Cetacean Society International

Working for whales, dolphins and porpoises worldwide

CSI Photo Gallery

Common Dolphin

(Delphinus delphis)

There may be over a million common dolphins swimming in the temperate and warm seas of the world. Their shapely color patterns are familiar to most of us, but do they mean anything special to the dolphins? There are subtle variations in various populations. Can dolphins tell the sex, age, health or status of another dolphin from his or her pattern?
Swimming at high speed dolphins leap out of the water to catch a breath, play, look around, or perhaps go just a bit faster. Picture several hundred common dolphins racing along, perhaps on their way to a feeding area. Even when hundreds are together they usually swim in small, synchronized groups, so many might be in the air at once. These groups seem full of boisterous joy.