White-beaked dolphin

Creature Feature – White-beaked Dolphin

This week on Creature Feature Friday we take a look at the White-beaked dolphin. 

A social species of dolphin, they can be usually found in pods of 5-10 individuals in UK seas; though much larger groups can be seen elsewhere in their range. Like most species of dolphin, they are incredibly acrobatic and will often approach boats to bowride.

White-beaked dolphin


Scientific Name: Lagenorhynchus albirostris

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Delphinidae

Genus: Lagenorhynchus 

© Kjell-Arne Fagerheim

White-beaked Dolphin Fact File

? Size: Individuals grow up to 3.2m long, and can weigh up to 350kg

? Distribution: The white-beaked dolphin is endemic to the cold temperate and subarctic waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, most commonly in seas less than 1,000 m deep

? Diet: White-beaked dolphins are not fussy eaters, consuming a variety of small mid-water schooling fish as well as those who prefer living near the sea-bed, like haddock and cod. They also like to feast on squid and various crustaceans

? Behaviour: White-beaked Dolphins are often sighted with young calves during the summer months in both Lyme Bay and off Northumberland, suggesting these may be important nursery area

? IUCN Status: Least Concern. Threats to populations include hunting (they are targeted for their meat throughout Canada and Greenland), fishing (they are caught in various fishing gear throughout their range) and climate change