White beaked dolphin – An introduction

Dear reader,

Whalecome at the introduction of the whales of Skjálfandi bay part 4. After the blue whale, the porpoise and the minke whale lets introduce the white-beaked dolphin!

Latin name: Lagenorhynchus albirostris       
Common name: White-beaked dolphin       
Icelandic name:          
Average life span: 30 – 40 years old
Diet: Fish, crustaceans and cephalopods    
Size: 3.1 meters          
Weight: 180-350kg

White-beaked dolphins are endemic to the North Atlantic ocean. They can only be found from the north east coast of America and the north west of Europe up to Spitsbergen. White-beaked dolphins are very social, they live in groups called pods from 5 to 50 dolphins, during certain social aggregations these pods can contain over 100 or even 1000 dolphins. White-beaked dolphins are also known to have all male pods called ´alliances´ and all female pods called ´parties´. They are fast swimmers they can reach speeds of 45km/h. When they are travelling at speed they sometimes jump.
White-beaked dolphins reach sexual maturity round the age of 7, breeding season is from May through September. The gestation period is 11 months, when the calves are born they are 1 meter long and weigh 40kg.

Young white-beaked dolphins love to play in the wake of boats and larger whales. They like it so much that they can even harass whales to swim faster so they can play in the wake.           
Each dolphin has a slightly different tone range, from which other dolphins can understand who said something through clicks and whistles.

White-beaked dolphins stay in Skjálfandi bay throughout the year. During the summer months it is possible to see mother and calf pairs.


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