What Are the Different Classifications of Dolphins?


Quick Answer

The different classifications of dolphins in the family Dephinidae fall under 17 genus: Delphinus, Feresa, Cephalorhynchus, Lagenodelphis, Globicephala, Grampus, Lagenorhynchus, Lissodelphis, Orcinus, Orcaella, Sousa, Stenella, Steno, Sotalia, Pseudorca, Peponocephala and Tursiops. The bottlenose dolphin falls under the genus of Tursiops. There are also river dolphin species under the families Platanistidae, Iniidae, Lipotidae and Pontoporiidae.

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What Are the Different Classifications of Dolphins?
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Full Answer

Most visually recognizable dolphins have long beaks or noses like the bottlenose dolphin in the genus Tursiops, the spotted dolphin in the genus Stenella or the common dolphin in the genus Delphinus. However, there are other mammals classified as Dephinidae that look very little like the typical dolphin. For example, killer whales are considered dolphins. The snub-fin dolphin, under the genus Orcaella, doesn't have a nose that's commonly reminiscent of dolphins.

Despite the many differences, all dolphins share certain characteristics. They have streamlined bodies. With the use of their powerful tails, their body enables them to glide quickly through the water. All dolphins have a specific, obvious beak. Dolphins have cone-shaped teeth, a feature that separates them from porpoises, and they also have a single blowhole, unlike some other whale species. Although river dolphins fall under different families than that of dolphins, they too share these physical characteristics.

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