Color Coded

Color Coded

Color Coded

Yellow-Green (dark phase): Dolphin color patterns seem to be triggered by life events and situations, according to Hammond. Like chameleons, dolphin have the ability to quickly change hue thanks to specialized color cells in their skin. The common yellow-green pattern, for example, has a darker variation with brown or black covering the fins.Don Hammond
Color Coded

Color Coded

Yellow-Green: Here is an underwater view of the dolphin displaying its most common color pattern. From above, the fish looks like the deep-blue bottom. When seen from below, the dolphin looks like the clear sky. When a dolphin attacks a bait, it will exhibit a neon-blue on its back, head and fins which Hammond calls its "excited"¿ pattern.Don Hammond
Color Coded

Color Coded

Silver-Blue: Hammond calls this the dolphin's "invisible"¿ pattern. "In gin-clear waters, there is little structure available for fish to use to hide from predators,"¿ he says. The silver-blue pattern interrupted with bright-blue spots simulates clear water and the particles suspended in it, making the dolphin harder to be seen by hungry marlin.Don Hammond
Color Coded

Color Coded

Injury Pattern: At first mistaken for blood, the injury display is actually a change in the fish's skin color. Note the dark line emanating from an implanted tag and running to the top of the dorsal fin. Because the pattern runs in a specific direction as opposed to radiating from the tag, this discoloration is likely controlled by nerves.Don Hammond
Color Coded

Color Coded

Sargassum-Flotsam Pattern: Dolphin can take on a camouflaged pattern of mottled brown and black that probably simulates the shadows found under a sargassum weedline or most varieties of floating flotsam. This pattern serves to break up the dolphin's profile, making the fish more difficult to spot against a dark background.Don Hammond