Dusky dolphins are most commonly encountered in cooler waters close to continental shelves, in the Southern Hemisphere. Research has shown that there are a total of three different subspecies: (1) L. o. obscurus - Namibia and South Africa, (2) L.o. fitzroyi – southern South America, and (3) an unnamed subspecies found off of New Zealand, Australia and several oceanic islands in the Indian Ocean.
The dusky dolphin is one of the fastest species of dolphin, reaching speeds of 25 mph. They are very acrobatic and naturally enjoy performing high jumps, flips, and twists. When one dolphin starts leaping, the rest of the pod tends to follow along. Just like any other cetacean species, dusky dolphins are very social animals. They will form pods of up to 1,000 individuals who work together to corner schools of fish. They enjoy grooming each other, playing, and leaping together after feeding before breaking into smaller groups when it’s time to rest.
Not only are these dolphins one of the fastest dolphin species, but they are also one of the smallest. Im fact, they are the smallest of the world’s 33 dolphins species. A full grown adult male typically only reaches about 6 feet in length, with females being slightly smaller.
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