The Fraser’s dolphin is also well known as the Sarawak dolphin in some areas. This is a very large sized species that can be up to 8 ½ feet in length when they are fully mature. However, they don’t weigh very much – 200 to 300 pounds so they are stout but still agile enough to easily move through the water.
The coloring of the Fraser’s dolphin ranges from dark gray, dark black, or dark blue. They are very beautiful creatures. They don’t have a different color on their belly like most species of dolphins do. They also have a band of black around their eyes that is quite similar to that of the beloved raccoon.
These dolphins live in a variety of locations but they are only found in the oceans. They are known to reside in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean areas. They have also been seen in the areas of France and Uruguay. The Gulf of Mexico is another common location for them. It is believed that there are other places out there where they exist that we just haven’t identified yet.
It really isn’t known how many of them are out there. There are more and more sightings of them though which could indicate that the numbers aren’t nearly as low as originally thought. There is believed to be about 290,000 of them though. They tend to live in water that is more than 3,300 feet deep. Therefore it is harder to find them and to count them in their natural environment.
You will find the Fraser’s dolphins in groups from 100 to 1,000. They always swim very closely together. These are very fast swimmers and then tend to engage in that behavior throughout the day. They are believed to be among the most aggressive of all species of dolphins. They won’t attack humans but they stand their ground against each other as well as enemies.
Diet and Feeding
These dolphins feed on a variety of common foods. They including squid, small fish, and shrimp. They tend to feed well below the surface of the water. Therefore they rely upon vibrations of their prey to help them find them. They are great hunters and do so in groups. This allows them to circle entire schools of fish. It is common for them to dive about 2,000 feet for food.
Mating takes place in the spring, with the pups being born the following spring. It takes just over 12 months for the process to be completed. Males are ready to mate about 10 years of age and it is about 8 years of age for the females.
There aren’t any specific conservation efforts out there concerning this species of dolphin. There isn’t enough evidence to verify that there is a decrease in the numbers of them. Since that can’t be verified, it is harder to get government involvement in protecting them. It isn’t believed that they are vulnerable or endangered at this time.
Many of the Fraser’s dolphins are illegally killed for their meat by those that feel these creatures stop them from making enough money with their commercial fishing business. They are often caught in fishing nets in the areas of Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Both of these areas are huge industries for tuna catches. They can live in the wild for approximately 18 years.
There is still a great deal that we don’t know about the Fraser’s dolphins. They weren’t identified as an independent species until the 1950’s. There is plenty of research that still needs to be done in order to successfully learn about these creatures in depth.