Atlantic Hump-backed Dolphin
Sousa teuszii


Other Names: Atlantic Humpback Dolphin, Cameroon Dolphin

Habitat: Inshore

Status: Locally Common

Population: Unknown

Threats: Hunting/whaling, entanglement in fishing nets, habitat destruction, pollution

Group Size: 3-7, small groups may congregate to form larger groups

Fin Position: Center

Newborns: c.39 in (1 m), Unknown weight

Adults: 6 -8 ft (2-2.5 m), 220-330 lbs. (100-150 kg)

Diet: Fish

Teeth: 52-62 teeth on both top and bottom rows


Description

Dorsal fin:

- conspicuous, elongated hump on back, on adults only
- base of hump may be at least one-third of body length
- dorsal fin sits on hump
- sickle-shaped dorsal fin with no hump in young adults
- fin may lighten with age
- concave trailing edge
- small, falcate or triangular fin

Flukes:

- distinct notch in middle
- concave trailing edges
- flukes often lifted above surface on diving

Flippers:

- broad flippers with rounded tips

Head:

- slightly rounded melon
- less pronounced melon on young adults
- long, slender beak
- tip of beak may lighten with age
- fairly straight mouth line

Other characteristics:

- slate gray back and sides (variable)
- distinctive keels below and above tail stock
- underside usually paler than side and upper side
- body may be speckled


Behavior

- usually difficult to approach and tends to avoid boats by diving and reappearing some distance away in a different direction
- rarely bow-rides
- surfaces about every 40 to 60 seconds, but can stay underwater for several minutes
- unusual surfacing behavior like that of Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin
- normally a slow swimmer, but courtship may involve chasing one another around in circles at high speed
- may turn o none side and wave a flipper in the air
- sometimes spyhops
- frequently breaches (especially young animals) and may do complete back somersaults
- may associate with Bottlenose Dolphins


Distribution

- coastal waters of tropical West Africa
- distribution based on scant evidence and may be more extensive than few records suggest
- known range extends along coast of West Africa, from Mauritania to Cameroon and possibly as far south as Angola
- appears to be isolated from the very similar Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin living along the South African coast
- seems to be particularly common in southern Senegal and north-western Mauritania
- prefers shallow coastal and estuarine water less than 65 ft (20 m) deep, especially around mangrove swamps
- typically occurs in the surf zone on more open coasts
- known to enter Niger and Bandiala rivers, and possibly others, though rarely travels far upstream and usually remains within tidal range



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet