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Information page about the sealife we might see on our trips:

- Dolphins? 
- Seaturles?
- Or maybe a whale?


It's all possible in the meditereanean!

The Mediterranean basin is a recognised biodiversity hotspot. With 15,000 to 25,000 species, its flora diversity is outstanding and 60% of which are endemic. About one third of the Mediterranean fauna is also unique to the region. Many of them are considered vulnerable, endangered or threatened with extinction.

The Mediterranean has been described as a miniature ocean for its species richness and the overall response to the diverse pressures affecting its biota.
The Mediterranean Sea hosts the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. It is a charismatic species very close to extinction. However, an increase in sporadic sightings has been recorded in recent years.

 

With our trips we try to give at  least some attention to marine life, the seagrass end consequences of marine polution. We can not manage the worlds oceans like we manage a household and just 'fix it'. We have to learn to adjust ourselfs and give the change to this stunning nature to naturally balance itself out without our human external factors.

Explore Meditereanean Sealife with us!

Sea turtles

Mallorca has two species living off the island’s coast, the ‘Loggerhead’ and the ‘Silly’ turtle.
The Loggerhead can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as our very own Mediterranean Sea. In fact, it's one of the most common turtles inhabiting the waters around Spain and the Balearic Islands. On average, adult

specimen weigh around 135 kilograms and their shells are a beautiful combination of yellow and brown.Next to the Loggerhead, we also have the Silly turtle which is the only species to breed in the Mediterranean. Silly turtles are at an even higher risk of extinction than the Loggerheads from which they can be easily distinguished by their purely brown

shell. Also, they are bigger: Large adults can weigh up to 200 kilograms

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Sperm Whales

Scientists have discovered the only Breeding ground for sperm whales in Spain, just off the coast of Minorca. The announcement by scientists attending a congress in Ibiza has been widely welcomed because there are only 2,000 sperm whales left in the Mediterranean and it is an endangered species.
Research over the last two years has

established that the area has became a major breeding ground. The Spanish authorities will come under pressure to protect the area.The sperm whale is a pelagic mammal with a worldwide range, and will migrate seasonally for feeding and breeding Females and young males live together in groups, while mature males (bulls) live solitary lives outside of

the mating season. The females cooperate to protect and nurse their young. Females give birth every four to twenty years, and care for the calves for more than a decade. A mature sperm whale has few natural predators, although calves and weakened adults are sometimes killed by pods of killer whales

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The fin whales

Is the second largest mammal in the world, just behind the blue whale!
Although it is still difficult to assess the exact size of its population (as individuals are constantly on the move and dive regularly), it is estimated that about a thousand individuals live in the protected

area of the Pelagos Sanctuary, which aims to protect marine mammals in the western Mediterranean over a vast territory including French, Italian and Monegasque waters.The fin whale feeds mainly on krill, small shrimp that it traps in its baleen plates in large quantities.Risk of

collisionFin whales can live up to 80 years, if their trajectory does not meet that of the fast ships that are common in summer, which they find difficult to avoid when breathing on the surface.

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The 4 Most common Meditearrenean Sea Dolphins

Striped Dolphin

The most common dolphin in the Mediterranean Sea is the Striped Dolphin. Although they can be found around the globe, they especially love the warm temperate and tropical waters of this inland sea. Named for the black stripe on the center of its body, the average adult striped dolphin measures about 2 meters in length and can live up

to 58 years of age. They travel in groups as small as 10, though some pods are comprised of hundreds of dolphins.The striped dolphin prefers the deep expanses of the sea – so if you’re out on a boat, you might see pods swimming near the bow. Striped Dolphins aren’t shy, and are the most likely of any of the species to put on a show with frequent leaps out of

the water. These dolphins can swim mighty fast, with average speeds topping 15km (about 9 miles) per hour. They can also dive up to 700 meters to catch their prey, with the pelagic squid being a favorite. They don’t have many predators themselves, though climate change and illegal fishing practices are some of the biggest threats to this species. 

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Riso's Dolphin

Another one of the most common Mediterranean Sea Dolphins is the Risso’s Dolphins. This is one of the most distinct-looking species of dolphins in the entire world, easily recognizable by their blunt-shaped head, unpronounced beak, and unusual white scars that they accumulate throughout their lives. Some of the oldest Risso’s dolphins actually appear to be almost white after a lifetime of collecting these scratches. 
The Risso’s dolphin is longer than the

striped dolphin, with average lengths ranging between 3.5 and 4 meters. This species prefers to frequent the deep pelagic waters of the Mediterranean (especially around submarine canyons and steep shelf slopes), though you can find them in almost every other temperate and tropical sea around the world. Like most other dolphin species, the Risso’s dolphin prefers to travel in groups, with the average size being about 30. Pods in the thousands have

been spotted before, but some have smaller groups of about 10.Their diet consists mainly of cephalopods (think squids, cuttlefish, and octopus), and they do most of their hunting at night. If you’d like to see one of these unique creatures while in the Mediterranean, your best chance is around Spain. The Balearic Islands are especially great for sightings, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a pod swimming alongside your boat. 

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Bottlesnose Dolphin

Is the second largest mammal in the world, just behind the blue whale!
Although it is still difficult to assess the exact size of its population (as individuals are constantly on the move and dive regularly), it is estimated that about a thousand individuals live in the protected

area of the Pelagos Sanctuary, which aims to protect marine mammals in the western Mediterranean over a vast territory including French, Italian and Monegasque waters.The fin whale feeds mainly on krill, small shrimp that it traps in its baleen plates in large quantities.Risk of

collisionFin whales can live up to 80 years, if their trajectory does not meet that of the fast ships that are common in summer, which they find difficult to avoid when breathing on the surface.

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Short-beaked Common Dolphin

Mallorca has two species living off the island’s coast, the ‘Loggerhead’ and the ‘Silly’ turtle.
The Loggerhead can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as our very own Mediterranean Sea. In fact, it's one of the most common turtles inhabiting the waters around Spain and the Balearic Islands. On average, adult

specimen weigh around 135 kilograms and their shells are a beautiful combination of yellow and brown.Next to the Loggerhead, we also have the Silly turtle which is the only species to breed in the Mediterranean. Silly turtles are at an even higher risk of extinction than the Loggerheads from which they can be easily distinguished by their purely brown

shell. Also, they are bigger: Large adults can weigh up to 200 kilograms

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Sea horse

What are seahorses?
The oddly shaped and upright-swimming seahorse seems an unlikely fish. Yet more than 45 species live in coastal waters around the globe. Scientists have learned their basic biology, but much remains unknown about these charismatic animals.

Habitat and movement

Preferring calm, shallow waters, seahorses thrive in seagrass beds, mangroves, estuaries, and coral reefs in temperate and tropical waters around the world. Relatively inept swimmers, the fish get around with frantic beats (up to 70 times per second) of a dorsal (back) fin and rely on tiny pectoral fins for stability and steering. Easily exhausted, many are swept away in heavy currents or killed in storm-roiled seas

Physical description

Its head may resemble a horse’s, but each seahorse has a look all its own. Most are spotted, speckled, or striped, and some are decked out in skin frills, spikes, and crowns. Colors vary and can change with the twitch of a muscle to offer camouflage or to signal a foe or potential mate.Seahorses have flesh-covered bony plates instead of scales, eyes that work independently of each other, and prehensile tails—used to grip holdfasts on the seafloor to avoid drifting and, during courtship, to link to each other.The tiniest species is no bigger than a lima bean; the largest can reach more than a foot from head to tail tip.

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Anemone

Sea anemones are named after and resemble flowers, but they’re actually invertebrates related to corals and jellies. Their bodies consist of a soft, cylindrical stalk topped by an oral disc surrounded with venomous tentacles.
At their base, they sport a single adhesive

foot, called a basal disc, which they use to attach to underwater surfaces like rocks or shells. Anemones can have anywhere from a dozen to a few hundred tentacles. These cnidarians come in a variety of colors, decorating a tide pool or reef like a garden of wildflowers.Anemones are

known to form symbiotic relationships with other animals; their most well-known alliance is with clownfish. Because of a protective mucous coating, clownfish are immune to an anemone’s stinging cells. They make their homes within the anemone’s tentacles, protected from predators; in return, the anemone eats the clownfish’s leftover meals.

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Posidonia

Posidonia oceanica forms extensive seagrass meadows around the Balearic Islands, known as underwater forests, with high biodiversity of species and their role in the ecosystem is of great importance.
Seagrass meadows provide shelter for many species; produce oxygen on a daily basis, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and creating tons of biomass per year. Likewise, they act as barrier reef structure, which, although they are scarce today in the Mediterranean, have a high importance and longevity.
Seagrass meadows maintain the coastline

and protect our beaches from erosion, in Winter, the accumulation of the leaves on the beach, called “banquettes”, stabilize the bottom and reduce the effect of the waves on the coast. In addition, the shells of the epiphytic calcareous organisms of the posidonia leaves are integrated into the accumulated substrate, generating whiter beaches.One of the peculiarities of Posidonia is its tolerance induced by climate clange, acting as an excellent indicator of the quality of the waters. Since 1992 it has been considered a habitat of priority interest to the EU, and

is currently regulated by different regulations.However, despite Posidonia is being protected by different regulations, unfortunately it is also athreatened. The increase in activities in Balearic waters is endangering the conservation status of Posidonia through direct impacts such as anchors, uncontrolled anchoring of boats, as well as many other threats. Faced with this situation, the Balearic government approved Decree 25/2018 of July 27, aimed at the conservation of Posidonia oceanica, to make the development of human activities compatible with the protection of the species and its habitat.

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Octopus

Octopuses are highly intelligent, Maze and problem-solving experiments have shown evidence of a memory system that can store both short- and long-term memory. Young octopuses learn nothing from their parents, as adults provide no parental care beyond tending to their eggs until the young octopuses hatch. In laboratory experiments, octopuses can readily be trained to .

distinguish between different shapes and patterns. They have been reported to practise observational learning, although the validity of these findings is contested. Octopuses have also been observed in what has been described as play: repeatedly releasing bottles or toys into a circular current in their aquariums and then catching them. Octopuses often break out of their aquariums and

sometimes into others in search of food. The veined octopus collects discarded coconut shells, then uses them to build a shelter, an example of tool use

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Dusky grouper

The dusky grouper inhabits rocky reefs in the Mediterranean Sea, eastern and south-western Atlantic and western Indian Ocean. It is a large fish, measuring up to 1.5 metres in length and occasionally reaching over 50 kilos in weight.
Its big head, wide mouth and jutting lower jaw give the dusky grouper a

slightly prehistoric look, and the distinctive fungus-like blotches on its skin add to its strange appearance.Dusky groupers favour habitat with a rocky bottom. Territorial, and largely solitary outside the spawning season, they are mainly ambush feeders, sucking in their prey and swallowing it whole.One of the

most remarkable characteristics of this and other grouper species is that every fish begins life as a female before turning into a male once it has attained a certain age and size. This gender reversal most frequently occurs at around 12 years old.

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Rainbow Wrasse

You won’t find rainbow wrasse on the local restaurant menus even though it’s abundant along the coastline.
Rainbow wrasse is edible fish, but they have limited commercial demand. As a result, they are left alone to thrive in the shallow waters of the Mediterranean

coastline.This solitary fish reacts similarly to danger like the ostrich, but instead of just burying its head in the sand, it buries its entire body.Another curious feature of the rainbow wrasse is that it’s hermaphroditic and can change sex whenever needed.When it performs this

sex change, it also changes color, developing “an orange stripe pattern with a prominent red dot on the dorsal fin.”

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Atlantic blue fin Tuna

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is known to have dark blue coloring on the top and a grey or shimmering white coloring below. They also appear to have a gold shimmer to the entire body. These colors assist in camouflaging them in the similarly colored ocean waters. In contrast, their meat is a dark red color. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna have rows of upper and lower needle-like sharp teeth, and their livers

are covered in tiny blood vessels.Atlantic bluefin tuna use a mechanism referred to as countercurrent exchange to keep its core muscles warm and prevent the loss of heat when swimming. They are most unique due to the ability to thermoregulate by transferring warm blood to cool oxygenated blood.They are most likely to be found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea.They .

are known to be flexible and often change their area of concentration and migration routes due to their ability to thermoregulate their body temperature and live in various seawater temperatures

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Mediteranean swordfish

The Mediterranean swordfish is one of the larger Mediterranean fish species and one of the most endangered.
Fishermen have targeted these migratory fish since ancient times. This relentless harvesting has taken a toll on the

swordfish population and the WWF now believes we’re “catching twice the sustainable level of swordfish.”Despite that, the demand for swordfish remains so high that some fishermen are willing to substitute it with other

species.A study conducted by the University of Catania in Sicily in 2019 “found that 15% of the samples of swordfish it analyzed contained traces of other seafood.”

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