With their elegantly "painted" face masks and delicate features, striped dolphins were appreciated for their beauty by ancient Greeks. They appear on classical frescoes looking much as they do today swimming through the Mediterranean Sea. Because of the large size of their herds as well as their acrobatic behavior, they are easy to identify when they move through an area.

Despite their beauty, striped dolphins have been killed in large numbers in recent years. Among the agents of death are: viruses and possibly pollution in the Mediterranean; nets used to catch fish in the tropical Pacific; and dolphin hunting around Japan. Striped dolphins are still considered common throughout their range, but more research is needed.

In the Pacific, striped dolphins form five kinds of schools, or groups: adult breeding; adult nonbreeding; mixed breeding; mixed nonbreeding; and juvenile. The schools are constantly changing. In the adult breeding school, males often leave after mating. It then becomes an adult nonbreeding school. When calves are born, it turns into a mixed nonbreeding school. One to two years after weaning, calves form juvenile schools. As juveniles reach sexual maturity, first females, then males are accepted into adult breeding or nonbreeding schools.

Stenella coeruleoalba
Size: 2.1 to 2.4 m, 100 kg. Males slightly larger than females
Calves at birth: 100 cm
Teeth: 45 to 50 slightly in-curved teeth on each side of upper and lower jaws
Food: Fish (various cod) and squid
Habitat: Mainly offshore
Range: Tropical, subtropical and warm temperate world ocean
Status: Population unknown, but common throughout the range

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