Rough-Toothed Dolphins in Tenerife
Tenerife had a new surprise in store for our whale watchers today when we encountered a pod of 8 Rough-toothed dolphins for the first time in the young history of Whale Watch Tenerife. This brings the list of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) that we have seen up to 11 different species. We are very excited about the success our Cetacean Sightings Station is bringing our new little science based whale watching organisation!
Rough-toothed dolphins are a rarely observed species in Tenerife. They are scientifically described as Steno bredanensis which is the only species of Steno with no subspecies described. They are a relatively large dolphin that prefers warm and deep ocean, physically reaching up to 2.8 meters long and up to 150kg. Unique to the Rough-toothed dolphin is their sloping forehead, slender beak and ridged teeth. Older individuals often have white or pink patches along their jaws and bellies.
Rough-toothed dolphins are found in tropical and temperate seas throughout most of the world, but they are not a well researched species. They typically are found offshore in seas of at least 1,000 meters deep. They are one species that is often observed hunting and socialising with other cetacean species, particularly other dolphin species, although they have been observed with Pilot whales, False Killer whales and Humpback whales.
The IUCN considers the Rough-toothed dolphin to be a species of ‘Least Concern’ as they have not been a species targeted by commercial fisheries.
It was a thrill today to get to see this small pod of 8 Rough-toothed dolphins here in Tenerife. The pod was very curious, approaching the boat and our guests got lots of close looks at these very interesting and charismatic dolphins. We hope to see be able to document more cetacean species on our Tenerife whale watching tours very soon!