common dolphin

With their white bellies and dark backs, dolphins can be found jumping above the water, swimming alongside fishing ships, or riding the waves of large whales. Dolphins are playful, intelligent, and very fast swimmers. They often work together to herd fish into tight balls, making them easy prey. They whistle, click, and squeak to communicate with each other, and to navigate through the ocean.

common dolphin
Size: up to eight feet long
Weight: 250 pounds
Habitat: tropical and temperate oceans around the world
Diet: fish and squid
Characteristics: sleek body, long snout, dark tail,
flippers, and dorsal fin
Threats: fishing nets, pollution, hunting, human disturbance

Image credits: courtesy of Golden State Images.