The northern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis) is a right whale dolphin.
As young calves, these dolphins are greyish brown or sometimes cream. They stay like this for a year, before their body turns black in colour, with a clear white belly, and a white tip to their lower jaw. There are rightwhale dolphins in the north Pacific ocean, and in the Southern oceans above Antarctica, around Tazmania, New Zealand, and even South Africa. The dolphins in the Pacific are the Northern rightwhale dolphins, and are longer with less white on their bodies, than the Southern species. Both have no fin on their smoothly curving backs, and are long and sleek compared to other dolphins.
They have short thin beaks, and gently sloping foreheads, with pointed tips to their flippers and their tail flukes. They have 74 to 98 teeth on both their upper and lower jaws.
Field ID: Streamlined body; smoothly sloping forehead; short, defined beak, no teeth visible; straight mouthline; irregular white patch on chin; small, narrow flippers; pointed flippers; black and white in colour; light under-side (belly); white underside; no dorsal fin; tail flukes are triangular; calm and silky movements
Length (metres): Adults range from 2-3 metres, new-borns are c. 90cm
Weight: Adults weigh between 60-100kg
Diet: Fish & squid
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