Hybrid Speciation in a Marine Mammal: The Clymene Dolphin (Stenella Clymene)

Have you ever heard of the Clymene dolphin?

It is an incredibly rare marine mammal species that live in the waters around South America and the Caribbean.

The Clymene dolphin (Stenella Clymene) is part of the family Delphinidae and is classified as a bottlenose dolphin. It has a distinctively gray-black coloration with light streaks on its stomach, back, and sides that form a network of veins which adds to its already exquisite look.

This mysterious marine mammal has captivated people for years with its fascinating behavior, elaborate sounds, and unique morphology. In this article, we will explore the anatomy, behavior, and distribution of the Clymene dolphin and some threats to their survival.

Physical Characteristics

Clymene dolphins are small, gray-green marine mammals easily identifiable by their curved dorsal fin.

1. Coloration

Clymene dolphins have a gray to greenish color on their back, while their belly is white and may sometimes have gray dots along their sides. The shade and pattern vary by individual, but they typically have darker colors along their dorsal area while their flanks tend to be lighter.

2. Head Structure

The shape of the Clymene dolphin’s head has been described as bulbous – it looks more like an oval than a long snout like other species. Their eyes are small but quite prominent, with a dark center surrounded by light markings around the iris that form a distinct ring.

3. Body Length

Clymene dolphins usually reach lengths between three and six feet long, with males larger than females. Although they can get bigger with age, most adults remain relatively small compared to other species in their family. Such as bottlenose and spinner dolphins which can grow to eight or nine feet long when fully mature.

4. Dorsal Fin Shape

The Clymene dolphin has a curved dorsal fin that is quite distinctive. It is usually tall and pointed at the tip, with a slight hook at the base. This feature helps them maneuver quickly in the water and makes them easily recognizable from other species.

5. Swimming Patterns

Clymene dolphins tend to stick to shallow waters and can be seen close to shorelines, where they search for food sources such as schools of fish or squid, rather than venturing out into the deep oceans seeking migrating prey.

They also show playfulness when swimming alongside humans, splashing around joyfully just off shorelines without fear as if curious about the strange creatures floating just beyond reach overhead!


The Clymene dolphin is found in the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They are most commonly seen near coral reefs but can also be found in shallow coastal waters, estuaries, and bays. The species has a wide distribution range that extends from the eastern coast of North America to the western coast of South America.

Clymene dolphins have evolved specialized adaptations that enable them to feed, locomote and reproduce. I

1. Body Shape

One of the most important physical adaptations of the Clymene Dolphin is its body shape. This dolphin has an elongated body that gives it excellent speed and agility in the water.

Its beak-like nose also helps with maneuverability and hunting for prey in tight spaces. Additionally, its long thick tail aids propulsion and stability when swimming at high speeds.

2. Skin Coloration

Clymene Dolphins are also distinguished from other dolphins by their unique coloring patterns. Their dark grey, blue or black skin helps them blend into the dark depths where they hunt for prey and avoid potential predators.

The underside of their bodies is light grey or white to help blend with reflected sunlight off the surface of the ocean’s surface above them when they migrate up for air or increased food availability

3. Breathing Habits

Though they can stay underwater for hours at a time, Clymene Dolphins must still come up to breathe intermittently—just like all dolphins do!

They achieve this by blowing out fountain-like sprays that usually clear five feet into the air when they come up for air after a dive! This helps indicate predator locations while not wasting energy due to thrashing sounds associated with breaking through surface layers before surfacing–making it easier to find oxygen quickly and discretely.

4. Feeding Preferences

The main food source for Clymene Dolphins is small fish like sardines and anchovies, which are easily accessible and rich in nutrients due to their smaller size compared to larger predators such as tuna or marlin deeper in the oceanic waters.

However, these creatures will also hunt squid. Even though larger school fish, if given an opportunity – by chasing them down using their strong swim abilities until exhaustion sets in, which allows them to reap the stored energy within these bigger animals

5. Reproductive Adaptations

Clymene Dolphins reproduce differently than many other species within its order, Cetacea. Unlike beluga whales or sperm whales, who give birth during warmer months. These creatures give birth during cooler times, primarily between January through June but only after gestation periods last around 11 months!

Additionally, males employ “seasonal fidelity,” which results in staying near females throughout the reproductive season despite tempted invitations from females outside its realm – illustrating strong monogamous qualities amongst both sexes, which increases chances of mating successfully.


Clymene dolphins reach sexual maturity at around 4-5 years old and typically mate during summer. The gestation period is approximately 10-12 months, after which a single calf is born. The calf will stay with its mother for up to two years before becoming independent.

Social Structure

Clymene dolphins are usually found in small groups of 2-10 individuals, although larger pods of up to 50 have been observed.

They are highly social animals and often interact with other species, such as bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales.

They also form strong bonds with one another, which can be seen when they swim together in synchrony or when they help each other find food.

Fun Facts for Kids

1. Clymene dolphins are highly social animals and form strong bonds with one another. They often swim together in synchrony and help each other find food.

2. Clymene dolphins reach sexual maturity at around 4-5 years old and typically mate during summer. The gestation period is approximately 10-12 months, after which a single calf is born.

3. Clymene dolphins are usually found in small groups of 2-10 individuals, although larger pods of up to 50 have been observed.

4. Clymene dolphins migrate seasonally, often traveling hundreds of miles in search of food and warmer waters.

5. Clymene dolphins’ main threats are overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. They are also vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear and boat strikes.

6. Clymene dolphins are highly acrobatic and can be seen leaping out of the water, spinning, and even somersaulting.

7. They use a unique “clicking” sound to communicate with each other and locate prey in murky waters.

8. The scientific name for the Clymene dolphin is Stenella Clymene, which is part of the Delphinidae family.

9. Clymene dolphins have a unique coloration pattern, with dark gray on their backs and light gray on their bellies.

10. They feed primarily on small fish and squid but eat crustaceans and octopuses.

11. The average lifespan of a Clymene dolphin is around 20 years in the wild, although some individuals can live up to 30 years.


1. Overfishing

2. Habitat destruction

3. Pollution

4. Entanglement in fishing gear

5. Boat strikes

Conservation Efforts

1. Establishing marine protected areas

2. Reducing bycatch and discards

3. Regulating fishing activities

4. Implementing sustainable fishing practices

5. Educating the public about the importance of conservation

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