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Category Archives: Species Profile

Nov
19
2017

The South Asian River Dolphin is the group term for 2 subspecies of endangered and ‘blind’ dolphins in parts of Asia.

Ganges Subspecies Of The South Asian River Dolphin

Ganges Subspecies Of The South Asian River Dolphin (Photo: NOAA, Public Domain)

The South Asian River Dolphin refers to two variants of dolphins; the Ganges River dolphin and the Indus River dolphin.

Both dolphins are freshwater, or river, cetaceans typically found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan and split into two subspecies. As their names imply, the Ganges river dolphin is

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Nov
02
2017

The Pygmy Killer Whale is actually a dolphin but unlike most dolphins, it keeps away from humans and it’s particularly aggressive in captivity.

Pygmy Killer Whale: Largest Dolphins

Pygmy Killer Whale (Illustration: Marinebio.org)

Often confused with the melon-headed dolphin or the false killer whale, the Pygmy Killer Whale is a poorly-known oceanic dolphin.

This species is very rare indeed and gets its common name from some of the physical characteristics it shares with the Orca (killer whale). This is the smallest among the species that have”whale” attached to their common name.

Despite sharing many physical characteristics with killer whales, what distances them is their

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Oct
19
2017

The Atlantic Spotted Dolphin is a friendly and well-known species especially to people in the Bahamas.

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin: Best places to see wild dolphins

An Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Photo: NOAA)

The Atlantic Spotted Dolphin is a cetacean species endemic in the Gulf Stream of the North Atlantic Ocean and other parts of the Atlantic. Adult individuals are easy to identify by the distinctive spotted coloring all over their bodies.

This a relatively smaller-sized dolphin when compared to other better-known dolphin species. The Atlantic spotted dolphin is a stoutly-built but compact creature and sports a moderately long, chunky beak. Typically, the beak is white-tipped and some individuals may have white ‘lips’.

The main body color is a dark cape, gray sides, and a whitish underbelly. Spots begin to appear

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Oct
15
2017

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin is a well-known species that’s strikingly similar to the common bottlenose dolphin.

An Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin

An Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, Port River, Adelaide, Australia (Photo: Aude Steiner)

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin is another species of bottlenose dolphins.

Though they appear somewhat similar to the common bottlenose dolphin at first glance, a closer examination shows some clear differences.

For instance, although its back is also dark gray, its belly is lighter a gray shade or nearly white with gray spots. In addition, the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is typically smaller than the common bottlenose dolphin. The Indo-Pacific species also has more teeth than the common species.

Just like the common bottlenose dolphins, this species has a stout and muscular body, and tall,

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Oct
12
2017

The Pilot Whale is actually a dolphin and well-known for mass strandings.

Pilot Whale Spy Hopping

A Long Finned Pilot Whale Spy Hopping In Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada (Photo: Barney Moss/Wikimedia Commons cc by 2.0)

Regardless of their name, Pilot Whales are are actually dolphins. There are actually two species of pilot whale in the genus Globicephala. These are the long-finned pilot whale and the short-finned pilot whale.

They both have the same black or dark gray body color and shape. Hence, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart out at sea. So analyzing their skull structure is the best way to identify each

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Sep
18
2017

The Striped Dolphin is a fast swimming and very cosmopolitan marine mammal.

Striped Dolphin Leaping Out Of Water

Striped Dolphin Leaping Out Of Water (Photo: Scott Hill, National Marine Mammal Laboratory. Public Domain)

The Striped Dolphin is another well-known and extensively studied dolphin member of the Delphinidae (oceanic dolphin family). Their natural habitat is in temperate and tropical waters all over the world’s oceans.

This species is quite similar in size and shape to several other dolphins in the same habitat it lives in. Some of its neighbors include the pantropical spotted dolphin and the Clymene dolphin.

Nevertheless, it has a few distinguishing features that make it easy to spot from afar. For

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Sep
16
2017

The Northern Right Whale Dolphin is an exceptionally smooth bodied and slender species of Oceanic dolphins.

Northern Right Whale Dolphin

Northern Right Whale Dolphins Are Easily Identified By Their Slender Bodies And Lack Of Dorsal Fin (Photo: NOAA)

The Northern Right Whale Dolphin is a small and slender member of the Oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae) that’s found in the North Pacific Ocean. They are highly social animals often seen in large pods of up to 2000 individuals. They also interact with other cetaceans species like the Pacific White-sided dolphin.

Along with the Southern Right whale dolphin, this species is often referred simply as “right whale” dolphin because just like right whales, they have no dorsal fin.

Northern right whale dolphins have a very sleek and streamlined build with a sloping forehead. In fact, they are more slender than other dolphins. Their bodies are mostly back with an

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Sep
14
2017

The extremely rare Hourglass Dolphin is one of the smallest dolphins on our Planet.

Hourglass Dolphins In The Drake Passage: Hourglass Dolphin Profile

Hourglass Dolphins In The Drake Passage (Photo: Lomvi2/WikiMedia Commons cc by-sa 3.0)

The Hourglass Dolphin is one of the smallest dolphins in the Delphinidae family and it’s native to the freezing waters of the Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic region.

This extremely beautiful and remarkably fast dolphin is rarely ever seen. Consequently, not much is known about it to date. And despite decades of intense whaling and fishing in the Southern Ocean, just three individuals have been caught so far.

The hourglass dolphin has a black, compact shape with white and sometimes dark gray patterns on its body. Because of this coloration, it was called the “sea cow” during the whaling

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Sep
06
2017

The False Killer Whale displays a very unique behavior. It will approach divers in the water and offer them its prey.

A False Killer Whale And A Bottlenose Dolphin

A False Killer Whale And A Bottlenose Dolphin, Enoshima Aquarium, Japan (Photo: OpenCage/Wikimedia Commons cc by-s.a. 2.5)

The False Killer Whale is the fourth-largest dolphin on Earth (Orcas are the largest) and it’s a member of the Delphinidae: the oceanic dolphin family.

In case you’re wondering why they have “false” attached to their common name, it’s because though the false killer whale shares some similarities with the more popular killer whale (Orca), both species are in different genera. Nevertheless, they still share many similarities like hunting and killing other large marine mammals.

Also, just like Orcas, False killer whales are prone to stealing fish from longlines and this trait exposes them to slaughter by angry fishermen. These fishermen often hunt and shoot the false

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Aug
31
2017

The beautiful Irrawaddy Dolphin is severely threatened and is now functionally extinct in Laos.

An Irrawaddy Dolphin

An Irrawaddy Dolphin (Photo: WWF)

The Irrawaddy dolphin is a euryhaline species of oceanic dolphins, i.e. they can tolerate a wide range of water salinity.

Though very similar to the beluga whale in appearance, Irrawaddy dolphins are most closely related to the killer whale (orca). They are characterized by a large melon, no distinct beak, and a blunt, rounded head.

Their bodies are light gray allover and slightly lighter underneath, although some individuals range from gray to dark slate blue. Also, it has long broad flippers and short, blunt, and triangular dorsal fins.

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