When having encounters with dolphins we are often asked “what are all those marks and scratches on the dolphins from?”
The answer is surprising, these marks are actually ‘rake’ marks where dolphins have bitten each other and left a mark of their teeth. We most commonly see these marks on the fins of dolphins as this is soft cartilage- although we do often see them on the upper body of the dolphins too.These marks are often a result of dolphins contesting the hierarchy of the pod and asserting dominance and forming social bonds. Occasionally the rake marks can be helpful in identifying individuals, but they do gradually fade over time.
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