TOOTHED or TOOTHLESS (BALEEN): Toothed
FRESHWATER, SALTERWATER or BRACKISH: Saltwater
HABITAT: Coastal waters of New Zealand
LENGTH (maximum): 4-5 Ft
WEIGHT (maximum): 117-128 lbs
RELATIVE SPECIES: Chilean dolphin
NEIGHBORING SPECIES: Dusky dolphin, Short-beaked common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin.
PREDATORS: Humans, sharks
THREATS: Since 1970 the population has decreased by 50 percent due to gillnets. Some are also killed by ship strikes.
DIET: Small fish and squid.
MANNER OF FEEDING: Usually prey on fish near the bottom of the ocean. Sometimes follow fishing boats to catch injured fish.
BEHAVIOR: Groups of 2-8. Playful and acrobatic, blowing bubbles, playing with seaweed, surfing waves and following small boats. Side leaps are associated with keeping up with vessels, vertical leaps are associated with playing and social interactions. Sometimes they will land on their sides in order to make a large splash with a lot of noise.
REPRODUCTION: Gestation is 1 year. Calves are born from November to February. Calving interval is at least 2 years.
LIFE SPAN: 20 Years
- Most studied dolphin of its genus.
- Inspired dolphin watching tours in New Zealand, one of the best places in the world to observe dolphins.
- Knopf, Alfred A. Guide to Marine Mammals of the World.Random House. 2002