The white beaked dolphin is a medium-sized dolphin that can be found swimming in the north eastern and western Atlantic hemispheres.
As the name suggest the white beaked dolphin gets its name from its short cream-white colored beak.
These dolphins are known to be very social and have been spotted riding on the back of waves that are created by nearby speed boats.
In terms of size the white beaked dolphin has a stocky build with an average length of 7 – 10 ft. and can weight as much as 800 pounds when fully matured.
They have a short white colored beak with a black colored upper body, black flippers and black fins.
These dolphins also have a white cream-colored under-body and white streak that travels from above the eyes to the back (near the fins) and around the back of the dorsal fin.
In order to successfully capture their food these dolphins will often hunt in groups and use vocal communication to coordinate their hunting and isolation methods so that they have the best opportunity for a successful hunt.
These dolphins are a very social species and can be found hunting for food together as well as feeding along other species of dolphins and whales such as the killer whale (belongs to the dolphin family), fin whale, humpback whale and minke whale.
They are also known to commonly bow ride waves and perform various acrobatic maneuvers in the air where their entire body lifts out of the ocean when they leap into the air.
In order to communicate with one another each dolphin uses a variety of clicks and whistles at slightly different pitches and tonalities that allow each dolphin to understand which one is communicating in the group.
They can communicate a desire to mate, that they have found nearby food, to warn one another of danger and to communicate a whole range of different interests and emotions.
These dolphins are known to primarily mate during the summer months and it is estimated that they have an average gestation period of 11 months.
After birth the mother dolphin feeds her young by producing milk which her child suckles from her nipple.
This type of feeding may continue anywhere from a couple of months up to a year or until the child is able to begin taking in solid food and can hunt on its own.
Sexual maturity occurs between the ages of 7 – 12 at which point these mature young dolphins may begin mating and baring offspring of their own.
The white beaked dolphin can be seen living in the upper northern Atlantic waters and tends to prefer colder climates in shallow waters that are less than 700 ft. deep.
It has however been observed that this species habitat may be affected by changes in geography and food supply.
For example they may be found swimming in deeper waters in areas where there have been significant changes to land mass and in situations where food such as herring migrates to another area of the ocean.
While there are no confirmed numbers it is estimated that there are at least several hundred thousand dolphins swimming the northern Atlantic ocean.
Groups of white beaked dolphins may range from 5 – 50 dolphins, however during certain social aggregations pod sizes may number in the hundreds or thousands.