Thursday, October 24, 2013

Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin

Sousa chinensis
Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphins have a large range that stretches along the coasts of the Indian Ocean, as well as around Australia and the Western Pacific. They prefer shallow waters, usually sticking around depths of 60ft.

These Dolphins are named for the fatty humps on their backs, that rest just below their dorsal fin.  They are typically grey in color, but can also be white or even pink! In fact, a sub population near Hong Kong bay is famous for its pinkness!

Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphins live in small groups, usually of around a half dozen members. They feed on all kinds of different reef fishes, and can stay underwater for as long as 8 minutes.

These Dolphins are pretty slow moving, especially when compared to other members of their family. They move along at around 3mph, which is similar to a leisurely human walking speed. The fastest Dolphins can swim nearly ten times that pace! Interestingly though, the Humpbacked Dolphins can perform different aerial jumps and tricks, despite their slow swim times.

Sadly, these Dolphins are listed as Near Threatened, and could be in even more danger very soon. They live near very high human population areas, and those waters are becoming polluted and heavily trafficked. The aforementioned Hong Kong Bay group has declined by 60% in the past decade alone, and could very soon be completely wiped out.

IUCN Status : Near Threatenend
Location : Indian and Pacific Oceans
Size : Length around 9ft (2.8m), Weight around 440lbs (200kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Cetacea
Family : Delphinidae -- Genus : Sousa -- Species : S. chinensis
Image : Mandy

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