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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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:iconsnakeman2013:
Snakeman2013 Featured By Owner May 17, 2015   General Artist
One of things I'd love to see if I'd go to Scotland
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: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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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Sorry for the EXTREMELOUSLY (yes I just made that word up) late reply to this, but that's what I tend to do with fun replies that need more than 3 seconds to type a good answer to. Thanks to you I've finally started to look into studying a bit and even though I have to admit I didn't get much further than the University of Aberdeen (I'm such a lazy bum) that already looks like an awesome place to study. I mean it has 1) specialisations in biology and the like, 2) dolphin studies and 3) IT'S SCOTTISH (need I say more? XD) Thanks so much for the lovely compliments and that first sentence made me smile like an idiot from happiness :love:

Goodness you keep amazing me with your knowledge and interest. Bergmann's rule - never heard of it but it does make sense now! At least for common dolphins it does; the Short-beaked common of Scotland are the biggest and darkest of all, and it's also the most northern place where they live. The same goes almost for the Bottlenose dolphins, the only other more northern place where they live near the coast as well are the south coasts of Norway and Sweden. Pff, haha, they took the rule to the maximum :lol:
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:iconwickedlovelyfaery:
wickedlovelyfaery Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
:glomp:

I know right? As if it being Scottish isn't enough, their program sounds awesome. The reason I even heard about that uni was because Dr. Andy Foote discovered the two distinct ecotypes of Scottish orcas through his research there. I'm sure you heard about that - the Type 1 and 2 orcas and how it is thought that they split evolutionarily speaking years and years ago. (I seriously want to commission you someday...between a poster of cetaceans in UK waters and an orca ecotypes poster, which I know you have on your to-do list. Soooo many ecotypes, and even some that aren't on Uko Gorter's poster!)

Woot for making up words! :lol:

I learned about Bergmann's rule from my mammalogy and ecology classes last semester. Quite interesting stuff! I learn more and more every week. :nod: Are you involved with any volunteer work? That's the best way to impress universities!
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
Oh wow, that's really awesome! Yes indeed I have heard of the type 1 and 2 killers of the North Atlantic :D So interesting that one of them actually sucks their fish prey in, why not just grab it? That would be awesome, and an honour ♥ I'd love to be commisioned by anyone, but especially by you. That orca ecotype poster sounds like a narly (yay for Australia) idea. I probably won't really start on that poster anymore by myself cause the orcas sucked and the whole lay-out was just nonexistent. Perhaps I should just wait for you to commision it? :lol: And there actually are EVEN MORE ecotypes? I don't know of any more - which ones did he miss?

How is it that you have mammology and ecology classes? D: I mean, you're not in uni yet, are you? Just like high school or something? Man all I got is basic biology :I Not involved in any of it yet. Am planning on doing some volunteer cetacean work in my 'inbetween year'. A free year that I've planned between the end of secondary school and begin of university :)
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:iconwickedlovelyfaery:
wickedlovelyfaery Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, I'm not entirely sure that they have formal ecotype names. But the orcas from New Zealand and Patagonia are certainly different from orcas around the world, culture-wise. We really just don't know enough about them!

Yeah, I am in uni! I'm technically starting my fourth year but I won't be graduating 'til spring of 2014. Too many setbacks, sadly. So a year and half left to go. Sadly the University of Louisville only offers biology with an emphasis in ecology, not something like marine biology or conservation or something. At least I'll have a well-rounded bio background. I'll be starting graduate school in 2 years. *hyperventilates* I'm actually involved with the Urban Wildlife Research Lab in the bio department...I'm learning how to trap, handle, tag, release, and process data on local animals! Currently we are working with squirrels, chipmunks, and mice on campus, and raccoons, opossums, whitetail deer, mice, squirrels, and other small mammals off-campus in local parks. I should be learning how to do telemetry soon! There's a possibility that I will be able to learn how to extract DNA and analyze it (from a black bear project that was started down in Tennessee) and also that we will start working with foxes and coyotes. I certainly hope so!

That sounds so awesome. You have to tell me where you decide to do that. I took half credit a year ago to do research for Polar Bears International up in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I spent 8 weeks back in 2010 volunteering for OrcaLab. Then of course I'm going to Africa next summer. Still have to send in my application, but I'm 99% sure I'll be an intern for the Mossel Bay Marine Lab. So excited!

I volunteered for my local zoo from age 13 all the way to last year. I also give talks to my community about how they can stop climate change and help polar bears (I believe the current estimate is that I've talked to around 4,000 people). Soon I'm going to start giving talks about cetaceans. :D I have one planned for a school group this December. Basically, try and get involved with as many things as you can handle/are available! =P I re-started a marine biology club in my high school. That was super awesome and it's still running today, even after I left. Woot!
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Ah, those guys - they sure are unique in their hunting! I'm not sure if there really are any notable differences in the way they look. For the patagonian killers I don't have many photos, but I once took loads of screenshots of a movie about the killers from NZ so perhaps I can see some stuff there ;)

Thank goodness you explained it all to me through note, otherwise I probably wouldn't have got your story about (under)graduate school, but so excititing! My goodness, so many experience and so many opportunities you've grabbed to do stuff with animals or for animals. It's such a shame there's hardly any of that here in the Netherlands ): We don't have big animal shelters, we don't really have stuff like RSPCA or wildlife rescue centres like England or the US has. I do know of some wildlife shelters, but I'm not sure if they'd do anything with volunteers and/or if that's even remotely helpful to them. Could always try emailing or something, though. Wow, analysing DNA - you'll be an animal detective in no time :lol:

Well, I'm not sure where to do that yet. :Sdevhadow-and-flame-86: from here used to write volunteer positions in her blog for #Exp-Marine-Mammals but stopped because people didn't have much interest. However, I am going to ask her if she knows of anything for the time I'll be 'free'. She's got good connections, explaining all the positions she knew about. Goodness, going to Africe, that sounds awesomeeeee. Please keep us here on dA posted on that! We dp have a porpoise rescue facility here where you can volunteer, but you need to live a bit close to there and have your own car to work there - both of which I don't have. I'll try to see if there is anything a bit nearby (zoo or so) where they take volunteers :)
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:iconwickedlovelyfaery:
wickedlovelyfaery Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Perhaps an orca culture poster would make more sense? ;P Because yes, while they might not all be morphologically different, they certainly are behaviorally different. I am absolutely obsessed with the variety of orca cultures!

Yeah. I am quite lucky to have had so many opportunities. It all branched off from the leadership camp in Churchill put on by Polar Bears International and their partnership with my local zoo. But who knows, maybe you'll find something! Anything helps! :D

I will totally keep everyone updated about Africa. I'll be sure to post lots of pictures when I get back. I'm thinking of getting a GoPro Hero 2 with the dive housing for my underwater camera. Check out these videos that were taken with it! [link] [link]

(Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy with uni. Classes started up again last week! >.<)
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:iconnamu-the-orca:
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2012
Haha, yeah, maybe, though then the stress would also be on illustrating their hunting methods and/or prey species. Interesting idea, though very big and time-consuming also I'm afraid :lol:

And my goodness, those Melon headed whales. So gorgeous ;_; What an enormous privilege it must have been to see such animals and be able to see them up close, I envy those people. Beautiful quality as well, nice and smooth and very sharp - looks like definitely a good choice! :D

Oh don't worry about the 'late' reply, I sometimes take waayyy longer to reply to something :XD:
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:iconravenfire5:
Ravenfire5 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
very nice pic :)
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