Heaviside’s Dolphin


Heaviside's Dolphin

Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Cephalorhynchus
Species: C. heavisidii   (Gray, 1828)

Although it was first described more than a century ago, information about this small dolphin is still almost non-existent. It lives in a remote area and is shy and retiring by habit, but has been known to ride the wakes of passing vessels. Until recently there has been no serious effort to study the animal. All descriptions have been taken from a dozen or so dead specimens, a few new photographs and videos, and drawings made by people who observed them. This dolphin was named in the early 1800s by Captain Haviside, who collected natural history specimens from the Cape of Good Hope. His name was misspelled when it was given to the dolphin.

Physical Description: The body closely resembles that of Hector’s dolphin, except that the dorsal fin is triangular, the beak is less extended, and the slightly rounded flippers are smaller.

Color: The color is similar to Hector’s dolphin except that the white on the Heaviside’s posterior ventral region continues along the flanks to the throat, divided only by a thin line extending from the dark dorsal area to the leading margin of the flippers.

Fins and Flukes: The small dorsal fin is triangular. The flippers are small and rounded at the tips. The flukes are well developed, slightly rounded at the tips, with a definite median notch.

Length and Weight: This animal reaches a known length of 4 to 4.25 ft (1.2 to 1.3 m) and an estimated 100 lb (45 kg).

Teeth: 25 to 30 small, sharp, conical teeth are located in each side of the upper and lower jaws.

Feeding: Hake, kingfish, gobies, octopus, squid and bottom-dwelling fish.

Breathing and Diving: No information is available.

Mating and Breeding: No information is available.

Herding: Relatively unknown, but they are thought to group in small numbers of half a dozen.

Distribution: Coastal waters of northern Namibia, south to Cape Point in Cape Provina.

Migration: No information available.

Heaviside's Dolphin distribution

                                 Heaviside’s Dolphin Distribution

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