Heaviside’s Dolphin

Scientific Name:
Cephalorhynchus heavisidii
1.8 m (5.9 ft)
75 kg (165 lbs)
data deficient
Demersal and schooling fish, squid, octopus and crustaceans

Physical characteristics

Has a blunt head, rounded flippers and bold markings. The front half is grey, the rear half is blueish-black and the flippers are usually darker. Has dark circles around the eyes and the blowholes. The underside is white and it has white markings behind the flippers and along each flank.

Behavioral characterization

They are very actice; individuals are known to bow-ride, breach and perform somersaults.


Close inshore waters of southwestern Africa; Cape Point is the southern and eastern limit; northern limit unclear, but at least along the coast of Namibia

Population size

Unknown; estimated 6000



Migration/Dispersal patterns

The migratory habits are not well known, but repeated sightings of individuals suggest they are resident.

Social system/Group size

Usually seen in groups of 2 - 3.

Major threats

Entanglement in fishing gear, noise and pollution are the biggest threats. Human disturbances (tourism) might also cause stress.

Research efforts


Fun fact

They were initially named after Captain Haviside, but due to a case of mistaken identity, they were renamed after another Captain who happened to be called Heaviside.