As the name suggests the short-beaked common dolphin is a smaller version of its close relative the long-beaked common dolphin.
In fact these dolphins are fairly small when compared to many of the other 40+ known species of dolphin.
The short-beaked common dolphin can be found living throughout the worlds tropical/warm climates in offshore waters.
Due to their environment these marine mammals are known to face a number of threats in their local habitat including accidentally getting caught in fishing nets and hazards from other fishing gear.
When fully grown the short-beaked common dolphin can reach lengths of up to 6 ½ ft. or longer and weigh over 500 lbs with male dolphins growing larger than their female counterparts.
Smaller and lighter dolphins may grow to lengths of around 5 ft. and weigh over 150 lbs.
They have a long triangular dorsal fin which is located midway down the dolphins back and a beak with small sharp teeth.
In terms of color these dolphins have a dark back with a white belly and yellow, gold or grayish sides that resemble the shape of an hourglass.
Because these dolphins belong to the toothed whale suborder they likely use echolocation locate food and navigate the ocean.
These dolphins can be found traveling throughout the world’s tropical waters and prefer living in offshore environments, away from the coastline.
Large aggregations of these dolphins have been found in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Irish Sea and the western English Channel among other well-known locations.
These dolphins can be found traveling in large groups of several hundred or thousand dolphins.
They can also be found gathered together with other species of dolphin as well as some whale species.
The short-beaked common dolphin is known for its highly social and acrobatic behaviors and can be seen leaping, flipping and bow riding through the water.
Communication among pods involves using a series of high-pitched clicks and whistles which are created by flexing their sphincter muscle located .
The average gestation period for these dolphins is 10 – 11 months.
While fertile the female dolphin may bear a single offspring every 1 – 3 years.
After birth the female dolphin will provide her child with milk and nurse her young until it is able to hunt and survive on its own.
The average estimated lifespan for the short-beaked common dolphin is up to 35 years; however it is believed that most dolphins only live until their early to mid 20’s.
The short-beaked common dolphin is known to face threats from accidental captures in fishing nets as well as other fishing gear.
These dolphins may accidentally swim into an empty fishing net or try to capture a group of fish already caught in a fishing net and get stuck.
Because these dolphins are marine mammals they require air, so in many cases these dolphins end up drowning due to being trapped underwater for extended periods of time.
In addition to accidental catches these marine mammals also face threats from poachers and hunters that want to sell their meat and oil.
These dolphins are considered a protected species and hunting them is considered illegal, however some countries place little or no restrictions/legal action on individuals that hunt these marine mammals.