Rare dolphins

From: Pieter Arend Folkens (animalbytes@earthlink.net)
Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 02:31:36 EST


>What is the rarest dolphin?

It depends on if you truly mean rare, or endangered. Heaviside's
dolphin in the South Atlantic or the Chilean black dolphin (both of
the genus Cephalorhynchus) are perhaps the most rare of the dolphins.
However, these small populations may be the way it's been for
sometime.

The Beiji (Chinese river dolphin) and Vaquita (Gulf of California
porpoise) are the most endangered dolphins. I should point out that
neither of these are in the family Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins),
but they are in the superfamily Delphinoidea (all dolphins). Beiji is
in the family Lipodae and is the last remnant species of a once more
widely distributed genus. Vaquita is in the family Phocoenadae, and
is a species that was isolated in the northern Sea of Cortez as the
earth warmed beginning around 15,000 years ago.

Cheers,

Pieter Folkens

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