Oceanic dolphins (Delphinidae) are well-known due to its prominent member, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), which featured in the 60s’ TV-show, Flipper. Actually, this group is very diverse and contains species like the Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis) as well as the killer whale (Orcinus orca) – the largest and probably most popular member among wildlife tourists. The award ‘best acrobats’ goes to species like spinner (Stenella longirostris) and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus), which show an active surface behaviour. Monodontidae come with a very special appearance. The narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is the ocean’s unicorn, whereas the beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) amazes with its colour and its melodic songs.
The small and shy guys are part of the Phocoenidae (porpoises). Common species are the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), most impressive, spectacled (Phocoena dioptrica) with a big, round dorsal fin, and Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) with its massive body.
River dolphins are also part of tourist activities and comprise species like Amazon River dolphins, or boto (Inia geoffrensis) and Ganges River dolphins (Platanista gangetica), whose habitats are riverine systems in South America and South Asia, respectively.