Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hector's Dolphin - Tutumairekurai

The Hector's Dolphin is one of the smallest in the world and rather rare. It is found only down and around the South Island of New Zealand, with the pods near Akaroa being well frequented by tour boats. They prefer shallow(ish) water and are rarely found far out to sea. They are opportunistic feeders, prey limited more by size than anything else, favouring fish and cephalapods. They are occasionally predated by sharks and orca, but the biggest risk comes from humans - namely the fishing boats, and there have been several reported Hector's Dolphin deaths due to fishing. Indeed, if you do a google image search for "Hector's Dolphin" one of the first things you will see is a washed-up corpse.

They have a number of Maori names which refer both to them and the closely related Maui dolphin - tutumairekurai, aihe, papakanua, upokohue, tukuperu, tūpoupou and hopuhopu. Maori traditionally used to watch dolphin movements to predict the weather.

1 comment:

Momo said...

This is beautiful! Love all the details and texture from the dolphin, to the ocean and to the mountain top.