Dolphins of The World
Everybody likes dolphins but very few know about the type of dolphin and the location of the dolphin in the world. Dolphins are warm-blooded, air-breathing aquatic mammals that come under Cetacea infraorder (from Greek word, “ketos”, meaning “large sea creatures”). They are a part of “Odontoceti”( meaning “toothed whales”) parvorder.
Marine life is incredible. It consists of bright-colored corals and fishes. But only a few of them feel comfortable while interacting with humans. Some of them can also be trained by humans. Dolphins take the cake in this category.
Dolphins can be of any size ranging between 2 m to 10 m in length. They have well-developed hearing which is a gift for them because it helps them in both water and air. With this quality, the dolphins can survive even if they are blind.
Dolphins are fraternizing mammals, hence they travel in groups. A group of dolphins is known as a pod. Because of this socializing nature, dolphins are easily trained by humans. They are used for entertainment in water parks and aquariums, for spreading awareness about endangered species as well.
TYPES AND LOCATIONS OF DOLPHINS
Classification is not an exact science as more discoveries will come to light, some dolphins are likely to be further divided into more than one species. However, there are 43 species of dolphins so far. Out of which 38 are oceanic dolphins and 5 are river dolphins. Some of them are discussed below:
Long-Beaked Common Dolphin or Delphinus Capensis
As the name suggests this type of dolphin has a distinct long beak and high dorsal fin. They have different coloring with multiple color bands on their sides. They reside in the tropical and warm waters of the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans.
Short-Beaked Common Dolphin or Delphinus delphis
Short-beaked common dolphins have a beautiful hourglass pattern on their sides forming the distinctive color bands on their sides. Their dorsal fin has flashes of yellow in front and white at the back. This type of dolphin is found mostly in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Bottlenose Dolphin or Tursiops truncatus
These dolphins are so-called because of their bottle-shaped snout. This type of dolphin can grow from 6 to 12 feet long. Only a few people know that these dolphins shed their outermost layer of skin every 2 hoursFF These dolphins are found in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea as well as the Southwestern Indian Ocean.
Northern and Southern Rightwhale Dolphin or Lissodelphis Borealis
These dolphins are named after the locations where they are found. Northern rightwhales are found in North Pacific Ocean of the Northern Hemisphere whereas Southern rightwhale dolphins are found in Southern Hemisphere. They are called rightwhales because they lack dorsal fin just like the whales and have similar coloration.
Tucuxi or Sotalia fluviatilis
This type of dolphin is similar to bottlenose dolphin in shape. Its snout is longer, dorsal is shorter, and more triangular. These dolphins are found in the fresh waters of the Amazon Basin rivers.
Costero or Sotalia guianensi
These dolphins are closely related to tucuxi, sharing a close resemblance to the bottlenose dolphins. These have a darker colored snout, flukes, and fin than their sides.
This type of dolphin is very famous for performing a number of acrobatic stunts and can be seen leaning and flipping out of the water. These are usually found in coastal waters of Central and South America.
Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin or Sousa Chinensis
This type of dolphin varies in appearance depending upon the region in which it is found. For example, in China they are white, in Hong Kong they are pink.
As with their counterparts in Australia, they don’t have distinctive ‘hump’ either. They can be found in the shallow coastal waters of Central China in the east to South-East Asia as far West as the East coast of India.
- Atlantic Humpbacked Dolphin or Sousa teuszii
This is an endangered species and is in desperate need of protection from the burgeoning threats. They have a hump on which sits their small triangular dorsal fin. Sousa Teuzii dolphins are slate grey in color and support a slender beak. They reside in the shallow coastal waters along the western coast of Africa.
- Atlantic Spotted Dolphin or Stenella frontalis
This species lives only in the tropical warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They generally live in a group of 50 individuals up to 200. The extent of the spots varies with age and location in these dolphins. The tail flukes, flippers, and dorsal fin usually remain unspotted.
Clymene Dolphin or Stenella Clymene
This type of dolphin looks a lot like spinner dolphins. Clymene Dolphins have a dark grey cape that contours into an S shape. These dolphins have pale grey sides with a white or pinkish chin and belly. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean. Clymene Dolphins can be spotted as far north as New Jersey on America’s East Coast up to south as Southern Brazil.
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin or Stenella attenuate
This type of dolphin has a long and narrow snout with a white tip. Their flippers are small, with sharply curves, narrow and tall dorsal fin. They also have a dark stripe going through the flipper to the corner of their mouth and from crease between the snout and melon to the eye.
These dolphins prefer to live in the waters where the temperature is higher than 25℃. They live in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans, The Red Sea, and The Persian Gulf.
Spinner Dolphin or Stenella longirostris
These dolphins have a skinny, long beak, small curved flippers, and a slender body with a triangular dorsal fin. They have three-banded colors, pale belly, dark grey back, and light grey flanks.
They are called so because have the incredible capability to spin while doing acrobatic leaps. Spinner dolphins are widely spread across the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.
Striped Dolphin or Stenella Coeruleoalba
The name alone gives away the quality of these marvelous creatures. These dolphins have stripes on their bodies. Dark-grey colored stripe runs from above the eye, from the beak, across the flank leading to the underside of the body.
A second stripe goes from the pectoral flipper to below the eye. They are found in ocean waters over the continental shelves as they are widely spread over the world’s temperate and tropical oceans.
Rough-Toothed Dolphin or Steno Bredanensis
This type of dolphin might look intimidating because of its looks. Such a name is given to this dolphin species because their teeth are wrinkled, ridged, they have scratch marks over the surface. Steno Bredanenis somewhat look prehistoric.
Rough Toothed Dolphins are equipped with a white-colored beak, dark grey back, and light gray belly. They have white dots on their bodies, uneven splotches. Rough Toothed Dolphins are present in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They prefer locations with ample prey and can be seen offshore beyond the continental shelf.
Chilean Dolphin or Cephalorhynchus Eutropia
Chilean dolphins are some of the smallest dolphins in the world. They have a grey body, with light grey melon with no beak. They have a white throat and their dorsal fin is rounded. As the name implies, these dolphins are found in the waters of Chile. They prefer to live in high tidal areas, estuaries, and channels.
We shared with you the information about the appearances and locations of some of the dolphins. Dolphins are kind of socializing mammals. Some appear cute and loving, other species may appear intimidating.
But one thing that is common among all the species of dolphins is their intelligence. Dolphins learn anything quickly due to which many dolphin species live in water parks for entertainment. Some organizations use them for creating awareness among people about aquatic life.
Some of these species critically endangered, with only a few hundred left alive. We need to think about these humble loving creatures and take preventive measures so they cannot be killed. Because every living being plays an important role in the ecosystem.