Life of Sea | Atlantic White Sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) | Atlantic white sided dolphin is a strikingly colored dolphin found in the cool to temperate waters of the North Atlantic. Atlantic
white-sided dolphins are found in temperate and subarctic waters of the
North Atlantic from southern Greenland to Massachusetts and to the
British Isles to western Norway. Some have been spotted in the remote south of the Barents, Baltic Sea, the Azores and the Adriatic externally. Atlantic white sided dolphins inhabit open water which is typical in depth over
continental shelf and is rarely seen from the side. This species is usually found in waters with low salinity and season they migrate along continental slopes.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Subclass: Eutheria Order: Cetacea Suborder: Odontoceti Family: Delphinidae Genus: Lagenorhynchus Species: L. acutus
Atlantic white sided dolphins get their name from the Greek lagenos, which
means bottle, rhynchus which means snout or nose, and from the Latin
acutus, meaning sharp or pointed and refers to their sharply pointed
dorsal fins. The dolphin is slightly larger than most other oceanic dolphins. The
main distinguishing characteristic is the white to pale yellow spot is
located behind the dorsal fin of the dolphin on each side. This
variation in color on the Atlantic white sided dolphin is unique among
the mixtures of white, gray and blue of other pelagic cetaceans. The
rest of the color of the body is well defined the chin, throat and
belly are white, the flippers, dorsal fin and back are dark gray to
black, with the exception of the macula, there is still a white spot
below the dorsal fin, are above a light gray stripe that runs from the beak, above the eye and down to the tail stock.
Atlantic white sided dolphin
group size vary by location, with groups of about 60 in number near the
coast of Newfoundland, but rather smaller east of Iceland. The
analysis of stomach contents of stranded animals, fish such as herring
and mackerel and squid seem to species' main diet may be. The Atlantic white sided dolphin is fairly acrobatic and keen to
communicate with boats, but it is not as wildly gregarious as the
White-beaked dolphin and common dolphin. Atlantic white sided dolphin feed on shrimp, smelt, hake, squid and herring. Their major predators are orcas and sharks.
The species is endemic in the North Atlantic. In the past, Atlantic white sided dolphins were slain in drives conducted from Norway and Newfoundland. These
have ceased in recent years, though they still occur to a lesser extent
the Faroe Islands, where the meat and blubber are held in high esteem
as food. Exact data on the population of Atlantic white sided dolphin is not available, but the species is considered abundant. Their main threats, in addition to natural predation external, are ocean pollution and entanglement in fishing nets.