Hourglass dolphin

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Hourglass dolphin
Size comparison against an average human
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Eutheria
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Lagenorhynchus
Binomial name
Lagenorhynchus cruciger
Hourglass dolphin range

The Hourglass dolphin, Lagenorhynchus cruciger, is small and wide compared to other dolphins. It only lives in the very cold waters of the Antarctic. It was not known to science until a drawing was made of it in 1820. Only six Hourglass dolphins have been examined by scientists. Boats do not usually go where they live. The average water temperature they live in is 0.1-0.3 degrees Celsius.

The hourglass dolphin is black and white and for this reason was called the "sea skunk". On each side there is a white patch that looks a little like an hourglass shape. That is how it got its name.

An adult is about 1.8 m in length and weighs 90-120 kg. There is only one other dolphin that is as small in its area. Hourglass Dolphins usually stay in groups of 5-10. Once a group of 60 was recorded. They like to ride the bow of boats. There are usually Fin whales with them. It is thought they eat small fish, crustaceans, and squid. They have conical teeth probably used to crack the shells of crustaceans.

The hourglass dolphin stays around the Antarctic. Some have been seen from the south of New Zealand and Chile.