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But the reality is that's not what was happening at Honaunau Bay. Dolphin Legends in Hawaii (excerpted from Serge Kahili King) In a story from Mangaia, the most southerly of the Cook Islands, the goddess 'Ina (the.
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Its jet black body is patterned with pure white patches: a small elliptical patch is located behind the eye; a second covers the lower jaw, throat, and stomach, terminating in prongs which extend up and back on the tail; another is a gray "saddle" patch located behind the dorsal fin which is distinctively shaped on each animal.

The tall, black dorsal fin is easily recognizable. On males, it will be straight and up to 1. Orcas have a complex social structure, which is apparently matriarchal in nature. Unlike other toothed whales, both daughters and sons stay with their mothers for most of their lives. Once the daughters have offspring of their own little is known about mating of this species , they may form subpods, continuing to stay in close proximity to the maternal group. They travel most commonly in pods of two to twenty-five, and often hunt cooperatively.

They may hunt prey much larger than themselves, such as the blue whale, but also feed on smaller whales, seabirds, turtles, fish, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and seals, depending on availability. Orcas are found in temperate and polar waters, both coastal and offshore. Although there are no estimates on total population, they now seem to be abundant worldwide. For a long time, the fierce hunting habits of some populations of Orcas gave them a bad reputation as ruthless predators.

Due to this unsympathetic image and the fact that fishermen considered salmon-eating pods of Orcas a nuisance, Orcas often were ruthlessly killed, until public awareness began to be raised in the s. An orca harpooned off the coast of British Columbia in survived the ordeal and gave people a chance to learn of the animal's charm and intelligence, moderating the species' killer reputation.

Canadian and American legislation passed in the early s provided protection for these populations. A long, slender body and beak characterize this species generally considered to have at least two forms, distinguished by range. The spotted dolphin's back is dark gray, contrasting with its light gray underbelly and sides.

Dark gray patches may also occur around the eyes and on the beak. The amount of spotting varies with age as well as geographical location Ridgway Calves are born without spots; the spots begin to develop first on the stomach, then on the back, growing in size and number as the animal matures. Spotted dolphins are a relatively small species, growing to a maximum length of approximately 2.

Spotted dolphins tend to travel in large pods, which may number in the thousands. They are fast, agile swimmers and have been observed leaping to great heights, doing forward flips, and riding the wakes of boats.

They are found in tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate regions around the world, sometimes in coastal waters but mainly in open ocean, and feed mostly on squid, mackerel, and flying fish. Because of their habit of swimming with yellow-fin tuna in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, spotted dolphins have been killed by the thousands as incidental catches in purse-seine nets.

Due to public pressure and subsequent changes in policy by major tuna companies in recent years, many tuna fishing fleets worked to reduce incidental bycatch of these dolphins. Thousands are still taken each year by drive fisheries in Japan, in the Solomon Islands, and by subsistence fisheries throughout the world. The short-finned variety is found most often in tropical and sub-tropical areas, while the long-finned pilot whale seems to prefer more temperate and sub-polar waters and is essentially a deep ocean species.


Pilot whales feed mostly on squid and octopus; however, they will also feed on schooling fish when more readily available. They have a complex social organization and usually live in pods ranging in size from ten to a hundred. They have often been observed interacting with other species. Pilot whales can be recognized by their large bulbous heads and black-gray bodies. Some stocks may have lighter gray patches around the eyes, on the throat or chest, or behind the dorsal.

Their dorsal fins are low and rounded. The size of this species varies widely according to location; maximum length may be from 4 to 7 meters. Although pilot whales are notorious for stranding in large groups, no one knows exactly why they do it. They are vulnerable to shore-drive hunting, and in the Faroe Islands an average of long-finned pilot whales are killed each year in a traditional hunt. The Risso's dolphin's blunt, squarish head shape, indistinct beak, and characteristic white scarring characterize this species Reeves et al Although these dolphins are dark gray in color, their skin scars easily; older adults' bodies may appear almost white due to extensive scarring from the teeth-raking of other Risso's dolphins during play, mating, or aggressive confrontations.

Their fins are slender and long, yet their bodies are stocky and range in length from 3 to 4 meters for adults Reeves et al Risso's dolphins are found mostly in deep water in tropical and warm temperate regions.

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Their pods are usually small, approximately a dozen or so, but they occasionally have been seen in large herds of several thousand. Squid seems to be their major prey, although they also will hunt fish and other cephalopods.

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The common dolphin has been perhaps the most celebrated dolphin, depicted often in art throughout history since the time of the ancient Greeks. They have small, streamlined bodies, averaging about 2. Their coloring is most distinctive: the back is black to the middle of the tail stock; the flanks display an hourglass pattern of yellowish ochre and light gray, blending to grayish white along the sides of the tail.

The rostrum is dark brown to black, and a narrow, dark stripe runs from the rostrum to the area surrounding the eyes. Common dolphins are often described as acrobats because of their frequent leaps and somersaults into the air. They travel in pods of up to several thousand, and although they may split up into smaller groups to feed, they are known for being efficient cooperative hunters.

Common dolphins feed mostly on squid, sardines, anchovies, and herring. This species lives in warm temperate and tropical waters around the world and may be found in both coastal and pelagic waters. They are probably the most abundant species of delphinids throughout the world; however, some stocks have been depleted to the point of risk because of the activities of fisheries in the Black Sea, off the coast of west Africa, and in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

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  • Black Dolphin. Short-finned Pilot Whale.

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    Risso's Dolphin. Fraser's Dolphin. Atlantic White-sided Dolphin. False Killer Whale.

    Atlantic Humpbacked Dolphin. Rough-toothed Dolphin. Andersen, Harold T. The Biology of Marine Mammals. Academic Press, Inc.

    New Zealand's dolphin tales - Tourism New Zealand Media

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    The True Story of the Rescued Hurricane Katrina Dolphins

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    Whales, Dolphins, and Seals. Heinemann Educational Books: Hong Kong. Geraci, Joseph R. Haley, Delphine, ed.