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