Dolphins

Species of Dolphins

Common Name

Striped dolphin

Latin Name

Stenella coeruleoalba

Order

Cetacea

Family

Delphinidae

 

Length

up to 2.6 m

Striped Dolphin Icon (1)

Weight

up to 156 kgStriped Dolphin Icon (2)

Social Behavior

Groups of 100 to 500.Striped Dolphin Icon (3)

Life span:

up to 45 years

Distinctive characteristics:

The striped dolphin is easily recognized by its grayish and white stripes that begin at the eye area and spread along the dorsal and lateral sides of the body.

Striped Dolphin Web

Population trend:

It is the most abundant dolphin species in the Greek waters and in the whole Mediterranean. However, a 30% reduction of its population size has been recorded for over 3 generations, raising great concern for its survival.

Main threats:

Reduced availability of food sources, water pollution and incidents of being caught as by-catch.

Diet

Fish, cephalopods, crustaceans.Striped Dolphin Icon (4)

Habitat

Open sea, normally over 1 km from the beach and in waters of over 200 m depth.Risso's Dolphin Icon (5)

Interesting Facts

The only species in the Mediterranean Sea that exhibits roto-tailing. This is the process of leaping very high out of the water and rapidly rotating the tail while in mid-air.Risso's Dolphin Icon (6)

Status (IUCN):

Vulnerable (VU)

Common Name

Common bottlenose dolphin

Latin Name

Tursiops truncatus

Order

Cetacea

Family

Delphinidae

 

Length

up to 4.2 m

Common Bottlenose Dolphin Icon (1)

Weight

up to 500 kgCommon Bottlenose Dolphin Icon (2)

Social Behavior

Pods of 1-25 individuals.Common Bottlenose Dolphin Icon (3)

Life span:

>50 years

Distinctive characteristics:

Identifiable by its grayish coloration and its short, wide and rounded snout, and curved dorsal fin. This species is larger and more robust than the other dolphin species.

Common Bottlenose Dolphin Web

Population trend:

These dolphins can be found throughout the Mediterranean, but sadly their populations, estimated around 10,000s individuals, have shown a 30% decline since the 1940s.

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Main threats:

The reasons for the population decline are dwindling food sources (due to overfishing), accidental and deliberate killings, by-catch, entanglement in illegal driftnets, habitat destruction, noise and chemical pollution.

Diet

Fish, cephalopods, crustaceans.Striped Dolphin Icon (4)

Habitat

Usually found in coastal waters. In Greece they are often seen in straights and bays.Common Bottlenose Dolphin Icon (5)

Interesting Facts

Bottlenose dolphins can produce up to 1000 clicks per second when echolocating.Common Bottlenose Dolphin Icon (6)

Status (IUCN):

Vulnerable (VU)

Common Name

Short-beaked common dolphin

Latin Name

Delphinus delphis

Order

Cetacea

Family

Delphinidae

 

Length

up to 2.7 m

Short-beaked Common Dolphin Icon (1)

Weight

up to 180 kgShort-beaked Common Dolphin Icon (2)

Social Behavior

Large pods of 10-50 individuals, often seen with other species.Short-beaked Common Dolphin Icon (3)

Life span:

>30 years

Distinctive characteristics:

The common dolphin is characterized by a light yellow hourglass shaped coloration on its flanks. Moreover they have a really distinctive dorsal fin with a sharply ending leading part and white patches on the sides.

Short-beaked Common Dolphin Web

Population trend:

Despite their name, the population of common dolphins in the Mediterranean is declining fast. In the last 30-50 years, there has been a loss of 50% of individuals. The most important remaining populations can be found in the northeastern Mediterranean, particularly in the Aegean, located within the Samos bay region.

Main threats:

Overfishing, habitat destruction, by-catch and xenobiotic contamination.

Diet

Fish and cephalopods.Short-beaked Common Dolphin Icon (4)

Habitat

Offshore, usually in waters of over 200 m depth.Short-beaked Common Dolphin Icon (5)

Interesting Facts

When a mother is giving birth, other members of the pod keep guard and after the pup is born it is helped to the surface for its first breath.Short-beaked Common Dolphin Icon (6)

Status (IUCN):

Endangered (EN)

Common Name

Risso's dolphin

Latin Name

Grampus griseus

Order

Cetacea

Family

Delphinidae

 

Length

up to 3.8 m

Risso's Dolphin Icon (1)

Weight

up to 500 kgRisso's Dolphin Icon (2)

Social Behavior

Groups of 3-20 animalsRisso's Dolphin Icon (3)

Life span:

more than 30 years

Distinctive characteristics:

It has a robust, stocky body, and is the largest delphinidae in the Greek waters. Their dorsal fin is taller than the other species with a falcate form. The melon is blunt and they have no prominent beak.

Risso's Dolphin Web

Population trend:

No population estimates exist in the Mediterranean Sea. However, they are considered scarce.

Main threats:

By-catch, noise and chemical contaminants.

Diet

Mainly cephalopods, but also fish.Risso's Dolphin Icon (4)

Habitat

Migrating through open sea, frequently found in regions with deep marine canyons.Risso's Dolphin Icon (5)

Interesting Facts

The white markings on their skin are scars, caused by fights and interactions between the individuals, as well as their own prey.Risso's Dolphin Icon (6)

Status (IUCN):

Data deficient (DD)

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