Short-beaked common dolphin

The short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) is a species of common dolphin. It has a larger range than the long-beaked common dolphin (D. capensis), occurring throughout warm-temperate and tropical oceans, including the Indian Ocean although in smaller quantities than other places they are found.

Males are generally longer and heavier, with a sexual size dimorphism of 1.06. Mature males also have prominent postanal humps. The color pattern on the body is unusual. The back is dark and the belly is white, while on each side is an hourglass pattern colored light grey, yellow or gold in front and dirty grey in back. It has a long, thin rostrum with 50–60 small, sharp, interlocking teeth on each side of each jaw. Juvenile dolphins have a more muted appearance and become more distinguishable when they mature.

Short-beaked common dolphin
  • Size

    The short-beaked common dolphin is a medium sized dolphin, smaller than the more widely known bottlenose dolphin. Adults vary in length from five to eight feet and range in mass from 100 to 136 kilograms or 220.26 to 299 pounds. Males are generally longer and heavier.

  • Feeding

    The short-beaked common dolphin has a varied diet consisting of many species of fish and squid that live less than 200 metres (660 ft) deep. The short-beaked common dolphin has been known to eat small fish, such as herring, pilchard, anchovies, hake, sardines, bonito, and sauries, as well as squid and octopus. They typically eat anywhere from 18 to 20 pounds a day.

  • Life History

    Females tend to reach sexual maturity when they have grown to 85% of their final size. It is at this point that the distribution of resources in their bodies becomes more focused on their sexual organs, rather than their physical size. This is usually when they are approximately 12 to 15 years of age. Like many other animals, female short-beaked common dolphins are considered sexually mature when they have ovulated at least once. After a baby is born, it immediately becomes part of the family and takes part in daily life. Staying close to its mother, the calf never strays more than a few feet, especially when it is very young. Until the calf is six months old, it obtains its nourishment solely from its mother's milk. Maximum lifespan is 35 years.

  • Behavior

    Short-beaked common dolphins can live in aggregations of hundreds or even thousands of dolphins. They sometimes associate with other dolphin species, such as pilot whales. They have also been observed bow riding on baleen whales, and they also bow ride on boats. It is a fast swimmer (over 60 km/h), and breachingbehavior and aerial acrobatics are common with this species. They are very social animals and engage in most necessary activities such as traveling, eating, and breathing together. They usually associate in groups that can consist of 1000s to 100,000s of individuals. When some individuals are sick, others in the group assist them by using their fins to help keep them afloat so they survive.