Dolphins came close to a midair collision as they put on a stunning display for tourists in Scotland.
A pair of adolescent male bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland, were photographed leaping out of the water and almost colliding in midair.
Young male dolphins are known to jump at each other as a way of asserting their dominance and to bond with each other.
The playful cetaceans were photographed by Nicola Ratcliffe, 44, earlier this month.
She said: “The two dolphins were jumping at each other to show off – they were both young males and were acting like any young males do.
“When the ‘bad boys’ show up everyone gets very excited as you know they will put on a good show.
“They want to show each other who is the biggest and the best, so they do this by leaping out of the water and occasionally at each other.”
Mrs Ratcliffe, of Doncaster, travels up to Scotland every year to photograph the Moray Firth dolphins.
This year she said the number of onlookers watching the dolphins exceeded 200.
Mrs Ratcliffe said: “The dolphins breaching together is really a part of the bonding process – its not just competitive. They are jumping because they are free and happy.”
Dolphins are naturally talented acrobats, leaping from the water with enough power to propel their 650kg bodies through the air.
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