Right whale dolphins


Right whale dolphins include northern right whale dolphins, Lissodelphis borealis, and southern right whale dolphins, Lissodelphis peronii, which are both small dolphins with the most slender bodies of all the cetaceans. These dolphins do not have dorsal fins or dorsal ridges which makes identifying them quite easy. They have small curved flippers, small tail flukes and short, well-defined beaks.

Lissodelphis borealis adults are usually black in color with a white band on their ventral (under) sides. The trailing edges of their flukes (tail fins) have light gray edging above with white below. They have 37-54 pairs of sharp, slender teeth in each jaw. Males are slightly larger than females measured up to 2.3 m in females and 3.1 m in males. Their maximum known weight is 115 kg. Lissodelphis peronii adults are usually white on their ventral (under) sides which extends well up their flanks; the sharp line demarcating black above and white below runs from their tail forward, dips down to their flippers and then sweeps back up to cross their melon (head) between their blowhole and snout. Their flippers are generally white, but their trailing edge has a black band. Their flukes are white below and dark gray, fading to white on their leading edges on top. They have 44-49 sharp, pointed teeth in each jaw. These dolphins reach lengths of at least 3 m and weigh up to 116 kg.

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