Dolphin Species

For a comprehensive taxonomic listing of all cetacean families, genera, subgenera, species and subspecies, including junior synonyms, unjustified emendations, suppressed names, misspellings and other non-operative names, please visit the World Cetacea Database at

Oh, and don’t forget to check out DCP’s Dolphin Species Song.

Oceanic dolphins are the members of the Delphinidae family of the sub-order Odontoceti of Cetaceaans. As the name implies, these dolphins tend to be found in the open seas, unlike the river dolphins, although a few species such as the Irrawaddy Dolphin are coastal or riverine.

Six of the larger species in the Delphinidae, the Pilot whales, and the Orca and its relatives, are commonly called whales, rather than dolphins. They are also sometimes collectively known as “blackfish“.

The Delphinidae vary in size from 1.2 metres and 40 kg (Heaviside’s Dolphin), up to 7 meters and 4.5 tonnes (the Orca). Most species weigh between about 50 and about 200 kg. They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and all are carnivores, mostly taking fish and squid.


River dolphins are four species of dolphin which reside in freshwater rivers and estuaries. They are classed in the Platanistoidea superfamily of the Odontoceti sub-order of Cetacea. Three species live in fresh water rivers. The fourth species, the La Plata Dolphin, lives in saltwater estuaries and the ocean. However it is scientifically classed in the river dolphin family rather than the oceanic dolphin family.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “List of Dolphin Species”