One of the most unusual dolphin species in the world, Hector���s dolphins have evolved several adaptations that allow them to survive in the oceans surrounding New Zealand. These adaptations include a relatively small body size, contrasting markings and a unique hunting strategy. Additionally, Hector���s dolphins share some adaptations with all dolphins, such as their blowholes, which allow them to breathe while they are underwater.Continue Reading
Hector���s dolphins are the smallest marine dolphins in the world. This small size is likely an adaptation that enables them to succeed in their preferred habitat: shallow, near-shore waters. Hector���s dolphins have evolved feeding behaviors that suit their morphology, habitat and lifestyle. When feeding, Hector���s dolphins make a series of short dives to catch food. While scientists do not know exactly why, Hector���s dolphins do not produce the whistling sounds that are common among other dolphins. Instead, they only emit short, high-frequency clicks to echolocate their prey and communicate.
Hector���s dolphins are listed as ���critically endangered��� by the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species. Some scientists estimate that there are 7,000 individuals left in the world. Because Hector���s dolphins have a slow reproductive rate, and females produce a single calf every two to four years, their future is uncertain.Learn more about Marine Mammals