The common dolphin is one of the most historically popular dolphins recorded throughout art and literature. It is currently the common name for two species, the short- and long-beaked common dolphin, both of which can be found in tropical and warm-temperate parts of the ocean. The long-beaked variety is mostly found along coastal waters, whereas, the short-beaked is found in offshore waters most frequently found in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Both species, however, occur in the southern California Bight and sometimes aggregate by the thousands!
The most distinct characteristic is its beautiful, elaborate color pattern of its dark gray back which dips into a V-shape on its sides, the yellowish hourglass pattern on the forward sides of its dorsal fin, and its white underbelly. Both species are famous for popping up alongside a boat’s bow and riding its wake. Whether viewing these active animals’ boat-side or if you are lucky enough to encounter them underwater, seeing them are truly a special experience. View the dive site map below to find the best areas around the world to dive with the common dolphin.