Heaviside dolphins according to MammalMAP
Heaviside dolphins (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii) were originally named ‘haviside’ dolphins after Captain Haviside who brought a specimen of the cetacean from the coast of Namibia to the UK in the early 19th century. An accidental typo resulted in the cetacean being called a ‘heaviside dolphin’ and the name stuck!
Heaviside dolphins are small and robust. They are roughly the size of an average human. An adult Heaviside dolphin is approximately 1.7 meters in length and weighs an average of 60 – 70 kgs. They do not have beaks so they are often mistaken for porpoises.
Heaviside dolphins are often seen in small groups of 2 – 10 animals. They are shyer than their cetacean cousins but they do occasional bow ride nearby boats. They diet comprises of a variety of prey items found along their coastal habitat that stretches from along the coast of southern Angola to the southern tip of South Africa. Hake and kingklip make up to 50% of its diet. Octopods make up 25% and the remainder comprises of a mix of smaller fish.
There is no data available on the reproductive behaviour of Heaviside dolphins. There is also no data available on longevity. No wonder the IUCN Red list classifies Heaviside dolphins as a data deficient species. However, threats have been identified for this species. These animals are prone to entanglement in a variety of inshore fishing gear (e.g., beach seines, purse seines, trawls, and gillnets).
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