Short beaked dolphins jumping out of the water

Short-beaked common dolphin

Common short-beaked dolphins are the most numerous dolphins in the world, and can be seen in British waters. They are very social creatures and are seldom alone. The whole school (usually 10 to 500 individuals) can all be leaping in the air at one time.

Scientific name: Delphinus delphis

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Cape dolphin,
  • Common dolphin,
  • Criss-cross dolphin,
  • Hourglass dolphin,
  • Saddleback dolphin,
  • White-bellied porpoise


The Short-beaked common dolphin can be found in a number of locations including: Mediterranean, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Short-beaked common dolphin

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.