Bocas water mammal: the Costero or Guyana dolphin

Commonly know as Costero or Guyana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis), they resemble the more common and well-studied, Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), but the Costero differs from the other species in size (Costero are smaller), shape of the dorsal fin (the Costero´s fin is smaller and has a triangular shape) and a narrow, more pronounced beak.

Until recently the taxonomy of the genus Sotalia was unresolved.  Many considered Sotalia as one specie with two subspecies, however, thanks to additional scientific data, they are currently recognized as a genus with two species.

The Costero is found in coastal waters, near estuaries or mouths of rivers, from the north and east of South America or from Nicaragua to Brazil. These animals are social.  We often see them in mixed groups with or near Bottlenose dolphins.

In these two pictures you can be see the difference between both species.   Both photos are shot off of Isla Colon, in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Wildlife Panama

If you want to know more about this mammals, you can check: http://www.cms.int/reports/small_cetaceans/data/S_guianensis/s_guianensis.htmPanama Wildlife

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