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Dusky Dolphin

Lagenorhynchus obscurus


Medium sized dolphin (adults 1.8-2.1m long and up to 115kg). Black back and flanks with broad white striping along sides. Ventral surfaces white with white extending up over the shoulders. Calves are born at 90-60cm long averaging around 5kg. This dolphin has only a small beak.


Reasonably common from Hawkes Bay down into southern NZ waters. Often seen off the coast in groups from a dozen to large pods of up to 1000, where they hunt for fish, squid and bottom dwelling prey. This large pod was observed south of Kaikoura in New Zealand South Island about half a mile off the coast. This is a Southern Hemisphere species living in temperate to sub antarctic waters generally living in waters less than 2000m deep.


These dolphins are highly active and can be extremely acrobatic. Often seen leaping and somersaulting out of the water for hours at a time. No one seems exactly sure why they do this, perhaps for display or feeding communication, or maybe just because they can. Either way it is a delight to behold. They often feed and interact with other sea mammals. Ref: NZDOC Dusky Dolphin

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35 Comments (1–25)

triggsturner 5 years ago

Thank you flowntheloop. It was a lot of fun photographing these guys!

flowntheloop 5 years ago

Awesome shots! <3

triggsturner 6 years ago

Thank you so much Liana. Time is an issue at the moment but I look forward to posting some more soon. I appreciate the support and enthusiasm that you and others here have shown for my images.

triggsturner 6 years ago

Thank you Vipul and Felix. It was a lot of fun taking these images.

Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 6 years ago

Fantastic shots! Congrats.

armadeus.4 6 years ago

Sure am looking forward to seeing more of your spottings Rob! It is always a treat :)

Vipul Ramanuj
Vipul Ramanuj 6 years ago

Excellent well-timed shots.. Congratulations for the win.

triggsturner 6 years ago

Thank you Pam for your comment, much appreciated.

triggsturner 6 years ago

Thank you Liana, and Polilla for all your support over the last year. Have a few treats lined up for this year just need the time to post some!

triggsturner 6 years ago

Thank you Daniele and PN for the second place. I am so happy you all enjoyed the series.

pamsai 6 years ago

Congratulations Rob.

armadeus.4 6 years ago

Congratulations on second Rob! Love this series :)

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Congratulations on another achievement Robert! This great shot came second in our 2016 Best Photo mission in the Mammals category!


Don't forget to join the 2017 Best Photo mission:

LisaPowers 7 years ago

Project Noah Fun Fact: The dusky dolphin prefers cool currents and inshore waters, but can also be found offshore with major populations around South America, southwestern Africa, New Zealand, and various oceanic islands, with some sightings around southern Australia and Tasmania. Dolphins are fully aquatic marine mammals. ~Wikipedia

Dusky Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus)
spotted in Canterbury, New Zealand by PN member triggsturner.

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thanks Mark, it was a lot of fun to watch these guys.

MacChristiansen 7 years ago

Congratulations on this SOTD Bob, great series

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you guys for your kind comments. Much appreciated.

sunnyjosef 7 years ago

Congrats to you... Lovely spotting....

CalebSteindel 7 years ago

Belated congrats! Fantastic series!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Congratulations. love that last shot.

LuisStevens 7 years ago

Congrats triggsturner, great SOTD!

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thanks Antonio.

Congrats again on the SOTD :-)

triggsturner 7 years ago

Thank you armadeus.4 and Chris. They certainly give the impression that they are enjoying themselves and seem to keep it up for hours!

Chris Taklis
Chris Taklis 7 years ago

Congrats. It's so beautiful.

Spotted by

Canterbury, New Zealand

Spotted on Jan 7, 2016
Submitted on Jan 9, 2016

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