Common dolphin

Species profile

Name: the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) is the most abundant cetacean in the world, with a global population of around six million. 

Appearance: common dolphins are easily recognised from other dolphins by their unusual colouring. Their backs are typical dark with white stomachs, and on each side, they have an hourglass pattern that is coloured light grey, yellow, or gold.

Size: they are medium-sized dolphins ranging from 1.9 to 2.5 m long and weighing 80 to 150 kg.

Diet: common dolphins eat a number of different types of fish and squid. They have been recorded making dives of up to 200 metres to find their prey.

Did you know: they are highly sociable animals and can live in groups of hundreds or even thousands of dolphins.  Occasionally, these groups can come together to form mega-pods which can contain more than 10,000 dolphins! They are also known to interact with other species such as pilot whales, striped dolphins, and Rissos’ dolphins. In the Gulf of Corinth, Rissos’ dolphins have been observed chasing and herding common dolphins, while the common dolphins try and swim under them. Sometimes these interactions appeared to be playful, and at other times aggressive. Synchronized swimming and surfacing was also commonly observed. These interactions were found to take place in the deepest part of the Gulf, furthest from shore, and involved up to 60 dolphins at a time.

Location: common dolphins live in warm-temperate and tropical waters. They can be seen in shallow, warm coastal waters and shelf edges around seamounts and escarpments.

Where to see common dolphins

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see common dolphins in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
West Cork
very high
very good

Photo credit: skeeze under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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