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Sunday, October 7, 2007

The water baby: Amazing pictures that capture the moment a dolphin joins the world

It is one of the rarest and most magical sights in the natural world.

A bottlenose dolphin goes into labour . . . then a calf emerges, tail first. Mother guides baby gently to the surface, where they swim together for the first time.

Very few dolphin births have been captured on film in such astonishing detail.


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Magical: Very few dolphin births have been captured on film

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baby dolphin

Nearly there: The dolphin is born tail first

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In a cloud of blood the dolphin calf is free

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This one was recorded at a wildlife park pool in Rimini, Italy, where photographer Leandro Stanzani was in exactly the right place at the right time.

"To take good pictures is not easy," said Mr Stanzani, who has been taking photos of dolphins for 14 years.

"Most births happen during the night when the light is very poor.


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baby dolphin

Happily swimming side by side with its mother the baby dolphin is instantly at home in the sea

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"Sometimes dolphins prefer to stay far away from windows. Sometimes water quality is poor.

"This time I was extremely lucky. It was daytime first of all. There were three photographers, one at each of the three underwater windows - and I was at the right one!

"The others couldn't even see the event."


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Follow my lead: Mother shows baby how to leap in true dolphin style




Dolphin

Mother nose best: Moments after the birth, she helps the calf towards the surface

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