Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Dolphins

Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus)

Description

This species normally reaches lengths of around 3m however they can grow to 4m, with the males generally being larger than the females. A distinguishing feature of the Risso’s dolphin is the heavy scarring which normally covers most of their body by the time they reach adulthood, in fact older individuals will become mostly white even though their natural coloration is a black/grey colour. The front half of their body is large in relation to the back end, which tapers into a narrow tail. They tend to live in pods sized between 3 and 12 individuals and made up of similarly aged individuals of the same sex.

Habitat

The Risso’s dolphin tends to live in continental slope waters and deep waters between 400 and 1000m in depth.

Diet

This species is known to feed mainly at night and their main source of prey are cephalopods, specifically octopus, squid and cuttlefish.

Protection Status

This species is listed as of “Least Concern“ on the IUCN redlist, its main threats include habitat shifting from climate change and human disturbance.

Interesting Fact:

Even though this species is toothed, they don’t normally chew their food, instead opting to swallow their prey whole!

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