Northern right whale dolphins hitch lifts from whales

This bizarre dolphin has no dorsal fin and lives in the north Pacific ocean. It has a distinctive white big on its chin and chest, over 100 sharp teeth and grow to three metres (10 feet) long. Groups of these dolphins are made up of 200-300 animals, but can reach up to 3000 dolphins swimming and leaping at their top speed of 40 milometres (25 miles) per hour.

One of the most amazing thing about these little-known dolphins is the way they interact with other species. Northern right whale dolphins associate with 14 other species, most notably swimming with groups of both Risso’s dolphins and Pacific white-sided dolphins. It seems that these dolphins not only understand each other to a certain extent, but they benefit from forming mixed groups.

Northern right whale dolphins are also keen bow-riders, but it isn’t boats that they follow. These clever mammals follow big baleen whales and ride in the slip-stream they create!


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