Common Dolphins Habitat

Common Dolphins Habitat

Dolphins are good friends of humans. These mammals live in groups called pods and communicate through clicks and whistles. The dolphins are seen in both river and sea waters. The sea water dolphins are available in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean while the fresh water varieties are found in the Amazon River and its tributaries.


The common sea variety dolphins require the water to be warm, temperate as well as tropical. Their exact numbers is not ascertained. They are dispersed in different pockets in the vast expanse of the water body in the world like the Sea of Japan, Okhotsk Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.

The short-beak dolphins are seen in pockets of the Indian Ocean closer to Southeast Africa and southern part of Australia. Earlier reports of this variety being spotted in other regions of the Indian Ocean seem to be a misjudgment. The species spotted in the Indian Ocean and along the Taiwanese coast were actually the long-beak species of dolphin. Apart from these waters, reports of the presence of dolphins are also available from the northern regions, as far in to the north as British Columbia, northern Atlantic, Canada, Sable Islands and northern Norway.

The temperature of water is another determinant which gives a cue to the location of dolphins. They prefer to stay in waters which have surface temperature in the range of 10 to 20 degree Celsius. The dolphins may move beyond this range in pursuit of warm waters along the water currents. The depth of the water also is a criterion in deciding the presence of dolphins. Shallow water, with a depth above 180m are found unsuitable. Of the shores of South California, the relief at the bottom house escarpments and mounts. This forms an ideal ground for hunting preys in the night.

The dolphins found in the east tropical pacific prefer waters with a steep thermocline, such as those in subtropical or equatorial waters, waters having large variations in the surface temperatures based on the season and upwelling, which occurs seasonally.  

Studies published in 2008 suggest that the dolphins were densely populated in the middle part of Atlantic ridge in the shores south of Charlie Gibbs Fracture zone. The temperature of the water at the surface was in the range of 12 to 22 degree Celsius with high levels of salinity.

In 2003, studies revealed that dolphins inhabiting the Mediterranean were located closer to the coast.

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Common Dolphins Habitat

CMS International: Delphinus delphis