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Irrawaddy Dolphin


Scientific Name:
Orcaella brevirostris
Length:
2.0 - 2.7 m (6.6 - 8.9 ft)
Weight:
90 - 160 kg (190 - 350 lbs)
Status:
good to go
Prey:
Fish and cephalopods

Physical characteristics

Has a long beak. The upper jaw is blue and gray and the lower jaw is pink and white. The body is dark gray with lighter spots and many scars.

Behavioral characterization

Known to be fast swimmers. They can dive for up to 15 minutes.

Distribution

Deep oceanic waters; found off the coast of Kaua’i, Ni’ihau, and O’ahu of the Hawaiian Islands, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sicily Channel, Tahiti, Moorea, and the Windward Islands

Population size

148,000

Predators

N/A

Migration/Dispersal patterns

Do not migrate.

Social system/Group size

Usually seen in groups of 10 - 30; sometimes mixed groups with pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins and spinner dolphin.

Major threats

The major threat is entanglement in fishing gear, but the Irrawaddy dolphin is also known to suffer from the building of dams, overfishing and pollution, especially close to the shore or in estuaries.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

It is the only true dolphin species with a long beak.