A Guide To 15 Different Species Of Dolphin Around The World

Dolphins are highly intelligent creatures and, despite the fact that they live in the oceans, they actually possess many similarities to us humans.

They have traits such as curiosity, sociability and they even appear to be capable of empathy.

A Guide To 15 Different Species Of Dolphin Around The World

There are many different species of dolphin all over the globe, swimming beautifully and free.

In this guide we’ll detail 15 different types of dolphin for you, so that you can find out a bit more about these wonderful creatures! 

1. Common Bottlenose Dolphin

Common Bottlenose Dolphins are probably the most well-known species of dolphin and they’re found in lots of aquariums around the world performing shows.

Naturally though, they’re found in tropical waters. They’re one of the most intelligent animals in the world and have a charming personality. 

They’re able to seek out their prey from a great distance away and communicate with their pod using echolocation.

2. Long-Beaked Common Dolphin 

There are more long beaked common dolphins in the world than any other species of dolphin, with around six million of them living in tropical or temperate water climates across the globe.

As their name suggests, they have a long beak that makes up 10 per cent of their complete body size, and they’re fairly long and slim.

3. Orca

3. Orca

Sometimes confused as being whales due to their other well-known name ‘Killer Whale’, Orcas are actually the biggest species of dolphin, measuring in at 20 to 26 feet long and weighing up to four tons. 

They’re found in all types of water, from warm to freezing cold. 

They’re fiercely intelligent and form social bonds complex enough to be compared to primates. 

4. False Killer Whale

False Killer Whales get their name due to the fact they look a lot like Orcas.

But, there’s a clear color difference between them – Orcas are black and white whilst False Killer Whales are completely dark gray. 

They’re very social and have big pods. They’re empathetic and sometimes even bring their pods together to surround species of dolphin that are smaller so they can defend them from predators.

5. Long-Finned Pilot Whale

Long-finned Pilot Whales are the second biggest species of dolphin and, like Orcas, have ‘whale’ in their name due to their large size. 

They’re also the dolphins with the longest pectoral fins and live in cold waters. 

They’re very sociable and will allow other species of dolphin into their pods. 

6. Hector’s Dolphin

Both the rarest and smallest dolphins in the world, Hector’s Dolphins can be as little as four feet and weigh below 100 pounds. 

They’re an endangered species, but their population is slowly rising and is twice as large as what it was 20 years ago. 

Their dorsal fin is round and, amusingly, in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s ear. 

7. Commerson’s Dolphin

Commerson’s Dolphins are also a small species and live off America’s southern cone, usually keeping to that area. 

They have a beautiful pattern with a completely white body and a black tail, head and dorsal fin.

These are also a particularly sociable species that have big pods and hang around with other species of dolphin.

8. Dusky Dolphin

Impressive jumpers and divers, Dusky Dolphins are considered to be the acrobats of the oceans and primarily reside in coastal areas of water. 

They’re quite small and are perhaps the most active and energetic species of dolphin around, discovering their showman-like tricks from their numerous pod members.

9. Hourglass Dolphin

9. Hourglass Dolphin

Hourglass Dolphins live off the coast of Antarctica as they prefer cold waters. They are the species of dolphin scientists know the least about due to their remote location. 

We do know, however, that they have a playful curiosity and enjoy jumping along waves made by whales and boats.

Their build is also stocky and short.

10. Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

As their name suggests, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins have little black spots all over them once they become adults. 

This species are great at holding their breath and can stay underwater for much longer than many other species of dolphin – they can hold their breaths for up to ten minutes.

The Bahamas is home to an array of fascinating wildlife including Atlantic Spotted Dolphin.

11. Irrawaddy Dolphin

Irrawaddy Dolphins are an endangered species that can reside in both freshwater and saltwater.

They mostly live in Southeast Asia and the Bay of Bengal, and often get trapped in fishing nets due to their proximity to the shoreline. 

They look a lot like a beluga whale with flat-ish noses and round dorsal fins that are quite short.

12. Peale’s Dolphin

Peale’s Dolphins reside off America’s southern cone and are a small species that used to be caught by a lot by fishermen due to their proximity to the coastline and because they only have small pods.

But, their population is rising now since it’s not common practice to catch them anymore.

13. Striped Dolphin

Striped Dolphins are very common and can live in every ocean around the world. They have black stripes on their bodies, hence their name, that also go around their eyes. 

They’re extremely energetic and fast and often hang around the surface of the ocean racing across the waves and swimming next to boats.

14. Spinner Dolphin

Another small species of dolphin, Spinner Dolphins reside in tropical waters all across the world.

They’re skilled acrobats and are known to jump high out of the water and spin around. Their thin and long bodies help them to achieve this. 

Scientists believe that their moves are to do with mating and also simply to have fun and enjoy themselves. 

15. Clymene Dolphin

Found in the Atlantic, Clymene Dolphins are small in size and like deep waters. They’re actually a crossbreed between Spinner and Striped Dolphins. 

They possess long beaks like Spinner Dolphins and also enjoy acrobatics. 

Final Thoughts

Dolphins are found all over the world and there are many different types of them. We hope this guide has helped you discover more about these 15 different species of dolphin!

Olivia Kepner