Common Name: Right Whale Dolphins
species:Northern right whale dolphin Lissodelphis
Southern right whale dolphin Lissodelphis peronii
Whale Dolphin Lissodelphis peronii
whale dolphins belong to the Mammalian Order Cetacea, in the
suborder Odontoceti. All toothed whales belong to the suborder
Odontoceti, which is Latin for "toothed whales". These dolphins
belong to the oceanic dolphin family, Delphinidae. Other members of
this family include the killer whale, long-beaked common dolphin,
and pilot whale. There are two species of right whale dolphin, both
belonging to the genus Lissodelphis. They are called right
whale dolphins because they lack a dorsal fin, similar to right
whales of the genus Eubalaena, which also lack dorsal fins. The
generic name Lissodelphis is derived from the Greek words
lisso, meaning "smooth", and delphis meaning "dolphin".
This may refer to the sleek appearance of these species. The
northern right whale dolphin's scientific name is Lissodelphis
borealis. The specific name borealis means "northern",
referring to the dolphin's northern range. The northern right
whale dolphin's scientific name is Lissodelphis borealis.
The specific name peronii is named for Francois Peron
(1775-1810). Peron was a French biologist on an expedition to
Northern Right Whale
Dolphin Lissodephis borealis
whale dolphins do not have a very distinct melon. Northern right
whale dolphins are completely black, with a white chest patch and
ventral stripe. Southern right whale dolphins are black with white
heads, pectoral flippers, and sides. Both species are similar in
size. Males reach nine feet in length and 250lbs in weight.
Females grow to seven feet in length and 170lbs in weight.
northern right whale dolphin inhabits the temperate waters of the
Pacific Ocean, while the southern right whale dolphin is found
throughout the temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere. Both
species feed on deep sea fish, including lanternfish, and squid.
whale dolphins are commonly observed in groups of more than 100
individuals. Calves are 2-3ft at birth.
northern right whale dolphin is threatened by squid and krill nets.
The estimated population for those living off the coast of
California is 79,000 individuals.