Meet the Shannon Dolphins

Prometheus and Zeus


Like Bob, Kevin and Talon, Prometheus is one of the males of the Innie subgroup, the group of Shannon dolphins that inhabit the inner estuary. He was born around 2002/3 and is the only known calf of 009, one of the first animals recorded in the SDP catalogue in 1993 and she was last seen in 2014. In the intervening years he had continued to stay in the inner Shannon Estuary as he did when his mother was around.

Prometheus is named after the titan in Greek mythology, who is believed to have created man and is the supreme trickster, and a god of fire. His fin is unmarked, it does have a distinctive triangular shape, making him easy to match even from a distance. Prometheus has a mild, upward curvature to his spine, called kyphosis. This is what might makes him a ‘sedate’ dolphin or it may just be his temperament.


Zeus is named after the god of the sky, the lightning  and the thunder in Greek mythology. Unlike the Greek gods, these two dolphins had a very close association when they were juveniles and young adults, having been seen together in the majority of their sightings during their early years. Their association lessened as they got older, and while you can still see them together it is not with the same frequency, or closeness, as it was.

Unlike Prometheus, Zeus is a more ‘energetic’ dolphin. He is far more likely to  burst out of the water close to the boat than Prometheus who tends to keep more of a distance, and a more reserved manner. He has also grown up in the inner Shannon Estuary, although we have not been able to determine who his mother is. Zeus is likely only a year or 2 older than Prometheus, they are both in their early twenties. Zeus dorsal fin is far more marked than Prometheus’, with several notches and rake marks.

Prometheus Images


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