Common Dolphin

Common Dolphin

Scientific Name
Delphinus delphis



Cetacea (suborder) - Odontoceti

The body is fusiform, long, and slender. The long, thin snout is distinct from the melon. There are on an average 40 to 50 small pointed teeth on each side of the two jaws.

Dark cape with 'V' under fin. The dorsal fin is median, falcate, and medium-sized. The pectoral fins are short, and the flukes have a pronounced median notch.

It measures between 2 and 2.60 metres and the newborn between 76 and 95 cm.

Adult weight varies between 70 and 110 kg.

Colouring and snout length are the best ways to differentiate the geographic varieties. Generally it has a dark, almost black, back. This colouration forms a sort of triangle, the lower point of which is found at the end of the dorsal fin. The throat and stomach are white or creamy white. Black stripes join the pectoral fins to the lower jaw and the eyes to the bottom of the mouth. On the front part of the flanks, there is a yellow pigmentation, which becomes greyer towards the back. One or two grey stripes run along the bottom of the flanks. The fins as well as the upper jaw are black or very dark, whereas the lower jaw is light.

Their diet is relatively varied. It feeds on gregarious and migratory fish, such as anchovies, herring, and sardines, as well as on octopus.

The Common Dolphin is abundant in the Northern Hemisphere's temperate waters. Found in many enclosed waters such as the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. May be less common in the Indian Ocean.

Its migrations are directly related to those of the fish upon which it feeds.

It can dive to a depth of 280 metres. When it emerges, it jumps in all sorts of ways, although sometimes only the melon and back appear. Very gregarious, the Common Dolphin moves in herds of 10 to 100, sometimes up to 3 000. It is subject to some mass strandings.

Distribution : This dolphin is found in the temperate and tropical waters of every ocean.