Pacific White-Sided Dolphins in Santa Monica Bay

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This afternoon I went out on the Voyager out of Redondo Sportfishing and got to check another species off my list.

Pictured above is a Pacific White Sided Dolphin. It’s not that they’re a particularly rare dolphin, I just hadn’t seen them before. They’re actually very common up the coast a bit, if you’ve been out boating in Monterey Bay you’ve probably seen them.

(A crappier picture and info about these dolphins after the jump.)

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These fun little dolphins are often mistaken for small Killer Whales because of their black and white markings. However, upon closer view, the Pacific White-Sided’s falcate (hooked) dorsal fin is unmistakable. They’re 7 to 8 feet long and have no beak like most other dolphins.

The bunch of about 20 individuals we came upon were probably feeding, as they were milling in the same area, diving together and coming up together.

Read more about them at the American Cetacean Society website and Wikipedia.