Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus (G. Cuvier, 1812)

Suborder: Odontoceti Family: Delphinidae

Sightings in Madeira

June to October

ID characteristics

Robust dolphin with large, square-shaped head with no beak
Body pale grey/bluish and extensively scarred
Darker flippers, fin and flukes
Tall, falcate dorsal fin

Surface behaviour

Normally travels slowly and ignores boats but sometimes is active at surface and may bow-ride or swim alongside vessels. Often surfaces at 45º angle to breathe.


Worldwide between parallels 60º North and 60º South.
Deep tropical and warm temperate waters


Groups between 3 to 50 individuals


Squid and some fish


Max length: 4 m
Adult weight: 300 to 500 kg

IUCN Status: Least concern
Madeira frequency status: Common

Other languages common names

ENG - Grey Dolphin
GER - Rundkopfdelfin, Risso-Delfin
FRA - Dauphin de Risso, Grampus
ESP - Calderón gris, Delfín de Risso
SWE - Rissos delfin
ITA - Grampo, Delfino di Risso
NED - Gramper, Grijze dolfijn
NOR - Arrdelfin, Rissodelfin
POL - Delfin Risso, Delfin szary
POR - Grampo, Golfinho de Risso

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