vertebrates text index | photo index
Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > Class Mammalia
Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphin
Sousa chinensis
Family Delphinidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? These marvellous creatures are still regularly sighted in the waters of our Southern Islands. According to Davison, these dolphins have been observed among our Southern Islands in the Singapore Straits, as well as near our northern shores in the Johor Straits. Globally, they are found in Africa, Asia and Australia, in seas, estuaries and river mouths. They have been seen in freshwater and upstream in large rivers.

Features: Head and body length 120-280cm, up to about 140kg. Long narrow jaws filled with teeth, broad tail flukes (45cm), with a dorsal fisn (15cm tall) and pectoral fins (30cm). Colours may be brown, grey, black above and paler beneath. Some may be whitish, speckled or freckled. They are sometimes also called Pink dolphins.

What does it eat? Feeds mainly on fish, as well as cephalopods (octopus, squid and cuttlefish).

Dolphin babies: Baby dolphins are about 100cm long at birth and suckle on their mother's milk for about two years.

Status and threats: This dolphin is listed as 'Endangered' in the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. Like many other marine mammals, these dolphins are threatened by drowning in fishing lines and fishing nets. They are also affected by pollution and loss of feeding habitats due to reclamation, coastal development and human activities on our coasts and seas.

Off Pulau Semakau, Jun 09
Photos by Karenne Tun shared
on Neo Mei Lin's blog.

Off Sisters Islands, May 07
Photo shared by CK Tan on the habitatnews flickr

Singapore wild marine mammal survey (marine mammal identification sheet) from Ria Tan

videoclips of dolphins on Singapore shores


Past sightings of dolphins in Singapore: newspapers

Past sightings of dolphins in Singapore: social media


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