Dolphin F125


Name: F125, also known as Little Orphan’s Annie

Sex: Female

Age: Born 1998.

A Dolphin’s Life

We’ve observed Little Orphan’s Annie more than 800 times since July 1, 1998. She is the grand-calf of Cathy, who was born in 1966. All of Annie’s calves have a known five-generation maternal lineage. Annie’s own mother, F119, was orphaned at 16 months when her mother, FB37, died of a stingray barb injury. F119’s survival from such a young age — in the absence of adoption by relatives — was enlightening.

This is Joker. He was given that nickname after an entanglement injury left scarring around his rostrum.

Annie produced the first documented 5th-generation calf in Sarasota Bay in 2005. Annie is also the mom of Joker (1253), a dolphin given his nickname after a presumed entanglement injury around his mouth left scars resembling the grimace of the cartoon villain.

On April 8, 2020, we observed Annie during our monthly population monitoring surveys with the first Sarasota Bay calf of the that season. Most calves are born during May through July, so this birth, occurring since our last observation of Annie on March 11, was a bit of a surprise. The calf, named 1256, was Annie’s sixth.

Sadly, just a few months later — on Aug. 13, 2020 — we recovered the carcass of 1256. When found, he was entangled in fishing line, with half of his tail nearly severed. Three of his five siblings had died previously, one shortly after birth and two during a severe red tide in 2018.

A calf and its mother

Calf 1256, left, swimming with Little Orphan’s Annie. Sadly, the calf died at 4 months old after being entangled in fishing line.

A Dolphin’s Voice

A Special Note About the Audio Recording

In collaboration with numerous colleagues over the past 35 years, our dolphin communication research team has collected thousands of hours of acoustic recordings from members of the resident Sarasota bottlenose dolphin community, with a focus on individually distinctive signature whistles. Recordings have been made during periodic health assessments, when we are able to obtain high-quality recordings of known individual dolphins. We are currently in the process of systematically assembling a verified signature whistle catalog, with multiple samples from each of the approximately 1,000 unique recording sessions of almost 300 individual dolphins. Members of this collaborative team, and our student researchers, come from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of St. Andrews, and Hampshire College. Learn more about dolphin communication.