Watercolours on 300 GSM artist’s paper.
INDO-PACIFIC HUMPBACKED DOLPHIN – Sousa chinensis
Humpbacked dolphins attain up to 2.7m in length and have a long, relatively narrow beak (rostrum). The body is robust, dark grey to brown on top and paling underneath. The most distinctive feature is the long shallow hump located beneath a small and hooked dorsal fin. Moving east however, both colouration and form do vary considerably, with the dorsal fin becoming larger on a less obvious hump and the colouration becoming brown and speckled to almost completely white – as found in the pink dolphins of Hong Kong. There is currently much debate as to whether these are now in-fact, two separate species – the Indian humpbacked dolphin (Sousa plumbea) and the Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis).
Calves are born throughout the year, but most arrive during the spring and summer months after a 12 month gestation period. Suckling may continue for several years. Females are sexually mature after approx. ten years – three years sooner than the average male and both sexes may live for over 40 years.
Found in temperate to tropical waters the population in Southern Africa is small and estimated at only 1200 animals. Groups of between 3 and 20 humpback dolphins can be found in isolated groups along the entire coastline between Cape Town and Mozambique. Shying away from boats and humans, they hunt close to the shore and feed on reef and estuarine fish. Unfortunately their inshore reliant habits expose them to a higher level of pollution and toxins – run-off from farms and industries inland. Feeding in esturaries and river mouths, they absorb and accumulate these toxins which are then passed on, through the milk to the first-born calf, which is invariably too small to tolerate such levels – a 10 year build up before the female is sexually mature. Subsequent calves will usually survive as the accumulation period of toxins is much shorter – approx. 2 years between calves. Shark nets are also a significant facor in reducing the numbers of such an inshore reliant species.
Current research is trying to establish group movements and at this stage they are thought to be very localised animals. Sightings are year round and the Garden Route affords some of the best opportunities with 120 individuals identified in the area – 10% of the estimated population in southern Africa. Although humpbacked dolphins are notoriously shy of boats and humans they have been known to get used to certain vessels – as seen by those undertaking research – and will occasionally approach and investigate boats. On the rare occasions when they are seen to surf and leap they are unquestionably the most spectacular of acrobats.
Susan van Zyl
Susan van Zylalmost 5 years ago
Sweety pie! My favourite sea creature.
Smile you’re on Candid Camera! Nice one Mariaan
Dawn B Davies-McIninch
Dawn B Davies-…almost 5 years ago
WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
WhiteDove Stud…almost 5 years ago
well done wahini…….looks so lifelike…………….
Anthea Sladealmost 5 years ago
Oh this is such a lovely dolphin. One of my favourite animals of all time.
Conoroalmost 5 years ago
Sometimes the quickest artworks are the best Mariaan because they stop you from obsessing and becoming precious! This is lovely oxox
frogsteralmost 5 years ago
Nicely done Mariaan
Marion Chapmanalmost 5 years ago
good one! he looks so friendly!
Riekert Krogalmost 5 years ago
Marilynsover 4 years ago
i m in love !!! aw ,i miss so much when i cant come at redbubble !! wonderful animals portrait series dear Mariaan ! ful of heart :):):)
DonDavisUKover 4 years ago
WOW! Great work Mariaan.
XanetBZover 4 years ago
Love this so much! <3
cheetaahover 4 years ago
awwww, so cute. xoxooxoxox
Yoolover 4 years ago
What a lovely sweet face Mariaan…..wonderful work!!!!!!
Bedankt Mariola! – Mariaan M Krog Fine Art Portfolio
Robin Brownover 4 years ago
I still love flipper even after all these years, fabulous artwork Petal :o) xx
Fancy a game of footy?