Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

 

Search in the Encyclopedia

Dieren en planten

Cuttlefish   European squid   Herring family   Herring   Cod family   Cod   Whiting   Dolphins   White-beaked dolphin   

Mens en Milieu

White-beaked dolphin

size:

males up to 3 meters, females up to 2 meters

weight:

males up to 300 kilograms

color:

black-gray-white

age:

up to 25 years

food:

larger pelagic fish, squid

movement:

swimmming

enemies:

people, get caught in fish nets

  • Dut: Witsnuitdolfijn
  • Lat: Lagenorhynchus albirostris
  • Eng: White-beaked dolphin
  • Fren: le dauphin à bec blanc
  • Ger: der Weißschnauzendelphin
  • Dan: Hvidnæse
  • Nor: Kvitnos
White-beaked dolphin, marijke de boer

White-beaked dolphin

White-beaked dolphins are boisterous swimmers and like to surf in the waves of ship bows. They live in groups of six to twenty animals. Since around 1955, the white-beaked dolphin is seen regularly in the North Sea. It is presently the most common dolphin species in the North Sea. There are probably between 7000 and 8000 white-beaked dolphins swimming here. Scientists have seen a decline in recent years. It is still unclear; however the warming up of the seawater is seen as a possible cause.

  • Spotted in the North Sea
    White-beaked dolphin, Marijke de Boer

    In January 1999, a sport fisherman spotted an exceptionally large school of white-beaked dolphins 20 sea miles from the coast of Texel. According to the experienced observer ("I see them often"), the school contained around 50 animals.
    It's not easy to distinguish white-sided dolphins from the white-beaked dolphins when the schools intermingle. That is why they are often counted as one group. In 1995, 11,760 white-beaked and/or white-sided dolphins were counted. There was also an additional 7,856 definite identifications of white-beaked dolphins.

  • Distribution of the white-beaked dolphin
    Distribution of the white-beaked dolphins, Ecomare

    White-beaked dolphins live in shallow seas and hunt fish that swim close to the surface. They usually stay far away from the coast.

  • Strandings of white-beaked dolphins on the Dutch coast
    Beachings of white-beaked dolphins, Ecomare

    Since 1980, the average number of stranded white-beaked dolphins has risen somewhat to 3 to 6 per year. Usually, the only cadavers that wash ashore are in extreme stages of decay and are categorized as 'not fresh'. Strangely enough, more females strand than males. This is also true in Germany and Denmark. It appears that the females form separate groups. In 2009, a mother and calf stranded on the east tip of Ameland. The young dolphin was already dead. The mother was seriously weakened, so badly that she was euthanized on the beach.

  • Diet
    White-beaked dolphin, marijke de boer

    The diet of the white-beaked dolphin differs from area to area. Examination of stomaches from stranded specimen included whiting, cod, haddock, hake, herring, mackerel, scad and squid.