Dolphin: No Longer Just Dolphin

Dolphin jumping on something that is not a Dolphin
Dolphin jumping on something that looks like it is not a Dolphin

I was shooting a pod of Dolphin this morning and after they passed, when they thought I’d moved on with my life, they became quite active and acrobatic. I got this shot of a Dolphin leaping and landing on what I though was another Dolphin. But when I checked the photos, I realized that it sure does not look like a Bottlenose Dolphin.

The profile matches that of a Humpback Whale calf. A Humpback whale measures about 11 feet when born. If this is a Humpback, then it is extremely young. There was no visible sign of the mother. Only that shot.

This is the breach of the animal, taken a split second before the other photo
This is the breach of the animal, taken a split second before the other photo

Could this be an optical illusion? A strange combination of light & shadow? Or perhaps this is a Bottlenose, upside down and rolling sideways, with an extremely deformed pectoral fin.

Final Moments: The hump of a dive. If this was a rolling Dolphin, we would see the underside of the fluke. This photo suggests the creature was diving left to right, which would make the profile "not a Dolphin"
Final Moments: The hump of a dive. If this was a rolling Dolphin, we would see the underside of the fluke, flat, without a hump. This photo suggests the creature was diving left to right, which would make the profile “not a Dolphin”
This is what a Bottlenose Dolphin looks like leaping left to right
This is what a Bottlenose Dolphin looks like leaping left to right.

Sadly, this is probably just an illusion. But I’ll let you be the judge, dear reader. Still, it is fun to believe, to hold out some hope, and I love the merciless whale hype of it all.

Negative of the mystery mammal
Negative of the mystery mammal
Bonus Leaper from this AM
Bonus Leaper from this AM