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About Dolphins

Common Dolphins

Common Dolphins are aquatic mammals.

Short Beaked Common Dolphin Classification:

Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Delphinus
Species: Delphis

Long Beaked Common Dolphin Classification:

Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Delphinus
Species: Capensis

Short Beaked Common Dolphin Other Names: Offshore Common Dolphin, Saddle-backed Dolphin, Cape Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Criss-cross Dolphin, Hourglass Dolphin, Saddleback Dolphin, and White-bellied Porpoise

Long Beaked Common Dolphin Other Names: Arabian Common Dolphin, Arabian Saddle-backed Dolphin, Baja-neritic Common Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Malabar Common Dolphin, Malabar Saddleback Dolphin, Long-beaked Saddle-back Dolphin, and Saddle-back Dolphin

Size: Both of the Common Dolphin species are medium sized dolphins. They measure between 6 to 8.5 feet in length and weigh between 180 and 330 lbs (less commonly some can be found in excess of 500 lbs). Male Beaked Common Dolphins are longer and heavier than their female counterparts.

Habitat: Long-beaked common dolphins generally prefer shallow, tropical, subtropical and warmer temperate waters closer to the coast. Short-beaked common dolphins generally prefer deeper and cooler waters farther from the coast when compared to long-beaked common dolphins. Long-beaked common dolphins prefer shallower and warmer water closer to the coast.

Diet: Common Dolphins are predators and anchovies, hake, pilchards, sardines, krill and squid.

Senses: Common Dolphins have an acute sense of hearing. They have acute vision both in and out of the water. Their sense of touch is well developed. Common Dolphins have a limited sense of smell. Common Dolphins use echolocation for navigation, it can be thought of as similar to a built in radar system.

Hunting: Common Dolphins may work together to herd schools of prey. They chase a school of fish and take turns rushing through the school, eating fish whole.

Gestation: Beaked Common Dolphins carry their young for 10-12 months. They give birth every 1 to 3 years.

Birth: Beaked Common Dolphin calves are born tail first. They are 2.5 to 3 feet in length and weigh approximately 20 lbs.

Calves: Common Dolphin calves will nurse for up to 6-19 months depending on their location.

Sexual Maturity: Male Common Dolphins reach sexual maturity between 2-7 years, while females reach sexual maturity at 3-12 years.

Common Dolphin
Short Beaked Common Dolphin Photo
Short Beaked Common Dolphin

Status: Not Endangered

Short Beaked Common Dolphin
Short Beaked Common Dolphin
Short Beaked Common Dolphin Pod Photo
Short Beaked Common Dolphin Pod

Long Beaked Common Dolphin Photo

Long Beaked Common Dolphin


Long Beaked Dolphin Photo

Long Beaked Dolphin

The long-beaked common dolphin is less abundant than the short-beaked common dolphin.

Description: There are two species of Common Dolphins, Long Beaked Common Dolphins and Short-beaked Common Dolphins. Some scientists suggest there is a third species of Beaked Common Dolphins called the Arabian Dolphin. The body of the short beaked common dolphin is slightly more robust and the head is more rounded. Not surprisingly, the Long Beak Dolphin is known for its long distinctive beak.

The back of a Common Dolphin is dark and it's belly is white. On the side of the Common Dolphin is a distinctive hourglass pattern colored light gray, yellow or gold in front and gray on it's back.

Communication: Common dolphins are very vocal and they produce a range of clicks and whistles used for both communication and navigation.

Did You Know?

The Long Beaked Common Dolphin has the most teeth out of any dolphin in the world

Life Span: Common Dolphins live approximately 40 years.

Social Structure: Common Dolphins are found in large groups of 100 to 500 dolphins. On occasion they will form superpods of several thousand dolphins. They have been known to travel with Bottlenose or White-sided dolphins.

Athleticism: Common Dolphins are gregarious, energetic dolphins that are commonly seen swimming rapidly, breaching, and porpoising. Beaked Common Dolphins have been known to approach boats and bowride for long periods of time.

Unusual: Common Dolphins can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes during a dive.

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