White Beaked Dolphin

Image from http://www.cms.int/reports


Common Name: White Beaked Dolphin

Scientific Name: Lagenorhynchus albirostris

Length as an adult: 8.25 – 9.25 ft (2.5 – 2.8 m)

Weight as an adult: 395-605 lb (180-275 kg)

Length and weight as birth: 90 lbs (40 kg), 4- 5.5 ft (1.2-1.6m)

Length of pregnancy:  11-12 months

Range: Cool and subarctic waters of the North Atlantic

Likelihood of being seen on a whale watch in Massachusetts coastal waters: Possible but not likely

Preferred food: fish, squid, octopus, krill, and other crustaceans

Unusual characteristics: White or pale gray stripes on each side and behind dorsal fin, also their variable white, dark gray, or mottled brown beaks

Appearance: White, gray, and black very robust body, very prominent fin, pale area on tail stock, white stripe on each side, dark flippers, fin, and flukes.

General Information: Might bow-ride in front of large, fast moving vessels, but usually lose interest quickly. Sometimes they could be acrobatic, especially when feeding. When breaching normally they fall onto their side or back. Typically white beaked dolphins are fast, powerful swimmers and in some parts of range may create a “rooster tail.”

Unusual habits: Swim and feed up-side down

Population status:  unknown

Threats: hunting and entanglement



Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises by Mark Carwardine illustrated by Martin Camm



Prepared by: Samantha Santos, NBWM Apprentice 2014

Last modified: July 1, 2014