| Azorean Species | Risso's dolphin - Grampus griseus - Moleiro



Scientific Name: Grampus griseus (G. Cuvier, 1812).

Common Name (UK, FR, PT, ES, DE): Risso's dolphin. Grampus. Grampo. Calderón gris. Rundkopfdelfin. (Carwardine 1995, Jefferson et al. 2015).

Short Species description: The enigmatic resident white dolphins. Belonging to the toothed cetaceans (Odontoceti) they have a robust body with large flippers. Born dark grey and turn white with the age as a result of the scars that they make to each other during interactions, and due to a sensitive skin.


Adults up to 3.8 m long and 400 kg, newborns 1.1-1.5 m long. They feed on crustaceans and cephalopods preferring squid and octopus. Longevity is at least 35 years. (Carwardine 1995, Jefferson et al. 2015).


Population status: Least concern by IUCN status. (Jefferson et al. 2015).


Occurrence in the Azores (including season): resident in the Azores.


Habitat Use: widely-distributed species, inhabiting deeper waters of the continental slope and outer shelf from tropics to temperate waters. (Jefferson et al. 2015).


Pod Size: 10-100 individuals.


Typical Behavior: Can be aggressive towards other species. Dive time up to 30 minutes. Interactions with vessels are rare. (Jefferson et al. 2015).


Notes from Our Records:

Small pods, between 4 and 20 animals. Resting, Socializing and transiting. Sometimes close to the boat.



References

Cerwardine, M. (1995). Baleias Golfinhos e Botos; O guia com imagens de todos os cetáceos do mundo. London: Bertrand Editora.


Jefferson, T.A., Webber, M.A., Pitman, R.L. (2015). Marine Mammals of the World; A Comprehensive Guide of Their Identification. 2nd edition. London: El Sevier.


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