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An adult Commerson's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) bow-riding off Carcass Island in the Falkland Islands, South Atlantic Ocean. This species is one of four dolphins in the Cephalorhynchus genus. The species has also the common names Skunk Dolphin and Piebald Dolphin. This dolphin is named for Philibert Commerson, who first described them in 1767 after he sighted them in the Strait of Magellan. Commerson's Dolphin has a very distinctive patterning. It has a black head, dorsal fin, and fluke, with a white throat and body. The demarcation between the two colors is very clear-cut. This stocky creature is one of the smallest of all cetaceans growing to around 1.5 m (5 ft). A mature female caught off of south Patagonia, at 23 kg (51 lb) and 1.36 m (4.5 ft), may be the smallest adult cetacean on record. Its appearance resembles that of a porpoise, but its conspicuous behaviour is typical of a dolphin. The dorsal fin has a long, straight leading edge which ends in a curved tip. The trailing is typically concave but not falcate. The fluke has a notch in the middle. This dolphin has no rostrum. Sexes are easily distinguished by the different shape of the black blotch on the belly - it is shaped like a teardrop in males but is more rounded in females. Females reach breeding age at six to nine years. Males reach sexual maturation at about the same age. Mating occurs in the spring and summer and calving occurs after a gestation period of 11 months. The oldest known Commerson's Dolphin died at age 18. The species is distributed in two locations. The larger population is found inshore in various inlets in Argentina, in the Strait of Magellan and near the Falkland Islands. The second population (discovered in the 1950s) resides near the Kerguelen Islands, 8,000 km to the east of their nearest special cousins. They prefer shallow waters. Global populations are unknown, but the species is accepted to be locally common. A survey in 1984 estimated there to be 3,400 individuals
979-3908 - An adult Commerson's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) bow-riding off Carcass Island in the Falkland Islands, South Atlantic Ocean. This species is one of four dolphins in the Cephalorhynchus genus. The species has also the common names Skunk Dolphin and Piebald Dolphin. This dolphin is named for Philibert Commerson, who first described them in 1767 after he sighted them in the Strait of Magellan. Commerson's Dolphin has a very distinctive patterning. It has a black head, dorsal fin, and fluke, with a white throat and body. The demarcation between the two colors is very clear-cut. This stocky creature is one of the smallest of all cetaceans growing to around 1.5 m (5 ft). A mature female caught off of south Patagonia, at 23 kg (51 lb) and 1.36 m (4.5 ft), may be the smallest adult cetacean on record. Its appearance resembles that of a porpoise, but its conspicuous behaviour is typical of a dolphin. The dorsal fin has a long, straight leading edge which ends in a curved tip. The trailing is typically concave but not falcate. The fluke has a notch in the middle. This dolphin has no rostrum. Sexes are easily distinguished by the different shape of the black blotch on the belly - it is shaped like a teardrop in males but is more rounded in females. Females reach breeding age at six to nine years. Males reach sexual maturation at about the same age. Mating occurs in the spring and summer and calving occurs after a gestation period of 11 months. The oldest known Commerson's Dolphin died at age 18. The species is distributed in two locations. The larger population is found inshore in various inlets in Argentina, in the Strait of Magellan and near the Falkland Islands. The second population (discovered in the 1950s) resides near the Kerguelen Islands, 8,000 km to the east of their nearest special cousins. They prefer shallow waters. Global populations are unknown, but the species is accepted to be locally common. A survey in 1984 estimated there to be 3,400 individuals
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