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Rough-Toothed Dolphins

Rough-Toothed Dolphin

The Rough-Toothed Dolphins is species of dolphin that can be found in deep warm and tropical waters around the world.

The species was first described by Georges Cuvier in 1823. The genus name Steno, of which this species is the only member, comes from the Greek for 'narrow', referring to the animal's beak - which is a diagnostic characteristic of the species. The specific name honours van Breda, who studied Cuvier's writings. There are no recognised subspecies.

Physical Description Edit

The rough-toothed dolphin is a relatively large species, with adults ranging from 209 to 283 centimetres (6.9 to 9.3 ft) in length, and weighing between 90 and 155 kilograms (200 and 340 lb); males are larger than females. Its most visible characteristic feature is its conical head and slender nose; other dolphins either have a shorter snout or a more visibly bulging melon on the forehead. As the common name for the species implies, the teeth are also distinctive, having a roughened surface formed by numerous narrow irregular ridges. They have been reported to have between nineteen and twenty-eight teeth in each quarter of the jaw.

The flippers are set back further along the body than in other similar dolphins, although, at sea this dolphin may be confused with spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins. The dorsal fin is pronounced, being from 18 to 28 centimetres (7.1 to 11 in) in height. The animal's flanks are a light gray, while the back and dorsal fin are a much darker gray. Older individuals often have distinctive pinkish, yellow, or white markings around the mouth and along the underside.

Behavior Edit

Rough-toothed dolphins are typically social animals, although solitary individuals are also sighted. An average group has between ten and twenty members, but they can vary from as few as two to as many as ninety. Such groups are thought to be temporary assemblages, composed of smaller, more permanent groups of two to eight closely related individuals that occasionally join together with others. They have also been reported to school together with other species of dolphin, and with pilot whales, false killer whales, and humpback whales.

Food Edit

Although details of their diet are sketchy, the stomach contents of stranded dolphins have included such fish such as silversides,sauries, houndfish, smelts, cutlassfish, and various squid and octopuses. Predators on rough-toothed dolphins are thought to includekiller whales and sharks.

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