretion advised***
Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori) dissection during a class at #otagomarinescience leaded by professor Steve Dawson and Sophie White. This individual is a Hector’s dolphin male baby neonate that stranded alive after only a couple hours of being born at Toko Mouth (January 2018). Department of Conservation made the most humane decision and euthanized it, as it would have never survived in the wild. Euthanasia was conducted in a very fast and painless way and the carcass was sent to University of Otago. We are very grateful to be allowed to learn from it and we believe it is a way of honouring its life and the more we learn, the better we can contribute to the conservation of this endemic endangered species of New Zealand. The following pictures are of great scientific interest as this species is one of the least studied cetaceans worldwide, you can clearly see newborn features such as foetal folds along the body, folded dorsal fin and fluke, tongue, and even whiskers! (yes! They are born with a few whiskers, as hair is a characteristic of mammals). We hope you appreciate the photos. Photos by Jesu Valdés
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***These photos are shared for educational and scientific purposes, swipe for individual pictures. Internal anatomy photos can be requested via PM. Viewer discretion advised*** Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori) dissection during a class at University of Otago leaded by professor Steve Dawson and Sophie White. This individual is a Hector’s dolphin male baby neonate that stranded alive after only a couple hours of being born at Toko Mouth (January 2018). Department of Conservation made the most humane decision and euthanized it, as it would have never survived in the wild. Euthanasia was conducted in a very fast and painless way and the carcass was sent to University of Otago. We are very grateful to be allowed to learn from it and we believe it is a way of honouring its life and the more we learn, the better we can contribute to the conservation of this endemic endangered species of New Zealand. The following pictures are of great scientific interest as this species is one of the least studied cetaceans worldwide, you can clearly see newborn features such as foetal folds along the body, folded dorsal fin and fluke, tongue, and even whiskers! (yes! They are born with a few whiskers, as hair is a characteristic of mammals). We hope you appreciate the photos. Photos by Jesu Valdés

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Here's some more stunning footage from our Fiordland bottlenose dolphin project collected by our researcher Steph Bennington. This underwater footage was taken of these awesome animals as they were cruising slowly alongside our research vessel 'Nemo'. We've been carrying out research on the population in Doubtful Sound continuously since 1990. In 2004 we began a partnership with the Department of Conservation that helped us expand to the even more remote Dusky Sound, where there is another sub-population. Monitoring of these two populations has made an awesome contribution to the understanding of how bottlenose populations change over time. This is great info for the species throughout their range. It has also identified threats that the dolphins face and helped with the development of management against these threats.
This project could do with your help! We are currently fundraising for a new truck to replace our faithful Nissan Nivara that has been towing Nemo from Dunedin to Fiordland for the last twelve years. You can donate using the 'donate' button on our FB page or check out our website. All donations are fully tax deductible. Many thanks!
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