Our day started with very rainy weather. We were worried that we may have to cancel our swim with the dolphins but luckily, it stopped raining and the sun came out. We did have to stand in a rain storm for a few minutes first though!
When we arrived at Dolphin Discovery, we learned about how to protect the coral reefs. The education staff, Juan and Maria, explained that there are five ways that we can protect the coral reefs:
- We must not throw garbage in the ocean as they can harm dolphins, turtles and other marine life.
- You should not drop your anchor near the coral reefs. Always anchor on the sand.
- Do not touch or take any pieces of the reef.
- When you go to a shop that sells coral, you should not purchase any.
- When you visit a hotel, ask if it is a conservation supporting hotel.
Doing all of these things can protect our coral reef biomes.
When we had a tour of the area, we were introduced to Hippo, the alpha male (a bull) and we also saw a female dolphin, (a cow) Gracia. She was pregnant and being examined by the marine vets. They had to make sure that both she and the calf were ok.
After our talk, we got changed and went for a swim with the dolphins! We were all a little scared and nervous but when we got in the water, we realised that it was a lot of fun as the dolphins were playful and gentle. The trainer talked to us about the dolphin’s teeth, fins, eyes and tail and explained that they are social animals.
We have learned how to classify living things in zoology, so we knew how to classify the dolphins. They were part of the animal kingdom, the phylum chordata, the class of mammal, the order of cetcea (whale or dolphin), the family delphinidiae (small toothed whale), the genus tursiops (heavy bodied with a truncated beak) and the species, T. Trunchatus (common bottle nosed dolphin of North Atlantic and Mediterranean).
I had the job of taking photographs and videos of everyone while everyone swam in the water. Below are some of my photographs for you to see.
We all had a great day! The staff were so friendly and interesting and they knew a lot about how to protect the ocean and take care of marine mammals. We are now looking forward to learning more about our coral reef biome and more about dolphins at school.
Thank you to all of the staff…and the dolphins!
Written by Alejandro