The long-beaked common dolphin is a popular species of dolphin that can be found traveling in coastal waters in and around the tropical regions of the world.
These dolphins are often described as fast, agile and active with a boisterous nature.
Although they are quite common their coastal lifestyle does leave them at risk for getting caught in fishing nets and potentially being harmed by pollution.
This article provides you with a basic understanding of their lifestyle, diet and habitat as well as some of the threats these marine mammals are known to face.
When fully matured the long-beaked common dolphin can reach lengths of up to 8 ½ ft. long and weigh as much as 500 lbs, with males growing to be heavier and longer than their female counterparts.
Smaller dolphins will measure in at closer to 6 ft. and weight over 175 lbs.
These dolphins have dark-colored backs with a white belly and yellow, gold or grayish sides that follow the shape of an hourglass.
They have a long pointed triangular dorsal fin which is located about midway down the back and a long beak (as the name suggests) with small, sharp teeth.
The long-beaked common dolphin may also use echolocation to navigate the ocean at night and locate potential prey.
The long-beaked common dolphin can be found traveling throughout all of the world’s tropical waters.
These dolphins are frequently seen traveling through coastal waters as compared to the short-beaked common dolphin which is more commonly found in offshore environments.
Due to their coastal nature these dolphins face threats such as being accidentally caught in fishing nets, being occasionally struck by boats and possible pollution.
The long-beaked common dolphin can often be seen traveling in large pods consisting of hundreds or thousands of dolphins.
They can also be spotted hanging out in smaller pods of 30 or less.
These dolphins are extremely social and playful, and are often spotted performing acrobatic stunts with other dolphins such as leaping out of the water, performing flips and bow riding.
In addition to hanging out in large groups these dolphins may also intermingle with other dolphin species as well as with some whale species.
The average gestation period for the long-beaked common dolphin is 10 – 11 months.
After birth the female dolphin nurses her young by feeding it milk through her mammary glands.
Sexual maturity is believed to be reached between the ages of 3 – 5 which is the age when these dolphins may begin mating and bearing offspring.
Reproduction in females occurs once every 1 – 3 years while the female is fertile.
In terms of lifespan these dolphins are estimated to have a lifespan of up to 40 years.
The long-beaked common dolphin is known to face threats from catches in fishing nets where they end up trying to capture a group of fish only to get caught in the fishing net and drown.
Small numbers of dolphins may also be hunted for their meat, which is sold at meat markets and restaurants for food.