Probably the most abundant species of dolphin in the world, the common dolphin can vary in appearance significantly. They usually have a complex, black, saddle shape on their back, with a black beak and pectoral fins. Their sides have an hourglass pattern of yellow and light gray with white undersides. A narrow, dark stripe runs from the rostrum to the area around the eyes

They have very streamlined bodies, averaging about 2.5 meters in length. They weigh up to 110 kilograms. They travel in large pods of up to about two thousand and feed mainly on herring, sardines, anchovies and squid. They are found in warm temperate and tropical waters around the world, usually where the surface temperatures are in the range of 10 – 28C and may be seen in coastal and pelagic waters, but prefer water of more than 180 metres depth.

Common dolphins are extremely energetic and acrobatic, making frequent leaps and somersaults into the air.

There are two distinct forms of the common dolphin, a short-beaked and long-beaked form.

ACS Common Dolphin Factsheet