Out exploring the deep ocean for whales and dolphins today along Costa Adeje we found a tiny surprise – an Atlantic Silver Hatchetfish! These fish live in the deep ocean where there is very little light, only the blue spectrum which penetrates the deepest.
Living in such an environment the Atlantic Silver Hatchetfish has evolved some amazing physical attributes. It hunts mostly small crustaceans, like shrimp, so it has large fang like teeth to grasp and penetrate the thin shell of the shrimp.
This fish also hunts using unusually large eye balls that are on the top of its head – permanently looking upwards toward the surface. This allows it to discern its prey from the ambient light above it. As well, the eyes gauge the light intensity and spectrum of its surrounding waters – why?
Because for defence it matches the light from above with 2 rows of light producing organs on its belly! Yes – it makes light to ‘disappear’ from its predators lurking below in the water column.
While it looks like a ‘nightmare’ fish, it is tiny, about 6-7cm and with its unique physical adaptations to living in the deep ocean, it is a marvel that everyone was excited to find and examine on todays whale and dolphin watching tour along Costa Adeje, Tenerife.
A Loggerhead Sea turtle investigates our whale watching boat and the GoPro today. Great to get such an up close video of this ocean traveler as it swims over to our boat to check us out.
Loggerhead Sea turtles are visitors to Costa Adeje in Tenerife. The largest population of Loggerhead Sea turtles reproduce in the Cape Verde islands and along the Atlantic coast of Florida to the Carolinas in the USA . Many of these turtles use ocean currents to travel to the Canary Islands where they will spend their juvenile years feeding and growing along our coast.
Once they are mature and ready to reproduce they follow the ocean currents back to the same beach where they were born to lay their eggs and renew the cycle of life.
There are many threats to Loggerhead Sea turtles, even here in Tenerife. Plastics are among the largest threats when the turtles eat plastics confusing them with food. They can also get entangled in floating nets and bags.
We see Loggerhead Sea turtles almost every day on our Costa Adeje whale watching tours. But several times per month we encounter the turtles in poor health. We collect these injured turtles and return them to the marina delivering them to Tahonilla, the local marine wildlife rescue and rehabilitation foundation that nurses them back to health and releases them into the ocean to resume their lives.
As we sat idly observing a family group of Pilot whales a Mother and baby pair broke off from the rest of the group to do some ‘people watching’. This happens fairly often with our non-invasive approach. We do not chase the whales and dolphins, but instead observe quietly from the proper distance and allow the cetaceans own curiosity to dictate if there will be a closer encounter. It is fairly often that we are rewarded for our approach and patience with a beautiful encounter like this one today off Costa Adeje, Tenerife. Thanks to all the wonderful people who joined us today for thrilling and respectful whale and dolphin watching eco-adventures.
Pilot whales are a resident species here in Tenerife and seen on over 99% of our tours. The second largest dolphin species, the Pilot whales live in matrilineal pods, just like their bigger cousins, the Orcas. Costa Adeje in southern Tenerife is home to one of the largest known resident populations of Pilot whales in the world.
Some video both underwater and above of todays whale and dolphin watching tours along Costa Adeje, Tenerife. Today we observed numerous groups of Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins and a large active pod of Atlantic Spotted dolphins. Thanks to all the wonderful people who joined our eco-adventures today to respectfully observe the amazing whales and dolphins of Tenerife. We hope to see you all again soon!