January 02, 2019
A LARGE AND DISTINCTIVE DOLPHIN
The Risso's Dolphin is considered one of the most mysterious cetaceans.
The Risso's Dolphin is easy to spot in the waters of Haida Gwaii due to its considerable size (up to 4 metres/13 feet in length), unique grey coloration and distinct white markings. These markings are in fact scars and scratches from prey and other whales. Mature dolphins tend to be lighter in color due to the heavier white scarring.
Unlike other toothed whales, Risso's possess no teeth in their upper jaw and only a few pairs lower. They feed primarily on squid, which are swallowed whole. The pods typically travel and hunt in groups of 10 - 50 animals.
While Risso's Dolphins have long been considered rare, this is thought to be due to their preference for living out their lives far offshore. The west side of Haida Gwaii is one of few places where they can be spotted on the coast almost regularly over the summer season.
Be sure to pack your binoculars for your stay at Ocean House. With any luck you will catch a glimpse of these fascinating and elusive creatures.