PORT PHILLIP BAY


Burrunan Dolphin 

Tursiops australis

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Cetacea
Suborder:
Odontoceti
Family:
Delphinidae
Genus:
Tursiops
Species:
australis

General Description

Burrunan Dolphins have a distinct tri-colouration pattern, from dark grey on the upper side of the body, a paler grey midline and cream underside. The cream underside can extend over the eye, whilst the grey mid-line forms shoulder blaze (a brush-stroke pattern) below the falcate (curved) dorsal fin. They have a prominent rounded head and a short stubby nose (rostrum). Up to 2.6 m long.

Biology

Burrunan Dolphins are social and most commonly seen in pods of 2-30 animals. They were recently classified as a new species in 2011, distinct from the Bottlenose Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

Habitat

Semi-enclosed embayments, estuarine systems and recorded high up in freshwater rivers, also potentially in inshore coastal waters.

Open water

Distribution guide

Port Phillip and the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria.

Species Group

Mammals Whales and dolphins

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

2.6 m

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • CITES : Trade restrictions (Appendix II)
  • DSE Advisory List : Endangered
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Fitzgerald, E.

Dr. Erich Fitzgerald is a Senior Curator of palaeontology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Fitzgerald, E., 2011, Burrunan Dolphin, Tursiops australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 May 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/11255

Text: creative commons cc by licence