Tofino Wildlife Vol. 8 The Dolphin

Over the coming weeks West Coast Aquatic Safaris will present a compilation of information on the wildlife of the Pacific Rim as well as some of the flora and fauna. Today we will begin a look at the Dolphin.

Only found in the northern Pacific Ocean, the Pacific White-sided Dolphin measures up to 8ft in length weighing up to 400lbs. These social creatures are usually seen in groups of 10-50 and will often communicate with other marine mammals. Pacific White-sided Dolphins feed in groups to better herd the fish. They also eat squid, hake, and anchovies.

These amazing creatures have very acute senses, they can feel subtle changes in the pressure of the water are them. When approached outside of its field of vision, the dolphin can detect the animals presence from a pressure wave the creature displaces. Often confused for dolphins is the Harbour Porpoise. Harbour porpoise can weigh up to 150lbs and can grow to be up to 6.5ft long, these creatures are the smallest porpoise in the Pacific Northwest. Harbour porpoise are nicknamed puffing porpoise because of the noise it makes when breaking the surface, sounding similar to a sneezing sound. Often found in groups of 2-5, however sometimes found in larger groups for feeding.  Porpoise eat small schooling fish including anchovies and herring and rarely venture to water deeper than 200m.

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