World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Long-beaked common dolphin

Article Id: WHEBN0000370613
Reproduction Date:

Title: Long-beaked common dolphin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Common dolphin, Short-beaked common dolphin, Oceanic dolphin, Toothed whale, Cetacea
Collection: Fauna of the Atlantic Ocean, Fauna of the Pacific Ocean, Megafauna, Oceanic Dolphins
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Long-beaked common dolphin

Long-beaked common dolphin[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Delphinus
Species: D. capensis
Binomial name
Delphinus capensis
Gray, 1828
  • D.c.capensis
  • D.c.tropicalis
Long-beaked Common Dolphin range

The long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis) is a species of common dolphin. It has a more restricted range than the short-beaked common dolphin (D. delphis). It has a disjointed range in coastal areas in tropical and warmer temperate oceans. The range includes parts of western and southern Africa, much of western South America, central California to central Mexico, coastal Peru, areas around Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and possibly near Oman.[1][3] Vagrants have been recorded as far north as Vancouver Island. They live in shallow, warmer temperature waters near the coast. They also live in the tropical and subtropical regions.[4]


  • Physical characteristics 1
  • Taxonomy 2
  • Behavior 3
    • Diet 3.1
    • Reproduction 3.2
  • Relationship to humans and other species 4
  • Conservation 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Physical characteristics

The long-beaked common dolphin is medium-sized, but smaller than the more popular bottlenose dolphin. Adults range between 1.9 and 2.5 m (6.2 and 8.2 ft), long, and can weigh between 80 and 235 kg (176 and 518 lb), although a range between 80 and 150 kg (180 and 330 lb) is more common.[5] Males are generally longer and heavier.[5] The color pattern on the body is unusual. The back is dark and the belly is white, while on each side is an hourglass pattern colored light grey, yellow or gold in front and dirty grey in back.[6] This species also has a rounded melon on tops of their heads used for echolocation.[4] It has a long, thin rostrum with up to 60 small, sharp, interlocking teeth on each side of each jaw.[7] They have more teeth than any other delphinids.[8]


The long-beaked common dolphin is a member of common dolphin genus, Delphinus within the dolphin family, Delphinidae in the cetaceans order.[4] Until the mid-1990s, the different forms within Delphinus were not recognized as separate species, but were all considered members of the species D. delphis.[3][5] In 1994, Heyning and Perrin[9] did research on these species and then Kingston and Rosel[10] confirmed there were two separate species. Currently, the two recognized species of Delphinus  are the short-beaked common dolphin (D. delphis) and the long-beaked common dolphin.[1] The long-beaked common dolphin is generally larger with a longer beak than the short-beaked common dolphin and has a longer rostrum.

The Indo-Pacific common dolphin is sometimes considered a separate species (D. tropicalis), but is more often considered a form of the long-beaked common dolphin.[1][3]


Long-beaked common dolphins can live in aggregations of hundreds or even thousands.[3] Within these large groups, smaller subgroups of 10 to 30, related in either sex or age, typically are found.[4] They sometimes associate with other dolphin species, such as pilot whales.[3] They have also been observed bow riding on baleen whales, and they also bow ride on boats.[3] Breaching behavior and aerial acrobatics are common with this species.[5]


The long-beaked common dolphin has a varied diet consisting of small schooling fish, such as sardines, anchovies, mackerels, pilchards, mullet, drum or croaker. These dolphins may occasionally eat small cephalopods such as octopi and squid, and more rarely eat small crustaceans like large shrimp or small crab. Since they gather in huge superpods and there is seldom enough food in one place to support all of them, smaller groups leave the main pod for a few hours to feed. [11] They are able to dive in the water to about 900 ft (280 m) and hold their breath for up to 8 min to catch prey.[4]


The long-beaked common dolphin has a gestation period of 10 to 11 months typically during spring or autumn.[4][5] The newborn calf has a length of between 80 and 100 cm (2.6 and 3.3 ft) and a weight of about 10 kilograms (22 lb).[5] The young and juvenile dolphins coloration and patterns are darker than the adults.[11] Typical interbirth interval ranges from one to three years.[5] In captivity, this dolphin has hybridized with the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).[3][12] One of the hybrids has been bred back to a bottlenose dolphin, demonstrating such hybrids are fertile.[12] The long-beaked common dolphin can live up to 40 years.[4]

Relationship to humans and other species

Long-beaked common dolphins in general are extremely social species that gather in large groups and as a result are nearly impossible to tame. If kept in captivity they are extremely stubborn and refuse to be trained. Unlike bottle-nosed dolphins, which are highly sociable with humans, common dolphins will even let themselves die if kept in captivity.[13] In the wild, however, they have been seen travelling with bottle-nosed dolphins, pilot whales, and yellowfin tuna.[14]


Delphinus capensis is covered by the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia[15] and the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region (

  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

External links

  1. ^ a b c d Mead, J.G.; Brownell, R.L., Jr. (2005). "Order Cetacea". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 723–743.  
  2. ^ Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K., Karczmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y., Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B. (2008). Delphinus capensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Perrin, W. (2002). "Common Dolphins". In Perrin, W.; Wursig, B. and Thewissen, J. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. Academic Press. pp. 245–248.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Mark McGinley, Eileen Mary Dee (December 2011). "Long-beaked common dolphin". Encyclopedia of earth. Retrieved April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Shirihai, H. & Jarrett, B. (2006). Whales, Dolphins and Other Marine Mammals of the World. pp. 174–176.  
  6. ^ Reeves, Stewart, Clapham, Powell. Guide to Marine Mammals of the World. p. 388.  
  7. ^ "The Common Dolphin". Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  8. ^ Jefferson TA, Webber MA , Pitman RL (2008) Marine mammals of the world. Elsevier, Amsterdam. ISBN 0123838533.
  9. ^ Heyning JE, Perrin W F (1994) Evidence for two species of common dolphins (genus Delphinus) from the eastern North Pacific. Los Angeles County Mus. Nat. Hist. Contr. Sci. 442: 1–35.
  10. ^ Kingston SE, Rosel PE (2004). "Genetic differentiation among recently diverged delphinid taxa determined using AFLP markers" (PDF). The Journal of heredity 95 (1): 1–10.  
  11. ^ a b )"Delphinus capensis"Long-Beaked Common Dolphin (. NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources. 2012. Retrieved April 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Zornetzer H.R.; Duffield D.A. (October 1, 2003). "Captive-born bottlenose dolphin × common dolphin (Tursiops truncatus × Delphinus capensis) intergeneric hybrids". Canadian Journal of Zoology (NRC Research Press) 81 (10): 1755–1762.  
  13. ^ Is a Dolphin a Fish? Melvin + Gilda Berger
  14. ^ Museum of Natural History, NY,NY
  15. ^ Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia. Convention on Migratory Species. (2008-10-03). Retrieved on 2014-01-04.
  16. ^ Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region. Retrieved on 2014-01-04.
  17. ^ Van Bressem M-F, Van Waerebeek K, Montes D, Kennedy S, Reyes JC, Garcia-Godos IA, Onton-Silva K, Alfaro-Shigueto Joanna (2006). "Diseases, lesions and malformations in the long-beaked common dolphin Delphinus capensis from the Southeast Pacific". Diseases of aquatic organisms 68 (2): 149–65.  
  18. ^ Kajiwara N, Matsuoka S, Iwata H, Tanabe S, Rosas FCW, Fillmann G, Readman JW (2004). "Contamination by persistent organochlorines in cetaceans incidentally caught along Brazilian coastal waters". Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology 46 (1): 124–34.  
  19. ^ Shirihai, H. and B. Jarrett (2006). Whales, Dolphins and Other Marine Mammals of the World. Princeton, Princeton University Press. pp. 174–176. ISBN 0691127573.


See also

[19] On the coast of California there are only about 25,000 to 43,000 dolphins and on the coast of South Africa there are 15,000 to 20,000.[18]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.