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


Description

Dorsal fin:

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

Flukes:

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

Flippers:

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

Head:

-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


Behavior

- 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


Distribution

- 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



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet