Hourglass Dolphin

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Hourglass Dolphin
Size comparison against an average human
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Eutheria
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Lagenorhynchus
Species: L. cruciger
Binomial name
Lagenorhynchus cruciger
(Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Hourglass Dolphin range

by logan gould

The Hourglass Dolphin 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 6 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. Their life span is unknown, but probably close to other dolphins of its class, so probably around 27 to 46 years.

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. and hence the common name of the dolphin. An adult is about 1.8 m in length and weighs 90-120 kg. Males are probably smaller and lighter than females, but we do not know for sure. If you are where it lives in is easy to tell from other dolphins. There is only one other dolphin that is as small in the 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. We think there are at least 140,000 of them.