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White Beaked Dolphin

White Beaked Dolphin

About White beaked dolphin : The White Beaked dolphin, its scientific name is Lagenorhynchus albirostris. It is a beautiful creature on Earth. It has a very powerful tail and fin, which gives them abundance of energy, speed and power in swimming.

Physical description : The white-beaked dolphin can grow up to 3.2 meters and is very sturdy and plumy looking. The body is mostly black or grey with a pale saddle behind the dorsal fin and there are white bands on the flanks. Their belly is white and though they are called as the white-beaked dolphin but the beak is sometimes grey or even darker. The dorsal fin is prominently visible and is placed mid-way down the body. The pectoral fins are small and wide.

Distribution : This species are usually in the temperate and sub-arctic waters of the North Atlantic. It is common for the Norwegian coast and the North Sea and it is often found in the Baltic Ocean. They are less found in the Northwest of Atlantic but there are abundant populations in Labrador and they are also found far in South.

Behavior : White-beaked dolphins are always seen in groups of 10 to 50 and sometimes in schools of several hundred. They are very fond by boats and often go for bow rides. They have a very flexible and acrobatic body and therefore they perform rooster tail splash when they are swimming fast.
White-beaked dolphins are always seen in mixed groups of white-sided dolphins and they sometimes also associate themselves with feeding fin whales and humpback whales. They are not well habituated to ice formation and therefore they often get trapped in groups by new ice.

Breeding : The sexual maturity age for the white-beaked dolphin is still not known but the females become mature when they grow up to 2.4 meters and males grow up to 2.5 meters. Mating usually takes place in the summer between June and October and gestation is about eleven to twelve months so that calving generally occurs in the early summer.

Feeding : In Canada, the white-beaked dolphins are known as "squid-hounds", but they also eat a wide range of small fish, such as cod, whiting and haddock. They are also known to eat mollusks, crustaceans, and octopus.

Current situation : Though they are not commercially hunted, but sometimes these dolphins are killed by hunters and fishermen in Labrador, Greenland and in many regions. The white-beaked dolphin is usually found in patches so it becomes difficult to estimate the total population but it is estimated that there may be a hundred to thousand individuals. There has been recorded decrease in numbers of populations in the Northwest Atlantic but there is an increase in the populations of this White beaked dolphin in Europe.

Quick Key Facts about White beaked dolphin :

  • Size: Up to 3.1metres, female dolphins are usually smaller than males.
  • Range: In Cool waters of North Atlantic Ocean.
  • Threats::Caught in trawling nets by fisher man, pollution caused by humans, caught by new ice.
  • Diet: Fish such as cod and whiting, squid and octopus.