Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

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Family DELPHINIDAE


Compiler and date details

December 2010 - Updated by Stephen M. Jackson, c/- Queensland Museum, Brisbane, following Van Dyck & Strahan (2008)

31 December 1998 - J.L. Bannister (1988); updated by Barry J. Richardson (1999), Centre for Biostructural and Biomolecular Research, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury

Introduction

Nineteen delphinid species have been recorded from Australian waters. Dolphins tend to be gregarious, are most common in warmer waters and may be oceanic, lentic, estuarine or enter freshwater.

Externally, there is usually a prominent dorsal fin and a well-defined median notch in the hind border of the tailflukes. Where sexual dimorphism occurs, the male is larger. The rostrum of the skull is as long or longer than the cranium, the number of teeth varies widely, but teeth are always present in both upper and lower jaws and from two to seven cervical vertebrae may be fused.

The diet is mainly fish or cephalopods.

 

General References

Baker, A.N. 1983. Whales and Dolphins of New Zealand and Australia. Wellington : Victoria University Press 133 pp.

Bannister, J.L., Kemper, C.M. & Warneke, R.M. 1996. The Action Plan for Australian Cetaceans. Canberra : Australian Nature Conservation Agency 242 pp.

Bryden, M.M. 1989. Delphinidae. pp. 970-978 in Walton, D.W. & Richardson, B.J. (eds). Fauna of Australia. Mammalia. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 1B 827 pp.

 

History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Dec-2010 16-Dec-2010 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)