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Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin


Scientific Name:
Sousa chinensis
Length:
male: 2.8 m (9.2 ft); female: 2.6 m (8.5 ft)
Weight:
280 kg (615 lbs)
Status:
edangered
Prey:
Fish (nearshore, estuarine, reef) and squid

Physical characteristics

Has a streamlined body with a long, slender beak and a distinct hump at the base of the dorsal fin. Is colored dark gray on the back and lighter underneath; white and pink variations are possible. Every population differs in shape and color.

Behavioral characterization

Have been seen to breach, lobtail and somersault, but are not known to bow-ride. Sometimes they swim on the side. They are highly vocal with whistles and screams of varying tones and lengths.

Distribution

South Africa to South China Sea; preference for nearshore waters

Population size

Unknown

Predators

Sharks

Migration/Dispersal patterns

Varies with population: There is a seasonal inshore-offshore and longshore movement in South Africa with a high level of seasonal migration into Algoa Bay region. They are resident in southern China and northern Queensland waters.

Social system/Group size

South Africa and northern Indian Ocean: groups of 1 - 10; southern China: groups of 3 - 5; may associate with bottlenose dolphins.

Major threats

Entanglement in fishing gear and anti-shark nets and habitat degradation due to urban, industrial and agricultural development are known to have caused several deaths.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

The famous "pink dolphins" of Hong Kong bay are Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.