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Black Dolphin

Black dolphin

Black dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia), also known as the Chilean dolphin, belong to the family of Delphinidae. They are found in coastal areas and freshwater estuaries surrounding Chile. These creatures are small cetaceans, which has a stocky body shape and blunt beakless head. They grow up to a size of 1.7 meter in length and weigh up to 60 kg. Their flippers and dorsal fin are rounded in shape. Their dorsal fin is low and triangular with a leading edge. Some of them are known to have serrations, which occur along the edge of their flippers. The dorsal fin is about (10 to 15) cm long. These species are grey and have light color variation on their ventral fin. Moreover, white markings can be seen on their throat, lips, forehead and behind each flipper. The female of these species is quite larger than the males. Chilean dolphins have a stout, which is in the shape of a torpedo. They have about (24 to31) teeth on each side of their jaw. These dolphins are known as black dolphin because their pectoral fins, dorsal fins and head all are of black colors.

These dolphins are found in the shallow, cold and coastal waters of South America. They can be seen in Cape Horn, Beagle Channel, Isla Navarino and Argentina. These species are schooling fish and they are also found in the small groups of (2 to 10) individuals or bigger groups of (20 to 50) individuals. These creatures are abundantly found in Valdivia, near Chiloe and Gulf of Arauco. These dolphins like to live in shallow waters, which have strong current and they enter rivers and estuaries. These species are shy in nature and use echolocation to communicate and catch their prey. They are generally found in channels, bays and open coasts.

These species feed on squid, sardines and small fishes. These dolphins also feed on the newly hatched salmon. They are also known to feed on green algae.

Reproduction / Breeding
These species reach sexual maturity at the age of (5 to 9) years. They are known to mate in the early winter, while they give birth to their young one in the spring. The scientists do not yet know the complete information about these species. However, it has been estimated that the young ones remain with their parents for long time and during this time they learn some complex behaviors such as firaging, navigation and social behaviors. These species have a life span of about 20 years.

Threat and Conservation
Black dolphins are caught accidentally in fishing and bait nets, and this is the biggest threat to this species. They are also caught for the bait of the crabs or may be consumed by the humans. These Chilean dolphins are fast and agile swimmers. There are no such recorded predators of these dolphins, but may fall victim to the killer whales. The hunting and trade of these species have been banned in Chile to maintain its population.