By Pete Thomas
A large pod of migrating gray whales was videotaped interacting with Risso’s dolphins Sunday off Dana Point.
But it did not seem to be a voluntary union as far as the whales were concerned. They seemed agitated by the large, squid-eating dolphins, which were acting like sheep dogs guiding a cattle herd
This type of interaction, if it occurs fairly often, is rarely observed, just as so-called “megapods” of migrating gray whales are rarely observed off the California coast.
(The passengers, on an all-day trip with Dana Wharf Whale Watching, saw two megapods. I’ll have more on that in a separate post when aerial footage becomes available.)
But Risso’s dolphins, which can measure to about 12 feet, are known to harass other marine mammals, and have even been observed harassing killer whales.
This accompanying footage was captured by Bill Brown. We’ve shortened the clip to get right to the action, but viewers can watch his entire clip here.