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Risso's Dolphin[1]
Size comparison against an average human
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Eutheria
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Grampus
Species: G. griseus
Binomial name
Grampus griseus
(G. Cuvier, 1812)
Risso's Dolphin range

Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) is the only species of dolphin in the genus Grampus.

Contents

Taxonomy

Risso's dolphin was first described by Cuvier in 1812. The species' common name is from Antoine Risso, who described a specimen to Cuvier on which Cuvier made his first description. Another common name for the Risso's dolphin is the grampus (also the species genus), although as a common name this was historically used for the orca. The etymology of the word grampus is unclear. It may be an aglomeration of the Latin grandis piscis or French grand poisson both meaning big fish. The specific epithet griseus refers to the mottled (almost scarred) grey colour of the dolphin's body.

Length is typically 10 feet (3 m), although animals have been recorded up to 12.5 feet (3.8 m). Like most dolphins, males are typically slightly larger than females. This species weighs 300-500 kg (660-1100 lbs), making it the largest species called "dolphin", since orcas, pilot whales, etc., while actually dolphins, have no common name referring to them as such.[3][4]

Population and distribution

It is found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters, usually in deep waters rather than close to land. As well as the tropical parts of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Rissos are also found in the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean and Red Seas, though are absent from the Black Sea. Their preferred environment is just off the continental shelf on steep banks (with water depths varying from 400-1000m) with water temperature at least 10°C and preferably in excess of 15°C.

The population around the continental shelf of the United States has been recorded to be in excess of 60,000. In the Pacific a census recorded 175,000 individuals in eastern tropical waters and 85,000 in the west. No global estimate of population exists.

Human interaction

Risso's dolphins generally do not approach boats. A notable exception was an individual named Pelorus Jack who accompanied boats in Admiralty Bay in New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds for more than 20 years. Whaling of this species has never been particularly widespread, though operations off Sri Lanka may be significantly damaging the local population. Globally the species is recognised as abundant and safe.

Risso's have been taken into capitivity successfully in the United States and Japan, though with nowhere near the regularity of bottlenose dolphins or orca. Hybrid Risso's-bottlenose dolphins have been bred in captivity.

Strandings

At least one case report of strandings in the Goto Islands (Japan) has been associated with parasitic neuropathy of the VIIIth cranial nerve by a trematode in the genus Nasitrema . (See Morimitsu et al. 1992. J Wildl Dis 28:656-658).

There is a dolphin stranded in the River Clyde Glasgow, Scotland. Marine experts believe the dolphin was hit by seacraft out on the Clyde coast which distressed the animal causing it to swim up the Clyde to the Finnieston area of Glasgow.

References

  1. ^ Mead, James G. and Robert L. Brownell, Jr (November 16, 2005). Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds). ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd edition ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 723–743. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=14300098.  
  2. ^ Taylor, B.L., Baird, R., Barlow, J., Dawson, S.M., Ford, J., Mead, J.G., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Wade, P. & Pitman, R.L. (2008). Grampus griseus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 7 October 2008.
  3. ^ American Cetacean Society Fact Sheet - Risso's Dolphin
  4. ^ http://www.whale-web.com/dolphins/risso.html

External links

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Simple English

Risso's Dolphin
File:Risso'

File:Risso's dolphin

Size difference between a Risso's Dolphin and a person.
Conservation status
Data deficient (IUCN)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Eutheria
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Family: Delphinidae
Genus: Grampus
Species: G. griseus
Binomial name
Grampus griseus
(G. Cuvier, 1812)

The Risso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus) is the only species of dolphin in the genus Grampus.

Look up Grampus griseus in Wikispecies, a directory of species

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