The Chilean dolphin (also referred to as the black dolphin or white bellied dolphin) is a small species of dolphin that can be found swimming in the coastal waters of south america.
Unlike other dolphins this species tends to exhibit less socially active behavior than other species of dolphin and are more likely to stay distant or flee when coming into contact with humans.
In many cases they may be spotted traveling in small pod sizes of 2 – 10 dolphin, but may aggregate into larger clans during certain social events.
The Chilean dolphin is a small species of dolphin that averages 5 – 6 ft in length when fully matured.
Due to their small stature and thickly shaped body these dolphins are sometimes confused as porpoises.
In terms of color they are a mixture of varying shades of dark gray’s with a whitish coloring around their flippers and lower body.
These dolphins also have a distinctively short beak, rounded flippers and a rounded dorsal fin, which makes it easier to identify them when compared to other species of dolphin.
They have also been spotted consuming green algae.
Unfortunately not much is known about this species social structure.
These dolphins can often be found traveling in small pods containing less than 10 dolphins, however during certain social gatherings pod sizes can increase to 50 dolphins or more.
Unlike other species of dolphin the Chilean dolphin appears to exhibit less socially prominent behaviors and when approached by humans they have been known to flee or become very causes rather than interested in social interactions.
In order to communicate with one another they use a series of clicks and whistles (or cries) and each dolphin has a slightly different frequency that allows these dolphins to figure out which dolphin is speaking in the group.
The average gestation period for the Chilean dolphin is estimated to be between 10 – 12 months.
After birth the mother feeds her young with milk, which the child suckles from her nipple until the child is able to consume solid foods and hunt on its own.
During this period baby dolphins also learn how to communicate and survive in the ocean by observing their parents and other dolphins.
Female dolphins are known to bare a single offspring once every 2 – 3 years while they are fertile.
These dolphins sexually mature between the ages of 5 – 10 at which point they can begin bearing offspring of their own.
While not much is known about this species lifespan it is estimated that the Chilean dolphin may have a lifespan of around 20 years.
Chilean dolphins tend to prefer living in cold coastal waters and can be found swimming in South America.
Some of the areas Chilean dolphins are known to inhibit include Argentina, Cape Horn, Chile and Valparaiso.
Chilean dolphins are known to face threats from dolphin hunters looking to use their meat for crab bait.
It is also believed that they may be hunted for human consumption as other species of dolphin have been.
While dolphin hunting is not practiced world-wide there are still a handful of fisheries known to hunt these animals for their meat.