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The giant dolphins of Scotland by namu-the-orca The giant dolphins of Scotland by namu-the-orca
Species depicted: Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
Time taken: 7 hours
References used: one photo from Google to refresh my memory on the Moray firth bottlenose
Tools of the trade: Photoshop CS5


I sincirely needed a break from four days of dolphin research and measurements, and I suddenly realised I hadn't made anything for Shadow-and-Flame-86 yet, even though it's her birthday today. So yeah, I kinda spent the whole day painting this. Finally clocked myself when it comes to painting, and even though 7n hours doesn't account for 'the whole day', I did spend my whole day behind the computer. Either painting, checking dA, or having scared the shit out of me when the computer crashed. Anyways, this is for you, Kelly! I hope you had a great day and happy birthday :party: If you wanna know why I exactly chose to draw this and especially what the title means, read on.

Even though it might be hard to believe when looking at this drawing, both dolphins are of the exact same species; the Common bottlenose dolphin. However, the sleek guy in front is your average Flipper, while the animal in the back comes from Scotland - Moray Firth to be precise. The dolphins there are enormous (up to FOUR metres!), real acrobats and as badass as they get. Honestly, these guys make flips and jumps like no other bottlenose, chunk down huge fish in one piece and bully Harbour porpoises in their free time. Kelly has had the privilege of meeting these awesome animals several time, so check out the awesome pis she got of these black beasts!

Dolphin Mother and Calf by Shadow-and-Flame-86Come back here you... by Shadow-and-Flame-86Dolphins - Back Breach by Shadow-and-Flame-86
High Sky Hop by Shadow-and-Flame-86Moray Firth Fun by Shadow-and-Flame-86Bottlenose Breach by Shadow-and-Flame-86

On a more artistic note, I tried a new 'crosshatching' technique. I love the effect it gives but man, it is absolutely KILLING. Especially if you can't take a break because you need to finish it that same day...



COPYRIGHT NOTICE
All submissions in this gallery, be it photos, paintings or drawings, are copyrighted to me, Namu-the-orca. No one has the right to alter, distribute, copy or use my art without my written permission unless stated otherwise. My submissions are NOT stock
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:icondinolover1416:
Dinolover1416 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2015
Holy cow! I've never heard of this subspecies before.
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
They're not an actual subspecies, but a very distinct population for sure! The Moray Firth dolphins are especially famous because they come super close to shore, though I imagine bottlenose dolphins all around Scotland are big like them :D
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:icondinolover1416:
Dinolover1416 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
Their size and fat is probably a simple response to the frigid waters. Have they ever attempted to interact with people, like the Shark Bay dolphins?
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
You are right, they're perfect examples of Bergmann's rule (which basically states that body mass of individuals within a species increase with colder temperatures) :) No they have not, at least not to the extent that the Shark Bay dolphins have. They come so close to shore at a certain location, Chanonry point, because there is a very deep gully close to the beach. When the tides shift big salmon, their favourite food, gets trapped in the gulley and the dolphins take advantage of this.

There is however one famous dolphin from Ireland who has been seeking human interaction; Funghi, who lives in Dingle Bay. He is a solitary male and has been living in the bay for many years now - since 1983! - entertaining people on boats with his acrobatics. For as far as I know people don't swim (much) with him though. And more lonely dolphins are known from Ireland, like Dusty and Duggie. People swim with Dusty en-masse, and unfortunately this often does not work out well. She becomes frustrated by ignorant and disrespectful swimmers and has caused many bruises and broken ribs already.
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:icondinolover1416:
Dinolover1416 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
Huh! Never heard of Funghi! Yeesh, Dusty sounds a little too attached to humans. A textbook example of what happens when one fiddles with nature. It's good to hear someone as scientifically interested in cetaceans as me. Thanks for the knowledge.
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016
Well, it's more a case of people being a bit too attached to Dusty. There are some local 'regulars' that also swim with her in the winter, the colder 'low season' so to speak, and have a great relationship with her. They don't try to grab or pull on her fins, but give nice pets and scratches instead - and most importantly, they treat her with the respect a big predator deserves. Apparently this is a more commonly seen sequence of events with lonely/friendly dolphins. When they first arrive they are peaceful, loving and curious of the few people who know about them. But when more and more people come streaming in, attracted to the promise of a playful dolphin, more and more people will also behave poorly, resulting in frustration on the dolphin's part, and often injuries on the humans'.

There was another well-known case of a friendly dolphin who also had trouble being kind around people. His name was JoJo and he chose to live near a resort in the Turks and Caicos islands. He had turned to sexually harassing the guests that tried to swim with him. But in that case there was actually a dolphin behaviour expert called to the scene, who took the time to teach the dolphin how to behave around humans, and at the same time taught the people who came to the resort how to behave around the dolphin. For as far as I know that actually worked out well in the end :) Agreed, it's very nice to be able to talk with someone about dolphins like this.
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:icondinolover1416:
Dinolover1416 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016
Wow. I know it's fairly serious, but the idea of a dolphin sexually assaulting a human is so comical. It's really not that surprising, I guess. I mean, I've seen footage of a harem of male Atlantic spotted dolphins basically running down a female and flat-out raping her.
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:icondinolover1416:
Dinolover1416 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
P.S.-Thanks for always replying to my questions/comments. It kind of disappoints me when I have a real question about someone's art and they ignore it.
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:iconsnakeman2013:
Snakeman2013 Featured By Owner May 17, 2015   General Artist
One of things I'd love to see if I'd go to Scotland
Reply
:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
Go to Chanonry point in Inverness (it's at the lighthouse) and you almost can't miss them! www.explore-inverness.com/what…
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:iconrmctagg09:
rmctagg09 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014
I didn't know they could get that big.
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014
Yeah, it's pretty amazing how massive some Bottlenose get to be. In contrast, there are some Bottlenose dolphin populations from tropical waters where even the adults barely reach 2 metres in length!
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:iconrmctagg09:
rmctagg09 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015
It's really something.
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:iconbestiarius:
Bestiarius Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
This looks really great! This amazing giant dolphins are sadly very little known, so I blogged about them only some weeks ago: [link]
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Thanks! Lovely to see an article on these big boys and girls, they really need more love :aww: I can't say my German is all that good yet, though, so I'm having a tad of trouble reading :noes:
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:icontassietyger:
tassietyger Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Student General Artist
Are these Scottish Bottlenose Dolphins a subspecies or a "race"/"regional type" like people? Because I have never heard of these guys until now!
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012
Yes, they're a seperate race of Bottlenose dolphins :D I don't think they've gotten official subspecies status yet with a scientific name and everything, but they're widely recognised as being different :)
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:icontassietyger:
tassietyger Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Well I have heard of Scottish dolphins being known to be brutes and attack other marine life including their own, but I didn't know they were giants!
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:iconloveforruka:
loveforRuka Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow great art of these dolphins!
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012
Thanks! Certainly isn't enough of them out there :D
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:iconnamisao:
Namisao Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Very beautiful =D
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Thank you! :D
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:icons3crt:
S3cRt Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Nice
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:iconelkenar:
Elkenar Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, amazing textures! Beautiful work.
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
Thank you! Also thanks a lot for the watch
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:iconelkenar:
Elkenar Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's my pleasure!
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:iconfeb-gaara:
Feb-Gaara Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
╭(╯3╰)╮
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
:lol:
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:iconfeb-gaara:
Feb-Gaara Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
o(∩_∩)o ~~~
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:iconshadow-and-flame-86:
Shadow-and-Flame-86 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
agh thank you so much Namu! This has completely made my day, and is officially the best birthday present I've recieved from a friend this year! (including RL ones!)

you've got the moray firther's dead on with this, the chunky beak and massive dark body, its perfect! Hehe you could almost mistake the little guy as one of their pale yearlings that hang around with their mums :giggle:

the detail is incredible! all the rake marks, they are fantastic, the new technique obviously worked out! Am so going to print this off and have it in my office at the lab :love:

Thanks so much lovely lady, you are a STAR :glomp: :star:
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
And a comment like that really makes my day :glomp: I'm absolutely honoured to hear it's the best present you got this year and if you want to print it out, I'll send you the full sized version so you can print it as big as you like!

So glad to know I got them right - the best compliments on cetacean artwork comes from the people that actually know the animals :love: I've seen a photo of a big black mum with two younger pale dolphins jumping alongside her - are those then two calves of her from different years, twins or perhaps also a calf from another one? The first one seems most logical but doesn't add up as the animals are of roughly the same size: [link] Sorry for the questions, was just curious and thought there was no better person in the world to ask ♥

I am so so sooo happy you like them, makes all the work more than worth it :tighthug: :heart:
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:iconshadow-and-flame-86:
Shadow-and-Flame-86 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
thanks again for the email of the file, all my friends in the lab think its amazing! :love:

that photo is great, its definatly a mum with either her own calf and another female's or even could be with two calves that aren't hers! Definatly not twins, they are incredible to occur and then almost all die after birth, and you are right about the similar size ruling out one being last year's calf.
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
Glad to hear that :love:

Well, mum and calf + other dolphin's calf sounds reasonable; I've often seen in the Common dolphins that calves would jump earlier than their mum, often with other dolphins :) Though, this all does make me wonder about yet another photo I saw... It's very weird: an adult Striped dolphin with a very young Common dolphins calf leaping right beside it. Case of mistaken identity, adopted calf or simply good timing? [link]
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:iconshadow-and-flame-86:
Shadow-and-Flame-86 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
That is weird, striped dolphins usually don't mix alot with other species, although the species they most frequently travel with is common dolphins... the calf definatly looks like a common dolphin to me, the white stripe down along the body is pretty diagnostic. It would be very unusual for the strippie to about another species' calf, so I don't know what's going on with this shot! Will ask around the lab and see if I can find anything out...
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
Yeah, I thought it was weird too! That the calf is a Common has no doubt to it, if you ask me. Colour does not match that of a Striped in any way, so the real question is what it is doing together with that Striped dolphin. Thanks very much, I really appreciate it as I have been wondering for some time now :)
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:iconpoorartman:
Poorartman Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
nicely done :D
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
Thanks a lot! :D
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:iconpoorartman:
Poorartman Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
:D
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:iconmegamimizul:
MegamiMizuL Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, wow. That is beautiful. Now I have something to look forward to when I finally go to the land of my Ancestors. No wonder I like dolphins so much. Lol
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
You're going to Scotland soon? That must be awesome! First off, the dolphins, secondly, the birds, and third: the Scottish accent :lol:
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:iconmegamimizul:
MegamiMizuL Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, not soon, per say. But as soon as I can afford it, for sure.
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:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
LET THE BIRTHDAY LOVE FLOW!!! :D

This is a really sweet piece and the result is spectacular! :)
Gotta love those Scottish cetaceans. :love:

Spectacular work, m'lady. :hug:
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
WOOOOOOO, BIRTHDAY LOVE IS FLOWING

Somehow all Scottish cetaceans are bigger, darker and more badass than elsewhere - kind hard not to love them :lol: Thank you :hug:
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:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
"Can you feel the love tonight?" :XD:

What is it with Scotland? Ammiright? :D
Thanks for giving us the Braveheart of the cetacean world! :XD:

And you're very welcome. :glomp:
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
I think it's because it's one of the highest places up north where some species live. I know it's that for Common dolphins, and maybe for Bottlenoses too (would have to check, though, don't know ranges exactly from the top of my head) :D
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:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I'd believe it! :D
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:iconwhitetippedwaves:
whitetippedwaves Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a stunning piece! :love:
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
Aww, thank you so much :heart:
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:iconwhitetippedwaves:
whitetippedwaves Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're very welcome! :aww:
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:iconwickedlovelyfaery:
wickedlovelyfaery Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I think I just let out a little shriek.

These are the dolphins I could potentially be studying if I go to the University of Aberdeen! They have a lighthouse where students stay to partake in research on this population. :D This is the first time I've ever seen a Moray Firth dolphin as art! Amazing job, I can't stop staring at it. x)

And it makes sense that they are large due to Bergmann's rule - the further away from the equator, the larger the animal gets. The whole surface area ratio that reduces heat loss. And they are certainly chunky dolphins! =P
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