AMMCF

Burrunan dolphin

Burrunan_AMMCF

Burrunan dolphin

Tursiops australis

Only recently classified as a new dolphin species, the Burrunan dolphin, Tursiops australis, resembles bottlenose dolphins but also show numerous distinct differences. The Burrunan dolphin is approximately 2.5m in length and has a distinct tri-coloration pattern, from dark grey on the upper side of the body, a paler grey midline and cream underside. The cream underside can extend over the eye, whilst the grey mid-line forms a shoulder blaze (a brush-stroke pattern) below the falcate (curved) dorsal fin. The Burrunan has broad tail flukes, a prominent rounded head and a short stubby rostrum (nose). Burrunan dolphins are social animals are most commonly seen in pods of 2-30 animals. They are endemic to southern Australian waters and are most commonly seen in the two resident populations in coastal Victoria: Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes. Outside of these two populations the Burrunan in also found in Tasmania and South Australia, however genetic research suggests the species is characterised by small, genetically distinct and localized populations. The Burrunan is also known to inhabit semi-enclosed embayment’s, estuarine systems and have been noted high up in freshwater rivers. It is also thought they inhabit inshore coastal waters.