Fraser's dolphin
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Lagenodelphis hosei


FR : dauphin de fraser – IT : lagenodelfino - SPAIN : delfín de Fraser - PT : golfinho de Fraser - GER : Borneodelfin – NEDER : Sarawakdolfijn  - JAP : Sarawaku iruka


Adult Fraser's Dolphin measures 2,30m on average length but can reach 2,70m long, with a weight changeable between 120 and 200kg. The newborns measure around 1 m. The morphology of this animal is defined by a spindle-shaped, robust body, a short beak, and relatively small fins. Around 38/44 pairs of teeth are counted in each jaw. Generally they present a grey coloration on the back whereas the womb is cream with a slight pinkish pigmentation. The pectoral fins are black. There is a morphologic difference between the males and the females: the dorsal fin of the male is straight and triangular, while females have a spindle-shaped fin. A black band is easily noticed in adults starting at the mouth and reaching the anus (attention: do not confuse it with a striped dolphin). This dolphin is able to dive 600 meters deep, to feed on fish, crustaceans and squids.


A group of Fraser's Dolphin was observed by Espaço Talassa team, for the first time in Azores, at the end of the morning on August, the 22th of 2008. This first meeting was shy and the animals hadn’t let themselves to be approach. On the opposite, the next morning, they revealed themselves very active, bow-riding in front of our boats. This group had about 50 individuals, with females with calves (to see photograph). This dolphin is an animal that lives in tropical waters (despite 10 having beached north of France). What were they doing in the South of Pico during the month of August of 2008? Maybe the beginning of an answer: we registered a seawater temperature on that day of approximately 24,6ºC (4 meters deep and a mile away from the coast). This represents a value superior in 2ºC in relation to the average… “They disappeared as they arrived... At any moment without explanation”

Cetaceans in the Azores