The striped dolphin is a carnivorous animal that feeds mainly on a variety of small fish, measuring 6 to 30 cm in length, squid and some crustaceans. The population of the Mediterranean Sea prefers small fish and cephalopods. The striped dolphin has an opportunistic feeding style and can look for its prey in any area of the water column. If necessary, it submerges to depths of 200 to 700 meters.
The striped dolphin groups in pods of 10 to 100 individuals organized by age, gender and reproduction status. It is a very active, energetic and extremely agile dolphin, frequently breaching up to 5 to 7 m high. A unique behaviour is called “roto-tailing”, a high arcing leap while vigorously whipping the tail in a circle before entering the water. Its communication is similar to the one of other dolphins, based on the emission of clicks, squeals, and whistles.
Lifespan and reproduction
The lifespan of striped dolphins is over 50 years. Males become sexually mature at the age between 7 and 15 years, while females reach sexual maturity at 5 to 13 years. In other parts of the world, these animals usually mate in winter and summer months. Meanwhile, those in the Mediterranean region tend to mate in autumn. Females give birth approximately every 3 years and the gestation lasts 12-13 months.