The 14th of April means, I finally get to say: Happy National Dolphin Day! Did you know that IUCN lists 39 different species of Dolphin? This includes the 37 members of the Delphinidae family (Oceanic Dolphins) as well as the Iniidae and Plantanistidae family, which contain two species of River Dolphin.
Celebrating National Dolphin Day
The Dolphin family is a pretty big family that started millions of years ago. I have such huge respect for Dolphins! The book Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey inspired one of the very first Pigments by Liv animal collections. It’s crazy to think just how intelligent these mammals are.
I just didn’t realise how far and wide the Dolphin family goes. According to my Sea Watch Members Magazine five different species of Dolphin were spotted in UK waters in February 2021. So, I thought for National Dolphin Day we’d get to know a few of them together.
5 unique species of dolphin to celebrate on national dolphin day
1. Orca (Orcinus orca)
NATIONAL DOLPHIN DAY SALE
2. Atlantic Humpback Dolphin (Sousa teuszii)
Out of nearly 40 species of Dolphin, only one species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN red list – the Atlantic Humpback Dolphin. Characterised by its distinctive hump, this dolphin is found inland on the west coast of Africa.
According to the WDC, it’s preference for staying close to shore and their distinctive hump is the Atlantic Humpback Dolphin’s downfall as it makes them an easy target for hunters. It’s estimated that only 1500 individuals are left in the wild, these beautiful creatures could be the first species of Dolphin hunted to extinction.
3. Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)
I think it’s time for a new iconic pink animal species. Move over flamingos, it’s time to shine for the pink Amazon River Dolphin! Although we’re not entirely sure why these dolphins are pink. Some suggest it’s to blend in with the red mud, others say it’s a result of scar tissue from previous fights.
4. Hourglass Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus cruciger)
However, when I clicked on the IUCN page to find out more, it literally came up with nothing! Except that it’s found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean but luckily it’s categorized as “Least Concern” on the red list. Having done a bit more digging, it turns out these dolphins are smaller than most, super playful and in 17% of sightings they are spotted travelling with whales. But nobody really knows why!
5. Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris)
According to the WDC, these adorable dolphins are said to look like baby Beluga whales, although, they are nothing alike! However, they are super charismatic and expressive and spit spouts of water out of their mouth when socializing and fishing.
They’re found in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and the Bay of Bengal. Some people estimate that only 92 individuals are left in the wild, but we don’t really know. We do, however, know they are endangered, and their population is decreasing.
When I came across this species whilst writing this blog post, I couldn’t work out why their name sounded so familiar to me. Turns out, this is the species Piya goes to study in India in the book “The Hungry Tide” – one of my top recommended fictional reads for conservationists.
So there you have it! Five species of dolphin to help you celebrate National Dolphin Day. If you’d like to find out more about Dolphins I would 100% recommend reading Susan Casey’s Voices in the Ocean. It’s such a good insight into the reality dolphins have faced throughout history.
Remember to grab your Pigments by Liv Orca goodies today to get 10% off!