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You are watching: How many kinds of dolphins are there

It may seem like a stunner question:how many varieties of dolphins space there? Isn"t the dolphin its own species?

In fact, while the word "dolphin" is frequently used interchangeably come refer to numerous different species, dolphins space actually a group of diverse aquatic mammals through differing physical characteristics and habitats. Split between four life families--Delphinidae, Platanistidae, Iniidae, and Pontoporiidae--there are currently dozens established extant dolphin species, all component of the bigger order Cetacea alongside whales and porpoises. Ocean-dwelling dolphin belong come the Delphinidae family, when the handful of river-dwelling dolphins loss in the continuing to be three families.

Although you would certainly likely be able to recognize every living species as dolphins, every does have actually its own distinctive features that set it personally from each other. To illustrate, here"s a list of 10 amazing dolphin species and few of their distinguishing features (with a much more detaileddolphin varieties listat the bottom).

1.Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncates)


Perhaps the most well-known and also well-studied dolphin varieties in the world, the bottlenose dolphinis likely what comes to mind as soon as you hear the people "dolphin." (Indeed, popular culture"s mostfamous dolphin, Flipper, was a bottlenose dolphin.) identified by dark gray skin and also itsnamesake short and also thick snout, bottlenose dolphins can be uncovered in tropical and temperate waters in the Pacific, Atlantic and also Indian Oceans, also as, the Mediterranean Sea.

2. Amazon flow Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)

Also recognized as the boto or bufeo dolphin, the Amazon river dolphin"s most unusual physics characteristic is that skin: together Amazon river dolphins mature, their skin transforms from gray to pink. Beyond their pink color, this species is distinctive for the habitat as it is among the few to call a fresh-water flow home.

Here is a an excellent videoby Sony showcasing Amazon river Dolphins:

3. Ganges flow Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica)

Another fresh-water dolphin, the Ganges flow dolphin deserve to be uncovered in the namesake river on the Indian subcontinent. This species" peculiar format of swimming on its side allows it come trail that flipper ~ above the river"s bottom, assisting it in finding food.


4. Commerson"s Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii)

The distinct black-and-white sample of the Commerson"s dolphin is the reason for its number of nicknames: skunk dolphin, panda dolphin and also piebald dolphin. Uncovered off the coast of Argentina and also in the southerly Indian Ocean, the Commerson"s dolphin is usually found by itself or in a small group, however tends to hunt cooperatively.


5. Risso"s Dolphin (Grampus griseus)

Nicknamed the Monk dolphin by Taiwanese fisherman, the Risso"s dolphin exhibits a distinctive preference for deep water habitats. Risso"s dolphin feed largely on squid, and also the scars the they receive from their food leave a peculiar white scar pattern on many adults of this species.

Photo: INaturalist

6. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)

Despite that name, the killer whale or orca is without doubt a member that the Delphinidae family. By far the largest dolphin species, killer whales are also among the most social; numerous orca populations are organized by matrilineal ford that utilize sophisticated hunting techniques and unique vocal behaviors.


7. Crackhead Dolphin (Stenella longirostris)

Found in shallower tropic waters throughout the globe, the crackhead dolphin"s name is well-earned: it is one of only two dolphin types that are known to perform spins along their longitudinal axes as they leap out of the water.


8. Short-Finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

The most distinguishing feature of the short-finned pilot whale (and its near cousin, the long-finned pilot whale) is their head, identified by a bulbous forehead and lack that a discernible beak. The short-finned pilot whale is very social, traveling in pods of 15 to 50 and rarely viewed alone.

Photo: NOAA

9. Hourglass Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus cruciger)

First defined by French explorers on expedition to the Antarctic in 1824, the hourglass dolphin is small-bodied with unusual black-and-white coloring. Hourglass dolphins have actually been it was observed by civilization on very couple of occasions as result of their habits and habitat.

Photo: Oceana

10. Stripe Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)


Striped dolphins are among the many studied that dolphin species, and can be uncovered in tropical and also temperate waters approximately the world. Well-known for their active acrobatics together they leap the end of the water, striped dolphins travel and live in groups of up to the thousands.

See more: How Deep Is The Laurentian Abyss, Laurentian Fan


OtherDolphin Species:

Cephalorhynchus commersonii, or Commerson’s dolphinCephalorhynchus eutropia, or Chilean dolphinCephalorhynchus heavisidii, or Heaviside’s DolphinDelphinus capensis, or long-beaked usual dolphinDelphinus delphis, or short-beaked usual dolphinDelphinus tropicalis, or Arabian common dolphinFeresa attenuate, or pygmy killer whaleGlobicephala macrorhynchus, or short-finned pilot whaleGlobicephala melas, or long-finned pilot whaleGrampus griseus, or Risso’s dolphinInia araguaiaensis, or Araguaian flow dolphinInia geoffrensis, or Amazon flow dolphinLagenodelphis hosei, or Fraser’s dolphinLagenorhynchus acutus, or Atlantic white-sided dolphinLagenorhynchus albirostris, or white-beaked dolphinLagenorhynchus australis, or Peale’s dolphinLagenorhynchus cruciger, or hourglass dolphinLagenorhynchus obliquidens, or Pacific white-sided dolphinLagenorhynchus obscurus, or dusky dolphinLissodelphis borealis, or northern right whale dolphinLissodelphis peronei, or southern ideal whale dolphinOrcaella brevirostris, or Irrawaddy dolphinOrcaella heinsohni, or Australian snubfin dolphinOrcinus orca, or killer whalePeponocephala electra, or melon-headed whalePlatanista gangetica gangetica, or Ganges flow dolphinPontoporia blainvillei, or La Plata dolphinPseudorca crassidens, or false Killer whaleSotalia fluviatilis, or TucuxiSotalia guianensis, or Guiana dolphinSousa chinensis, or Indo-Pacific humpback dolphinSousa plumbea, or Indian Humpback dolphinSousa teuszii, or Atlantic Humpback DolphinStenella attenuate, or pantropical spotted dolphinStenella clymene, or Clymene dolphinStenella coeruleoalba, or stripe dolphinStenella frontalis, or Atlantic spotted dolphinStenella longirostris, or crackhead dolphinSteno bredanensis, or rough-toothed dolphinTursiops aduncus, or Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphinTursiops australis, or Burrunan dolphinTursiops truncates, or usual bottlenose dolphin

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