Striped Dolphin

The Striped Dolphin was discovered by Franz Julius Ferdinand Meyen, a German physician and botanist, in 1833. The Striped Dolphins are found in temperate, tropical off-shore waters of the North and South Atlantic Oceans, along with the Mediterranian and Pacific Oceans, plus the Gulf of Mexico. The waters that they swim in range in temperatures from 10 to 20 degrees celcius. This particular species of dolphins is extensively studied in the Western Pacific Ocean. The Striped Dolphins population is estimated to be around two million.

The colored markings of the Striped Dolphin makes them easy to spot. They have a blue stripe that runs from the rostrum, which is dark in color, around their eyes and along their backs, ending just behind their dorsal fins. The bellies of the striped dolphin are either white or pink, while the overall coloration is variant from grey tones to a more brown coloration. The Common Dolphins and the Striped Dolphins are found swimming and interacting with one another.

Striped Dolphin calves are born weighing around 10 grams with a length around one meter. The mother dolphin has a gestation period of 12 months. A female Striped Dolphin will give birth to a calf every 3 or 4 years. When fully grown the adult males are 2.6 meters in length and their weight is about 160kg. The adult females have an adult length of 2.4 meters and a weight of 150kg. Sexual maturity for females is reached between the ages of 7 to 9 years in the Pacific Ocean and 12 years of age in the Meditteranean Ocean. Both the male and female Striped Dolphins have a life span of 55 to 60 years of age.

The Striped Dolphins move in large groups or herds of 100 or more. They enjoy doing acrobats and are frequently seen jumping far above the waters they inhabit. Although bow riding is not a common characteristic of the Striped Dolphins it isn't unheard of. The Striped Dolphins have a diet consisting of small palagic fish and squid.

Threats against the Striped Dolphins are from the hunting and slaughtering that occurs from the Japanese fisherman. In a year the number of dolphins killed could be as high as 21,000. With quotos that have been placed and implemented from the Japanese government since 1980, these numbers have signifigantely decreased to a few thousand per year. There have been attempts to keep the Striped Dolphins in captivity, but their refusal to eat while in captivity has caused all the captured Striped Dolphins to die within two weeks of being captured.