Marine Mammal Science & Conservation

Pantropical spotted dolphin

Pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata)

Group formation: Social fission fusion groups 25-300 (or more)

Size: 2.5 m, calf 80-90 cm

Weight: 120 kg, calf unknown

Age: 40 yrs

Sexual maturity: males 12 yrs, females 10 yrs

Gestation: 11 mths, 2.5-4 yrs in between

Weaning: 1-2 yrs

Diet: mostly small epopelagic fish, squid

Predators: sharks, killer whales, false killer whales, pygmy killer whales, short-finned pilot whales

Distribution: lives in all tropical and subtropical waters between 40° N and 40° S, with 3 sub species, second-most abundant cetacean after the bottlenose dolphin

Raja Ampat: they are common and often sighted in large groups of 100 or more

Population size: > 7 million

Conservation Status: Least Concern ver 3.1, Pop. trend: unknown

Threats: Whaling (Japan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan), chemical and plastic pollution, man-made noise impacts (seismic surveys, military sonar), entanglement in fishing gear, as bycatch in yellow tuna fisheries, over fishing, captivity.

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