Did you know you can tell individual whales and dolphins apart?
Many whales and dolphins have markings that are individually unique. These are easily distinguished in photographs.Some of the marks used occur naturally, like the fluke patterns of humpback whales or callosities on the heads of right whales.
Marks are also gained over time, like the scars and dorsal fin notches on dolphins from social interaction.
By comparing photographs to a catalogue of known individuals, animals can be identified. This process is called PHOTO-ID.
Researchers and naturalists use this process to recognise individuals over time.
The focus, angle and lighting of ID photos are very important for consistent individual identification.