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Pacific White-sided Dolphin - Lagenorhynchus obliquidens
Photo by Peter Pyle

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 tiny rostrum unlike the common dolphin which has distinctly longer rostrum (snout).

Pacific White-sided Dolphin
(Lagenorhynchus obliquidens)

In the nutrient rich waters off the coast of British Columbia to the tip of Baja, Mexico

Generally deep offshore waters, and along the continental shelf

Fish, squid, and occasionally octopus


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 dolphins, common dolphins, and even some great whales.

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