Dusky dolphin

Lagenorhynchus obscurus

Centuries ago, sailors at sea believed seeing a dolphin accompanying their ship symbolized  good luck! There are folklore stories of dolphins saving drowning sailors and other humans in trouble.

Dusky dolphin © NOAA
Dusky dolphin © NOAA

The Dusky dolphin is energetic and playful, best known for its highly acrobatic behaviours. Being a member of the Odontoceti family dolphins are carnivorous feeding on a variety of fish. More research is needed to understand Dusky dolphin movements but it is believed that they have no set migration patterns or routes. The females give birth in winter and will nurse there young in shallower waters away from known predators. They are commonly known at Gough with frequent sightings also seen accompanying ships. Dolphins communicate using echolocation (using sound not eyesight) to locate, judge or detect invisible objects helping them navigate in the dark, search for food and make sense of their surroundings.

IUCN Status – Least concern

Length – Up to 2m

Weight – Up to 90kg

Life span – 30 Years

Reproduction –  Every 2-3 years

Sightings around Tristan islands- Common all year around especially around Gough

Marine life on Tristan

The waters surrounding the Tristan islands are home to a diverse range of fish and invertebrates, including the commercially valuable crayfish.