T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Dolphin (Hourglass) Lagenorhynchus cruciger

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Lagenorhynchus
Species: L. cruciger
Binomial name: Lagenorhynchus cruciger
Common name: Hourglass dolphin  

The hourglass dolphin (Lagenorhynchus cruciger) is a small dolphin in the family Delphinidae that inhabits Antarctic and subantarctic waters. This range is circumpolar from close to the Antarctic ice pack to about 45°S. It is rarely seen in New Zealand’s waters. 

Lagenorhynchus cruciger has a small short stocky body and is called an hourglass dolphin due to the distinctive black and white pattern on its flanks. It has a tall hooked dorsal fin. The flippers are long and curved with pointed tips and the flukes are notched with concave trailing edges. The beak is short and stubby and black in colour, extending into a black forehead and back. The dorsal fin, flippers, and flukes are all black as well. There is a white stripe along each side which narrows under the dorsal fin creating an hourglass pattern. There is another black stripe below the hourglass, and the underside of the body is white. 
Hourglass dolphins can swim at speeds up to 22km/h. 
They feed on small fish (including myctophids), squids, and crustaceans. They often feed in aggregations of seabirds and in plankton swarms.



A diagram showing the size of an Hourglass dolphin compared with a human.


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/