Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Short-Beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)


Short-beaked common dolphins are medium sized but smaller than most other dolphins found in the eastern Aegean, averaging 1.7-2.4m in length (with males being slightly larger than females) and 100-136kg in weight. Their color pattern is very distinctive, as it forms an “hourglass” shape: a dark grey cape extends from the head to the dorsal and where a “V” is visible on either side of the body. It also has pale yellow/tan sides and a white belly. Common dolphins will typically be constructed of around 20 individuals but can have pods that consist of more than 100 individuals. It is also highly social with other animals as well, having been known to associate with other dolphin species such as pilot whales and bow riding on baleen whales.


Mostly open-sea dwelling, but also could be found in coastal waters.


Mainly eat small fish (e.g. herring, anchovies, sardines, etc.) but also feed on cephalopods (e.g. squid and octopus).

Protection Status

Experienced a drastic decline in the Mediterranean Sea over the past 30-45 years, with this subpopulation being listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, but still relatively abundant in the Aegean Sea. Worldwide it is listed at a species of “Least Concern” by the IUCN.

Interesting Fact

Female common dolphins have been seen to assist other dolphins during birth as well as daily infant care during breeding season.

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