Striped dolphin

  (Stenella coeruleoalba)
Striped dolphin

Description: This dolphin is a member of the family Delphinidae. Its body is fusiform with tall dorsal fins, long and narrow flippers and a prominent beak. It is identified easily from other Delphinidaes and by their distinctive coloring. They are typically bluish- gray in colour with a dark gray dorsal cape and a coloration of white. It is called the "Striped Dolphin" due to the strip of bluish black colour, that runs the across the entire length of its body, from the eye to the tail, and it possesses a dark flipper.

Size: Ranging between 180 and 250 cm in body length and weighs between 90 and 150 Kg.

Behaviour: Groups range from a few individuals to more than thousand, but most groups consist of 100 to 500 individuals. Three different types of groups can often occur: juvenile, breeding adult and non-breeding adults. The calves do not normally join with the juvenile groups until one or two years after weaning. As the females reach the transition between the juvenile and adult stage, they join the non-breeding adults. Only a small number go directly to the breeding groups.

Striped Dolphins are very active, performing aerial manoeuvres such as breaching, chin slaps, bow-riding along in wave created by boats or ships. They also have a unique behaviour called "roto-tailing" in which they make high arcing jumps while violently and rapidly performing several rotations with the tail before re-entering the water. Striped Dolphins often vocalize with clicks and whistles, which are presumably used for communication.

Distribution: The Bottlenose Dolphin can be found mostly in tropical and temperate waters, as well as high seas. The Strait of Gibraltar has temperate water. They are found mainly in the coastal zone, from the edge of the continental shelf.

Feeding: They seem to be opportunistic predators, but chiefly consume cephalopods, crustaceans and bony fish. According to some studies, they are fed chiefly in pelagic or benthopelagic zones of the ocean, often along the edge of the continental shelf.

Reproduction:The mating season of the Striped Dolphin is in the fall in this area. The gestation period lasts 12 to 13 months. Females typically have four your calving interval. Young calves then nurse for almost 16 months. Males reach sexual maturity between