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Pacific White-sided Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obliquidens
Photo by Michael Richlen

The Pacific white-sided dolphin is often observed in large pods (several hundred) and generally resides in the colder waters off the Northeastern Pacific. They are also well known for their acrobatic abilities, and will readily interact with boats. Casual observers sometimes mistake this animal for the common dolphin. However, Pacific white-sided dolphins have a sloping face and a tiny snout unlike the common dolphin which has distinctly longer snout.

Pacific White-sided Dolphin
(Lagenorhynchus obliquidens)

Distribution
Nutrient rich waters off the coast of British Columbia to the tip of Baja, Mexico

Habitat
Generally deep offshore waters, and along the continental shelf

Diet
Fish, squid and occasionally octopus

Status

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

Quick Fact
Pacific white-sided dolphins are highly social and have been known to intermix with northern right whale dolphins, Dall's porpoise, Risso's, common dolphins, and even some great whales.

Learn More
- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
- Cetacea.org
- The National Marine Mammal Laboratory