Risso’s dolphin

Risso’s dolphin

  Risso’s dolphin (Latin name: Grampus griseus)

Distribution Map

The blue area shows where Risso’s Dolphins can be found


Species Identification

Length: 1.2-1.5m/4.0-4.9ft (newborn); 2.8-3.3 (3.8)m/9.2-10.9 (12.5)ft (adult).

Head and Beak: Risso’s dolphin has a blunt, rounded head with a slight melon and no beak.

Fin and Markings: Relatively tall, sickle-shaped fin, centrally placed. Dark grey back and flanks, lightening with age to light grey, particularly on head; many pencil-like scratches and scarsare characteristic of Risso’s dolphin.

ID: Rounded head, tall curved fin, often pale head and back with white scratches.

Status and Distribution: Risso’s dolphin is widely distributed in small number along Atlantic European seaboard from the Northern Isles south to the Iberian Peninsula and east into the Mediterranean Sea (particularly the Ligurian Sea). Rare further south in the North Sea but not uncommon in the Irish Sea. In northern coastal waters, Risso’s dolphins are recorded mainly between May and September.


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