[MARMAM] Agony and death of a newborn bottlenose dolphin

Giovanni Bearzi giovanni.bearzi at gmail.com
Mon Jul 7 20:15:32 PDT 2008

Dear MARMAM members

on the 3rd of July, 2008, we observed and filmed the agony and death of a
newborn bottlenose dolphin in the semi-closed waters of the Amvrakikos Gulf,
western Greece. The observation lasted about 70 min.

We posted a short preliminary report, a 7-min video and a selection of 33
photos at:


We are working on a manuscript that also reports a similar observation done
one year ago in the same area (3-4 July 2007, see link above).  We would be
grateful to list members who have observed such behaviours and want to share
information and thoughts regarding 1) calf pathologies and possible causes
of death, as suggested by the available photo and video documentation, and
2) evidence of mourning among cetaceans and other animals.

We are largely aware of the existing literature on epimeletic and
care-giving behaviour among dolphins (many thanks to MARMAM members who
responded to a previous post). However, we found little about larger
cetaceans. Has care-giving behaviour been observed (and published) among

Please write to Joan Gonzalvo <joan.gonzalvo at gmail.com>.

Giovanni Bearzi, Ph.D.

President, Tethys Research Institute
Viale G.B Gadio 2, 20121 Milano, Italy


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