The Short-Beaked Common Dolphin

The Short-Beaked Common Dolphin, which is part of the Delphinus-Delphis family, is one of the two forms of common dolphins. The long-beaked common dolphin is also part of the common dolphin family along with the long-beaked common dolphin. Although the long and short beaked common dolphins have many similarities they also have distinct characteristics that seperate them.

Common dolphins are colorful with a criss-cross hourglass color patern. The short-beaked common dolphin is brighter in color compared to the long-beaked species. The color patterns on all common dolphins are considered the most elaborate of any aquatic mammal. The short-beaked dolphin has a more rounded melon on its forehead, the melon contains oil and is thought to be used for echolocation or the bouncing of sound waves from objects, compared to the long-beaked common dolphin.

The short-beaked dolphin is most often the heavier of the two common dolphins. These mammals, which means they breathe air to survive, can reach lengths of 7.5 to 8.5 feet and weigh as much as 297lbs. The short-beaked common dolphin also has a larger dorsal fin and flippers compared to the long-beaked dolphin.

Short-beaked common dolphins feed on small schooling fish varieties such as Cod, Herring, Sardines, Hake, Plichard and Flying fish. They also enjoy Squid, Cuttlefish and Crustaceans. Both the long-beaked and short-beaked common dolphins have been known to work together, within their own families, herding fish together into small balls, making feeding easier for all. The common dolphin is also for feeding from fishermans nets and discarded fish from fishermans boats.

he common dolphins travel in herds of hundreds and even thousands of fast moving, up to 27mph, herds. They can be found in all tropical and warm temperate waters. The short-beaked common dolphin can be found in the off-shore waters and is often spotted in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

The short-beaked common dolphin is born at a lenght of about 36 inches. The mother dolphins carry their young for 10 months after mating season, which takes place between the months of September and December. After a calf is born the mother will push the baby to the waters surface to take its first breath of air. The calf is protected from predators by the mother and several other female dolphins. At the age of 6 months the baby dolphin is weaned from the mother dolphins milk and begins eating only solid food which it was introduced to at the age of 3 months. Between the ages of 5 to 6 years the baby dolphin will reach it's sexual maturity.

Sharks and Killer Whales are natural predators of the common dolphins. As for sharks, the common short-beaked dolphin is known to be victorious when fighting with them, the Killer Whales are usaully successful when attacking the common short-beaked dolphin. Humans are also a threat to the dolphins both intentially and unintentially. Some places around the world are known to hunt and kill the common dolphins for use of the natural oils they carry in their melons, and for their meat, which is considered a delicacy by some. The common short-beaked dolphins are also accidentally caught in tuna fishermans nets and are unable to reach the surface of the water to get the air that they need to breathe.