Long-beaked common dolphin
The Long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis) is a species of common dolphin. It has a more restricted range than the Short-beaked common dolphin (D. delphis). It has a disjointed range in coastal areas in tropical and warmer temperate oceans. The range includes parts of western and southern Africa, much of western South America, central California to central Mexico, coastal Peru, areas around Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and possibly near Oman. Vagrants have been recorded as far north as Vancouver Island.
The Long-beaked common dolphin is a medium sized dolphin, smaller than the more popular bottlenose dolphin. Adults range between 1.9 and 2.5 metres (6.2 and 8.2 ft), long, and can weigh between 80 and 235 kilograms (180 and 520 lb), although a range between 80 and 150 kilograms (180 and 330 lb) is more common. Males are generally longer and heavier. The color pattern on the body is unusual. The back is dark and the belly is white, while on each side is an hourglass pattern colored light grey, yellow or gold in front and dirty grey in back. It has a long, thin rostrum with up to 50–60 small, sharp, interlocking teeth on each side of each jaw.
The Long-beaked common dolphin is a member of common dolphin genus, Delphinus within the dolphin family, Delphinidae. Until the mid-1990s, the different forms within Delphinus were not recognized as separate species, but were all considered members of the species D. delphis. Currently, there are two recognized species of Delphinus — the Short-beaked common dolphin (D. delphis) and the Long-beaked common dolphin. The Long-beaked common dolphin is generally larger than the Short-beaked common dolphin and has a longer rostrum.
Long-beaked common dolphins can live in aggregations of hundreds or even thousands of dolphins. They sometimes associate with other dolphin species, such as pilot whales. They have also been observed bow riding on baleen whales, and they also bow ride on boats. Breaching behavior and aerial acrobatics are common with this species.
The Long-beaked common dolphin has a varied diet consisting of many species of fish and squid that live less than 200 metres (660 ft) deep.
The Long-beaked common dolphin has a gestation period of 10 to 11 months. The newborn calf has a length of between 80 and 100 centimetres (2.6 and 3.3 ft) and a weight of about 10 kilograms (22 lb). Typical interbirth interval ranges from 1 to 3 years. In captivity, the Long-beaked common dolphin has hybridized with the Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). One of the hybrids has been bred back to a bottlenose dolphin, demonstrating that such hybrids are fertile.
The Long-beaked common dolphin is covered by the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia (Western African Aquatic Mammals MoU) and the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region (Pacific Cetaceans MoU)
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