What's black and white and swims upside-down?

One of the world's smallest dolphins! 

There are only about 25 in captivity, so I was lucky to see two at Sea World in San Diego.  I watched them for about 45 minutes, and they both swam around their tank upside-down the whole time.


There's no good reason, but this dolphin loves to spin and leap out of the water; they are very maybe swimming upside-down is just fun!

So who is this guy?

Well, he's known as the Panda dolphin, the Skunk dolphin, and the Piebald dolphin, but this little guy's real name is:

Commerson's dolphin.

There are a few types of dolphins that have black and white coloring and we'll check them out, but here's how you can tell a Commerson's dolphin:

1st IK*: All fins are black

2nd IK: The head and tail are also black

3rd IK: The sides and underjaw are white

But really, you just need to remember this: if you see a dolphin swimming upside-down, and its coloring reminds you of a panda, you've probably spotted a Commerson's dolphin!

*Identification Key, or IKs, are characteristics used to identify an animal. (More about identification keys here.)

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