Peale's Dolphin
Lagenorhynchus australis

Other Names: Blackchin Dolphin, Peale's Black-chinned Dolphin, Southern Dolphin, Peale's Porpoise

Habitat: Inshore

Status: Locally Common

Population: Unknown

Threats: Hunting/whaling and entanglement in fishing nets

Group Size: 3-8, many groups observed in temporary aggregations

Fin Position: Center

Newborns: Unknown length and weight

Adults: c.6 ½-7 ¼ ft (2-2.2 m), c.255 lbs. (115 kg)

Diet: Unknown

Teeth: 54 to 66 on both top and bottom rows


Dorsal fin:

- broad base
- large, predominantly grayish black
- concave trailing edge


- pointed tips
- concave trailing edges
- distinct notch in middle


- brilliant white patch at "armpits"
- small, pointed flippers with convex leading edges


-short, indistinct beak
- gently sloping forehead
- grayish black face and chin
- dark patch around each eye
- some individuals have paler patch around each eye
- extent of darkness on chin variable

Other characteristics:

- dark line separates white chest and belly from grayish white sides
- predominately grayish black back
- single grayish white streak on each side
- tail stock dark underneath
- robust body
- grayish white sides


- known to bow ride waves of large vessels and may swim alongside smaller ones
- sometimes swims slowly but can be energetic and acrobatic, frequently leaping high into the air and falling back into the water, on its side, with a splash
- may travel with long, low leaps
- limited evidence suggests it keeps to a specific and rather small home range
- has been observed playing in surf in the company of Risso's Dolphins
- food and feeding habits unknown, although an individual collected in the Falkland Islands had the remains of an octopus in its stomach; may also eat fish and squid


- cool, coastal waters of southern South America, including the Falkland Islands
- range known to extend from the Golfo San Matías, Argentina, around tip of South America to Valparaíso, Chile (though most common south of Puerto Montt, Chile); may occur farther north in both countries
- recorded as far south as 57° S
- particularly common around the Falkland islands and Tierra del Fuego (especially the Straits of Magellan and Beagle Channel); one of the most frequently sighted cetacean species in the Straits of Magellan
- distribution may be continuous between Argentina and the Falklands
- possible sighting at Palmerston Atoll, in the South Pacific, has not been confirmed
- frequently seen close to shore, in fjords, bays, and inlets (especially near kelp beds), but also over the continental shelf
- appears to have been marked decrease in number sightings in areas of extreme south, where crab fishing takes place

TMMSN Galveston

TMMSN Corpus Christi

Return To Gulf of Mexico Species
Return To Cetaceans of the World

e-mail suggestions or questions to

This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet