British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2005-04-04 17:55:55

Dead Stranded Common Dolphin on Aberdeen Beach

Just returned from a callout to Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) which stranded dead on Aberdeen Beach. The call was received by the Scottish SPCA at 12:45 from a member of the public and Senior Inspector John Carle called me on his way to the beach. Unfortunately, upon arrival, it was obvious that the animal was dead before it stranded.

The animal was a young female which did not appear to be maternally dependant and was in moderate body condition.

However as you will see from the attached photos it has a striking deformity of the tailstock. One can only speculate that this might be due to a congenital condition or possibly as a result of a collision with a boat. In addition it had numerous tooth rake marks covering its body, and it will be interesting to find out if these were caused by its own species, or whether they were made by Bottlenose dolphins which are regularly seen in the Aberdeen Harbour area and throughout the North East. Indeed the BND's put in an appearance while we were recovering the carcass!

Also it had some sucker marks of cephalopod origin, a squid or octopus, which are known to form part of their diet. It is unusual to encounter this species of dolphin on the east coast of Scotland since they a pelagic animal more commonly found around the south-west coasts of the UK.

The cascass has been transported to the Scottish Agricultural College at Craibstone in Aberdeen where it will be stored until Bob Reid Collects it for post-mortem at SAC in Inverness.

Apologies for the quality of the photos, since they were taken with a camera phone.

Thanks to John Carle, his two eager trainees, and Lawrence Brain for being on standby to provide veterinary assistance if required.

Nick Duthie
Aberdeenshire Strandings Co-ordinator
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