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Dolphin Species: Hourglass Dolphin
Delphinus cruciger

Local Names: Wilson's Dolphin (after the Antarctic explorer); Southern White-Sided Dolphin; Delfin Cruzado (Spanish).

Hourglass Dolphins are essentially black and white in a crude hourglass pattern. The short beak is black, as are the flippers, dorsal fin and flukes. There us a dark patch around each eye. The cape and sides are also black, the latter interrupted by two white patches which are joined in a criss-cross 'hourglass' shape. The underside is also white. There is a strongly curved keel under the tail stock. It is thought that Hourglass Dolphins reach a maximum length of between 1.6-1.8m.

Recognition at sea
Due to the striking pattern of colours, Hourglass Dolphins are not likely to be confused with any other species.

Hourglass Dolphins prefer deep pelagic waters with a surface temperature of 1-10ºC.

Food & Feeding
It is thought that Hourglass Dolphins prey on small fish.

This species is normally found in units of between 1-6 animals, and occasionally up to 40 individuals gather together for a short amount of time. They associate with Fin Whales and Southern Bottlenose Whales and are highly active. They are well-known for bowriding, and when porpoising they create a highly visible spray. They are commonly seen travelling through a series of low-angled leaps.


Estimated Current Population



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