Common Dolphins of Costa Rica
The Common Dolphin is found in the ancient art of Greece and Rome, temperate and tropical waters and the Pacific shoreline of Costa Rica among others.
Common Dolphins can be found in all oceans in the range of 40-60°N to 50°S throughout the world in the epipelagic to mesopelagic range. They might be found in river mouths, estuaries, bays and gulfs. In Costa Rica, you can expect to see Common Dolphins at Marino Ballena National Park, Marino Las Baulas National Park, Corcovado National Park, Golfo Dulce, the Papagayo Gulf and Drake Bay.
Mating & Reproduction
There are considered to be some 20 different species in the genus of Delphinus, and the age at which Common Dolphins reach sexual maturity varies among the species. Females may reach sexual maturity between the ages of two and seven years old. Males, on the other hand, generally take a little bit longer, and reach sexually maturity between the ages of three and twelve years old.
Gestation periods are from ten to eleven months, and the mother will often give birth to only one calf. The calves stay close to their mother, and some species may wean at 5 to 6 months. Other species take longer at between 7 and 19 months.
Common Dolphins may travel in packs with as many as hundreds. They can be seen making aerial displays as they breech, also. The diet of Common Dolphins consists of herrings, anchovies, squid, sardines and octopi. They seek out fish and squid in the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones of the ocean, and are known to make dives at depths of nearly 200 meters.
In Captivity, Common Dolphins have successfully bred with the more popular Bottle-nosed Dolphin. The hybrid species was also able to produce offspring.
Common Dolphins face some threat by humans offshore of Peru and in the Mediterranean Sea, but they are protected in waters of Costa Rica’s national parks.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Marino Ballena National Park, Corcovado National Park, Golfo Dulce, the Papagayo Gulf, Drake Bay
Diet: herrings, anchovies, squid, sardines, octopi
Migration Pattern: various
Habitat: pelagic zone of the ocean, river mouths, estuaries, temperate, tropical
Size: length=2-2 ½ m weight=100-130 kg (males are slightly larger than females)
Species: Delphinus delphis