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Saddle Back Dolphin
Saddle-backed Dolphin © Francois Gohier/Photo Researchers, Inc.
Saddle-backed Dolphin
Delphinus delphis
Short-beaked Common Dolphin, Common Dolphin

Description
   To 8'6" (2.6 m). Fusiform, slender, not robust; back black or brownish black, coloration and markings variable; chest and belly cream to white. Sides distinctly marked with hourglass or crisscross pattern of tan or yellowish tan. Beak well-defined, moderately long, often dark with white tip. 1 or more dark stripes from center of lower jaw to flipper. Dorsal fin nearly triangular to distinctly falcate, usually black with lighter grayish region of varying size near middle, tip pointed.
Similar Species
   Pacific White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) has gray flippers. Clymene Dolphin (Stenella clymene) has stripe from eye to flipper. Striped Dolphin (S. coeruleoalba) lacks crisscross pattern on sides. Spinner Dolphin (S. longirostris) has black circle around eye.Comments:
Habitat
   Offshore over outer continental shelf, often near ridges. Rarely inshore. Range In Atlantic from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to N. South America. In Pacific from Victoria, British Columbia, to equator.
Discussion
   The Saddle-backed Dolphin is also known as the Common Dolphin, Saddleback Porpoise, Crisscross Dolphin, White-bellied Porpoise, Hourglass Dolphin, Short-beaked Common Dolphin, and Saddleback. These animals often travel in huge herds of more than a thousand. They frequently leap clear of the water and ride bow waves of vessels for a long time.

Information taken from
eNature.com

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