Field Frame Friday: Riding the Bow

As we were quickly transiting the waters of Stephen’s passage on a research trip in Southeast Alaska, we had a few marine mammals join us on our voyage! A pair of Dall’s porpoises (Phocoenoides dalli) beelined it to our boat and made their way to the front, and participated in a behavior called “riding the bow”. Some scientists have hypothesized that this behavior is a way to conserve energy by riding the propulsion of the boat to their intended destination, while others seem to think it’s just for pure enjoyment. As we approached our desired harbor and slowed our pace, the porpoises took off in the opposite direction, perhaps headed to their next fun riding adventure!

[Video and caption by Josie Hubbard]

For more information on Dall’s porpoises check out this link.

Würsig, B. (2009). Bow-riding. In Encyclopedia of marine mammals (pp. 133-134). Academic Press.

Featured image credit: Greg Schechter

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