Pacific White Sided Dolphin

Lagenorhynchus obliquidens

Length

7-8 feet (2.1-2.4 m)

Weight

Up to 300 pounds (150 kg)

Distribution

Temperate coastal waters in the North Pacific from Gulf of Alaska to Baja California, Mexico in the east and off the coast of Japan in the western Pacific.

Population

Possibly close to 1,000,000 individuals

Description

Pacific white-sided dolphins have an attractive color pattern consisting of gray, white, and black. It has a sharply hooked dorsal fin and a short, rounded beak. They are fast swimmers and commonly hunt in groups using echolocation. They primarily feed on small fish such as anchovies, herring, or sardines as well as squid. It is believe that they feed frequently at night.

While some populations, such as those off of Monterey Bay, are considered to be year-long residents, we typically see these dolphins in San Diego only in the cooler months.