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Rough-toothed Dolphin - Steno bredanensis
Photo by FBNMS

Rough-tooth dolphins are the only long-beaked dolphins that have smoothly sloping melons (forehead). They are dark gray to black on their back with pink to white blotches on their sides extending down to a white or pinkish stomach. Their large flippers are set further back on their body than in most other cetaceans and they typically have dark patches around their eyes. Rough-tooth dolphins are very fast swimmers that usually skim the waters surface with their dorsal fin continually exposed but can stay submerged for as long as 15 minutes.

Rough-toothed Dolphin
(Steno bredanensis)

Tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide

Deep offshore water

Fish and squid


The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
Rough-toothed dolphins are often found with other dolphin species but are usually wary of divers and boats.

Learn More
- Convention on Migratory Species
- Texas A&M
- Duke University