DARWIN is a software system which allows marine scientists to maintain information for the study of various behavioral and ecological patterns of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. The software provides a graphical user interface to access a collection of digital dorsal fin images along with textual information which describes individual animals as well as relevant sighting data. Users may query the system with the name of a specific individual or the entire collection may be sorted and viewed based upon sighting location, sighting date, or damage category. Alternatively, the researcher may query a database of previously identified dolphin dorsal fin images with an image of an unidentified dolphin's fin. DARWIN responds with a rank ordered list of database fin images that most closely resemble the query image.


The DARWIN Research Group at Eckerd College held two workshops n November 2011, prior to the 19th Biennial Conference on Marine Mammals, in Tampa, Florida.

Group b2

October 10, 2009 The workshop entitled “Learning to effectively and efficiently use DARWIN,” was held Saturday, October 10, prior to the 18th Biennial Conference on Marine Mammals, in Quebec City, Canada. Twenty-five researchers involved in the study of cetaceans attended the hands-on workshop. These researchers came from throughout the US and from many countries around the world including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Iceland, New Caledonia, Portugal, and Slovenia. They are involved in the study of a variety of cetacean species including bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, white beaked dolphins, killer whales, sperm whales, and others. At the workshop, the participants used the software on their own computers running Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Handouts from the workshop are available at: http://darwin.eckerd.edu/18thBiennialWorkshop.ppt

August 5, 2009 New minor version (2.02) installers posted to Google Code site. Adds menu item to the Main Window allowing export of full-size images for any fin stored in a DARWIN catalog. DARWIN stores all images modified by the user as thumbnails to save space, but stores within such image files the name of the original image and the image modification sequence applied by the user in order to create the modified image from the original. DARWIN rebuilds full-size "modified" images from the "originals" on the fly, as needed. If the user wishes to have full-size images to use outside of DARWIN, this new version supports export of these to a user specified folder.

June 10, 2009 New minor version (2.01) installers posted to this site. In addition to fixing several minor program bugs, this upgrade fixes a potentially dangerous install/uninstall issue. See the "darwin-2.0-warning.txt" file on the downloads page.

December 10, 2008 The updated DARWIN website now includes links to the project's GoogleCode website and updated publication information.

July 8, 2008 A project website (http://code.google.com/p/darwin-ec/) for DARWIN has been launched on GoogleCode. Active development continues, and a new database format will be released soon.

June 21, 2007 A new beta version of DARWIN is available on the download page. This software is still under development so some of its functions have not yet been implemented. Installation instructions and a user's guide are included. New Features Include:

  • Batch-processing of matches
  • Custom damage categories
  • Allowance for multiple databases and survey areas
  • Improved automatic outlining capabilities
  • And much more!

December 9, 2005 A beta version of DARWIN is available on the download page. This software is still under development so some of its functions have not yet been implemented. The tools to create a database and match unknown fins against against it are available. New functionality has been added to automatically generate the outline of a dorsal fin. Installation instructions and a user's guide are included.

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