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Common dolphin


Delphinus delphis

Scientific Name: Delphinus delphis

Description: they are slender animals with prominent beak. With about 40-50 conical teeth of 2.5mm in diameter (like the tip of a pencil) by hemi-maxilla. Individuals of this species have a black coloration on the back, forming an inverted triangular area at the level of the dorsal fin. The flanks in the middle of the body have a yellow or light brown strip and are gray on the back. The belly is white. Adult males are slightly larger than females and can measure up to 2.3m length and weigh more than 100 kg. The dorsal fin is a high and sickle cell.

Biology: the common dolphin feeds on small fish which aggregate in shoals also consuming several species of cephalopods. On the Portuguese coast, the preferred prey is the sardine. Their dives are of short duration and they can reach 70m depth. Gestation lasts for about 10 months and cubs are born with around of 90 cm. Breastfeeding lasts about 4 months. Is a gregarious species and you can find groups of several hundred individuals. The groups consist of animals of different ages, although there may be some sexual segregation. It is estimated that they can live to be 25-30 years.

Distribution: it is the most abundant cetacean on the Portuguese coast. It can be found from North to South, being frequent both near the coast as in oceanic areas. This species is part of the vast majority of strandings detected on the Portuguese coast.


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Last Modified: 26/02/2016

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