COMMON DOLPHINS Scientific Name: Delphinus delphis Size: up to 8' Weight: approximately 300lb Status: Unknown
The name “Common Dolphin” may trick you into thinking we commonly see this species, but this simply is not the case. In my 18 years of whale watching I’ve only seen these dolphins twice and both sightings occurred in 2017 on Stellwagen Bank. This is a species that’s generally found further offshore, but they do occasionally venture onto Stellwagen Bank to say hello. It’s really just a matter of luck in being on the right boat at the right time to see them.
These dolphins are really beautiful. They’re grey in color with an hourglass shape made up of different shades of grey and brown patches on the sides of their bodies. Their beaks (snouts) are longer than the Atlantic White Sided Dolphins which along with their coloration makes them pretty easy to distinguish from one another.
Much like other dolphin species, these guys are energetic and charismatic. They can often times be seen riding the wakes of boats, leaping completely out of the water, and darting back and forth under the boat. The thing that struck me the most about this species is their speed. During my first sighting I was up on the bow and after watching them for several minutes it was announced that we were going to pick up speed and go for a ride to see what else we could find. As we traveled along I was amazed that the dolphins were keeping right up with us and crisscrossing under my feet.
"We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? - a world without whales. It's too terrible to imagine." ~ Pierce Brosnan