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Dorsal Fin Classification System

For the Ten Thousand Island Dolphin Study we have adopted a classification system that closely mirrors that developed by The Mid-Atlantic Dolphin Study catalogue. Under this system, the number assigned to each dorsal fin is based on the following criteria:


1000 series

T

TYPICAL

- Fins with a “Typical”, intact shape
- no distinctive characteristics
- not identifiable

TYPICAL



2000 series

LD

LEAD

-leading edge of fin has a distinctive notch, nick or slice

-LD is ranked above all other categories: fins with distinctive features on the leading edge
are placed in LD regardless of other features

LEAD



3000 series

MT

MISSING TOP/TIP

- missing a large portion of the fin tip

-- MT is ranked above all other categories except LD; even if there are other
features, the MT takes precedence over all other categories

MISSING TOP/TIP



4000 series

TN

TIP NICK

- tip of fin has nick, notch or scoop

- TN is ranked above all other categories except LD & MT.
- TN takes precedence over all other trailing edge features.

TIP NICK



5000 series

RB

RIGHT BEND

- fin is canted or bent to the right

RIGHT BEND



6000 series

LB

LEFT BEND

- fin is canted or bent to the left

LEFT BEND



7000 series

ENT

ENTIRE

- each third of the trailing edge has equally distinctive features

ENTIRE



8000 series

UP

UPPER THIRD

- upper third of trailing edge has the most distinctive feature

- When there are equally distinctive features in more than
one third of the trailing edge, the location of the lower
feature takes precedence over the higher feature.

UPPER THIRD



9000 series

MID

MIDDLE THIRD

- middle third of the trailing edge has the most distinctive feature.

MIDDLE THIRD



10000 series

LOW

LOWER THIRD

- lower third of the trailing edge has the most distinctive feature.

LOWER THIRD



11000 series

ET

EXTENDED TIP

- Tip of fin extends past remainder of the trailing edge

EXTENDED TIP



12000 series

M

MISC

- most prominent feature is located somewhere other than on the dorsal fin: the body, flukes, back etc.

MISC



13000 series

PED

PENDUNCLE NOTCH

- most distinctive feature of the dolphin is on the peduncle

PENDUNCLE NOTCH


 

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