FRASER’S DOLPHIN (Lagenodelphis hosei)
Also called the Sarawak dolphin, it was first descfribed from a skull in the British Museum dating back to 1895, but not examined properly until 1956, by Francis Fraser (hence the name). Concluding that it was a new genus, it remained unseen in the wild until1971, when a body washed up in the eastern Pacific.
Quite a large animal, and a stocky one, Fraser’s Dolphin grows up to 2.75 metres in length, weighing in around 200 kg. They differ from other dolphins by having relatively small flippers and fins, as well as the beak. A cream coloured line runs along the side, under which is a darker one. They are grey above, and much lighter below.
Swimming in groups of 100 to 1,000 individuals, it’s said to be an impressive sight to behold. Less impressive is the wedding tackle, reputedly the smallest of any open sea dolphin. They feed by echolocation around 200 metres deep, hunting fish, shrimp and squid. They range from the Gulf of Mexico, to the Eastern pacific, although are less common in the Atlantic. The Philippines are home to some of the largest populations in the world.