Dusky Dolphin Facts
- Despite its seemingly quite common presence, the marvelous Dusky Dolphin remains a bit of a mystery. People see the animal frequently, so experts presume its numbers to be abundant.
- Yet, no relevant information is available concerning its numbers. Furthermore, it is a protected species but not classified by the IUCN. This occurs due to a lack of available data as to its numbers.
- The mammal also remains popular for its remarkable acrobatics when leaping from the water.
- Sadly, however, numerous individuals frequently become trapped in commercial fishing nets, and perish. Despite its protected status, this, along with climate change, is a serious threat to it.
Dusky Dolphin Physical Description
The Dusky Dolphin is smaller in size than most dolphins. Individuals sometimes reach 6 ft (1.83 m) in length and 210 lb (100 kg) in weight. However, most individuals average less than this.
In color, most individuals tend to appear a very dark gray or black on the top. In addition, the throat and belly of the creature generally display an off-white in color. This makes for a striking contrast in appearance.
There is also no discernible degree of sexual dimorphism. The genders principally vary in appearance only in regards to the dorsal fins. Those of the male usually become broader, with a greater surface area.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Delphinidae
- Genus: Lagenorhynchus
- Species: L. obscurus
Dusky Dolphin Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Dusky Dolphin primarily inhabits the coastal waters of the Southern Hemisphere. But the distribution is patchy, with major populations scattered. Some exist in South America, New Zealand, southwestern Africa. Others, in southern Australia, Tasmania, and various oceanic islands.
While it also lives offshore, most prefer inshore waters and cooler currents. Moreover, individuals generally prefer the cooler waters near the continental shelf areas of the ocean, as well as around numerous islands.
In addition, many often travel great distances, but there are no discernible migratory habits. The species will frequently associate with other dolphins and various species of whales.
Finally, the Dusky Dolphin commonly consumes a variety of fish and small squid species. Individuals often band together to hunt in unison.