Stenella coeruleoalba, Meyen, 1833

Identification

The striped dolphins are relatively small and aerodynamic. As the name suggests, the most striking features are “stripes”. A long, dark band on the flank goes down to the lower part of the body. A second dark band visible from the eye to the pectoral fin. They have a slim figure, dark and falcate dorsal fin, as well as a prominent beak.

Biology

After 12 months of gestation, the striped dolphins are born with approximately 1m, can reach 2.5m and weigh up to 150kgs. Sexual maturity is reached between 7 and 15 years old in males and between 5 and 13 years old in females. They feed on small fish and squid. They have a wide distribution, across the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. They prefer deeper and offshore waters and can be found in ocean waters on continental shelves. When they feed, they can dive up to 200 meters deep. They can live between 35 and 50 years old.

Behavior

Fast and very active. Striped dolphins are sociable and travel in large groups. They are extremely active on the surface and perform some incredible stunts, including back somersaults, tail-spins and upside-down porpoising. Dives typically last between 5 to 10 minutes. Can be seen in mixed groups (common dolphins or bottlenose dolphins).

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