Age: Born 2003.
A Dolphin’s Life
F197 was the second calf of a dolphin nicknamed Murphy Brown and she’s also the grandcalf of FB05 — one of the first dolphins catalogued in Sarasota Bay in the early 1970s. We’ve observed her more than 700 times since her birth in 2003. Today, she’s a mom in her own right:
She had her first calf when she was 9 years old in 2012. That calf, 1971, has been sighted more than 350 times since birth.
- Her second calf, 1972, was born in 2015 and has been observed more than 140 times.
- Her third calf, 1973, was born in 2017 and has been observed more than 85 times.
- Her fourth calf, 1974, was first observed on May 23, 2019.
- Her fifth calf, 1975, was first observed on May 4, 2022.
We frequently observe F197 in an area with high boat traffic that includes local recreational boats, rental boats and dolphin tour operations. We encourage all boaters to enjoy dolphins from at least 150 feet away.
In 2022, we documented F197’s fifth calf. Meet 1975 — the second young-of-the-year (YOY) calf that observed in 2022 in Sarasota Bay! Interestingly, we had seen mom on May 3 without a calf; then we saw her the next day with her new baby. We were excited to see this young-of-the-day and — being Star Wars fans and all — we spent the day calling her YODA (May The Fourth Be With You!), though it’s not an official nickname.
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.