Southern right whale dolphin

The southern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii) is a small and slender species of mammal found in cool waters of the southern hemisphere. The dolphin is one of two species of right whale dolphin, Lissodelphis, the other being found in deep oceans of the northern hemisphere.

Southern right whale dolphins are the only dolphins without dorsal fins in the southern hemisphere. They are smaller than northern right whale dolphins and have more white on their head and sides. They have slim, graceful bodies which are black on the upper side and white underneath. Their flippers are mainly white and are small and curved. Their flukes are small with a notch in the middle and concave trailing edges. Their beaks are small but distinct. They have between 43 to 49 teeth in each row of both jaws.

Southern right whale dolphin
  • Size

    Newborn calves are about 80–100 cm (31–39 in) in length. Adults are between 1.8–2.9 m (5 ft 11 in–9 ft 6 in). Females tend to be slightly longer than males. Adults weigh between 60–100 kg (130–220 lb).

  • Feeding

    They eat fish, squid, and octopus. Their diet could possibly include euphausiids (krill). Little is known of their particular habits, and it is not known whether they search for their food near the surface or at greater depths.

  • Life History

    Gestation lasts from 10 to 12 months, and results in the birth of a single calf.

  • Behavior

    Southern right whale dolphins are very graceful and often move. They typically live in groups of between 2 and 100. Some groups are more nervous than others and will swim away from boats, whereas others will approach and possibly bow-ride.