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Common names: 

English: Peale´s dolphin

Spanish: Delfín austral

German: Peale's (oder Schwarzkinn) Delfin


In southern Chile, Peale's dolphins (like Chilean

dolphins) are often called "toninas".


Scientific name: 

Lagenorhynchus australis



Length: 1.80 - 2.20 m 

Weight: 90 - 115 kg 


Habitat and distribution:

Peale's dolphins occur on both coasts of southern South America with their range encompassing the shallow continental shelves of Argentina and the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) as well as the open coasts and channels of southern Chile. They prefer shallow coastal waters but are more flexible in the habitat they use than the very specific Chilean dolphins. In our study areas around Chiloé, Chilean dolphins and Peale's dolphins rarely overlap and to some degree seem to partition the coastal habitat spatially. In some areas, Peale's dolphins are regularly associated with kelp beds (Macrocystis pyrifera) which seem to serve as foraging grounds and play areas.



Peale's dolphins used to be hunted with harpoons in the Strait of Magellan and around Tierra del Fuego for use as bait in crab fishing with bottom-set traps. There is evidence that Peale's dolphins get incidentally caught and drowned in fishing gear but the extent of this mortality is unknown. Their close association with kelp beds may render them vulnerable to coastal habitat loss.


Suggested references:

- Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K., Karczmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y., Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B. (2008). Lagenorhynchus australis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 April 2015.

- Heinrich S. (2006). Ecology of Chilean dolphins and Pale’s dolphins at Isla Chiloé, southern Chile. Ph. D. thesis. University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, UK. 

-Goodall, R. N. P. (2002). Peale's dolphin Lagenorhynchus australis. In: W. F. Perrin, B. Wursig and J. G. M. Thewissen (eds), Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, pp. 890-894. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

-Viddi, F. A. and Lescrauwaet, A. K. (2005). Insights on habitat selection and behavioral patterns of Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) in the Strait of Magellan, southern Chile. Aquatic Mammals 31(2): 176-183.

Peale's dolphin

Underwater photo: © Cayetano Espinosa

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