Peale’s dolphin (aka the black-chinned dolphin) is a small – medium sized dolphin found in the waters of Tierra del Fuego in South America.
These dolphins appear to prefer traveling in pod sizes of up to 20 dolphins with occasional social interactions leading to groups of up to 30 dolphins.
Because peale’s dolphin is a coastal dolphin they can often be observed swimming in and around the coastline socializing and hunting for fish and other forms of prey.
In terms of size peale’s dolphin can grow to be nearly 7 ft in length and weigh more than 250 pounds.
They have stocky frames that are visually distinguishable by their dark grey to black colored face and chin.
The dark coloring extends from the head of the dolphin to its back and tail with the exception of a white streak that flows from the dorsal fin to the mid section of its body.
The dolphin’s sides and belly however are white which is contrasted by a pair of dark grey to black colored flippers.
They have a large dorsal fin and unlike the bottlenose dolphin this species has a very short beak.
Unfortunately little is known about their complete diet and hunting methods, however they have been spotted on occasion hunting for food in groups of up to 30 dolphins.
These dolphins are generally found in Tierra del Fuego which is located near the end of South America and various areas throughout the South Pacific and South Atlantic waters.
They can usually be found swimming in and around the local coastline and don’t appear to venture out very far or migrate to explore new habitats.
It also is believed that small migrations of dolphins may inhibit a specific area all year long with little to no change in location.
While not much is known about their social structure these dolphins have been found traveling together in small pods of 2 – 20 dolphins with occasional social functions leading up to around 30 dolphins.
Interestingly these dolphins appear to be one of the only species that aren’t known to whistle as a form of communication.
The estimated gestation period for peale’s dolphin is around 10 – 12 months.
After birth the baby dolphin will eat by consuming milk that is produced from the mother’s mammary gland and fed to the baby dolphin via the mother’s nipple.
Nurturing may continue anywhere from several months up to 1 ½ years or until the child is able to hunt and survive on its own.
It is estimated that their primary reproduction cycle generally occurs between spring and autumn according to seasonal changes that occur in the southern hemisphere.
Unfortunately not much else is known about their reproduction cycle or their lifespan.
In the past these dolphins faced threats from fisherman that killed them and used their meat as crab bait.
Although this practice has slowed down significantly these dolphins may still face occasional threats from fisherman and other coastal fisheries.
They also face threats from being accidentally caught in fishing nets where they can easily drown due to a lack of being able to rise to the surface of the water for oxygen.