These dolphins occur worldwide in tropical and temperate waters and are one of the world's most abundant dolphin species. They have been seen in groups of thousands and are generally an offshore species.
The pictures we show here
are of captive common dolphins
in Napier, New Zealand
Hopefully a time will come soon
when such beautiful animals are
no longer kept in concrete tanks
One of the many places they may
be seen in the wild is in
Common dolphins at Marineland Napier N.Z.
Common dolphins flanks are coloured ochre and grey and they have a distinct dark stripe around the eye. Calves display the same patterns but are lighter in colour. They have a prominent triangular dorsal fin, pointed flippers, and slender streamlined body.The size of adult females is approximately 2.4m with males being larger at 2.6m.
Common dolphins often ride boat's bow waves, and can be seen swimming rapidly at the surface, sometimes leaping clear of the water. They are efficient group hunters of open-ocean and mid-water fishes and squid.
A possible albino Common dolphin has been sighted in
Spinner Dolphins are found in tropical , and warm temperate waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are named for their amazing spins as they leap out of the water, this behaviour is very exciting to see. They are fast and agile swimmers, with narrow bodies and long beaks. They may be seen in groups of up to several hundred and frequently school with feeding pan tropical spotted dolphins. There is speculation that spinner and spotted dolphins aggregate together as protective partners, one species resting as the other feeds. Spinners feed mainly at night in deeper waters, and rest during the day.
Adult spinner dolphins are approximately 2m long.
You may be lucky enough to see spinners, perhaps at Moorea where Michael Poole is studying their behaviour, or in Hawaii.
There are two species of pilot whales, the Long-fin and the Short-fin. The Short-fin are usually found in tropical and subtropical waters, with the Long-fins being widely distributed including temperate to subantarctic waters.
Young pilot whale spy-hopping
Long-fin pilot whales are dark, mostly black apart from a whitish or pale grey anchor-shaped patch on their undersides. They have a high,bulbous forehead, and long sickle shaped flippers which are up to 20% of their total body length. One place pilot whales frequent is Newfoundland .
Long-fin males average in size around 5.5m - 6m though some may exceed 7m, with females being smaller, usually less than 5m.
Pilot whales in Moorea
Pilot whales in Bay of Plenty New Zealand
They are essentially oceanic, and may be able to dive to hundreds of metres to obtain their food. Pilot whales have a average life span between 30 to 50 years. They live in groups of tens or hundreds and may be seen with other species such as minke whales or bottlenose dolphins. Strandings of pilot whales are unfortunately quite common throughout the world.
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