Ege University

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Short beaked common dolphin

Ege University’s mascot “Short-Beaked Common Dolphin” is a common sight in İzmir and Aegean region. Short-beaked common dolphins “Delphinus delphis are energetic, boisterous animals often seen breaking the water's surface at high speed and frequently bow-riding in front of large vessels.

The short-beaked common dolphin has very distinctive colouring, forming an infinity pattern on its side. A yellow panel runs down the front half of both sides, separated from the grey stripe in the rear by a cape of black that forms a saddle just below the dorsal fin. Most individuals have a prominent white patch on the dorsal fin, one characteristic that distinguishes them from the long-beaked common dolphin. The short-beaked common dolphin also has a more spectacled appearance with a patch around the eye.

Short-beaked common dolphins typically travel in large social groups numbering between 10 and 50 animals, and occasionally, thousands of individuals. They are very acrobatic and can often be seen breaching and somersaulting through the air. Entire pods will bow-ride large ships and they are often seen with other marine mammals and feeding seabirds.

The short-beaked common dolphin is found in most tropical and temperate areas of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, although it has declined in some areas recently. The cause of the decline is bycatch in illegal driftnets, prey depletion from overfishing, chemical pollution and habitat degradation. In 2008, the IUCN classified the short-beaked common dolphin’s Mediterranean population as Endangered and the Black Sea population as Vulnerable.