There are some 40 species in this family, from the small Hector's Dolphin to the huge Orca.
Dolphins are often acrobatic, leaping out of the water. One of the most spectacular is a temperate Australasian species called the Dusky Dolphin.
Tursiops aduncus, 'Inshore Bottlenose Dolphin', 'Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin'. This is the slimmer and more tropical of the two main Bottlenose Dolphin species. In Australia, it is more common in the tropics, but it does appear along the coast down to Shark Bay on the west coast, and extends to the south east along the east coast.
Cephalorhynchus hectori, 'Hector's Dolphin'. The smallest dolphin species in the world. Endemic to bays around the New Zealand coast.
Lagenorhynchus obscurus, 'Dusky Dolphin'.
Physeter macrocephalus, 'Sperm Whale'.
New Zealand Fur Seals often expose their flippers to the sun to warm up.
Arctocephalus forsteri, 'New Zealand Fur Sea'. Found around coast of New Zealand and southern Australia.
Back to the page on southern Australasian ocean