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HomeSpits­ber­gen infor­ma­ti­onWild­life → White-bea­k­ed dol­phin

White-bea­k­ed dol­phin

Hvidnæse (DK) – Weißschnauzendelfin (E) – Dauphin à nez blanc (F) – Lagenorinco rostrobianco (I) – Kvitnos (N) – Witsnuitdofijn (NL) – Vitnos (S)

White-beaked dolphin

White-bea­k­ed dol­phin bet­ween Ice­land and Jan May­en.

Descrip­ti­on: Adult White-bea­k­ed dol­phins are bet­ween 2,5-3 m long and 350 kg in weight, but they appear weight­less as they jump out of the water. This cre­a­mish-white snout (not always very clear) and the more nor­t­her­ly dis­tri­bu­ti­on area help to tell it apart from their simi­lar cou­sin, the Atlan­tic white-sided dol­phin. On its sides, the White-bea­k­ed dol­phin has got 2 white are­as, which vary in shape and size.

White-beaked dolphin

White-bea­k­ed dol­phin south of Bjørnøya.

Dis­tri­bu­ti­on / Migra­ti­ons: White-bea­k­ed dol­phins appear ever­y­whe­re in the north Atlan­tic, from New­found­land to the Kara Sea. They are abun­dant off most nor­t­hern Euro­pean coasts. The­re are occa­sio­nal sightin­gs from the wes­tern Bal­tic Sea, and it is com­mon in Nor­we­gi­an waters. During the sum­mer, the spe­ci­es migra­tes nor­thwards, up to the pack ice edge. In a Spits­ber­gen con­text, White-bea­k­ed dol­phins are often obser­ved during crossings from Nor­way to Bjørnøya and up to Spits­ber­gen, but they don’t usual­ly enter the fjords.

Bio­lo­gy: Sur­pri­sin­gly litt­le is known about this very abun­dant dol­phin. The calf, 1.2 m long, is born in late sum­mer. They feed on a ran­ge of fish and squid.

Mis­cel­la­neous: White-bea­k­ed dol­phins are usual­ly seen in groups from a few dozen to many hundreds of ani­mals. They are very lively and curious, often riding the bow wave of ships for a while and dis­play­ing beau­tiful, acro­ba­tic jumps. The total popu­la­ti­on is not known, but esti­ma­ted at many ten thou­sands up to seve­ral hundred thou­sands.


Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.



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last modification: 2019-03-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange