Hector's Dolphin is the smallest and rarest marine dolphin in the world. They are unique in their distinct black facial markings. short, stocky bodies and a dorsal fin shaped like a Mickey Mouse ear. Hector's Dolphins are found around the coastal waters of New Zealand. However, this provides a problem for them as they are often caught as a result of fishery bycatch. Other threats include being struck by boats, pollution in their habitat, coastal development, and seabed mining. All of this has led to the Hector's Dolphin having a population of only 7,000 and decreasing.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Hector's Dolphins are known to be slower at swimming than other dolphins.
- The Hector's Dolphin is the only type of dolphin known to not use whistling sounds as a form of communication. Instead, they make clicking noises.
- Hector's Dolphins can dive for up to 3 minutes at a time, but usually will only do so for about a minute and a half.
- When a pair of Hector's Dolphins is going to mate, they will engage in a series of courtship rituals, which include chasing, leaping, touching, and displaying the belly.
- Like many river dolphins, Hector's Dolphins use echolocation to find food.
- The Hector's Dolphin's scientific name is Cephalorynchus hectori.
- The IUCN has classified the Hector's Dolphin as endangered.