Short-beaked Common Dolphin

The Short-beaked Common Dolphin has a small, slender body with a tall pointed dorsal fin in the middle of the back, a rounded melon and a longish beak. The dark brown-grey cape on its back creates a V shape below the dorsal fin on both sides. Its flanks are yellow on the front half of the body, light grey on the back half; this forms an hourglass pattern.

Two Dolphins with a white slightly yellow flank
credit: Nicola Hodgins

Short-beaked Common Dolphins are very energetic and acrobatic. They perform many different types of breaches and leaps. They also ride the “bow waves” of boats… and are also known to ride the “bow waves” of large whales! They often work cooperatively with group members to herd small schooling fish (cod, sardines, herring). In certain areas, they are reported to feed at night on prey that moves up the water column.

Short-beaked Common Dolphins do not have sweat glands; heat is released through their flippers.