Delphinus delphis - Common dolphin:
/ Animalia / Craniata / Mammalia
/ Delphinidae / Delphinus
||Summary: Small dolphin with
long slender beak and hourglass pattern on flanks.(B142, D23).
Length: 2.1-2.4m / 6-7ft (D23).
- Body slender torpedo-shape.
- Beak: long, dark, separated from low receding forehead
by chevron-shaped groove.
- Teeth: 40-55 pairs small sharp-pointed conical teeth
- Dorsal and upper flanks: black/brownish-black.
- Flanks: marked with conspicuous hourglass pattern -
cream or yellowish tan in front of dorsal fin, paler dark grey behind dorsal fin and may
reach dorsal surface.
- Chest and abdomen: creamy white.
- Black lines base of beak to eye and middle of lower jaw to flipper.
- Flippers: tapering, light grey/white.
- Dorsal fin: central on back, slender, sickle-shape to
erect., may be black (often with central grey spot) to white with dark border.
- Tail flukes: black; distinct median notch
|Range and Habitat
- Temperate and tropical seas, Black sea (B51)
Britain and Ireland:
- Widely distributed, particularly western and southern waters, with smaller numbers in
southern Irish Sea and North Sea.
- In UK area: most likely to be seen July to October - may be slight
onshore movement during this period (B142)
- Fish and squid.
- Fish include: Micromesistius, Trisopterus, Merluccius, Trachurus, Sardinia,
Engraulis and Merlangius spp.
- Cephalopods include Loligo, Alloteuthis and Sepiola spp.
- Members of a school appear to cooperate in food-herding (B142).
- Gestation about 10-11 months.
- Births mainly June to September.
- Lactation about 19 months.
- Calving interval 1-2 years.
- Commonly swim 15-24 km/hour, faster if alarmed.
- Group members may show synchronised blowing and sounding.
- Breaching and tail-smacking of water are common.
- Generally groups of 10-20, sometimes larger, even hundreds.
- Groups may be of mixed age and sex.
Organisations (UK Contacts):
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