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Marine Mammals of India

This poster, 'Marine mammals of India' came about as a spontaneous, organic idea to Dipani Sutaria. Delighted at the thought of an art-science collaboration, we started off. We are grateful for continuous scientific support from Thomas A. Jefferson & Bernd Wursig, to Suparna Vashisth & Ariane Ginwala for supporting us without a second thought.

Identifying cetaceans at sea requires a combination of features – patterns, colours, shape and location of the dorsal fin, shape of the melon, length of the beak, and so on. This series was created to contribute towards a visual guide to identify these whales for scientific studies. Through my quest for accuracy, and a re-iterative process that required extensive collaboration and dedication, I rediscovered my love for these majestic creatures and their idiosyncratic quirks.

The fascinating thing about whales is how little we know about them. Male humpbacks sing the most hauntingly beautiful songs in the sea and yet we don’t know what they mean. Sperm whales travel to parts of the planet

that we have never seen. The things we do know are equally intriguing. Sperm whales are the loudest animals on earth. A baby blue whale is around 8 metres long at birth. Humpbacks have been recorded working together with other whales in a hunting technique known as bubble net fishing. With every creature that emerged on a blank sheet of paper, the process became increasingly valuable and enjoyable.

Illustrations of individual species in coloured pencil

Client:

Dipani Sutaria, Marine Ecologist

Services:

Scientific Illustration