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Fraser's Dolphin

(Lagenodelphis hosei )

Short Description

Fraser's Dolphin or Sarawak Dolphin as it is also known, is a cetacean in the family Delphinidae found in deep waters in the Pacific Ocean and to a lesser extent in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

Long Description

Size
Fraser Dolphins' are about 1 m long and 20 kg weight at birth, growing to 2.75 m and 200 kg at adulthood.

Identification
They have a stocky build, a small fin in relation to the size of the body, conspicously small flippers. The dorsal fin and beak are also insubstantial. The upper side is a grey-blue to grey-brown. A dirty cream coloured line runs along the flanks from the beak, above the eye, to the anus. There is a dark stripe under this line. The belly and throat are usually white, sometimes tinged pink.

The lack of a prominent beak is a distinguishing characteristic of the Dolphin. From a distance however it may be confused with the Striped Dolphin which has a similar coloration and is found in the same areas of ocean.

Diet
The species feeds on pelagic fish, squid and shrimp found some distance below the surface of the water (200–500 metres). Virtually no sunlight penetrates this depth, so feeding is carried out using echolocation alone.

Social Groups and Activity
Fraser Dolphins' swim quickly in large tightly packed groups of about 100 to 1000 in number. Often porpoising, the group chop up the water tremendously. The sight of seeing a large group fleeing from a fishing vessels has been reported as "very dramatic".

Distribution

No global population estimates exist.

The Dolphin is normally sighted in deep tropical waters; between 30° S and 20° N. The Eastern Pacific is the most reliable site for viewings. Groups of stranded dolphins have been found as far afield as France and Uruguay. However these are regarded as anomalous and possibly due to unusual oceanographic conditions.

The species is also relatively common in the Gulf of Mexico but less so in the rest of the Atlantic Ocean.

Distribution Map

Fraser's Dolphin  Distribution Map

Various

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