Dolphin F188


Name: F188, also known as Noah

Sex: Male

Age: Born 1996

A Dolphin’s Life

F188, also known as Noah, was born in May 1996 and is the fourth calf of another dolphin named Saida Beth. He’s been spotted in the wild during our photo ID surveys more than 760 times.

Noah is often spotted with another male dolphin F178, also known as Pi. The pair have formed what’s known as a “male pair bond” — which was first described by Dr. Wells in 1987. The term refers to the intense bonds that form between males as they mature; these relationships are the longest-lasting social ties in dolphin society. Often, the bonds last until the loss of one partner.

At any time, some 58 percent of Sarasota Bay males are part of a pair bond, which means statistically that researchers find two particular males together more than 80 percent of the time. This buddying up likely results in a variety of benefits, such as protection against sharks and help with fishing, but being part of a pair seems especially useful when it comes to sex.

Unfortunately for Noah and Pi, they also share another feature: boat strike scars. Noah was hit by a boat in 2012, leaving him with scars along the side of his body. Pi also has boat strike wounds visible on his dorsal fin, though not as severe as the scarring that Noah has.

Noah and Pi like to spend time in shallow water, where it is much more difficult for them to hear boats coming because the sound does not travel as far. We cannot know exactly when or where but Noah and Pi received their wounds, but they do offer fair warning for us to watch out for wildlife while you’re on the water.

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.

Noah with fresh boat propeller wounds.

Noah with his wounds healed.

Pi (front) and Noah (rear)