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Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin


Scientific Name:
Lagenorhynchus acutus
Length:
2.5 - 2.7 m (8.2 - 8.9 ft)
Weight:
180 - 230 kg (395 - 505 lbs)
Status:
good to go
Prey:
Small schooling fish (mackarel, hake, cod), squid and shrimp

Physical characteristics

Is colored dark grey dorsal with a light grey belly and darker grey sides and a yellow stripe between the flukes and the dorsal fin.

Behavioral characterization

They prefer underwater topography containing steep slopes near which it can congregate. They swim fast and breach often and seem not to be afraid of boats. Usually, they dive for less than a minute.

Distribution

Coast of New England and the coasts of the UK, Norway, and Greenland

Population size

Over 100,000

Predators

Sharks and killer whales.

Migration/Dispersal patterns

Show inshore - offshore movements in some areas and are known to move southward along the continental shelf edge in winter and spring.

Social system/Group size

The group sizes vary with location: around 60 close to the Newfoundland shore, but rather smaller east of Iceland.

Major threats

The main threat is the entanglement in fishing gear, especially near the coast. They are hunted in Norway, Greenland, Canada and the Faeroe Islands and suffer from the high contentrations of mercury and hexabromocyclododecane in the waters near industrial areas.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

At its widest point, this dolphin can be up to 60% of its total length.