Saddle-backed Dolphin © Francois Gohier/Photo Researchers,
Short-beaked Common Dolphin, Common Dolphin
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.
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:
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
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
Information taken from