Bottlenose dolphin with cool white splashes of color

Photo credit: Christy Varni

On a recent whale watching trip off the coast of Los Angeles, an unusual looking bottlenose dolphin surfaced. One of the naturalists on board got this great shot!

This is actually a calf because in another photo there’s a much larger dolphin right next to him, most likely the mom. And the pair is traveling with their pod.

Some of us were speculating that maybe this is a hybrid of a bottlenose dolphin and a Risso’s dolphin because the white coloring looks very similar to the characteristic white scarring Risso’s are famous for. Or it’s a bottlenose dolphin with some funky albino marks. The answer lies in a genetic study that probably isn’t going to happen, so we won’t get to solve this mystery.

Either way, this is one cool looking bottlenose dolphin! And despite his “different” appearance, his mom still loves him.


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