Nov 2, 2021 - News
World's oldest bottlenose dolphin Still missing
Nicklo (right) and a calf in September 2017. Photo by the Chicago Zoological Society's Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, taken under NMFS Scientific Research Permit No. 20455

Researchers haven’t seen old Nicklo — so named for the nick in her lower dorsal fin — since 2017, when at 67 she was found to be the oldest bottlenose dolphin on record, the Bradenton Herald reports. ​​ ​​

Flashback: Before her disappearance, Nicklo was an active member of the Sarasota Bay dolphin community, which includes about 170 dolphins between the southern end of Tampa Bay and Venice.

  • Researchers from the Chicago Zoological Society's Sarasota Dolphin Research Program have been studying local dolphins for 50 years and named Nicklo years ago.
  • They pulled a tooth in 1984 to determine her age.

What happened: No one is sure, but since dolphins tend to stay in the same area for life, Nicklo is presumed dead. She was last spotted in 2017.

  • Researcher Dr. Randy Wells tells Axios that Sarasota Bay's next-oldest dolphin is in its 50s. There could be unobserved dolphins older than Nicklo out there, but no one has recorded them.
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