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Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis)

Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis)

All text on this page is copyright protected: © 2014 Kelvin Aitken.
All rights reserved. Students may use this information for personal research only. Not for commercial use.

Order: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Steno
Species: bredanensis
Taxonomic name: Steno bredanensis

The Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) can be found in tropical to warm temperate waters with a temperature above 24 degrees Celsius in all oceans.

Rough-toothed Dolphins are almost always found in deep oceanic waters, only rarely coming into shallow waters and only then under duress or when the shallow areas are close to a deep reef drop-off. They are usually found in small groups up to 50 but may also occur in much larger pods on occasion.

Rough-toothed Dolphins are distinguished from other dolphin species by their head, snout and colour pattern. Unlike other similar dolphins the Rough-tooth Dolphin does not have a clear distinction between the forehead or melon but instead the long slender beak seamlessly extends from the forehead or melon. They also have a distinctive colour pattern being dark gray to black on the back with pink to white spots and blotches on the flanks extending down to a white or pinkish belly. The lips and lower jaw are white or pale gray though sometimes this colour may be dark but with white spots or marks. Flukes and flippers are dark and usually the eye is surrounded by a dark dusky ring.

Rough-toothed Dolphins are often found among or with other dolphin or toothed whale species and are usually wary of divers and boats. They feed on small fish, squid and pelagic octopus. At times they have been seen to swim "skimming" the surface with snout just under the surface and the dorsal fin continually exposed.

The Rough-toothed Dolphin can be found in all oceans but is not as common as other species such as spotted or bottlenose dolphins.

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