A rare species of dolphin, the short-beaked common dolphin, was spotted frolicking along the coast of Southern California, much to the delight of marine life enthusiasts. The sighting is significant as most species of marine mammals continue to decline in numbers due to climate change and human activities. While the short-beaked common dolphin is not considered endangered, its rarity makes the sighting important. The dolphins are a migratory species that mainly eat small schooling fish such as anchovies and sardines, and are known for following warm water currents. More research and conservation efforts are needed to protect these rare creatures.
Rare Species of Dolphin Spotted Along US Coastline
Marine life enthusiasts got a rare treat early in July 2021 as a group of bottlenose dolphins was seen frolicking along the coast of Southern California. But this wasn’t your average pod of dolphins. They were of a rare species that’s seldom seen in the region.
The appearance of the short-beaked common dolphin is a significant event, and it’s a treat for scientists as well. Experts say that most species of marine mammals, including dolphins, continue to dwindle in numbers due to several factors, including climate change and human activities.
Since the 1990s, the population of the common dolphins has fluctuated widely along the California coast. But it’s still classified as a species of “least concern” by conservationists. However, its rarity makes the sighting of the species significant.
The sighting was also exciting for those who caught a glimpse. One resident noted, “It’s beautiful to see any kind of marine life, but to see something that’s rare… it’s just really exciting.”
The short-beaked common dolphin, also known by its scientific name Delphinus delphis, is easily identifiable by its sleek, streamlined body, and its hourglass-shaped black, grey, and white pattern. They measure about 6 to 8 feet and weigh between 200-300 pounds, with males slightly larger than females.
These dolphins have a high reproductive rate, and females gestate for around 10 months, giving birth to a single calf. They mainly feed on small schooling fish such as anchovies and sardines, squid, and krill.
Short-beaked common dolphins are a migratory species and are commonly found in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They are also known for their association with other marine mammals, such as whales and seals.
The appearance of these dolphins in waters off the coast of Southern California can be attributed to various factors. Firstly, they’re a migratory species and are known to travel long distances in search of food. They’re also known to follow the flow of warm water, and the current temperature of water along the California coast is conducive to their survival.
Another reason could be the reduction in boat traffic and other human activity along California’s coastline over the past year due to the pandemic.
The presence of these dolphins along the coast is a positive sign, especially for marine life conservationists. The sighting highlights the need for more research and conservation efforts to better understand and protect these creatures.
Q: How rare are short-beaked common dolphins?
A: Although the species is not considered endangered, sightings of this species are relatively rare in the waters off the coast of Southern California.
Q: What do short-beaked common dolphins eat?
A: These dolphins mainly feed on small schooling fish such as anchovies and sardines, squid, and krill.
Q: What is the reproductive rate of these dolphins?
A: Short-beaked common dolphins have a high reproductive rate, and females gestate for around ten months, giving birth to a single calf.
Q: Why were these dolphins sighted along the California coast?
A: The presence of these dolphins along the coast could be attributed to their migratory nature, as well as their preference for following the flow of warm water. The current temperature of the water along the California coast is conducive to their survival.
Q: How can we protect rare species of dolphins?
A: More research and conservation efforts are needed to better understand and protect these creatures. Reducing boat traffic and other human activities along the coastline can also help to protect rare species of dolphins.