A huge pod of dolphins racing across the Aegean off the region of Phthiotis in central Greece was captured by a drone video on Wednesday morning.
Updrones captured the impressive spectacle near the town of Theologos. The pod, which is among the largest ever recorded in Greece, consisted of dozens of adults and baby dolphins.
Dolphins are highly intelligent and social creatures, usually found in pods composed of dozens of members. This helps them protect one another from danger and also care for injured or sick individuals as a group.
The Greek seas enjoy the privilege of being home to four species of dolphins: the striped dolphin, called “Stenella coeruleoalba,” the bottlenose dolphin, called “Tursiops truncatus,” Risso’s dolphin, or “Grampus griseus,” and the short-beaked common dolphin, the “Delphinus delphis.”
Common dolphin under threat of extinction in Greece
The common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) is, unfortunately, anything but common in the Greek seas, being threatened with extinction.
The common dolphins’ colors are quite complex, a combination of grey, black, white and yellow, and quite different from those of the other dolphins. Their average length is 1.80 meters and they feed on fish such as anchovies and sardines, and, in the Corinthian Gulf, probably on squid.
We do not know the exact number of common dolphins swimming in Greek waters, but we do know that their population has been gravely reduced during the past thirty to forty years.
Under normal circumstances, they give birth to one calf every two to three years and gestation lasts ten to eleven months. Their maximum life span is unknown.
They can be found in areas up to two hundred meters deep and near the coast in the northern Ionian Sea, the Corinthian, and the Saronikos Gulfs in the island complexes of Dodekanisa and Cyclades, in the northern Euboean, the Pagasitikos, and the Thermaikos Gulfs.
The Thracian Sea is also of great importance to the species. In the Corinthian Gulf, common dolphins, striped dolphins, and Rossi’s dolphins live together in mixed communities—a phenomenon that is observed nowhere else in the world.