The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
HOURGLASS DOLPHIN Lagenorhynchus cruciger

HOURGLASS DOLPHIN Lagenorhynchus cruciger

Hourglass dolphins are small and very likely circumpolar in pelagic waters of the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic zones and as far north as the southern subtropical convergence. Its range is centred in offshore waters between 45°S and 60°S.

Hourglass dolphins have a robust body and a bold black and white appearance, the pattern distinctive by its large white patch on the sides which narrows in the middle to give it the apparent 'hourglass' shape. Its black and white colour sometimes led to it being called 'sea cow'. Early American sealers referred to it as 'sea-skunk', probably the most accurate description. The dorsal fin is large and set mid-back. Males are at least 1.87m long and females 1.83m.

Like all dolphins it uses echolocation to find food taking small fish, squid and crustaceans.

During surveys in Falklands waters Hourglass dolphins were frequently recorded, particularly from September to March (summer months) in water deeper than 200m on continental slopes and oceanic waters. They were either alone or in pods of up to 50 animals.

The Falkland Islands Marine Mammals Ordinance 1992 protects all marine mammals in all waters, from the coast to the edge of the economic exclusion zone.







Sources include: Sea Mammals of the World-Randall R. Reeves, Brent S. Steware, Phillip J Clapham, James A Powell,Falkland Islands State of the Environment Report 2008 Otley H, Munro G, Clausen A, Ingham B. Wikipedia, Falklands Conservation
Photographic credits: Angela N Perryman/
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