White-beaked Dolphin
Lagenorhynchus albirostris


Other Names: White-nosed Dolphin, Squidhound, White-beaked Porpoise

Habitat: Inshore and offshore

Status: Common

Population: Unknown

Threats: Hunting/whaling and entanglement in fishing nets

Group Size: 2-30, aggregations of 1,500 have been reported

Fin Position: Center

Newborns: 4-5 ft (1.2-1.6 m), 90 lbs. (40 kg)

Adults: 8 - 9 ft (2.5-2.8 m), 395-605 lbs. (180-275 kg)

Diet: Squid or octopus, fish, and occasionally krill or other crustaceans

Teeth: 44 to 56 on both top and bottom rows


Description

Dorsal fin:

- black dorsal fin with broad base
- tall, falcate dorsal fin, especially in adult males

Flukes:

- dark gray or black flukes
- distinct notch in middle
- concave trailing edges
- pointed tips

Flippers:

- pointed tips
- broad base
- medium-sized black flippers

Head:

- solid line from flippers to corner of mouth
- short, thick beak
- white, mottled brown, or dark gray beak

Other characteristics:

- mainly dark upper sides
- white or pale gray stripe on each side
- white or pale gray patch behind dorsal fin
- dorsal keel often present
- thick tail stock
- keel often present on underside
- underside white as far as middle of tail stock
- robust body


Behavior

- may bow-ride, especially in front of large, fast-moving vessels, but usually loses interest quickly
- some populations are very elusive
- sometimes acrobatic (especially when feeding) and will breach, normally falling onto its side or back
- typically a fast, powerful swimmer and in some parts of range may create a "rooster tail" reminiscent of Dall's Porpoise
- when swimming at speed, may lift its whole body out of water briefly as it rises to breathe
- has been seen with Fin Whales and Killer Whales, and may mix with other species


Distribution

- cool temperate and subarctic waters of the North Atlantic
- most northerly member of the genus Lagenorhynchus, and has a wide distribution
- animals in northernmost part of the range occur right up to the edge of the pack ice
- southern limit in west of the range is around Cape Cod; east of the range, animals occur as far south as Portugal but are rarely seen south of Britain
- in some areas, there may be either an inshore-offshore movement or a north-south movement with the seasons (wintering in the south or offshore); in other areas, such as Britain, appears to be present all year round (but with seasonal peaks of abundance in coastal waters)
- found widely over the continental shelf, but especially along the shelf edge



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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet