Facts about Māui and Hector's Dolphins


Scientific name: Cephalorhynchus hectori/māui
Family: Delphinidae
Range: New Zealand waters
Habitat: Shallow coastal and estuarine waters
Status: Endangered
Population: Fewer than 5,000
Diet: Small fish, squid, and bottom-living invertebrates
Length: 1.2 - 1.5 m; females slightly larger than males
Weight: 35 - 60 kg


Flukes: Flukes have concave trailing edges and a slight notch in the middle. Dark above and below.
Dorsal fin: Very distinctive dark, rounded dorsal fin in the middle of the back.
Flippers: Flippers are black or dark gray and have rounded tips.
Shape of head: Blunt head with a black, non-protruding beak.  The threat is white and the forehead is gray. A dark band extends from the mouth and eye region to the flipper.
Body: The upper body is mainly light gray.  The underside is white with a dark boarder.  A white region extends into the lower flank and points toward the tail.
Group size: Usually in groups of 2-8, with up to 50 on occasion.
Behaviour: May bow-ride or wake-ride slow-moving vessels. Sometimes playful and acrobatic.  May leap high, breach, or swim upside down.  Rarely dives for more than 90 seconds.
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