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Dusky Dolphins

Dusky Dolphins are aquatic mammals.

Dusky Dolphin Classification:

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Lagenorhynchus
Species: Obscurus

Other Names: Whitesided Dolphin

Size: Dusky dolphins are a small species of dolphin, they are 5.5 to 7 feet in length and weigh between 150 to 185 pounds.

Habitat: Dusky dolphins are found in the cooler waters along continental shelves in waters less than less than 650 feet deep, throughout the southern hemisphere.

Diet: Dusky Dolphins are predators and eat anchovy, squid, and schooling shrimp.

Senses: Dusky Dolphins have an acute sense of hearing. Their sense of touch is well developed. Dusky Dolphins have a limited sense of smell. Dusky Dolphins use echolocation for navigation, it can be thought of as similar to a built in radar system.

Hunting: Dusky Dolphins often hunt in groups, using sonar abilities to gather schools of fish to a given area.

Gestation: Dusky Dolphins carry their young for 11 months. They typically breed for reproductive purposes every 2-3 years.

Birth: Dusky Dolphins birth one calf at a time. Dusky dolphins are 2 feet and weigh approximately 11 pounds at birth.

Calves: Dusky Dolphin calves will nurse for up to 18 months. The Dusky Dolphin calves will stay with their mother for the first 3 years of their life.

Sexual Maturity: Female Dusky Dolphins sexually mature at 4 to 5 years of age, while male Dusky Dolphins mature at 3.5 to 5 years years of age.

Dusky Dolphin Photo

Dusky Dolphin

Status: Insufficient Data Available

Dusky Dolphin Picture

Dusky Dolphins

Dusky Dolphin Pod

Description: Dusky Dolphins are dark gray or dark blue-gray) on their backs and white on their belly. They have a crescent shaped dorsal fin, and a pale gray stripe runs down the dusky dolphins side. The beak on a dusky dolphin is short and blunt.

Communication: Dusky Dolphins communicate using a series of whistles, clicks and squeaks.

Did You Know?

Dusky dolphins are highly inquisitive and usually easy to approach.

Life Span: The number of Dusky Dolphins have been on the decline in many regions. Dusky Dolphins are also at risk from fishing nets. The nets trap the dolphins and they are unable to get to the surface for air. Dusky Dolphins typically live 18 to 25 years. Killer whales and sharks are predators of Dusky Dolphins.

Social Structure: Dusky Dolphins are found in pods of 6 to 15 dolphins. Occasionally Dusky Dolphins are social creatures and have been observed with other whales and dolphin species in a mixed grouping. At times a number of small pods will join together to form a large group. They tend to aggregate into larger groups in deeper water, probably for protection.

Did You Know?

Dusky dolphins have been observed assisting injured or sick members of their pod. This is very rare in the animal world.

Athleticism: Dusky Dolphins are said to be one of the most agile species of dolphins found in the world.

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