RISSO'S DOLPHIN

(Grampus griseus)

Identification

Size

  • to a maximum of 4 m

Colour

  • mostly grey, with white on the belly
  • dorsal and pectoral fins are dark grey
  • body is usually covered with many scars and scratches; older animals may appear completely white

Dorsal fin

  • large, dark grey dorsal fin, resembling that of a female killer whale

 

Blow

  • small and bushy

Surface behaviour

  • may porpoise, spyhop or breach

Group size / social behaviour

  • social, usually in groups of 10 – 50 animals

 

Other characteristics

  • very robust head with a prominent “melon”, contrasting with a thin tail stock

Can be confused with

  • killer whales or pilot whales (but color is very light grey; killer whales and pilot whales do not typically have a multitude of scars and scratches)

Notes

  • may bowride on vessels, although usually avoid humans.
  • have been found to depedate fish from long lines.